Being bullied at work - really bad now please help

(48 Posts)
NotYoMomma Tue 14-May-13 12:09:35

Hello there,

I'm pregnant and suffer from panic attacks and anxiety.

About 5 months ago a colleague who is the same level as me was reported for improper use of the computer. He has told people he thinks it was me who reported him (it wasn't, I do know who it was though but these things are anonymous)

Since then he talks down to me, makes me feel terrible, sits next to me all the time so he can coach me on how to do my job better (I was hitting targets all through this)
We had a disagreement once which I told my friend about and she mentioned t to him in February. It was just a passing comment, oh he said this and I said this...

Anyway we all got told any future issues to go to manager and not discuss amongst each other.

I did this but his treatment of me continued (always alone though so I couldn't do anything about it) and I got more anxious and upset all the time with him implying I was terrible at my job every week.

It came to a head last month when he really told me my ideas were wrong (they were only feedback suggestions) and that I was the only one to think like that and he would not include the idea in an upcoming meeting an if he had to would be sure to say I was the only one who wanted it. He also manipulated my idea so it sounded terrible (ie cutting out a lot of detail) and kept saying things like 'so you want an easy life?'and 'so you just want to do half our job?' And that Was NOT what I was trying to say at all.

Anyway, due to this escalating and our previous run in I spoke to my manager. I said I didn't want to complain officially but was concerned about the feedback (we are the same level after all) and about the way e speaks to me and belittles me and it knocks my confidence.

Boss said he is aware of the way colleague presents things but will have a word....

Anyway word must have been had as next thing I know colleague is standing at my desk, red in the face and raised voice pointing at me and shouting 'how could I do that to him🎋, he tried to help me all the time and I am disgusting and he is going to quit and it's all my fault and to never speak to him again.'

I was shocked and really intimidated and scared, he raised his hand at one point and was pointing in my face. I said ' I didn't appreciate the way he speaks to me and the way he lied about my feedback'

He told me if I had a problem to speak to our boss which I HAD done and to shut up and never speak I him again.

This was in front of a floor of about 100 people.

I had a panic attack and as I'm pregnant my anxiety skyrocketed and I was off for a few weeks

I raised a grievance and as there were witnesses he was found to be guilty. I had my seat moved away from him, he makes me so anxious and nervous and is not to speak to me again. They are taking action for aggressive, intimidating and threatening behaviour....

Anyway... I thought it was all over, I sit elsewhere and we don't speak and I was just getting back to hitting targets etc...

Now he has raised a grievance against me and due to policy I am now to be investigated. I'm waiting to hear of details about this but I feel sick all the time, I'm a bag of nerves, I can't sleep

I feel he has done this as it is the only way to continue to harass me and upset me. I'm really upset that HR can even entertain this given he was found guilty 2 weeks ago of such horrible behaviour to me.

I'm so upset, I'm scared of him and what might happen to me, I've not done anything wrong (I think it will relate to me telling my friend about our disagreement in February but no news yet) I feel like he has been bullying me since his initial telling of in January which was nothing to do with me.

I am scared hr won't do anything to help me and he will continue this vendetta

NotYoMomma Tue 14-May-13 12:11:14

I haven't put any names or anything as people on my team at work don't know and I don't really have anyone to talk to about it without crying. I had a friend who works in HR for someone else but she is pregnant too and I don't want to hassle her all the time sad

flowery Tue 14-May-13 12:24:03

"I'm really upset that HR can even entertain this given he was found guilty 2 weeks ago of such horrible behaviour to me."

Not sure I understand this. HR won't be making the decision anyway, but do you mean they should refuse to let him have his grievance heard just because a grievance against him was upheld recently? Surely you realise that if anyone raises a grievance it must be heard fairly, regardless of their own previous record?

Where is your manager in all this in terms of helping you?

If you now sit elsewhere and thought this was all finished and are otherwise ok with things at work, it sounds like he is doing this purely to be vindictive, and I would imagine whoever hears the grievance will realise that quickly and will dismiss the grievance accordingly.

Was he given any kind of disciplinary warning as a result of your grievance against him being upheld?

EuroShaggleton Tue 14-May-13 12:27:46

They have to investigate, but hopefully the grievance will be quickly dismissed.

This other employee sounds like a handful, so so doubt they will be extra careful to do everything by the book in terms of his grievance.

NotYoMomma Tue 14-May-13 12:37:32

I know it needs to be investigated but when will it stop? Will he be allowed to raise grievences all the time knowing its going to send my blood pressure through the roof? I'm worried this is the start of something much bigger.

