June 8, 2011


Hey lovelies! This is going to be a non-makeup related post and a bit longer than usual. But I've had things built up on my chest and I need your opinions/help.

So as you may know, I work in a very male-dominated field of mechanical engineering. Most of the time, I love my job and I like most people I work with. I pretty much don't work with any women, I also don't look like what men think of women in my field should look like (trust me, there's a stereotype I don't fit!). So I obviously always hear a lot of comments, sometimes as a joke and sometimes irritating stuff. I usually am pretty good at knowing how to deal with it. But then I had an issue lately I couldn't ignore.

Some guy who doesn't even work in my department started making up random rumours about me. This included telling people that I was sleeping with another coworker when we'd gone for lunch, telling another coworker he thought I had a couple of boy toys.... but then the worst one was he told one of my work buddies at happy hours that "it wasn't fair that Saadeh looks the way she looks and walks around wearing what she does and no one can get with that"!!! Keep in mind, I dress professionally for work, I just dress like a woman! Also, I never really talk to this person, I didn't even know his last name.

After the last comment got back to me, I went in and complained to my supervisor (to whom I'm pretty close to) about this issue. It had made me so upset I was extremely uncomfortable around Mr.Rumour. I told him I didn't want to make a formal complaint to HR about this guy or get him fired but I just wanted him to stop. My boss was very good about it and said he'd deal with it.

Then a few days go by and I find out yesterday that Mr.Rumour was fired! Now I can't help but feel bad. I really didn't mean for him to be punished this way. I feel like I should have maybe just confronted him. But I only complained as his actions seemed very vindictive to me.

What do you guys think of this situation? What's done is done but would you have dealt with this differently?


14 Responses to "Rant of the Day - Harassment in the Office"

  1. Alisa Says:

    That's a terrible situation for you to be in but I don't think you should feel bad. He did many, many things that were beyond unprofessional and deserved to be fired. Any supervisor or HR person worth his salt would have done the exact same thing.

    I'm so sorry work is so uncomfortable for you but please remember that none of it is your fault. He created the situation himself and now needs to deal with the consequences.

  2. Arianne Says:

    Wow! Good for you for reporting it to your supervisor. I would've done the exact same thing. I'm sure there are some things in your job that may already stress you out, and NO ONE deserves to be put under this kind of stress as well. He was very unprofessional, whether he said it jokingly or not. What he did were totally unacceptable in any workplace. So don't feel bad! You did the right thing!

  3. Tamara Says:

    Don't feel bad for someone else acting foolish. He made his rumour filled bed and most companies have zero tolerance for that kind of behaviour. Those kinds of accusations are malicious and nothing to joke about.

    His motivations are beyond me, but it sounds like you represented something his mind couldn't fathom.. how dare you be competent, intelligent AND feminine?! LOL

    I would have done the same thing, though I probably would have confronted him about it too. ;]

  4. makeupaddict77 Says:

    I don't know the law in Ontario but it is unlikely that he would be fired under these circumstances (i.e. you, the complainant) didn't want it and where it could be easily contained. This would suggest that they wanted rid of him any way or that this was not the only thing he had done to draw attention to himself or that your place of employment has one of the strictest zero tolerance policies on harassment I've heard of. Regardless, it was down to his own behaviour and he will have been aware that that sort of attitude is one best kept to yourself if it is one you hold, as he clearly does.

    Confrontation wouldn't have been likely to work, it woulds probably have escalated it and it could have caused you a lot of hassle. Keeping things as official as possible in these cases is usually the best option, otherwise it can create a bad atmosphere and one which can back fire spectacularly (of all the people I know to have had trouble at work it's where they've kept quiet and it has become standard practice as a result the boss'es haven't taken it seriously thinking they were fine with it, or they've argued and the boss'es have had words with them not coming forward and creating an atmosphere).

    I think you did the right thing, he is the author of his own misfortune.

  5. Naomi Says:

    Way to go for standing up for yourself; you should never feel bad for that. His actions alone are what got him fired.

    It so refreshing to hear of an employeer that takes these things seriously and acts upon them in a timely manner.

