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to be thinking of complaining about this man?

(37 Posts)
Thruaglassdarkly Sat 06-Nov-10 00:54:46

Ok, was at the toddler group at my gym yesterday. There's a young guy working there with Downs. He sees us regularly at the weekly family fun nights there on Thursday evenings. As I was paying for the toddler session, he asks me if we're coming to the fun night that evening. No, I say. Why? he wants to know. Because my oldest daughter (who he knows) was tired and had been throwing a couple of tantrums this week. I felt she needed an earlier night. Oh, he says, how old is she? Six, I reply (so far, so good, just a general chitchat at this point). At which point an older guy, who also works at the gym, in his 50s, laughs lecherously and tells the younger guy, Too young for you then! The lad with Downs laughs uncertainly. He's just making conversation and I don't think he knows what to do with this comment. Lechy guy in his 50s follows it up with another derisive snort and the comment that he (the lad with Downs) goes after anything in a skirt. I felt uncomfortable at this point. But he then told the lad with Downs (who looked confused by the way the conversation had shifted), she'd be no good for him then.

I grimaced and walked off, slightly taken aback by the older guys comments. Now I wonder whether I should mention it to the gym manager next time I'm there. Not to make a serious complaint, but so that he could just have a word with this guy. Firstly, I felt his comments were inappropriate about a 6 year old girl. Secondly, I think he was disrespectful towards the lad with Downs. My husband was outraged by the whole thing.

I don't want to over-react here, but I think the older guy needs to be told to grow up and not talk so inappropriately about little kids or exploit someone with a disability for his own amusement. On both grounds it just seems so wrong.

So would you say anything to the manager or simply dismiss him a pathetic twat and just get on with the million and one other things in life there is to get on with?

earwicga Sat 06-Nov-10 00:56:30

I would make a complaint in writing.

AuntiePickleBottom Sat 06-Nov-10 00:58:34

i would make a compliant

SparklingExplosionGoldBrass Sat 06-Nov-10 01:00:24

Definitely complain. Not only is he an ignorant bully but his comments (if made to a parent considerably more stupid than you) could spark a p-p-PEEDO! panic against this nice and harmless lad with Downs - he is implying that the lad with Downs might take inappropriate interest in little girls.

Thruaglassdarkly Sat 06-Nov-10 01:08:42

Y'know, I thought that too Sparkling. That is exactly what he was implying and through his "advice" he was "warning" him off my little girl. The poor boy just laughed uncertainly. I think it's a bullying issue also. So much bullying is done in jest, where the perpetrator sees it as "harmless fun!". What a tosser!

BeaSpellsaLot Sat 06-Nov-10 01:36:46

I would definitely make a report to the manager and over explain that the boy with downs syndrome had nothing negative to do with the situation at all.

That man should be ashamed of himself and hopefully will be denied access to the same environment.

ItsGraceAgain Sat 06-Nov-10 03:39:51

I'm extremely angry, and I wasn't even there. Yes, complain formally. Not only is he a disablist (is that a word?) bully but the fact that he even thought of a six-year-old in sexual terms raises questions about whether he ought to be working at a family gym.

KristinaM Sat 06-Nov-10 06:00:12

I agree please complain

KenDoddsDadsDogHatesFireworks Sat 06-Nov-10 07:00:09

Yes, complain. Very unsettling behaviour.

FreudianSlimmery Sat 06-Nov-10 07:05:25

Yes definitely complain. They may be glad of it actually - from what DH has told me about his work, sometimes you really need to fire somebody but you actually need to wait for evidence.

Jumping the gun a bit here but it could be that they're all sick of this blokes comments but can't get rid of him until somebody complains.

Rebeccash Sat 06-Nov-10 07:15:05

YANBU I would def complain, weird and inappropriate.

CrazyPlateLady Sat 06-Nov-10 07:52:20


Why on earth would he say such a thing about a 6 year old girl? I would be far more suspicious of him thinking along those lines tbh.

That poor man, how awful for him to have to work with such a tosser.

If you don't complain, this idiot will think he can say what he likes and will carry on doing it to others and humiliating the man that was serving you.

camdancer Sat 06-Nov-10 07:55:37

Please complain. The bullying is really dreadful but also I've just read the report into the Plymouth Nursery case and one of the things they highlighted was that there was excessive inappropriate sexualised talk at the nursery but other employees didn't know who to complain to. I'm not saying anything of that nature is going on there at all, but that sort of talk needs to be checked immediately.

MumblingClothDoll Sat 06-Nov-10 08:00:06

To me it sounds like the older man is the closet pedo....the poor lad didn't need some idiot confusing him when he's doing a good job. Definately write in with a severe complaint....

onimolap Sat 06-Nov-10 08:38:08

I would complain, quoting the man's words verbatim and asking for his immediate removal from any role dealing with the public until appropriate retraining can be carried out.

cumfy Sat 06-Nov-10 09:54:34


Whoever you're complaining to had the intelligence and judgement to hire lechy 50 yr old and have him supervise "toddler group".

Do you really want to stay and if so why ?

cupcakesandbunting Sat 06-Nov-10 09:56:39

I would have told him to shut his mouth.

Rindercella Sat 06-Nov-10 10:00:11

But cumfy, if everyone took that attitude then nothing would ever be done about bullies. Why should the OP leave if she and her children enjoy the group?

Thruaglass, I would make a serious complaint if I were you. This man is a bully and made inappropriate remarks about a 6 year old child. As someone said further up the thread, the employers could well be waiting for an opportunity such as this to discipline this man.

MumblingClothDoll Sat 06-Nov-10 10:28:49

Cumfy the mans age has nothing to do with his ability to help in a tddler group...but his apparent weirdness does. So the OP should simply leave the group and leve this man to his weirdness? NO!

Kitta Sat 06-Nov-10 10:32:23

TBH this made me go all cold, I really think you should complain in writing so that it can't be 'forgotton'. What this bully said was wrong on so many levels, and the fact that he felt happy to say it in front of a paying customer makes me wonder what is he saying doing when they're not around?

cumfy Sat 06-Nov-10 10:51:32

Mumbling and Rinder.

You seem prepared in principle to risk your daughter's safety to "prove a point" about bullying ?

Mumbling 50 yr is OP description; I would have used the the same reference for 0-100 yr old. What are you getting at ?

BangingNoise Sat 06-Nov-10 10:52:57

You should indeed complain.

cumfy Sat 06-Nov-10 10:53:35

TBH this made me go all cold


taintedpaint Sat 06-Nov-10 10:54:54

I would complain. Far too many things wrong with what happened for me to leave it.

Goblinchild Sat 06-Nov-10 11:00:18

cumfy, I think that the other posters are considering the welfare of all of the children there, and any future attendees, as well as the danger the older man represents to the well-being of the employee with Downs.
Rather than just looking out for their own, and to hell with the rest.

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