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suckered 28th September 2017 8:56 AM

Messy situation at work
I have worked with Dave for a few years. We also became friends and visited each other's houses and know each other's partners well.

Over time, Dave became more and more of a bully towards me. Putting me down constantly in front of others and mocking me. I tried to talk to him, he pretended that he doesn't know what I was talking about. I started to avoid him and all was well as we didn't have to interact that much. I still talked and hang out with his partner independently but felt awkward when she confided some of their relationship problems.

Fast forward to recent events. Dave made a major error at work. It is the type of error that needs to be reported immediately as it affects many teams and the whole company. I did so to our boss. Boss and Dave are "buddies" and boss's reaction was to cover up for Dave and not escalate it. It was disappointing and unprofessional. Dave came through untouched, and actually used the opportunity to point out to our boss that I only reported him because I dislike him on a personal level. He even threatened to report me to HR. The error also remained uncorrected and will came back to haunt the whole team in the near to mid term future.

Yes it's true that Dave and me don't get along but the error was real and had nothing to do with anything personal. Dave's partner (who has poor boundaries) sent me a multiple stream of texts along the lines of "Hope you and Dave patch things up". "No need to take it out on my man". I didn't respond but was highly annoyed.

At this point, I want absolutely nothing to do with Dave, his partner and bare minimum with our unprofessional immediate boss. I have started looking for other work in the interim.

I really want to unfriend both Dave and his partner from social media but am worried that if he goes to HR it will look like I did dislike him on a personal level? I only really have relatives and close to mid close friends on my social media that I use often. I cringe every time I see them on my friend list.

trailwolf 28th September 2017 10:21 AM

i think your only way out of this situation is quit an go to work elsewhere , you mentioned in your post you are looking for another job , i think that would be your best bet !

d0nnivain 28th September 2017 10:59 AM

Document every interaction & keep copies at home. When Dave tried to hurt you professionally you will have the evidence to refute his claims.

Job hunting does sound like a good plan, though.

1966Seahorse 29th September 2017 1:39 PM

Hi Suckered,

This does make for a very unhappy working environment ... I am sorry you are going through this .... in the past I was in a job where someone was openly bullying me but the main partner in the firm who I did go to was this person's boss so nothing got done ... similar to yourself in that respect .... and I subsequently started to dread every day that I went in ... I went from being quite outgoing to a bag of nerves ... anyway ....

... I note from your post that you say "the error also remained uncorrected and will came back to haunt the whole team in the near to mid term future".

Based on this statement I would say you must ensure that you document the error that your work colleague made and the action you took, i.e. reporting it, and the outcome - ensuring that you include dates, times, persons involved in the conversations/any email correspondence/phone calls regarding the error.

Then if the error does have repercussions you have the whole situation documented.

In the meantime I would be inclined to keep on looking for another job ... and I totally get what you say about what to do regarding social media ... I guess I would be inclined to not block, for the reason you state, then once you have left this employment do so then!!

Good luck!!

suckered 21st October 2017 7:52 AM

Since I posted this, the situation got worse.

Dave has openly gossiped about the whole issue, putting his own spin on events to nearly everyone that works with us. He has a forceful, outgoing personality where I am more shy. People naturally find him more fun, and many were friendlier with him so they ended up believing him. I have kept it professional and didn't gossip or spoken about anything except to the boss who supported Dave. I am totally antagonized at work and as a result I dread going in.

In an attempt to smooth things over, I messaged Dave to say that I hope we can find some way to work together without involving everyone that works with us. He didn't even respond but I found that he blocked me on social media after he received that message.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to find anything comparable in terms of other jobs so I feel stuck but I need the money.

I have even started applying to jobs that would be a step down as of last week.

Cersei 21st October 2017 8:18 AM

It sounds like you have been handling it as well as you possibly can. Hang in there and best of luck with the job hunt.

Remember that what goes around comes around. He will fry himself eventually.

OatsAndHall 22nd October 2017 8:57 AM

I would document every single interaction you have with him to CYA and just keep on job hunting. Ride it out so that you can get a decent letter of recommendation from your immediate supervisor and get out of there. There really isn't anything else you can do at this point. Taking a step down, pay wise, certainly sucks but it's worth it if it makes the working environment bearable.

iVisa 23rd October 2017 12:16 PM

Maybe it's question of another culture, but when I find my workmate made a mistake firstly I tell it him and ask about correction.

Nowaday I think the best solution for you it to seek new job.

JEG88 23rd October 2017 9:18 PM

Sadly, the only real, long-term solution is to find another job.

You will likely never be able to patch things up, and the stress of trying to achieve that isn't worth it.

Not to mention, you don't want to work for a company with that "good ole boys" culture.

preraph 24th October 2017 3:34 PM

You can always announce that you are closing down some of your social media or cutting it back to "just family" because you've had some problems or it's too time-consuming. There are a million reasons people get unfriended having nothing to do with them personally. A few months ago, I cut my Twitter way back because it was boring and then built a new set of friends concentrating on cute animals and crime and law enforcement. As it turned out, even the law enforcement are always posting cute animals, so I made the right decision. I just go look at the cute animals and tell people how cute their pets are. It's happy time instead of stressberry time.

solway86 26th October 2017 3:07 PM

I'm not one for social media, aside from stackoverflow, but assuming the T&C's permit it, you could make a private account for family/extended family only, and a public one as well.

Consider it as a clean-slate social media reboot.

If anyone asks why, it's not really their business why you did or didn't close the social media (unless it's work-related social media).

suckered 30th October 2017 10:04 AM

Does anyone think that reporting Dave to HR with examples of what I consider bullying is the right thing to do?

I can't tell if it will make my situation worse.

What_Did_I_Do 31st October 2017 8:34 PM

Bullying is considered harassment in most workplace environments (US and Canada) but you may need evidence to support this claim. (Most) employers are cognizant they could end up in legal hot water if this behaviour is not addressed or ceased.

If you love the job and need this income, read through the employee manuals and see if there is a 'zero tolerance' policy on harassment behaviour. Then you could speak to management...and ask that your conversation be documented.

Scarlett.O'hara 31st October 2017 9:24 PM


Originally Posted by suckered (Post 7454220)
Does anyone think that reporting Dave to HR with examples of what I consider bullying is the right thing to do?

I can't tell if it will make my situation worse.

I do not condone bullying at all. However, in your current situation, I can't help but feel he has the upper hand here.

He already has the backing of the boss who refused to take any action regarding his error and basically used it as a way to tarnish your reputation. Do you really think he won't retaliate if you report him for harassment? Of course he will.

Unless you can anticipate and contradict every single argument he might make against you, and concrete evidence and documentation against him, you a running a huge risk of this backfiring.

Perhaps if you contacted HR asking for advice of how to deal with a growing tension in the workplace rather than making a harassment case, it might better your chances of gaining support from the right people. I would also note your concern at no action being taken regarding your Dave's error, and the potential effect it might have on the rest of the team.

At least your concerns will be on the record with HR, so if things continue to deteriorate you have something official in writing. It will show your willingness to try and resolve the problem, rather than "overreacting" or being labelled as a troublemaker, which I am sure he will try to fling at you.

The most important thing, like others have suggested is to keep record of all interactions, emails and messages that show his behavior, and your attempts at trying to fix the situation, so you have a compelling case that you made an effort.

It may make a bit longer but you stand a better chance of preserving your reputation and exposing his flaws.

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