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To call in sick tomorrow even though my boss will know it's a lie?

(147 Posts)
PSILoveWine Tue 15-Oct-19 20:35:24

I am looking for an outside perspective on an issue that is causing me a great deal of stress and anxiety, please help, I am being as open as possible so it may be long.
Basically, one of my much older male colleagues decided to take a huge dislike to me a few months ago, despite previously liking me and being friendly, that was until (i believe) a new person started; this involved him walking out of every room I entered, refusing to enter any room I was in and making nasty remarks in my earshot that where obviously aimed at me, also; on a number of occasions he would make a show of being overly friendly to other colleagues as if to make me jealous he liked them and not me.
I spoke to said colleague in private several times to ask what the issue was and if i had ever done anything to upset him, in order to resolve things, each and every time he assured me there was no issue at all and I did nothing to upset him, then the same behaviour would happen again a few days later.
I put it down to him just not liking me and decided to ignore.
Until last week he made an accusatory comment about me to a much loved coworker as I was standing next to her. He implied that she should not trust me (I'm being polite)!
Anyway, I felt like this should not be ignored and decided, politely, in front of our boss to ask him why he made this comment!
Well I wish I hadn't because he started seriously shouting and swearing at me, throwing accusations and name calling,saying that I am evil and I talk about everyone behind their back and then try and get them on side.
I was so upset and genuinely frightened (as this man apparently HATES any kind of swearing) that I walked out of work that day!
I am certainly no angel but I have never spoken badly about anyone in my work! Yes I moan, like we all do, but I would never be nasty or bitchy; in our work when there is an issue we speak to each other and resolve it, much like I have tried with this man several times.
Well the next day we were sat in front of each other by management and I asked him what I have ever said about any other colleague and when and he could not answer it, I didn't think he could because it was a blatant lie!
Well basically tomorrow he is due back at work and I do not want to go in as I feel sick and scared, I feel like this man has planted a hugely unjustified seed in my coworkers minds, which I have felt over the past few days with their interactions with me.
I can't face work, my anxiety is so through the roof and I cannot face this man tomorrow I am scared!!!
AIBU?

CottonSock Tue 15-Oct-19 20:37:58

No you are not. Have you got someone you can call in HR? Are you in a union?

TORDEVAN Tue 15-Oct-19 20:41:48

Is he coming back after a period of time off as a punishment for what he did to you?

I think YANBU, I would talk to HR and try to go to the doctor to be signed off due to the anxiety

Sallyseagull Tue 15-Oct-19 20:43:40

YANBU in how you feel but calling in sick wont solve this as you cant do that forever.

If I were you, I would speak with HR and say exactly what you've said to us - *I feel sick and scared, I feel like this man has planted a hugely unjustified seed in my coworkers minds, which I have felt over the past few days with their interactions with me.
I can't face work, my anxiety is so through the roof*

MissBPotter Tue 15-Oct-19 20:46:35

Say that you can’t face going in because he is causing you mental health issues ie anxiety due to his aggressive and nasty behavior to you which is totally unjustified.

I can’t really understand why he is behaving like this though?!?

Cuddling57 Tue 15-Oct-19 20:47:38

Difficult one.
Do you feel like you need to see the doctor?
Could you meet with hr or your boss and discuss it all?
If it were me I would front it out with my chin up and my big girl pants on - whilst desperately looking for another job (not that you should have to). I would inform HR of the issues. Be polite to everyone whilst staying in the background but working hard all the same.

itsalwaysunny Tue 15-Oct-19 20:48:03

From an emotional point of view then no YANBU, you have been made to feel uncomfortable and anxious in work and that's not acceptable. You could potentially take some time off and have the doctors sign you off sick. But I'm not entirely sure practically what that would do for you. It depends if you want to stay in this job, if you do then you should go in, take with you a letter or email for hr/your boss explaining the whole situation and why you feel very uncomfortable and how you weren't sure you were even going to be in work today because of the anxiety this colleague has caused. State that they haven't been able to provide any evidence as to why they are treating you this way, and even if they had, their behaviour is completely unprofessional and shouldn't impact on yours or anybody else's ability to come into work and do your job. Explain that you will matain a civil and professional relationship with this person and won't engage in anything further to do with the gossip that this colleagues discuss about you. That way you are putting your case forward and getting your version of everything down in writing and on record so if anything comes back from this colleague you can just refer them straight to hr or management. I would also keep a note of everytime you hear or see anything that this colleague is doing to intimidate or bully you so you have a copy should you need it.

If you don't want to carry on working there then yes you could just sign off on sick leave whilst you look for another job, this might be more difficult though in terms of pay and gaining a reference.