I'm also worried that they will investigate what he has said but I won't be allowed to say about the bullying or the back story or how I feel. I got moved away from him to stop his behaviour and reduce my stress levels and it obviously hasn't worked.

I don't k ow where to turn, or what to do or who to talk to. I thought maybe my boss who knew about it could put his foot down. I'm worried about the affect on the baby.

I've never been in trouble a day in my life and I feel sick.

What if it is all ok but he does t again? I've done nothing wrong

NotYoMomma Tue 14-May-13 12:38:47

All I got told is that they were taking formal action against him. I think it will be a warning but obv I'm not privy to his record/ punishment sad

NatashaBee Tue 14-May-13 12:39:56

Would you consider getting the doctor to sign you off with stress? It certainly sounds like you have valid reasons.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Tue 14-May-13 12:47:10

Can't help much other than to reassure you that it doesn't mean a thing just because they're following up his grievance. A colleague in our office raises grievances against everyone, all the time. Every single one has to be treated seriously, even though everyone knows what the person's like and that it's all bollocks. Hope it works out for you thanks Agree you should look to get signed off for a while just to get your thoughts together.

WhoWhatWhereWhen Tue 14-May-13 12:48:41

HR are just doing their job, please try not to worry about his complaint it's likely to backfire on him anyway.

If you get any more crap from him, make formal complaints straight away.

slug Tue 14-May-13 12:50:24

It's called 'bullying via grievance'. I had a colleague that was a past master at it.

Get to know your union rep (if you have one). Keep a diary of all the incidents and add this one to it. Try, if possible, to visualise him as a toddler having a tantrum, full of impotent fury at not getting his own way. Remember, this man has already been disciplined twice for his behaviour in recent months. Your record is clear.

The other thing I have found useful and have advised others in the same position to do is to not keep it to yourself. There is a phrase about sunlight being the best disinfectant. If you let your workmates, or at least the ones you are closest to, know that he's wrecking his revenge via the grievance procedure you will probably find support, sympathy and possibly several similar tales.

It's also worth checking with your GP. The stress of the bullying has adversely affected your health and the grievance has added to it. See if you can be signed off sick.

NotYoMomma Tue 14-May-13 12:57:18

But I've just gone back and need to be in because these are the weeks they calculate my mat pay. I don't want to give him the satisfaction of me bing off again.

I've emailed my manager (who knows about both incidents and my anxiety) just to let him know I'm struggling with it all. He is this other guys manager too though so I just don't know who I can trust.

My doctor would sign me off I know he would but I don't want to damage my chances for promotion in future too, I'm feeling really really down. The atmosphere is awful

My senior (above my manager) has said f t continues after this I can move to a different business area that's best for me. However I now feel why should I have to move, surely that have some sort of duty to stop bullying and protect against malicious grievences?

NotYoMomma Tue 14-May-13 13:01:51

Can anyone tell me if I am allowed to bring up the back story during the grievences or if I am only allowed to talk about whatever incident he has complained about?

I still don't know what it is. I feel like there is an axe hanging over me sad

Badgerwife Tue 14-May-13 13:19:47

I'm so sorry this is happening to you, your colleague sounds horrid.
I think it's been mentioned before but I would recommend that you sit down and write down all the separate incidents as you should be able to use them as evidence of calculated bullying on his part. You should be able to have someone go with you in these meetings as well, usually a union rep if you are part of a union, or a colleague if there's anyone you can trust who knows all the back story. Good luck

NotYoMomma Tue 14-May-13 13:23:02

Can I take my husband? Or does it need to be a work person. He used to work for the company but just moved to a new job

flowery Tue 14-May-13 13:30:37

You can bring up anything you consider to be relevant in the way of back story and I would assume whoever is hearing the grievance would be aware anyway.

You can ask if you can take your husband but they are within their rights to refuse.

NotYoMomma Tue 14-May-13 13:33:20

He would just sit there though and support me, he really brings my anxiety down and attends my anxiety related appointments.

God I hope they don't refuse

flowery Tue 14-May-13 13:38:12

Actually now I think about it, this is purely an investigation meeting, not a disciplinary hearing, so you are not entitled to bring anyone at all, unless your grievance procedure indicates that subjects of a grievance can bring someone to meetings?

You may say he would just sit there and support you, and obviously you know him best, but family members of people feeling accused/bullied in some way rarely do that I'm afraid, which is why I usually advise not to allow them to attend.

NotYoMomma Tue 14-May-13 13:50:07

Ah balls.

He isn't allowed.

He is just quite good at the breathing/ panic attack prevention . He would sit there though because he has done this as part if his own job.

