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Mental Health Support
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Workplace bullying

I've moaned about work before but I'm going back tomorrow after a fortnight's holiday and I am dreading it.

The reason is a colleague who has always been cold to me, he doesn't say hello when I arrive and I sit right opposite him. Over the last few months he has become actively rude and aggressive, not physically but verbally. Examples are me passing on a piece of information our boss asked me to and out of nowhere he told me that he "isn't f*cking deaf". Another time I was working on something our boss had asked me to do while everyone else was doing the usual tasks. Not realising I was busy with something else he asked me if I "wasn't bothering with work tonight", implying I was just sitting at my computer doing nothing.

I don't mind him not liking me, I don't like him, but his constant barbs are getting to me and making the office a stressful place to be. Work stress is not one of my bipolar triggers and I have spent a long time trying to make it clear to my employers that my absences are not due to "stress", I can handle deadlines etc as well as anybody, they are caused by acute depressive or manic phases, or changes in medication, that I can do little about.

But his one-man campaign of general unpleasantness is wearying. It's likely due to the fact we are a small team, and when I am taking necessary time off ill it does have an impact on the amount of work others have to do. He is also quite a "man's man", he's a competitive weightlifter, and I'm gay, something no one else has any problem with.

I want to do something about this atmosphere but he's careful to make sure no one else is around when he confronts me. And, as I said, it's a small team and it would cause a lot of unpleasantness if I approached my manager about it. This is the same manager who told me I was being taken off senior roles because he "couldn't trust me to turn up". That's another issue but should I just ignore this guy and hope he stops? I'm building it up in my head into this huge thing and some days it's tough enough just going to work, never mind having to negotiate a playground bully.

Anyone ever experienced this kind of sneaky discrimination? Did you find a solution?

5 Replies

Does the company you work for have a telephone line you can ring . Its the companies responsibility to make sure your working in a safe environment. I would suggest you start making a list of when these things happen so you have something to show. I used occupational health at work and they were very good. Bullying in the workplace is not tolerated. Good luck x


I agree with missycooper, try and find a work helpline phone number you can ring quietly when you have peace to or contact occupational health. Most companies have them and take notes, dates times who was around (if anyone) of conversations he has with you. I had very similar problems with a guy who was supposed to be my work team partner. He wouldn't talk civil to me and avoided talking if others were around deciding to email me and yet we sat opposite each other. I was advised by occupational health to take notes every day so I scribbled down things on post it notes and slipped into my pocket or bag and transcribed them into a diary at the end of the day. I have a gay brother and am born of Irish immigrants. Turned out this guy was racist towards the Irish and classed me as Irish even though I was born in UK and hated women and gays. My diary proved essential when the relationship got worse and the bullying progressed. There is no need for this guy to be so rude to you and you have done nothing wrong, but watch your back. In my case the guy tried to stitch me up for something I hadn't done and I had to prove it was his action which took some months. Take care.


Thank you, both of you. It's good to hear from someone who has had a similar experience, mena. I'm involved with the firm's occupational health service but it's based around maximising attendance and I see a different doctor each time; it's not really there to benefit employees. I will keep a diary, he says something most days so it should fill up quickly. I don't think he's out to topple me, he just really doesn't like me and loves showing it.

1 like

Good luck. Hopefully you will have a better outcome than me. It's hard to ignore such rudeness but remember he's the one with the problem not you. Keep us posted. I hope things start to improve for you xx


Hello B&B , I think you need to take this guy very seriously and be careful . Most rational people do not behave like this, especially at work .Is anyone else at work aware of what's going on ? I would think if people know it might be better for you. Bullying makes most of us uncomfortable. I'm in the U.S. and over here this would probably fall under sexual harassment if it is in anyway related to being gay. I'm wondering if you could get him on tape using a cell phone. It would be something to give your bosses. Is there anyway to make sure you are never alone with him? One other thought is this... I sense you have some guilt over missing work which is totally out of your control. Don't let that make you feel you should tolerate this abuse. As you say they are two different issues. Keep us informed, well be worried about you. Pam


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