Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by SpencerA, Jan 29, 2009.

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  1. SpencerA

    SpencerA Well-Known Member

    meh. i'm a month into a new job and i hate it. i work with my manager and one other guy called simon. he's 47. I went out for a drink with him after work once, ended up having quite a few, he seemed like a nice, safe enough guy, he has a daughter my age and a son a bit older, n we got on fine until he started making dodgy comments and kissed me. i was completely disgusted and got the bus home as soon as i could. another time he was upset, and i went over to his guitar studio just for a chat, my friend had gotten ill and couldnt take me home so i asked if i could crash on his floor. i have never flirted with him, and never purposefully given him the impression that i would be anything more than a colleague and friend. but that night he insisted on sleeping on the floor with me and kept putting his hands under my jeans on my bum and up my jumper, i moved his hands away but felt there was nothing more i could do as it was his house. i never spoke to him or anyone else about it, but its made me feel sick and fucked up ever since. then i ended up having a miscarriage (nothing to do with HIM), well, what turned out to be a chemical pregnancy. i told my manager, just so she knew why i was off work and she clearly didn't believe me. her and simon then spoke about it behind my back, presumably behind the counter whilst at work also so all the shop could hear, and have made me feel really uneasy since. i feel sick everytime i have to work with simon, and i'm not sure if i'm more disgusted with him or myself for not telling him to fuck right off, but with the economy the way it is i didn't think i could afford to lose my job over it, and chances are seen as my manager wouldnt believe or trust me on something i told her in confidence, i will never trust her again. i have tomorrow off but i'm meant to be working saturday, but i honestly never want to go back. then again, i don't want to go back to being unemployed. i've been feeling really angry and really depressed eversince this situation arose.
  2. kenny

    kenny Well-Known Member


    Sorry to hear of this. first of all he sounds like a right dodgy guy.

    Been reading and re-reading your post, just to make sense of it. How did you find out that your manager and Simon talked about it? Unfortunately you've only got speculation as to where the conversation took place.

    If she did discuss your absence with a colleague) and I'm assuming that simon is a peer of your in terms of staff hierarchy) and you have proof, then thats quite a bad thing to happen. at the very least it shows your manager in a very poor professional light. Do you have anyone higher up that you could speak to in confidence, or a HR department?

    One option that is possibly open to you is to leave and try to claim Constructive dismissal - this is when you are treated so badly that you have to leave. Unfortunately its a bit of a gamble, and after being there only a month, I'm not sure whether you can claim it or not.
    Can you get a transfer? if not, you might want to keep your eyes open for another job.

    Best of luck. if you want to vent some more, give me a shout :)
  3. SpencerA

    SpencerA Well-Known Member

    Hi thanks for the response, Simon told me that my manager had discussed it with him, and my manager is generally unprofessional in a lot of respects. She's only 25, but she doesn't seem very happy in general and most of it seems to get taken out on me. There are other stores, but not in a nearby area so i doubt i could afford to commute on a daily basis what with being paid £5.70 an hour.
  4. kenny

    kenny Well-Known Member

    I'd contact HR and put in a grievance if you can. I'm fairly certain that's a breach of some kind of law. I think it's different if there's a risk to other members of staff - like contagious things, but that is a very personal matter.

    Also, keep an eye on Simon. if he says anything dodgy during work time that makes you feel uncomfortable, you can go down the sexual harrassment route.

    Mind if I ask how old you are? I'm only asking to get an idea of how much working experience you have, so I can give you the best advice I can.

    best wishes
  5. SpencerA

    SpencerA Well-Known Member

    i'm 17
  6. kenny

    kenny Well-Known Member

    I understand that this sort of thing is very daunting for you. Unfortunately a lot of the time in working environments there are a lot of petty politics and back-stabbing going on behind the scenes. It's hard not to be drawn into these things - quite often one discovers too late that one is a pawn in a game between two people.

    I was once in a situation where a colleague confided in me that she had witnesses a staff member 2 grades above me go through my bag that I brought to work - I had a pink card folder containing some of my worksheets in my bag, that just happened to look a similar colour to the folders used for client files. As far as I'm concerned, he committed a MAJOR disciplinary offence, but I had to carefully weigh up what to do. I was already leaving - I had plans to start my own business, and it also meant putting my colleague who was a very nice but shy person in a very difficult position, as she was a witness. So I had to make the decision to do nothing. I still regret it now, but at the time it could have made her working life very difficuly after I'd gone.

