Jump to content

A pass or not a pass, and what to do about it another time


Recommended Posts

Yesterday afternoon I was talking to a co-worker who will be at my work next year but was only at it for the first few months of this school year.  He was making a big deal about how much weight I’d lost and told me I looked amazing.  Then he said Jen (his wife) had been trying to lose weight and did I have any secrets to share?  I said no, it was just hard work.  He repeated that I looked amazing, then reached out and brushed the backs of his fingers down my cheek.

 

I’m pretty bad at hiding my emotions, so I’m pretty sure he saw the panic on my face at that point.  I stepped back.  Then his kids (ages 8 and 9) came out of the building and joined us, so I didn’t mention anything about it, just changed the subject.

 

What WAS that?  A pass?  Not a pass?  I’m really terrible with making sense of stuff like that – I have very little experience of guys and what I do have isn’t pretty – but it did make me very uncomfortable.  How do I deal with it if it happens again?  (I’m the kind of person who freezes at conflict and overthinks everything, but having some sort of response ready would be good….especially since we have to work together next year.)

 

Any advice would be appreciated.

Hiraedd the Twice Risen:

Hamadryad; Pilgrim

battle log

 

Link to comment

Wow! Sounds like a pass to me. Even if it wasn't intentional, if it made you uncomfortable, it is NOT okay. Don't be afraid to speak up. If it happens again, just be honest - tell him you are not comfortable with touching. Everyone has their personal space. Some people have less than other people, and that's okay - as long as they respect the space of others.

 

What a weird and awkward situation!

Level ? Half-Dwarf/Half-Amazon Warrior

STR:21.25 STA:15 DEX: 10.95 CON: 14 WIS:15.5 CHA:17

SWOLE BUCKS: 1

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Link to comment

no touching. no touching. no touching.

you get to be in my personal space when I let you. at no. other point is that acceptable.

totally 100% inappropriate. there are few times ever for a co-worker to be touching. I have touched my co-worker and he has touched me... usually for the purposes of assisting clothing or some minor grooming issue and it is always prefaced with hey you have a... or can I fix this for you. that's it. no other instance.

wildly inappropriate for that. outside handshakes and that butt out hug or dude hug thing there is no reason for a coworker to be touching.

definitely speak up next time.

Link to comment

I agree with Mir - if it made you uncomfortable, you should speak up.  Doesn't matter if it was or wasn't a pass, any kind of touching that makes you uncomfortable is not okay.  From how you describe it, it sounded like a pass to me and it would have made me really uncomfortable in that situation.

6th kyu in Aikido

I write stuff in my spare time

I love Star Trek

Link to comment

Thanks ladies!

 

I'm going to be working on being prepared for stuff like this in the future, so that it doesn't catch me so blind side.  Any suggestions for what I could have or should have said?  (I suppose I could have gone all Emperors New Groove on him and been: "No touchy!")

Hiraedd the Twice Risen:

Hamadryad; Pilgrim

battle log

 

Link to comment

that's an absolutely okay.

there's absolutely no reason for anybody ever be touching you and you may feel free to be no touchy on their ass at any time.

I dislike people getting that close to me to begin with to be honest. personal space is just that. personal... so you decided what your bubble is, how big it is ( with in reason) and who is allowed in it and at what times and to what extent they are granted permission.

Link to comment

I would have jumped back and been all "my face not yours!"

I might have smacked him depending on how well I knew him...

I tell my 13 year old frequently (the one with asperger's) "touching someone without their permission is harassment where we live touching a girl without her permission can cause her daddy to show up on your doorstep with a shotgun never touch another being without their permission" (pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter... you need permission to touch!)

please forgive typos and such... autocorrect is not my friend and my phone is a goofball.... gotta love tapatalk!

Level 10.4 Wood-Elf, Ranger - specializing in demon fighting

"doing the impossible since 2012 :D" - Librarian of Doom

facebook battle log level 50 WOOT   Backstory CNF2014  current (not challenge - doing a battle log this time)

Spoiler

 

* This is the day the Lord has made, rejoice in it and be glad. God, The Bible. * Do or do not, there is no try. - Yoda
* There are three options in this life; be good, get good, or give up. -- House * Never take counsel of your fears. Stonewall Jackson. 

* level 50 isn't gonna just POOF happen - alienjenn, NF IRC chatroom

 

* I'm not about to give up - Because I heard you say - There's gonna be brighter days… I won't stop, I'll keep my head up - No, I'm not here to stay ...  - 

 I just might bend but I won't break - As long as I can see your face - When life won't play along - And right keeps going wrong - And I can't seem to find my way - I know where I am found - So I won't let it drag me down - Oh, I'll keep dancing anyway - Mercy Me - Move

 

 

Link to comment

I don't blame you for not being prepared or reacting in a way you would've liked. Unexpected things happen, so good for you for preparing for a repeat offense.

