Looking for a new role? Head to Mumsnet jobs to find full and part time family friendly opportunities.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
He's obsessed with me(12 Posts)
NC, wasn't sure what topic to put this in but relates to a colleague so settled on work.
I became friends with an man at work after joining the company last year. He offered friendly advice as a mentor figure, and I was glad of this at first. I'm in my 20s, he's in his 60s, but he didn't give me any reason not to trust him in the early days.
After a few weeks he suggested we go down the road from the office for a coffee during lunch hours, so we could chat freely about work. I went, thinking it would be a one off. However, he then asked if I would go again a few days later, and sulked when I said I was too busy to go. He asked again, and after continued nagging I gave in. He always wanted me to hug him at the end of these lunches, but he asked in such a way that made me not think it was weird at the time, but now I feel very uneasy about it. He then asked if I could spend every lunch with him, I said no I don't have the time for that but we could go at lunch sometimes (I didn't want to come across unkind). Nevertheless, he waits by the coffee shop every lunch time and sends me continued messages asking if I am coming, and comes back to the office sulking when I ignore these messages and or no.
I see him staring at me across the office and whenever I walk past his desk he always seems to get up too, and follow me to the toilets (men's are next to the ladies). 9/10 this happens whenever I go.
At the same time, he started to send me more and more messages at any time of day. At first I would reply back, as I didn't want to come across as rude to a senior colleague at my new job. But he started to send a message every 10 minutes or so in the evening. When I don't reply he asks 'are we still friends?' And asks why I have changed.
Sometimes he sends long messages, which is where it starts to get even more creepy. saying how he's upset I've 'changed' and how he cares deeply for me. How he gets jealous when he sees me with male colleagues because he feels connected to me. He says he's never felt like this about anyone before, and wishes he was younger so he could be with me. He says I mean the world to him, and no one will ever love me like he does. He says I'm the most beautiful woman in the world and he thinks about me all the time - he sent this message while on holiday with his wife and teenage children. He said there's something about me he's never seen in another woman. he visited his parents grave and told them all about me and how special I am.
I find this overwhelming and haven't told anyone - whenever he sends these messages I ignore. We don't have a HR person so if I told my manager it would cause ripples and gossip across the organisation - he has a very important job and I may not even be believed despite screenshots.plus it may be partly my fault for leading him on by going to coffee with him and replying to his messages at first, and letting him hug me.
I feel very awkward at work but like my job in other aspects. I find extremely hard to be rude to people though, even creepy lecherous men
Have you not a male friend or relative who can meet you for lunch or even at hometime. He sounds odd and if it keeps going on I would be threating to go to your boss.
Hi OP didn't want to read and run. Firstly, this is not your fault that he is acting like this. He is breaking so many boundaries and you're right, is sounding obsessed now. You need to screenshot all of his messages, right from the very beginning, including yours and pull them together as evidence.
You have two options: speak to your manager. To counteract your concern of sounding like gossip, ask for a formal meeting, in a meeting room where it is just you two and you need to show them the correspondence between the two of you. You then need to ask them what they are going to do about this.
Or, if you feel like that would not achieve anything, you can cut your losses, leave without a fuss and find somewhere else to work.
In my opinion Senior members of staff are less likely to leave their roles, so you need to do something about this. He doesn't know where you live does he?
Yes he does know - he said he goes past my house and described the front door which is definitely my door. I'm not sure how he found out - but think he may have seen my payslip on my desk one morning which has our addresses on.
Text him once telling him if his harassment does not stop immediately you will go to the police.
And keep every single message
You need to go to another senior person in your organisation (ideally a man of similar age to him), tell him everything/show him copies of your evidence in strict confidence (but "on the record" - have an email trail about the meeting and send a confidential follow up email afterwards summarising what you discussed). Ask this man to have a strong "cease and desist" word with the pest, who will hopefully listen as the other man is a man and a peer and he won't want to lose face in front of his peers. Make it very clear that this is the one chance you are prepared to give him/the organisation to fix this and should it ever recur you will need to go higher/to the police/get independent legal advice. There should be written policies in your organisation about this, request copies up keep with your folder about this.
So sorry OP, this is sexual harassment. This is not your fault. I would really encourage you to speak to someone senior within your organisation. Is there anyone you trust? Any senior women perhaps?
I would make it clear that you are making a formal complaint, that you are expecting the organisation to deal with this confidentially and robustly. Them not dealing with this properly or allowing it to become office gossip could constitute discrimination in itself, by way of victimisation.
Give them a chance to deal with it and then decide whether you are comfortable enough to stay. Personally, I’d be leaving and bringing a sexual harassment claim but understand that you may not want to be pushed out of a job that you love.
Do you have anyone at work you feel you can talk to about what is going on?
You need to keep a log of everything, keep every message, make sure every call is still logged on your phone. You’ll be able to see a pattern of escalation, and this behaviour relatively quickly leads me to think he’s probably done it before with a colleague.
Please talk to someone about it and share what’s going on, people will be able to help. It’s harassment if nothing else - you should be able to work without prejudice or men fawning over you and making you feel guilty for not meeting at lunch. Even your post made my skin crawl so I can’t imagine what it’s doing to you right now.
Does your company have a policy on this type of behaviour? Ask your immediate manager what it is and what the procedure is to follow. You don't have to call him out at this stage. Once you know what that procedure is, follow it to the letter. I expect you are in a very small company, but that is irrelevant. They will be governed by a procedure. I expect, if the company is small, that people will have noticed anyway and it won't be quite the shock and surprise that you think it is.
You really need to flag this up with someone senior. It's harassment. Not to mention exceedingly creepy.
Is there anyone at work you could talk to? Just so somebody knows, show them the messages, that they could come with you for lunch or keep an eye on you and him, just until you feel you can talk to your manager.
Please login first.