Good morning Loves. If you follow me on Twitter then you know that I have been very preoccupied lately with a whole bunch of drama at my office. Here’s the situation: The only male on our three person team called me and another female co-worker a really derogatory name when he lashed out at us in anger after a team meeting. He called us two words that rhyme with sucking cuts, but this is an all-ages friendly blog so we need to keep it PG.
The problem with bullies is that no one stands up to them
I work in a professional office environment – or at least I thought I did. My co-worker is a 42 year old man with the mentality and intelligence of an 18 year old, so it was really no surprise that he used fowl language at the office. He doesn’t understand that calling people names is appropriate behaviour in the workplace because he has no class. But what is surprising is that my boss (who is also female) is being so tolerant about the situation.
What is being done about this situation, you ask. In one word, nothing. That’s right it’s been three weeks and absolutely nothing is happening to our male co-worker. Our male co-worker has absolutely no remorse for being an unprofessional and he has absolutely no repercussions for his actions. He actually didn’t even apologize. He just told us that he was upset and that’s how he expressed his anger.
To make matters even worse I asked to move to another desk and my boss actually said no. Can you believe that? We have to continue working beside him every single day, we have to sit in team meetings with him and from Monday to Friday we have to make polite office conversations with him.
The emotions are consuming me
Even though in the eyes of my company this case is officially closed I can’t stop thinking about what happened and every time I think about it (which is always) I just get angrier and angrier at the whole situation. I am mad at my co-worker for lashing out, I am mad at my boss for not letting me change desks and I am mad at the company for doing absolutely nothing about it.
I have so many good things going on in my life that I really shouldn’t be focusing on this childish issue created by a 42 year old man – but I just can’t help it. I know that I shouldn’t be filled with uncontrollable emotions like sadness and anger – but yet here I am. Honestly I feel like I’m sitting in the cafeteria at Sweet Valley High, I feel like I am sitting at the cool kids table and the deadly stares from the bullies across the room are eating right through me. No scratch that I feel like a young kid on the playground who gets sand thrown in her face and the bigger kids don’t help me out, they just let me sit there on the ground covered in dirt.
At this point I really don’t know what I am going to do. I have so many questions like “Will this happen again and if it does will it escalate into violence?” “Do I really want to continue working for a company that thinks this is OK?” and “Should I take this higher to the Employee Ombudsman?” I don’t know where to go from here and I’m open to all suggestions.
If you were being bullied at work and your boss chose to ignore it, what would you do?
Photo by tahnyakristina
That’s awful!! I work in Human Resources, and, in my opinion, at the VERY least, this person should have a disciplinary note put in his file and should have to apologize to the team — he has to be in violation of some sort of company policy!! Did your boss speak to him at all?
Regardless, I would reuqest a formal meeting with your boss and tell her that you are still feeling extremely uncomfortable in your work environment because you haven’t gotten any reassurance that this behavior won’t be tolerated in the future. Tell her that his remarks have made the environent a very hostile place to work and you do not feel safe sitting next to him any longer, unless there is some sort of apology. Document the conversation by taking notes. If your boss still brushes it off and does not actually try to handle the situation, I would escalate it to whoever the next highest person is. if they don’t handle it, then you go to the next highest person.
If you do not feel comfortable speaking to your boss about it again, then just take it right to the next highest person right away.
Talk to your manager again and try to firmly and nicely tell her to grow a spine.
Then report to HR. No one should have to take this kind of abuse.
(This is why women managers are sometimes too nice for the job.. they don’t want to confront anyone *sigh*)