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Not strictly a lone parent question but you're all usually so nice and im hiding...

(21 Posts)
UnhappyBunny Thu 31-Jul-08 20:23:27

I am a Lone Parent (regular mner) btw but its not a Lone Parent problem iyswim?

I'll try and keep it as brief as possible. Would this bother you?

Being told every morning by email that you are beautiful.
Having your clothes commented on constantly, that you are wearing the colour someone likes.
Same with hair "you're wearing your hair in the way I like it again".
If you dare to look anything other than happy you are interrogated on what is the matter, and it is "my fault..have I done something wrong?"
Being told that you light up someone's day, verbally and by email.
Having someone make every excuse in the book to be in your office, several times a day.
Standing far too close, leaning over your desk so you are physically moving your chair away from them.

A married man who is old enough to be your dad?

I feel slightly totally repulsed by his attention and this has been going on for over a year. This has history, not in the way that you may think, in the way that this person was getting very full on (to the point where he told me he loved me, several times) and totally ignored me when I said he was making me very uncomfortable, carried on with his "wooing" or whatever he thinks it is. It did include gifts and such at the time. In the end I had to blank him completely.

I have to work closely with him, avoiding him made my working atmosphere very difficult and he got quite nasty, sending emails around the office that made him look like a victim, and me like a nasty little snitch. Work related, not personal, but enough to make me look bad in a very manipulative way.

I did tell my boss off record as I dont like to make a fuss, but he seemed to think I was being a bit of a princess. Although very nice about it, he told me that the person in question was a "gentleman" and had strong feelings for me (not sexual) that were causing him to act irrationally. (They are friends).

A few months went by and for the sake of forgive and forget I convinced myself I had been unreasonable and gave said person benefit of the doubt, being friendly as I would to any member of staff. He's now started the same thing, the emails, the comments.

I suffer from depression and anxiety and am starting to think the problem may by mine...but I genuinely feel unable to cope with the situation anymore. To have my looks commented on every day, my clothes etc. I cant imagine my manager being happy if his wife had someone at her work doing this.

Please tell me if im being unreasonable. I've tried applying for other jobs but haven't been successful so far, I cant afford to go back on benefit but I am really considering it anyway because I find it so hard to drag myself out of bed in the morning knowing I have another day of practically being stalked. This man is making me so unhappy that I dread work, but I cant afford not to work. Im stuck.

Any advice would be welcome, im feeling awful and cant see any way out of this without it getting nasty sad.

Kewcumber Thu 31-Jul-08 20:28:09

awful situation. I think you have to be much fimrer with him.

IE "if you make any more personal comments to me I will have to make a formal complaint. You might think it is flattering but I find it creepy. What does your wife think of your behaviour? Does she know"

I think you also need to tell your boss you are going to say that to him and say if he is such a good friend that he will warn him off for all your sakes. Tell him that both of them might think it is nice but it is intimidating you and you will make a grieevance for both bullying and sexual harassment.

Alternatively could you find a female co-worker and confide in her? Get her to hang around you more?

Kewcumber Thu 31-Jul-08 20:29:22

Or say that on an email and copy your boss. Count the number of emaisl he has sent you saying you are beautiful and say that alone is harassment in anyones book.

snotbuster Thu 31-Jul-08 20:30:21

It's a 'sexual harassment' problem isn't it? Sounds like you work for a small company - your boss shouldn't be expecting you to put up with it though. Sorry - don't have any real advice except maybe try CAB? Bumping for you.

MissDown Thu 31-Jul-08 20:33:00

I agree with Kewcumber. Keep the e-mails he has sent you and just explain to him that this is harrassment.

I had a similar situation recently but no where near as bad. I took the lad aside and told him exactly how he made me feel and said if I make a complaint about you how will your wife feel.

Are you entitled to sick pay? If your depression is bad couldnt you ask your GP for a sick note? Give yourself some breathing space for a week or two?

MissDown Thu 31-Jul-08 20:34:15

Or get him alone n knee him in the b*&£!""s lol

ConstanceWearing Thu 31-Jul-08 20:38:06

If he already knows that his behaviour freaks you out, he lives in cloud cukooland to keep it up.

I don't know much about psychology, but you are not interested, and yet he still equates the colours you wear, or the style of your hear, as something to do with him and his preferences. It's freaky. And it is sexual harrassment which is out and out illegal, no matter what your boss (his friend) says.

ConstanceWearing Thu 31-Jul-08 20:38:49

hair lol

UnhappyBunny Thu 31-Jul-08 20:57:49

I have kept some of the emails but its difficult sneaking them out, we have a shared printer. Not a small company, in fact a nationwide company.

It is so difficult. My boss is lovely but really cant see it. Constance, I do feel like if I style my hair in the way that's easiest for me (ie curly, far less effort in a morning than straightening it), well that's the way he likes it and it seems like encouraging him, but obviously im not, it just takes 45 minutes less! Its difficult enough getting the kids out of the door without having to worry about straightening my hair to put someone off ffs sad

MissDown Thu 31-Jul-08 21:05:14

If it is a national company why dont you speak to someone higher up? or in a different branch?
You should not have to dress to put someone off thats not right, explain to someone from a different branch what is going on and see if they can help. Explain to your boss first though and let him know that as they are friends you think it will complicate things.
Thats what my SIL did and her issue got resolved.

mankymummy Thu 31-Jul-08 21:08:56

forward all the emails to a friend or your home account then you dont have to print them off.

schedule a meeting with this man and your boss and state your concerns nicely and just say you would rather thing remained professional.

has he ever done this to anyone else?

