A 37-year-old individual found themselves grappling with a challenging co-worker, whom they’ve decided to refer to as Linda. The person feels that Linda is trying to bully them out of the workplace.
Colleagues’ Motive for Disdain
The person’s unique role in the workplace involved being the sole individual responsible for their specific job function. This meant there was no direct competition with co-workers, which should have fostered cooperation rather than conflict. However, they believed that some co-workers, including Linda, were annoyed by their open display of expertise.
Disputes With Linda
After numerous disagreements, often rooted in differing personal values, the person had made efforts to maintain a civil and respectful relationship with Linda.
Linda’s Bad Intentions
Despite the person’s attempts to keep things amicable, it appeared that Linda was determined to create a hostile work environment. “She just won’t have it, I really feel she’s for some reason trying to bully me out of my place of work”, the person wrote.
Linda’s Pranks and Harassment
Linda, along with her friends, had been playing pranks on the person for several months. These pranks involved inviting them to non-existent parties and orchestrating co-worker gatherings where no one would show up. “I find myself thinking the hostile environment of my co-workers is stalling my advancement in the hospital”, the person lamented.
Linda’s Pregnancy and Return
Linda had announced her pregnancy sometime after the person’s arrival at the workplace. After giving birth, she returned to work. The person tried to be amiable and asked about the name of Linda’s child. In response, Linda claimed that her child’s name was “Flatulence” in a crude attempt at humor.
A Recurring Name Game
In a bid to handle the situation, the person decided to go along with Linda’s naming game. They consistently referred to the child as “Flatulence” whenever Linda brought up the topic, even though they had learned the child’s actual name in separate conversations. This playful but potentially passive-aggressive response drew giggles from co-workers.
Lashing Out and Consequences
However, Linda’s patience seemed to wear thin, and she eventually lashed out at the person. She asked them to stop calling her child “Flatulence.” The person, feigning innocence, inquired about what Linda meant, leading to what appeared to be a tense interaction. Linda left the scene shortly thereafter, which didn’t go unnoticed by other colleagues.
Facing Criticism From Co-workers
Now, the person found themselves facing criticism from their co-workers, who viewed their actions as petty and insensitive, especially given Linda’s status as a new mother. The person felt conflicted, believing that they were standing up for themselves after enduring what they perceived as a year of bullying, and they relished the respite during Linda’s absence.
The Ethical Dilemma
In light of the situation, the person questioned whether they were in the wrong for continuing to use the name Linda had initially provided. They grappled with the ethical dilemma of whether their response was justified or if it had crossed a line given the reactions of their colleagues.
The Internet’s Thoughts
Questioning whether they had taken things too far, the person sought the advice of an online community, posting the story. “She did this to herself”, one person stated. “You need to buy her some baby flatulence shirts and hats and stuff”.
The person’s story was met with dozens of humorous responses. “I think it’s super sweet of you to inquire about little Flatulence”, one commenter stated, before dropping the punchline. “I hope you’ll do the same next year when she delivers the twins, Polyp, and Diarrhea.”
Leave the Toxicity Behind
Other commenters had more serious advice to offer. One community member wrote: “My advice would be, instead of putting energy into the bullies, look for the quiet people at your office. Create your own friendship group. Then, you won’t care what’s going on with this group, AND you’ll have a better time at work.”
Document the Bullying
Another reader followed this sentiment, but instead suggested it would be wise to document the incidents. “It sounds like she’s created a hostile workplace”, they wrote. “Start taking notes about daily happenings and non-existing parties, in order to protect yourself.”
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