    You have to consider your options carefully. Can you find another job quickly do you think? and if so, can you ride out the bad until you do? if not, are you strong enough to make noises to HR about it?

    I'm still a bit concerned about his unwanted advances towards you. I'd go so far as to say that he committed a minor sexual assault, but again you have to decide whether you want to do anything about it. I have to stress that it's only my opinion based on what you've written.

    I really do hope you get something sorted here.

    if I can help any more, please let me know
  7. SpencerA

    SpencerA Well-Known Member

    yeah, i like to live a pretty quiet life, i'm not one for speaking out. i was bullied by my manager when i worked in O2 and should have made a formal complaint but i didnt as i was an agency worker i didn't feel i had a foot to stand on. i want to find a new job asap but there aren't that many going atm, i don't particularly want to spend time being unemployed, but luckily i have the support of my mum as i still lvie with her so it wouldn't be a huge deal, i just really need to sort something out as the situation is just dragging me down.
  8. kenny

    kenny Well-Known Member


    You have a good sensible head on those shoulders of yours. Sometimes you have to make a stand. and remember. "Nil Illigitimi Carborundum" (or, "don't let the bastards grind you down")

    best of luck.
  9. Alexpt2

    Alexpt2 Well-Known Member

    Just out of curiousity, why did you go out for drinks with simon in the first place? Even if he had not made any sexual advances towards you at all, just the fact that he wanted to take you out for drinks makes him a shady guy. 47 year old men don't take 17 year old girls out alone for drinks. It just aint right. No reason at all why a man that age should even want to take you out in the first place, unless he's a perv of course. The fact that he tried to kiss you at the bar just confirmed his bad intentions. Why in the world did you then sleep over at the man's house after that had happend? :blink:

    my advice.......quit that job right away. No job in the world is worth having to be around a man like that.
  10. SpencerA

    SpencerA Well-Known Member

    ive gone out for drinks with colleagues in the past as friends. and because i had nowhere else to stay. fine, its my fault then. exactly why i come here to have the blame put on someone. thanks for making me feel better about it.
  11. kenny

    kenny Well-Known Member

    Do you ever actually *think* before posting? :dry:

    I think advising someone to quit their job outright is very bad advice. That solves nothing. I think that running from the problem is very reactionary. And besides, the next poor person to get that job might not be so fortunate. I think the OP is doing the right thing by looking for advice on how to tackle the problem. In this current economic climate, with thousands of jobs being lost in the UK on a daily basis, a job is a valuable commodity. and besides it doesn not look good on a CV to have walked out of a job after one month.

    You come across as very sexist. A female should be able to be treated soley like a colleague by both sexes. The OP made it clear that his advances were unwelcome previously, so why would she expect to be hit upon a second time? With age comes experience, and I'm willing to bet that the OP will not be putting herself in anything like a similar situation again. There was no need to rub it in.
  12. clare

    clare Active Member

    no way is any of what happened your fault. this guy is old enough to be your father and more than likely took you out with the intention of taking advatage of you. i understand why you dont want to quit your job straight away, but you have to do whats best for your emotional well being.
    if staying there will make you ev more down then leave as soon as you possibly can.
    most work places are very unprofessional, i know mine is! my boss likes to discuss other staff members with their colleagues.
    try to stay positive and remember that one of its your fault- its his.
    chin up hunxx
  13. Alexpt2

    Alexpt2 Well-Known Member

    Do you ever actually *think* before posting?

    Nope, I just hit random keys on the keyboard and hope what I typed forms coherant sentances :laugh:

    I think advising someone to quit their job outright is very bad advice. That solves nothing.

    As opposed to staying at the job and working next to a pervert? thats supposed to be better?

    In this current economic climate, with thousands of jobs being lost in the UK on a daily basis, a job is a valuable commodity.

    Okay, lets get real here, she's not working some prestigious job making 100k/yr. She's 17 working a minimum wage job. Quitting isn't the end of the world, they'll be other jobs. Especially given these circumstances, I can't see how staying makes any sense at all.

    And besides, the next poor person to get that job might not be so fortunate.

    That really aint her problem, gotta look out for yourself first and foremost.

    A female should be able to be treated soley like a colleague by both sexes.

    key words in that sentance are Should be. However, we all know that aint the case in the real world.

