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Is my boss being unreasonable or am I overreacting.

(37 Posts)
Sissyinthesummertime Wed 25-Jan-17 20:00:12

I've been in my job for about 18 months. Most of it I really like. It pays me well and I need the job.

However, I feel like my boss is constantly overstepping the mark. Examples like today he commented on the 'high heels at work case' and said she probably only got the job as she had a tight ass and looked good in high heels. He's trying to get a rise out of me, but I don't bite most of the time. I did today, and he laughed, saying I knew you'd react to that.

When on our own he tells me stories of his sex life (I know his wife, through work), so it makes me feel uncomfortable.

There's loads of other scenarios that I can't bring to mind, but they have made me feel uncomfortable. More innuendos etc - it is a male dominated environment. Until recently I have been the only female.

Thing is, it's his company and I've been there less than 2 years so if I said anything he could just get rid of me.

Am I being silly. Goodness, when I write it down, it doesn't sound good does it?

iogo Wed 25-Jan-17 20:03:09

Sounds totally inappropriate and I think there would be a case to answer with HR. I'm not an employment bod though so couldn't actually advise.

flowers though. Sounds awful. X

user1469914265 Wed 25-Jan-17 20:03:32

With all that you've written, do you really want to work there?

You can try all you like but an asshole will always be an asshole.

Cherrysoup Wed 25-Jan-17 20:04:17

No, Yanbu or silly. He is being highly inappropriate and I'd be having extremely serious words with him. Further incidents would result in a sexual harassment case against him/report him to HR. He's an idiot.

Sissyinthesummertime Wed 25-Jan-17 20:09:12

There is no HR. The buck stops with him. He's the MD - his company. If anything, I'm the HR department.

What else can I do? I don't want to lose my job. My family are depending on it.

Believe it or not, I'm a strong independent female in every other aspect of my life. I feel shamed for putting up with this.

His comment last week, when talking about 'gays' was, I don't care where they stick their c*ck (I know I'm allowed to write it, but I can't bring myself to) so long as they keep it well away from me.

Oh God, it looks awful written down.

oblada Wed 25-Jan-17 20:10:21

You don't need 2yrs of service for sexual harassment/sex discrimination claims. It seems highly inappropriate! Up to you how you handle it of course!

KickAssAngel Wed 25-Jan-17 20:10:30

He's being deeply inappropriate but if he owns the co. you're very stuck.

Could you laugh and say "I bet your wife will be happy to know you gossip about her" or would that not work?

IT sounds really difficult. You can't avoid him, and you can't complain about him. For how much longer can you put up with him?

oblada Wed 25-Jan-17 20:12:19

The best advice I would give is to talk to him and explain this is making you uncomfortable and see how he responds....

bluecashmere Wed 25-Jan-17 20:12:59

In theory it doesn't matter if you've been there less than two years in the case of sexual discrimination, but I would say start looking for a new job and remove yourself from the situation.

TreeTop7 Wed 25-Jan-17 20:14:06

Have you tried the poker-faced approach? If you don't give him a reaction, he may get bored.

Start looking for another role, meanwhile.

Celaena Wed 25-Jan-17 20:14:21

if you dont/cant challenge him, then you should look for another job

Sissyinthesummertime Wed 25-Jan-17 20:18:26

Is it sexual harassment if he isn't harassing me as such. He's not groping me or making remarks about me as such.

He does make me hate myself so not speaking up though, as I'm afraid, and I hate that.

I am looking for another job. I will probably have to take a pay cut, work more unsociable hours, so I feel I am suffering for something that isn't my fault.

I may try talking to him if I can muster the courage, but at this moment in time, I don't feel like going in there ever again sad

oblada Wed 25-Jan-17 20:24:21

OK it's not sexual harassment but it is harassment under discrimination legislation and in this case re sex discrimination. Because the comments are offensive and relating to sex/sexual orientation even tho they are not about you directly.

TheUpsideDown Wed 25-Jan-17 20:25:56

This isn't silly or unreasonable. I was in a male dominated job a few years ago and put up with this kind of thing for four long horrible years. I hated it but needed the job. When redundancy came up, and I was voted to be on the committee to act as my teams representative but I ended up offering my own voluntary redundancy as I couldn't take it any more. I dreaded every day of the constant sexual, mysoginistic, sexist lewd behaviour and comments. If I complained to management or fronted the culprits out I was a 'stick in the mud' 'over sensitive' or 'a prude'. In fact one guy was actually promoted after being investigated and openly admitted his sexist behaviour. He was practically given a pat on the back while I was held back from promotions.

