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work situation, double standards or am I being overly sensitive?

work situation, double standards or am I being overly sensitive?

Old Nov 11th 2018, 10:31 am
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Default work situation, double standards or am I being overly sensitive?

Give me your thoughts, I am not sure why it is bothering me, maybe because I am worried about being reported or because I don't think I did anything wrong... is this a humour/culture difference?

Here is the situation, a woman I work with a woman (I am her supervisor) who often makes comments about being single and being the stereotype cat lady etc. We had a new guy hired in, about her age and single, extremely nice. In a conversation I suggested they get together and have dinner or more precisely he "should take her out to dinner'. They were both present when I said it. She announced that I was 'crossing the line' and it was "sexual harassment'. I am not one to create drama so I let it go.

That said take into account on the very same day before this happened, I had to go outside to talk to one the drivers who was delivering a storage container, I had to wait with him a couple of mins until my manager came to make sure it was placed correctly, when I returned to the building she asked if I "was having a quicky with the driver" when I told her why I was gone so long she said she "thought I was giving him one on the side". Later the same day, after the dinner comment, I was accidentally bumped in the face/mouth with a box, I made the comment that "I may not have the best teeth in the world but I wanted to keep them. To which the other woman replied that "having no teeth would put a smile on your husbands face" whilst making a winking motion. When I pointed out her earlier comment about sexual harassment she said it was "it is different your married"!

She has since mentioned my 'inappropriate comments' to other employees a couple of times since and I have had to use all my resolve not to snap her head off. Seriously am I missing something here? I have never before been accused of Sexual harassment .
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Old Nov 11th 2018, 1:02 pm
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Default Re: work situation, double standards or am I being overly sensitive?

I see some micro aggression, some other issues, we live in the land of the permanently offended, need to focus on your own cards, female and immigrant come to mind.
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Old Nov 11th 2018, 1:09 pm
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Default Re: work situation, double standards or am I being overly sensitive?

Here's my thoughts. A mixed bag.

Harassment is the hot topic. My employer is putting all 11,000 staff through harassment training. The big takeaway from it is that harassment is based on perception. If the 'injured party' feels they are being harassed then even though the action using that feeling was non-malicious it can still be harassment.

That said, it sounds like there's a fairly 'robust' culture at your workplace.

All of which brings thoughts to...

Yes, your comment was inappropriate.

Yes, there's some double standards going on. However, that does not mean any individual comment is okay.

Irrespective of the robust culture, any of the comments you mention being made by people would fall under the label of harassment if the recipient wanted to make a complaint.
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Old Nov 11th 2018, 1:54 pm
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Default Re: work situation, double standards or am I being overly sensitive?

Yes, your remark/suggestion was inappropriate. Don't know if it would be called sexual harassment but yes, it can be reported and you can be reprimanded for the inappropriate remark. A co-worker can toss out a comment on their own lives but never should a co-worker remark on another co-worker's private life, either of a social, financial or sexual nature. Your remark, however, placed both co-workers in an awkward spot by telling them they should date. As you are a supervisor, I would assume that you were given a class or tutorial on harassment in the workplace and if not, then you need to find one and read up. Our office had a mandatory seminar on this each year and we were all required to attend regardless of our position within the company.

No, there is no double standard. Your worker's remarks to you that were of a sexual nature, can and should be reported as they, too, are inappropriate in the workplace.

IMHO, I would go to my supervisor on Monday morning and report all instances. Yes, yours as well. Strange that your superior was also one to make flippant sexual comments to you.

Your place of employment apparently has very relaxed rules and atmosphere.

If the three of you were outside of the workplace and having lunch or a drink after work and you three were "friends" the remarks could be glossed over. They cannot and should not be poohed poohed away as fun and games. The repercussions can be severe.

Last edited by Rete; Nov 11th 2018 at 2:25 pm.
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Old Nov 11th 2018, 2:20 pm
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Default Re: work situation, double standards or am I being overly sensitive?

OP, you say that you are the supervisor, so it seems that you have put yourself in a difficult position for reprimanding others for inappropriate comments by having made an inappropriate comment yourself. Perhaps you should get your staff together and apologize for your misstep and point out that it is a two way street—everyone should refrain from such comments in the workplace going forward.
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Old Nov 11th 2018, 4:51 pm
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Default Re: work situation, double standards or am I being overly sensitive?

