Really Puzzling Co-Worker...
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  1. Really Puzzling Co-Worker...

    There is a lot to go into...so I appreciate anyone that can provide any feedback and thanks for reading

    The beginning: Married Co-worker (I'm also married with a baby daughter) has acted quite odd around me since I started over 6 months ago she used to (and still does frequently) pop up everywhere I was (staff room, kitchen, mail room).

    I ignored those things but found them amusing, she often comes past my desk and teases me and asks if I am working hard or says things like you look busy.

    It has now got to the stage where she she is always coming past my desk on a route that she doesn’t need to go on, is now saying good morning, often with a nice smile and has a few times touched my arm and said Hey…she often stops for chats and has asked me a great deal of questions over time.

    I’ve seen her watch me talk to other Female co-workers and at meetings she seems to linger around or is sitting in a seat where she is in direct range of where I sit.

    But recently it got back to me that she called me a creep behind my back and as I didn't want to confront her for fear of her thinking I was harassing her or making her uncomfortable I spoke to my team leader.

    My team leader told me that she did say those things but it was taken out of context and she told me that I said some things that made her uncomfortable, when I asked my team leader how can that be?, I hardly spoke to her and I can actually recall conversations I had with her and they were polite conversations about work, how long had she been there etc I was told she didn't really say what the things were and after the meeting went home in tears.

    She approached me today and wanted to chat and apologize ended up telling me that she was sexually assaulted at a young age (would you tell someone you have only known for 6 months this?), burst into tears (it was quite awkward to be honest) told me she wanted to quit, didn't mean what she said and told me that I was a really Friendly older Guy and it was weird for her (for the record I treat her exactly the same as my other colleagues and I work with over 50 Women in my job) more was said but it's not important, she apologized and I said I forgave her but I find it hard to trust her and that we must move on and be professional.

    I am really puzzled as there are other older Guys working there and i have seen them ask her how her weekend was etc but she only has the issues with me?

    After the chat she kept coming to my desk and asked general questions and at one stage came past and said "I don't even know why I am walking down this way" haha

    Not only that but her ex-Friend told me that the comment was made at work while the Girl says that it was made outside of work.

    All in all, I just don't want to lose my job or be accused of something I haven't done here.



  2. #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Izombie17 View Post
    There is a lot to go into...so I appreciate anyone that can provide any feedback and thanks for reading

    The beginning: Married Co-worker (I'm also married with a baby daughter) has acted quite odd around me since I started over 6 months ago she used to (and still does frequently) pop up everywhere I was (staff room, kitchen, mail room).

    I ignored those things but found them amusing, she often comes past my desk and teases me and asks if I am working hard or says things like you look busy.

    It has now got to the stage where she she is always coming past my desk on a route that she doesn’t need to go on, is now saying good morning, often with a nice smile and has a few times touched my arm and said Hey…she often stops for chats and has asked me a great deal of questions over time.

    I’ve seen her watch me talk to other Female co-workers and at meetings she seems to linger around or is sitting in a seat where she is in direct range of where I sit.

    But recently it got back to me that she called me a creep behind my back and as I didn't want to confront her for fear of her thinking I was harassing her or making her uncomfortable I spoke to my team leader.

    My team leader told me that she did say those things but it was taken out of context and she told me that I said some things that made her uncomfortable, when I asked my team leader how can that be?, I hardly spoke to her and I can actually recall conversations I had with her and they were polite conversations about work, how long had she been there etc I was told she didn't really say what the things were and after the meeting went home in tears.

    She approached me today and wanted to chat and apologize ended up telling me that she was sexually assaulted at a young age (would you tell someone you have only known for 6 months this?), burst into tears (it was quite awkward to be honest) told me she wanted to quit, didn't mean what she said and told me that I was a really Friendly older Guy and it was weird for her (for the record I treat her exactly the same as my other colleagues and I work with over 50 Women in my job) more was said but it's not important, she apologized and I said I forgave her but I find it hard to trust her and that we must move on and be professional.

    I am really puzzled as there are other older Guys working there and i have seen them ask her how her weekend was etc but she only has the issues with me?

    After the chat she kept coming to my desk and asked general questions and at one stage came past and said "I don't even know why I am walking down this way" haha

    Not only that but her ex-Friend told me that the comment was made at work while the Girl says that it was made outside of work.

    All in all, I just don't want to lose my job or be accused of something I haven't done here.
    There are two possibilities.

    The first possibility is that her attraction to you is all in your head. Yours is not the only arm she is touching during conversation. She is not actively seeking you out by being in the kitchen or next to the water cooler when you are there. She is not actively trying to sit within sight of you at meetings.

    We tend to do this with women we find attractive—projecting fantasies of her interest in us onto her when there really is no interest. This happens often, especially with engaging, friendly women.

    The second, and in my opinion more likely, possibility is that she has boundary issues resulting from any number of things, and probably influenced by past sexual abuse. She can sense your attraction to her despite the fact that you have neither done nor said anything which could have been construed as flirtatious.

