How to deal with a rude harasser at work.

Reena asks: You know how it is to be a working woman. I am very dedicated to my work. My Bosses are very happy with my work. However, it has definitely harboured some kind of envy and jealousy among other team members in the team. Now I am quite a target and I’ve noticed, people do keep an eye on me. But there’s this one guy at work I’m genuinely fed up with and don’t know how to deal with it. I am a very simple person Shirelle. I come, work, make money and go home. I have very few friends at work and am very happy with them. But there’s this one twisted colleague at work who believes that all the success am achieving is through deceptive means. He has his own perception about me. Basically he has just assumed a lot. I am fed up with his indirect taunts and comments like, “Show me the Real You”. “Remove the mask when talking to me”. “I don’t get scared of anyone”. “She is fake”. The last time an email was sent to me and he started enquiring about that email which was obviously none of his business. I yelled at him because I had taken enough from him. I told him to stay out of my business. I have already sent an email to my Manager but no use. His behavior has worsened. I changed my place and now sit somewhere else and yesterday he came and sat in front of me. All my life I have felt vulnerable because I didn’t have a father growing up (my parents separated) and now I feel very vulnerable at work too.. Please advise.

Hi Reena –


Well, I can’t quite answer yes to that first statement of yours.  I mean, I’m not a working woman – I’m just a dog with a hobby I adore! – but I’ve sure heard a lot about the problems working women go through, including harassment of different sorts from creepy guys.


But I have to be honest with you, this man doesn’t sound like most of them I’ve heard.  Instead, he sounds like someone out of a lot of letters I’ve gotten from young girls, like in elementary or middle school!!  And my guess is usually that the boy who’s bothering the girl, saying rude things to her, crowding her space — LIKES her!  And doesn’t know more appropriate ways of showing it!


And here’s the weird part, then I tell them something like “But don’t worry, he should grow out of this pretty soon, by the time he turns thirteen or fourteen!”  But this guy you’re talking about, I assume, is WAY older than that!


So what in the world…?!


And it’s not fair for me to speak too condescendingly – I was just as bad a puppy as those boys are!  I chewed everything and bit everyone and tore all sorts of stuff up… but at some point around two years old, I did grow out of it!


So what in the world is with this guy?!


I’m actually thinking that my instinct is right (we pooches are good at that), and that this man is attracted to you.  But if he ever had a chance, he’s probably ruining it!


My best advice to you would be to, although you like keeping to yourself, find at least one coworker you like enough to work next to them.  Most likely, this guy won’t do all this obnoxious stuff when you’re not alone.  And if he does say or do anything, just make sure they see or hear it, or at least hear about it afterward.


Your manager is probably too embarrassed to deal with this odd situation.  Your job is to get this guy to feel the same way!


Now my other bit of advice might be tougher:  If you do this and he stops this nonsense, and then he approaches you in a nice, respectful way, I think you’d do well to treat him nicely in return.  Nothing big, but don’t be mean to him, or he’ll figure he’s no better off than when he treated you badly.


So these are my best thoughts.  But I’ll admit, I could be completely wrong on this one!  (And if I am, I’ll be happy to throw in some other ideas, when you know more)


Let me know what happens!


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