Thank you for the outside perspective, I appreciate it.
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Old Nov 11th 2018, 5:05 pm
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Default Re: work situation, double standards or am I being overly sensitive?

I personally don't see anything offensive in what the OP said but there again I'm a guy, now in my 60s and agree with the second reply that nowadays its so easy to offend. Bring back the 'good old days' before social media arrived!
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Old Nov 11th 2018, 5:09 pm
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Default Re: work situation, double standards or am I being overly sensitive?

You might find this website helpful as a guide to is considered harassment.

https://i-sight.com/resources/11-typ...them/#Personal Harassment

BTW I have an internet friend who was in a union job in NYS and lost her job last Christmas Eve because she had complained/talked negatively about her supervisor to a contractor and further damaged herself by sending him the same in a text message. The contractor in turn reported that conversation to the supervisor who in turn brought it to the attention of the union. After a lengthy investigation, while she was placed on paid leave, she was given the opportunity to leave voluntarily or be out and out fired. She chose to leave voluntarily. In either scenario would she be ineligible for unemployment benefits and she is still job hunting.
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Old Nov 11th 2018, 6:28 pm
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Default Re: work situation, double standards or am I being overly sensitive?

I would probably say nothing to either this woman or the new hire guy, apart from strictly work related stuff, and give them broadly similar tasks and number of tasks, then neither can complain of being discriminated against, but then again, they might. Only say stuff to them when there is a neutral 3rd party present, if possible.
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Old Nov 11th 2018, 11:16 pm
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Default Re: work situation, double standards or am I being overly sensitive?

Originally Posted by Floridablues View Post
I personally don't see anything offensive in what the OP said but there again I'm a guy, now in my 60s and agree with the second reply that nowadays its so easy to offend. Bring back the 'good old days' before social media arrived!
Oh yeah, the good old days. How I long for the ass grabbing boss or the cheeky breast squeeze by a coworker at the Christmas party. And let's not forget the "sleep with me or you're fired" supervisor. Wasn't he fun!? Yes, bring back the good old days.
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Old Nov 11th 2018, 11:28 pm
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Default Re: work situation, double standards or am I being overly sensitive?

I have to agree with Dorothy that the good ole days, weren't so good for working women. Harassment in the workplace may appear to be too stringent but when does the 'cute' remark made to the OP by her manager about giving the driver a little on the side or having no teeth would enhance a blowjob become an acceptable exchange in the workplace?

Yes, those remarks are offense and should be viewed as such and her suggestion that two employers under her supervision should go out together is a breach of protocol in the workplace. They are not friends that visit her in her own and she knows intimately and the suggestion was not made outside of the workplace but within it. It was an inappropriate remark and while on the surface harmless, it might well have caused deep embarrassment to both parties.
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Old Nov 12th 2018, 10:09 am
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Default Re: work situation, double standards or am I being overly sensitive?

Maybe ask to be transferred to another team?
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Old Nov 12th 2018, 4:23 pm
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Default Re: work situation, double standards or am I being overly sensitive?

Originally Posted by Ash UK/US View Post
Thank you for the outside perspective, I appreciate it.
Good Luck! F**ing minefield.
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Old Nov 14th 2018, 6:37 pm
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Default Re: work situation, double standards or am I being overly sensitive?

I'd tell the new guy not to bother with her as she sounds like a bitch. I tend to keep my mouth shut around staff until they get to understand my sense of humour, then I let rip. Some people can't take a joke so it's best to stay away from them. Either way I wouldn't recommend to staff they hook up as that will only lead to issues later on if they either break up or want time off together.
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Old Nov 14th 2018, 8:54 pm
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Default Re: work situation, double standards or am I being overly sensitive?

Originally Posted by SpoogleDrummer View Post
I tend to keep my mouth shut around staff until they get to understand my sense of humour, then I let rip. Some people can't take a joke so it's best to stay away from them.
This is my approach too. I let people get a glimpse of what i'm like indirectly and where my non-PC humour level is and at that point it's all Marmite.
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