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Woman reports coworker for lewd messages, shockingly exposes much more. UPDATE 4X

Woman reports coworker for lewd messages, shockingly exposes much more. UPDATE 4X

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Workplace harrassment is not a new concept.

Many people, for many years, have suffered through unwanted advances, inappropriate comments and uncomfortable work atmospheres. It is difficult when your livelyhood is tied in to a toxic work culture or an intential blind eye from those in power. One woman was shocked to recieve inappropriate messages from her coworker at 3am on St. Patrick's Day. What she chose to do about it, unvailed a pattern of abuse that had previously been swept under the rug.

AITA for replying to a coworkers inappropriate texts by work email, and attaching them?

businessbittch

One of my coworkers who I had thought was friendly but that was it (he is married) sent me some inappropriate texts at like 3 am on St. Patrick's Day weekend.

Asking me to come over and 'have some fun' and saying that he had been into me for a while and knew I felt the same. (I don't, I'm a lesbian but not out at work)

He also sent me a naked selfie that (luckily) cut off right before his d*ck but ... Dang it was close.

When I saw them, I was out with friends and was like 'What the f*ck... Ok this is a Monday problem'. I have a really strict rule with myself that I don't do work, think about work, or answer messages about work outside of 9-5 M-F.

I also don't use my personal phone for work stuff. If someone from work calls or texts and it's not one of the coworkers I see as a close friend and trust to not talk shop on the weekends, I'm not answering...

And I included dealing with this f*cker as a 'workday problem' so I ignored his message. He sent me several later first saying sorry he was drunk. Then saying he hadn't said it how he wanted to but he was still into me and had a feeling I felt the same.

On Monday, I wrote him an email on the work email saying:

'Hi 'Coworker,' I'm writing to follow up on your messages from the prior several days (See attached) Please only contact me through work channels during regular business hours, I do not use my personal number with colleagues. Additionally, I found the content of your messages unwelcome and inappropriate. Please only contact me regarding work.

I didn't send the email to HR but I did blind CC my personal email so I'd have a copy just in case.

He got really mad, he texted me back saying I had crossed a line attaching his picture to a work email, was I trying to get him fired? I screenshot that text too and attached it to an additional email saying 'As per my prior email, please only contact me about work matters, and only on my business email or Slack.'

He stopped texting me but he came to my desk to speak to me and before he said anything I asked 'Is this a work question?' And he said I knew what it was about, and I said that I wasn't available for a discussion at the moment, if he did need to meet with me for a work matter, could he please schedule a meeting on the calendar and include a read ahead to brief me on the topic of the meeting?

He walked off...

I feel like I was a bit of a b*tch in dealing with it when maybe I could have told him to cut it out by text. But I'm also f*cking sick of dealing with this sh*t at every job, and I feel like my patience to use my own time and energy to gently ask guys to cool it is worn thin.

And I want to set the precedent that I won't engage at all, outside of work hours or work accounts. AITA for sending that email?

Here is what people initially had to say:

MurielFinster

Go to HR immediately. NTA.

Mama_Mush

You aren't in the wrong but going to HR protects you and any future victims.

TwoCentsPsychologist

His 'opening' message was itself justification enough to go to HR. Drunk or not ,that's totally inappropriate. You should go to HR.

thirdtryisthecharm

NTA. This was the perfect response. He got p*ssy because you wouldn't play his game and documented everything without getting freaked out.

Fmeson

NTA. You didn't ask him to send a naked selfie, and he didn't get your consent first either. He's the one trying to get himself fired.

Major_Barnacle_2212

Not only are you NTA, but I feel like you should be paid for the perfect Guide to Dealing with Inappropriate Workplace Behavior you just posted. Brava.

The next day, the OP returned to respond to those who commented:

Looks like the overwhelming majority of y'all think I need to go to HR to get ahead of this. I was considering holding off to see if he cools it himself, but the way he came to my desk after being told off twice makes me think that's probably not the best idea.

I'm gonna forward the emails to HR, write up the conversation we had at my desk, and ask them to meet with me to discuss.

A few hours later, the OP provided an update on how her actions played out:

I sent an email to HR this afternoon and they called a meeting with me the same day. I told them everything, though there wasn't a lot to say that wasn't already captured in the emails. And they assured me that I wouldn't have any more contact with him at work. They are going to meet with him tomorrow.

It's still not decided if he will be fired or if he will be moved to a different position where he won't have any reason to speak to me... I have a feeling it might depend on how he handles the conversation with them?

I do feel good about emailing HR, I feel like along with myself, I've possibly helped out other women by starting that paper trail, if it turns out to be something he's done more than once.

Obviously, readers wanted to hear more about how the events unfolded, and the OP was quick to provide:

Holy sh*t.. I went out to happy hour with a few of my female friends in my field to vent. And one of my friends told me she'd met this same guy at a professional conference, given him her business card with her phone number, and he sent her a nasty pic too.

She just replied saying that that was inappropriate and she had a husband, and he said something about her husband not having to know. So she had her husband call him and leave a voicemail telling him to f*ck off, and then she never heard from him again.

I asked her if she'd be okay sending screenshots of the text exchange to my HR contact. She was, and she even wrote that she met him at a professional conference where he was representing the company, she gave him a business card for networking reasons, and he sent her an unsolicited lewd picture. And that she needed her husband to intervene to stop the harassment.

I haven't checked my email again, I'm trying to leave work at work and not dwell on this any more tonight. But it seems like HR will have even more to go off, before meeting with him.

Everyone was waiting to hear if this guy would get what was coming to him. The next day, the OP let us know:

He was fired. I don't know a lot of details, I have a follow up meeting with HR soon, but my coworkers told me he was escorted out of the building this morning. One of my coworkers who sits near the HR office said they heard him screaming at the HR staff during his meeting this morning... It's crazy how stuff escalated honestly, just last week I thought he was a chill guy.

I owe a thank you to everyone who told me to report this too; I'd been on the fence at first. But I feel like stuff was gonna escalate either way and I feel a lot safer not having to see him everyday at work.

People responded after the full read:

Lipstick_Thespians

NTA -- I really like the way you were direct and handled it from the very beginning.

SuperHuckleberry125

Please be really careful OP. This guy sounds unhinged and maybe volatile. He might retaliate so please be vigilant.

Running_guy_1

YTA, sounds like you went nuclear at his first message.. he’s not your boss, just a co-worker. Have a little human compassion. In many companies you would have also been the one fired for using your email for to send messages about innapropriate personal issues. Naked pic on work email!!! Never ok.

Koraastus

NTA. You did nothing wrong at all, and he deserved to be fired. What he did is sexual harassment. His feelings, his intent, his drunkenness, his weak apology after the fact, all meaningless.

stocks-mostly-lower

You had shown that a**hole some mercy, and instead, he wanted to continue his predatory behavior toward you. You did exactly the right thing by contacting HR, and forwarding the “evidence” he so kindly provided you with. He’s probably done this to dozens of other women. Thank you for having the courage to break his disgusting cycle.

What would you have recommended to this woman? Has anyone else had to deal with such an inappropriate workplace situation?

Sources: Reddit
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