To be getting more and more concerned regarding male colleague?(383 Posts)
NC for this.
I’m in a difficult situation and I’m unsure of where to go from here.
Currently working with a male, I’ll call him Henry for the sake of this, and In the past few weeks he has;
-Messaged me constantly about trivial things, I’ll get messages at least every other day. I don’t reply to these.
- messages me when we’re both in work, in the same room??
- I constantly catch him staring at me during the day. If I move to nip to the loo or go on break his head shoots up and he’ll be watching me. He’s also sent me a few messages along the lines of “ooh did xyz piss you off? I saw the way you frowned” or “what’s up, you look sad?”
-last week he asked another member of staff (his friend) to leave work early so he could tell me, to my face, that he ‘really liked me’. This made me feel so bloody uncomfortable and I didn’t know how to react. I don’t like being forced into a situation and that’s exactly how I felt. It was just Henry and I at work at the time also, which put me on edge. Henry told me that he had specifically asked other work colleague to leave early so he could speak to me alone. He’d planned it all out. Other members of staff were aware of his plan and not one of them decided to tell me and give me a bit of warning.
-since telling me how he feels, Henry has upped the number of messages he sends me. I’ve told him that I would like us to stay as colleagues and that’s it. I didn’t think I’d have to explain this as I have a DP (very long term relationship, 10+ years) and a DC- something I reiterated to him just to be crystal clear.
Henry did tell me that he understood and respected my decision, and it won’t make things weird, but has became really persistent. He won’t stop messaging me daily, if I don’t reply within an hour he’ll send another message, and if I don’t reply to that one he’ll send another. It feels like he feels entitled to my time? It’s borderline possessive! I don’t even speak to my own family or closest friend every hour of every day, so I’ve no idea why he thinks i should be messaging him back when he says so.
I’ve asked DP not to get involved as it will aggravate the situation, although he does want to.
I can’t speak to my manager about this, as he will tell the owner of the company- who is very good friends with Henry. It’s a very small, family run type business, so no HR or anything like that.
It seems like he’s obsessed with me, and I’m genuinely getting a bit scared. He’s messaged me 8 times today because I haven’t replied. I feel like I can’t block his number as it would make it terribly awkward at work, and he’ll just find another way to contact me. Thanks to very slack security measures in my workplace henry also knows where I live.
He is very close to the men in the office, and quite a few of the women. It will be spun as if I’m the heartless bitch who blocked him and complained to management purely for him wanting to be my ‘friend’. It would make work absolute hell to be honest!
Luckily I have another job lined up which I’m due to start in around 6 weeks, so I don’t have to put up with this forever. I’m just getting worried as he’s getting more and more intense, I don’t know him that well at all, so how do I know that he won’t take it too far one day? What if desperation drives him to do something?
I have 6 shifts left with him where we’ll be left alone for around an hour together, and I’m dreading them. The last message I had off him was along the lines of me making things “weird” by not replying to him.
Any advice please? This is really bothering me.
Is your other job completely separate? If you're definitely leaving maybe think again about speaking to your manager. I would also, firmly, tell him to knock it off. "Stop messaging me all the time, you're making me uncomfortable". Message it so that you have a record.
Message him to not contact you again. If he does report to police as harassment. Likewise if he comes near your home.
Don't bother about what anyone else thinks. Chances are they are weirded out too.
Go off sick for 6 weeks with stress?
Thank goodness you're leaving. That's obsessive & I'd feel worried too. I'd have another very firm word saying he's being too full on, as from experience, men like that take tact & being nice as 'try harder'. Can you have your partner call you when you are on shift alone with him? Or, could a friend or relative call by on pretext to 'drop something off' just so you don't feel too alone?
Stand up to him! Tell him loudly and publicly that he is harassing you and his messages are inappropriate and unwanted. Why wouldn’t you?
I think you need to block him. If you’re only there another 6 weeks maybe block anybody there you don’t much fancy staying in touch with and then say you’re phone must be playing up as it doesn’t seem to be getting messages from lots of people.
Alternatively I think you just have to be very clear and say to Henry that you don’t check your phone at home and won’t be replying to his messages so can he please stop sending them. I would definitely ignore every message as if you ignore 10 but reply to the 11th it just reinforces in him that if he keeps trying eventually you reply. So the only way to make him eventually give up is to ignore every single message. Maybe again say your phone is broken and you can’t reply to messages if that helps.
And don’t ffs go off sick with stress! Apart from the fact that you are giving him all the power by doing that, you risk getting a poor reference
Go to HR and show them the text messages, ask them to deal with this - it’s part of their role
I’m sorry this is happening to you, what a cunt.
I think you need to get management involved I'm afraid. Text him to stop contacting you for anything not directly related to work (and put in that his persistence is making you uncomfortable in case he does show other people!) and ask management to change shifts so you are not alone with him.
Please don't feel bad about doing this. That's how people get away with it. It's his actions that are the problem- not your reaction. And the chances are that he will do this to someone else - your telling management may help someone in the future.
You have nothing to lose in this scenario, as you will be leaving either way. So I would message him clearly that his messages are unwanted and that you have no interest in any relationship with him beyond being colleagues.
Then, if he persists, report him and show all the messages he's sent
What a pest! Stand up to him.
It’s drummed into us to be nice and not rock the boat but you REALLY don’t need to put up with this shit. It’ll be hard to tell him straight but you’ll feel so much better. Remember, it’s not you making things awkward, it’s him.
If Henry does this again it will be on file that this is a repeat behaviour pattern, don’t ignore this and let someone else also suffer
Speak to your manager or the owner. You should not have to put up with this.
I would also suggest calling ACAS
I also don’t think going off sick with stress is that crazy an idea tbh. You’re scared he’s going to “do something out of desperation”. How fucking dare he make you feel this way
OP has said there is no HR dept.
Skim read and missed this
I’d copy what you’ve typed in your op (change ‘Henry’, obvs ) and paste into an email to HR, and your manager. With screen shots of the messages. How can that possibly be spun any way other than that you’re being blatantly harassed?
OP has already said there is no HR department so not sure why pps are suggesting that. Did they not read the actual OP?
You have told him that you aren't interested in him as anything other than a colleague but he isn't listening so you need to block him. If he persists with this by finding other ways to contact you report him to your bosses, threaten to go to the police and why on earth shouldn't your partner have a word on your behalf if that's going to make him stop?
At the moment you are finding reasons why every way of getting him to stop aren't going to work because you are so desperate to avoid confrontation but he isn't making it possible to avoid confrontation. Not blocking him is tantamount to telling him that deep down you like it really but you owe him nothing. Stop being so polite and be very clear that you don't like this and need it to stop - why are his feelings more important than yours???
Aaargh, no HR. Just the Manager then.
Why not just message back something like "no offence but you're making it weird by messaging me all the time, can you just knock it off for a bit? Thanks".
Then put in writing to manager that Henry is harassing op and it needs to be dealt with pronto or police will be involved
He operates on the basis that a) you'll be too nice to stand up to him and make a fuss and b) he's friends with the management and knows you're unlikely to complain and even if you did, he's friends with the management.
Therefore, you do exactly what he's not expecting to you to. Do not be nice. Tell him via message to stop contacting you. Tell him to his face too. And tell the management.
I worked with a sex pest. Everyone was so damned nice about it and I hated it. I caused a total fuss. I was known by management as a PITA but I didn't care! They operate on fear and presumed silence. Fuck that.
You really must escalate this. Do not give a shit about rocking the boat. Show all the messages from him.
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