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to think this is a double standard?

(54 Posts)

People at work actively berate me for being 'posh'.

I am probably middle class but have just left uni and am living independently on the lowest salary in this place (16k).

They say things to me like 'you got a plum in your mouth?' and 'saw you on Britains Got Talent on the weekend' (ref 'Lettice' with the violin). Sometimes I am on the phone to a customer and they mimick me, 'oh loooooveeely, thaaaank you' in a really shrill, Queens English accent. makes me feel like fucking shit.

If I had to give you a voice twin, it would be someone like Holly Willoughby. Certainly not as well pronounced as BBC types.

It can be a bit playground actually and they group up and do it together and I feel myself getting hot and angry and defensive (tho not saying anything ofcourse). I think I'm probably B a little U because I am sensitive to their jibes anyway (they are quite rude to me about my weight) and I know there are much bigger problems in the world but this has been going on for months and months.

what pisses me off though is imagining this going the other way. Would they dare to call someone common or compare them to people off the telly? 'Saw you on Benefits Street on the weekend'? I don't think they would. is it becoming a bad thing to not have a dialect? Do I need to lighten up?

You don't need to lighten up, this is bullying.

Do you feel confident enough to speak to a supervisor?

Cocolepew Wed 23-Apr-14 14:59:11

I agree, it is bullying , you should speak to someone.

Sadly there is no HR here. Started out as a entrepreneurial venture which has become very successful but still not a lot of staff and certainly no-one senior I would feel comfortable talking to...don't want to say too much without outing myself/company! But it's pretty much 'like it or lump it' here and I'm beginning to think I should probably lump it.

AlpacaYourThings Wed 23-Apr-14 15:00:19


Agree with SanDiego it's bullying. Please don't feel that you need to 'lighten up' They need to shut the fuck up

Thanks all for reassurance thanks felt like a wally being upset about it but it is nasty and it makes me feel like shit on their shoe.

No one in a senior position?

Start to look for other work, is that possible?

In the mean time , are you hard faced enough to answer them back and maintain a poker face?

Bullies are cowards, when they mock you again say in a very firm voice 'does it make you feel superior to mock me' or ' I find bullies are such arses, do you enjoy being such a twat', maintain a straight face.

It might not stop them but it might give you some power back.

Stay strong, you don't have to be there forever.

I did once totally ignore them when they started talking about skiing holidays and said to me 'bet you've been every year haven't you?'

think they felt a bit shock that I didn't melt into a defensive mess that time!

Diego there are people in senior positions but they'd laugh me out the door. would love to give more away if I could but it really would out me!

They are also sounding jealous, you've left university and are living on your own, is that right?

Remember you are a nicer, stronger person than these arses.

Keep a log of the verbal bullying and any other issues.

felinesad Wed 23-Apr-14 15:17:48

Oh grey I know how you feel. I had exactly the same thing where I used to work. Because I didn't speak with a Yorkshire accent (which is where I was originally from) they spread a rumour that I'd had elocution lessons because ' I was ashamed of where I'd come from and thought I was better than anyone else'. It was an allmale office.

It was horrible and nasty and yes it was bullying.

Wantsunshine Wed 23-Apr-14 15:24:10

They are bullying, really not nice. Just keep asking them how they managed to escape the workhouse and make comments about them being similar to people on the soaps depending on what area you are from. Or just say you prefer it to sounding common.

Diego live with my boyfriend of 3 years who is from VERY humble beginnings and out of work at the moment (made redundant) so money is horribly tight and they know this. I am sure they would love to think I am picked up by my butler and taken home to roam around in the fields that surround my manor house clad in a barbour gilet after work. I honestly cant think of why they might be jealous, but I would rather believe that than think they actually think badly of me.

feline it's horrid isn't it sad They even goad me by saying things like 'What is your brother's name?' I obviously have to reply and they then fall about laughing pronouncing it ridiculously. such dicks.

from my posts and the things they say you are probably all thinking I am called Hecuba and my brother Menelaus. In truth we are unbelievably normal people with even more normal names. my boyf (v difficult background, no money, DV in home etc) has a name you might normally associate with a pet dog (hippyish parents) yet even HE gets heat from this bunch of arseholes! (behind his back obv) angry

fluffyraggies Wed 23-Apr-14 15:26:23

Where are you OP? Purely out of interest.

