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A vent re:women's space

(36 Posts)
Vintagecakeisstillnice Thu 05-Jun-14 16:16:24

Sorry very long but this is also a vent before I im/explode.

I have spent several hours this week being asked to justified why I need to sit at the desk that has been specifically set up for me. (As in for my medical/physical needs) because the guy who started while I was off on sick leave prefers to sit there and can I not be flexible. . .


Since when does his personal preference trump my physical needs?
The longer one is we hot desk, you book the desk for the days you need a week in advance, there's a website. Before I was off for my operation this desk was out of rotation, you could only book it if I had actively rejected it. Because I was out for several months the desk went back in to rotation, and as my return date took a while to be finalised they didn't take it out of rotation in time. However I block booked it.

Within a day I was approached by a new admin, who this prat had complained to that I was hogging the desk which is seen as poor etiquette.(even though he'd been hogging it for weeks, you can see the history on the website)

Some desks are nicer/better positioned than others so there is the understanding that you only sit at a desk for a week to be fair. 'My' desk is seen as being one of the good ones, by a window (luck) close to meeting rooms/ drinks area and angled in a way that you have more privacy that at most of the other desks. All of this was taken in to consideration when picking a desk for me, I wasn't able to walk far, I needed to apply/adjust TENS patches / ice packs etc without having to go to the bathroom.

So anyway, admin comes says she's been told I'm hogging, starts to explain the process to me, I'm very nice and say I do understand, but there is an Occ Health reason for me sitting there and that my admin is in the process of taking the desk out of rotation. She gets very flustered, say to her she wasn't to know, no worries, don't think any more of it.

Following morning, same admin, all flustered come to me again, tells me she explained to the Prat, that there was a medical reason and the desk was coming out of rotation, he demanded to know what the medical reason was, insisted that she find out.

This is her first job, she knew he was in the wrong but didn't know what to do, fecking bully.

Again, said no problem, told her to email him and say if he had an issue to either speak to me, my line manager, or his line manager.
And if she felt bullied again to speak to her line manager who is wonderful and stands for no shit.

Fecker then mansplains the process to me in full, talking over me as I said I know, I've worked here over 6 years. .

Ends his soliloquy by asking why exactly I need his desk.
I was polite, said you've been told it's a health issue, other than that it is none of your business.

But I need to sit there! So I say well if it's a need rather than a want I suggest you speak to Occ Health.

I don't have time for that, I'm too busy you need to be reasonable.
(Feck off)

My reply was I am being reasonable, it has been explained to you twice that this is an Occ Health issue. I am not spending any more time on this.and turned away.

It doesn't end here.

He then goes to my line manager, spins her a pile of shite, she knowing me doesn't swallow it, but comes to ask my side of the story. I tell it from my POV. She very professionally says nothing, tells me she'll deal with it.
Then yesterday his Line manager approaches me asks what's the story can I not be flexible, I say again it's not a matter of being flex able or reasonable that desk has been adjusted to my medical needs by Occ Health.

Attitude changes instantly, oh I didn't understand that this was an Occ Health desk. Yeap.

So we have space hogging, bullying and mansplanning all together.

Oh and while his line manager may seem like the/a nice guy why did he feel the need to wade in at all?

Why was prats preference more important than mine?

LoveSardines Thu 05-Jun-14 16:35:35

Because sadly the people who shout the loudest often get the stuff.

He is an entitled twat, obv.

I think you have handled this very well TBH.

Hopefully he will back off now, not surprised you are spitting though.

slug Thu 05-Jun-14 16:56:11

He went to his line manager because your's told him to back off. Not getting the response he wanted he then whined at his line manager, completely omitting the little fact that he's been told multiple times of your legitimate reasons for using the desk and has now shown himself to all and sundry as an entitled whiner who won't take no for an answer.

ReallyFuckingFedUp Thu 05-Jun-14 17:00:49

ollowing morning, same admin, all flustered come to me again, tells me she explained to the Prat, that there was a medical reason and the desk was coming out of rotation, he demanded to know what the medical reason was, insisted that she find out.

Have you got an hr dept? I'd complain. Loudly since that seems to get things done at your place of business

Theoldhag Thu 05-Jun-14 17:03:30

Good for you for standing your ground, gggrrrrr he's an entitled little prick, now everyone knows what he is too.


Minnieisthedevilmouse Thu 05-Jun-14 17:20:17

Way to make his name known eh?!


Vintagecakeisstillnice Thu 05-Jun-14 17:32:49

Apologies for my crap spelling etc. I was seething as I wrote the above.

I have no doubt my LM went in all guns blazing I know her well enough to read the signs.

I unprofessionally (maybe) had a word with the admins LM, And stated I'd be happy to support a complaint.

I have also expressed my concerns with Occ Health, about his pushing to 'know', I'm big & bad enough to say feck off, some aren't.

Occ Health are following it up, will have a lot more clout coming from them.

They're very hot on this stuff, while I was off all comms had to go through OHealth so that I didn't feel pressed to return too soon and so that my LM didn't accidentally discover medical details.

