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My colleague is making me feel uncomfortable

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CopperCoinCollector Fri 15-Nov-19 13:30:13

Apologies as this will be quite long.

Worked with colleague for around 18 months. We are cleaners in a specific area of a hospital.
I clean half the area and he cleans the other half. Very separate sections and easy to see who’s ‘side’ is whose.

Mostly we get on and chat happily when our paths cross and at the end of our shift etc.

I’ve noticed over the last 6 months or so that he seems to be ‘checking up’ on me a fair bit.
Some examples are;
I’ll send a quick text to someone and he’ll pop up from somewhere saying ‘caught you’ in a jokey way. Which isn’t really a problem and I would just laugh it off.

If I need to leave the area to get supplies, see my manager or something he will be annoyed when I return, he will say ‘where did you go?’ ‘You’ve been gone ages’

Often when I start my shift he’ll make ‘jokes’ about me taking my time or slacking off (he voluntarily starts 20 mins early to get ahead of himself, I don’t feel the need to)
Sometimes I’ll have been grabbing supplies so have started work but not arrived on the area at my start time (my manager has no problem with this)

It’s got worse though.
I will hear a noise and turn around to find him there, he looks a bit startled and says he was ‘just looking for me for (excuse)’

One particular incident recently I said I was going to the loo, when I next saw him I’d been back working for a while and he said
‘There you are, you’ve been gone ages, I even stood outside the loo and tried the door after a while but it was locked. I knocked and you ignored me’

I explained that I’d been back at work for a good 10 minutes and the loo he’d been waiting outside of wasn’t the one I’d used anyway. And he rolled his eyes and huffed off, I don’t think he believed me.

I spoke to my manager and she had a word with us both together. She asked him why he was checking up on me and he said he wasn’t.
She said to him that he didn’t need to check up on me because if that was necessary then that would be up to her so if he wanted to discuss anything he could go to her and she will help.
She also pointed out that even if I wasn’t pulling my weight it would be no reflection on his work as our sections are separate and that in any case the area as a whole always passes it’s inspections.

Yesterday I had a bad day, it’s been a bad year with too much bereavement, family worries and a particular family member was yesterday undergoing tests to see if they are going to be more severely ill than was first thought so I was a bit ‘off’ I admit.

I started work on time and was a bit relieved thinking that he wouldn’t have any reason to make a ‘joke’
I was looking forward to just getting on with my work.
Within 5 minutes he was there, he looked suspicious and said ‘you’re eager’ so I replied that I was starting my shift at the time I’m supposed to and he asked me what was wrong.
I didn’t want to discuss it so I replied that I was fine and asked how he was, he replied that he was fine and went away. And stayed away.
Very unusual for him as he usually makes a point of ‘checking up’ a few times so I was actually quite glad.

End of the shift comes and he said ‘are you feeling better now then? You were really horrible to me earlier’
I replied that I was fine and if I seemed a bit off he wasn’t to take it personally.

At this he stormed off and slammed the door!

We work evenings so I will have to face him again later and I’m a bit worried.
I feel like I should apologise but I’m not sure what for?

Shall I just go in with a clean slate and try to be in a better mood?

What do you think of all this?

IWorkAtTheCheescakeFactory Fri 15-Nov-19 13:35:18

I think you should wear earphones permanently and deliberately ignore his entire presence. Any more checking up from him-report straight to your manager.

IWorkAtTheCheescakeFactory Fri 15-Nov-19 13:36:09

And also if he appears with silly excuses or questions tell him straight “manager has already warned you once about this- if it happens again I’m escalating it”

Alarae Fri 15-Nov-19 13:36:25

Largely unhelpful, but he sounds like a twat.

If he's still off with you this evening just mention you apologise if you were short with him but as said before, he is not to take it personally and it is not a reflection on him.

Confusedbeetle Fri 15-Nov-19 13:37:15

I think you are going to have a conversation about it. If you can mangage it informally and say his behaviour is making you uncomfortable. If things dont change you will need to involve your manager again or ask to be moved to a different area

CopperCoinCollector Fri 15-Nov-19 13:52:58

Thanks.

I think I will apologise for being off yesterday and remind him that he’s not to take it personally.

With regards to his ‘checking up’ I really want it to stop. He’s not my manager and it’s not as though I’m not doing my work and expecting him to pick up the slack or anything.
It’s unnerving.
Another thing he will do is walk up to the door of a room I’m in and snatch it open quickly so that I’m startled. It’s like he’s trying to catch me out all the time.
I’ve even started to wonder how often he’s been there and I’ve not noticed confused

melissasummerfield Fri 15-Nov-19 14:13:13

You should escalate this formally, he is harassing you. It is completely unacceptable and you have tried the informal route and it hasn't worked.

antisupermum Fri 15-Nov-19 14:18:40

He sounds like a creepy bastard and I think you should be going back to your manager and letting her know that this is an ongoing issue even since she spoke with him. I would be a lot more firm with her and let her know that he is making you feel uncomfortable/fearful while at work and that as your employer she has an obligation to resolve that.

I have to say, I'm pretty outspoken so I would have told him to f*ck right off by now. And I wouldn't dissuade you from doing the same...

It has stalkerish tendencies written all over it and doesn't just sound like an over zealous employee checking up on you to me. It sounds like he is interested in you and what you are doing etc, as opposed to your work ethic.

