Harrassment? Opinions.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Star*, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Hi family,

    Since I get such great advice here - I'm going to ask your opinions on an incident that happened at work (job#2)

    We recently (last Friday) got a new assistant manager. He'll be working mostly nights with me. No problem. I thought when I met him that his size alone was a good deterent to thefts and being ripped off.

    When I asked the manager why we got HIM as a manger after working with him for 2 days she and the other cashier made a face and said "Well...the company had a choice to either fire him or transfer him from his last store because he got accused of sexual harrassment."

    Not normally a thing you'd want to hear from a manager BUT since there are 3 girls working there - we had a right to know. And he's not a team player. I'm trying really hard to find common ground, but he's another call people behind your back person. Not good on your 3rd day.

    So last night he's complaining about the way that our manager does things from store proceedures to paperwork and he was writing. He used his left hand. I simply said "OH a Southpaw." and he said yes are you? And I said "NO, I'm ambidextrious....and I'm toebidextrious." He said "What is toe bidextrious?" and I said "I can turn off the tub fawcettes with either foot." and HE said......."That's just SEXY, SEXY, SEXY - and I can see you in a tub full of milk all the way up to the..." and looked at me and my eyes were as big as saucers. Then he stopped, and I said "Uh...look man, I'm a really Christian woman." and I got up *(BREAK OVER) and went to sweep the store and didn't say much to him for the rest of the night.

    Is this something to report? Or is it my fault for saying toebidextrious....I didn't mean to be leading.....but DF has other ideas and would like to dot his eyes and cross his t's. DF not a fly off the handle person.

    My question is - DO I tell the manager since there are other girls there AND since he's already gotten a reprieve from being fired for sexual harrassment? Or is it just me?

  2. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    That's a tough call Star. If you did mention it to management, would it in any way jeopardize you or your job? My fear is that since he's already been allowed to get away with this once, why wouldn't he be allowed to away with it again? Depends on company policy - but some companies tend to support the 'good ol' boys' way of thinking about sexist comments. Sad, but true.

    I guess if it were me, I might let the comment slide this ONE time. But, if he does choose to make sexist comments in the future , he does so knowing full well that he has crossed the line.

    by the way - I don't think saying your toebidextrous was 'leading'.
  3. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Star, you were obviously kidding by what you said, but what HE said was way, Way, WAY out of line! You mention 'bathtub' and he starts talking about seeing you in it? No way! If he's already been transferred around to different stores for making harassing remarks, you'd think he would have learned by now that remarks like that are offensive! I would report it if I were you. Don't feel bad about it either because if he hasn't learned by now and keeps right on doing it, it's just a matter of time anyway!

    If someone where I work had said that to someone, they would be out the door soooo fast!
  4. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I guess I'd be tempted to mention it to management, just to get it on record, simply because of his history, and to cover your hiney he pulls anything on you cause he can't "play" with you.

    However, personally, I don't beleive a first offense with someone is generally cause for a harrassment charge (obviously, tho, he's done this to others, so that changes it somewhat). He made his comment, you let him know that you find it offensive, he backed off.

    Personally, I beleive harrassment comes later, if he doesn't back off, or does it again.

    My 2 cents. Not even worth that much, really.
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    He was WAY out of line. Your comment had nothing to do with sex. And he jumped right in there and took the conversation there.

    Sounds like you are going to have problems with this guy because he obviously has a problem that is not going away.

    Best to keep your conversations with him to a bare minimum, no jokes whatsoever, and strictly business. He is not able to control his way of thinking and if you give him the tiniest amount of room he will dive right in again and take the conversation somewhere it has no business going.

    I would document, document, document and if this happens one or two more times, contact your HR person about it. I know in our state, sexual harrassment is taken VERY seriously and companies are hugely liable if they do not address it promptly.
  6. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    It would be a little different if there was a chance you could have taken his remarks the wrong way, or that he didn't mean what he said to sound so offensive. But he took an innocent remark you said and purposely twisted it in to a blatantly sexual comment!
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Thanks all -

    The reason I am considering rather to mention it or not? I'm putting in my notice. I just don't know about the girls left behind. This company does NOT treat it's employees well at all and is not managed well at a higher level. My store manager is a great lady. I like her and I'm sad to go - but enough is enough.
  8. Jena

    Jena New Member

    I was going to say one thing than i saw your giving your notice. If you are leaving than yes with-o a doubt i'd totally tell the manager hands down. Those other woman may not be as strong as you, and they may just crawl under a table when he hits them with something.

