Jump to content

Sexual harrassment or just an old creep?

Nurses   (7,433 Views 83 Comments)
by CBlover CBlover, BSN, RN (Member)

CBlover has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN.

11,290 Visitors; 417 Posts

advertisement

You are reading page 4 of Sexual harrassment or just an old creep?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

hppygr8ful has 15 years experience and works as a RN - Adolescent Psych.

4 Followers; 31,454 Visitors; 2,605 Posts

I am just glancing through this so forgive me if this answer has already been given. The behavior you are concerned about does not appear to rise to the legal definition of sexual harassment which: generally do not prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or minor isolated incidents-that is due to the fact that they do not impose a "general civility code". Sexual harassment is defined as Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that tends to create a hostile or offensive work environment. Sexual harassment is a form of Sex Discrimination that occurs in the workplace.

You may have some complicity here in that you encouraged his contact until it became "creepy" by your definition. What bothers you the most" That he called you beautiful or that your co-workers have taken notice? Anyways in order to make it stop, what you must do is in no uncertain terms tell him to "Knock it off!" Keep a diary of any events that continue after you have told him this. If the behavior continues escalate it up the chain of command but right now there is no proof that he is deliberately trying to harass or offend you. I personally have a great deal of difficulty accepting compliments. A physician with whom I work closely recently said to me "You look lovely today." He and I are both married and apparently not interested in outside arrangements - it was just a compliment so I said thank You and that was it.

I lso have some difficulty imagining a scenario where people who work in a busy hospital setting have time to just pop around to other departments to chat. Sounds a lot like an episode of "Nurse Jackie."

Hppy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

6,988 Visitors; 945 Posts

I don't think it's using your husband as an excuse. It's telling the truth. By saying I'm happily married, you tell the other person that you are not interested and will not ever be interested because you are in love with someone else.

I totally agree to be assertive and direct. Honestly though, maybe this guy just enjoys what he perceives as a friendship, or, he wants it to be more. It seems that they have had a decent friendship for months, he's just becoming more and more interested. I would be kind, but direct. I wouldn't want to hurt a friend's feelings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

emmjayy is a ASN, RN and works as a Medical-Surgical ICU Nurse.

7,040 Visitors; 472 Posts

Any behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable at work can actually be classed as sexual harassment, believe it or not. Back when I was with my ex-wife, she would casually mention me at work (she is an RT. I'm a woman and we were a lesbian couple). One of her coworkers complained about her because they were anti-gay and didn't want to hear my ex-wife mention me, even when she was just innocently talking about how we were gardening or something equally innocuous. Her manager actually wrote her up for sexual harassment based on that. She never mentioned sex or anything improper. It was just the fact she was with a woman and it made her coworker uncomfortable. Sad but true.

YOWZA. What the actual heck. I have stronger words than that to describe my reaction, but the site will not allow me to use them.

Did she ever share with your wife that she was uncomfortable? Not that that makes it any better, but how slimy to just go off and complain behind her back over your wife doing something that literally everyone in a nice, normal, healthy relationship does.

Sorry, off topic. Just wow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

macawake has 10 years experience.

72,118 Visitors; 1,101 Posts

I don't think it's using your husband as an excuse. It's telling the truth. By saying I'm happily married, you tell the other person that you are not interested and will not ever be interested because you are in love with someone else.

So it's the fact that a woman is married and in love that makes her not want unwanted attention?

A single, not in love woman, would be more amenable to unwelcome attention?

Or perhaps all human beings, women and men, completely independent of their marital status, have a right, and probably an expectation, to not be subjected to creepy behavior.

I know, it's a radical thought.

Why would any woman feel like she owes an explanation to the person whose attention she doesn't want.? Why isn't I don't want this sufficient in your eyes?

Why feel the need to explain how in love you are with your husband? The husband thing is in my opinion clearly a crutch when one is uncomfortable with assuming full accountability for the rejection of the person's advances/attention/behavior.

I reckon there are a few people in this thread who won't be helping the next generation of women be assertive and know their own value. That's pretty sad.

YOWZA. What the actual heck. I have stronger words than that to describe my reaction, but the site will not allow me to use them.

Yes, that was absolutely appalling.

@Rocknurse. My "like"of your post was of course offered as support. I didn't like the contents which I hope and trust you know.

Edited by macawake

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

saskrn works as a RN.

8,595 Visitors; 560 Posts

Ok yall so I need some insight. I've been working at my current job for almost 2 years. There is an older guy that works here, a pharmacist, in his 60s that has often chatted with me and I literally never thought anything of it. He's a very interesting individual. Used to work for the DEA part of FBI and raided drug neighborhoods and things of that sort. He was always friendly and spoke and I was friendly and spoke.

So now all of a sudden, it's dawned on me like, goodness he's down here a lot lately. Well he's coming down to my unit (ER) 4, 5, 6 times in a 12 hr shift and comes over and wants to talk. He's said "Hi beautiful" to me twice and once came up behind me a whispered really close to my face in what I consider a creepy way. He'll come down before his shift is over to say bye and talks to me like I'm his wife. It's embarrassing! My coworkers are like "Boy he's really on to you" and laugh. They'll even tell me if they see him so I can go hide somewhere. He looks for me they say, if he can't find me. I'm getting really tired of it and quite honestly I want him to go AWAY. I'm married in my 30s and am not interested dude. I am even giving him a straight face and he still isn't getting it. He said "You don't seem like yourself today. You're not as happy." Not only is it just getting old, I have work to do. what do yall think? I am overreacting??