    The OP made it clear that his advances were unwelcome previously, so why would she expect to be hit upon a second time?

    Thats a VERY naive way of looking at the situation imo.

    There was no need to rub it in.

    I don't feel like I was rubbing it in at all, just telling it like it is. Apparently thats frowned upon here. I'm sorry, in the future I'll refrain from having any sort of opinions whatsoever and just tell people exactly what I think they want to hear like everyone else does. And I'll be sure to stick a nice big hug smiley on the end of it. :dry:
  14. the fleet asleep

    the fleet asleep Well-Known Member

    they say that truth floats on alcohol. he had a few, then kissed you. id bet my life on the fact that this man was probably yearning for any excuse to do so. maybe he was too drunk to keep his composure, but maybe he was just drunk enough to think that he could potentially blame the booze for his actions. one way or the next, it likely left him to wonder what more he could get away with.

    you say you went over to his studio to talk. i could go on and on about how terrible an idea that was in and of itself, but im sure youve thought about it more than enough. to a man like this, as stupid as it may sound, asking to crash on his floor was more than enough to convince him you were wanting for more, if he wasnt convinced already.

    people at work are gonna talk, its human nature.

    anyway, you could probably rest assured that this man doesnt see you as a collegue, as you see him. you dont kiss or assault a collegue. id bet he sees you as an attractive 17 year old whom he can use to his liking. sadly, once a man like that gets that thought into his head, itll likely stay there. youre kinda stuck in a hard spot between losing your job or dealing with a creeper. and trust me, any 47 year old man who would take advantage of a girl 30 years his junior is as creeper as theyre bred.

    you made a few less than stellar choices, but a man his age should fucking know better. sexual assault in this manner boils my blood
  15. Stranger1

    Stranger1 Forum Buddy & Antiquities Friend

    Kenny and Alex, Laurey came here for advice remember that. If the two of you want to have a pissing contest take it to the chat room, that seems to be the place for it from what I have heard.....

    Laurey, I think Kenny gave you sound advice to go above your supervisers head. It's not like you will be staying there anyhow. This monster took full advantage of you and if given the chance he might go even further if he gets the chance. He thinks he got away with this much and no one did anything. I would definitley go to HR if there is one for no other reason but to have it put in his file. Now I would definitley leave there and find another job. Like you said you have your mothers support. If you choose to stay there others are going to talk, are you really prepared to deal with that on a dailey basis. Please get your self out of there!!! It is not a healthy environment for you!!! Take Care!!~Joseph~
  16. kenny

    kenny Well-Known Member

    Joseph, I'm not having a "pissing contest" as you so glibly put it. I've no idea where you got that idea from. Unless you're trying to make yourself look clever by wading in. If you've read the thread fully, you will see that I have made a number of reasoned and helpful posts. I was taking issue with some of the points which I consider to be very poor advice.

    I'll re-iterated it for Alex. its not about getting "real" - employment laws are there to protect employees. regardless of what kind of job it is whether it's minimum wage or a high flying job, the OP has a job. To quit would be stupid. It looks bad on the CV, and in the last month alone in the UK we have seen a large number of High Street jobs such as the one the OP has, go due to the collapse of some very high profile companies going to the wall. there are around 40,000 more people this month in the UK looking for retail jobs.

    To suggest that it's not her problem for the next person is a very selfish attitude.

    And, Alex, your last point is nothing more than passive-agressive throwing-the-toys-out-of-the-pram. You're not 'telling it like it is' at all. You've just succeeded in perpetuating the "she was asking for it" defence.
  17. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Hi Laurey,

    I'm sorry to hear all that :(

    You're right, he is dodgy. I think your best bet is to just move on and forget what he did(he had no right to do those things)and talk to him casually as a colleague. Maybe he felt there was mixed signals , thought you wanted that..men are strange:tongue:

    but as you said..you can't afford to lose your job. You need to just ignore him as much as possible and don't talk to him outside of work.

    You can PM me if you need to talk about this.x

    To the 3 posters who are making comments at each other...

    can ye get back to supporting the OP.
  18. Shiner

    Shiner Member


    I'm sorry that you had this trouble and it shouldn't have happened to you but I'm going to try and give you some practical advice.

