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And he's done it again

(54 Posts)
PecanSandy Sat 08-Aug-15 17:14:47

I posted about a blow-up with a good friend a few weeks ago.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/2428409-Confronted-with-the-ugly-side-of-my-character

we are now abroad on a training course with another colleague. two more are arriving this weekend. The first three of us were having lunch together the other day and I don't know what set him off, but he started in on me again. I have carefully avoided discussing anything personal with him since the last time. I feel he's tried to get a rise out of me several times since by referring to dating or men but I have brushed it off and smilingly asked him to give me a break. Anyway in the restaurant, he started it again. I was embarrassed as our colleague was there and asked him several times to stop and to give me a break. But he kept on, claimed I had insulted him the previous day (I couldn't even remember saying what he claimed I had) and informed me and everyone else within a mile radius that I have no interest in making friends with women and that I only look at men, and then only at their ring finger. This was accompanied by gesticulation and hand waving and pointing. I asked him a low voice to stop, I said i wasn't having this conversation again and again all month, and he snarled, "Oh poor you! Poor you!"

At this point I burst into tears and had to leave the table. When I came back he said "oh everything is my fault isn't it". I apologized to our colleague, who suggested we continue the meal in silence. He didn't speak to me again and left before us. I'm mortified, I didn't want to create awkwardness among our group (I think it was assumed we would meet up for meals and such), but I feel I am finished with him. He could apologize to me, but it seems he feels entitled to rip me apart, and I'm not having it.

I texted him to say it would be better for us to avoid contact. I haven't discussed this with colleague, who is being very tactful. I'm not someone who cries easily (though I am a bit depressed and wobbly lately) but his comments are so mean and uncalled for and he'll just do it again. As I said, he seems to feel entitled.

Am I being a bitch? Should I have done something different? Is it horrible to just cut someone off like this? Why are we acting like teenagers? I didn't even do this shit as a teenager! I don't see what else to do. But I feel terrible.

magoria Sat 08-Aug-15 17:19:33

If you are work colleagues report it to your HR.

He is being vile to you and making other work colleagues uncomfortable.

It is rude, unprofessional and maybe even bullying.

Annarose2014 Sat 08-Aug-15 17:21:25

So this guy works with you? This occurred on a work mandated course in front of another colleague?

At this stage you should be talking to HR once you got home. His behaviour is innapropriate and unprofessional. It doesn't matter that you consider yourself friends (though God knows why as he's a loser) - it still remains a matter for HR. They aren't there just for colleagues who don't know each other, you know.

Also, it appears he feels free to ignore your distress. Perhaps HR will be harder to ignore.

Thetruthshallmakeyefret Sat 08-Aug-15 17:23:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Flangeshrub Sat 08-Aug-15 17:23:42

He's a bully. He should be disciplined. How awful for you.

Ahemily Sat 08-Aug-15 17:25:45

Agree with PP. This is bullying, OP. Poor you. sad

NoelHeadbands Sat 08-Aug-15 17:28:39

Does he fancy you?

gamerchick Sat 08-Aug-15 17:29:57

He's a dick. You work with this person? Complain about him man.

He's certainly not worth crying over though, you need a different approach to how you react.

In one of my last jobs the other 2 I worked with started to try and bully me to the point I banged in a grievance. I used to wear a pair of beets headphones around my neck not plugged into anything so when one of them started I made a point of smiling, putting them over my ears and 'switch on music'.

Have you ever looked at someone and could really see the top of their heads blowing off? It still makes me chuckle.

Don't react, go through the proper channels and get him reigned in but in the meantime ignore him completely. Let him make a cock out of himself in front of other people.

And keep a log of every single thing he does or say.

PecanSandy Sat 08-Aug-15 17:32:48

It's not exactly a work-mandated trip. we both work in the same very large organisation, but in different units. We are on a language course that meets during work hours, and get support to spend time in the country where the language is spoken. We can choose any course we like within certain limits. the reason we are both here is that he felt unable (a few months after partner died) to deal with the paperwork to come here last summer or to go off to a course alone. I helped him get organised. We didn't know each other that well before, but I spent a lot of time with him and tried to be supportive.

I know he has had a hard time and is also worried about a friend back home.

we wouldn't have that much contact at work if we weren't in the course together. It's a small group and we always go for coffee together and sometimes do things outside of work. Up til now it's been great.

I wouldn't complain to HR as this happened outside our workplace in a personal setting. Personality clashes happen in our job but as long as it doesn't interfere with the work nobody cares.

guzzlewump Sat 08-Aug-15 17:34:00

The next times you have to be with him in a situation where he could turn on you I'd have your phone ready and record your conversations so if he turns on you again you can just show it to hr to demonstrate how wrong his behaviour is.

I'd also preface all conversations with a bland line about hoping he's not going to embarrass you or your colleagues again and is able to behave like a grown up. If he does attack again, try turning to your colleagues, saying that you find this behaviour tiresome and don't want to listen to more drivel; do they want to come with you to the lounge for a coffee/ ask for a new table/back to the training room/etc so that he gets left by himself.

pocketsaviour Sat 08-Aug-15 17:37:07

I wouldn't complain to HR as this happened outside our workplace in a personal setting.

