How do I nip this in the bud without being sacked?(35 Posts)
Guy at work, not in my office. But we communicate as share clients. More senior than me. Always got on well, professionally and personally when we've met at events etc.
We don't have that much call to talk to each other, pretty infrequent. But I had noticed he almost seemed to be finding reasons to email me and it's become more frequent.
A month ago he started following me on Instagram and messaged me out of the blue, asking what I was up to, him saying he was drunk, hoping I was too. Shut him down pretty quick and he back tracked quick. So put it down to him being pissed and silly.
However, the communication is starting again via text/email. Completely out of the blue last Friday he asked a work related question, quickly followed up by general chit chat, again he was pissed so just ignored it.
He is clearly trying to chance his arm with me, not sure why me. Find out this week that his partner is expecting. Feel physically sick about it. Knew it was bad that he was trying to engage me in chat anyway. But it seems worse somehow. Don't exactly work for the type of place I can go running to HR. I have tried telling him to reel his neck in, but he just sees it as friendly banter. Not sure if I'm reading to much into it. Try to ignore him mostly, but he just keeps trying to chip away. Can't tell the leadership team, as he's at that level. I'm happy to have a bit of chit chat, like I do with everyone else. But he just appears to be pushing the boundaries.
just keep it professional and he will eventually get bored.
If you really can’t tell anyone at work then just ignore any personal contact and only reply if it’s to do with work.
But I have to say I wouldn’t want to work for a company who sack an employee for speaking up about something like this.
Ignore. Screen grab everything. Find an ally. Hopefully when his baby arrives he'll be too tired for such nonsense.
I had this with a tutor and it escalated into full horror sexual harassment
If I had my time again shudder I would absolutely just never respond. I was too nice for too long about it, and he saw any attempt at brushing him off as banter and an excuse to try harder
He was an absolute predator but appeared pretty harmless and annoying at first
You need to make this clear
Delete him from social media.
Never reply out of work hours - ever
Never reply to anything ‘friendly’ that isn’t work related
Tell him directly you don’t like it and don’t want him to message you any more
Is there really no HR?
Don’t be too nice about it’s
I actually read this wondering if it’s the same guy to be honest as this is exactly how mine started
Don't engage more than you have to.
Keep every communication professional and keep referencing back to work and avoid anything personal.
Frankly be boring...
If he asks "what are up to?" then keep it brief e.g. "getting ready for work tomorrow" or "finishing up the presentation for tomorrow's meeting". That's it. Don't elaborate.
If he asks follow up questions, shut him down e.g. "you're working to hard, you should be doing something fun" - "I enjoy my work and being productive. Need to finish up. Bye".
Can you say more about why you can't go to HR or anyone in leadership? The fact that he is senior doesn't mean you can't speak to anyone senior, although it does mean you have to be careful and know the politics. But any environment where you can't get any support with this type of harassment sounds like an unsafe one you'd be best out of.
Block him on all social media channels and non-work-related forms of communication. Don't have chat with him, of any kind. Communicate through work channels on work topics only, and where possible ignore any attempts to engage you in other topics by broken-recording him with 'I'd rather stay focused on work, thanks.'
Also: don't let him make you doubt your instincts. You know damn well what he's up to, and so does he.
Oh, and obviously don't accept any invitations which involve him and you one on one unless they're clearly work meetings in the office and definitely necessary.
Block him except for work email. Totally cool, professional responses. Ignore anything not directly related to work.
Completely out of the blue last Friday he asked a work related question, quickly followed up by general chit chat, again he was pissed so just ignored it.
is he drunk during office hours or are you responding after that? keep all comms to professional responses (dont respond to personal questions) and within office hours. He'll get bored.
Completely ignore out of hours, and non work 'chat'. Simply don't answer questions about what you're up to.
You shouldn't even need to consider it in terms of getting the sack. This is harassment, no question about it. He's targeting you because you're a woman.
Your employer is duty bound to tackle harassment by law. If you have all his texts and can create a diary of recent unwanted attention and interactions, take it to your line manager and say you need this to stop. Say you've tried to address it informally and now you feel threatened and anxious worrying what he will do next. If they don't act soon, it could be a Tribunal matter under the Equality Act. Their choice, sort it out or you'll have to take action.
Keep copies of all of the messages. This has the potential to get very messy and if anyone is going to lose their job it needs to be him and not you.
I’m not sure why him being part of the senior leadership team means you can’t report him to someone else in senior leadership.
I dont understand why you can't go to HR? I used to work in a supermarket and the manager of our department decided to send texts to a 17 year old saying if she wanted to work her way up to a team leaders position etc then he could make that happen for sexual favours.