Plan b - going alone

NotYoMomma Tue 14-May-13 13:50:49

Our policy says union or colleague only but we can have someone

lovefreelance Tue 14-May-13 15:57:56

Sorry no advice to add (other than to third the suggestion of keeping a diary - and backdating if you can remember - of his behaviour, however small) but just wanted to wish you strength and good wishes. The guy sounds an absolute c%^&.

If its any consolation, these kind of people cause, and therefore attract misery, in other areas of their lives too. So while you go home to a lovely supportive husband, he's probably despised most places he goes!

NotYoMomma Tue 14-May-13 16:48:27

Just found out its at 9am tomorrow sad

This is going to knock me for six all day and I want to still hit my targets. sigh

selfish klaxon dh is taking me to the pictures tonight to try and take my mind off it and I'm scared I won't be able to enjoy it
weak smile

At least ill be busy or asleep until it happens

Greydog Tue 14-May-13 16:51:26

is there not a union rep you can go to? That should have been your first port of call. If not union is there some sort of workplace council?

NotYoMomma Tue 14-May-13 17:20:45

There is a people insight team, no union

My boss said they have someone ready if I decide I want them. I probably go alone though if dh can't come, I'd just end up anxious about them being there and not knowing them

WherewasHonahLee Tue 14-May-13 18:31:07

Sorry if I've missed this but have you been told in advance of the meeting what the nature of his grievance is? Or do you get told at the meeting?

Chottie Tue 14-May-13 18:39:56

He is a bully through and through. Good luck and do not let him grind you down. [ ]

NotYoMomma Tue 14-May-13 19:16:22

I get told at the meeting, I thought I would get a brief overview in the email invite to the investigation but nothing.

I hope you don't mind me posting tomorrow but I'm a bit shaken by the whole thing.

DameFanny Tue 14-May-13 19:26:00

If you're only going to be told the allegation tomorrow, I think that you don't have to respond at that meeting. Maybe you should take the colleague in?

NatashaBee Tue 14-May-13 19:44:51

I would email and clarify whether you need to respond to the allegation in the meeting (although maybe a bit late for them to reply now... but at least you have tried to clarify). Don't be afraid to say 'sorry, I don't have that information with me, I'll have to go away and check that' if you're not sure of something.

i would take the colleague in so you have someone on your side.

i also would try not to get into anything tomorrow. you need to hear what his problem is and digest it and think of your response.

i don't know anything about how these things work though.

good luck.

Greydog Tue 14-May-13 20:17:54

This might be useful -
Also your workplace should have policies re bullying. Look them up. As this guy has made a complaint, no matter how frivolous - then HR will have to investigate. Sounds like tomorrow is just a fact find, so be calm, breathe deeply and take your time before you answer. If they ask a question answer it just to the point. (What day is it? Tuesday. Nothing else) Don't ramble. And if you feel stressed ask for a break for a drink and some fresh air. Good luck

BriansBrain Tue 14-May-13 22:45:34

I think You should have been informed at least 3 days prior to the meeting so you can arrange for a collegue or union rep to attend with you.

If you need more time you can reply and say you need more time and suggest a date for a few days time.

This meeting will be to inform you of the grievance, you will be given time to respond and musnt feel rushed into answering.

Make sure you log and diarise events which you think may help dispute his allegations and of course you can talk about what has happened recently, try to stay factual (easily said) you need to provide as much evidence as you can that his claim against you is false.

I would also take the opportunity to raise how this new grevience is adding to you anxiety and that his behaviour is having a direct moat on how you feel.

If I were you I wouldn't be attending any meeting tomorrow with such notice.

squawkparrot Wed 15-May-13 08:54:08

These investigatory meetings or meetings to establish the facts are often either deliberately misused or misunderstood. If they know the alleged wrongdoing and the person who has allegedly done the wrongdoing what is there to investigate? The only thing that they will be asking you for is your side of the story or if you like your defence. Asking you to set out your defence is a function of the disciplinary hearing. You will say that they are investigating a grievance. That's true but if the charge or wrongdoing is something that could resukt in either disciplinary or some othernnegative action taken against you then you'll have tge right to a companion at the hearing. The reality however is that HR will look at you as if you are mad. And sometimes its better to go down the investigatory hearing route for a couple of reasons. First you get to hear tge chargesagainst you. So you will be able to mount a better defence if it should evercome to a didisciplinary. And once the disciplinary process has been set in train some managers will find it difficult to justify nothing being done. As you suffering from stress and then this might be a good reason why HR could allow a companion. But like all things in work it is the employer who has the power. But at this stage I would be more relaxed about it. He's the one with previous. If he has raised the grievance in bad faith then he could find himself being disciplined or even dismissed.

