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Would you be offended if someone keeps telling you you gained weight?


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Guest Anonymous

One of my male co-workers always draws  attention to my weight fluctuations. I usually put on weight depending what's going on in my life sometimes it could simply because I get busy and not as active or change in routine etc..as soon as my clothes starts to get tight, I start to get back on track and I loose the weight again.

However at some point this said Co-worker told me that l put on too much meat...I subsequently lost weight for reasons of my own. My next weight fluctuations he randomly changed the direction of the conversation and said, it's better you do this task at work instead since you move alot and it will be help you to get skinny. The next day he was more blunt and said you gained weight! That's when I finally asked him why he cares how much I weigh? He said I don't care then I asked why he keeps commenting on it? Then he started backtracking saying he finds thick women attractive etc. I went off and he kept telling me not to take it the wrong way 

 

On another instant a co worker was joking how he will always cook for me if I marry him. Then this co worker inserted himself into it and said, no her behind will get too big if you feed her too much ..I was angry at this comment and ofcourse he started saying how some people get surgery to get their behind big and not to take it as an insult. 

Now recently he pointed out that I'm putting on weight. This lead into big confrontation because I was so mad why he keeps paying attention to my body. I told him don't say it and my body my business

He got defensive then twisted the story by telling another co worker that he was complimenting me because in his country they like thick women..I don't believe it.So I filed a formal complaint with HR

Would you welcome such comments and believe that the person meant well?

 

 

 

 

 

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Your coworker is acting like a jerk and I am glad you filed a complaint. It doesn't matter how he meant it -it is inappropriate to refer to someone's weight and completely bizarre and inappropriate to keep on doing it.  You wrote that you are comfortable with your weight fluctuations so I'm glad that his comments didn't make you question that. 

Edited by Batya33
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No, I would not welcome anything such. You know good and well that they don't mean well and have been beyond inappropriate. They are only backtracking because you finally got angry and called them out.

On that note, you have to learn to shut down that kind of behavior immediately and ruthlessly, instead of putting up with it until it finally reaches a point where it's intolerable and you explode in anger. When I say immediately, I literally mean the very first time any man opens his mouth inappropriately to you under any circumstances. You do not need to be nice and tolerant when you encounter that kind of bs from men.

So, figure out how to shut down that kind of behavior, whether you use a snarky line that works for you, or a classy quip, whether you use humor, or viciously humiliate them on the spot - whatever works for you and your personality, find it and use it. Stop taking this kind of nonsense behavior.

As for filing complaints to HR, without concrete proof there is not much they can do about it. Not saying that you shouldn't file a complaint, just don't hold your breath about results. 

This is really one of those things where learning how to shut it down yourself immediately will serve you better, whether it's at work, at the gym, on the street, etc.

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I complained to HR once and I didn't need to show "proof".  I was in my second trimester of pregnancy and exhausted. I wasn't showing.  I took the stairs up to my office because the elevator wasn't working.  I was moving slowly.  A maintainence person started taunting me for walking slowly.  As I walked up the stairs.  I am not sure if I said anything or not -I was upset.  I reported him right then and it was taken seriously and he was spoken to.  

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2 hours ago, Guest Anonymous said:

no her behind will get too big if you feed her too much

2 hours ago, Guest Anonymous said:

it's better you do this task at work instead since you move alot and it will be help you to get skinny

What the?!

This constitutes harassment. Full stop.

It's one thing when someone (politely) remarks (once) that you've gained weight. But what your colleague is doing is nothing short of appalling, outrageous, deplorable, abhorrent and the list goes on.

All the best with HR.

Edited by greendots
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7 hours ago, Guest Anonymous said:

Would you welcome such comments and believe that the person meant well?

Who in their right mind would

These comments are highly inappropriate. They don't mean well. They are meant to hurt you and bully you. 

What was HR's response? 

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Guest Anonymous
10 hours ago, Guest Anonymous said:

 Co-worker told me that l put on too much meat.

It's sexual harassment. Talk to your HR department or supervisor. Tell them precisely the comments you stated here.

As far as self consciousness about weight, see a physician for an evaluation of your physical and mental health. Get a work up for metabolic hormonal etc health. Ask for a referral to a qualified therapist for ongoing support.

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Op, next time your coworker comes in and says a comment, look him in the eyes and tell him firmly to mind his own business.

If he insists, tell him that this is a workplace and not a gossip office. If he has time to make comments regarding your weight, then he needs to find more work to do.

Done. Don't allow him to entertain this any longer. He is crossing way too many boundaries, and you need to step up and say the above.

If he carries on nonetheless, file a complaint to HR for harassment. It can be anonymous and they will give him "the talk".

Edited by DarkCh0c0
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1 hour ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

If he carries on nonetheless, file a complaint to HR for harassment.

The OP said they already filed a complaint with HR .

16 hours ago, Guest Anonymous said:

So I filed a formal complaint with HR

 

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I would go to HR.  This is without a doubt, workplace harassment.  

