To be upset by this?(101 Posts)
First of all I'm going through a rough time right now and am feeling very weepy anyways so I'm not sure if I'm overreacting and I might be. You can tell me if I am.
A bit of background - I have Aspergers syndrome however I would say I'm pretty good at covering it up as I have good coping mechanisms in place. Usually most people would never be able to tell that I have it, sometimes I might come across as a bit odd and quirky but that's it. However because of my Aspergers syndrome I do struggle a lot in social situations - the way it is for me is that I often don't always know what's appropriate to say or when it's my turn to speak and have had some problems in the past where I've just said what's on my mind and upset or offended people. I get around that simply by staying quiet until I can get a feel of where I am and can then start mimicking other people. This of course leads some people to think I'm shy which I'm okay with as I'd rather that than saying what I think and then upsetting someone.
Anyway, I started my new job in January and I thought I was doing pretty well. As usual I've been spending a good portion of my time figuring out the social rules in this environment so haven't really been conversing much until recently however it's not a social job anyway so my boss and the woman who has been working alongside me and who has essentially been my mentor has said this doesn't actually matter.
There's a woman who pops in from another department every now and again and she usually stops for a chat with a couple of people before she leaves. I haven't spoken to her though - I'm usually at my desk working. So today she pops along and again I'm working at my desk. She talked to a few people first and then walked up to me and I, thinking she wants me to do something, asked what I can do for her. She then smiled and went "so you do talk!" Before I'd had a chance to answer she then turned to the man who sits opposite me and said "she can talk after all. I've never heard her talk, I thought she was a mute. So what's wrong with her then? Is she foreign? Is she shy or what?"
I think this upset me because she sounded like she was mocking me and I don't like the fact she asked him this rather than me. She then spent the next ten minutes trying to engage me in conversation, all the while throwing comments in here and there about how shy I was and trying to sit next to me (which made me panic slightly as I don't like people getting close to me and touching me, etc) but she just laughed at how panicked I was. She only stopped when the woman I mentioned above who I've been working with told her to clear off.
I then had to go to the toilets for a cry , partly because of the stress of engaging in so much conversation like that unexpectedly and partly because things like this remind me how much I hate being the way I am and how much I wish I was normal.
I'm still upset about this now but not really sure if it's because of what happened and how people will always view me as odd or because I hate having this and not being normal.
I know I'm overreacting actually.
I don't think you are overreacting actually. I would mention it to your line manager as I think she behaved wholly inappropriately.
You aren't over reacting, the woman was incredibly rude and really inappropriate. Her behaviour was in the wrong not yours. I am sorry it was so stressful for you.
Sorry - the woman I've been working with had been on her break during all this. She told her to clear off when she came back.
I almost don't want to go in tomorrow.
YANBU to be upset, but you've done nothing wrong - the woman is pig ignorant. Anyone with a gram of decency would know that if someone is shy/socially awkward for whatever reason the last thing they should do is make a big deal of it and put that person on the spot. I am highly pissed off with her on your behalf.
Don't let this gobshite take away from how well you've done in finding a job that suits you, working hard and from the sounds of it, doing great.
What a bitch! You sound far more 'normal' than her, please don't let it upset you.
You did nothing wrong or unusual - that woman behaved like a horrible rude intrusive cow.
I don't think you are overreacting.
Her behaviour was awful - I am quiet-ish but can handle most social situations and she would've made me very uncomfortable.
Nasty piece of work (her not you!). Sounds like she is a bit of a bitch to me.
Oh my giddy aunt yanbu! Bitch! I would be straight in to make a formal complaint tomorrow, you cannot treat people like that! No wonder your upset, I would be too, definitely do not let that go
I think the problem is that the woman is a complete cunt. I get this kind of thing sometimes, because I'm not loud, and for some people it seems to be a red rag to a bull. It's not you, it's them
You are not over-reacting.
She was rude. To talk about someone in front of them is rude.
I think the fact she talked about "foreign" and "mute" is disdainful and would signal to me that she is an insensitive person.
It is her, not you.
Well she sounds like an arse. I think she was walking a fine line between jokingly trying to draw you out, and bullying. Actually I think more than that, she stepped off that line into bullying.
It sounds like you dealt with it as well as you could have - you didn't rise to it, or get angry with her and accidentally feed her nastiness / give her something else to gossip about, and you held it together until you got to the loo to cry - that's alot more than I would have done.
Is there a manager you could talk to about this? Or would that not be something you'd feel comfortable doing. Not necessarily to mention your aspergers but to report this ghastly woman.
Did the other woman say anything to you afterwards? I'm glad she stepped in
YANBU at all, and I would go back in and talk to your mentor about it, and maybe HR.
That woman sounds like a bully. I am quite confident socially and I would not like to be spoken to like that. If you really were shy, that could,have made you feel awful.
Someone needs to speak to her and let her know that 1) using terms like foreign and mute in a derogatory way is not on in the workplace, 2) jeering at colleagues is not on, and 3) she needs to give you personal space. Personally I think it is your boss's job.
Do they know you have Asperger's? Sorry, I wasn't clear from your post. If so they must surely have to make reasonable adjustments.
Also, the fact that the other lady told her to clear off I think should reassure you. That's quite an extreme thing to have to say to someone in a work environment, so it signals that everyone in that room except the cow knew she was being a cow, and you were supported.
Have a better day tomorrow
So sorry that you were upset - honestly, you didn't do anything wrong. The woman sounds awful, spiteful and as has already been said, v ignorant.
I'm so sorry. Please don't let it put you off the job though. It's tough when you're working with someone like that but you sound great.
YANBU. She sounds like a nasty piece of work, rude and no social skills. That situation would have made most people uncomfortable. Maybe she has a reputation already for lacking any sense which is why the woman you'd been working with told her to clear off?
Also, I would be upset by this, right in that moment. Of course I'd rationalise it afterwards, but for her to come on strong like that is quite unusual and would take me aback
That was hideous behaviour on her part. for you, my dear.
She sounds horrible - like she has no idea of what is acceptable and unacceptable to say. You aren't overreacting, but feel reassured that anyone who witnessed that conversation will know that she behaved unacceptably and will feel for you that you had to be on the other end of that tirade.
Bless you OP - she sounds a proper pain on the neck. Yours not over reacting at all.
She sounds a bit of a mare - stay well away.
I'm outraged on your behalf. How bloody dare she.
Comments like that would result in disciplinary procedures in my workplace.
I would definitely report it. Why should you have to suffer because of her.
I would also expect the company you work for to take it very seriously indeed.
She's in the wrong here not you and you should go to work tomorrow with your head held high. You've nothing, nothing at all to be ashamed of.
Also, I would imagine that she's probably 'known' for being an utter cow and v ignorant. It won't be the first time she's made comments which is probably why your Boss told her to leave in the way she did.
I would complain formally if you feel up to it.
Is she foreign? Is she a mute?
Ha! Hilarious!! She's a real wit, isn't she? I'm sure she thinks she is anyway... and what if you had been 'foreign'? Awkward...
One appropriate response would have been the classic MN 'Did you mean that to sound rude?' accompanied by a stony glare. Or 'It's better not to talk at all than spout ignorant garbage whenever you open your mouth' and so on.
If it helps to put it in perspective, I have met people before who can be rude in their manner and they've told me that they are awkward around 'shy' people and don't know what to say to them. So while she was very rude, she may have just been trying to be friendly but in a clumsy way. So if anyone has a problem interacting with people, it's probably her.
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