While looking out a window with another employee manager x came up from behind and surprised me by putting one hand on my shoulder and the other he formed in the shape of a finger gun all the while asking for my lunch money and pushing me into a corner. While I realize it was a joke, he was very rough and left marks where he jabbed my side and on my fore arm where I was pushing back against the corner.

This is my first workplace. Sub 200 employees. I'm not even in my twenties and this retired marine was pushing me into this corner.

I have photos of the marks, but I have not talked to anyone. What should I do and what should I expect. All of the managers are very closely knit and I feel if I report this, I will lose my position in IT.

  • 7
    Country tag? The acceptability of this is VERY culture dependent
    – Hilmar
    Apr 14, 2020 at 14:20
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    what are you trying to achieve? Apr 14, 2020 at 14:23
  • 3
    @VeneerLarry If you don´t know what your goals are, how should we know? If you do not want want to achieve anything, that would make the question off topic on this site.
    – Daniel
    Apr 14, 2020 at 15:10
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    im not really trying to achieve anything Do you not care if this happens again? I would have guessed that was the unspoken goal, to make sure it doesn't happen again, until I read this comment.
    – BSMP
    Apr 14, 2020 at 16:53
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    What marks were left? Red marks that disappeared within minutes or blue marks that appeared the day after? Apr 14, 2020 at 19:46

4 Answers 4


What I would do in your situation is:

Seek a private conversation with said manager and tell him that while this may be meant as a joke, it went a little bit to far as he left marks on your body. Some people are just used to a bit rougher handling or do not even realize how strong they are. Most likely the feedback is appreciated as it would not have been his goal to harm you. It's important to give feedback when something is not ok, if you want to develop a healthy relationship with your colleagues.

Do this only if you do not feel assaulted or mistreated. If you feel abused, you should obviously report this to HR.

  • Thank you Daniel, I'll let you know how the conversation goes. Apr 14, 2020 at 15:54
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    @VeneerLarry: I´d encourage you to not accept my answer until at least 24 hours. You may get other useful answers. Once a question "solved" it will draw much less attention from possibly helpful people.
    – Daniel
    Apr 14, 2020 at 15:55
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    I talked to the manager with an HR representative present. I expressed how the encounter made me feel. He understood why what he did was wrong. No corrective action against him was made, which is fine. I appreciate everyone's answers as well! Thank you guys so much! Apr 16, 2020 at 10:23
  • @VeneerLarry: Thanks for letting us know how it went and all the best for the future!
    – Daniel
    Apr 16, 2020 at 14:39
  • I would not go straight to HR with this, unless you were injured. The first thing HR will do is ask if you have told your boss that you didn't like what he did. Apr 17, 2020 at 13:13

First of all, I am sorry this happened to you. You should first make sure to document what happened as best you remember somewhere outside of work (IE, email pictures of any bruises just in case). Then, you should go to your manager or your company's HR rep and tell them how uncomfortable it made you feel. In the US, it is illegal to retaliate against an employee for going to HR in good faith. Please don't be afraid to go to them, HR is certainly not your friend, but this is exactly what they are there to prevent.


If you were assaulted, go to the police. If you were not and think that this is a "fun prank", nothing to do, besides maybe ask to not do it again, or be gentler. It's up to you to figure out which one is it.


If no lasting harm was done then I would let it slide. You have no idea how bad this can get and the last thing you want to do is swing a wrecking ball through your career that you would later regret

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