UnhappyBunny Thu 31-Jul-08 21:15:19

I know I should speak to someone higher up, but he's well liked in our office and jokingly known as a ladies man. The email he sent (as mentioned) made me look like a complete cow. Im new compared to the rest of them (only two years service). Comments were made (from a senior female member of staff) which made me think I was being unreasonable and couldn't take a joke. But it isn't a joke, they dont get the mails that I do and dont know about them. One he sent today was marked as strictly personal. sad

UnhappyBunny Thu 31-Jul-08 21:18:38

If I forward them MM, would it prove anything really or just look like i'd made them up from my work account..sorry for the stupid question but would his account appear on them being an internal company mail?

mankymummy Thu 31-Jul-08 21:39:19

well i think it would be enough if you present them to him to make him stop.

can you speak to someone in HR if your boss will not take you seriously?

MissDown Thu 31-Jul-08 22:26:24

If you forward an e-mail it generally has the original senders details on it, at least it has in my experience. You can always try it and see. I dont care if you been there 2 days, 2 years or 200 blinking years, no one deserves to be made to feel the way you are. It does not matter how other people see it, these feelings and concerns are real to you and thats what matters. No one else. Especially no on who would stick up for him!

singledadofthree Thu 31-Jul-08 22:27:09

is this still going on?

dont know why you dont just make an official complaint in writing to the head office. tell them all youve said at local level and its not being taken seriously.

the fella knows you dont like it - certainly knows his wife wouldnt like it - so why havent you done anything?

it isnt your fault and never was - he's just an old pervert...sleezy admirer type.

ThatBigGermanPrison Thu 31-Jul-08 22:34:58

Tell him you have his wife's contact details, and does he feel happy with you printing off and posting these emails to his wife?

Suggest to him that he keeps the emails within the range he considers appropriate to show his wife.

gillybean2 Fri 01-Aug-08 00:51:50

It sounds to me like this has probably been going on for years. There was probably someone else before you that had to go through the same. His friend is trying to convince you he's harmless. Whether he is or not is not the point. He is harassing you and making you feel uncomfortable.

I bet your boss wouldn't be quite so understanding of his friend if it was his own daughter having to go through something like this.

You need to speak to Human Resources and explain how difficult the situation is for you and how you were made out to be the one causing a problem when you tried to deal with this before but that you can't handle it any more and it is making you stressed out and anxious and is unwanted attention. They have to take your complaint seriously.

Forward all emails to your home address so you have a copy incase someone 'accidentally' deletes them from your computer. There will be a record of the emails on his computer account too remember. Also you are within your rights to use an MP3 player to record any conversations, so take one into the office with you and when you see him heading your way switch it on. He doesn't have to know you are recording his behaviour!

If you can't get another job elsewhere is there any chance of being transfered to another office within the company? But you shouldn't have to move or find another job at all. These things are never nice and there will be bad feelings. But if you boss makes things difficult for you that is harassment too.

Just ask him how he would feel if it was his daughter or wife having to put up with this kind of attention day in day out.

Take action. Only you can make this to stop.

solidgoldbrass Fri 01-Aug-08 01:01:00

Yes, forward your emails to your home account, and go straight to HR. Are you a union member? If so, go to your union. This horrible stalking creep has been getting away with it for far too long and needs a full-on disciplinary: he is guilty of harassment, sexual harassment and defamation of character. Tell your own HR that if they don't sort him out you will go to head office.

BrownSuga Fri 01-Aug-08 01:17:34

I feel very sick for you. It's a horrible situation to be in. I've quit a job because of some dickhead at work, that all the females were afraid to be alone with, my manager tried to solve it, but higher ups continued to employ him. So am very sorry you are going through this.

Apart from forwarding his emails to your home account you could also print to pdf as another option. Do you know if you have acrobat read/write on your network? If so, open your email, print, and when it offers a choice of printers it should say adobe pdf. If you print to that it will create a pdf for you. You can then save to one of those thumb drives (small portable 1gb hard drive that you plug into a usb port), and take home with you to save at home. (Sorry if telling you how to suck eggs here)

When the emails print, the header will show it came from him, and he may be less able to try and accuse you of falsifying emails.

Definitely approach HR and put it on record. You have already approached your boss with no joy from him. You can notify him as a courtesy you are going to HR. You should not have to put up with this behaviour.

I wish my workplace had been more communicative, the day I resigned, I found out the arsehole had also resigned! Argh! So hang in there as long as you can.

Alexa808 Fri 01-Aug-08 06:59:47

I'm not a lone parent but will tell my Mum's story.

Before my parents met, my Mum was married before. Her then husband decided he didn't want kids and to cut a long story short she filed for divorce and moved on.

That was in the 60's and she asked her boss to keep schtum about being a divorcee because there was a social stigma attached to it. sad

Either way, the news 'leaked' and she was then being harassed and set upon like fai game. In the end she complained to her boss' boss and HR, threatening legal action should this not stop. The guy then got transferred into another office location and she never saw him again and no one ever commented on it.

If I were you I would

- keep a diary of every single comms and email, stare and smile he gives you (if you haven't done this already, start now and see how much you can accurately remember)

- make an appointment with HR and bring said diary, priont out of mails, gifts you already accepted, etc.

- instruct HR to make a note in his personal record

- also make sure you tell HR you informed your direct superior but he didn't do anything about it

(These records are 'silent records' IYSWIM, the people accused will not be notified first time round, but if they do it again, thn their whole folders will be pulled out and because it's a second time, actions will be taken

- do not accept any more gifts from him

- ignore him and if he doesn't get it, tell him again you feel uncomfortable and he should respect your privacy

Poor you. Do not let him harass you out of your job. Stand up for yourself and make sure they know you mean business. God luck!

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