Moral Dilemma...

Discussion in 'Help with Life' started by Sara, May 3, 2014.

  1. Sara Tea Drinker

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Wherever the wind takes me.
    340
    Alright, here's the problem:

    If anyone doesn't know, I have a very abusive co-worker at work. Very abusive, like flinching when he's shouting, hands shaking when I think of him entering my office, panic attacks on the way home, spending twenty minutes locked in the bathroom crying because I heard him cussing about me and shouting about me making mistakes and "showing she's wrong."

    I have gone to my boss three times with this with her doing nothing, apparently he's not the owner but an employee of the company our law firm works for, which I don't know the name of. And several organizations with no results. I'm going to get a tape recorder and record this guy next. The problem is, as soon as I do this, I'm done with this office. Even if I stay, my life will be pure and utter hell even more so when he finds out. And I can't afford to quit.

    If I show my boss and threaten to make it public with demands, it'll be blackmail, which I don't want to spend jail in. If I make it public and/or sue, it'll destroy the office. I'm sure a lot of clients will not tolerate what's going on in the office and drop us.

    There are a few nice people who work there, my boss used to be utterly terrible towards me, including accusing me of stealing dollar store bulk candy and microwave popcorn. But recently her attitude has changed, even giving me advice about my ankle now that I wrenched it and giving me rides home when it's been terrible weather when I can't get a ride, even when she's been horrendously busy. She's poured a lot of money into this firm and I know it'll destroy her financially if I sue and/or go public. There have been two co-workers who have been kind to me since I started and always lent an ear to listen to. Even on my worst days, I know that they care and give me support. I know they'll probably be okay, but I hate them just losing a job like this.

    The other side is that I'm not the only one this has happened to. I'm probably the worst with reactions, except a co-worker who was humiliated by another co-worker (not the same person) on an extremely private matter and was blown off when she complained. There have been other people bullied by this guy, especially if they start to show any friendship towards me. I don't want this to happen to someone else...

    So what do I do?
     
  2. Ienzo ((̲̅ ̲̅(̲̅C̲̅r̲̅a̲̅y̲̅o̲̅l̲̲̅̅a̲̅( ̲̅̅((>

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    In your breadbin
    2,762
    This really is a difficult one and I'm so sorry you have to go through this. Do you know why your boss won't do anything? Could you not rally support from other victims of his abuse and get this sorted by going to your boss? There has to be a nice way of doing this through saving the firm and sorting out the bully because no one should have to go through that at work and honestly, your boss should be the one to do something about it because it's her firm and she shouldn't stand by and let her employees be harrassed to this extent.
     
  3. Sara Tea Drinker

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Wherever the wind takes me.
    340
    Like I said: He is technically the owner. He works for the corporation that owns our firm. We're under something called an "umbrella corporation" from the gist of it, they are the owners of this place, but allow it to be run and owned by my boss. Including the money she puts in, they get the benefits from it, but allow her to run and own the company. This guy is an employee of this corporation and from what I've seen, can't be fired or rebuked a lot of the times because he has final say.

    Also, everyone who this guy has bullied has quit. The woman who had the matter spread to the whole office threatened to sue. I don't know what happened with that and we haven't kept in touch. I know she had rights in suing, the matter was actually about a minor and she asked for it to be private. A co-worker instead told the whole office and she quit due to the humiliation she felt about it, not including the boss didn't really do anything to the co-worker.

    I feel there's nothing else... No one else who can help me, I contacted a bunch of organizations and lawyers desperate for help with no reply. I can't even hobble around anymore with a wrenched ankle without him shouting about it. I'm serious... I heard him screaming about it because my ace bandage won't let me wear dress shoes and how much bullshit it was that I couldn't wear them. I had to walk to my boss to ask to wear my sneakers to the meeting yesterday and retwisted it without the bandage. And today I heard him shouting that I was walking around fine outside of the law firm.
     
  4. Ars Nova Merry Christmas dickheads

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Gender:
    Versandrogyne
    Location:
    Hell 71
    2,986
    You don't need money that badly. You can't buy back the things this job is taking from you. It may not be the answer you want to hear, but I say you get the hell out of there and burn this guy. Don't stop hunting for a lawyer 'til you find someone who will take your case.

    If this place is only going to stay afloat as long as this bastard is there, it should've sunk long ago. He's the one who brought it down, not you. The people involved will move on. Your boss will move on. But it's not worth holding them all on your shoulders for the sake of pity. It won't help them or you.
     