    To me, it's just like rape in a sense......truthfully I can wear whatever i want (ok by the way i dress conversative), and no man has the rite to rape me. YOU can say whatever you want, and so what if you said your toes are ok i can't spell lol, that word. He had no rite to finish it off with that ridiculous comment.

    UGH. grose. yup i'd so be sharing. If you were staying i'd say give him a verbal warning and if he didn't steer clear and he did it to you again or you heard of him doing it to another woman than report him. Yet now your leaving, who knows what the slimeball will do.

    Ok, lol just my two cents. sorry hot topic for me.
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I would DEFINITELY tell on your way out. And make sure you tell those girls to watch what they say and to document anything inappropriate he says. If they can help it, they should always try to have someone else around when they talk to him so there is at least one witness.
  10. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    A lot of companies have exit interviews, although I'm not sure for cashier positions. In any case, I'd let them know.

    If I were staying, I would document the case, but not say anything unless it happened again. He was way out of line, but I don't know that I would ever talk about being the bathtub to a male co-worker. I don't know, I was an office manager for an electrician and was the only female employee. There were a lot of innuendo's and I learned what not to say. Also, if they crossed a line, I let them know and they stopped. Fortunately, they were pretty protective of me and I knew it was just joking. In a male dominated field, you're going to get the male humor. It wasn't just with co-workers, but also vendors. I was pretty much the only female they dealt with.

    However, this guy hasn't been around long enough to establish that kind of rapport and he already has a history. I'd let them know on your way out so if something comes up with another employee after you're gone, they have some history.
  11. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    If I were staying, I probably wouldn't say anything. Yes, it was inappropriate but I think, sometimes, we're overly sensitive and make a big deal out of what is blatant stupidity and not really meant as harrassment. However, given his "supposed" history, since you're leaving anyway, I think I might mention it just to protect the others. Not everybody is as outspoken and able to defend themselves as we are.
  12. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Star, you know me. I banter with people all the time. I'm not excusing this guy, but maybe he is the same as me. Maybe not. Who knows. I think it would be ok to let management know this happened, but in the same sense let them know that you don't really know if it was meant with intent and just playing around. He may need to be reminded about how far you can go. Just something to be left on his record if other things happen.

    by the way...I need a phone call.

  13. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    OK, now I'm home and have more time. The State is very strict on matters of harassment and we have to sit through classes about it every year. The first thing you are supposed to do is to make it abundantly clear to the person that you find their comments and their behavior extreme offensive and demand that it stop. Make it very clear to them that if it occurs again, you will report it. If it stops there, fine. If it doesn't, report it. And document everything ... what he said, when and where he said it, who else was around and might have overheard what he said.

