Even though I've only actually met one of you, I feel that many of you are my friends. I also think we lave a large number of thoughtful, rational, intelligent people on HP. That said, I need to vent, and I'd also like some objectivity. Anyone not interested in my drama, move along - I understand.
Anyway...my husband is self-employed but contracts almost full time to a local company. He's been doing so for years, and everybody there loves Johnny, except for one guy. I'll call him "Don." Don is a big black guy - about 35-40 years old. He has a boulder on his shoulder and doesn't get along with anyone at the company. Whites, blacks, and Hispanics all know how Don is, and they steer clear of him. Unfortunately, Johnny can't. He and Don are often forced to work together. Don took the day off on MLK, as he always does. He and his family always have a barbecue on the holiday. Monday, someone noticed that Don wasn't at work and asked Johnny if Don was sick. Johnny said no, Don always took off on MLK for a family get-together. Yesterday, Don was livid that Johnny had mentioned to someone that he was barbecuing on Monday. He got in hubby's face, called him mf numerous times, and threatened him because Johnny had "got into his business." He also accused Johnny of being a racist. He told hubby that he could do or say anything he wanted at work because the company was afraid to fire him. They knew he'd "sick" the NAACP on them if they did. I urged Johnny to talk to the company president about Don, but he thinks it would just make matters worse.
I'm not a violent person, but nothing will raise my ire like a family member's being abused. BTW, Johnny is older than I am, and due to illness, he's literally about half the size of Don.
So here's my question. Should I:
A. shoot Don in the kneecap or crotch
B. talk to the company president myself (we're kinda friends)
C. talk to Don myself
D. have my big, bad son-in-law talk to Don (he's Randy Godwin's cousin)
E. invite Don over to dinner
F. stay out of it (which is what Johnny wants me to do)
G. forget the whole thing and never bring it up again to hubby
Okay, I've given you numerous choices. Honestly, I already feel better just getting this off my chest! If you're still with me, thanks for taking the time to read.
B... If your husband won't do it, then someone should make sure that someone official at the company knows what's going on. IMO that's just covering your butt, just in case something else comes of it down the line. I doubt they would do anything but take notes. The thing is, the notes will help if there's more trouble later.
Then you could do E and A....
I agree. This is a pretty good strategy. As long as this guy is going to use his "race" card and bully other people, then he's being enabled to keep doing it to hubby and others. If others are afraid of him for similar reasons, get some names that are willing to combine with you as witnesses and pull together as a group. That's the only way the evidence will weigh in in your favor. You gotta document the facts first, then SHOW the company president what's going on, with yours and others' witness statements.
I've been in similar situations, and the more legal you make it with documentation, not just he says/they say, the more the company president is legally obligated to take action against this guy's racism and bullying.
I am so sorry to hear this. I do not have any magic words to say, I wish I did.
I would suggest following steps;
1. You husband talk to Don and talk it out misunderstanding if possible.
2. Talk to your husband manager about the issue
3. See if they can work without each other for sometime
4. I know many times we want to help our loved ones, but supporting from afar would be a best choice, let your husband decide what to do and you just give him suggestion.
There are many difficult people in world, you being in middle for can complicate issue for your husband no matter how concern you might be.
I wish things go well for your husband and Don.
I'd pretty much forget almost all of these, especially C and E because there's no way on planet earth I'd ever invite anyone over to my house who acted like that. I think your husband needs to talk to his boss first and let him or her know that he was going to start making a written record of every instance that Don screams at him, threatens him, throws mf bombs in his face, or whatever else.
Then he needs to start writing down exact conversations, what was said, and days and times. Putting it in writing gives the company more than sufficient grounds to fire Don, and if he comes back with his lawyer, the company can show without a doubt it wasn't race motivated.
Well first of all, im sorry to hear about your husband's predicament habee, and i hope those threats don issued to him was nothing more than just cheap talk. however, from the choices you presented, i would say go with F. first, since your husband feels that's the best solution. After all, he knows more about the situation, and he must know this guy fairly well if he's often forced to work with him, then he probably knows what he's doing. Plus, I'm sure with a guy like that, it wouldn't surprise me that the company is probably establishing a paper trail of everything don does, so they'll have legal justification to fire him. Therefore, I'm sure your husband might've reported the incident already which will establish more of a paper trail. This Don guy isn't as untouchable as he thinks he is, and if he's not careful, he's going to find that out the hard way. However, if the situation escalates to where he actually carries out these threats, then I would definitely go with option b and/or report it to Don's supervisor or manager, so they can take care of it. Or better yet call the police if he does ever carry out on any of his threats. However, if your husband feels that leaving this alone is the best thing to do, then i'd probably listen to him seeing as how he's closer to the situation; hence he knows more about it. I do hope things work out for you though.
I think you should stay out of it (F) the reason(s) being a man goes to work and comes home and talks to his wife/girlfriend about his day, he is just unwinding and letting off steam. He doesn't expect after telling his wife his story for her to take it upon herself to try and sort his problems out. I think your hubbie and this man have a working understanding of each other. In my experience at work you are sometimes forced to work with people you wouldn't naturally choose, and I think this is the case here. My dad when he was a live used to say, least said soon-est mended. A maxim that stands just as well today as it ever did.
