(Closed) Intimidated/harassed by colleague at work

posted 4 years ago in Career
Post # 2
Member
1592 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

frostfromfire:  Can you elaborate on the “intimidation” and “harassment”? Was she physically threatening you? 

Post # 3
Member
14964 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Simply being demanding at work and trying to get a job done is hardly harassment or intimidation in my book.  You said yourself she wasn’t “rude” (maybe just authoritative?) so I’m not sure how it could be considered intimitdating.  Did she threaten your job or you physically or something?

Post # 5
Member
11616 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

frostfromfire:  sounds like she messed up or dropped a ball and she’s trying to make it your problem. I would definitely tell your supervisor how sorry you were to be unable to complete her request, as it wasn’t possible, and ask how they would prefer you respond. Show them her email and your response and ask for feedback. 

I have  very powerful people who try to intimidate me on a reg basis at work. Stay calm, be reasonable, dont take them at face value and don’t let your emotions talk you into reacting. Stay firm, stay logical, and stay detached. 

Post # 6
Member
1754 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

frostfromfire:  Without knowing what she asked you to do or what she said, I can’t tell if this is harassment or not. You said the emails aren’t even “rude,” so I’m at a loss. 

I will say that I’m a teacher and have learned through experience that people will easily and often believe you can do something that you can’t actually do. It’s not that they are trying to intimidate you – it’s that they legitimately believe you are capable of doing whatever thing. They don’t understand your job. 

Post # 8
Member
1754 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

frostfromfire:  Is it possible that she’s just blunt and didn’t intend to intimidate you? You can declare her actions but you cannot decide for yourself what her motives or thoughts were when she emailed you. 

I know I’ve already commented, but sometimes there are people who literally do not believe you or understand why you cannot do x or y for them. They think you have access to things you don’t, that you have more authority than you do, or even that you’ve done it for others before. 

Before you say something to her supervisor or report her, I would say something to her in person. “Hey, I’m so sorry we can’t do x for you. I just don’t have the authority / access to the materials / whatever. I wish I could! But it’s beyond my control. I do recommend talking to blahblah about it though!”

Done. If she continues to bug you, then MAYBE it’s harassment. 

Post # 10
Member
11616 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

People don’t need to be rude to intimidate someone. Repeated demands that are not within the scope of work and are impossible to be accomplished CAN BE ( depending on how it’s done) a form of workplace harassment.

in my work, the people will scream and swear and try to humiliate people. You have to stand up for yourself and prove you won’t be bullied. I realize this is different, but that doesn’t make feeling set up to fail any less problematic. 

Post # 11
Member
1592 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

frostfromfire:  Thanks! As for your situation, it’s difficult to really make a determination without knowing what was said (but understand if you can’t say it here). Maybe on Monday approach your boss with your concerns to see how they would handle it. 

Honestly, though, I think you should just brush it off (assuming there weren’t any threats made toward you). Some people are just difficult to deal with, whether it be their personality or they’re just having a bad day. I wouldn’t jump to harassment or intimidation as those are pretty serious allegations to throw around and often come with serious consequences. 

Post # 12
Member
1167 posts
Bumble bee

I’m sorry you feel shaken up by this e-mail.  Can I take a guess that people around you are fairly nice?  That’s great! 

In my job, I work stressful, 13 hour-days and harassment-like e-mails are actually quite normal.  It’s tough when you first see it, but it gets really easier to handle once you get a hang of it LOL.  I usually do this approach:

(1)  Take my time to draft the perfect response.  When I just started, emails like this create a ‘panic’ mode in me.  I write stupidly without thinking and fire off a response hoping she would go away.  OH man, I was so young.  Now, I take my time to read her e-mail without paying attention to the harshness and I write down possible response. 

(2)  I would copy my manager/senior to the e-mail.  If I’ve received something that is not in my capacity to do, and my boss is copied in that e-mail, I would reply back in a very smart manner.  This is an OPPORTUNITY in disguise because not only can I show my boss that I am calm amidst chaos, but I can also show her that I am smart enough to provide a solution to this problem that is not required by my work.  I show initiative, grace, and smarts.  Win-win-win all around!

(3)  Keep calm.  I would avoid conflict at all costs–you don’t want to burn bridges that doesn’t absolutely need to be burnt.  I would also provide her with a solution and a reasonable timeline. 

“Like I mentioned in my previous e-mail, the request is beyond our departmental scope.  I am willing to learn to provide you with this help, and I would realistically complete it before Tuesday next week.  If this is of no consequence, I would gladly provide you with help.”

That’s usually what I do with stressor clients.

 

 

Post # 13
Member
1543 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Well… just don’t do it, it’s not your duty. Nevermind her, if she says something on monday, report her.

Pretty easy.

Post # 14
Member
1317 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

HaaaveYouMetTed:  I wouldn’t jump to harassment or intimidation as those are pretty serious allegations to throw around and often come with serious consequences.”

 

OP feels harrassed/intimidated and i feel like the quoted statement is trying to negate her feelings. 

Post # 15
Member
928 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I just don’t understand what the harassment was. Can you post her emails (or sections of her emails) with company info redacted? I just don’t feel like we can give you advice if we don’t really know what she said or really even how she said it.

It sucks when people are rude at work and try to make their problems your problems. For now I’d just send the whole email thread to your boss and ask how they’d like you to proceed, but it’s hard to say without knowing what she said to you. Sorry, OP!

 

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