  6. JC! :) Says:

    That is a tough situation but honestly, I feel you did the right thing. I think you're a great person for caring about his job, but truly he had no reason other than sexism/discrimination/whatever to start those rumors. They weren't even light rumors. Those are the kind of rumors that can destroy someone's reputation and credibility, whether or not they're even true. I know you feel bad and I am sorry for how it happened, but he really deserved it.

  7. Yami Says:

    That i so tough! You are bound to feel bad, although you shouldn't. It was this guys fault he got fired! You know what they say, you reap what you sow.
    I think you did the right thing. No one should have to work under those kind of conditions. And it is horrible for someone to just go and spread rumors about you.

  8. Andrea Says:

    I think you did the right thing. He should of known there woulod be consequences for his actions. you couldnt just ignore his comments especially since it was in the workplace. Who knows the next thing he would of said or done. Some people are just crazy and have no ethics

  9. Jess Says:

    You did the right thing. He got what he deserved, since his rumors could have jeopardized your career.

  10. Janella Says:

    Don't feel bad at all, his words of choice were inappropriate and when he started there he was well aware of what type of talk was tolerated from whats not. I commend you not alot of women in a male dominated workplace would speak up and say something. Good for you! don't lose sleep on this!

  11. Kristie Says:

    Sorry to hear about your ignorant co-workers. I would definitely go to HR or your manager and tell him the situation. It's never OK to harass or spread malicious information about anyone, regardless of the work field. Like you, I also work in the tech field and comments like these are unacceptable. I hope he gets disciplined for his disrespectful behavior. HUGS.

  12. Amina Says:

    I am so sorry you have been going through this. Like the others said, please don't feel bad. I am personally afraid of confrontation and I would have reported it to the supervisor too. You did well because you never know how confrontation might have ended. Also, he brought it on himself.
    His actions were very unprofessional, cruel and also show discrimination.
    Please don't feel bad.I agree with what Tamara said. He is the one who can't fathom that you don't fit that category.

  13. Amanne Says:

    Don't feel bad about it. He's a jerk and he deserves what he gets. He's an adult so he needs to deal with the consequences of his actions.

    If I was you I would have gone straight to HR. I'm glad did stand up for yourself and spoke with your supervisor.

    I'm pleasantly surprised that your employers actually did something. I had complained to a previous employer about inappropriate comments made towards me about me being Muslim and nothing was ever done. Bravo to your employer.

  14. Shadowy Lady Says:

    Alisa - The more I think about it, the less bad I feel for him, thank u :)

    Arianne - My job is quite stressful and u're correct i could do without the added drama. The beast is gone :D

    Tamara - I know, it's like a combo some men seem to hate :/ I hear things sometimes but this was by far the worst I've ever dealt with. Glad he's gone!

    MakeupAddict - his performance wasn't the greatest in general and I'd heard his teammate complain about him. So I'm guessing this was just the last straw and they got rid of him. My boss also strongly discouraged me to confront this guy when I complained to him. He said he didn't want me anywhere near him.

    Naomi - thanks sweetie. Yea now I actually am much more comfortable at work. Ever since I'd heard about this guy's rumours I was walking around extremely self-concious and creeped out. His being gone is a breath of fresh air.

    JC - yes, I was mainly worried about a false reputation now being given to me. I also couldn't pass him without feeling creeped out in and out. Thank goodness for quick reaction of the supervisors :)

    Yami - thank u, yes it's the ppl pleasing person in me that probably felt bad for him. I don't anymore though. He didn't have to do what he did.

    Andrea - I went out with some girls from work last night and celebrated his being gone. Nobody really liked him but he also was really only that malicious toward me, who the heck knows why :/

    Jess - thank u, glad that the beast is gone :D

    Janella - thank u, that's what my boss said to. He said he was proud of me for not taking it and he wouldn't let anyone bully his staff. I love my coworkers and the one weirdo is now gone :)

    Kristie - thanks hun, I did complain about him in the end. They ended up firing him :)

    Amina - thank u, i hate confronting but I was also too creeped out by him to be even near him. I'm glad my boss dealt with it. I like him even more now :)

    Amanne - I'm glad they dealt with it too. There should be no tolerance for any kinda discrimination at work. I know in Canada tolerance for sexual harasment is zero

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