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Am I Being Oversensitive?

(13 Posts)
BaconAndAvocado Wed 18-May-16 16:00:46

For a fair few weeks now a work colleague, male and 23, has been winding me up again and again and again.

It started off with something really petty that he couldn't/can't seem to let go of and today he was implying in a jokey way that we need to have a clear out of staff, meaning me.

It's all done in a jokey/sarcastic way, always infront of other people to get the laughs and it's starting to get to me.

I'm 46 and have been in this job for 15 years. It's ridiculous that I'm letting him get to me, I know. He's an immature 23 in many ways but I now dread seeing him amongst other people as I'm worried what he's going to say.

I've tried ignoring it but it doesn't deter him and when we're on our own he's perfectly fine. I'm pretty sure he doesn't realise he's upsetting me as I never show it.

I'm on the verge of saying something but I will have to work with him so I need to word it properly, I.e. NOT "Why are you behaving like an idiot?"

I feel like a school child on the playground hmm

coco1810 Wed 18-May-16 16:47:55

Do you have an HR department you can go to? If not, you need to bring this up with your line manager. He obviously is lacking the skills to be working in an adult environment. Personally, I would make a sarcastic comment. For example, I had a younger colleague who would constantly call all women chick. I simply asked him if I had wings and went cheep, cheep? Nailed it there and then. Good lick x

BaconAndAvocado Wed 18-May-16 17:00:15

No we don't have an HR dept, I work in a primary school. I've tried being sarcastic back but it kind of encourages him sad

givepeasachance Wed 18-May-16 17:05:54

I think you could explain to him that his comments are inappropriate and hurtful first off.

"When you said x, I found it very upsetting and inappropriate" (That's it, nothing more, wait for his response)

If he continues to do it after you have pointed it out, then you will need to escalate

He is probably just an immature arse with inadequacy issues and it will more than likely stop once you confront him

RatherBeRiding Wed 18-May-16 17:25:30

Well you must have someone you report to? You are definitely not being oversensitive - this is really inappropriate work behaviour and needs dealing with.

I would stop stooping to his level and being sarcastic. But you do need to call him out on it and stop worrying about having to work with him.

Maybe start with something along the lines of "Why do you say that? It makes me feel uncomfortable." If this doesn't get through his thick skin you really are going to have to speak to your manager.

If it were me I would take the bull by the horns and ask "Why do you persist in trying to wind me up? Do you have a problem with me?" but I am a stroppy cow and not really worried about upsetting immature little twats like this one!

zznotxy Wed 18-May-16 17:28:43

Talk with Head teacher surely? I suspect he is suffering from 'recent graduate know it all itus'. Alternatively, as most junior school staff are female, you could organise for you all to love him up, you wouldn't see him for dust ( I used to work in a factory staffed by women, as a new graduate they scared the s**t out of me)

BitOutOfPractice Wed 18-May-16 17:35:34

Talk to your line manager. He sounds really irritating

SandyY2K Wed 18-May-16 17:42:21

Tell him to stop it. Is he a teacher or TA or caretaker?

Next time he does it .. just say "I'd appreciate it if you cut out jokes about me please. It's wearing thin now".. then walk away.

Make sure everyone hears it ... if he does it again... you have witnesses. That's bullying that he's doing. Make it known that you don't welcome it.

ElspethFlashman Wed 18-May-16 17:47:03

The one word people recoil at is "inappropriate". Particularly in public, nobody wants to be accused of that in front of their colleagues.

A mild "Steve, we're colleagues....bit inappropriate, eh?" Complete with faux concerned head tilt.

If he continues defensively you could really turn up the heat and say (loudly) "Its just I'd hate for people to think you unprofessional just cos you're so very young - I'm only thinking of you really"

And a bit of oh so caring but ruthless gossip with the other teachers in the staffroom about how very VERY young he is and how "I know we all hope he finds his way and his banter isnt misinterpreted" might do no harm.

bjrce Wed 18-May-16 18:55:52

OP,
The first thing I would do is confront him directly
"why do you think you can speak to me like that?"
Tell him very bluntly, "Its not appropriate, I don't like it and don't do it again"
The little fucker, I wouldn't take that shit from anyone, let alone a jumped up new starter".
Its bullying pure and simple, don't think just because he's disguising as banter he can get away with it.
Do you have any problems with asserting yourself?

You need to be very clear with him, so that if he tries it on again in front of an audience you can let him have between the ears.

" I've discussed this with you before, I don't like your tone, one more sarcastic remark from you, I'll be marching you up to the "line manager" for inappropriate conduct".
Say it as if you are talking down to him, make him feel small. Nip this in the bud right now.
I am sure other people have noticed.

BaconAndAvocado Wed 18-May-16 19:04:39

Thanks all!
There are some great suggestions in there.
He is a TA, just out of Uni.

I don't think I have problems asserting myself though I've never had to deal with this kind of behaviour from a fellow professional before.

Joysmum Wed 18-May-16 19:47:18

Personally I'd have gone with the 'I hope they don't, I'd miss you' response.

BaconAndAvocado Tue 14-Jun-16 10:13:29

I chose to confront him about his behaviour and he was extremely apologetic. He even said he'd been worrying about it all weekend.

Since I spoke to him things have been absolutely fine. I'm so glad I spoke to him.

Apparently there have been other complaints made about him.

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