CopperCoinCollector Fri 15-Nov-19 14:19:15

Thank you @melissasummerfield

Where would I start with that? I’ve told my manager, do I wait for the next checking up incident and go back to her?
Or use last night and tell her now? I think last night was partly my fault.

notnowmaybelater Fri 15-Nov-19 14:25:39

Tell her now.

Something's off. It could just be that he has poor social skills and thinks that you're friends, but it could on the other hand be stalkerish. Either way he shouldn't be your problem.

Your manager sounds good so far but is probably under the impression that her previous intervention solved the issue, which isn't the case. Update her today.

CopperCoinCollector Fri 15-Nov-19 14:31:00

Okay, I’ll see her tonight.

I’ll be quizzed about where I’ve been by him afterwards no doubt! hmm

I’m actually quite annoyed with him and how he was yesterday, you’re right he isn’t my problem, I have enough of those!

jarjarjam Fri 15-Nov-19 14:37:43

I would strongly recommend you don’t apologise at all. If you do, it gives him power - it’s acceptance on you’re part that you’ve been horrible and you haven’t. He, on the other hand, has objectively been unacceptable which has been acknowledged by his own line manager - he hasn’t apologised and you haven’t asked him. If you think about it that way, isn’t it ridiculous he’s complaining to you about your behaviour?

Imtootired Fri 15-Nov-19 14:38:02

I would tell him one more time straight out that you want to get on with your work without him bothering you like the manager said. If he does anything over your next shift ask him to leave you alone. He obviously takes his job way too seriously. And then definitely complain again to management if it continues.

jarjarjam Fri 15-Nov-19 14:44:11

And last night was definitely not partly your fault. He has no right to behaving the way he is, checking up and creeping you out. You have every right to be extremely annoyed with him and you’ve in fact been extremely polite and courteous from your account. When he’s said you were horrible to him, it was because you were perhaps less warm than usual but still said you were fine and asked how he was? That’s not horrible and no basis for you to apologise. he’s just not happy because you haven’t smoothed over his unacceptable behaviour. Which you shouldn’t. He’s absolutely out of line and deserves to be called out on it. You would be reasonable to be much more cold with him. He’s not your friend and he’s not acting in your interests, so look after yourself.

CopperCoinCollector Fri 15-Nov-19 14:59:04

@jarjarjam good point about not apologising.
And yes, I agree it wasn’t my fault, I was a bit off with him but his reaction was to ignore me all shift and then confront me and storm off. I’m not apologising for that.

I might just breeze in and act normal. If he raises it I will need to remind him that I said he shouldn’t take it personally.
Will have to figure out a way to say that without apologising.

BlankTimes Fri 15-Nov-19 16:03:54

While he's 'checking up' on you, he's not doing his own work.

How many times a shift does he check up on you, open doors to surprise you, stand outside the loo he thinks you're in, ask where you've gone, comment on your start and leaving times, and all the rest of the things I've missed and you've not detailed.

Keep a count, then let your manager know not just the frequency but the strangeness of his actions. He's being seriously odd and very much out of line.

CopperCoinCollector Fri 15-Nov-19 16:25:59

@BlankTimes thank you.

I’ve often thought the same, if he has a problem with my work why is it okay for him to spend so much time searching for me?

I’m going to keep count as you suggest and involve my manager.

woodhill Fri 15-Nov-19 16:30:38

If he's getting on with his job. How has he got time to check on you?

I can relate to it OP. Very irritating

Besidesthepoint Fri 15-Nov-19 16:31:12

It sounds stalkerish. He is spending a lot of time trying to be with you. I think the manager needs to tell him to not come to you or speak to you unles it's work related and absolutely necessary at that moment, other questions he can direct to the manager.

CopperCoinCollector Fri 15-Nov-19 16:32:49

@woodhill exactly!

Perhaps he wouldn’t need his 20 minute ‘head start’ if he stopped it?!

HugoSpritz Fri 15-Nov-19 16:36:34

Don't apologise, don't say don't take it personally - this suggests you have done something. Just say nothing.

If he says anything say remember the conversation with x (manager) remember you are not my boss. Please stop interrupting me while I am working, why not get on with your own? Otherwise do not engage with him.

ReanimatedSGB Fri 15-Nov-19 16:44:07

Say to him: 'We need to be very clear about this. As manager has already told you, there is no need for you to check or monitor my work. If you continue to do so, I will be making a formal complaint about you. '
Then turn your back on him and walk away.
He needs to workplace equivalent of a good fucking kick in the cock: he's a bully.

Greenkit Fri 15-Nov-19 16:45:01

Every time he pops up I would be saying "FFS back off and go and do your own job"

Orangepancakes Fri 15-Nov-19 17:24:47

Eugh, I have a colleague like this too hmm

He's really full on and acts like we're great friends. It's weird. I basically passifed him for a while. He messages me all the time, despite me not giving out my number (Facebook). When finally told him I wasn't interested he got weirdly emotional and it became awkward.

I still work with him but am considering quitting! I don't know what the solution is other than leaving confused

Orangepancakes Fri 15-Nov-19 17:28:39

I can't work out if yours is attempting some really bad flirting or is having some sort of power trip?
Or both?

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