I would suggest you to go for 'A'.
A is always my choice in situations like this. I am veryyy short tempered when it comes to things like this. Can't seem to change myself, don't even want to change.
However, if you don't want to try A, then go for D. You wouldn't want to invite people like Don to a dinner.
But see, UH, I always look for the good in everyone. Part of me thinks that if we can all just sit down and discuss things, the situation might get better.
What I have read about don in your previous post, makes me believe that he is not one of those people who would be influenced by discussions. He'll just think that they are discussing things because they are afraid of him.
I would suggest you merely ignore Reg....er, Don! We both know he has always had a chip on his shoulder. He is all mouth anyway, I've proven that before. But I'll be glad to help if I can. I think you just need to work harder and let Johnny take it easy for a few years. I'll ask him if this would be okay with him.
PS- You made it sound like the bad guy was my cousin and not your son-in-law.
RD, I was hoping you'd respond. No, folks- the bad guy IS NOT Randy's cousin! This really bothers me, Randy. Seriously, do you think it would help if we invited Reg over for dinner one night and tried to get to know him better? Maybe we could find out why he has such a nasty attitude. I've tried to be friendly to him before, and he almost bit my head off. I just don't understand him.
As for Johnny's taking it easy, we discussed that very thing last weekend. We hope he can retire this year!
I don't know, Holle. I always got along with him but I know there's always been a bit of jealousy on his part because he perceived Johnny as a rival for Dennis's position. But he definitely has other problems and I don't know if anything will make him any better.
My advice is to let Johnny handle it. Reg is all mouth anyway.
Reg is hot and cold. Sometimes he and J get along fine, but then out of the blue, Reg will pull something like he did yesterday. I'm afraid this will get out of hand one day. A couple of the "good ol' boys" have already been talking about taking care of Reg - if you know what I mean. I'm glad J can't drink beer at work. Remember the Henry J's trivia incident?? lol. "You don't wanna mess with me, old man."
I take it Don does not recognize the complete irony in his actions. He is obviously not following the example of Martin Luther King. Was going to write LOL but it's not at all funny.
Don sounds like a bully. He is creating a hostile work environment for your hubby as well as others in the company. It's not right that everyone avoids him. How did he get to wield so much power?
As tempting as it might be to exercise your rights and go with a "Second Amendment Remedy" you really don't want to be known as the Sharron Angle of Hub Pages .
It's your hubby's battle and he needs to deal with it in his own way. If he wants to try to smooth things over with Don he could approach him and apologize for getting him upset, that he thinks it's a nice tradition to spend MLK Day with family and honestly never thought anything of sharing that info. Blah, blah, blah.
But given what a blowhard Don is, that probably wouldn't do much.
I like the advice of taking it to the manager and starting a complaint file for future disciplinary action. It may be that management is not aware of the extent of Don's transgressions.
But I wouldn't suggest you do it.
I totally understand the righteous anger we feel when someone messes with our loved ones. But I don't see any good coming from you getting into it with the boss. Would Johnny be comfortable with that?
Anyway, my two cents. Thanks for bringing your rant to our little psychotherapy group!
Hope things work out! MM
I know you have a protective instinct with respect to your husband - as you should, you love the man - but I would probably say F, too. I wouldn't say G, since maybe your hubby will need to vent more with you, since his coworker is unfortunately an a**hole and they work so closely.
I had a good friend once who was black (not that I don't have other black friends of course). I saw him play the "race card" inappropriately on a couple of occassions, I terminated the friendship. It does make me sad that there are people genuinely affected by racism in every town on a daily basis, yet a minority feel like they can play it to their advantage or triviolise it like this. As tempted as I am to say (a), you won't be on Hubpages in prison, so I will plump for (f) and (g). For now. Do what your husband wants you to do.
If you don't leave it alone, your hubby won't devulge his problems again, including any further problems with Don. If he does have further problems with Don, then you still have the option to do (b) or (d). Whatever you do, don't invite him round for dinner, who wants an arsehole around for dinner?
I don't know about that, Ryan. She invites me on occasion!
Hi, Ryan. I really see this as more of an a-hole problem than a race problem. J gets along GREAT with the other blacks at work, and even they don't get along with Reg. I almost feel sorry for him because no one likes him, although he's brought it on himself. When there's a company get-together, he won't come. And he can't find a woman to put up with him, either. Kinda sad, really.
Oh no, I wasn't suggesting that it was a race problem. I was just making reference to him playing the "race card" because he accused him of being a racist. All I was saying is that I know the type, and that they are a minority; decent people of any colour would not use that word lightly or freely unless justifiably provoked or following some reflection and deep consideration. So yeah, an arsehole thing.
Even if the company president can do nothing about it, your husband should at least talk to him about it in order cover himself in case something comes of that or from any other matter further down the line.
