Bullying at work
#21
" has escalated to death threats, sexually-explicit accusations, general cussing out's, and physical contact (light slap in the face).  I know it sounds really really bad when I list it like that, but it's weird how this bully goes from being terrible to being nice and somehow he pushes over the line and then sweet talks his way into a second chance.  I turned him in today and I now realize he must be fired.  Did I do the right thing?"

Whoa -- that's not bullying, that's workplace harassment.  I'm not sure where you're working but if you have an HR department you need to make it known what's going on -- you might also want to document every incident that you can remember and get a lawyer... Oops, just read that you reported him.

I'd still get a lawyer and consider what I could do legally.  It is beyond strange that he actually touched you -- that shouldn't be happening at any workplace. This does not sound like a stable person.

If they fire him, are they going to make it clear that he can't be on site?

As an aside, when I was much much younger I had an experience of harassment at work -- they fired the guy after my complaint (he would also touch me and berate me, sometimes all day.  It got to the point where I just broke down in tear on a night shift, and couldn't leave the bathroom, I was so stunned by what he said (of an incredibly personal and viscious nature).  It turned out there had been numerous complaints about him and they needed some definite proof to get rid of him, which they did....

(06-11-2010, 09:12 PM)miss_fluffy Wrote: What should be proper response, as a Christian, to bullies at work?  I'm in the middle of a situation, yet again, and I read something on the net about bullies at work and their targets and I'm starting to think that I am one.  The article said that targets are often more religious people, either due to a "turn the other cheek" attitude, or because of their kindness, bullies think they won't turn them in.  Also, morally upright people with good work ethics tend to get targeted because they don't cater to a bully's lower work ethic.

With this in mind, is it the morally correct thing to turn a bully in?  Stand up for yourself?  Does the sin of detraction come into play here?

The kind of bullying I'm being subjected to has gone way over the line, incrementally.  It has escalated to death threats, sexually-explicit accusations, general cussing out's, and physical contact (light slap in the face).  I know it sounds really really bad when I list it like that, but it's weird how this bully goes from being terrible to being nice and somehow he pushes over the line and then sweet talks his way into a second chance.  I turned him in today and I now realize he must be fired.  Did I do the right thing?
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#22
(06-11-2010, 09:12 PM)miss_fluffy Wrote: What should be proper response, as a Christian, to bullies at work?  I'm in the middle of a situation, yet again, and I read something on the net about bullies at work and their targets and I'm starting to think that I am one.  The article said that targets are often more religious people, either due to a "turn the other cheek" attitude, or because of their kindness, bullies think they won't turn them in.  Also, morally upright people with good work ethics tend to get targeted because they don't cater to a bully's lower work ethic.

With this in mind, is it the morally correct thing to turn a bully in?  Stand up for yourself?  Does the sin of detraction come into play here?

The kind of bullying I'm being subjected to has gone way over the line, incrementally.  It has escalated to death threats, sexually-explicit accusations, general cussing out's, and physical contact (light slap in the face).  I know it sounds really really bad when I list it like that, but it's weird how this bully goes from being terrible to being nice and somehow he pushes over the line and then sweet talks his way into a second chance.  I turned him in today and I now realize he must be fired.  Did I do the right thing?

Allow me to join the chorus and say that yes, you did the right thing.

As we all know, Our Lord said to turn the other cheek (Cf. Matt. 5:39; Luke 6:29). But that does not mean that we are to do so in each and every situation (even Our Lord said, "Why strikest thou Me?" John 18:23). There are times when we should reproach those who insult us (Cf. Prov. 26:5), as doing so is an act of charity (i.e. the correction of sinners). The Baltimore Catechism teaches us that one of the spiritual works of mercy is "to admonish the sinner." Never telling your coworker that what he did was wrong would only embolden him to continue his abuse (and sin more and more).

Telling your boss about the injustice you suffered by your coworker is not detraction because your coworker's sin directly involved you - he sinned against you. Your coworker had no authority whatsoever to harm or punish you, not to mention hit you (a form of punishment) - even bosses cannot by law physically harm their employees. And if no amount of protest from you would stop your coworker's behavior (which included death threats!  :o ), then the only course of action you're left with would be to tell your boss, who has coercive power over your coworker ("Stop that crap immediately or you're fired!"). You deserve to be treated with respect by your coworkers, and anyone who does otherwise should be reported because it stops him/her from mistreating you as well as precludes him/her from mistreating anyone else.

Here is a statement from Rev. Thomas Slater's A Manual of Moral Theology: "When one who has offended us apologizes and asks for pardon we are bound to forgive him and also at the proper time to show him the ordinary signs of charity. If, however, he has injured us, we have a right to compensation for the injustice, and charity does not compel us to forego our right. We may then require satisfaction for the injury and even bring an action in a court of law to recover it against the wrongdoer, without, of course, indulging any ill will" (p. 121).

http://www.archive.org/stream/MN5034ucmf...1_djvu.txt

As Quis said, forgiving someone who has sinned against us does not mean that we have to ignore justice.

The fact that your coworker continually harassed you, even to the point of slapping you in the face and threatening your life, shows that no amount of forgiveness and Christian kindness on your part was going to motivate him to stop, and remember that your obligation to love yourself comes before your obligation to love your neighbor (because love of neighbor stems from love of self - see St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica, II-II, Q. 26, art. 4). In other words, Christian charity does not obligate us to allow our enemies to do whatever they want to us in such a way that we never defend ourselves.

As the new Catechism teaches: "Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to him. It is God who remains the sovereign Master of life. We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls" (par. n. 2280).

