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To frequently attempt to put this colleague straight

(13 Posts)
Cakedoesntjudge Wed 02-Nov-16 19:14:29

Just as a prelude to this (because it's very relevant) I work in an entirely non-PC workplace, mainly with young men who's main cv skill would appear to be 'banter' cringe. My management team are all male and very involved in it. There's no changing it and if a woman makes an official complaint against it then they're the ones that come off badly (I know it sounds completely awful, but it does have a lot of perks in terms of flexibility so leaving isn't currently an option for me). I can usually take it with a pinch of salt and get on pretty well with most of them and to be honest, am more than capable of giving as good as I get if it comes to it.

Now, I have one colleague who, for the sake of this, we shall call Bob. Bob and me get on for the most part mainly because we don't work together often but have had numerous run ins over his attitude towards women. Although generally quite polite, he is very open that he believes women to be beneath him, doesn't clean up after himself at work as he believes that's a 'woman's job' and is just generally pretty grim in his attitudes. I have long since accepted he isn't going to change his ways (he's not one of the young lads, he's probably mid 40s). However, I don't think he should be allowed to be so open about his attitudes towards women at work.

Today I called him out on it (again) and he told me I'm clearly a 'man-hater' and that's why I'm single as I hate all men hmm. I pointed out to him that my best friend is male, I'm very close to my dad and I grew up with brothers, I'm friends with a lot of the 'lads' at work and that actually he just can't cope with the fact I have an issue with him. The thing is, he gets completely egged on by the other guys, who join in purely because they know it makes my blood boil and they find that hilarious. I also pointed out to him that in the past 4 years he has worked where we are there's not a single woman that's worked on the department that hasn't had a problem with him who all did the sensible thing and left. He argued that since they were all people I had been friendly with this was my fault and nothing to do with his sexist behaviour. Normally I can just walk away, shake it off and laugh. But today, it's really pushed all my buttons.

My AIBU is AIBU to keep pulling him up on it if I don't think there's anyway he'll change and it just turns into an argument? Would it be better to just take the moral high ground and let it go? The management team argue that if they pulled him up on it then they'd have to stop all joking around and it would get pretty dull at work because where do they draw the line which I think is complete bullshit but my opinion doesn't count.

ChuckGravestones Wed 02-Nov-16 19:17:13

The management team argue that if they pulled him up on it then they'd have to stop all joking around and it would get pretty dull at work because where do they draw the line

Yes that's exactly what they should do. It's not dull at work when you get to talk like adults to each other. Wankers.

icy121 Wed 02-Nov-16 19:21:54

Ugh - what a pig. Don't engage with him. Write down every comment, include times, dates, witnesses etc. Do it retrospectively if you can as well.

Are you being discriminated against? Are there projects/jobs you're being passed over for in favour of the blokes? What do you want to achieve? There must be massive perks to make you stay!

When you decide what you want to do, take your schedule to the higher higher ups. If the guys on the ground won't do anything, is there a next level? Is there a parent company? I wouldn't bother trying to convince the blokes you work with, they've shown themselves to be incapable of change.

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Wed 02-Nov-16 19:35:52

So if the whole office was involved in racist jokes they wouldn't be pulled up on it for fear of ruining the atmosphere? What a bunch of arseholes.

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Wed 02-Nov-16 19:49:25

Actually that's a good point that I hadn't thought of.

Are you being passed over because the whole office thinks that as a woman, if you move above them they'd need to make their own coffee?

Would they pass you over in favour of a male applicant even if it was clear he wasn't suitable for the job?

Do they make important decisions just as you've stepped out of the room?

It sounds awful OP and I don't blame you for trying to address it while not making it more difficult for yourself.

Cakedoesntjudge Wed 02-Nov-16 20:39:23

It's a retail environment so thankfully there is nobody required for tea making because I could imagine that starting world war 3 amongst us!!

With regards to promotions, again they're limited due to the job. There is one woman currently on the supervisor training programme in amongst all the blokes. I'm pretty sure this is mainly down to most of us there being parents and not able in our circumstances to do the shift pattern required though rather than sexism.

I have had a lot of discussions with the younger lads about joining in with the sexist attitude of the other bloke for 'banter' purposes. They all claim to respect women, most are very close to their mum's and some have daughters. Shockingly they tend to hate it if I ask them what their mums/daughters would think of what they're saying if they heard them. They claim because they're just joking (hilarious) rather than genuinely believe in the things he does that it's OK hmm.

I highly doubt I'd find the flexibility I need in any other job locally at the moment. I'm a single mum and doing a degree and flexibility wise I honestly can't fault them. I figure I just have to hold out for another year and a half until my degree is over and then I can move on. It's only my department that's so ridiculous. The other departments are a lot more evenly distributed male/female wise so it's not as bad. It is a pretty shite job made better by a large majority of the people there (obviously excluding a few) but I feel ungrateful saying so because it does pay the bills most months and they've helped me out when I've needed time off/extra shifts before.

Under a previous management team (also all male) a couple of years back a group of women tried to put in a very valid complaint against a supervisor the details of which I can't go into as is very outing if anyone were to read it but senior management within the company were involved and huge amounts of pressure were put on the women until they dropped it. It was dealt with disgracefully and I lost all respect for the company after that (I've worked there for years and not really had any huge issues beforehand). I took it as the kick up the backside I needed to sign up for my degree and work towards being at a point I could leave and go into a career I'd actually love instead.

I think the poster who said to just ignore it is probably right. It would probably be a lot less stressful for me I just struggle to keep my mouth shut when I feel strongly about something!

Awwlookatmybabyspider Wed 02-Nov-16 20:56:50

So management are letting this continue, because. If they don't there will be no more jokes. What a lovely place.
Huge failure in their legal duty of care.

SpunkyMummy Wed 02-Nov-16 21:00:56

So, either confront him full on (if you can afford to potentially lose the job) or ignore him.

HighwayDragon1 Wed 02-Nov-16 21:08:47

Retail? Go to hr, kick up a massive fuss. Banter my fucking aresehole

Have you tried laughing at him. Along the lines
"Aww bless living in the 21st century must be so hard for you"
"Have you seen your GP about your delusion that it is 1950, it could be a sign of something serious"

I would imagine he will utterly hate you laughing at him but can't complain because it's just banter after all.

neuroticmumof3 Wed 02-Nov-16 21:39:40

I like your style Chaz.

ImperialBlether Wed 02-Nov-16 21:52:20

Or maybe, "One day someone's going to record you, and you'll be in front of HR before the end of your shift."

He needs to be able to see some consequence of his actions.

mamas12 Wed 02-Nov-16 22:01:51

How bloody infuriating
Okay so I hope whatever mess he leaves magically follows him to his desk/ drawer / locker/ briefcase or even sent to management
Yes send perhaps a weeks worth of his crap to management or HR with a record of his abuse
Just keep it official and professional and keep mentioning the others mums daughters etc by their names

Good luck

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