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client negged me and it's bothering me

(39 Posts)
wonderingwandering Fri 12-Feb-16 00:13:16

Had to go for lunch with him, he's a big, big client and we (small company) need his money.

I am married with DC, so in no way interested in anything with this man, but bothered by the way he spoke to me. He said things like:

"Does it upset you that all your colleagues are more attractive than you? I suppose you try and make up for it with your personality. I expect you're quite a fun girl when you try."

"Please don't pretend to me your marriage isn't in crisis. Your face gives it away.

"How old are you? Women are dried up by the time they're 38. The power balance changes. But at least they start making an effort in bed, and become a bit more bisexual."

"I find my attention span for women gets smaller as I get older. I feel like shouting 'next! next! next!'"

"Of course your husband cheats on you. All men cheat. And you're getting old. I love watching women in denial."

"You're pregnant and not drinking? How boring. If I'd known I'd have got (my boss) to send someone else."

I got angry with him and he told me I was oversensitive and obviously insecure. I complained to my boss, citing these examples, and he told me that the client was just having a bit of fun, always gets personal/talks about his sex life and that most women brush it off.

FFS. I hate this, I hate that it's allowed. I have had it in the past from men too. I am not good at come backs to stuff like this, so just feel I have to suffer it now every time I see him. Or quit, of course.

We have no HR.

Has anyone else experienced this?

wonderingwandering Fri 12-Feb-16 00:18:21

Oh yes, and he also got into my personal space and stared me in the eyes (think, we were both holding our folders round the front of our bodies and he was close enough for our folders to be touching.) It felt like a challenge to see if I'd be uncomfortable and back away.

At the time I felt like I needed to stare him out and I did, because he retreated, but now I feel like it's the wrong thing to do as I feel he thinks he got a "reaction" i.e. I felt I had to prove something to him.

RudeElf Fri 12-Feb-16 00:22:13

Fuuck! Thats awful! He is a vile piece of shite for doing that to you. I honestly couldnt work with him again. Do you really really need this job? Your manager is a chocolate teapot!

gooseberryroolz Fri 12-Feb-16 00:27:06

What a complete arse! That is terrible. Really, really revolting.

No HR? Can you email an account of the lunch to your manager and request that someone else deals with that client in future?

RudeElf Fri 12-Feb-16 00:28:11

I sometimes employ a tactic when men try similar (but i've never had it as sustained and intimidating as you had today!) that is a bit patronising to them.

Like when he was in your space
"Now you just take a wee step back there pet because i dont know where you've been and i dont have time to go for jabs" said in a sickeningly friendly way with a smile and direct with your hand.

And when he said the disgusting things, well when he said the first one or two

"Right, now you have that out of your system love we'll crack on with the grown up work because we're all on the clock" same patronising smiley tone.

But it requires me to be on the ball and quick enough to employ because it isnt a natural reaction for me.

Natural reaction is "bleaugh! Where can i get out of here?"

PurpleDaisies Fri 12-Feb-16 00:28:56

Was this supposed to be a work lunch? His behaviour was totally unprofessional. Your boss sounds pathetic. Tell them you're not prepared to meet him alone again. No one should be treated like that.

PerspicaciaTick Fri 12-Feb-16 00:35:50

It seems that according to ACAS, now you have made your employer aware of the situation, it is up to your boss to take reasonable steps to protect you.

PerspicaciaTick Fri 12-Feb-16 00:36:08

Try again blush

gooseberryroolz Fri 12-Feb-16 00:37:31

You're fast Persp smile

Make sure that you can prove you've made your employer aware, though OP (i.e. email it).

niceupthedance Fri 12-Feb-16 06:15:22

Arsehole. If you have to meet him again, record him and send it to HIS employer.

ChalkHearts Fri 12-Feb-16 06:23:02

I would refuse to meet with him again.

greenfolder Fri 12-Feb-16 06:41:13

I too would absolutely refuse to meet with him again. You have told your boss. Would also suggest to boss that it would be inappropriate for any women to meet with him and if he/she wants to do business with him, they need to be the one doing it.

Stuffofawesome Fri 12-Feb-16 06:45:59

That's terrible what a vile excuse of a man

Thelwell Fri 12-Feb-16 06:46:18

Listen to goose and perspic.