You have no reason to feel bad or guilty for turning in someone who treated you so badly. He should be happy that all that happened to him was that he got fired, because you're well within your rights to bring charges against him (assault - threat of violence - and battery - physical violence).
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#23
Thank you so much everyone for your responses.  I'm feeling much calmer about the situation now.  SouthPaw... Thank you,  those excerpts were very helpful.  I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, if anyone could spare a prayer about the situation, I appreciate it.
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#24
(06-11-2010, 09:45 PM)DrBombay Wrote: Yep, you definitely did the right thing.  The only additional suggestion I can offer is give the creep a firm ball tapping on his way out of the building.   :tiphat:

I second this.
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#25
any unwanted physical contact, even a light slap on the cheek, is assault.  REPORT it to the POLICE.
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#26
I turned in a 7 page statement today listing my grievances with this man.  I'm a little frustrated that he's still in the same area with me, but he is mostly avoiding me.  I was a bit uncomfortable this morning, and frustrated about being around him.  The foreman said that he wrote him up for horseplay, but didn't get into details with him. He was told to leave me alone, and that I would be answering to someone else from now on.  He did sign the write-up so that's probably good that there's already some admission on his part that he placed his hands on me.  I filled out every detail on my statement, including every major episode, and how he insults and picks on me daily.  They said the matter will be under investigation until they decide how to proceed.

The creepy thing is that now this guy is being super-sweet to me whenever he gets the chance.  It's like he's feeling me out, trying to figure out what I'm up to.  I was fighting a guilty feeling about turning him in.  I know it's crazy, I guess it's just a part of my personality or something.  My husband has been supporting me, telling me that I have no reason to feel bad.  Thank you all for your reassurances, I'm feeling much better.
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#27
(06-14-2010, 09:29 PM)miss_fluffy Wrote: The creepy thing is that now this guy is being super-sweet to me whenever he gets the chance.  It's like he's feeling me out, trying to figure out what I'm up to.  I was fighting a guilty feeling about turning him in.  I know it's crazy, I guess it's just a part of my personality or something.  My husband has been supporting me, telling me that I have no reason to feel bad.  Thank you all for your reassurances, I'm feeling much better.

Could be that he realizes he was wrong and perhaps he's buttering you up for an apology.  I'd allow him to do that, if I were you, without going back on what you've done thus far.
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#28
(06-14-2010, 09:29 PM)miss_fluffy Wrote: I turned in a 7 page statement today listing my grievances with this man.  I'm a little frustrated that he's still in the same area with me, but he is mostly avoiding me.  I was a bit uncomfortable this morning, and frustrated about being around him.  The foreman said that he wrote him up for horseplay, but didn't get into details with him. He was told to leave me alone, and that I would be answering to someone else from now on.  He did sign the write-up so that's probably good that there's already some admission on his part that he placed his hands on me.  I filled out every detail on my statement, including every major episode, and how he insults and picks on me daily.  They said the matter will be under investigation until they decide how to proceed.

The creepy thing is that now this guy is being super-sweet to me whenever he gets the chance.  It's like he's feeling me out, trying to figure out what I'm up to.  I was fighting a guilty feeling about turning him in.  I know it's crazy, I guess it's just a part of my personality or something.  My husband has been supporting me, telling me that I have no reason to feel bad.  Thank you all for your reassurances, I'm feeling much better.
This is going to sound paranoid, but I wouldn't let him have a chance to be nice to you. Avoid him like the plague and don't let him engage you in any type of conversation. Sometimes what happens with jerks like this is that they try to come back and play nice in order to get you to call off the grievance, and then when you don't, they're furious that you "led them on." Try to avoid this guy, if you can. Hopefully he'll forget about you soon enough and move on to someone or something else.
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#29
(06-14-2010, 09:55 PM)ResiduumRevertetur Wrote: This is going to sound paranoid, but I wouldn't let him have a chance to be nice to you. Avoid him like the plague and don't let him engage you in any type of conversation. Sometimes what happens with jerks like this is that they try to come back and play nice in order to get you to call off the grievance, and then when you don't, they're furious that you "led them on." Try to avoid this guy, if you can. Hopefully he'll forget about you soon enough and move on to someone or something else.

Absolutely agreed with RR.

Most likely playing cat and mouse games -- any engagement is gasoline for this type's fire.

If not...well, either way you'll feel much better the less contact, (and the best with NONE) which you already know.  Brave Miss Fluffy I know it don't feel that way, but it is and you ARE.
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#30
(06-14-2010, 09:55 PM)ResiduumRevertetur Wrote:
(06-14-2010, 09:29 PM)miss_fluffy Wrote: I turned in a 7 page statement today listing my grievances with this man.  I'm a little frustrated that he's still in the same area with me, but he is mostly avoiding me.  I was a bit uncomfortable this morning, and frustrated about being around him.  The foreman said that he wrote him up for horseplay, but didn't get into details with him. He was told to leave me alone, and that I would be answering to someone else from now on.  He did sign the write-up so that's probably good that there's already some admission on his part that he placed his hands on me.  I filled out every detail on my statement, including every major episode, and how he insults and picks on me daily.  They said the matter will be under investigation until they decide how to proceed.

The creepy thing is that now this guy is being super-sweet to me whenever he gets the chance.  It's like he's feeling me out, trying to figure out what I'm up to.  I was fighting a guilty feeling about turning him in.  I know it's crazy, I guess it's just a part of my personality or something.  My husband has been supporting me, telling me that I have no reason to feel bad.  Thank you all for your reassurances, I'm feeling much better.
This is going to sound paranoid, but I wouldn't let him have a chance to be nice to you. Avoid him like the plague and don't let him engage you in any type of conversation. Sometimes what happens with jerks like this is that they try to come back and play nice in order to get you to call off the grievance, and then when you don't, they're furious that you "led them on." Try to avoid this guy, if you can. Hopefully he'll forget about you soon enough and move on to someone or something else.

Thirded.
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