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Thread: Being Harassed At Work, What To Do?

  1. #1

    Default Being Harassed At Work, What To Do?

    Okay so there is the usual tell your boss answer. I am afraid that may not be enough. There apparently is a string of insults being thrown at my direction behind my back. It has been going on for quite an extensive time, and the only reason I know this is because someone clued me on it. This person will not tell me who they are in fear that I would retaliate, and/or be hurt further by it. I am going through a transition, and right now I am emotionally vulnerable. I do not know how to get Jake to fess up on the context of the insults, and who did it.

    I am sure he did not do this, and is just trying to make me aware. What bothers me is I do not understand why people would do this. If I could at least talk with them, and understand why. Then I would be able to help the situation because I would know what is going on rather than be ignorant. No one really insults me in front of me. This is happening when I am not around, and it spreads. I want to bring the matter to Human Resources because they got the ability to handle such delicate issues. Though I also do not want to put off Jake by bringing him into it. Though if I don't then they will not have the insight they need. Please I need advice.

  2. #2

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    I am going to be completely blunt here, you are 32, you are a big boy and should just go to your boss. We can give you no other advice without knowing everything or without being there. If your boss does nothing go to HR, if it still doesn't stop, you have a hostile work environment and have grounds for a lawsuit.

  3. #3

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    I know how this feels. Many years ago, I was a gay person (actually I still am, heh) working in a macho environment. I knew there were jokes being made behind my back and sometimes they were meant for me to hear.

    Is it possible to speak to Jake and get some support from him? One option would be to let him know that you want to speak to a supervisor about this problem and it would be really helpful if he could corroborate the information. The supervisor could then speak to Jake about it and take action with the offenders.

    Another option is to let the supervisor know about the problem and ask respectfully that some action be taken. The supervisor could raise the matter at a staff meeting or send out a notice to staff that there are laws in the workplace protecting workers from harassment, bullying, intimidation or causing anyone to feel unsafe or having to work in what is essentially a toxic environment.

    Now if Jake wants to be supportive but he is afraid to get involved, perhaps he would give the names of the people who are causing the problem on the condition that his identity would be protected. Depending on your supervisor, he might be willing to speak to them, but it would be based on unproven allegations which can't be substantiated.

    Those are just a few of my thoughts, Tridem, however, I think the most important bit of advice I could give would be: DO SOMETHING. You have the right to a safe and peaceful workplace and employees who engage in malicious, backstabbing behaviour do nothing more than poison the work environment for everybody. You probably aren't the first person that they've attacked and you probably won't be the last... unless someone stands up to them.

    Good luck with it, my friend.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by FauxPas View Post
    I am going to be completely blunt here, you are 32, you are a big boy and should just go to your boss. We can give you no other advice without knowing everything or without being there. If your boss does nothing go to HR, if it still doesn't stop, you have a hostile work environment and have grounds for a lawsuit.
    If you cannot say something nice do not say it at all. I did not ask advice on legal actions to take. Did what I mention seem all that easy, and trivial to you? I already said I am emotionally vulnerable. That means I cannot just rush into it like it means nothing to me. Also consider being brash with the boss would be a really bad idea with emotions running high. That is why I am asking for advice. Not rude insensitive comments.

    Update: Just because I am physically 32 does not mean anything about how I should feel. Do you know who I am? No you do not.

  5. #5

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    I only ask this because of the way your post is worded but do you actually know that you are being generally harassed at work? If it all comes from some anonymous source, who is to say that the source might not be the problem? You've probably resolved this question already in your own mind but it was fuzzy to me in the post, so I thought I should ask to be sure.

  6. #6

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    Are you actually being harassed or is it just one person who has said that anonymous people might be doing things you are not aware of?

    If it's the latter, HR won't be able to do anything about it.

  7. #7

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    I am sorry if I confused my words. Just to be clear I do not think Jake is the source of the comments. People are telling him, and/or he is hearing it secondhand. So he is telling me that it is happening. I think Jake is not helping the situation, and making it worse by telling me what is going on. Without actually giving me the information I need to pursue it. So either I need to convince him to talk to the manager, or I will have to do it. Which would in turn force Jake into talking to the manager anyway. You are right that who is to say it is not from one source, and I should keep that in mind. I need to take some responsibility for this by doing something about it. Though I am emotional right now because of reasons not directly related to this issue.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tridim View Post
    If you cannot say something nice do not say it at all. I did not ask advice on legal actions to take. Did what I mention seem all that easy, and trivial to you? I already said I am emotionally vulnerable. That means I cannot just rush into it like it means nothing to me. Also consider being brash with the boss would be a really bad idea with emotions running high. That is why I am asking for advice. Not rude insensitive comments.

    Update: Just because I am physically 32 does not mean anything about how I should feel. Do you know who I am? No you do not.
    Don't get mad at me, your posting about a work situation of which we know nothing about. I don't even know what kind of job you do. Who said you had to be "brash" with your boss? I said to go to him and discuss the situation. Nothing we say is going to be any better than to do just that.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by FauxPas View Post
    Don't get mad at me, your posting about a work situation of which we know nothing about. I don't even know what kind of job you do. Who said you had to be "brash" with your boss? I said to go to him and discuss the situation. Nothing we say is going to be any better than to do just that.

    This is a support forum, and I feel that if someone states they are emotional then being as blunt as you were was unkind. You can try to chalk it up to whatever you like to. Reason it in whatever way helps you feel at ease. I still do not appreciate your initial gesture towards me. I am offended by it.

  10. #10

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    There are so many variables here that I don't think we have enough information to lend much help. I know that for me, for the most part, a job is a place I go to work, and then I go home. I try to leave what goes on at the workplace at work. I try to do my job to the best of my ability. As for my school job, I didn't become involved in my ch-workers lives, nor did I ever become involved in school gossip. I simply taught.

    My church job is different because I am a minister of music, and that means I do become involved in other lives, but as a minister. Even so, I see myself as a professional, and I hold that bar high. So my advise to you, knowing very little about what is going on, is to not just ignore it, but distance yourself emotionally from your co-workers. Questioning others as to what is being said about you will, in my opinion, only make the situation worse. If you don't respond to them in any way, but do your job well, you will become boring to those who are so small minded, that talking about someone is as good as it gets for them.

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