My Sweet Husband is being bullied at work, and i cant help him

(17 Posts)
Pass1818 Tue 27-Nov-18 19:22:51

Hi all,
My husband has been with his current employer for a little over a year. He loved it and got on with everyone.
There was one guy there, that got very carried away with practical jokes with my husband, like, putting condoms (that was made to look used) all over his vehicle, pull his own pants down and rub his bottom all over my husbands seat, jump out from corners and scare my husband, to the point OH (husband) fell down the stairs... all this was in front of others. This did see the guy in trouble as he videoed himself scaring my OH and put it on social media. He ended up with a final written warning. But because of this, all the bullying was brought to managements attention and although OH made a statement, he decided to give the guy the benefit of the doubt and dropped it.
However, management decided to send an email out and a few of OH colleagues got wind of this email and now 5 of them are not talking to him (we are talking weeks) makes snidey comments to him and word has it, have been plotting to 'engineer' an incident which will undoubtedly be so my OH would lose his job.
At hearing that my OH decided to let management know of the rumour, purely to cover his own back. However, management are now turning on OH, asking of he is paranoid, that he could make the effort with the 5 men not talking to him.
My OH just called me and ive never heard him so low. Im scared for him, scared for our family. The job is a good job (no prospects but thats the nature of the job) good money, and fits in with our home routine.
What can i do? How can i make this better for him? More to the point, how can he make it better for him without him having to leave his job?

Im very worried

OP’s posts: |
tempname111 Tue 27-Nov-18 21:21:42

How awful for him sad Some questions so folk can be best placed to advise-

What type of industry is it? Well known company or independent set up? Is there a union and if so, is he in it or can he join?

ACAS is usually a good port of call for advice.

Encourage him to keep a diary of events. Does he use email at work? If so could he email his management so that there's a "paper trail" of what he has done to report the incidents and what response he got (if any)

Can he start looking for other jobs now? I know he shouldn't have to etc but it won't hurt to have something ticking away in the background, especially as he has under two years service.

Pass1818 Wed 28-Nov-18 06:48:38


Its quite a male set up industry. He works in distribution for a very well known company.
They dont have a union but we pay into a union anyway so can use them.
No work email as its outside based work but he is certainly looking already.
Its just gutting as this works so well for our home life, i worry how a new job will disrupt our routine. His line of work can be very insociable hours and various finish times.

Too top this off, ive just had a IVF cycle royally fail and having to not only go through the pain and upset of it not working but having to make it formal at the clinic also, makes OH homes life pretty crap too 😔

OP’s posts: |
Alfie190 Wed 28-Nov-18 11:31:49

My husband was being bullied a couple of years ago. Not in the same way, it was his boss being very unreasonable. I know bullies should be challenged etc, but we decided that the best thing to do was for him to leave.

I had just left a job as I wanted to start a venture, but I gave it up in order to return to proper employment so that my husband could resign without having anything else to go to. He had a couple of months off, but then started contracting which he has been doing ever since.

HoleyCoMoley Wed 28-Nov-18 12:27:53

If he wants to stay there call ACAS for advice, if he doesn't want to work with a bunch of halfwit schoolyard bullies then he should leave, go off sick, there are plenty of seasonal jobs at the moment, post office, warehouses, retail, bus drivers.

uncoolnn Wed 28-Nov-18 12:52:17

I don't have any advice OP but how awful for your husband. Some people sad

maxelly Wed 28-Nov-18 15:52:13

Oh dear OP, I am sorry to hear this. In hindsight (and of course that's a beautiful thing!) that was probably a mistake withdrawing his statement/formal grievance as he now has all the dis-benefit of his colleagues victimising him for complaining, but possibly management have written him off as flaky/paranoid. But you are where you are now, I think he now needs to be covering himself and looking after number 1. How seriously (in the cold light of day, not when panicking/emotional) does he take this 'threat' of being framed in an incident, is that something that could easily happen, is it just these guys being loud mouthed as they've been challenged and not something likely to be acted upon - after all seems like they'd be running quite a risk themselves to set someone up like that? Does any of this have any basis in racial/religious or other discriminatory characteristics?

If I was him, I'd do the following things:

-Seek union advice, asap.
-Start a diary of any comments, digs, 'jokes' etc, any unwanted behaviour. Write down the detail of who said what, when, where, did anyone overhear. This is all evidence if he does want to pursue this further.
-Try to keep his head down at work and do not listen to 'gossip' or rumours, even if well meant. Keep interactions with the bullies minimal, make sure he is not alone with them if possible, practice the 'grey rock' technique and moving to another room or space if they start on him.
-Cover himself very carefully, more so than he normally would, make sure all work documentation etc. is completely up to date and he documents/lets his manager know in advance about anything that is remotely risky - in case he is 'framed' for any errors or similar.
-Consider raising a second grievance/formal complaint about the behaviour since the first complaint, particularly if he has anything concrete to go on like a witness to this threat to try and frame him, or even someone prepared to make an anonymous witness statement about it.
-Look for another job, asap. Life is too short for this stress!

