Dealing with abuse at work

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bridgebetween
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Dealing with abuse at work

Post by bridgebetween » Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:08 am

I am getting a lot of slagging, personal abuse from a guy at work.
Everytime he sees me taking my bagged lunch out, he launches into a loud comedy routine directed at me.

"Theres Mr X with his packed lunch again. How much did you save today, huh?"

"I hear theres a sale on bread and milk in Lidl... Mr X have you started queuing yet?"

You get the picture?
Its quite public in an open plan office, and I am starting to find it unfunny.

Whats the best way to deal with it?

IlliniDave
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by IlliniDave » Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:34 am

I'd just tell him how much I saved, laugh along with him, and challenge him to compute the savings projected over a year, five years, and ten years. But I'm from a different era.

I see basically four choices:

-Ignore it.
-Try to work it out with him directly.
-Go to an authority figure to get the authority figure to force him to stop.
-Seek other employment.

Bostrom
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by Bostrom » Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:18 am

You can answer with a FIRE monologue. Start with the DIY skills you have and how much you increase your savings rate by using them. Talk about how much nutritients per dollar you get when cooking yourself. Then move over to SWR and what SWR you're aiming for when you retire. If you're hardcore enough you may even have some calculations in your pocket prepared next time he approaches you. Ask him about the nutritients he gets rom his lunch, his body fat % and tell him how many calories he needs to burn in order to get abs. Also ask him about his savings rate and how many years he expects to work before he retires. It may sound autistic but it's fun. He will be surprised.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:21 am

If it bothers you enough to have posted here, you cannot really ignore it. Bullies need to be confronted or they are encouraged to continue, as they see you as a passive whipping boy.

I favor direct confrontation. Calculate the numbers as iDave suggested. Make a declaration of what you plan to do with the saved money. For example, “With saved monies from bagged lunches I can buy a helicopter and laugh at you while you sit in traffic,” etc.

bridgebetween
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by bridgebetween » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:00 am

I will deal with it next week.
I am not planning on being in employment by years end, so I most likely tell him to F off to his face.

Loner
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by Loner » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:47 am

Telling people to fuck off brings a high level of satisfaction, and I can certainly understand you wanting to adopt such a strategy. Indeed, it will quite likely make him stop. Taleb has some good such stories of such aggression and counter-aggression. It’s a solution I would advise in your case if it was not for the fact that, unfortunately, the people around you (colleagues, bosses, etc.) might be put off by the attitude, and you might need to work with them later.

Bostrom’s answer is great. Take control of the frame and of the conversation, sit beside him (very close, invade his personal space) and drown him with details and questions about personal finance. If he tries to interrupt, do not let him. You lead the conversation. Keep talking. Prepare a long, monotone, and very geeky monologue. It is very important that you keep a very polite and smiley front. If you bore him enough, and take enough of his time, he will be scared that you will want to waste his time again, or worse, become his new best friend. He'll leave you alone.

Do you know the story of the kid who threw rocks on the lawn of the old guy? Story goes that a kid was throwing rocks on an old-timer’s grass, which pissed off the old-timer. So the wise old man came out, and offered a buck to the kid for every time he would throw rocks on the old man’s grass. Soon enough, the kid got tired and stopped. What was intrinsically amusing became an extrinsically-motivated task, and the kid lost interest. You could try something like that, and give your offender a dollar (or whatever) for every time he reminds you how great you are doing with your money. This will shame/guilt/bore him into stopping to tease you all the while helping you keep a very amicable facade to bystanders.

Chris
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by Chris » Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:04 am

bridgebetween wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:08 am
Its quite public in an open plan office, and I am starting to find it unfunny.
Does anyone else in the office find it funny?

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Dream of Freedom
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by Dream of Freedom » Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:55 am

"How about you head to McDonald's and pick us up some diabetes? Dumbass!"

chenda
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by chenda » Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:18 am

I'd consider making a formal complaint to his manager, outlining the various comments he has made and seeking disciplinary action against him. Depending on your employer or industry this may inflict some well deserved career damage on him (or go to his professional association if applicable)

Alternatively I would also recommend the strategy for telling him to get fucked as suggested above.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:45 am

Personally, I would tell him to fuck off. If it continues/escalates, I would file a formal complaint. If it continues beyond that, I have plenty of creative ways to fuck with someone.

