I would like to ask some questions in regards with the workplace bullying.
I had my lunch in front of my desk, as usual, when one of my colleagues started complaining that my lunch was smelly and disgusting. She then came to me and said: “I know it’s your lunch, so yuck!” I did not say anything, thinking that maybe she does not like the smell of the food.
She then started to spray my area with air freshener, telling other colleagues that it was because my food was smelly. Everyone was here and it made me feel so embarrassed. I had to throw away my lunch because it was now covered in the spray.
I was upset and returned a gift she gave me by placing it on her desk.
The next morning she was angry and threw the gift - a hat - into my face, I did not respond and my colleagues suggested going to HR to report this behavior. I did so, and HR advised that they would talk to my manager.
My manager told me that it was my fault because I did not ask the angry coworkers permission to eat at my desk. He followed this up by saying that I bullied her by returning her gift without saying anything. He then suggested I change my behavior or he will have to give me a warning.
I feel I am being bullied by both my colleague and my manager. What steps should someone take when reporting their bullying issue to management isn't taken seriously?