    I worked in management in a large company for a short period of time and there is always someone higher up the chain if you really want to take this further.
    I've also employed people myself for most of my working life (up until 4 months ago actually)

    If you cannot go to your manager because she has made herself part of your problem, you can go to her manager & explain why you've had to skip a rung on the ladder.

    If you don't know who that is, contact Human Resources or head office if they have one.

    Ideally, if there was a member of staff in your organisation that you do get on with, get them to come with you - it's always best to have a witness to these sort of discussions.
    Your ideal candidate in this situation would be a female a little older than you who has worked there for some time or a union rep although I suspect you don't have one.

    Alternatively you could consider contacting a youth advice centre, I don't know what they are called in your area, but there are centres where they issue advice for the 14 - 25s and they could give you solid advice on how to handle the situation in a way that makes the senior managers understand.

    You need to plan out how you are going to explain to them what your problem is so that you can explain it to them with as little emotion as possible and make it clear to them not only what the problem is, but how you feel it could be resolved.

    However I should point out that from your managers point of view, which is going to be all the company you work for knows about you, you've only been there a month, you have come to her with teenage sex related problems already & wanted time off and as an older woman, she'll expect you to have understood that although it was very wrong of that guy to do what he did, he may have thought you were sending out mixed signals.
    She may well have had plenty of unreliable teenaged girls going from one boyfriend related crisis to the next working for her, there are plenty of girls like that and they are not a managers favourite employee.
    It's a cliche, but one I've seen many times over & it can be easy to brand yourself with it.

    I'm not in anyway suggesting he was justified in doing what he did, but young women don't normally agree to go out for drinks then back to some single mans apartment the way you did.
    I suspect that young as you are, you are perhaps a little too trusting.
    In an ideal world you should't have to put up with this at all, but it's not an ideal world.

    If those are the only other two people that you work with however, taking this higher up could result in
    i)you being offered a position in another branch which you don't wish to do, but your new manager would be aware of why you are moving & if you have trouble again you might be seen as the problem.
    ii)Your colleagues being reprimanded & you then having to work in an even more uncomfortable enviroment with both of them.
    iii)Not being believed

    I doubt any of these would be a resolution you would feel comfortable with & I don't see what else they could do with the information you've provided in this thread.
    What your colleague did outside of working hours was not grounds for dismissal & many companies would not wish to get involved in something they would see as your personal life.
    Had he done this at work it would be a different matter.

    I would personally suggest that you should consider keeping on working there for now while you start looking for a new job straight away.
    I doubt you need to hand in more than a weeks notice at present.
    Don't socialise with this man alone again & try to keep up a professional front at work.
    When they ask you why you are leaving the old job, tell your new employer something along the lines of "you don't feel you are a good fit within the existing team/organisation", or that "you are looking for a job with more opportunities for advancement in the future" depending on the size of your new jobs operation & which route seems more believeable for you.
    Come up with a plan of what you are going to say that makes you sound professional & reliable.
    Don't tell them you were having these kind of problems, because if you then feel harrassed or bullied in your new job they will be more inclined to think it's partially your fault.

    New employers are always going to want to know why you left your old job. Too many short employment periods where you quit your job are a tell tale for an employee who is probably more trouble than they are worth.

    You also need to accept that as a young woman, you need to learn how to handle innappropriate sexual advances.
    They shouldn't happen, but they do & you need to start keeping an eye out for potential situations that could lead to trouble of this kind & do your best to avoid them.

    There are older men who will take advantage of your inexperience and the situation could have been worse.
    Harsh as it sounds, the only man your dads age you should be out drinking with alone or going home with is your dad.
    You should pretty much consider that any man you consent to go out with alone might take that to mean you are interested in them.
    I know you might think a guy that age is so old he couldn't possibly think you are interested but there are some real optimists out there.

    There are also plenty of good guys, you just don't happen to work with one of them.
  19. Mightbehere

    Mightbehere Well-Known Member

    Hi Op, I think more stranger danger and common sense should be wielded next time, most male work associates that want to take you out for drinks ain't wanting to do it because they want to make a friend...lol

    Your parents should of taught you better stranger danger methods, clearly this person is a predator. You don't 'need' this job and if the store manager isn't taking things to your satisfaction then go over their head and speak to the next person up about it. Sexual harassment at work is a big no no these days.

    Also just because someone offers a point of view that's not 'extreme warm and fussies' doesn't mean that they are attacking you just trying to offer constructive criticism.
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