I'm not a prude though. I can take a joke, i love a bit of silly adult innuendo here and there. I love nothing more than a giggle and and a bit of fun. But all within reason. So many boundaries were crossed it was unreal.

The best thing I did was walk - I just wish I'd done it sooner and saved myself 4 years of misery that made me a nervous wreck.

qwertyqueer Wed 25-Jan-17 20:30:39

Sissy could you write to him? something along the lines of his behaviour constitutes sexual harassment as does your colleagues' innuendo and it's creating a hostile work environment. Then if things don't improve you can go to the Employment Tribunal and claim constructive dismissal.

MuteButtonisOn Wed 25-Jan-17 20:31:27

His poor wife. He'll never change. Find another job. I worked somewhere once where the boss brought hookers into work after hours and shagged them in the loos. Plenty of evidence of their partying would remain. I left. Shudder.

oblada Wed 25-Jan-17 20:33:16

You would claim harassment under the equality act.
I'd try with a quiet word first, a formal grievance process in a small company is difficult to run to a happy conclusion.

user1469914265 Wed 25-Jan-17 20:37:28

Read through the archives there, she writes a lot of sense and this issue has come up a few times.

TheProblemOfSusan Wed 25-Jan-17 20:37:39

He's a massive sexist arse. In my opinion... Document it. Every last thing. Perhaps email incidents to yourself as they occur, really impartially - little emotion, just what he said and when, and the effect it had on you if you can write dispassionately about your feelings.

Meanwhile, look for a suitable new job and bite your tongue so you can move on in your own time, get a good reference and never look back at the twunt. The documenting is only there to be used if he tries anything shitty towards you, just do you have it.

I'd love to say you can confront him and it'll all be OK but he'll be a shit about it and won't change - protect yourself and get out when you've got a job that works for you.

Twinklyfaerieglade Wed 25-Jan-17 20:41:02

Going against the grain here, but I don't think any challenge would end happily. He will not react well and has an unhealthy amount of power. What he is doing is totally wrong. However even if you do have a case at tribunal,its a lot of heartache and possibly, if not in a TU, costly.

Worked in a male dominated environment for 30 years. Not as overt as what you face but very dispiriting. Giving every such conversation the stone faced treatment is good advice.

Look for something else but make sure you are moving towards something better not moving away from something bad. Make your next move a promotion or wider experience.
Good Luck

Twinklyfaerieglade Wed 25-Jan-17 20:42:07

X post with Susan

Olympiathequeen Wed 25-Jan-17 20:42:50

Tape his comments on your phone. Gather as many as you can and put them onto a memory stick. It's always good to have a little leverage.

If you ever have any reason to walk out you can take him to a tribunal for sexual harassment, which is what this is.

On a practical level console yourself with the fact he feels inadequate in the face of your professionalism and competence and is making himself feel superior by belittling you. Maybe this alone can allow you to secretly despise him rather than feel uncomfortable?

At some point when you have gathered evidence speak to,him in confidence, not disclosing your evidence, and appeal to his possible better nature. If you carry on just putting up with it he will escalate for sure and you will start having the arm round your shoulder, and further down eventually.

Last resort would be to tell him you have evidence of his harassment and will take him to a tribunal for constructive dismissal.

He's probably got a small dick anyway.

Penhacked Wed 25-Jan-17 20:50:07

If it were me, I would just say to his face that yoi have heard this sexist/homophobic bullshit so many times noe that you have assigned each type a theme tune. And when he strs, singghe theme tune. Loudly. Possible options are 'its raining men', 'girls just wanna have fun' etc. Seriously, start job hunting but do try to laugh at him because that will make him feel around an inch tall.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Wed 25-Jan-17 20:54:06

Honestly? Look for another job. I could go in to details why (I'm an HR professional) but frankly life's too short to deal with this kind of bullshit.

blankmind Wed 25-Jan-17 20:55:20

Could you not just stop him in his tracks, just say 'Whoa, that's TMI, I don't want to know' at the first hint he's going to say something about his wife or something else you find offensive. You must know his turns of phrase and intonation by now so surely you can stop him in mid-flow whilst doing it politely and non-confrontationally.

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