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AIBU to tell her to back off?

(40 Posts)
HonestLie Thu 27-Nov-14 19:23:16

There are 3 parents in my office - all 3 of us have opted for our children to have previously had the MMR vaccine and 2 of us have children who are due for their booster (me and another).

During a break this week the topic came up and the discussion was if any of the kids had a reaction (temperature, sickness, tiredness) first time round.

Our manager over heard and launched into the MMR/Autism argument. We (three parents) listened to what she had to say stated our own opinions and left it at that. The following day our manager brought it up again and again went down the route of MMR/Autism. My colleague was visibly upset as one of her children is autistic, she doesn't believe it had anything to do with the vaccine and after careful consideration opted for her second child to receive the vaccine. Her second has shown no signs of being on the spectrum and now that her third is due she has opted to have him vaccinated also. The manager was like a dog with a bone and heavily implied that in opting in for the vaccine she aligns the decision with child abuse hmm. Now whilst myself and one colleague were able to just roll our eyes understandably the other who's first child does have autism was really upset although didn't actually tell our manager this.

Since this the manager has apparently (I have been out of the office so not party to the conversations) brought it up several more times and posted several links on FB against the MMR vaccine and I'm seriously considering having a word if she brings it up in my presence again since my colleague feels unable to do so.

WIBU or unwise for me to do so or since she feels it is her given right to judge and criticise our decisions and quite frankly is like a dog with a bloody bone would it be perfectly reasonable to call her out in front of others if she brings it up in front of others again?

kinkyfuckery Thu 27-Nov-14 19:26:13

One of your co-workers needs to read this link

confusedandemployed Thu 27-Nov-14 19:26:49

I don't know whether YWBU but I would most definitely call her on it. How insensitive --and misinformed- can someone be?

confusedandemployed Thu 27-Nov-14 19:27:44

Love it, kinky. Gonna nick that for an acquaintance of mine.

HonestLie Thu 27-Nov-14 19:28:49

I like that link, I may post it on her next facebook post. We have all explained the research we have all done. Colleague who's first child is autistic has naturally looked into in depth but to be fair it's gone in one ear and out the other. I think the link may put it as bluntly as she needs to be told.

Crinkle77 Thu 27-Nov-14 19:29:04

I thought the MMR/autism link had been discredited.

KnackeredMuchly Thu 27-Nov-14 19:32:54

I'd be tempted to report it to your manager's manager. It's not work related and must clearly be upsetting your colleague who's child has autism.

That said, I was talking with a friend and she said her DH has a family member who years ago at the height of the scandal had the vaccine and considered it caused the family member's autism.

I can understand if it has a close impact, through all the hoo-hah at the time believing quite strongly there is a causal link. Although I think it's all bollocks.

YANBU to tell her to back off, as said there is no point in getting into a debate another time. Tell her she's made her opinions on the matter clear enough and they are no longer appreciated.

Wilf83 Thu 27-Nov-14 19:32:56

Kinky- I love love love that link! grin

HonestLie Thu 27-Nov-14 19:33:33

She believes in a very holistic approach to life think vitamins, natural supplements in place of chemo (although she is a hypocrite since I've seen her sinking lemsip by the bucket load and paracetamol for a hangover). Apparently one of her "lifestyle gurus" has provided "proof" which counteracts all the medical studies which have failed to prove any link. I couldn't tell you who it was since I think it's a load of bollocks and woudn't care to waste even minutes of my life reading that utter tripe.

HonestLie Thu 27-Nov-14 19:34:20

Unfortunately there is nobody to report it too as she is also MD/Owner. It's a small company.

Aeroflotgirl Thu 27-Nov-14 19:34:42

YANBUU what an insensitive and misinformed idiot. I would just tell her to pack it in. I could tell dd now 7, was Autistic, even from a newborn, and she had the MMR. I believe that Autism MMR link has been discredited.

motherofmonster Thu 27-Nov-14 19:40:43

There is no medical evidence that the mmr causes autism.
There is however massive evidence which cannot be doubted that diseases like mumps and measles and rubella do cause massive a life changing disabilities.

NeverFinishWhatYouStarted Thu 27-Nov-14 19:44:58

Not only do vaccines not cause autism, but I'm with this thinker.

Regardlesss of "beliefs" about the issue, manager has overstepped with her comments and needs to wind her neck in.

