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Old 02-19-2021, 11:32 PM
 
6 posts, read 1,165 times
Reputation: 10

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So I've been at this job for about a solid 2 years now. Let me just say, I felt I was dealing with some sort of bullying/physical harassment situation. Basically I work for a semi-large company but mostly deal with my team/department as most companies do. The culprit in my situation is one of the managers in my team but not the one I work under directly. He is definitely a top level manager in the company. Now this all happened within around the first 5 to 7 months I want to say before I was forced to put a stop to everything and confront the guy.

Let me start from the beginning just to explain the entire situation. Kind of a long read but I want to write exactly what my experiences were and what I was thinking. To start it of, my team works in an area where everyone's office is close together. I'm located at a cubicle far away and one thing I noticed is whenever I would go to the area to see my supervisor/manager, he would sometimes come up to me with his hands out and act like he wants to choke me and put his hands near my throat area but never touched me. Kind of a joking/teasing way so I didn't think much of it and at this time, I was very brand new employee but something I remember noticing which happened at least twice because it stuck out in my mind. Whenever we all were together with the team, he treated me and spoke to me like how everyone else did and never layed a hand on me but when it was just me and him, I could sense something off and got a certain "vibe". Maybe at this time, while I was still very new to the company, it wasn't nothing and probably all just in my head.

So now to the next incident, that I can clearly remember, probably 3 months in. So we have a basketball hoop outside the company building located in the parking lot( I want to make it clear that no cars park anywhere near the hoop since people know that basketballs will be flying off the rim so no cars park at any of the parking spots near the hoop so it wasn't like I was in the way of anyone). Sometimes I'm the only one there just shooting hoops but most of the weeks I've been there, our team would play some hoops. Mostly play a game of horse, not a actual basketball game. This day, I was shooting by myself. I had Bluetooth earphones on and couldn't really hear anyone walking up to me. I'm at the 3 point line straight directly in front of the hoop and as I'm about to shoot, I stop because I feel a tap behind my legs/thighs and I turn around and the guy parks his entire car right behind me. He basically crept up slowly with his car. I turn around and see that it is him and laugh it off but I'm kind of pissed cause I could have injured myself had I decided to possibly jump and shoot and here's this jerk with his entire car right behind me and I could have landed or lost balance and sprained an ankle. He backs up, turns around, drives off to a parking spot away far away from the basketball "area". At this point, I don't think it was enough for me to clearly say, I think the guy is trying to be a bully or there was a consistent case for physical harassments going on. Maybe I was overreacting inside and it was just a innocent little prank. I don't know. You tell me. You see the new guy playing basketball outside with headphones. Let me park right behind him. Very funny I guess.

So 5 months in or 7 months maybe, at this point though, I'm defintely starting to sense more that there might be some harassment vibes going on. One day, the entire team goes out to a bar/restaurant to celebrate a coworker's birthday. I'm waiting at the food line in the other side of the restaurant and as I'm waiting, I see him coming to me to wait in line as well. I say what's up with a smile on my face although I'm already suspicious of this guy by this point knowing he is that guy who does these "touchy things" as I can perfectly describe it and as he comes closer, he does something that I did not expect at all. He puts his entire left arm around my neck almost in a headlock but not completely since his arm can't completely go around (the guy is short, about 5'3" and I'm about 5'8"), I'm kinda forced to bend down a bit since he is practically hovering over me with his weight kinda pushing me down and then punches me in the stomach with his right hand. Not a hard punch but a quick light punch but he basically just invaded my entire personal space and at this point, I'm caught off-guard, shocked, and somewhat speechless.

