Post # 1
Should I report my coworker for harassment?
My office is very casual and I think it’s safe to say I’m probably the most conservative person here. Lots of parties, lots of jokes, everybody’s friends with everybody bla bla bla. There is one co-worker who is known as the office clown of sorts. He is known for breaking the rules, making crude jokes and drinking too much at company parties. People know he’s over the top but “that’s just Frank”
He’s been coming by my desk (like he does many of the female employees desks) just to say what’s up…to ask me “if I’m happy in life” “How’s your marriage?” NOTE: we’re not close friends and my marriage is FINE. He has NO reason to ask me these questions. He also LOVES to regularly check in with me to see if I’m pregnant. I can ignore everything else but it does really make me uncomfortable that he asks me if I’m pregnant I’ve tried lightheartedly letting him know that I don’t like it but that doesn’t seem to stop him. He’s made comments like this to me before in front of other coworkers and they always give a nervous laugh.
Today I. went out to lunch with him and a group of about 6 others and someone made note that the waitress was pregnant. He responded by saying that the worst thing you can do is ask a woman if she’s pregnant. I turned to him and said “You’re always asking me that!” and he said “that’s a joke” and asked “are you trying to have kids?” and I said “That’s not something you ask someone every time you see them. That’s not a normal thing to say, what if I was infertile?” Which he replied “Are you infertile?” I didn’t reply and my co-workers seemed uncomfortable. “Are you trying to have kids?” he asks…..I just ignored and let my co-workers change the subject.
DH and I are not trying and I don’t know if we will be able to have kids or not…we’ll have to see about that when the time comes. The point is that he KNOWS I don’t like it when he asks me this and he KEEPS doing it.
I know my whole office would just defend him like “he’s just JOKING! Don’t be such a tight ass” So should I just put up with it silently, maybe continuing to tell him I don’t like it and wait until I leave this job (hoping not to have to stay here for more than a year) OR should I report him just to get my point across that I’m not messing around?
Post # 3
He’s definitely an HR nightmare and he’s definitely asking questions that would qualify as harassment. If you are feeling uncomfortable by all of it, I would definitely report it. It’s not like they’re fire him right off the bat but he is currently a liability for the company so they do have to reprimand him for it. Just because he’s allegedly joking doesn’t make it any more okay.
At my office, there’s a lot of men and we joke about all sorts of stuff. However, the jokers know that there are certain people that are more sensitive and/or conservative and they do not joke with these people. If they do, it’s a totally harmless “knock knock joke quality type of joke.
Post # 4
I would start by point blank telling him that you find it harassing when he asks you personal questions. After that, report.
Post # 5
I would report him. You don’t want him fired, you just want him to stop. It’s ok to want to feel comfortable in your job.
Post # 6
Sometimes idiots have to be told flat out, “what you are saying making me uncomfortable. I need you to stop asking me this.”
if he brushes it off yet again.. Report his ass. Sexual harassment isn’t a joke, didn’t he take training? :). Good luck, don’t put up with that.
Post # 7
@Kimber_bee: he’s sounds socially awkward. I would have a conversation with him next time he comes to your desk and tell him your not interested on answering his questions on your uterus, ever. Not ever. if that doesn’t work then go to your supervisor then HR. but try addressing it first with him. On a sidenote at my old company my manager made major inappropriate comments to me, in my first day at work! Then yelled at me when I told a coworker. I was so upset and unsure that I never said anythianyone’s he company. I still regret not saying anything to this day.
Post # 8
@Ice_cream: i like the way you think. lol.
Post # 9
I would tell him explicitly that it makes you uncomfortable and that you want him to stop. And I would say it in front of at least one witness. I practiced Civil Rights/EEO law for a few years and one of the biggest hindrances to sexual harassment cases was victims having skipped the step of standing up for themselves and heading straight to us. This is especially so in a case like yours where the question he’s asking is not patently inappropriate, it’s just something that you don’t personally care for.
Post # 10
@Kimber_bee: wow. That is incredibly inappropriate. It is difficult when everyone in your office accepts his behavior. Is your supervisor close with him as well?
So far, i think you have been handling it great but when you brought it up and then he asked if you were infertile..omg! I cant believe people are like that and think its normal. I would try feeling out your supervisor and try to see how he would handle it. You dont want him doing the old “hey buddy you gotta leave x alone cuz shes sensitive and cant handle a joke” kind of thing. It will take a negative impact for you in the office.
On the other hand, you shouldnt have to deal with this. Is there someone higher up in the company you could bring this up to?
Post # 11
@leisha606: EXACTLY! I don’t want to be “the sensitive one” I NEEEEEEEED a good reccomendation letter from this job and I’d rather put up with his BS for 12 more months than be labeled that.
Post # 12
@Kimber_bee: I think I would point blank just tell him when he is making you uncomfortable and let him know that if it persists that you are going to have to talk to someone about it.
I am sorry you are going through this. Also I just wanted to point out that we are date twins! Yay!
Post # 13
Post # 14
@Kimber_bee: I agree with PPs. Say it clearly once, then report. ie “What you are doing is harassment. I’m not ok with it and I demand that it stops immediately.”
Post # 15
@Kimber_bee: Just a thought from me- yes, he is completely out of line, and yes you would be within your rights to report it. I personally would NOT
I would tell him point blank, in front of people, that he is making you uncomfortable. If he continues, flat out ignore him. If he doesnt get any reaction out of you he would hopefully stop. If there are any people you are close with in the office I would ask them to maybe talk to him
Reporting him to HR might make things worse. If people find out, it could potentially turn them against you.
Its shitty but that scenario might be more realistic. Always remember that HR is there to protect the employer, then you.
Post # 16
@Kimber_bee: When I first moved to Vermont, I had this AWFUL neighbor who was always shouting “Merry Christmas” at me. Eventually, he made friends with my sister, and we (she and I) discovered that he picked on me because I was SO straight-laced.
Eventually I calmed down, took his humor as being eternally off-color, and we actually ended up dating for 5 years! We’re even still friends.