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I know I was unreasonable however,

(21 Posts)
WholeNutt Sat 05-Apr-14 07:02:38

If you apologise to someone isn't it just good manners to acknowledge it?

I had a run in with a male colleague who is in a superior role to myself. As part of a team we and 4 others work very closely together for quite a few weeks at a time as we are all away with our work.

My colleague has a thing for very slender women and insults me on a regular basis because I am not pin thin, he masks these insults as jokes and we have had words about this before.

Yesterday out of the blue and I do mean out of the blue he decided to tell me I was simple, I had at this point had enough and said to him I didn't appreciate being called simple and perhaps he should look closer to home, he then starts ranting telling me how I can give it not take it.

I am the only female in this group and yes there is banter but being offended by his comments does not result in change. So I have taken to giving as good as I get, last night however was uncalled for and unfortunately I lost my rag and said 'fuck you'

His reply was total indignation and he continued to rant, again unfortunately I didn't keep my mouth shut instead said 'are you still talking'

Speaking to him like that was wrong regardless of what he said and I could have found better choice of words. I did apologise today however he hasn't even acknowledged it.

I'm angry because he has such a superiority complex and thinks it's fine to call me Shrek (I'm a size 12-14 and above 5'7) tell me I am simple laugh at me blatantly and make rude remarks.

I'm actually quite upset because in this job in this scenario the boys will stick together. Normally everything is good but yesterday there was no need for him to get so nasty for no apparent reason.

So was I really unreasonable?

BrianButterfield Sat 05-Apr-14 07:06:34

God no, I'm amazed you haven't said it before.

thegreatgatsby101 Sat 05-Apr-14 07:06:39

I think, saying 'fuck you' was entirely justified and you were not being unreasonable.
Honestly, I'm shocked that a senior member of staff is speaking to you this way. However I do work in an office myself and know how office banter works. It's really fucking hard at times with all the politics.

Ashbeeee Sat 05-Apr-14 07:07:16

Erm, no. Keep giving it back, he needs it.

He's just being over sensitive!!! Bless him.

And if you're shriek, that makes him donkey, right?

LIttleMissTickles Sat 05-Apr-14 07:08:10

No, you weren't. I wish you didn't swear (moral high ground etc), but it sounds like a very frustrating, bullying situation. Horrible that YOU had to apologise, when of course HE should, but well done for doing it. I think you need support, or you might end up very unhappy at work - HR any help?

Littleturkish Sat 05-Apr-14 07:08:57

What a mess.

Are you in a professional job? Is this talk about slender women masked as banter? Where did the simple comment come from? Were you discussing work or social stuff?

It sounds like a terrible place to work.

Eebahgum Sat 05-Apr-14 07:10:15

I find it ironic that blokes like this claim you "can give it but can't take it" when this situation clearly arose because HE couldn't take your response. To be honest I wouldn't be happy there and would be looking to leave.

hotcrosshunny Sat 05-Apr-14 07:10:28


I hate bullying being disguised as banter. It is off putting - I would hate to work in a team like that.

Have a chat with him again and seriously tell him to back off. I'm sure the other team members don't like it either.

HowContraryMary Sat 05-Apr-14 07:11:29

WTF is your manager in this scenario?

CaptChaos Sat 05-Apr-14 07:11:35

He's a bully, of course he wouldn't acknowledge your apology. He does now know that you have a definite line, and. if he's true to bullying form the world over, will overstep that line ALL THE BLOODY TIME from now on.

Do you have an HR you can talk to? I would take this further, bullying in the workplace is not on at all!

Hoppinggreen Sat 05-Apr-14 09:13:13

Start a diary. Every time he insults you make a note.
Do not respond to him, walk away. Hard to do I know but by not engaging you are showing him and everyone else this is not banter it's bullying.
If you do need to escalate this the diary will show what he has been doing.
He's a vile wanker

lionheart Sat 05-Apr-14 09:20:46

He may be sulking, or trying to claim the moral high ground with a different kind of power play than the usual rudeness you have had to put up with so far.

Good idea to keep a diary, look up workplace guidelines on bullying and, in the meantime, ignore him.

redexpat Sat 05-Apr-14 09:21:52

Absolutely keep a diary. And yes WTF is your line manager in all of this?

CerealMom Sat 05-Apr-14 09:24:52


Start a diary, write down previous episodes and who was witness.

Are you in a union? ACAS are very helpful.