Your employer's lack of HR dept is their own lookout. Your rights remain unchanged so long as you can prove they were compromised and the company were made aware of the situation.

Nobody should be subjected to shit like that. No, it wasn't funny. Yes, you deserve better.


P1nkP0ppy Fri 12-Feb-16 06:46:51

Your boss is no better than the client, sexist and an asshole.
Does your boss have anyone above him? I'd put everything in writing to your boss and his manager if there is one and state that this client should only be meeting with male staff.

CatchAPlaneToBarcelona Fri 12-Feb-16 06:48:09

Fucking hell. As he's a client and you work for a very small company I really don't know what to advise that will be of any practical use, but Christ on a bike what a massive wanker he is. I think I would be telling my boss that I will not agree to be in his presence again.

If your employer knows he behaves like this with women why does he/she keep sending women to deal with him? Aren't there any men who could entertain the slimy toad instead?

FuckyNell Fri 12-Feb-16 06:48:13

Jesus that's bad. Do what a pp said if you have to meet him again. Record him

StickyToffeePuddingAndCustard Fri 12-Feb-16 07:07:49

If you have no hr, your employer can use an outsourced provider, either a boutique firm or lots of accountancy firms have outsourced hr functions.

If you have legal cover on your home insurance, you could discuss it with a lawyer on the telephone.

Sorry you had to sit through that, it is outrageous.

1frenchfoodie Fri 12-Feb-16 07:19:16

Wow what a colossal arse. He was obviously trying to get a rise out of you, sounds like a parody for some sick hidden camera prank rather than a work meeting. I'd certainly put this in writing to your boss to try to avoid future contact.

If I had to meet him then uppermost in my mind would be prising cash from his company and how insults from such an odious nob beat compliments - who would want such a guy taking a shine to them!

DanglyEarOrnaments Fri 12-Feb-16 07:53:42

Absolutely document this and send account to employer, tell him you have spoken to ACAS and this is a formal complaint and you are considering your next step.

They client AND the manager sound vile, this should not be ignored.

I am an employer and I have walked away from good paying clients (probably not on the same scale as this but clients where we 'needed' the income anyway - larger clients can be replaced by lots of smaller clients in a well-functioning company) just because of the way they made my staff feel and this is off the scale. Your employer has a duty of care towards you and has not even said to you that he will consider this at all. Appalling!

Call ACAS, you have statutory rights not to be subjected to sexist abuse and any attempt to brush these under the carpet by your boss could result in a tribunal where you could prove discrimination. Should you lose your job over this it could potentially cost your employer an amount in damages that would make his eyes water, some have claimed hundreds of thousands for sex discrimination.

You can confidently assert your rights here with your boss but document everything, email rather than speak on the phone etc. Call ACAS as soon as you can and find out exactly where you stand legally.

BolshierAryaStark Fri 12-Feb-16 09:15:36

Absolutely email your boss with regards to this & put at the end I await your response to this, puts the ball firmly in his/her court.
This is completely unprofessional & unacceptable, disgusting little shit of a man. With an attitude like that I very much doubt there is the availability of women for him to go next, next, next... hmm

shutupandshop Fri 12-Feb-16 09:22:18

He is scum. Of course you must not put up with that. Your boss is a twat.

Iamdobby63 Fri 12-Feb-16 09:26:09

Well we know one thing for sure .... He has a very small dick.

What an arse, trying to make himself feel important by intimidating and belittling a woman.

Is he the owner of his company?

Follow the advice regarding reporting it, refuse to meet with him again and do your best to put it behind you.

bodenbiscuit Fri 12-Feb-16 09:31:30

He's a vile man who should be reported for the things he said. Honestly, I think I would have got up and left after the first comment. If he thinks it's ok to speak to people in this manner then how on earth could you work with him?

Noneedforasitter Fri 12-Feb-16 09:40:04

This is obviously horrendous. Your boss should speak to the client and (or) take you off the account. If neither of those things happen, you should only accept business meetings with him in the office, and refuse any out of office venue. Can you bring in a junior to the meeting? Even if it is a PA to take notes, it should stifle the behaviour. Good luck.

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