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To Snitch On My Boss?!?!

(29 Posts)
NearlySpring Wed 27-Jul-11 04:05:16

Briefly. I worked in a different department today. Got chatting to a manager, he seemed friendly, talked about his new house and kids (we have kids the same age).

Then I happened to mentioned a good friend and colleague of mine's name and manager said "he's a right odd one" I said that we were very good friends and he want on to say he thought he had a screw loose and that he had been reported for sexual harrasment previously.

I walked off and thought about what he had said. I was angry about the way he was gossiping and saying insulting things about my friend. So I asked him to talk in private. I told him what he said hadn't gone down well with me and I was concerned he was spreading gossip and divulging confidential information. He said he only told me as he thought I seemed like a nice girl and was concerned for me. He said this guy can be unpredictable when angered and feels I should be careful to watch out for myself and not give him too much personal information.

So, my dilemma. Manager seems nice and genuinely concerned for me. However, I'm worried he is so quick to pass about personal and confidential information. He is abusing his managerial position. I realise that if I tell my friend he probably will (quite rightly) make a formal complaint. This could have serious repercuss
consequences for this manager.

Plus I feel sad for my friend. If it were me that he were gossiping about I would want to know, I feel I have a duty to him to tell him.

AIBU to tell him and snitch on the manager? Or should I just pretend it never happened and not say anything?

NearlySpring Wed 27-Jul-11 04:07:16

Oops changed repercussions for consequences as couldn't spell it and didn't delete it properly! Bloody iPhone!

Mare11bp Wed 27-Jul-11 04:40:59

I wouldn't say anything if I were you.

Whilst you value your friendship why do anything to jeapardise your employment, jobs are hard to come by. This manager or someone else could make life difficult for you in future.

I don't think this manager was entirely discreet/sensitive about the issue but bear in mind he owes you a duty of care as well as an employee so his reasons in telling you may be genuine, even tho perhaps the way he went about it was questionable.

NearlySpring Wed 27-Jul-11 05:02:58

Thanks for your reply Mare. I'm not actually concerned about it affecting my future working relationships here as Ive alredy given my notice and will be leaving in 3 weeks time.

That was what I was thinking about him divulging his information for my own safety as it were. I still can't justify him telling me this though. However you dress it up he shouldn't have told me this, no matter what his intentions were.

I actually knew all about the harrassment and it is true, not just rumour. My friend and I have discussed it before. Hmm so hard to know what to do. I feel my loyalty should lie with my friend not a manager Ive only met once or a company that Im leaving very soon.

Mare11bp Wed 27-Jul-11 05:16:39

If you are leaving then no harm in saying anything I guess.

Be warned if there is a fallout and a subsequent tribunal you may be required to attend as a witness however.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 27-Jul-11 05:18:41

Well, what would you be trying to achieve? If you tell your friend (the sexual harasser) that his boss is warning women against him, what will happen from there? You think your friend will put in a formal complaint - and that the boss will lose his position? I'm not at all sure that that's what will happen, especially if what he's saying is true, that your friend has sexually harrassed people before and had a complaint lodged.

Is it true that your friend is quick to anger, and will use information against women, by the way?

NearlySpring Wed 27-Jul-11 05:38:45

Well yes, he is quick to anger but then so am I. We both have pretty short fuses Id say. He's a lovely sweet guy, just very young and the harrassment was verbal not physical- he's very young and it was quite a while ago and he hadn't realised his "banter" was so offensive and upsetting. He feels awful about it now. I certainly don't feel threatened or worried about him at all.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 27-Jul-11 05:45:57

Okay, fair enough, and I can see why you're sad for him that the old issues keep coming up - I asked about the anger because that's not just a once-off mistake, though, is it? If this manager is warning people against his temper, that's an ongoing workplace issue.

I'm just trying to think through what would actually happen if you told him, vs what would actually happen if you didn't?

If you don't tell him, and the manager keeps telling women to beware of him, then he might develop a bad reputation and find himself socially ostracised and whatnot, I guess. Although frankly, that's happened to exactly none of the known sexual harassers that I know and have worked with.
If you do tell him, and he gets angry, and puts in a complaint, then there'll be a process whereby the manager is called to account, probably reprimanded, maybe sent on some sort of training? He wouldn't be fired, or anything close, though. Possibly management would also have a look at your friend, whether he works well with others now, whether his temper is really an issue, and he might find himself in trouble.

So which scenario does your friend benefit from? I genuinely don't know, you know your friend best and the working culture, it's a tricky one.

NearlySpring Wed 27-Jul-11 05:55:20

I just hate being in situations like this so I think Im even more annoyed at the manager because he's caused me this stress!

I have to see friend shortly sad Im going to keep quiet and think it over for a bit.

NearlySpring Wed 27-Jul-11 07:14:46

Well, I just saw him and said nothing. I feel like such a cow. Like if I knew my best friends husband was bing unfaithful and I didn't tell her (slightly odd comparison I know)

He was so sweet and happy today, breaks my heart that someone would speak badly of him, especially confidential subjects.