I didn't say anything and he didn't say anything either right after and just stared at me. Then he asked what I was getting like nothing happened and I played it off, still feeling very very creeped out, uncomfortable, and awkward, and replied but quickly removed myself away from him and got my food. I know I should have said something at this point(honestly I should have pushed him back but I was so caught off guard and felt violated by the lack of respect and personal space or at least said something about him not putting hands on me but my discomfort got the best of me and remained silent). I couldn't believe this guy, I started to realize this had turned into a "bullying/physical harrassment" issue. What person let alone a manager does this to an employee they barely know unless they had an agenda of bullying because I didn't see it any other way. I barely talked the guy since I don't work under him, just on very few occasions during team meetings. So it was at this point, I had to do something about it because if I didn't, I knew it could get worst and I don't tolerate physical abuse well let alone any type of physical actions like that.

So now I'm planning on how to approach this guy and tell him that I need for him to stop touching me or get physical with me in any sort of way but I couldn't do it in such a manner that might cause too much confrontation. I wanted to be careful since the guy is a manager and I didn't want to be getting in an argument with a manager at my new job but I knew I had to speak up because I wouldn't tolerate it anymore. So the next day, this is already on my mind that I had to put an end to this weird behavior. Even my own manager didn't treat me this way. Most I got from the guy was a pat on the shoulder whenever I did something good. But this guy, I knew I had to do it professionally and in a manner that wouldn't put my job at risk as I still was fairly new and this was my first actual position in the field I studied for in school so I hope you understand why I was wary of confronting the guy.

So the following day, I think of when to do this. As I'm thinking and planning the right time, I'm sitting in a meeting at the team's area with my manager. My manager is busy talking to someone on the phone and I got my eyes on the projector screen. He enters the room and I consciously scoot in more because I felt like the guy might do something again, maybe elbow my head "accidently" but I'm already super cautious about the guy now so as he walks towards me and finally past me, he bumps very hard into the back of my chair and I swear on my whole life, it wasn't something you just don't notice as the person doing the walking. My neck gets whiplashed abruptly, and starts to ache in sharp pain. That is how hard he hit the back of my chair and I turn to see if he would say anything but nope, he just walks off into his office.

At this point, I'm fuming and full of anger. I knew it wasn't a coincidence. If it was someone else, I might not have been as mad but I'm sure they would have apologized as well, but since it was this guy, I knew right there and then he definitely did it on purpose. I expect this type of stuff to happen in middle school/high school and normally I handled these situations with my fists rather than my mouth so my initial reaction was to run in his office and just punch him but fortunately I controlled myself. (So looking back at this, I think the guy may have been trying to get me to react negatively and cause a physical reaction to where I could get fired. I just don't know but the guy had it out for me for reasons I cannot come up with or prove. The only reason I could say why I received such treatment is that maybe he wanted me to get fired or he is just an office bully and thinks he can do stuff like this cause he is a manager but he messed up the moment he actually not just caused awkward and creepy discomfort but actual pain and I wasn't having any of it.

I went to his office and asked to speak to him in private. He obliges not saying a word and follows me to one of the interview rooms. We sit down and I just straight up, I'm sure he could sense I wasn't in a good mood, asked him what his problem was? He says what are you talking about? I tell him, you didn't just bump me in my chair and your not going to say anything or apologize? He says I don't know what you're talking about. I repeat again that he walked by and he hit me in the back of my chair very hard and told him there was no way he didn't notice and asked him repeatedly what his issue was with me. He insist again that he doesn't know what I'm talking about. I continue and then started to tell him that I knew he had an issue with me and he was full of BS. I then tell him about the previous day where he completely invaded my personal space and punched me in the stomach, and then now the chair bump and asked him if he wanted to clear the air if there was an issue with me and why he is doing all this stuff and when I mentioned the incident with him at the line at the restaurant which just happened the day before, this is just something you don't forget, he says to me "what are you talking about?" "I never layed a hand on you, I don't even talk to you, why would I do any of that".

At this point, I'm somewhat shocked but not surprised. I realized who I was dealing with at this point. I mentioned about the car basketball incident as well just to see his response and he says the same thing along the lines of denying that and never doing such thing. I'm heated still from the chair bumping so I get loud and continue to accuse him of bullying/physical harrassment. At this point, he pleads for me to quiet down because he was afraid the CEO might hear a couple rooms down but I didn't care about losing my new job at this point because I felt like this a hole was playing games with me and got even louder. I continued to grill him and stress him about all the recent behavior and he continues to deny through his teeth.

