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How do I nip this in the bud without being sacked?

(35 Posts)
multiplemissedcalls Thu 28-Mar-19 21:56:29

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.

cocoloc Thu 28-Mar-19 21:59:25

just keep it professional and he will eventually get bored.

ReallyReallyNo Thu 28-Mar-19 22:01:56

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.

JazzyBBG Thu 28-Mar-19 22:02:58

Ignore. Screen grab everything. Find an ally. Hopefully when his baby arrives he'll be too tired for such nonsense.

PookieDo Thu 28-Mar-19 22:03:05

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

PookieDo Thu 28-Mar-19 22:03:42


PookieDo Thu 28-Mar-19 22:04:40

I actually read this wondering if it’s the same guy to be honest as this is exactly how mine started

DeRigueurMortis Thu 28-Mar-19 22:05:30

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".

SoHotADragonRetired Thu 28-Mar-19 22:12:52

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.

SoHotADragonRetired Thu 28-Mar-19 22:14:55

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.

Cherrysoup Thu 28-Mar-19 22:17:00

Block him except for work email. Totally cool, professional responses. Ignore anything not directly related to work.

DerelictWreck Thu 28-Mar-19 22:19:22

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.

Wheresthebeach Thu 28-Mar-19 22:32:31

Completely ignore out of hours, and non work 'chat'. Simply don't answer questions about what you're up to.

daisychain01 Fri 29-Mar-19 05:17:57

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.

user1480880826 Fri 29-Mar-19 05:51:28

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.

Moonbea Fri 29-Mar-19 06:11:33

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.

HomoHeinekenensis Fri 29-Mar-19 06:28:24

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.

ForalltheSaints Fri 29-Mar-19 07:00:23

Definitely keep screen shots and do not reply outside work hours.

sackrifice Fri 29-Mar-19 07:06:05

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.

TapasForTwo Fri 29-Mar-19 07:13:50

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.

Sowhatifisaycunt Fri 29-Mar-19 07:24:50

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!

FriarTuck Fri 29-Mar-19 07:27:41

"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.

Shelby2010 Fri 29-Mar-19 07:54:27

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.

KitKat1985 Fri 29-Mar-19 08:05:34

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.

RockinHippy Fri 29-Mar-19 09:14:50

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"

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