I shall muse over your posts and decode if I should tell him later.

If I do- would you think on the phone or in person is better?

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 27-Jul-11 07:16:52

Definitely in person.

I hope now it's later in the morning someone else has clearer opinions to share!

LoveBeingAtHomeOnMyOwn Wed 27-Jul-11 07:21:03

Could you speak to HR and ask them to have a word with him? You're right he should not be passing on info like this, where I worked it would have been gross misconduct if an offical grievence was raised.

NearlySpring Wed 27-Jul-11 07:22:52

Sorry tortoise forgot to say thanks for your great advice. I'm weighing up what benefit it is to him by telling him at the moment as you suggested.

I guess I hate the thought of aanager blabbing my private life to other colleagues. I just want to do the right thing by my friend.

HeIsSpartacus Wed 27-Jul-11 07:25:25

NearlySpring I don't think you should say anything to your friend.

Unfortunately your friend has acquired a reputation and it sounds as if the complaint against him was upheld (therefore not just idle gossip, it is fact). When he moves company he will be able to start afresh.

If the shoe were on the other foot and you did not know your friend, you might be grateful to be warned about his short temper and previous behaviour.

I have recently come out of a hellish situation at work (pregnancy bullying by line-manager) - I endured it for a long while thinking it would get better until stories started to surface about other employees/direct reports of hers she had 'destroyed'. I would have been v grateful to have been put on my guard sooner than I was and I might have not dismissed/felt so overwhelmed by her anger towards me if I had known some of what had gone on before.

NearlySpring Wed 27-Jul-11 14:23:44

Thanks all. Do people think it wa appropriate for the manager to breach confidentiality because he thought I should know what "he's like"?

Surely there is never a reason to do this? What if he and I had been seeing each other in a relationship and work knew he had HIV or some other STD (purely hypothetical none of That is true) would it be ok for a manager to tell me? I don't think so, it's made me quote upset but is typical f my work place, everybodys business is discussed through management, it's awful sad

Angel786 Wed 27-Jul-11 14:31:36

As you're leaving I would mention it, otherwise I'd keep quiet.

Mandy2003 Wed 27-Jul-11 14:42:10

Did you put the boss straight as soon as he said it, about the circumstances of your friend's problem?

Definitely speak to HR about it.

I'd like to snitch too. I know of someone who's being paid for 6 days work a week and only ever does 4. If the bosses knew they could make the post a job share and I could do the 2 days. Grr!

LoveBeingAtHomeOnMyOwn Wed 27-Jul-11 15:56:44

I really hate this sort of thing. During a disiplinary I was holding a miscsaid that they'd had people discussing it with him, he was angry and wanted to know how they'd found out. He said it must have been me or the previous notetaker. Months later after he'd left I found out it was his own rep who had been gossiping, good job they'd already left too!

Like I said you should say something even if he just gets an off the record bollocking he needs to be told.

LoveBeingAtHomeOnMyOwn Wed 27-Jul-11 15:57:01

* mos said

NearlySpring Wed 27-Jul-11 17:33:52

Oh god yes, our union rep is the biggest gossip ever. Well in fact he has just been voted out. Constantly talking about other peoples dituations and being very in depth about thir disciplinaries.

I've thought all day and decided to tell him tomorrow. I would be devastated if a friend kept this info from me. I'd want to know if a manager was blabbing about my personal and confidential circumstances.

Just remembered this manager actually stated he thinks he's the sort of weirdo that'd lose it and murder his family! WTF! People are just so unprofessional and my friend plans on staying with our "company" for the forseeable future. This bad reputation and gossip won't help him become respected or get promotions. sad I'll let you all know what happens once I tell him tomorrow.

LoveBeingAtHomeOnMyOwn Wed 27-Jul-11 18:15:46

As long as you are prepared to be part of the grience/displinpary process, but you should really be raising it with your own manager rather than your friend.

LoveBeingAtHomeOnMyOwn Wed 27-Jul-11 18:16:10

Or rather as well as.

QuintessentialShadow Wed 27-Jul-11 18:25:18

I wouldnt say anything. This manager did not tell you anything new. If your friend is guilty of sexually harassing other employees, it is quite possibly common knowledge at your workplace, and in that respect not confidential at all. He has made his bed and now has to lie in it.

Miggsie Wed 27-Jul-11 18:37:02

I wouldn't say anything. If your friend was reported for harassment then this is a fact and actually a male manager warning you about this is actually signalling that the company takes sexual harassment seriously and wants to prevent it.

I also think you may be a bit naive about your friend. Women do not report men for sexual harassment lightly in a company so it must have been quite offensive.

Remember that men act differently when with other men and this manager may have seen a side of your friend that your friend doesn't show you and the manager may be genuinely concerned for you. I remember being warned off a man at work by a male colleague, which at first shocked me but then I made discreet enquiries and found that yes, this man I thought was nice was in fact a bit of a stalker.

TotalChaos Wed 27-Jul-11 18:37:32

agree with QS, have to say that my sympathies with this bloke are somewhat limited.

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