IMO, I'd follow the chain of command with this situation, for your own protection and job security. You never know how people might react when confronted with a sensitive issue like this, plus there's the possibility of a he said/she said situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Roy Hanson has 36 years experience and works as a Retired.

6,101 Visitors; 205 Posts

or he is lonely! and your easy to talk with!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
advertisement

canoehead has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a RN ER.

2 Followers; 48,282 Visitors; 6,555 Posts

Any behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable at work can actually be classed as sexual harassment, believe it or not. Back when I was with my ex-wife, she would casually mention me at work (she is an RT. I'm a woman and we were a lesbian couple). One of her coworkers complained about her because they were anti-gay and didn't want to hear my ex-wife mention me, even when she was just innocently talking about how we were gardening or something equally innocuous. Her manager actually wrote her up for sexual harassment based on that. She never mentioned sex or anything improper. It was just the fact she was with a woman and it made her coworker uncomfortable. Sad but true.

I'm sure I'm not the only person that thinks that is ridiculous. On about ten different levels, but I'm sure you understand. Jeepers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RNNPICU has 13 years experience.

11,741 Visitors; 887 Posts

I think someone else has already said something along these lines but... It sounds like you were being very friendly and while it was okay for a while, this co-worker may have misinterpreted your overture. The best way to handle things like this is to treat others with repsect that you would like.

You could say.. " I appreciate your friendship, but when you say 'hello beautiful' it makes me very uncomfortable. I really enjoy our professional relataionship". This lets him know tow things 1 - calling you hello beautiful is uncomfortable and 2 - you view your work relationship as such.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 Followers; 33,625 Visitors; 4,130 Posts

Just tell him clearly, no hinting, that you appreciate his work friendship, but that you need him to realize that you are married and are not interested in any relationship beyond that. With anyone, not just with him.

Tell him that you want to be called only by your name and that you don't want him to whisper in your ear.

Tell him you are sorry if you confused him in any way and that you hope he will still be your friend at work.

Just don't pussyfoot around. Tell the man clearly - nicely but firmly - what the situation is. It is not fair to him to be less than kindly forthcoming.

And settle down and never flirt or play games with anyone. I'm not saying you did. Just understand that others, due to loneliness, ego, whatever, might misinterpret friendliness. Be more formal at work. It is, after all, work.

Good luck.

Do not rat the guy out unless he fails to change his ways.

You might want to start keeping a written record of dates and events in case you have to go to your boss or HR. I hope you won't have to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

applewhitern has 30 years experience.

25,282 Visitors; 1,871 Posts

If he hasn't actually come right out and said or did something that seemed overtly sexual, I wouldn't consider his actions as anything to worry about. Calling you beautiful was probably just his way of being friendly. I have called my pastor handsome on the phone with him before. Maybe he is lonely and considers you a close friend. If the time comes when he DOES make sexual advances, then you will know what to do. I wonder if your co-workers have made you feel uncomfortable about the friendship, since they comment on it. A doctor friend once commented that he thought a co-worker of mine was flirting with him, and that he wasn't interested at all. The funny thing was that this same co-worker had told me that she thought HE was "coming on" to HER. Simply a misunderstanding on both sides. Just keep being friendly but professional.

Edited by applewhitern

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AnnieOaklyRN works as a RN, Paramedic.

1 Follower; 33,738 Visitors; 2,577 Posts

I would say it's time to have one on one conversation with the creepy dude and I would also involve your charge nurse or manager, so that you have a witness to the conversation. If he still doesn't get the hint then I would contact HR or his manager!

Annie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 Follower; 24,218 Visitors; 2,243 Posts

This must be a cultural thing :) I'm Scandinavian and right now I literally look like this ---> :wideyed: after reading all the posts offering similar advice.

I've been married, have had a couple of other serious relationships and right now I'm in a longterm relationship. I have never once thought to use a husband or a partner as an excuse or reason for attempting to stave off unwanted attention.

Why isn't it enough to say that you don't want the attention or that you aren't interested? Does one really need to use a partner as a "support structure" to give ones wishes more weight? What a person wants for themselves matters, all on its own. No added "legitimizer" required.

If married women should mention their husbands when they're faced with unwanted amorous or sexual attention, who should single people use as a "fortifier" when they try to ward off unwelcome attention? They of course have as much right to not be subjected to it as a married person has. I'm assuming we all agree that married status isn't the only legitimate protection against creeps and sexual harrassment?

Agreed. This is why I was encouraged for so long to stave off unwanted attention by lying and saying that "I have a boyfriend", rather than saying "I am not interested".

Now, I will admit, I still struggle with being direct sometimes...it's how I was socialized. But I think it's better to be direct.

I'll point out that it seems like the majority of male responses (or at least who I think are males) here have said to be direct. Since OP is trying to make this male understand to back off, it might be helpful to "speak his language" and be direct, you know?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×