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Woman Balks After She’s Told To Be ‘Nice’ To Coworker Who Refuses To Stop Harassing Her

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Even though we’re supposed to be focused on our work, our workplace environments tend to be fairly social and have problems of their own.

Sometimes those problems become so extreme, we have to report them, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor JO-99 found herself struggling to stay productive at work when one of her coworkers refused to take her no for an answer.

But because of his history, the Original Poster (OP) was advised to be nice to him.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for intentionally being rude to someone I work with because he creeps me out?”

A coworker went out of his way to regularly speak to the OP.

“I started a new job about 3 months ago. I’m always friendly and chatty to everyone, as long as they want to talk. Even if I don’t like them, I’m still polite and professional.”

“However, there’s a cleaner who is in during the afternoon part of my shift.”

“Ever since I started, he comes into the office where I work to talk to me. It’s a big building I work in and the office spaces are split between the cleaners. My space isn’t his area to clean, but every day without fail he still comes in to see me.”

When he comes in, he spends at least an hour coming in and out constantly to speak to me. Even though he still has jobs to do, the other cleaner tells him off constantly but he just laughs it off.”

His comments were inappropriate. 

“He constantly makes inappropriate comments towards me, usually when people aren’t around.”

“He asked me about my ‘sizes’ for clothes, specifically my pants or bra size.”

“He asked if he could guess my bra size, which I immediately said no to angrily.”

“One time he walked in right after I took a bite of something and asked how I was.”

“Because my mouth was full, I just nodded and made a ‘mmm’ sound to say I was good.”

“He straight away stopped and looked at me, saying, ‘I like that noise you made…’mmm,’ I like that noise from you.'”

The OP tried to discourage the coworker.

“He makes me so uncomfortable, so I’ve started being rude to him because he won’t take no for an answer.”

“He’s mentioned about taking me out constantly, but every time I say no to him, he just laughs it off.”

“Now when he walks in, I just keep my head down and don’t interact with him. Or even when he speaks to me, I ignore him and then say I wasn’t listening and that I’m busy.”

“A few times he has come in, seen me speaking with someone else, left, and hovered outside the door waiting for them to leave before he comes back in.”

“He interrupts any conversation I’m having with anyone else, so I snapped at him the other day, saying, ‘That’s so rude to interrupt another conversation, stop!’ He didn’t look happy at all.”

The OP was advised what to do.

“He has a history within the company of having anger issues. So my friend tells me I need to be nice to him.”

“But I’m done with being harassed while at work. I’m sick of being nice and putting up with him.”

“Am I The A**hole?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some were concerned for the OP.

“NTA, good grief, I am uncomfortable just reading this. Please try not to be alone with the creeper.”

“We just had a coworker terminated after being employed for 25 years for making inappropriate ‘jokes’ around a coworker that they reported. Apparently, for years, everyone said, ‘That’s just how he is.’ Well, this person wasn’t putting up with that. No amount of apologies got him off the hook.”

“Just shows you, this is taken seriously now and you need to stick up for yourself. Good luck, I hope you can get this resolved quickly.” – Ok_Confidence_6788

“I’m worried for you, this is not good. I don’t want you to get hurt. Please contact HR and get pepper spray or something.” – tontonzapata

“HR… mention sexual harassment and contacting a lawyer. They should work that out fast. That guy has to go. He is messing with your productivity. He is making you uncomfortable.” – Ht_A_Chnc

“I am cringing so hard at the sound of all this. It sounds like a very toxic work environment if nobody wants to do anything about this inappropriate behavior. That is unacceptable.”

“I work in law enforcement and have degrees in Criminology and in Psychology. This guy’s behavior is very troubling and he needs a figurative slap in the face. Ignoring things like this is why bad things end up happening to women.”

“Raise a fuss, make a big deal of it. You are within your right to do so. Not just for your comfort but for your own safety as well. DO NOT allow this behavior to continue.” – Peg_Leg_Vet

Others advised documenting everything to take to Human Resources (HR). 

“Don’t ever trust your manager to go to HR on your behalf. Do it yourself, and tell them exactly what you said here.”

“Also, state since he has no duties in the area, he needs to be barred from coming to your office, or you will press charges for harassment. If it continues, threaten to include the company in your charges. What he is doing is WRONG.” – fire_fairy_

“NTA. Report him to HR and keep track of every interaction. Like date, time, how long he was there for, what he said and what you said, etc.”

“It’s important to have this on paper. Send the report to HR by email and keep notes before and after you report it. Trust me, for harassment investigations, it’s very important.” – Difrud

“You need to use the word harrassed. Say ‘I am being harassed at work and I need something done about it so I can feel safe.'”

“You also could say to him, ‘You are making me uncomfortable, please stop.'”

“Make a record of every time he says something that makes you uncomfortable at what it was. Go directly to your HR department and use the word harassed with them.” – Music_withRocks_In

“Say you are being sexually harassed! light a fire under their a**es before this hits the point of no return. He’s made his intentions clear. Protect yourself. Take the whole company down if you have to and can.”

“I know it’s hard but please be brave for yourself. You’re probably not the only person he’s doing/done this to, but you might be the only one willing to do something about it! There are other jobs, you only have one life.” – mollygunns

After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update.

“He came in today calling me, ‘my (my name),’ so I told him I wasn’t HIS anything.”

“I snapped at him in front of four other people, who all fell silent, because they’ve never seen me anything but happy.”

“I started telling him off very angrily, and he still laughed it off.”

“So today, I’ve made a formal complaint to my manager again and to HR now.”

“Straight away, my manager made him come to apologize for his behavior today with our security officer present.”

While it’s never particularly comfortable to report someone we work with, the subReddit urged this OP to do so. Not only was this a serious pushing of boundaries, but it sounds potentially unsafe. Talk about a possibly toxic and unproductive work environment.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.