IME in some places any London accent that's not typical East London, ie: 'raand the haases and daaan the stairs' is often though of as 'posh'. God knows why.

My advice would be to tell them how much it's upsetting you. Very frankly. Make them feel shitty and they'll stop. Hopefully.

Want I did actually ask one of them once 'would you ask someone why they sounded common as muck?' he weasled out of answering it. a colleague who has since left (citing bullying actually) backed me up at the time, bless her. no one else has ever backed me up or told the men who do it to stop.

Fluffy I live and work in Bucks so not like my well-spokenness is particularly out of place hmm (and I'm certainly not in the minority in the office - don't know why I bear the brunt of it. Maybe because I am younger or less likely to tell them where to shove it sad)

IceBeing Wed 23-Apr-14 15:31:49

How about keeping an actual notebook in which you write down these incidents of bullying? Whenever it happens, pop out the note book and write down what was said (do this instead of replying). If/when someone asks what you are doing say you are building your constructive dismissal case and they are being very helpful and to keep it up.

Haha Ice that would be brilliant. I will keep a log of it all, and attempt to grow the balls to say that!

I would ask them, "Do you mean to sound so bigoted? Are you happy to be bullies?" And give them a hard stare.

SlimJiminy Wed 23-Apr-14 15:34:17

I had this at a former workplace with people who hadn't been to uni. One bloke in particular had a massive chip on his shoulder about me and other graduates. I am NOT posh. I'm a northern lass, but my accent isn't as strong as his. I just used a few big words to make him feel silly and a few quick comebacks to his attention-seeking jibes. I made it clear that I wouldn't be putting up with it. Of course, it depends on your character and I do appreciate that not everyone feels able to/should have to deal with it in this way. FWIW, it says more about them than it does about you. Bullying is wrong whether in the playground or the workplace. If telling HR isn't an option, have a think about strategies for dealing with bullies that might work instead. Is there one colleague that you could get on-side? Someone who'll stick up for you? I know I would if you worked with me.

IceBeing Wed 23-Apr-14 15:34:20

and it has the advantage that you could really follow through on it if you want to. It might also carry more weight with the seniors....

Hoppinggreen Wed 23-Apr-14 15:35:37

as much as I want to tell you to fight back and tell them all the piss off if you do it could be seen as joining in with the " banter", which it sing it's bullying.
If I were in your position I would just ignore them, practise your icy " you are a piece of shit on my shoe" look and use it whenever they speak to you like this. I find that the phrase " if you say so" works quite well on arseholes like this.
If it makes you feel better you can even imagine yourself holding up a sign saying " fuck off" this is a visualisation technique someone taught me once.
The less this obviously bothers you the less fun it will be for them and hopefully they will stop.
You shouldn't have to it up with this crap but if there's no one you can speak to at work you might have to find a way of dealing with it or leave unfortunately.

UnicornSparkles Wed 23-Apr-14 15:39:21

Your company must have a grievance procedure - call the bullies out. It's not cool. You might be surprised that people in management will listen - I work in a start up and even though it's much less formal than a "proper" company these scenarios have to be accounted for and dealt with.

How long have you been there? Long enough to start looking for other jobs without it looking too bad on your CV?

fluffyraggies Wed 23-Apr-14 15:41:27

Blimey, yes, Bucks is hardly the bronx is it?! grin

I venture your accent is barely any 'posher' than their own and they are just using it as a stick to beat you with. How puerile. Don't worry about how you sound any more. It's not you - they're being twats. Don't rise to it.

How long have you worked there OP?

Unicorn will be a year in July so not too bad on my CV I don't think.

Hopping imaginary fuck off sign is brilliant. I have always been very calm and collected (outwardly) with them, perhaps if I am a little more transparent about how I don't like it it'll help.

Slim I would like to think there are people here that feel it is wrong. Trouble is they are not ones to upset any sort of balance or want to be particularly involved. Which makes me feel I guess even more crap!

Oh also Unicorn there is a grievance procedure AFAIK... Tho I think it'd be more worth my while leaving here altogether what with the shit storm it'd cause.

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