a bit of fun or too far?

Discussion in 'Bullying and Violence' started by Shauna Lea, Feb 9, 2007.

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  1. Shauna Lea

    Shauna Lea Staff Alumni

    Ive recently started at a new job its just temporary for me as im going travelling in about a month. Everyone there is really nice to me, but one guy may b a little too nice (im a female for those who dont kno me). He often makes comments about my looks and checks me out. He always makes an extra effort to come over and say hi to me. My guess is that hes about 55. At first i thought it was a bit weird, but didnt think too much into it. But yesterday i walked into his office and he asked how long i was staying for. i told him that its only a few weeks and he replied "Aw please stay longer than that, all us old guys love having a hot young girl like u to look at every day". I didnt kno what i say so i just half smiled and walked out. When i ask for things he usually replies with something like "How could i say no to someone who looks like that?". It makes me feel really awkward. PLus my boss (female) says that most of the guys in the faculty act differently now that im around. They are all in their 30s and 40s. I dont kno if this is something to really worry about or just harmless? What do u think...?
  2. Terry

    Terry Antiquities Friend Staff Alumni

    What do I think? I think he's a DIRTY OLD MAN!!!

    This is sexual harrasment hun. Have a word with your female boss pronto.
    Explain to her thats its making you feel uncomfortable.
    You arent being over sensitive or imagining stuff...he's being inappropriate!!:mad:
  3. Shauna Lea

    Shauna Lea Staff Alumni

    I did tell her about it, and she said she'd have a word wit him, but i think if she does that it will just b even more awkward and i dont wanna start n e trouble over something small.
  4. SmilePretty

    SmilePretty Staff Alumni

    it isnt something small.

    if he is harrassing you and making things awkward...then he should stop.
  5. Ignored

    Ignored Staff Alumni

    The rule of thumb is if it makes you feel uncomfortable then it's harrassment. Men wouldn't take the shit that women put up with under the guise of "I'm only joking". Tell your boss.
  6. Lucie

    Lucie Well-Known Member

    Eeew, dirty old perve. Once you have left, dont go bak.
  7. XXXXX

    XXXXX Antiquities Friend

    This is honestly meant to be constructive.

    I obviously don't know what the situation actually is, but the odds are that he is just trying to be freindly, witty and charming.........and just failing miserably:biggrin: whether 16 or 60 us blokes do not always (often?!!, Never??!!) get these things right :biggrin: Throw in a generational gap and the odds of getting things right shrink :laugh:

    With you being 18 and him being 55 this does not (IMO) automatically make him a "Pervert", let alone some potential molester.........just that he is more likely to simply not realise that within this workplace their is a power imbalance going on, which prevents you having already told him subtly (or unsubtly!) that you would prefer him not to comment in certain ways........and in the absence of anything to the contrary he just carries on. He's a bloke not a mind reader :biggrin: .........the odds are he will be horrified to learn he has upset you.

    I would have an word with your female boss and explain you don't feel comfortable - but are nervous / unsure how to deal with things without upsetting anyone. The odds are that this will sort things out.

    Obviously this has been written as a 40 yo fella and I accept that your view point (and others) will vary, but I have been on both sides of the bullying stuff........and I am very sensitive to it and have also been protective / defensive of others.
  8. worlds edge

    worlds edge Well-Known Member

    I'm not saying that what he's saying is appropriate, but I think this goes too far in the other direction. Feelings are very plastic things. To say nothing about the fact that you'd be laughed out of court if you tried to bring a sexual harassment case on this basis.

    A sweeping generalization and an unfair one at that.

    At the level things are at, I'm not so sure it would help, and that it might actually hurt. Let me explain why I think this:

    (1) She's a temp on a very short-term assignment. The boss may just think that this isn't a battle worth fighting, since she'll be there long after Shauna Lea has left. Especially since the boss has already mentioned that everyone behaved differently beforehand.

    (2) The comments directed at her, while clearly bone-headed, would put her on very shaky grounds re: sexual harassment in the US. (Not sure about other jurisdictions) It is not as if she's being asked for dates, or that there's any kind of inappropriate physical conduct going on. I'm not saying there has to be a bright line for these kind of things, but this instance seems rather more muddled than most.

    (3) If Shauna Lea plans to use this place as a reference down the road, is it possible she might be labeled a troublemaker? Thus, a one month temp assignment might turn into something that'd follow her for years to come. I'm not currently responsible for any hiring, but I've done so in the past and for better or ill reputations do follow you. And when the person doing the hiring has 200 resumes that all look the same to fill three positions it doesn't take much at all to move a candidate out of contention. Calls are made, and all I would've had to have heard was something to the effect that she was a good worker but she ran to management after one of our long-term employees simply tried to be friendly...and it wouldn't matter how right or wrong the case was, that's all I would've needed to hear. After all, I still have 199 more candidates to go through.