 

If words fail you, simply moving quickly but unquestionably away (such as taking a deliberate step backward) and maybe using your hands to indicate "stop" will be body language enough.

 

 

One more thing I just thought of, and I hope this is NOT the case... Some men will take advantage of a woman (even just so much as touching her face) if they believe she won't stop them.  It gives them a sense of empowerment that they can do something the woman doesn't like, without getting caught.

 

We obviously can't make any judgment about his character, but just in case, I would follow some of the advice you received above and state clearly that that behavior will not be tolerated and you will inform others of what happened. And if it DOES happen again and you find yourself unable to react, immediately inform your boss. Nip this in the bud before it can become an issue.

 

Best of luck to you. Stay strong!

Keliswicked, level 6 half Hobbit/ half Dwarf Druid


 


Progress Log  ||  Fitocracy!  || 2 3 4 5 6

Link to comment

From a man's perspective.....

 

98% of the time this is a sleazy pass.

 

2% it is a rare emotional overflowing that overcame him and he felt like touching you, even if this is the case a pat on your shoulder or something is more appropriate, you don't generally touch people's faces. I'm sure my wife would slap the hand away if someone at work tried to touch her face.

 

Either way the reaction you had should be enough to let him know you didn't like it and I don't expect he'll do it again

 

If the kids hadn't shown up you should of definitely said something, make it as simple as "I appreciate the sentiment but I don't like people touching me so please don't do it again".

 

The fact you work together makes it a bit more complicated because you don't want him spreading any shit that you're a prude etc. I wouldn't say anything further to him but I'd have a word with your boss, tell them what happened and that you were uncomfortable but that you don't want any further action taken, you just want them to be aware so if there is any repeat it's on record. If he does it again straight out tell him not to and report it formally.

         Endor, LVL 45 Half-Elf Ranger 

PR and Motivation Log | Current Battle Log 

      

                    Feb-March 2022 Challenge

   

Link to comment

Thank you all so much!

 

It's been messing with my head some, but I already feel more equipped to handle it another time.  (I'm taking notes :) ) If it happens again with this particular guy I'll definitely tell my boss (it's just weird right now with us all being off for summer holidays -- although technically it happened at work, but not on work time since school was already off for the summer, so I'm not sure how that all falls out for this past incident).

Hiraedd the Twice Risen:

Hamadryad; Pilgrim

battle log

 

Link to comment
The fact you work together makes it a bit more complicated because you don't want him spreading any shit that you're a prude etc

 

I would take that over the alternative!!!!  

 

Besides- I would also flip that shit right around- someone comes up 3rd party and says- So and So says you are a prude and jumpy... bla bla bla

 

really?  he does?  well maybe he should keep his grubby mitts off of me because touching people without their consent is rude as hell.  If that makes me a prude- then so be it- he's lucky I didn't drop kick him in his balls pulling a stunt like that. 

 

or some such sarcastic comment about him inappropriately touching you.  Turn it right around. 

Link to comment

I would take that over the alternative!!!!  

 

Besides- I would also flip that shit right around- someone comes up 3rd party and says- So and So says you are a prude and jumpy... bla bla bla

 

really?  he does?  well maybe he should keep his grubby mitts off of me because touching people without their consent is rude as hell.  If that makes me a prude- then so be it- he's lucky I didn't drop kick him in his balls pulling a stunt like that. 

 

or some such sarcastic comment about him inappropriately touching you.  Turn it right around. 

 

Yeah, you could always say, 'Really? I wonder if his wife thinks so... Have you asked her?'

PaNtInApRoViNa

 

level 2 Halfling warrior

STR 4.5 | DEX 4.25 | STA 3.5 | CON 12.5 | WIS 3.75 | CHA 2


Fitocracy
 

Link to comment

^^snark

 

LOVE IT.

 

yes- something along those lines.  

 

Point being- NEVER EVER EVER let anyone pressure you into feeling bad about not wanting to have someone ELSE in your personal space.  that is not their choice and you should NEVER EVER feel badly about it. EVER. EVER EVER.

Link to comment

Okay, some guy touching your face has an ick-factor of about 8.  Hopefully your reaction was enough for him and there won't be any repeats.  It's hard to say whether he was being inappropriate or clueless.  Either way, it was way off base.  If it looks like a repeat, at a minimum, step back and say that you don't like to be touched.  How far you escalate depends on what you're comfortable with and what you think the situation needs. 

The hardest part of the workout is lacing up your shoes'"


1011 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | Current Challenge |


INTJ | MFP | FitBit

Link to comment

Document it.  Document it.  And oh by the way, document it:

What happened (line by line, write a timestamped event log)

When it happened

Names of anyone else present

 

You will need a record like this if you need to escalate the issue (and honestly, if this guy is willing to be -that- inappropriate when his kids are around, it likely will escalate).  If it does escalate, then take this record to your manager and HR. 