ThisFenceIsComfy Thu 27-Nov-14 19:47:32

She should complain. It's unprofessional, targeted and harassment.

She can raise a grievance with her manager. Does her company have a grievance/harassment policy?

HonestLie Thu 27-Nov-14 19:48:44

This was my original argument. When I first got a letter I researched, the risk in getting it faaaar outweighed the risk of not, or more to the point it proved to me that the link was non existent. She completely ignores this.

I'm not bothered about her believing otherwise, I'm not even bothered about her opinion I am bothered that she wants to beat the topic to death insulting people and in this case seriously upsetting someone in the process. Three texts and one teary phonecall I have had since yesterday from my other colleague. Her husband is even wanting to go in and have a word/say his piece which I don't think would be a bad thing but I do understand that my colleague doesn't want this.

Her ignorance is astounding but her complete lack of human compassion is disgusting.

HonestLie Thu 27-Nov-14 19:53:02

This is our manager and the owner of the business. There is nobody to complain to. Neverfinish I completely agree with that post. My poor colleague has not only been told she is basically neglecting her children, she is also being told that she caused he first childs condition and made to feel like this woman thinks her child is some kind of lesser being because of it. I'm angry on her behalf. She's hurt and pissed off I'm just pissed off for her.

pluCaChange Thu 27-Nov-14 19:55:55

Then as MD she will lose people who don't want to be harassed in this way at work.

Just start keeping email logs, in case she tries to sack you instead... hmm

DecaffCoffeeAndRollupsPlease Thu 27-Nov-14 19:57:52

Oh no, that must be horrible for your workmate, having someone insinuate your actions are to blame for a child's Autism. Will you saying something achieve anything though, do you think she's sensitive enough to at least keep her opinions to herself even if you can't change her mind?

I'm surprised that people still believe the mmr/autism connection though, as previously posted, I thought the theory had been robustly and publicly discredited?

pluCaChange Thu 27-Nov-14 20:01:19

Also: she sounds so insensitive that I wonder what her business judgement is like! Do you think she alienates clients in the same way if they don't agree with her?

NeverFinishWhatYouStarted Thu 27-Nov-14 20:08:48

While she has obviously implied that your colleague is responsible for her child's disability, has she stated it explicitly? Would she respond better if you (privately) pointed out that this has gone beyond political debate and has hurt your colleague?

If that doesn't work, I doubt it matter who or what corrected her. In that case, you'd be better to focus your attention on reassuring your poor colleague that she's doing the right thing.

HonestLie Thu 27-Nov-14 20:09:36

She will probably back down if someone tells her to zip it, the conversations I was actually party too were just an exchange of information or lack of it in her case. From what I have heard from 2 other colleagues plus the woman who seems to have been targeted, it's stepped up a notch since I was last in, this is also supported by what I have seen for myself on her facebook. This far nobody has stepped in other than with their two cents regarding believing/not believing there is a link because the people who have been there when the personal attacks have taken place are all very new and a bit scared to say anything. I am not. I wouldn't go out of my way to say anything as I haven't been there only if it was brought up in front of me again.

She won't sack me. It would take alot for her to sack me and TBF I've said worse to her when she has made comment about my own life and family commitments. IMHO I believe that if you want to get personal you can't expect someone not to fire back. I'm in a position I am able to the others aren't, or at least feel like they aren't.

Aeroflotgirl Thu 27-Nov-14 20:13:17

That is excellent never op print out that and leave it on mangers desk, she needs it!

hoobypickypicky Thu 27-Nov-14 20:13:39

"We have all explained the research we have all done"

And that's where you all made a mistake.

You shouldn't feel you have to explain anything. It's got fuck all to do with your manager whether or not you vaccinate your children.

If she raises the matter again you need to stand firm and speak as one. The issue isn't up for discussion and the decisions you make as parents have nothing to do with your performance in the workplace so the subject is closed.

HonestLie Thu 27-Nov-14 20:15:20

To be fair it was just a conversation so when she pitched up with her bullshit we corrected her if you like. She ignored the correction.

ThisFenceIsComfy Thu 27-Nov-14 20:17:12

In very small companies, you have to raise a grievance with the manager themselves. Either you or her can. You do not need to be the one bullied in order to raise a grievance. If she does not take it seriously, she will fare very badly in an employment tribunal. At the very least, pursuing this formally may make her shut up and back off.

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