    I'm not saying that what's going on is right, and I'm not saying I wouldn't say different if she was planning on staying there long-term (I would.) It is simply that sometimes shit has to be endured in the short-term, and that it can pay to pick which battles you choose to fight.
  9. ~CazzaAngel~

    ~CazzaAngel~ Staff Alumni

    ^^^^^^^^^ true :mad:
  10. asqy

    asqy Well-Known Member

    imo id say its sexual harassment because that is defined as unwanted attention of a sexual nature. and im going have to disagree with gmork... just because you are only there temporarily does not mean you has to put up with this. additionally, while it may be deemed "innocent" by administrators and other employees now (btw which is bullshit), it is not clear whether or not the situation will get more serious later.

    to the point of him being a long-term employee, that gives him no right to do this. who knows, maybe he has done this before? also, asking for dates or physical contact is not part of the criteria. the person who brings up sexual harassment does not even have to be the one who is being commented on, checked out, etc. it could be anyone who hears/sees this and is uncomfortable with the behavior.
  11. worlds edge

    worlds edge Well-Known Member

    Which comments that he made were of a sexual nature? This was certainly stupid:

    "Aw please stay longer than that, all us old guys love having a hot young girl like u to look at every day"

    But it seems marginal. And since it was said without anyone else around it is just as likely turn into some sort of useless he said/she said sort of thing.

    I agree that she doesn't have to put up with this, I was simply noting that fighting in this instance may not be in her long-term interest.

    She's only there for a month. How much "later" do you mean? And if things do get worse, you've changed the scenario.

    I agree, and I agree it is possible. And so what? I interpreted what Shauna Lea was asking as what advice could I give that is in her best interest. In a few weeks she's out of the situation, one way or another.

    So there is objective criteria? If so, what is it? Do tell. And specifically what did the worst offender in the situation as described do to violate it? As best I can tell, an attorney for the employer would be licking their chops over this one, even though I agree the worst offender is acting like an idiot.

    So what? You're generalizing. If Shauna Lea decides to make a big issue of this it is probably going to be quite obvious who complained, as she described the situation. True?
  12. ~Nobody~

    ~Nobody~ Well-Known Member

    Gmork, I would say that is obviously a comment of a sexual nature! I was cringeing just reading it.

    Shauna Lea, I had this kind of trouble in my old job (which was very temporary for me, too). I thought about complaining to my boss, but other employees told me that she never does anything about complaints of harrassment. In the end I just pretty much put up with it for the couple of months I was there. I made it clear to the perverts in question that I did not welcome the "attention", and just made sure I wasn't left alone with any of them. In the end though, one person started to get very physical, persistently, and I quit my job early.
  13. Shauna Lea

    Shauna Lea Staff Alumni

    Thats awful hun, im glad to hear u got out of there!
  14. ~Nobody~

    ~Nobody~ Well-Known Member

    Thanks :smile:.

    So how's your dilemma coming along?

    Hope you're okay :hug:
  15. Anamnesis.

    Anamnesis. Active Member

    I agree with XXXXX, this doesn't sound like sexual harrasment to me. More like he is trying to "compliment" you and just doing a terrible job at it, or he could be a pervert. But what do you expect of an old man who probably hasn't had any action for 30 years? :laugh: , but of course I can't hear how he's saying it (which makes a big difference). The text doesn't sound creepy to me, but how he's saying it might be creepy. My advice is to try not to over react (which I see you are not over reacting) and try to let the guy off easy. Tell him that the comments he's making make you uncomfortable and that you would like him to stop. Most guys will perfectly understand something like that without getting offended. But I'd say that the steps you are taking now are very reasonable ones and I hope the guy understands.
  16. Bob26003

    Bob26003 Well-Known Member

    I dont see what the big deal is honestly Shauna....

    As long as it dont get out of hand.

    If you really dont like it, just tell him. No biggie. I think telling a boss is way to rash.

    I mean, how many guys would bitch if Females were complimenting them. None!

    Hell, its like you cant say anything to a lady anymore. WTF!
  17. ybt

    ybt Guest

    i agree with bobert
  18. ~Nobody~

    ~Nobody~ Well-Known Member

    So are you suggesting that that's the only way to talk to a woman?
  19. Steel Tears

    Steel Tears Member

    Not exactly true. She has to tell him to stop first, BEORE its condicered harassment

    Anyways, i honestly say, Tell your boss, and talk to this guy, explain that what he does makes you feel uncomfortable, and remind him that you carry Mace at all times :p
  20. poison

    poison Well-Known Member

    I second that.
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