He's really shot himself in the foot, I think he assumed I was a newbie, and because I returned to over 4000 emails, yes 4000, over 2700 that needed dealing with after I'd weeded out the 'we have cake' 'it's Xs birthday, sign card at y desk'.

So I've been very quiet and kept my head down for the last week ploughing through them. I think I looked like an easy target, plus as everyone knew the volume of work I was coming back to I got tons of welcome back IMs/emails, but most people left me to get on with it so I'm guessing I looked a bit Billy-No-Mates too.

He's going to get the shock of his life in the next few weeks as I start to take back my normal role and he has to run about 40% of his work by me for approval. . . .

Saying that I'm honestly thinking of swooping teams with someone else, as from his behaviour I'm expecting trouble. Good thing is the majority of people in my role are female, so he's going to get a strong woman no matter what.

And my thinking is if he's stupid enough to kick off against another woman (and I'm happy to bet he will) it will show a clear pattern rather than a 'personality' clash.

foolishpeach Thu 05-Jun-14 18:22:56

Good for you for standing your ground OP.

He sounds like a silly little boy who has thrown his toys out of the pram.

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Thu 05-Jun-14 18:51:35

I'm glad OH are on his case. He needs to know exactly how unprofessional it is to ask for a coworker's health details. I hope he gets a formal warning.

JokersGiggle Thu 05-Jun-14 19:51:01

Wow! he's like a spoilt child! Didn't get what he wanted from one person so asked another. all that fuss over a desk?! Wow his life must be dull......
Well done for being strong smile

unrealhousewife Thu 05-Jun-14 20:01:41

Wow what a waste of time and productivity, I'm sure HR will want to know about this to prevent it happening again in hype future.

unrealhousewife Thu 05-Jun-14 20:05:34

* the not hype angry

ReallyFuckingFedUp Thu 05-Jun-14 20:26:26

No! you have to stay and make his life miserable grin

AskBasil Thu 05-Jun-14 21:09:44


Vintagecakeisstillnice Thu 05-Jun-14 22:48:42

Yes it's the waste of time that pisses me off the most.

Hours and hours of various peoples time have been taken up with his tantrum. I do wonder how much this has cost in 'man' hours?

And at the end of the day that's what it is, a tantrum, he's not getting what he wants, and his wants are of course so much more important than my needs. .

AskBasil Fri 06-Jun-14 08:37:35

I hope you point that out Vintage - how inefficient and unproductive his unprofessionalism has been.

I think you should continually steer their focus towards his unprofessionalism - how would they have handled it if it had been another woman who was stamping her foot like this? (Not that I can imagine most women carrying on in this way.) She would have instantly been seen as the diva she was and no-one would have even given her house-room. Yet this bloke gets to take up people's work time, because his tantrums must be addressed as if they matter, unlike those of a woman who is in fact not even allowed to have a tantrum like this (rightly - no-one should be allowed to).

ChasedByBees Fri 06-Jun-14 08:50:34

He's an arse no doubt, but I do think you should stay in your role. Don't let it look like you've been driven out. I've no doubt from your posts here that you can handle him. smile

LineRunner Fri 06-Jun-14 08:59:00

OP, I wish I worked with you. You sound bloody wonderful.

unrealhousewife Fri 06-Jun-14 09:01:50

Do you have an HR dept? They won't like the timewasting.

Oh the joys of being self employed!

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Fri 06-Jun-14 09:15:24

"his wants are of course so much more important than my needs. ."

I would love to know his answer to this straight question.

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 06-Jun-14 09:54:43

Well done OP.

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 06-Jun-14 09:55:20

Does that sound patronising? It's meant to be admiring. blush

trevortrevorslattery Fri 06-Jun-14 12:14:44

Ugh what a nob. Glad you put him back in his box!

Vintagecakeisstillnice Fri 06-Jun-14 13:08:22

No uptoapoint it doesn't and thanks.

I had calmed down, not in a calm down dear, I was seething. But I'm all riled up again.

Nothing new has happened, I'm actually off work today.
But there's so many 'little' things in my day to day life.

I am convinced that it is getting worse out there.
Bare in mind I grew up in rural Ireland.
So I know what institutional misogyny is like.

And some how it feels worse now.

Not because I'm more aware, I grew up in a feminist family. I don't think my Mum & Dad thought of themselves as feminists. They both grew up poor and wanted the best for us kids. The fact that most of us were female meant they became feminist by default.

My (only) brother can knit and sew and cooks like a demon. All of my sisters can do that but also like him can wire plugs unblock sinks, change a tire (even though I don't drive).

And to some extent we've carried that on if you want my closest sister to blow just ask her if her husband is babysitting.

And DN, last time Sis and I went away for a few days he was asked who was babysitting him. He said no one. This was in the playground waiting for pick up, his Dad arrived and this person said Oh your Dad's babysitting.
He replied with all the seriousness of a 6 year old 'don't be silly, Daddy's don't babysit, they're Daddy's. Babysitters babysit, and I'm not a baby! !

Love it.

Uptheairymountain Fri 06-Jun-14 17:47:10

His behaviour is appalling and good on you for refusing to let this over-entitled dickhead get his own way.

Do you think he'd have tried to take the desk if you were a man?

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