Good luck. Let us know how it goes OP.
What a horrible man this colleague is.

NotYoMomma Wed 15-May-13 12:31:54

He told them that one day six months ago I had went over to his desk and rubbed my breasts on him in a sexually inappropriate manner

I had a panic attack. I'm married with a baby and pregnant! I was totally mortified.

Luckily the witness he cited said t was ridiculous, he was bullying me so refused to be his witness as she could not recall anything of the sort ever happening.

I told then I was scared and intimidated by him and told them all the back story

It got dismissed within 5 minutes. People they asked (manager and senior ) all defended me as I am NOT like that at all, I'm pretty timid at work

Relieved its over but I can't believe it!!!

I am sort of glad it was so frivolous in a way because my manager and senior were both shocked at what he said and they both know now about the full history and the bullying.

I think a lot of people hadn't realised the extent of his behaviour but it all came out

Leverette Wed 15-May-13 13:48:02

OMG he said that!!!!!

Perhaps now they will realise they are dealing with a deluded, vindictive fantasist and sack him quickly.


fucking hell. he's just made himself look utterly ridiculous.

well done for seeing it through. now hopefully management will be moving HIM onto another department.

Greydog Wed 15-May-13 14:06:51

Well done, Momma for keeping your cool. It's not easy. Management will, as claude says - do something.

lovefreelance Wed 15-May-13 14:08:50

Oh I really, really can't believe anyone would have the stupidity and gall to say something like that! And it just shows what a nasty idiot he is if he thought for a second anyone would believe it!!!! Lucky for you though he is that dumb because it was (rightfully) instantly dismissed.

Do you have anything to do with him at work at all now? If you even have to pass him in a corridor I would have a word with HR about what could be done to move him. There must be some consequence for him pulling a stint like that? To me it seems like bullying AND sexual harassment on his part.

NatashaBee Wed 15-May-13 14:40:13

That's insane! But I'm also glad it was something so ridiculous that it was over and done with quickly. I hope you're doing OK now.

DameFanny Wed 15-May-13 15:04:42


But well done you for getting through the meeting. I hope you're having a lovely, relaxing evening with your DH now to get over it all smile

NotYoMomma Wed 15-May-13 16:47:13

Well my manager was particularly helpful and knew how utterly sick and horrified I felt so just said I could come home. Also gives me a heads up that he is told it's going no further so I said quite honestly I was worn down and was weary of his reaction (with him shouting at me previously when things don't go his way) and said I probably wouldn't be in tomorrow but come back on Monday (I don't work Fridays) and just crack on and have faith in hr and the system.

I am so shocked he said that though, really really unfounded!

He really has shown his true colours to everyone though

NotYoMomma Wed 15-May-13 16:48:59

Thanks for the messages by the way smile

DH doesn't know this yet but his is buying me a curry tomorrow because tonight's tea is already sorted lol

lovefreelance Wed 15-May-13 16:53:43

I hope it does go further in the sense that some action is taken against him?

On another note - enjoy your few days off and recoup your mental strength smile

BriansBrain Wed 15-May-13 17:49:07

So glad to hear it was the most unbelievable grievance ever heard in a HR meeting.

What a cock

Enjoy your curry!

NotYoMomma Sun 19-May-13 21:06:43

Just a quick update:

going back to work tomorrow and feeling a lot stronger atm.

are still on the same team but he had a disciplinary meeting this week so I just have to wait and see what happens.and trust in hr and management until then. I think I should know.what's happening by Friday at the latest.

Did send an email to HR just to reiterate my humiliation and disgust as this grievance, noted all past incidents and requested that we not be on the same team anymore.

Put about the detrimental affect it has had.on me and the team and that I believe it was.totally malicious and just another example of his escalating behaviour against me and stated clearly that I am being bullied.

I had a phone call just to reassure me that it was being taken very seriously but there was.just an overlap where they had to follow correct procedure

I feel a bit.comforted by this and hope it gets sorted.

And before anyone asks, I did not get a curry but had lots.of hugs.

Loads of people have said how.proud they are of me and I'm feeling very proud atm too as I have a daughter and if.I let this defeat me what kind of example is that?

Determined face

DameFanny Sun 19-May-13 23:58:22

Good for you!

Leverette Mon 20-May-13 12:49:29

I hope they act swiftly to protect from any further dealings with this person. Let us know how things progress.

Leverette Mon 20-May-13 12:49:53

Protect you

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