Link to comment

I agree with everyone else....at no point is touching-without-permission appropriate, especially in the workplace, and I especially agree with concretecavewoman's point about documenting it.  Definitely document it.

 

I'm just still totally stuck on the fact that he brushed THE BACK OF HIS FINGERS on your CHEEK.  LIke, what?  Did he suddenly think he was living inside a Harlequin romance novel?  I mean, like I said, NO touch without permission is ever appropriate but at least some other touches could be innocent. What was this guy thinking??  I'd have probably been like "What, is there a big hairy spider hanging off my cheek and you're doing me a favor by swatting it the heck off?  Because I sure can't think of ANY other reason for you to touch my face..." and see what he says.  But I hear ya...it's awkward when you have to work with him.  If you feel like you can't talk to him directly about it, don't be afraid to go to a supervisor.  I had a guy touching me without permission at a prior job for a couple weeks...it wasn't sexual (i.e. he wasn't making a pass) but it was about power...he would do things like sneak up behind me on the stairs and poke at the back of my knees so my legs would buckle when I was standing there talking to my coworkers, or do other physical stuff in my personal space to belittle me and assert his "dominance," until finally I had enough and went to my boss and had a private conversation.  She took care of it and he was reprimanded, and the supervisor totally supported me.  He didn't touch me again.  Just remember that even though it might "get weird" after you talk to him or a supervisor, that's not YOUR fault.  If things get weird, it's because HE did something stupid and thoughtless, and you should not have to suffer at work as a result of his poor choices.

 

Stay strong! 

Link to comment

Just remember that even though it might "get weird" after you talk to him or a supervisor, that's not YOUR fault.  If things get weird, it's because HE did something stupid and thoughtless, and you should not have to suffer at work as a result of his poor choices.

How did you get inside my head?  Part of me was totally thinking about not saying anything because I WAS worrying about it getting weird.  Thank you!

Hiraedd the Twice Risen:

Hamadryad; Pilgrim

battle log

 

Link to comment

What everyone else is saying is one thousand percent true: him not being able to keep his grubby paws to himself is absolutely not your problem or fault in the least. What were you doing wrong, existing? Screw that.

 

If he does it again, remember that you are 100% in the right by deliberately grabbing his hand and pushing it away, and saying very firmly while looking him in the eye, "Please don't touch me like that. It's completely inappropriate." Or better yet, ask him a question that makes him realize how wrong he is: "Why are you touching me like that?" If he's really that clueless about boundaries, he won't have an answer and be shamed into never doing it again.

 

If he's the overbearing creep I think he is, then tell him in no uncertain terms that he needs to stop touching you without permission and if he doesn't stop, you'll talk to your boss about his advances. And then do it if necessary.

 

I know it's scary to take control of the situation like that, especially if you're not used to doing so, but remembering that HE'S the one fucking up and you're in the right for setting boundaries makes it easier. Keep us updated, yeah?

 

Pass or not, when you get that feeling in your gut like you're not comfortable with what's going on, it's inappropriate and you have the right to feel skeeved out.

Link to comment

More of us, especially those who don't like to be touched even platonically by others, need to learn the ability to say three simple words: Don't touch me. It doesn't have to be a conversation, or an issue, just as soon as someone touches you, say it immediately. It took me a long time to get to this point (I don't understand random acquaintances (or strangers!) hugging, touching someone during conversation, etc.), but let me tell you, you'll feel so relieved. Every time I've done this, the person has felt too awkward to address what just happened and just keeps talking. But you know what? They don't do it again.

 

On a related note, personal space: I also have no issue taking a large step backwards if someone is standing far too close to me for comfort. They never step back in to close the gap.

Link to comment

must be nice.

 

I don't have a problem physically moving away.

 

I was at the trainers desk - which is horse shoe shaped at my gym- and "Harold" I think he does a step class or something whatever- he was talking to me and he kept getting closer and closer- so I kept stepping back.

 

He actually pushed me back so far I was sitting on the desk and could retreat no further and I finally said- can you please step back- you're really in my space and it's uncomfortable. 

 

He rudely then walked AROUND to the other side of the U shape... but on the OUTSIDE (we were on the inside) and then proceeded to finish the conversation from there.  

 

I was like- don't you dare make me feel like a bad person- you literally pushed me with your inappropriate personal space four feet from where I was standing... all the back so I was sitting on the counter in an effort to maintain my personal bubble.

 

Get the fuck out. 

I hate people like that.

Link to comment

I was like- don't you dare make me feel like a bad person- you literally pushed me with your inappropriate personal space four feet from where I was standing... all the back so I was sitting on the counter in an effort to maintain my personal bubble.

 

Get the fuck out. 

I hate people like that.

 

Guys never take a hint, literally had to take a giant step back for a dude to finally get the picture that he was standing too close.

 

Couldn't tell if he was really interested in me or just wanted to skin my face off and wear it as a mask.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

New here? Please check out our Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines