Posted 5/28/2013 11:07 PM (GMT -7)
There's been something on my mind for about four years now that I have been too ashamed to talk to anyone about. It has caused me a lot of emotional stress the entire time and I know I will sound like a total wimp, so please don't tell me that. Thanks. I appreciate any advice you can give me.
I work with an engineer, Brian, who is clinically depressed, he is ten years older than me, has three kids, no college degree and he talks about how he hates his job everyday. He recently went thru a long, bitter divorce and he tells me he owes a lifetime of money to his ex-wife for child-support of the three kids, legal-fees, etc.
I was hired to work with this guy in 2008. In contrast to him, I have a college degree in this field and a positive attitude for the job and he has hated me for it. I didn't have a lot of experience, so he was assigned to be my mentor for the job. My first year and a half working with him as my mentor, he harassed and intimidated me on a daily basis. Here is how he treated me during this time:
1. Brian started out with stares. Whenever he would talk to me, he would stare at me and after the conversation was over, he would continue to stare at me in a creepy way.
2. When I had a question, Brian would yell at me because somebody with my experience should already know the answer to my "stupid" question.
3. For a few days, I thought we were doing good and Brian was being really nice to me, making small talk asking me how I spent my weekend at my parents house. He asked me where my parents lived, and I let my guard down and told him, and suddenly he got serious and said "I will remember that." and gave me a threatening glare. It made me so uncomfortable that I didn't ask him at the time what he meant by that. I didn't really know him, so I wasn't sure if this should be interpreted as a death threat against my family.
4. Brian would constantly mope around and complain about how they were going to lay him off because they hired me.
5. Brian would joke around to me about he was going to leave his kids at my doorstep. I guess he doesn't want to take care of them himself?
6. At one point, Brian told my boss that I wasn't doing a good job, so my boss put me on a 30-day probation, saying that they would "let me go if I didn't show improvement in 30 days". My boss was only in the office with us a couple days a week, so my boss didn't really know how I was doing. After the 30 days was up, my boss decided to keep me though.
7. Brian googled my name one day, looking for dirt on me. There is none, but he wanted to see if there was any.
8. One day, I was leaving to go on vacation to Utah and I stopped by to say bye to Brian and he was talking to another coworker. They must have been talking about me, because the other coworker asks me if I have a girlfriend, and I said no, he then stately loudly in front of a lot of other coworkers that "You don't like girls" which I never said. He then accused me of "human trafficking" as must be my reason for going alone to Utah for vacation. None of this is true. He called me a "mule" because I prefer to do things on my personal time by myself (this is because of my Ulcerative Colitis, but I didn't want to tell him about that). He was putting on a show for anyone within an earshot in our office at my expense. Later, I complained about this to Brian, and he says "well doesn't your parents think it's weird that you don't have a girlfriend".
9. Lastly, Brian slapped me on the back of the head (it wasn't a nice slap) because I needed help figuring out a problem at work. Our boss actually saw this happen and offered to talk to him about it but I said no and that I would talk to him myself instead.
I then had a private talk with Brian. He insisted that he had no problem with me and that all this was all in my mind. I asked him about the possible death threat against my family (number 3 above), and he said that he wasn't threatening me. He told me that I would never have made it in this job if his old boss was still there, someone that was laid off before I was hired.
My boss and Brian didn't like each other, but throughout all these problems I never complained about Brian at all. I was always instead focused on trying to be successful at the job. I also was afraid that if I did speak up about him and he got fired, that he would retaliate against my family in some way. I've seen a very crazy, unsettling look in his eye, that makes me wonder what he's capable of.
This all happened between mid-2009 to late-2010. Since then, Brian doesn't harrass me anymore because we got a new boss. But I find it hard to forgive him and still work with him after all this.
During all this, my Ulcerative Colitis symptoms have gotten worse. I've never told anyone this before; I've just kept it all bottled up inside. What do you guys think?