It got to a point, where he calls my manager, and now all three of us in the room and I continue to plead my case of physical harrassment. He still denies everything, not the chair, not the birthday incident, not the car incident. He finally walks out and says he can't take anymore and I continue to plead aggressively to my manager that I wasn't making anything up as he is trying to calm me down. I do calm down as I realize the guy's not there anymore and explain to my manager about what I've just experienced as well as what I perceived to be an issue of physical harrasment going on. I really thought that this day was my last day. He says he will have a talk with him and we both leave the interview room finally. And since that day, I've never received anymore weird/bullying behavior from the guy. He actually treats me nice now but I can tell it's forced and not genuine.

I'm not sure what was spoken between them but the fact that this guy just straight lied about it still bothers me to this day. Whenever I walk past him in the halls, he will do his fake hello but I'm still very guarded as well as creeped out by the guy. He will talk to me like nothing happened and sometimes catch him staring at me deeply. Maybe he is trying to intimidate me, I don't know. There were many times where I want to retaliate and possibly show him the same toxic behavior but I know this isn't the way so I just avoid him as much as possible but I'm kinda starting to feel like I should just leave and change jobs if I'm going to be coming to work and I have to feel creeped out and guarded whenever I see this guy or have to interact with this guy. He treats me "nice" now. I'm not sure if he still has it out for me? If he does violate me again in any sort of way, I think he knows better because I'll go off on him again and this time I really don't care about losing my job. I'm kinda looking forward to it actually and just waiting for any slight percieved provocation. I want to make him feel uncomfortable like he did to me if I really want to be honest.

Now, I want to see what your take on this situation was? Did I let it get too far? Should have I spoke sooner or did I react at the right time, just not the right situation. Was this bullying? Physical harrassment? A misunderstanding? I also never went to HR about this and reported. Should I have reported this at the time of the confrontation or just went straight to HR and never confronted the guy at all? The only people that know really are the bully manager, my supervisor, and myself. But I'm somewhat thinking of just leaving at this point, because even though, I did make this guy act right around, I just can't stand the sight of him anymore but I'm still not sure. If I do decide to leave, should HR know the reason why? I don't want to just quit without good reason because my reason is this guy even though the situation has been handled for about a year in now, I never got any type of closure and all that was left with is just me still remaining creeped out and guarded whenever I'm in the vicinity of this guy or have to interact with him. Had he at least admitted to the things but I know for sure he was lying so now I'm still very suspicious of the guy. What is your take on this and what should I do?

Last edited by DaWorka; 02-19-2021 at 11:50 PM..
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Old 02-20-2021, 12:37 AM
 
22,449 posts, read 13,786,909 times
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Move on and don't look back.
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Old 02-20-2021, 10:45 AM
 
6 posts, read 1,165 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburban_Guy View Post
Move on and don't look back.
If I do decide to leave, should I at least tell HR about my story so at least they know why I'm leaving? I'm not seeking anything out of it, I mean I have no way to prove any of this happened besides my word against his so there's no point in trying to prove to people the truth but at least they will get my side of the story and I feel at least someone else should know what happened during that time and hopefully it might save someone else in the future if somehow this jerkoff decides to prey on someone new at the company, because the way he treated me, I'm sure he's done this to others and maybe were too scared to confront the guy so I'm probably the first to do it but at least the company knows that ok this one guy left cause he had these experiences with this guy and if someone comes out to complain as well, at least they know there's a harassment problem in the company. I probably have to give a reason to HR anyways cause I at least want to leave on somewhat good terms and not just quit without reasonso explaining my situation to them and that I just want to move on and get away from this guy, would this be a bad idea?
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Old 02-21-2021, 06:36 PM
 
Location: on the wind
13,111 posts, read 6,625,424 times
Reputation: 43206
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaWorka View Post
If I do decide to leave, should I at least tell HR about my story so at least they know why I'm leaving? I'm not seeking anything out of it, I mean I have no way to prove any of this happened besides my word against his so there's no point in trying to prove to people the truth but at least they will get my side of the story and I feel at least someone else should know what happened during that time and hopefully it might save someone else in the future if somehow this jerkoff decides to prey on someone new at the company, because the way he treated me, I'm sure he's done this to others and maybe were too scared to confront the guy so I'm probably the first to do it but at least the company knows that ok this one guy left cause he had these experiences with this guy and if someone comes out to complain as well, at least they know there's a harassment problem in the company. I probably have to give a reason to HR anyways cause I at least want to leave on somewhat good terms and not just quit without reasonso explaining my situation to them and that I just want to move on and get away from this guy, would this be a bad idea?
You say you don't have any documentation or proof. Hearsay and even opinion aren't terribly useful. I'd suggest giving a succinct reason for your resignation and to prepare it ahead of time so you don't ramble on and on. They may or may not ask for details. They may already be aware of that person's tendencies and may be documenting it in some other way. A whole long tirade may not benefit anyone, especially if the problem happened to be specific to the two of you.

Whatever you do, remember to take a breath between thoughts. State it and stop. You don't need to include every minute detail. If you submit something in writing, use a period between sentences. Stream of consciousness style is very difficult to follow.
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Old 02-22-2021, 12:28 AM
 
Location: 60630
13,223 posts, read 19,567,505 times
Reputation: 12882
Wow..I can't belive you let him do these things to you.
He needs to be punched in the face.
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Old 02-22-2021, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Glen Burnie, Maryland
1,640 posts, read 3,810,111 times
Reputation: 2120
You said he is about 5'-3". Could it just be a case of short man syndrome?
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Old 02-22-2021, 12:06 PM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
81 posts, read 21,432 times
Reputation: 132
I didn't have time to read your whole story, OP, however, I did see a key phrase (punch). If I'm not mistaken, you would be eligible for unemployment if you quit. But don't quit, look it up first. They (unemployment) might want you to do things first like report it to an agency or hr and then see if things improve. You could call your state's dept. of labor to ask.
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Old 02-22-2021, 01:01 PM
 
11,714 posts, read 4,648,026 times
Reputation: 26867
IMO, you should've gone to HR instead of confronting him. You say you work for a fairly large company, so I'm going to assume they have procedures for these things.


I work for a large international company, and we have procedures, AND we have to take harassment training on a yearly basis. At our company, we're encouraged to either go to our manager (unless our manager is the problem) or if we're more comfortable doing so, go directly to HR.


If we complain to ANYONE about us being harassed, that person we complained to is required to report it to HR. We take harassment very seriously. At OUR company, the person you complained about would not be allowed to retaliate in any way.


I'm assuming your immediate manager did not report this, otherwise, HR would've contacted you.


If you don't know already, study up on what your companies policies are, regarding this kind of thing.
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Old 02-22-2021, 02:38 PM
 
Location: USA
1,712 posts, read 590,806 times
Reputation: 4504
So, you're wearing earbuds in a parking lot and are surprised when someone drives a car nearby because you can't hear him.

Then a few months later he "head locks" you and quickly and lightly punches your belly. You should have said you don't like to be touched. You didn't.

Next exchange is when he bumps your chair walking to his office. You are "fuming and full of anger". "I know he did this on purpose."

"My manager only gives me a light pat on the shoulder when I do a good job." Some physical contact appears to be normal behavior in your office.

"normally I handled these situations with my fists rather than my mouth so my initial reaction was to run in his office and just punch him but fortunately I controlled myself." You're lucky you restrained yourself.

You clearly are a physical person. Most people would not think of punching him as a first response.

He's not your manager.

You no longer feel bullied, but you won't let it go. "I want to make him feel uncomfortable like he did to me "

You should get out of there before your temper has you hurting someone.
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Old 02-22-2021, 04:47 PM
 
300 posts, read 109,461 times
Reputation: 594
You could file a hit and run report for him hitting you with the car.
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