Friday, August 14, 2015
Delta Perspective: Don’t put up with it (part 2)
Student in Blue asked: “Delta Man, do you consider this post to be applicable to female coworkers as well? If not, why not?”
Yes. It is because you shouldn’t take crap from anyone as a general rule. Let me get two things out of the way first. Please be advised that none of this is legal advice.
First, I’m answering as a Delta, not an Alpha. Second, there are extreme cases where you might have to take verbal abuse for a short period (like you lose insurance if you are let go and your child has a serious illness) and in that instance you are sacrificing yourself for a greater good. Don’t let this second be an excuse though and always, always, document abuse.
That being said this is a large and complicated subject but here’s my opinion:
If it is a “friendly” shit test or you feel confident with some game you can respond in kind. I can’t advise you when this is a good idea because every situation is unique. I’m not talking about belittling, spiteful abuse here, I’m referring to a small put down as she’s gauging if you are strong enough for her. I’ve responded in kind more than once in this situation and it’s always gone well for me, but I pick and choose them carefully. What I’ve found is that once word gets around the workplace you don’t take shit from anyone, then the women who are prone to verbal abuse will simply turn their attentions elsewhere and also have respect for you.
If it is seriously abusive and especially from a superior you need to confront her after the first instance and stand up for yourself. You need to make it clear that you don’t appreciate it and it makes for a hostile work environment. If it doesn’t stop then first thing to do is to very carefully read your company’s HR policy on harassment. You need to know it as well as the company’s lawyer and be able to recite it on notice. Second, you need to detail every instance thoroughly right after it happens. Send an email to yourself with time, date, and witnesses present. What you are doing is building a case which the HR department would be derelict in their duty to ignore.
You might be in for a nasty fight, but thorough documentation is extremely powerful in these situations and it’s been my experience bullies do not document their actions at all and don’t like it when other people do. At this point I’m going to request anyone reading this post with greater experience than I have to go ahead an offer some advice here. I don’t want to lead anyone down the wrong path, but regardless you shouldn’t take abuse from anyone if you can avoid it.