Actually legally from what you describe this was a work setting, and I would raise it with HR.

If nothing else, his behaviour is erratic and could point to some mental health problems, so you could bring it up as a concern.

... I probably would have thrown my drink in his face TBH.

FantasticButtocks Sat 08-Aug-15 17:39:40

With friends like this... He is not good friend material and seems to get a kick out of putting you down. Needs to make you feel bad in order to feel good himself. Some people, the more you get to know them, the more they reveal of themselves, the less you like them. He's one of those I'm afraid. sad

PecanSandy Sat 08-Aug-15 17:42:30

So nobody thinks I am handling this wrong? I have been avoiding him. Thank God, we are not in the same class. And there are a couple hundred people on the course overall so not too hard.

Thetruthshallmakeyefret Sat 08-Aug-15 17:53:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LazyLouLou Sat 08-Aug-15 18:48:11

But I really would advise that you let someone up the food chain know about it. Line manager or HR, just so that you have it documented.

Thetruthshallmakeyefret Sat 08-Aug-15 19:06:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PiecesOfCake Sat 08-Aug-15 19:18:55

What Noelheadbands said.

PecanSandy Sun 09-Aug-15 09:57:07

Thanks everyone for your comments.

NoelHeadbands, no, he's gay.

someone mentioned mental health issues, and in fact his comments the other day were not just offensive, they were bizarre. I don't talk to women? I go around checking for wedding rings? And this after he said, as we entered the restaurant, that we should sit outside "because there's a guy sitting alone out there and he smiled at you two".

By way of context, yes we do discuss relationships in our group, and another one of our colleagues has offered jokingly to set the singles up, or to find out whether another guy at work was straight and available - all lighthearted.

I don't want to talk about it with other colleagues on the course. They have to judge for themselves, it seems like talking behind his back. Ugh, it's so awkward and I feel terrible because of course I would rather be on good terms with people.

PecanSandy Sun 09-Aug-15 18:37:52

One of the other colleagues has arrived and they are all going to dinner together. She's lovely and I would love to see her, but Mr Judgey Soul-Destroyer is going to be there and it would be just be awful. I suppose. I guess he respects them more and wouldn't dare to make the same kind of remark. Or wouldn't feel he needed to. Feeling a bit like the only kid not invited to the party, but I guess I should expect to eat alone for the rest of the month.
sad

Snowberry86 Sun 09-Aug-15 18:50:29

I would go with them, sit yourself away from him and ignore everything he says to you. If he verbally attacks you again the others will see his true colours for themselves.

Try and emotionally close yourself off from him. He is a nasty piece of work and the sooner he is outed to the others the better.

I agree with Snowberry, don't let him bully you.

I love your nn btw, an Always Sunny in Philly reference?

AcrossthePond55 Sun 09-Aug-15 22:02:34

For some reason unknown, this shit has decided to make you his 'target' to vent all his frustrations and sorrow on. It is harassment, plain and simple. And just because you aren't actively in the office doesn't make it not work related. And because many of his comments are regarding your supposed interest in 'pursuing' men, it could be considered sexual harassment (i.e. creating a hostile 'work environment').

I'd avoid him as much as possible and report the situation to a higher up when you get back. But, if he persists, I would tell him quietly and privately that you consider what he is doing to be workplace related harassment and that you WILL be reporting it so he'd better stop.

Please don't avoid social situations on your course just to stay out of his way. Warn him, then carry a pad and pen. If he says anything after you've warned him, whip it out and start writing.

BTW, you need to sit down and write a statement of what he has said to you so far, dates and places too, as best as you recall.

Gabilan Sun 09-Aug-15 22:47:06

"someone mentioned mental health issues, and in fact his comments the other day were not just offensive, they were bizarre. I don't talk to women? I go around checking for wedding rings? And this after he said, as we entered the restaurant, that we should sit outside "because there's a guy sitting alone out there and he smiled at you two". "

Don't confuse "having mental health problems" with "being a total wanker".

Isetan Sun 09-Aug-15 22:54:30

Stop acting like your responsible for this dick, whatever his problem is, it has nothing to do with you. If other colleagues aren't on the receiving end of his bile it's not because he respects them more but most likely, he has assessed them as a higher risk at calling him on his poor behaviour.

The only way to deal with bullies is to call them on their shit in a 'Don't fuck with me tone', no more 'low tone' and feeling you need protect colleagues from the atmosphere his unpleasantness causes, by hiding.

It wouldn't surprise me if this man didn't have previous form for bullying. Please don't let this idiot ruin your trip.

HeyDuggee Sun 09-Aug-15 23:05:47

I'm not sure all the HR advice people have read your other thread. You have a personal relationship (friensship) outside the workplace. You may be on a course together, but are not required or expected to socialise together. In fact, as you're suppose to be immersing yourself in another language in this foreign country (which is part of the experience your company is paying for) it's a bit counter productive to stick together in your safe little work group in your off time.

If you were in a remote place, team building retreat, at a conference where you are expected to network ... Very valid to be socialising with your work colleagues. On a language course abroad, getting into an arguement with a friend who also works within the same large firm... Er, well it's not really impacting your job in any way yet, is it?

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