Pass1818 Wed 28-Nov-18 16:21:43

Thanks all.

Unfortunately, just quitting his job, a month before Christmas (or at any point) isnt an option unless there is something to go too.
He is keeping a diary and he showed this manager who, didnt really take much notice. My husband told me today he actually cried to this manager last night, well, his words were, 'I got upset' and yet, he got nothing back. To them, my husband is the easiest option to resolve the problem and by that, i mean, him leaving. Why the bloody hell should he!?! Im so angry.

The threat in the grand scheme of things is probably not going to be followed through... but then we dont expect this kind of behaviour from grown men, parents FFS... So for us, we are not taking it lightly and told the management of this purely to cover my husbands arse.

OP’s posts: |
wowfudge Thu 29-Nov-18 16:35:13

The problem is weak management and sadly it can take more than one person costing the company money by taking them to tribunal to get anything to change. But, the effect on someone's mental health can negate the benefits. He should look for another job. You'd rather make adjustments to your home life and routine than him have a breakdown, wouldn't you?

PerpendicularVincent Thu 29-Nov-18 20:38:45

I agree with wowfudge, no job is worth his mental health, and if he's in tears at work then it must be pretty bad.

Does he have an up to date cv so that he can register with agencies? Are you working OP, so that you can financially support him for a bit whilst he looks for something suitable?

I was bullied in a job and it ended up with me on anti depressants, not sleeping a c in tears every day. Nothing is worth that.

Pass1818 Thu 29-Nov-18 21:02:58

Yeah, i know what you mean. Nothing is worth that. However, i would think we would equally be miserable if he quit with no job to go too... its just not that simple.
My job wouldnt cover our outgoings, we would be making ourselves bankrupt if we chose that route so isnt an option.

OH applied and got another job last week, however, the pay was drastically lower and he would be working more hours.

He spoke to his union rep today, unfortunately, he cant even go for constructive dismissal as he hasnt worked there 2 years, his only current option is to put in a grievance. So he is having a think about it bit he doesnt like the idea of putting in a grievance against the whole management team for not managing this situation and still working there, he wont get sick pay either. Seems like a catch 22 whichever way we turn. All because of a bunch of immature, nasty, horrible men!

OP’s posts: |
Eilaianne Fri 30-Nov-18 09:51:22

NO job is worth what your husband is going through.

I've never normally advocate doing this but I'd be going along to the GP, getting signed off (so even if unpaid, technically still employed), using the time to recover and getting a new job - honestly OP some of the stuff you're describing takes years to recover from, I feel so sorry for your DH.

no job that fits with a family routine, ok pay etc is worth this. absolutely not worth it at all.

Pass1818 Sat 01-Dec-18 07:13:00

Im sorry but not getting paid is just not an option to which my husband is the one that is enforcing this but i do agree. We would fall behind on our rent plus the bullies would be winning.
I appreciate the advice but it isnt so easy to 'quit' a job with a steady income with nothing to go to... for me, that isnt a responsible decision that is the best for us and our family.

That said mind, management sent an email out on Wednesday basically saying that we need to be kind to one another, that although not seeing eye to eye, that they should all talk to each other and consider everyone's feelings, and put 'can you spot depression?'
Well, it strangely seems to have done the trick as all 5 are now back talking to OH after weeks of blanking him! A few went up to him (separate occasions) and said they didnt want it to be like this and could they just let it go.
Obviously, OH is wary. He says it seems fake but he may be misinterpreting that as Awkward. Ive told him to take it for what it is but dont let his guard down.

I cant tell you what a relief it is

OP’s posts: |
MyNameIsJane Sat 01-Dec-18 07:25:51

Good to hear. Being bullied at work makes you feel so isolated.

NeedAUsernameGenerator Sat 01-Dec-18 07:49:13

This sounds good. I think if he hangs in there it will blow over with the 5 non-bullies and if the bully does anything again then he should pursue a formal complaint. They will feel awkward and embarassed but the apology is a good sign.

daisychain01 Sat 01-Dec-18 09:27:06

It sounds like the nessage has got through and jolted them into a sense of reality.

Bullying dynamics are complex but can build momentum due to pack mentality. I expect the '5' have seen that their personal livelihood could be at risk and have decided to back off.

Your DH is wise to remain guarded and professional. He doesn't need to be their pal and he has now slightly the upper hand as they are all on a 'red card.

BertyFlanter Sat 01-Dec-18 17:25:09

Pleased to hear things are better. @Pass1818 would it be possible for your DH to send an email to management thanking them for the email and saying, as of now following conversations with the 5, things are better and he is happy with the outcome. Attach copies of all his evidence so far and notes of the conversations with the 5. Then if anything happens in the future it is all together on one email in direct response to the management email (which was them pretty much admitting they accept your DH was being treated badly).
Cover his arse just in case...

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