Inappropriate behavior from husband's coworker

Posted in the Human Resources Forum

littlemouse

United States

#1 Mar 8, 2013
I have a question that I'm seeking advice for. Both my husband and I work at the front desk of hotels in the same city. He is a manager at his hotel, I am a front desk agent at a different hotel. One of his coworkers has feelings for him and has started calling me at the hotel I work at and bothering me. I don't care that they work together; that is life but her calling me at work to pull "pranks" I find to be really disrespectful and in bad taste.

The first time she called saying that my husband (let's call him Jim) was ordering hookers at the hotel and then she said that she was just joking. I didn't laugh at any point during the conversation as it's not funny. I just sat silently and awkwardly on the other line. Now today she has called again mocking me (I answer the phone in an often high pitched up-beat enthusiastic voice because I'm trying to be polite and professional) pretending that her name is also Rachel (the same as mine) and putting on a silly voice. Then she proceeds to say she's just joking. She only does this when they are working together.

I am really tired of this behavior and I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on how I should proceed if the calls keep continuing. I do feel this is harassment as I'm not friends with this woman, have never met her and the contact is unwanted. Thank you in advance for any opinions and advice.
HRJohn

Newport, NY

#2 Mar 21, 2013
If it only happens when she is working with your husband, he is likely putting her up to it... maybe HE finds it funny... or wants to see if you talk about it at home... or is trying to get you to inquire more about what goes on at HIS worksite, but I agree it is unprofessional - some time you are going to respond negatively to it and it won't be her... there is risk here.

I have told other here, you would have gotten a LOT quicker answer if you visited a more dynamic HR forum like about.com/humanresources - the issues there get responded to sometimes on the same day! Lots of active exchange there.
StudentJohn

Chino, CA

#3 May 2, 2013
Rather than just taking the abuse until you snap one day, why don't you file a complaint or ask her to stop since you do not share her same sense of humor. Even if your husband is encouraging it, you should not make that assumption. Simply address the matter as if she is the only one taking action. If that is done either verbal warning to her or a report on file, then the reactions and behaaviours that follow it will reveal all involved parties. Regardless of how personal this situation may become, you should take it objectively and accordingly to the company policies, expected level of professionalism, and the roles of your job position. One may even say she is wasting company resources by prank calling you.
MollyULV

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#4 May 2, 2013
The best advice I could give is to simply file a complaint with HR. The last thing you would want is a confrontation with the woman; that could create more tension and YOU may say something inappropriate as well. Making HR aware of this situation and getting some form of certified documentation of her behavior will be in your favor. If the inappropriate behavior continues, she could face termination.
You are doing a great job at being professional and not escalating the situation for the worst.
John ULV

La Verne, CA

#5 May 2, 2013
I would also suggest contacting HR immediately especially since you feel uncomfortable with the exchange in words. You don't want the situation to build up any further. Like Molly said above, going to HR will allow some type of documentation process to begin. You are being very professional about what has transpired, and I wish you all the best in getting it resolved!
Judy

La Verne, CA

#6 May 2, 2013
Dear, little-mouse first of all let me congratulate you on your professional comportment. It seems you have conducted yourself in the most professional manner by not laughing at her so call just kidding jokes, and by continuing to remember your mannerisms when answering company phone. My recommendation is that you definitely need to make her aware that her remarks are neither funny nor welcomed-while conducting professionalism. If this approach does not work it is highly important you communicate this to your immediate management in addition to contacting your HR Director to make them aware you have addressed the situation to all parties necessary and make it clear that you have discussed the un-welcomed comments with Rachel. Make sure you are documenting time, date, and location where you are addressing this issue to utilize as support in the future with HR.

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