Second thought, I would say something to those involved first.  I would tell them their comments about my weight are neither appropriate or welcome and they need to stop.  They will respect you more if you stand up for yourself.   If they don't then go to HR. 

To make that leap and escalate it without having spoken up first, you may avoid the awkward dynamic when they get pulled in by HR.  At the very least they won't be surprised when they are.

(I was a supervisor for a company, and we had mandatory workplace harassment training every other year)     

Came back to add that I just saw the comments about having already reported this to HR.  I would delete this, but it still drives home the point.   

Edited by reinventmyself
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Guest Anonymous
5 minutes ago, reinventmyself said:

I would go to HR.  This is without a doubt, workplace harassment.  

Second thought, I would say something to those involved first.  I would tell them their comments about my weight are neither appropriate or welcome and they need to stop.  They will respect you more if you stand up for yourself.   If they don't then go to HR. 

To make that leap and escalate it without having spoken up first, you may avoid the awkward dynamic when they get pulled in by HR.  At the very least they won't be surprised when they are.

(I was a supervisor for a company, and we had mandatory workplace harassment training every other year)     

Came back to add that I just saw the comments about having already reported this to HR.  I would delete this, but it still drives home the point.   

I have already said I don't like this comments last time but he kept talking over me, and wouldn't let me talk by backtracking etc so i thought he got the hint that these comments are unwelcome 

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Just now, Guest Anonymous said:

I have already said I don't like this comments last time but he kept talking over me, and wouldn't let me talk by backtracking etc so i thought he got the hint that these comments are unwelcome 

I reread what HR's response was and that is weak.  Without concrete proof?   I would continue to go them until they take you seriously.  Knowing that you aren't going to go away quietly should motivate them to get involved. 

At my company one visit to HR and they documented the incident and got involved.  They are now liable for not acting on your complaint.  At the very least this should have prompted them to call in those involved to get their side of the story.  That alone would get everyone's attention.

 

 

 

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. . revisist HR and use the words " continued workplace harassment" and their failure to act on it appropriately.  That should get their attention.

In the meantime document everything and let HR know that you are doing so . .that will rattle them as well.

Edited by reinventmyself
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Yeah, management and HR are sometimes clueless. One of the employees I supervised received what was basically a love note from one of the OPS managers. So I showed the note to our OPS manager and he said "well, I don't blame him for trying but she shouldn't take advantage of it." Like, say what??  And to make matters worse our OPS manager showed the note to the general manager who said "tell those girls to stop being so jealous." That was a messed up environment for sure.

If you don't get appropriate response from HR, is there an ethics hotline you can call?

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I learned the first level at handling issues like this is to ask what they've done to handle it first.

One young woman complaining about unwanted flirtations from a new staff member in our department.  Outside of escalating it, I asked her if she had mentioned to him that the attention was unwelcome.  She said she hadn't.  I encouraged her to let him know and if it continued to get back to me.  Sometimes we aren't always referees for every human interaction.  People need to empower themselves and act their own behalf first.  It's only when it continues that it becomes a problem.  I didn't hear back from her.  But I also documented the conversation for my own records.

Edited by reinventmyself
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Guest Anonymous
55 minutes ago, Guest Anonymous said:

I have already said I don't like this comments last time but he kept talking over me, and wouldn't let me talk by backtracking etc so i thought he got the hint that these comments are unwelcome 

Start looking for another job if you claim you went to HR and they did nothing. In the meantime, simply say: "Please do not talk to me, thank you". And walk away, get back to work.

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You did the right thing by filing a formal complaint with HR because any co-worker who harasses you should be reprimanded and if reprimands fail, then any co-worker who makes your life miserable, should be terminated. 

I liked your retort such as asking him why he cares how much you weigh and asking him why he keeps commenting on it?  Continue your retorts because it causes him to back peddle and back off.

Telling you that "you took it the wrong way" is the most infuriating form of gaslighting.  Gaslighting is deflecting and forcing you to change your perception of the facts which is nasty psychological warfare to trick and confuse you.  Never fall for that tricky, sneaky trap. 

The other co-worker who "jokingly" said he'll cook for you if you marry him, suggesting you to get surgery for your behind and not take it as an insult is called a backhanded compliment which again, is most infuriating because it's not a joke.  He's insincere and mocking you at your expense. 

I would NEVER welcome such comments in a million years and these types of wicked, evil people never meant well.  They're deliberately downgrading you. 

 

 

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Oh dear, your scenario seems to have fallen off the tracks w/the comments here.

1. She never said she heard back from HR. She's still waiting on a response (I believe)

2. She's talking about the same guy making these comments. It's not about the guy who would "cook for her" he's innocent here.

23 hours ago, Guest Anonymous said:

On another instant a co worker was joking how he will always cook for me if I marry him. Then this co worker inserted himself into it and said, no her behind will get too big if you feed her too much ..I was angry at this comment and ofcourse he started saying how some people get surgery to get their behind big and not to take it as an insult. 

