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to not get involved in this ridiculous mess of office politics?

(38 Posts)
officebairn Thu 29-Sep-16 16:26:06

I don't even know where to start but I have to write it down because it's becoming unbearable for me at work. The office politics are at an all time high and I need a way out.

Back story - Me and DH work for same company (but not same office) and have limited contact at work. His best friend at work (let's call him Greg) and a new girl in our office (Tess) have started sleeping together. Greg has told DH and Tess has told me. It's supposed to be a huge secret, but believe me, it isn't everyone knows.

Greg has a long term gf who we have all met and all really like. He openly talks about her often when visiting our office (he's constantly between offices). So naturally I thought Tess knew. But she didn't and when we got talking about it she got really upset and feels v. betrayed, hurt, etc. She had it out with Greg who now seems to have poisoned the entire office against me as a liar(?) and a stir and a gossip. When in reality, at my age and in my department it couldn't be further from the truth.

Now day by day, the bitching is getting worse. Tess and her friend(s) are sniggering, bitching, commenting (loudly) about me and this has never happened to me before. It honestly reminds me of being back in high school which I hate.

I have been ignoring everything, not engaging with her, him or anyone else involved and getting on with my work until today when yet another slight on me caused me to lose my cool and shout at her.

How can I stop all this and how can I get away from the situation? It's making me miserable and affecting my actual work.

ImperialBlether Thu 29-Sep-16 16:30:16

I would take this to your line manager. I don't know why she's laughing at you when she's the one who's been made a fool of. And that guy's poor girlfriend, too. Awful for her.

ImperialBlether Thu 29-Sep-16 16:30:50

Just re-read - this is your husband's best friend? And he's treating you like this? What does your husband say?

PurpleWithRed Thu 29-Sep-16 16:31:34

Do you have HR/line manager you can talk to? If Greg is your DHs best friend can DH tell him to stop being a dick? Are Greg and Tess still DTD while he has a lovely girlfriend?

officebairn Thu 29-Sep-16 16:35:51

DH has to suck-up to Greg for work purposes, he has expressed his distaste many times but Greg is just that kind of guy, will never change. Tess is just latest in a long line sadly. sad

DH says I should take it to HR but our HR is utterly useless and would probably sit us all in a room to knit bracelets and say "sorry".

passthewineplz Thu 29-Sep-16 16:36:49

Ask your DH to have a word with him, and explain that it's affecting your work, to try and nip it in the bud.

Advise him If things carry on you'll need to speak to your line manager, and it will make it uncomfortable for all three of you.

Your DH mate sounds a dick TBH 👎🏻

JellyBelli Thu 29-Sep-16 16:38:20

Its bullying and you dont have to deal with it. Use ACAS.
The Acas helpline number is 0300 123 1100. It is available Monday 8am-8pm, Tuesday 8am-6pm, Wednesday to Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday 9am-1pm.

passthewineplz Thu 29-Sep-16 16:40:15

Sorry just seen your update.

Could you speak to the girl in the office and explain how it's making you feel. And tell her if things carry on you'll have to raise it with HR or tell his girlfriend

Pumpkintopf Thu 29-Sep-16 16:45:14

You shouldn't pre-judge your HR department, give them a chance to sort this out. If you raise it as a formal grievance (your company policy and procedure on this will either be in your staff handbook or available from HR) then HR/your line manager will have a structure they have to follow to get this resolved, complete with timescales.

Pumpkintopf Thu 29-Sep-16 16:48:20

And why on earth does your DH 'have to' suck up to Greg ?! Even if he's the line manager, there are still rules about behaviour-if anything a more senior person would have higher expectations placed on them to behave professionally. Also does your place of work have a policy on intra-office relationships? Most do, and certainly wouldn't tolerate it having this sort of overspill into affecting other staff.

allnewredfairy Thu 29-Sep-16 16:49:10

I say go to HR too. At the very least you should be documenting what goes on. Your DH needs to pick better friends too. The guy sounds like a complete knob.

RatherBeRiding Thu 29-Sep-16 16:54:18

Jeez - HR definitely. As someone else said, there MUST be a formal grievance/bullying policy, and you need to make a FORMAL complaint - I stress formal because if you go down an informal route, and your HR really are useless, they will brush it under the carpet. If you make it formal and insist they follow their own policy and it isn't resolved, take it to ACAS. Oh - and insist on a timeline otherwise it could drag on.

witsender Thu 29-Sep-16 16:54:35

If your husband isn't telling his 'best mate' to stop being a nob, I'd be horrified. One of you needs to point out to one of them thT this sort of dalliance tends to be looked on poorly in the workplace as their activities and actions are causing issues.