  5. Mixt The dude that does the thing

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Gender:
    Male
    826
    Two things to keep in mind.

    First, it would be illegal to record him without his knowledge. Though if you record him frequently he'll either slip up or you've solved the problem.
    Second, an ultimatum is not necessarily blackmail. You are presenting an issue and giving them a chance to fix it before wistle-blowing. It can get messy if it ends up in a courtroom, but if you stay away from making specific demands you should be clear.

    My advice though, this guy has to work for someone. If your boss refuses to run this up the flag pole see if you can skip the middle man. Some companies have a high tolerance for BS but I don't know any where he wouldn't at least get a reprimand for doing stuff as bad as you say.
     
  6. Sara Tea Drinker

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Wherever the wind takes me.
    340
    Alright, I do want to say thanks for the advice, before I sound like I'm arguing against you, which I'm not, but at the same time, I'm trying to explain what I've heard myself. I honestly didn't think of what you did, and I want to thank you for it.

    I won't be recording him like taping a microphone in his office. I'm getting a small mike and putting it on my Ipod and putting it in my office near where the guy shouts. Considering at least a third of the office can hear him, it won't be a private matter and it won't be something that's considered "tapping" depending on my state, it's just he waits until my boss is gone to start doing this stuff and she's never caught him in the act. I wish she would, but he's making sure it's my word against his. The rest of the office doesn't dare step in against this guy after the last few times people did.

    As for the law, it depends on the state. I saw a thing that happened in Philadelphia recently about a kid wiretapping his bullies. I don't want to have the same happen to me, that's for sure. I am being extremely cautious about this, at the least, I want the info for unemployment if I get that far for a reason of my work ethic being so low due to hostile work environment. (Note: I haven't left my office in five months except to talk to co-workers and go to the bathroom.) I have been trying to keep out of sight and mind, which was working until about three weeks ago when he started screaming down the hallway how much of a POS I supposedly am. Not including the comments every day about me bullshitting about my wrenched ankle when I can barely walk.

    I haven't really thought of it that way. *runs hand over face* It does seem it could work, I just don't know what will happen if he finds out, or when, actually. This office is notorious of people listening in, even private meetings. (The issue with the minor is a perfect example.) I guess at that point, it would have to be turned over... I just don't know what he'll do to me in the process of finding out.

    As for the corporation, it's a letter and a bunch of numbers. I tried looking it up on my own with no luck, I would love to complain, especially since he's Dr. Jekyl to everyone else he meets and Hyde to me. But until I do, I need to have something in case if it comes to worse, which I'm hoping to doesn't.

    I also know if I do this, I'm out of a job a good long, time. This is something that is a huge black mark against employees. Public or private (ie: Courtroom) one of my classmates in college was struggling because of a lawsuit against Rent A Center, she lost her job and no one would hire her afterwards and she won it, but not enough to make it in life.

    I do agree on the law, and I didn't think about that part nor the definition of wiretapping. Sorry if I sounded like I was totally contradicting you there, I'm not, but I'm trying to keep my logic while understanding yours which is a massive help. I do want to make this clean and legal, the last thing I want to do is go to jail because of this.
     
  7. Mixt The dude that does the thing

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Gender:
    Male
    826
    No problem , this is definitely one where you want to make sure you know all the information. I wrote that post without any research. So I might be mistaken, or it might change over state lines and so on.

    For instance, researching now I found out that in most states you could secretly run a recording. Recording laws come in two general forms depending on state, single-party consent and full-party consent. In single-party consent only one individual be recorded needs to consent to it and it can be the same person that is doing the recording (e.g. you) so long as they are involved in some manner. So carrying a recorder in your pocket would be fair game, or tapping your office (provided you turn it off when you leave); but tapping his office would be a no. In full-party consent everyone in the recording needs to be aware of the recording and agree to it. That is how the law is for me and I didn't realize I was in the minority.

    You said enough that I think you've already got that, but just to be clear about it. Plus it is worth double checking which your state runs as like you said with the Philadelphia case, it can backfire pretty hard in a full-party consent state.

    And I agree that court is definitely a last resort solution. My work experience is minor, and none in this umbrella setup, but clearly they don't want a person that behaves like this guy. Otherwise he wouldn't clean up his act in front of people that could send it back at him. This mostly looks like a matter of convincing your boss that there is a problem and that she should do something about it. Maybe she's afraid herself of how people at HQ will handle that.