Either way I don't think the answer is to to feel bullied out of your place of work, you need to remain calm and strong and don't give in to this horrible colleague! Good luck!!! flowersflowersgin

PinkiOcelot Tue 15-Oct-19 20:50:31

Ahhhh that awful OP. I don’t blame you for feeling like that, I would too. You have to go in though.
He sounds like a horrible man. How old is he? Could there be something wrong with him? Not that I’m excusing him mind.
Go in tomorrow, head held high. Contact HR and find out their stance on things. Good luck xx

Pantalaimon88 Tue 15-Oct-19 20:57:58

If this is making you incredibly anxious and depressed, then you wouldn’t be lying by phoning in sick.

Be 100% honest - you are too anxious to come to work and the behaviour of your colleague is making you feel extremely ill.

PSILoveWine Tue 15-Oct-19 20:59:56

Thanks guys!
@CottonSock Unfortunately my work place is so small with few staff there is no HR or union.

@TORDEVAN Well no, he behaved very unprofessionally through the meeting, in which he was told to go home, so yes in a way, but not directly to do with me.

@MissBPotter I cannot understand his behaviour either, I have cried over it, thinking I am a bad person, I feel so ostracised due to his actions and have wondered if I would be better just quitting work.

He does have form for falling out with others, I feel like I must be the first to pull him up on it. I am 27 he is 59 at a guess.

ScabbyBabby Tue 15-Oct-19 21:00:29

I was thinking he may have dementia or something similar?

Butchyrestingface Tue 15-Oct-19 21:03:56

What action is your work taking against him and to protect you?

Morgenrot Tue 15-Oct-19 21:05:00

It's a valid reason to be off sick. Don't feel guilty

JammieCodger Tue 15-Oct-19 21:08:42

It’s not a lie really, is it. Tell your manager you’ll be taking the day off as you are suffering from stress and anxiety.

Lifeisabeach09 Tue 15-Oct-19 21:10:52

He sounds paranoid. Sounds like he has MH issues and has singled you out. I mean who uses the term 'evil.' He sounds unbalanced. Watch your back.

Chocolateandamaretto Tue 15-Oct-19 21:11:36

OP I am sorry you are feeling like this and I would absolutely want to do the same in your shoes. However, if there is any way at all you can make it in tomorrow I think it is in your long term interests to do so.
Is there any way you can speak to someone senior before you are due in tomorrow? (I appreciate it’s quite late in the day now!)
As a pp said, read back to them what you have said here about feeling sick and scared and how he has made you feel wrt interactions with other colleagues. Ask them how they intend to ensure he will not continue to make you feel threatened in the workplace. Use words like threatened and frightened- it is important they understand the severity of his actions towards you. Explain that you cannot continue to fulfill your role if his behaviour continues as is.
If you can’t speak to them beforehand request to speak to a manager as a matter of urgency when you get in.

Lifeisabeach09 Tue 15-Oct-19 21:11:40

And, yes, go off sick. Cite anxiety and stress.

PSILoveWine Tue 15-Oct-19 21:13:11

@Butchyrestingface I believe he has had a warning and my boss told me today that he will be watching out for me which is nice, but I can't justifiably make a complaint when I know he will make a low level comment tomorrow about me, which I know he will, he could argue it was nothing to do with me, that is how petty this man is...

I really wish he didn't hate me.. I am a generally quiet person who opens up when comfortable, and I have opened up with these guys I work with, I think they are all great!!
This guy though.. I have never gave him a reason to dislike me, I have always been lovely to him!

katseyes7 Tue 15-Oct-19 21:14:21

Did he actually shout at you in front of your boss, OP? Or was he sneaky about it and confront you later? l'm just asking because if he did, you have a witness.
l'd say you're well within your rights to go sick - feeling stressed and scared to go into work is awful. No one should have to live like that. lf he was actually told to go home because of the way he behaved in the meeting, then you have ammunition to back up your case. You say you're the first person who's ever stood up to him - that explains a lot. He's a bully and doesn't like being shown up as one. Please see your GP and take this further at work. Don't even think about leaving. He's the one in the wrong, not you. Good luck x

PSILoveWine Tue 15-Oct-19 21:15:56

@JammieCodger thank you

katseyes7 Tue 15-Oct-19 21:15:57

Oh, by the way, OP - keep a journal. Write down everything he says or does to make you feel uncomfortable. Date and time it, that gives you evidence for the future. l'm saying this as an ex manager.

SpiderCharlotte Tue 15-Oct-19 21:16:57

I absolutely understand what you are feeling and you need to put your mental and emotional health first. BUT no bloody way would I let anyone bully me into not going to work. You've done nothing wrong.

justasking111 Tue 15-Oct-19 21:17:08

Your colleagues must be in shock at this, not thinking badly of you. Can you phone ACAS for advice. When you go in if he says anything and I mean anything, raise it immediately with your boss.

Honeyroar Tue 15-Oct-19 21:17:29

Did your management not address it at the time or when you were made to sit down together? Did they speak to you when you went home? How long ago was all this? I think you should try and have a discussion with your manager about how worried and upset you are.

Mummyshark2019 Tue 15-Oct-19 21:18:41

They should sack him for that behaviour. I wouldn't go in.

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