HR took it very seriously when she showed them the texts he had sent and he was suspended within an hour of it being reported and removed from the store.
He lost his job days later.
HR should listen to you and can get involved and ask this staff member to back off for you.
Go grey rock for now. If he keeps pushing, at least anyone looking at the messages can see you have done this. Chances are the grey rock response will bore him enough for him to bugger off and this will not be a problem for you any more.
Definitely keep screen shots and do not reply outside work hours.
Are you using your work phone for this? If so turn it off as soon as you finish work. Own phone? Block him.
Instagram, block him.
If he asks, tell him you have been advised to keep work and social boundaries in place.
Why does he even have your phone number?
Just block his number and social media, but take screen shots in case it escalates.
Keep emails business like and don't respond to any chit chat.
Isn’t it shit that you can’t tell a man in the workplace to back the fuck off, you’re not interested and you’re uncomfortable, without worrying about getting sacked!
"you're working to hard, you should be doing something fun"
No, 'you should be spending quality time with your partner before the baby arrives' - let him know that you know exactly what the score is without being arsey about it.
Block him on social media. Only respond to work emails during work. Only respond to the work questions and ignore any chit chat.
If you don’t feel you can block his number on your phone, you can still not reply to any messages. It might feel rude, but it IS ok! If he has the nerve to question you then:
‘Did you? I didn’t notice.’ In an uninterested tone. Or
‘I thought you’d sent it to me by mistake/ while pissed.’ Or
‘I was busy.’
It’s crap that you can’t just tell him to fuck off. Good luck.
Block him on social media.
Don't respond to anything non-work related.
Take screen shots of everything he sends you that isn't appropriate.
What Pookie said
I've been there too & it also escalated into full blown harassment--offered promotion, wage hike & flashy car for sex, you odious little wanker----😏--. I was nice because he was my boss, but he used that.
Do not be nice keep it curt, delete from social media etc & if he complains just say, "I think you need to keep it professional & lose all opportunities to cross that line" then just walk off & cut the conversation dead"
I actually read this wondering if it’s the same guy to be honest as this is exactly how mine started
@Pookie, I think a lot start off like this, mine did too x
Keep a record of everything. Tell him where to go. If it gets really bad then you need to say something, even if he is at leadership level. It's sexual harassment.
It's my work phone, so can't block him from that. It's very much a boys club, I know they'll see it as banter if I go running to one of the other directors. I'm sure he'll get bored eventually. I can't switch my phone off, it doesn't really work like that. I'm always on call. Just need to grey rock him. Unfortunately he will have a say in my growth through the business so can't tell him to fuck off without it adversely effecting my career, which is sad.
IME of similar work situation, if you're polite & nice he'll go into thrill of the chase mode & just try harder. Ignore & block but keep copies of everything he's sent in case he turns nasty when it sinks in he's getting nowhere.
Could you casually drop in about a boyfriend or a FWB or engineer something that would work as a crucifix to this guy without it being overt.
It's all sorts of wrong that you have to take care because this man has power over you but it's commonplace.
I asked a friends hunky brother to collect me from work one day and give me a kiss in full view. That changed the tone for the rest of my training which was a year only thankfully. I wasn't even a looker but I was fresh meat maybe?
Honestly don’t bother with a fake boyfriend it doesn’t stop a predator they just see it as more of a challenge and exciting to get you to cheat on them.
The thing that drives them is secrecy and power. He knows he’s got all the power and every post you make just reiterates that! If you believe that he is completely in control you will continue to be afraid of him. He doesn’t have all of their power at all.
You can’t have it both ways, you can’t try to ‘keep him sweet’ because he can affect your growth. Just be very boring. This might affect your growth because he’s preying on you - consider leaving!
It's a tough one and your career may be affected either way. Keep screnshots of everything. No longer reply to any texts unless it is a direct work question. If he hasn't backed off in a few weeks you need to tell someone. The fact is he may get bored or he may get angry as he feels rejected. In which case, your career is affected anyway and you should go to one of the directors and tell them, keep it factual. He won't get fired but they'll probably tell him to back off. Then see how it goes. Accept you may have to leave eventually, in which case leave before it gets messy. The system is against you, even the law, and I say this as a solicitor...I've seen countless female solicitors "resign" as soon as they get pregnant. And the sexism going around is prevalent and daily. It makes me sick.
Oh and don't bother with the fake boyfriend, many men think that if you're in a relationship it makes you less clingy. A few of the more senior women in my business have told me the harrassment gets worse once you get married for that reason...
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