    If you present the issue and nothing comes of it, you also don't need to escalate the matter if you don't want to. Find a new job and mention him in the letter of resignation. Not that I normally recommend the "not my problem anymore" tactic, but I would find it hard to believe that they wouldn't take a second look at any new issues after loosing an employee to it before (if nothing comes immediately from it). Though these days it is the "find a new job" part that gets hard.
     
  8. Sara Tea Drinker

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Wherever the wind takes me.
    340
    Maine is the worst about finding a job. I have several strikes against me already due to my limitations. (I have asbergers *can't work in a place like McDonalds or as a waitress due to the speed involved* and flat feet, basically when your foot has little to no support for the impact and weight you put on it every time you take a step. I can walk for hours at a time, but not every day and stay on my feet for long periods of time.) I took a summer job at a department store when I was younger and was in so much pain at the end of the day due to my feet I had to soak them for 45 minutes in incredible agony. It's also seasonal oriented, meaning that a lot of jobs are during the summer. Which I can't afford to have a seasonal job that I lose for a good 6-9 months of the year. There are other jobs, but they're hard to find and you're competing against a bunch of people doing the same thing I am.

    I was already planning at least mentioning it to my boss when I leave. I have a feeling she at least partly if not fully knows what's going on, but can't do anything about it. He amazingly enough was quiet yesterday and I feel much more relaxed right now than I did Thursday when I had him sneering in my face for limping around. I will double check on that info, I asked a lawyer, but he might not know or is irritated with me asking for advice all the time. lolz... Though I've only did it twice. But I'll check it out. Thank you.
     
  9. Mixt The dude that does the thing

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Gender:
    Male
    826
    You could negate the asperger's bit with the Department of Labor (or something connected to it, for me it is the Department of Human Services). There are federal regulations that mandate each state to provide "vocational rehabilitation" essentially saying that if you have a disability they have to help you find and maintain a job. The site will make it sound like you need to have something severe, but that is just government wording. If you have an official diagnosis you qualify, and actually if you were that severe it wouldn't be possible for them to get you a job.
    Details will vary from state to state. In particular I'm not sure they would help you find a job if you already have one (Some consider that to be part of the "maintain a job" piece. Some say you should suck it up because you have a job) though ultimately if you were to quit you would be able to use the services then.
    It isn't a guarantee to get you a job quickly and there is bureaucratic nonsense to go through, so it might take a while. But I can say first hand that it definitely helps.
     
  10. Sara Tea Drinker

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Wherever the wind takes me.
    340
    I was in Voc Rehab for a long time... I got really crappy jobs and was scolded for going beyond Community College. :/ The job coaching was okay, but they didn't like me finding a job on my on and the jobs they gave me were some of the worst I had. Alright, the worst I had before now. They never really did anything except find me crappy jobs, pay a semester of my Community college, and set goals they never really looked at again. They also didn't help me with transportation despite the fact me and my mom were practically begging for it.

    Another girl in the same program got her whole college paid, her car, and god-knows what else. I don't know how in the hell she did it, but I tip my hat to her. It works for some people, but it ****ed me over big time.
     
  11. mindy lover Destiny Islands Resident

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    8
    76


    Not illegal unless for legal purposes. Ive done it before when my boss asked me for proof if assualt in the work place.
     
  12. Mixt The dude that does the thing

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Gender:
    Male
    826
    As I pointed out a couple of posts later, it depends on the state. When I wrote the post you quoted I didn't realize that and went with the version for where I live. Here in Illinois I cannot legally record anyone without their consent, even for private use. Even stores have signs saying that there are surveillance cameras (though frequently small and in places that you wouldn't look).

    But more frequently you would be correct in that you can record if at least one party involved consents, and the person recording almost always counts. It really just prevents spying. And those recordings can be used for just about anything. Probably not sold without consent, but that isn't really relevant here.
     
  13. mindy lover Destiny Islands Resident

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    8
    76
    Sorry, I didn't read that and meant no offense if it sounded that way.

    Also, yes, I understand what you said about the law stuff, thanks for telling me.
     
  14. Makaze Some kind of mercenary

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2011
    Location:
    The Matinée
    1,207
    I agree with Nova.

    Find out the laws in your state. Some states require both parties to be aware that the conversation is recorded. Others do not. If the former, you will have to inform him in the recording that he is being recorded for it to be permissible in a court. Be warned: If you inform him, he may fire you on the spot instead of continuing to bully you. Think carefully about what you can do.

    So much as trying to make the world a better place will be infinitely more gratifying than keeping the job. When the time comes that you look back on your life, you will regret not having tried. I know I would.