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C40
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by C40 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:59 am

Dude, no. Don't go complain to a boss about this. It doesn't warrant that. It's such a minor offense that they will be annoyed at you. Especially if you haven't clearly told him to stop yet.

I'd suggest one of these:
- Literally totally ignore it. Don't respond. Don't look at him or acknowledge his presence in any way. If he's saying those things to you and not to someone else in the room, he'll likely stop soon.
- Something INTJ's are particularly good about: If you know how to push his buttons, do it. (What does he fear? What is he insecure about?). Something that would push a button for a lot of people is to laugh a bit or smile, look at him and pause for a moment walk over to him or take a couple steps toward him, say "buddy, how much money do you have in the bank?" and depending on his response, maybe "I got a lot of fuckin' money..[then pat him on the shoulder/back like a child]... feels good". And walk off. Probably the way to do this is in a laughing and joking tone (even a bit of a "aren't you pathetic" tone, but, in a nice way), NOT an "I'm offended and mad tone".
- "that was funny the first or second time you said it..... can't you think of anything else to say?"

TopHatFox
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by TopHatFox » Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:03 am

agree & amplify

"Three MILLION dollars! Soon I'll be able to buy my own hot dog stand!"

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Dream of Freedom
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by Dream of Freedom » Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:07 am

Plus one to finding what he's insecure about.

I guess a less congressional thing to try is to explain "I would spend more, but I don't want to work here forever and when I leave I probably won't make as much money." No need to say anything about retirement.

George the original one
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by George the original one » Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:24 pm

Your coworker is a bully. Anything you do will not make him stop as he's identified you as a victim. And as C40 says, going to a boss is not the answer, at least not at this point.

Scott 2
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by Scott 2 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:37 pm

The harassment is about him, not you, so make it about him. IE:


I don't know, how much was your lunch?

Twelve dollars??? I can't afford that. You must make a LOT more money than me!

Dude you're rich, when are you buying me lunch? Come on, you won't even notice.


Raising this to management is petty and flags you as a problem. Don't do that.

I wouldn't escalate to a conflict either. You get very few of those cards in the workplace. This doesn't seem worthy of burning one.

I have always made my frugality part of my work identity. Since it's on brand and consistent, nobody thinks twice when I do something cheap. You can do similar here.

The interaction is establishing norms in your work place. I wouldn't ignore it, because that identifies you as both passive and dull.

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C40
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by C40 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:59 pm

When it seems useful, I say to people "you know, times are tough right now". It pretty much always works well. Nobody argues with that.

pukingRainbows
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by pukingRainbows » Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:26 pm

I'm sure this person enjoys making you feel small. Probably because they are bad with money and generally suck at life.
I think the best response is to be good natured and jovial about it to show him it doesn't bother you.
And it doesn't need to. Screw this guy. But it can also show everyone else that you're confident enough to poke fun at yourself.

"How much did you save today tighty?"
"it's my booze money!"
It doesn't need to be very funny or even make sense. Just to show that you are strong enough to play along.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by EdithKeeler » Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:37 pm

I’d probably just ignore it or make a joke in response:
“Man, if you were s good a cook as I am, you’d bring your lunch every day, too.”
“Yeah, buddy, tuna was on sale yesterday so you’re gonna be smelling these sandwiches for weeks.”
“Jealous!”
“Jesus, man. Give it a rest. How small IS your penis, anyway?”

If I was feeling particularly annoyed I’d put a wall chart and graph on my desk, updating it every day with money saved by not eating out and calculating the interest. When he says something, just say “damn right!” And point to the graph.

Or: “grow the hell up you little bastard and quit worrying about my lunch.” In earshot of many others.

Or: gather like-minded people who also bag lunch and meet in a break or conference room and have such a good time that he feels left out and alone. Do not invite him, under any circumstances, to join you.

Kriegsspiel
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by Kriegsspiel » Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:54 pm

I like 2B1S and C40's suggestions. Sounds like he's punking you, so passive-aggressive or nice remarks aren't gonna cut it. Be prepared for him to swat at you when you pat him on the back.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by classical_Liberal » Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:13 pm

"Dude! I prefer my own food, why do you care what I eat?!"

When he responds with I don't or I'm kidding, respond with an annoyed eye roll and ask him why he keeps bringing it up, or that it's a goods thing he doesn't do stand-up, because it's not funny anymore.

Edit: and for clarity that's not abuse, it's an annoyance.

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