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My “no” should be complete, right?

(151 Posts)
singmetosleepgarybarlow Tue 20-Mar-18 22:57:55

A service user at my work has become a bit obsessed with an unsolicited gift he made me. I don’t want the gift, it’s hideous. I don’t want to say what it is as it is quite distinctive!

I am under no contractual obligation to use the gift. I have said no thank you politely several times but he just won’t let it go. I have tried leaving the thing in a communal place for others to use but this isn’t good enough- he seems to need to see me using it. Whenever he uses our centre and sees me not using it another conversation/conflict arises.

He is now enlisting other service users and trying to get them “on side” as to whether or not I should accept and use his gift.

He is known to be quite an odd and controlling person and my heart sinks whenever I see him these days. I know of two other females who will not be alone with him. I spent most of my last shift hiding from him blush but could see him handling the gift and talking to others about it at length, most of whom were shooting me serruptitious glances during the conversation so I am fairly sure my ingratitude was being discussed!

I have a meeting with my (male) manager to discuss it tomorrow. I feel faintly ridiculous but I would like my manager to take him to one side and basically ban him from talking to me about it again. I don’t think he will ever drop it otherwise.

I can’t quite believe I haven’t been able to resolve it. I feel vaguely like a failure as a grown up and a woman!

Is this a ridiculous thing to ask my manager to intervene in?

AverageSnowflake Tue 20-Mar-18 23:01:54

Awww come on OP, what is the gift? grin

Winosaurus Tue 20-Mar-18 23:02:15

Without knowing what the gift is it’s hard to understand the context of your discomfort... if it’s a mug/coffee cup then your reaction seems disproportionate unless it has a crude slogan on it... I can’t think what he could be asking you to use that is so uncomfortable for you?
Anyway whatever it is it’s making you feel unnerved and if you’re feeling it’s necessary to actively avoid him then you should bring it to with management. No one should have to feel awkward or unhappy in their workplace

Winosaurus Tue 20-Mar-18 23:02:56

Bring it up with management* I mean

AlbertaSimmons Tue 20-Mar-18 23:03:09

Can you just arrange for the thing to meet with an accident that renders it unusable?

fairypuff Tue 20-Mar-18 23:03:38

Difficult to judge without knowing what the gift was tbh. But if he's making you uncomfortable speak to your line manager.

GrooovyLass Tue 20-Mar-18 23:04:23

Not really a lot we can advise you with the info you've given...

dinosaursandtea Tue 20-Mar-18 23:05:08

If there are already two women who won’t be alone with him, how on earth is he still allowed back?

sunandmoonshine Tue 20-Mar-18 23:05:31

Why is he getting away with inappropriate behaviour?

Just because he has some kind of 'special need' that doesn't mean he can be a dick! hmm

Management need to intervene now.

OfficerVanHalen Tue 20-Mar-18 23:07:03

i don't think it matters what the gift is. he has form for making female staff uncomfortable and is doing it to OP. it's affecting her work, and therefore impacting other service users. he needs to stop.

singmetosleepgarybarlow Tue 20-Mar-18 23:10:36

This is the bit I’m stuck on tbh.

DOES it matter what the gift is? Genuine question. I’ve politely declined to use it several times, given some vague reasons as to why I’m happier using the equipment I already own.... I haven’t asked for this item. I don’t want it or need it. Surely continually badgering me and trying to enlist others to do likewise is just weirdly controlling and therefore unacceptable?

I am usually so “anything for a quiet life”, too.


singmetosleepgarybarlow Tue 20-Mar-18 23:11:59

Sorry, crossposted with more recent replies.

TheMasterNotMargarita Tue 20-Mar-18 23:12:11

Too nice perhaps?
Once or twice yes, however you are now in a situation where he is behaving very rudely and now you are the one feeling bad.
It's his problem.its his issue.
I would very firmly and in front of witnesses tell him you have refused nicely now you are telling him so there is no misunderstanding- I don't want your gift, I don't want anything from you it is not appropriate. You are and it stops now.
If it gets broken you run the risk of going through it all again.

gingergenius Tue 20-Mar-18 23:12:19

Please tell me he didn't buy you a cheap Ann summers strap on?

windchimesabotage Tue 20-Mar-18 23:12:45

Can your manager not just point out that it is unethical to accept gifts of any kind from service users at work?

TheMasterNotMargarita Tue 20-Mar-18 23:13:22

I also hate confrontation but sometimes you need to stand up for yourself.

64BooLane Tue 20-Mar-18 23:15:09

I think your “no” should be complete.

Slapdasherie Tue 20-Mar-18 23:16:44

I don't think it matters what the item is.

He doesn't have the right to harass you about it, that is weird and controlling.

If he won't take no from you, then yes, your manager should be stepping in to put a stop to it.

FlyingMonkeys Tue 20-Mar-18 23:17:06

Just say it's against company policy and you would get into trouble for accepting it. Although you are allowed to leave it in an area for all staff to enjoy.

MrsHenryWales Tue 20-Mar-18 23:17:10

Yes, your 'no' should be enough of an answer. It doesn't matter what the gift is. Is does matter that he's being so weird about it. Do not, take this gift. Or use it or whatever. Once you've done that he's won. And it might just be a mug or an electric stapler, but that's not the issue. He is the issue. Give him an inch now and where does it stop?

Trust you instinct. Raise it with your manager and make it their problem.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Tue 20-Mar-18 23:17:13

Get rid of it. Do it secretly when no one is around. Get it into a bin far far away. Then feign total ignorance.

At most say to him, "oh someone might have taken it, I told people they were free to use it because I prefer my own."

FlyingMonkeys Tue 20-Mar-18 23:19:46

I think other pp are right to say flag it with your manager though. It sounds like he's fixated on you a bit.

mirime Tue 20-Mar-18 23:21:44


I agree with those who say it doesn't matter what the gift is. He obviously has form for inappropriate behaviour if two other women won't work with him and management should intervene to protect their staff.

In fact management should never have let it get to the point where three people are avoiding him. Action should have been taken when the first person started avoiding him.

singmetosleepgarybarlow Tue 20-Mar-18 23:22:42

Thank you.
Seriously, thank you.

I probably have been too nice, although on at least one occasion I was firm to the point of what felt like near rudeness and that still didn’t work.

For reasons too Oprah to go into here but I’m sure many of you can guess and empathise with, the overriding of my “no” is a particularly tricky topic for me. Which I think has made me second guess myself even more. And I am CRAP at asking for help, especially in a male/female type dynamic like this.

But I don’t feel so ridiculous in asking for help tomorrow now, so thank you flowers

ItsuAddict Tue 20-Mar-18 23:22:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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