This is an issue I'm struggling with for several months, and it's bullying. The bully is a colleague working on the same project as me who calls my name with a certain suffix, and he is very well aware that the suffix is offending to me a lot. I don't want to go to lengths to explain why he is well aware. I'll explain if needed. I suspect the root cause of his behavior might be jealousy/envy. The bully is older than me but he is not a manager, the bully is just a coworker.
Not intending to go to details, but the offending suffix is generally used to call women, and if used to call men, it hints a slur, specially with some intonations.
The bullying is affecting my professional performance by provoking anger in me, eventually leading to being angry at other innocent people. But today the bully repeated his behavior, and I cannot take it any more.
I tried to find a general resolution by taking steps to avoid the bully:
- I changed my desk for the 1st time: my desk was previously next to the bully
- I changed my desk for the 2nd time to avoid being stalked by the bully
- I blocked the bully on Google Hangout, to avoid messages by the bully
- I blocked the bully cell phone number, to avoid his occasional bullying
- I stopped talking to bully and avoided all interactions
- I blocked all communication ways, but he finally got a way for bullying on Slack, but there is no way to block someone on Slack, because of Slack policies
- I opened an issue on our issue tracker. Well, it's a software job with a Git repository. I opened an issue on self-hosted GitHub titled impulse control in workplace without directly pointing out the bullying. But investigating some causes which negatively affect professional performance like: personal causes, environmental causes, social/cultural causes and possible prevention methods. The opened issues was more like a memo investigating workplace deficiencies in general
- There are some colleagues who use the suffix when calling other colleagues with no intention, but there is a difference between a bully and a colleague who behaves friendly in good faith
- I think others got aware of me avoiding the bully. So they know there is a problem, but they don't know what the problem is specifically
For several months, right after bullying got serious, I'm having many anger impulses at work. During these months, the anger impulse affected my professional behavior with other colleagues including my manager. But I kept it a secret and tried to find a general resolution by opening the Git issue (mentioned on item 7 on above list) which covers a broader field than just bullying.
I'm having a hard time dealing with the hidden layers of interpersonal communications, more popular in some cultures. It negatively affects my performance significantly. For example, the last bully message was sent to me on Slack today, and I'm mentally paralyzed til now which is more than 2 hours later.
Can anybody help me with figuring out which next step is the most suitable course of action?
Here's what I'm currently considering:
Talk to my manager about the bully
1.1. Asking my manager to remove the bully off of Slack by administrative tools
1.2. Asking my manager to change the project I'm working on
Ignore the bully
2.1. It is hard for me to ignore, since a lot of anger is coming up inside me whenever a bullying occurs
2.2. My performance would be negatively affected
2.3. My health would be negatively affected due to huge amounts of stress and pressure by each case of bullying
Talk directly to the bully and ask him to stop
3.1. I just don't want to see the bullies face, let alone talk to the bully
3.2. I'm afraid my talk to the bully would cause the situation to escalate further
Right now, the plan I have in mind is to open a GitHub issue titled
bullying at workplaceand link to this post and attach the screenshot of most recent bullying message. I'm not sure if it's the best step, but I need to take action immediately. I'm mentally paralyzed by the most recent bullying and I cannot focus.
Which next step seems more appropriate? Or are there any other possible solutions which I'm missing?
My manager is aware of the issue now and with his understanding, there is no technical interaction with the bully. Therefore, for a while I had no interaction with the bully.
But this week, at presence of a friend, the bully came to us and said hello and then used the offending suffix. I hesitated for a while, but finally, at presence of my friend, I asked the bully
why did you use the offending suffix again? The bully answered that he
forgot. The bully said that he won't say hello any more if needed. And I replied something like
Right, I don't want your saying hello whatsoever.