3. OP - unless you work for a ***ty company, you don't need proof for your complaint. If anything, "the cook" is one of your witnesses to this behavior. But, that's besides the point. In this day and age where workplace harassment is taken very seriously (esp. post #metoo mvmt), then your HR will NOT take it lightly.

With regards to your disgusting co-worker, if you have not heard back from HR and he does it again, you let him know that this will be the last time he speaks to you this way, and that there WILL be consequences. If that doesn't shut him up, your next step is law enforcement - have him escorted out of the building!

Keep us posted. GL!

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9 hours ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

Op, next time your coworker comes in and says a comment, look him in the eyes and tell him firmly to mind his own business.

If he insists, tell him that this is a workplace and not a gossip office. If he has time to make comments regarding your weight, then he needs to find more work to do.

Done. Don't allow him to entertain this any longer. He is crossing way too many boundaries, and you need to step up and say the above.

If he carries on nonetheless, file a complaint to HR for harassment. It can be anonymous and they will give him "the talk".

This is such great and practical advice. 

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7 hours ago, reinventmyself said:

I learned the first level at handling issues like this is to ask what they've done to handle it first.

One young woman complaining about unwanted flirtations from a new staff member in our department.  Outside of escalating it, I asked her if she had mentioned to him that the attention was unwelcome.  She said she hadn't.  I encouraged her to let him know and if it continued to get back to me.  Sometimes we aren't always referees for every human interaction.  People need to empower themselves and act their own behalf first.  It's only when it continues that it becomes a problem.  I didn't hear back from her.  But I also documented the conversation for my own records.

I was in a similar situation.  I didn’t go to HR. I asked a friend of mine who was an employment attorney. She suggested self help too. The problem was that the first time he tried to kiss me I FROZE. I’m a tough cookie and I FROZE. He kissed me on the cheek and left my office. He was married at the time.  I was single.  We’d had lunch once - totally normal coworkers going out for a slice of pizza.
I got up my nerve and the next time he asked me for drinks after work I said no then he approached me to kiss me on the cheek. I said “no it’s not appropriate “ and he said “because of my marriage or work?”  I managed to say “both”.  And that was it. He got fired a few weeks later for threatening to hit a female supervisor. Bye bye. 

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15 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

I was in a similar situation.  I didn’t go to HR. I asked a friend of mine who was an employment attorney. She suggested self help too. The problem was that the first time he tried to kiss me I FROZE. I’m a tough cookie and I FROZE. He kissed me on the cheek and left my office. He was married at the time.  I was single.  We’d had lunch once - totally normal coworkers going out for a slice of pizza.
I got up my nerve and the next time he asked me for drinks after work I said no then he approached me to kiss me on the cheek. I said “no it’s not appropriate “ and he said “because of my marriage or work?”  I managed to say “both”.  And that was it. He got fired a few weeks later for threatening to hit a female supervisor. Bye bye. 

This along with reinventmyself’s advice is very good and sound!

 

My Uncle was an employment tribunal judge - he would have suggested initially the same response. Give them the benefit of the doubt, express clearly and firmly, no, and if it does happen again then file your formal complaint, but give them a warning first.

 

I used to work in a legal office that dealt with commercial adjudication and law suits. It was wild in that office, like an episode of Mad Men. One of the directors there was a long term, married guy. Bumbling, very overweight, but liked to brag and toot his own horn. I was the personal assistant to another manager there, receptionist and general coffee gal! I would knock on the door to each office every couple of hours, if they had clients in I would make sure everyone was comfortable etc. Type up litigations for court, all that jazz. Anyway, this guy once told me “To turn that fine a** around and out that door and bring me a hot cup of coffee!” I didn’t say anything and he turned BRIGHT RED after he had said it. I knew he instantly regretted it!

 

No charges pressed!

 

Sometimes you can use your own judgement to determine if you have a real sleaze ball on your hands or someone who just doesn’t have any awareness but they are innocent all the same. 

 

If he continues after warning to harass, please make your complaints OP, but I imagine in most experiences he may very well stop just at a firm and serious talking too from you and you alone! 
 

Sorry you are made to feel uncomfortable at work by the way; it’s never good.

 

x

Edited by mylolita
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Guest Anonymous

UPDATE 

My boss just informed me that the said co worker will be spoken to by HR tomorrow regarding the complaint and she'll meet with after to discuss the outcome 

Edited by MrsWise
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On 4/8/2022 at 11:57 AM, Guest Anonymous said:

UPDATE 

My boss just informed me that the said co worker will be spoken to by HR tomorrow regarding the complaint and she'll meet with after to discuss the outcome 

Please keep us updated how everything went! That guy's behaviour is absolutely terrible, completely inappropriate and body shaming. Even if he hypothetically was giving you compliments about your body, that's also considered sexual harassment. I really hope HR will give him a strong warning and he'll finally stop!

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