    She may look up to you as a father figure and sense that you do not see yourself as such in relation to her.

    She feels a combination of guilt, confusion, and/or disgust for being partially responsible for your undesired sexual attraction to her and for the fact that either of you would be attracted to the other to begin with, as she labeled you a “nice older guy”, which means she is not into you sexually, and because you are both married.

    In either case, I would dismiss any residual interest in her while keepin things cordial, and avoid getting into situations where her boundary issues could create problems. At this point, you’ve already been called creepy, which signals to me that you could, in the current social climate, be in danger of losing your job.

    How are things now?

  3. Quote Originally Posted by bern002 View Post
    There are two possibilities.

    The first possibility is that her attraction to you is all in your head. Yours is not the only arm she is touching during conversation. She is not actively seeking you out by being in the kitchen or next to the water cooler when you are there. She is not actively trying to sit within sight of you at meetings.

    We tend to do this with women we find attractive—projecting fantasies of her interest in us onto her when there really is no interest. This happens often, especially with engaging, friendly women.

    The second, and in my opinion more likely, possibility is that she has boundary issues resulting from any number of things, and probably influenced by past sexual abuse. She can sense your attraction to her despite the fact that you have neither done nor said anything which could have been construed as flirtatious.

    She may look up to you as a father figure and sense that you do not see yourself as such in relation to her.

    She feels a combination of guilt, confusion, and/or disgust for being partially responsible for your undesired sexual attraction to her and for the fact that either of you would be attracted to the other to begin with, as she labeled you a “nice older guy”, which means she is not into you sexually, and because you are both married.

    In either case, I would dismiss any residual interest in her while keepin things cordial, and avoid getting into situations where her boundary issues could create problems. At this point, you’ve already been called creepy, which signals to me that you could, in the current social climate, be in danger of losing your job.

    How are things now?
    Thanks for your reply bern002, I first need to state that I have NEVER found her attractive or even stated that I was or she was attracted, only merely puzzled by her actions towards me and I just wanted advice so I didn't get accused of harassment and because I was the only Guy in the office that she acted this way towards.

    I have only ever been polite and cordial to her and the whole "nice and really Friendly older Guy" thing was bullshit as their is a Guy in his 50's in my team whom she laughs and jokes around with.

    No I am afraid you are quite wrong, she was seeking me out and other co-workers had noticed her hanging around me and asked questions about her behavior, in my personal view, she is very insecure and a complete drama queen, there have actually been a couple of instances where we have had to talk with our manager because she has continued the back stabbing and gossiping not just towards me but with other members of my team.

    She has also said things to me like "Oh sorry I was just daydreaming at you" while smiling at me.

    I have also had her email me and tell me that her feelings were hurt because I told her I was too busy to talk to her when I had so much work to do, which she really took offense to and told me I was rude.

    One recent event was her lying about and accusing me of something that I never did and when I asked for proof she walked out and slammed the door, she is absolutely toxic and I just keep my head down and avoid her as much as I can.

    When my manager asked what action do I want to take from here, I was the one that said that we are to only speak on work related matters.

    I actually tried really hard to get on with her but she would always bring up some kind of drama, I would always get ignored or she would refuse to meet in person to talk things out like Adults (like our manager had said to do in an email she sent to our team)

    There is ZERO sexual attraction on my part so I fail to see why you would say that, again I have a Wife and she knows everything about this Girl and she can't stand her, she has also told me to just ignore her and only be civil if I have too.

    With the creepy thing, she told me in a private meeting that (through a lot of tears) she never meant to use that word but here is the thing, she has called my boss a fat, lazy loser and said other nasty things about the people she works with and even people that are supposed to be her work Friends.

    She called me creepy because I looked at her LinkedIN and tried to make out that she was the only one I searched for, which was completely incorrect.

    Speaking of, she seems to go through these work "Friends" like she does her underwear and I have applied for other roles as I am not allowed to switch teams which I have requested.

    As it stands today, I only ever speak to her if it is work related and have nothing else to do with her, I was the one that seeked the boundaries, that is why I said to her why do you keep coming over here and why do you ask so many questions?

    I spoke to another manager to get an outsider's opinion and she said that I was being harassed and that her behavior was very odd and unprofessional and that perhaps she was unhappy in some aspects of her life and venting her insecurities onto me.

    To be brutally honest, I don't like her and I wish she would leave but as she is there now, I just have to deal with it.

    Thanks again for your reply.

  4. #4

    Thanks for the update, Izombie.

    I must have wrongly concluded that you found her attractive; I was forced to make some educated guesses and assumed that you were attracted to her given that you never said you *weren't*.

    However, I did stress that I found the second possibility—that she is psychotic—much more likely.

    For her to call you creepy since you viewed her LinkedIn profile is merely a delusion of grandeur on her part. She clearly has some sort of personality disorder, perhaps BPD and/or HPD. Though these types of women can be difficult to stand, as long as you make the situation clear to management, she should not pose a threat to you.

    I would continue as you are doing, it sounds like you have a good grasp on the situation.

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