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Builders' sexual harassment?

(229 Posts)
TrueToYou Mon 28-Apr-14 13:11:58

I work for local council. My office base is in the library which is undergoing a massive facelift.
As I left the building, 3 Builders (private firm undertaking the work) were standing facing the entrance. As I passed, one said "three ways".
They all laughed long and hard. I didn't look up, just ignored and moved on, but the more I think about it, the angrier I am becoming.
I see the comment as them deciding how they would share me between them. I don't think there is any doubt about that, as the long hard raucous laughter confirmed it.
Now. What to do? I'm annoyed I reacted by fiddling with my id badge, head down, hurrying on, but I guess I knew immediately a confrontation would just lead to 3 against 1 denial and gas lighting.
I'm considering making a complaint, but do not have any idea what these guys look like, other than that they were the firm's hi vis jackets.

NoImSpartacus Mon 28-Apr-14 13:23:58

I was expecting to read this and for it to be something along the lines of "alright darling, cheer up it might never happen" or some wolf whistling, which, while annoying and embarrassing, I would ignore.

However, I find what these particular men said to be very sexist, misogynistic and actually intended to make you feel uncomfortable, which it clearly did. I would have told them to fuck off to be honest. And I'm pretty laid back and usually let things go, but actually, a comment like that is pretty disgusting.

I think I would report it. It doesn’t matter if you know what they look like really, but their manager will have a responsibility to address all the workmen working on the site and impress upon them that it is not acceptable to make sexist remarks at women simply going about their business in the vicinity. It might make the perpetrator shit himself a bit, which is something at least.

feathermucker Mon 28-Apr-14 13:26:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Andrewofgg Mon 28-Apr-14 13:28:26

Agree with NoImSpartacus - but be glad they were working on your building so you have an avenue of complaint. I remember a niece of mine being very upset by something simialr (perhaps worse) from builders working on the next-door building, and to make it worse her office was at the end of a cul-de-sac so there was no way to avoid them.

I advised her in the sense of NoIm's second para if they did it again; fortunately they didn't.

feathermucker Mon 28-Apr-14 13:28:27

I think it crosses the line to be honest. Id report it.

There may be others who suggest laughing it off, but why should you?! It is unacceptablesad

liquidstatehasrisenagain Mon 28-Apr-14 13:29:00

Report it to the site manager and make sure this is followed up on. I work in construction and this is not acceptable.

I would also make sure the project manager for the council is aware of this, the council is the client and the clients workforce should not suffer verbal abuse and harrassment like this.

AnyFucker Mon 28-Apr-14 13:30:16

Report it to the site lead. They will get thrown off the job for that. Sexual harassment is no longer tolerated in the building trade if it is brought to the boss's attention.

RevoltingPeasant Mon 28-Apr-14 13:31:53

OP yanbu and report! They are bringing their firm into disrepute.

thebodydoestricks Mon 28-Apr-14 13:33:54

Sounds really disgusting op. Definatly report them. Yeuk.

Nomama Mon 28-Apr-14 13:34:01

Or you may have passed by at the end of a joke!?

I am not saying you are, but you may be being a little bit OTT about it. I know we all feel it when men are being dicks, but we are also sometimes wrong!

Rather than getting angry or upset, park it for a day or two, note it in a diary.... wait and see if they repeat the behaviour, with you or anyone else, THEN use both episodes to report the sexist gobshites!

CheeryName Mon 28-Apr-14 13:34:16

I'd report them. Disgusting.

Although I realise you can't say what they look like you can still say where and when it happened, and any accent, which will help narrow down who it was.

LineRunner Mon 28-Apr-14 13:34:21

Agree - report to the site manager and to the client (the Council).

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 28-Apr-14 13:37:00

Report them, OP. You're not overreacting and don't let anybody tell you that you are. Everybody knows this isn't acceptable now (not that it ever was) and they know the consequences if they do it.

Cookiepants Mon 28-Apr-14 13:37:00

I work for an NHS trust that terminated a building firms contract due to this exact thing. Report report report

BarbarianMum Mon 28-Apr-14 13:41:14

Def make a complaint. It won't lead to disciplinary action (cause you can't identify the 3 involved) but a good Project Manager will make the firm understand in no uncertain terms that this had better not happen again.

Builders are a funny lot. When I used to frequent construction sites in my early 20s (planning control) I occasionally got sexual harassment but more often middle-aged men rushing ahead of me into the tea room to rip the scantily-clad women calendar from the walls so I wouldn't be offended by it. Or drinking tea with men terrified to speak in case they accidentally swore and corrupted me.

elfycat Mon 28-Apr-14 13:42:22

Report to your HR (you were verbally assaulted on work premises) and to the site foreman. If it was the punchline to a joke then they'll look confused and finally work out what it was and explain that. If not they will look down, feet shuffle and errr before getting sent home.

There's no excuse for that behaviour. It's been years since it was acceptable so it's not a recent social rule that they've missed.

TrueToYou Mon 28-Apr-14 14:09:59

I am pretty sure it wasn't the end of a joke. They were silently watching as I came towards them . I only heard those two words spoken.

sashh Mon 28-Apr-14 14:14:38

Another vote for HR. Legally your employer has to provide a safe working environment and contractors fall under that.

DocDaneeka Mon 28-Apr-14 14:21:27

I work in corstruction too. We'd de- list a sub contractor for this sort of thing ( throw them off the job and not use them again until they could show what steps they'd taken to ensure it dosent happen again)

the client (council) would go batshit if they thought this sort of thing was going on unchecked.

KissMyFatArse Mon 28-Apr-14 14:26:59

Have to say I'm with nomama on this one...

spatchcock Mon 28-Apr-14 14:33:30

No excuse for this. Or for wolf whistling! They were trying to intimidate you. Yuck.

spatchcock Mon 28-Apr-14 14:34:38

For those who think it's ok, would you be happy for these builders to suggest a threesome to your teenage daughter, who was just walking by on her way somewhere? Would you tell her that she's unreasonable for feeling uncomfortable?

Op, search Hollaback on fb. Very informative. It gave me the kick I needed to report two delivery men who thought they could insult my appearance on my way into a building and get away with it. I managed to film them in full flow on my phone. (I could see them shouting at others on my way back out so got my camera ready. ) By the time they realised, it was too late for apologies and I walked away safe in the knowledge my evidence would have dire consequences for them. Good luck op. Don't be bullied. You were minding your own business and they weren't.

KissMyFatArse Mon 28-Apr-14 14:36:32

No one has said it's ok....

Dawndonnaagain Mon 28-Apr-14 14:37:46

Report. There should be someone in your offices that is able to deal with this, that way you ensure the firm aren't used again.

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