I'm a fresh graduate from college. And the colleague in question is still in his college, but our age is similar. The female colleague is same age as me.

I'm new in this job. Both of us(he and me) are in same department, same position, same probation period.

He has started teasing me with name of a girl from another department who resides in our own floor.

I always saw her as a best friend, but now I feel shy when I see her. She's stuck in my head. I told the person to not tease me like that in front of the girl and told him to position himself in place of girl and ask if he would like it?

He's taking it too lightly and not caring.

Should I complain to HR? Or manager? The colleague is also my best friend so I'm confused if I should complain to HR or manager?

Is there an easier way out of situations like these.

I am sorry if this is a stupid question, but I'm very impractical as I'm new to industry.

It's against company's policy to like each other in office.

  • 8
    Ugh, the age old "best friend" that has zero respect for OP and is only the best friend because nobody else will give OP the time of day. Jun 16 at 9:36
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    @ComicSansStrikephim that was pretty accurate. Unfortunately! Jun 16 at 10:44
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    Sounds like a script for a heartbreaking highschool-romance - best buddy colleague teases his colleague in front of his crush. Go tell your 'best friend' that you won't accept such demeaning behaviour and stand up for your feelings towards the female colleague. Then let us know what happended coz I'm getting my popcorn right now.. ;)
    – iLuvLogix
    Jun 16 at 11:06
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    I don't understand how this colleague is your best friend. Can you clarify how long you have known each other outside the workplace?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 16 at 12:27
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    I think you meant it's against company's policy to date coworkers or form romantic relationships with them. You are of course allowed to like people you share a work environment with.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 16 at 12:33

3 Answers 3


Tell him to knock it off using "What's with you?" or something like that. Point out that the woman in question won't be comfortable at work if she finds out about all the rumors.

I'd absolutely threaten to go to HR if he doesn't drop the subject immediately.

Working in an office is hellish enough without someone who's actively trying to make it yet even more uncomfortable.

EDIT: One thing to point out, there's always the chance that this could blow back on you and cause problems during your probation. So it's up to you to decide if you want to have boundaries. For my part, I regret not drawing clearer lines in my previous jobs, it makes the work experience much more tolerable.

  • +1 but I would also add that the longer thing lasts, the harder it tends to be to add the boundaries later on.
    – Aida Paul
    Jun 16 at 12:51
  • @TymoteuszPaul There is that, and also the fact that keeping one's head down doesn't guarantee employment. It's entirely possible that HR gets wind of this down the line and decides to terminate them both, or just OP because they think they're going to "get ahead" of the issue.
    – Rastilin
    Jun 16 at 13:13

Stop being a target. If you blush crimson and act like a teenager everytime your colleague teases you, it will never stop. It's just too much fun.

Grow a skin, ignore his ribbing and be firm in your requests to stop. Take him aside, tell him one last time in very certain terms to stop, then leave it at that. If he starts again, immediately change topic, stand up and leave the room or do something else to defuse the situation.

Don't involve HR or your manager. They couldn't care less about that. They aren't kindergartners.

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    -1 just for the last sentence, if something like that happens in the workplace, it is definitely an issue to raise with HR/boss. Is that the most preferred way? Maybe not, but it definitely is one of the avenues to resolve it.
    – Aida Paul
    Jun 16 at 10:27
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    @TymoteuszPaul Yes, OP should go to HR, especially since this is a clear case of harassment. Jun 16 at 11:02
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    @TymoteuszPaul: Yes, it's certainly HR's job to deal with situations like this. Still it's going to backfire on OP. If they can't handle a small thing like that on their own they just show a lot of immaturity and lack of soft skills.
    – Hilmar
    Jun 16 at 12:31
  • @Hilmar it sure does, but also if that's where OP is and cannot handle it on their own, it's where they are and HR can provide immediate, and sometimes also long-term help if they care about OP.
    – Aida Paul
    Jun 16 at 12:50

"Ha ha, it's funny because obviously having a woman's name is an insult." [note I doubt there are any actual girls working at your company, the word you're looking for is "woman."]

followed by

"What is wrong with you? Are you 8? Should I call you Spanky?"

Thereafter I would not respond to such a person in any way other than calling them Spanky. Telling a bully you don't like what they are doing is an invitation for them to do it more.

  • 1
    I agree with the first part of this answer, but the second part, is good old harassment itself
    – Donald
    Jun 16 at 16:58
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    I'm guessing from context that what's happening isn't this (English is not OP's first language). From context it seems to be 13 year olds saying "Haha, you like Alice!" Jun 17 at 11:54

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