Cary2012 Thu 29-Sep-16 16:56:46

Ask Tess to meet you.

Tell Tess that it has to stop immediately, and that you are keeping a log of all the comments, she and others have been making. Tell her that you won't be discussing her love life with her again, and just want to agree with her that you need to positively move forward in a constructive way.

Tell her that you hope this informal chat will resolve the issue. However if it continues then you will be contacting HR to put the matter formally in their hands, at which time you will pass over the log of comments.

FriskyFrog Thu 29-Sep-16 17:01:35

I think the circuitous route of asking your DH to speak to Greg, to speak to Tess, to be nice to you is ridiculous and plays into the playground antics.

Speak to Tess directly, tell her the behaviour must stop or you will be forced to go to HR. Personally I would covertly record that conversation for future reference.

TheNaze73 Thu 29-Sep-16 17:08:04

Just speak to Tess. Can't understand all the convoluted hoops people are telling you to jump through.

InTheseFlipFlops Thu 29-Sep-16 17:14:57

I think frisky has it, I've had this sort of shit many times (the stupid bitchiness) and the only time it worked out well was when i fronted it out. It honestly nipped it in the bud. I grew balls i didn't even know i had that day!!!
Yes to recording it just in case.

If your good at that sort of thing i don't think a "is there a problem?" fronting it out to all of them when they are sat there giggling and bitching goes a miss.

Ive never worked somewhere where theres a decent HR department only a PA / accountant who does it on the side. So i didn't think it would be dealt with well - i was also a bit young and naive.

JellyBelli Thu 29-Sep-16 17:16:35

If Tess was a reasonable person open to dialogue they she wouldnt be sitting there giggling at OP.

AmeliaJack Thu 29-Sep-16 17:24:05

Personally I book a meeting room and invite Tess, her boss and my boss.

Then I'd sit down and present a clear and dispassionate timeline of events with specific examples of unacceptable behaviour.

I imagine that would nip things in the bud fairly effectively.

paddypants13 Thu 29-Sep-16 17:28:26

Keep a log of all the comments.

Make HR aware of the situation and tell them if this carries on, you will be asking for their involvement.

Next time you hear her and her friends making nasty comments, pull them up on it and ask what their problem is. Point out to them that you were not the one who hurt Tess and you have not told any lies.

If she carries on make a formal complaint to HR.

Honestly, you'd think we'd be able to leave this shit at the school gates. I think some adults are worse than teenagers.

I found myself in a similar situation at work when I was accused of telling my boss' wife about his affair with a colleague and was ostracised by them and their cronies. (I bloody wish I had told her.) Everyone forgot that the fault with those being unfaithful.

SuperFlyHigh Thu 29-Sep-16 17:28:49

Amelia or Cary's suggestions are good.

think yourself lucky you don't work in a small office like I did where my boss, and the 2 bullies were both close friends of my boss who sided with them and wanted to refuse to deal with it and only when I threatened to go to a tribunal etc (solicitors firm) that he backed down and spoke to them.

I'd every time use HR but sadly I've also learnt (from friends/relatives in other situations) that sometimes even larger companies bullying procedures aren't fool proof and won't work that well.

OlennasWimple Thu 29-Sep-16 17:30:20

Don't get into secret recordings - you can get in trouble for that.

But yy to fronting up to her: she's a bully, and most bullies can't take being stood up to. Next time there is giggling, you go over and ask for a word in private. You ask her what the problem is, and tell her her behaviour is unprofessional and unacceptable and must stop right now. If it does not, you will be making a formal complaint.

GreekGod Thu 29-Sep-16 17:34:57

You are being bullied. It's ridiculous. If HR are useless - is there a parent company you can report this kind of behaviour to ?

Write to HR and tell them you are being bullied. They then have to do something about it.

ethelb Thu 29-Sep-16 17:44:32

HR now. And tell your husband to man up. And don't leave ANY of the details about Greg out when you speak to HR.

FriskyFrog Thu 29-Sep-16 17:53:10

Don't get into secret recordings - you can get in trouble for that.

Not really. It certainly isn't something you would put in front of HR in the first instance, but depending on the content, it could be useful later should things escalate. It's legal to covertly record (though somewhat frowned upon), and is admissible in evidence. Care needs to be taken with the recording once obtained, as the Data Protection Act applies.
It's not a recommended course of action if you subsequently plan to post it in a Faceboook rant wink

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