    I've worked with people like this before too. He sounds like one of those really obnoxious ones who gets his jollies from talking dirty to women. In this case, this jerkoff has already had his first chance! If he was moved to your store as a second chance and he felt free enough to say something that outrageous to you, there's not much hope for him and his days are numbered anyway. The store certainly didn't handle it very well and has put themselves on shakey ground legally. They are not liable if he harasses someone. But they are liable if it is reported and they fail to take corrective action on it. They could be sued - big time! He should have been fired immediately. Instead, they 'handled it' for the women in his previous store by removing him from the workplace, but then they protected him by giving him a second chance and inflicting him on YOU! They protected him at YOUR expense. Since you're leaving anyway, I'd go for it, for the sake of your co-workers. Some of them may not be in a position to leave (they shouldn't have to!) and especially if he's a supervisor, they may be afraid to speak up and think they just have to put up with it!
  14. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    REport. Good retort, by the way! And document. Look if the man has been transfered due to harrassment befor or not ( it did not work out well for other institutions, by the way).
    Maybe nothing further happens...lets all hold our breathes.
    The last time I heard a complaint of this sort, it went from bad to worse. Next I went to court with the victum who recieved a restraint order, but the fellow fought and wormed her out of her job. The next issue I had was when he was standing with his crouch at my window of my car. ANd I was waiting for my kid to get out of a church function.
    If it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, and smells like a duck...
    Not only would I document and report I would go ask for a raise. Your job just got more difficult, and they can "hear" money. In fact I would follow up my documentation of the harassment with a formal written request for the wage increase describing the change of conditions due to the toleration of sexual harrassment as an ongoing threat. Chances are they can also smell "lawsuit".
    If that guy is going to continue to be tolerated and you have complaints on file then when he does do it again, and he will, then you and ms. next can sue your employer for unsafe working conditions.
    THe fellow will minimize. HE was just joking. ect. and that is why the matter of sexual harrassment in the workplace is serious.
    If you are offered an apology refuse it.
    When men hook into an inapropriate relationship they will often exstend contact by the false contrition.
    There are professional services that are available to a man or woman who lacks the appreciation of the inappropriate sexualization of others.
    One line I use when confronted with all sorts of other peoples emotional problems is : "hye you can call an 800 number and get a referral for that"
    GEt a recorder and tape him while you are work all day everyday. How long will it take for the next one, do you think?
  15. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    He crossed the line, plain and simple. Nice to know his fantasies (milk and bathtub? ewww), but they're HIS and not to be shared with a female co-worker. Since you're going to give notice anyway, I'd report it and I'd let the other girls know what was said, what you did and what the company did about it. They need a head's up on this. Considering he was moved, they might have a case for a serious lawsuit if he continues making comments.
  16. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree that since you are leaving I would report it.
  17. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    If nothing else had never happened with this guy, I would be apt to let it slide, just letting him know you don't appreciate his conversation. Knowing that this company moved him because he was harassing other women, I'd give you a big fat YES this is harassment and I would document and report this whether you were leaving or not. Just what is it with these creeps?!

    My two younger daughters have been sexually harassed and it really pi$$es me off that these jerks, (sorry I feel rather passionate about this) continue on even after it has been brought to their attention and I think EVERY single company has posters hanging, tells new hires as part of orientation what constitutes harassment, and that it is AGAINST THE LAW.

    My younger daughter worked at a fast food place as a car hop. She worked there almost a year before she told me that the night manager, a man much older than her, married, with 6 children, was smacking her rear, making sexual comments, and was accidentally touching her breasts. OMG! Talk about out of your mind angry! :grrr: We did speak with the owner and the pervert was fired immediately. When the owner spoke to the other girls, he found that my daughter was not the only one experiencing this, just that nobody else told!

    My other daughter worked at the biggest grocery store chain in Texas. They have perverts there too. :grrr: She had an older married man, in his 60's, pushing up against her and touching her and making inappropriate comments to her while she was at her cash register. I just could not believe it! I went immediately and told one of the top store managers, who happened to be a woman, with teen daughters herself, by the way. She actually had the nerve to tell me that they would investigate. My daughter told her the names of other girls that had experienced the same thing (nobody else told, but did confirm). They took over a week to fire the pervert. Again I was livid! That grocery store chain is very lucky that we did not file suit.

    We did not contact the police in either case, for one reason only. These perverts were married, and I felt so badly for their wives. They would pay a price for something they had no control over.

    So, yes, we should report every single incident. It's no surprise to these guys that what they are doing is wrong and illegal. If you don't report him, who is to say that he will continue with the younger girls who won't tell?

    Let your DF dot his eyes, among other things. He might just get the message you think?
  18. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Reminds me of once when I was teaching, I had a superintendant who seemed a little "overly familiar." Nothing I could put my finger on but he made me uncomfortable at times. One day when I was copying some materials he happened by and brushed up against me. Was it on purpose? Don't know for sure but it never happened again: I always wore high heels and I jumped back and impaled his foot. Of course, I apologized. And of course, he knew I did it on purpose. But what could he say? It does pay to be devious.
  19. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I agree, since you're giving notice anyway, that you should let management know what this clown said to you. If you were staying, I'd let the first time slide, since you made it clear that this was not a topic you cared to discuss, and then report the next time it happened.
  20. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Since the guy saw the look on your face and you said what you said, I'd leave it at that. HOWEVER, if he does it again, then I'd make the manager know about it.

    Had the manager NOT said anything to you, would that have made you react the way you did? Or would you have given him the benefit of the doubt? in my opinion, the manager should not have said that. She could have told you to be wary of him, but she shouldn't have blurted that out, but that's my .02. That's just coming from my years of being in retail management.