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To want to quit my job because my boss letched on girls at the Christmas party?

(18 Posts)
CeeCee123 Mon 15-Dec-14 19:57:57

Just that really. Found out today that my boss, who I report to directly and have worked with for 6 months, said all kinds of creepy and inappropriate things to girls his daughter's age at the Christmas party. He's a director so it all feels really predatory. Comments about how hot they were, how they were turning him on, how they could do anything to him and he wouldn't mind. Makes me feel so angry and powerless. I didn't witness any of it myself but it's come from enough different people for me to believe it. He also chose carefully who he said it to as no-one more senior was on the receiving end, just the women in their early 20s.

I can't work out if I'm overreacting, but I just can't face working my backside off for someone I don't respect personally. He's been married for 30 years, has four kids and openly talks about how having babies ruins a woman's body, and now his wife is just fat.

JapaneseMargaret Mon 15-Dec-14 20:02:31

He's a total idiot. This kind of thing is far less acceptable these days, and the fact that he doesn't realise this will be his downfall if he doesn't desist.

Is there an HR team you can talk to in the first instance?

Flossyfloof Mon 15-Dec-14 20:09:58

Are you serious? Early 20s is not girls and you don't even know if it is true.

NotGoingOut17 Mon 15-Dec-14 20:14:42

Is he the most senior person in the company? Could you encourage those who have mentioned it to you to put in an official complaint? If he has made comments to a number of people then there could well be enough evidence for disciplinary action - clearly if it's his company this would be difficult but think it's worth raising with HR.

He is a sexist misogynist, who probably had one too many and made a prat of himself. Finding him disgusting and inappropriate is fair enough I would as well.

You could raise it with HR but as you didn't actually witness it nor were you on the reviving end they may not be prepared to follow it up.

Wanting to quit is extreme, if you are only prepared to work for/with people you can "respect personally" you may find yourself job hunting a lot.

* receiving

Bulbasaur Mon 15-Dec-14 20:33:19

I think if you quit your job off hearsay you didn't like your job in the first place.

Just own your shit, admit you don't like your job, and quit to find better opportunities. No needs for "moral superiority" to justify your position.

If the girls have a problem they can report it to HR. I wouldn't get involved with something based solely off rumors though.

ithoughtofitfirst Mon 15-Dec-14 20:42:11

I quit my job over something similarish.

When something doesn't sit well with you you gotta do what you gotta do.

Tobyjugg Mon 15-Dec-14 21:58:55

It's hearsay. Not admissible as evidence in a Court of Law. It's quite possible that one minor incident is being told and re-told and growing in the telling. YABU to quit if this is the only issue. I also think 20 year old young women are well able to protect themselves against lecherous drunken old men at office parties. Apart from the traditional stiletto in the instep, they know HR is shit hot on complaints of sexual harassment.

TinkerbellaPan Mon 15-Dec-14 22:17:36

Well the grass may not be greener, so consider that before you move. And only you know whether this bothers you enough to make you quit.

Disagree with Toby though. A nice, quite innocent, 21 year old fresh out of uni in her first job, with a lecherous boss who is the most senior member of staff in a smallish company with no official HR would probably not know what to do or say. That could easily be a case of complain too much and you would be sacked. And in this economy would you complain in that situation?

APlaceInTheWinter Mon 15-Dec-14 22:22:51

You don't have to like your boss. You just have to work with him. I can't imagine anything more short-sighted than quitting your job over gossip from a party you didn't attend.

cricketpitch Mon 15-Dec-14 23:41:26

If you don't like your job, and don't want to work for your boss you should leave. Nothing else to it really.

I wouldn't repeat gossip though. Not your business. You don't know what went on or what was said. For all you know those same gossips could be saying stuff about you.

The women who experienced this or those close to them who witnessed it can deal with it if they feel it is appropriate.

Tobyjugg Tue 16-Dec-14 01:31:46

Tinkerbelle you have a point. Never having worked for a small company and always having had an HR Dept. somewhere in the background, I didn't consider that.

TinkerbellaPan Tue 16-Dec-14 02:17:13

Toby sadly the reason I mentioned it, is because I know of a girl who is young, very nice and is in awful situation like this. She is having to stay quiet and hr (one woman) have reassured her she'll never work one on one with the boss again. sad angry

In a larger company though I would agree with you!

musicalendorphins2 Tue 16-Dec-14 02:42:01

They are women not girls, and it is up to them to complain. Lot's of people get a couple of drinks in them and become leeches, make and female alike. It has nothing to do with your work.

musicalendorphins2 Tue 16-Dec-14 02:45:05

I agree with supporting any younger woman who are upset by this, and don't know how to handle it.

JapaneseMargaret Tue 16-Dec-14 04:12:46

...and you don't even know if it is true.

Yes, because women lie about this sort of thing all the time. hmm

RojaGato Tue 16-Dec-14 04:32:46

Think this is what american refer to when they talk about a "hostile work environment" in court cases.

I worked somewhere similar- Chief Exec indulged in some very laddish behaviour and it set a tone. Christmas party was one of the occasions it was totally obvious (I'd been there since September).

They were slipshod on some other things too- kept getting taken to employment tribunals over things (lack of confidentiality a common one) and it was only a matter of time before someone filed a serious sexual harrassment case and won, given the behaviour. So, CEO behaviour did encourage others and it did show an attitude of flagrant disregard for the law/common decency which crept into other areas, so IMO you're not wrong to take this into account when assessing whether this is a suitable work culture for you, long term.

I don't think you should quit tomorrow, but start looking for something better. I was out of there by the May after the Xmas party. also keep a log of anything that happens to you, or that you witness happening to someone else, in case you need to demonstrate a pattern at a later date.

IME if you have a good HR department that is internal to the firm you have some hope that this won't get out of hand on a day to day work level- if the HR are people are professional and have some power internally they will keep things getting out of hand for fear of being sued if nothing else. But if HR is outsourced or they are toothless/ a bit amateurish, then this could multiply quickly. if your HR dept is really good, you could to someone there and ask for advice on how to feel more comfortable/what is best to do, confidentially, without mentioning names at this stage. They'll be aware that smething is up inthat department then if anything comes up in the future.

When I left, I had an informal exit interview with the CEo as we were on reasonable terms (he wasn't a total dick, just didn't realise he made other people uncomfortable and that his behaviour set the tone firm wide). He'd spoken to me in the past about working somewhere himself where the Chief Exec. took a very anti-sexist line and the male employees couldn't refer to female employees as girls for example, and how it made the male employees really uncomfortable and nervous. So at my interview this was something I spoke about, I mentioned a couple of things male employees had said, their directly to me or to/about other women in my presence, in a "did you realise this happens" sort of way rather than a complaint. He said "I've let it go too far in the opposite direction haven't I?" Just nodded and smiled.

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