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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
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Problem by kazzzz on 15 August 2006 7:34am
It's not often I post a serious post but I wanted some advice ( no it's not about creme eggs...)

I work in a very busy shop, and one of the men that works here is doing my head in. He's the boss's right hand man, indispensable. He won't leave me alone, sexual innuendos all day, commenting on my physique, I have to watch what I wear, he stares at me all day, the comments he makes are disgusting. If I ask for help with anything he asks to be "repaid".The boss knows and laughts it off. I'm sick of it but I need my job and the boss doesn't care. Today I was looking for a birthday card for my 14 year old daughter and he suggested I visit a sex shop to buy her one. It's a constant barrage and he's making me thoroughly miserable at work. And yep he's married.
Recently I ignored him for week, not a word, and he asked if he'd upset me and apologised, he said he would keep his mouth shut. This "keeping his mouth shut" lasted all of a day.
Don't know wot to do...has anyone else had similar problems?
Re: Problem by perfectbitch on 15 August 2006 9:20am
I would be inclined to confront him very loudly (in front of others if you can) and tell him that unless he ceases this sexual harrassment, you will take the matter further. Explain that you find it very offensive and have already sought legal advice. If he doesn't stop, then go and see a specialist solicitor. This will cause a lot of stress but you are under stress anyway so at least by confronting him, you will be on a positive road. I would tell your boss that you are sick of his innuendos and lewd suggestions about your daughter. But keep loudly rebuking him for every misdemeanour.

Get legal help kazzzz. You realla shouldn't have to put up with this bully.

Re: Problem by Helen on 15 August 2006 1:12pm
document and back-document every incident--day, time, what was said/done, and sue that company into oblivion. Get a good lawyer. Do it now.

The boss knows, and doesn't care? Hmmm. How about a lawsuit??? This just steams my dumplings. So sorry y ou are dealing with this Kazzz. The loud rebuking with witnesses is not a bad idea, either.

I was harrassed at a car dealership where I worked as a lot attendant--by a mechanic. One day I stood up to him-- He teased me as I was trying to remove a rusted license plate from car, and said "how does it feel to be a little girly lot attendant who can't even remove a license plate?"

I stood up, looked him in the eye and said the following to him in front of all the other mecahnics in the garage:

"How does it feel to be such an asshole?"

After the other mechanics applauded me, the jerk never bothered me again.

But what this guy is doing is worthy of prompt legal action..Ugh. He even involved your 14 year old daughter in his shenanigans. That's sick.

Good luck. Go kick some ass.
Re: Problem by kazzzz on 15 August 2006 1:49pm
Thanx gals. He's like a lot of Australian men, they treat women like dirt.
Re: Problem by Lounge Trekker on 15 August 2006 6:26pm
It sounds like a serious problem kazzzz. In Canada I've read in the papers about issues of this magnitude going the distance in the legal system.

Do legal research and as Helen suggests, document each incident.

Sorry to hear of you having to endure this garbage.

Re: Problem by pandab on 16 August 2006 1:02am
Yes, I've been harrassed like this.

When I was in the Navy, stationed in Spain, I worked for three months in the galley (cafeteria, for you landlubbers). Busy place. We served three meals a day to about 2,000 people.

Anyway ... To add to my general hatred of working food service (I loathe it and sympathize with anyone who does it for a living), I was subjected to comments and even gropings on several occasions. Being young and inexperienced, I was afraid of saying anything, and when I finally worked up my nerve to approach the Senior Chief, I was told to live with it. Very supportive, no?

Fortunately, my Division Officer from my regular command noticed a difference in my personality and asked me if anything was wrong. Out it all spewed. Every nasty detail.

At that time, sexual harrassment was just starting to receive serious attention in the media. Especially harrassment in the military. Between my DO, Department Head, XO and CO, the situation got corrected. Let's just say they did it by the Navy book, and when someone throws the Navy book at you, it hits with a big thump.

Moral of story: Don't do nothing. Helen's advice is excellent. Document. Document. Document. I don't know Australian law, but if the boss won't do anything, legal action is called for. Just make sure you've got all your duckies in a row.

Her advice about confrontation is good, too. Be careful you don't open yourself to him claiming YOU are harrassing HIM, but don't just take it. In a firm voice, tell him, "I do not appreciate your comment." Or, "If you cannot speak to me professionally, do not speak to me at all."

I'll warn you. You will be called a Bitch. But don't let that bother you. After all, being a bitch is better than being a doormat.

Yes, I've been called a Bitch, and it is a label I am rather proud of. It stands for "Beauty In Total Control of Herself".


(P.S. I don't come up with good comeback lines often. Too slow. But I did once, and I was so proud of myself I could've just popped. A couple years ago a male co-worker said, "You know, with those knockers, you're really hot." My reply was, "Why, thank you. It's too bad I can't return the compliment.")
Re: Problem by sighthound on 16 August 2006 1:53am
I agree with everything the others said, kazzzz. Definitely document everything; write a summary of all that has happened until now with all the details you can remember (dates, witnesses, your responses, etc.) and then log in every new incident as it occurs. Try to get someone you trust to witness you telling him to stop. Let him know that you have documented everything - that might get him to understand how serious you are. I don't know what the laws in Australia are like but, here in California, your boss would have also to pay out big fines plus a very large settlement to you if he allowed behavior like that to happen more than once in a place of business. You might not even have to pay for a lawyer - there might be public or private agencies who can advise you about how to proceed.

Have you talked to your boss about it? I'd certainly tell him about the incident about your daughter - many men who think "it's all in good fun" wouldn't think that if it involved a 14 year-old. I think I'd also tell your boss that I'd be much more productive in my job if I weren't hindered by such abuse. I don't know what you do or how you'd quantify "more productive" but, if you can figure out a way to make your boss understand that the guy's obnoxious behavior is hitting him in the pocketbook, he'd probably take it more seriously. And be sure to keep calmly referring to it as abuse and don't let them claim that it's "just a joke" which is what bullies like that do to try to keep you powerless.

I've had to deal with similar things both before and after there were laws with teeth enacted to stop it. It's amazing how that kind of behavior would stop when the perpetrators understood that they would have to pay a price for it.

So sorry you're being put through this.
Re: Problem by tucsonmike on 16 August 2006 5:23am
Kaz, I almost keeled over when you said he made comments vis a vis your daughter. You should pursue this as far as the law will take you. Otherwise, I have to go there and hurt him...

But I digress. In Arizona, the moment this fool made the comments about your daughter, you could have had him arrested. It would have been considered improper conduct toward a minor. If this had happened in Tucson in front of witnesses, this person would be in the Pima County Jail tonight.

Pandab, I liked your comment about what bitch stands for. I just told Elaine. She can't stop giggling.

Yes, Kaz. The Buck stops with you!
Re: Problem by fairygirl48 on 16 August 2006 6:09am
I was utterly shocked when I read what you were going through, Kaz. I agree with the others. Keep documentation and get legal help ASAP. Terribly sorry you're having to deal with this, and I hope he gets what he deserves!


PS-Pandab, I liked your bitch acronym as well.
Re: Problem by kazzzz on 16 August 2006 6:44am
Thanx for all your advice guys, it seems to be leading in one direction and one direction only. To take it further. I'm sick of keeping my head down and trying to avoid eye contactwith him. It makes me feel physically ill. Sometimes I bring my daughter to work with me but won't be doing that anymore.Today I spent lunch outside (it was blowing a gale) but it was preferrable to being in the same room as him. I'll give this some serious thought.
Thanx again all.

Yup that BITCH acronym is fabulous!!
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