Joysmum Sat 05-Apr-14 09:25:56

This is where the old chestnut of apologising for how you expressed yourself, but not for your opposition to his attitudes comes in.

Personally I'd take this to the in line superior explaining your issues with him and how mortified you are at your outburst and that it won't happen again be equally how unprofessional and offensive your colleague is and how it needs addressing.

t3rr3gl35 Sat 05-Apr-14 09:27:14

Can't be more constructive than to metaphorically send you a pair of silver studs to hang his bollocks from and wear as trophy earrings.

Been there and the boys all stick together. The weight comments were matched by asking them to make eye contact, not nipple contact when talking. Frequent "eyes up, please" during conversations. The simple comments were met with "Women know your place, think about fluffy kittens" and a smile. Big arse comments were countered with "nowhere near as big as the arse talking to me" etc., etc., Nothing really works, they all have the same attitude. The best consolation is that you're not married to them - imagine that coming home to you every night?

wowfudge Sat 05-Apr-14 09:30:23

How in hell's name is he getting away with this? Answer: because he is being allowed to.

I take it he hasn't scuttled off to complain about you because he knows he doesn't have a leg to stand on?

Keep a diary as advised. Next time he says something offensive to you tell him calmly that you have had enough of his behaviour towards you and would appreciate it if he would grow up stop behaving like this and keep things professional between you.

GoblinLittleOwl Sat 05-Apr-14 10:21:32

This post ins't about you being unreasonable; it is about harassment at work;and Up With This You Should Not Put. You were provoked into swearing, which put you in the wrong, but you apologised immediately, and it hasn't stopped the situation. The 'banter' is getting to you, and is unkind and unwarranted, and it should stop. Find out about the complaints procedure at work, but keep it to yourself. The next time this man starts making personal remarks in front of other people, (witnesses), ask him as calmly as you can, to stop; don't rise to any provocation but be as professional as possible. Afterwards, see him privately and tell him that you do not like his behaviour towards you; it has gone beyond a joke, is upsetting and is interfering with your working relationship. Then leave, no threats, but put it in writing. If he does it again, initiate the procedure immediately. Good luck.

magicstar1 Sat 05-Apr-14 10:55:21

I've no useful advice...I was in the same situation and offered to "take it outside". When he realised I was actually prepared to kick his ass in front of everyone I got an apology...not recommended though. I hope it gets better x.

WholeNutt Sat 05-Apr-14 11:08:23

I don't have a union or a line manager as such, I can't really say what my job is without totally outing myself!

About 5 years ago we had another incident like this, I mentioned to another colleague that my dh wasn't very happy with the goings on at work and if he had the opportunity would like to have a word.

Said colleague must have pipped because the next thing I know we were having words. As we were in our place of work I kept quiet. He called me amongst other things a 'high and mighty whore' I have never ever wanted to hit anyone, until then.

I walked away with him shouting 'that's right bitch you walk away' I had 2 witnesses both male who did nothing. I got a call from my big boss who told me this kind of thing was unacceptable but as he wasn't there to witness and the other 2 kept quiet it was best left alone.

I did at that point think about leaving, but I love my job and I refuse to let him drive me out of something I really enjoy.

I do feel completely on my own as they close ranks. It's childish but upsetting nevertheless.

I am not blameless, he's an idiot and within our banter I let him know just how stupid he is, I got called a shithead the other jest he said. I just ignored it and walked away. So why is it ok for him to be abusive but when I give it back he pulls rank and reminds me that he is my superior. To which I then have to remind him he has no people or management skills.

Maybe if I were more submissive this wouldn't have happened, but I am a grown woman and will not be spoken to like that. I could however be less sarcastic I suppose. I have no filter I open my mouth and words fall out. Perhaps that's why he's so bullish towards me.

I will keep a diary starting with this incident and from now on will not engage in any topics other than in a professional capacity.

NearTheWindymill Sat 05-Apr-14 11:17:27

He is inappropriate but to be honest you do to. Highly unprofessional behaviour from both of you. You could raise a complaint about this and lots of interviews could take place and I suspect it would come out as quite finely balanced with lots of examples of you being as rude and dishing it back. Further over a five year period; if you have never recorded anything this is likely to fall completely flat. No overarching evidence against either of you, a huge amount of work, your team branded as trouble and a recommendation for the who team to have some professional boundaries training.

Total waste of time. In future do not respond - or do so in a dignified manner and if he oversteps the mark then note it and report it. The history behind this puts you on a hiding for nothing I'm afraid.

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