It is good to vent and appreciate that you like to use us as a sounding board.
I cannot put more of a suggestion in for you than what has been said already.
This guy is a bully and an asswipe, and bully's perceive they have power. I really do appreciate that you are the kind of person that does see the good in all. Yet if you have this guy come to your place for dinner, your point of view is to get to know him and have a talk, his point of view would be to see that as a weakness in you and your husband (its not).
In Australia, his kind of situation is known as a 'tall poppy syndrome' and poppies are plants that get their heads cut off in bloom. It is not tolerated at all by others for much more than a couple of weeks, maximum.
When someone is getting a little big for their britches, and many others are getting upset by ones attitude, everyone else will normally band together and have this individual 'pull his head in' (start behaving) or end up being ostracized by everybody, all the time.
Obviously goes without saying you will be there to support your husband. Good luck with this and wanting this situation to get better, not worse.
Habee, I would suggest F with some some changes. Taking an active part in this other than talking to your husband about the situation in regards to the company would be a mistake in my opinion. Nothing is stopping you from getting advice, legal or otherwise. Perhaps an idea to consider is that this, I am sure that your husband is not the only one who has a problem with Don. You stated that he hates everyone equally. An organized group bringing this to the attention of management is more effective than an individual doing so. Start documenting each and every incident as it happens and record any witnesses present. Before management can take action there needs to be documentation.
The primary reason I didn't select otion 1 is that while this might improve your husbands day at work, it would play hell with his home life if you're doing a little time.
Now if your huisband chooses to let this continue and it continues to cause problems at your home, I would give option 2 a chance. Only you will know how long to wait before changing tactics.
Peace my friend and I hope that made a little sense.
If it were my husband, I'd let it go like he asked me too...unless it happened again then I'd do C followed by A and then A again and one more A for good measure.
Well, your best bet is to vent out your emotions first, as you are doing. Second, talk to your husband about it more. Try to convince him to do something about it himself. Though I don't really know the whole business thing, from my understanding, it doesn't look good on the employee having someone else go up there to fight their battles for them. If you can't convince your husband other-wise, try a friendly gesture to this Don guy. If that doesn't work out, then leave things be. If, and ONLY if situations get bad and seem to put your husband in some form of danger, should you then report the problem to the head of the department or whatever it may be.
Travis, I din't think personal contact with Don was a good idea for 2 reasons. 1, it sounds like the guy has more than a couple of screws loose and could be unpredictable and violent. 2, if this guy is a real wanker( I like that word, it gets past the censors and says it all) he will go on the offensive with the wife fighting her husband's battles for him attacks.
He does seem to have a few problems, but hey, it doesn't hurt to try being nice. I'm not saying her go and do this herself, but rather the husband while at work with him, go and invite him for dinner or something of the sort. You never know, there could be reasons for his sour attitude. Of course be cautious, but at the same time, don't be afraid (:
I'd talk hubby into an "E" ...and an "E" again.
Since he does barbeques on Mondays he's likely to accept:-) and behave hereon after.
I want to defer and think that Don or Reg for that matter has an inferiority complex. It seems to me that he feels inadequate and that is the more reason that he's finding problems with almost everyone at work. By pulling out the race card is only being defensive. He is both a problem to the company that he works with and the people in his proximity. It is therefore, a bad idea to invite such a person at dinner.
The best option is to let Johnny take it upon himself to talk to Don in order to clear the air if it does not work then I think there should be company procedures on how to handle a misunderstanding. But I strongly believe that by now the company administration has already recognised the inadequacies of Don.
Rajab, you may be on to something with the inferiority complex diagnosis. However I disagree with you about the race card being pulled here. Habee stated that Don dislikes or verbally/ mentally abuses people of all colors. A combination of our two ideas might work. Gather a few more of Don's co-workers together and do an group intervention with him. Whether or not management was involved would be up to the group to decide.
It could be that he's an Elitest maybe? If that's the word I'm looking for...or just like my grandfather. "I'm not racist, I hate everyone."
Stump, I would request that you read the post again. Where Don calls Johnny a racists. I do not intend to tie the inferiority complex to race. No! I am saying that Don applies the "racist card" as a cover-up for his inadequacies. This could include his level of education or in general his parental background.
I really appreciate all your comments and allowing me to vent. You hubbers have given me a lot to think about. Thanks!
That's a tough one. I suggest staying out of it and respecting what hubby wants. I would encourage hubby to document it on paper for his own protection if the need arises. When things cool down, hubby may want to talk with his boss about it.
good luck and I hope you feel better. these kind of work situations should not happen, but they do.. and ultimately, it's not your responsibility.
This may seem to have come from way out in left field, Holle, but this guy reminds me of the character in King's The Green Mile-Percy. He was a guard on death row whom everyone hated, but had an influential uncle who, Percy claimed, wouldn't 'let' him get fired. Percy was absolutely horrid, and in the end, got what he deserved.
The comparison I'm making is based on the fact that Percy and Reg are cowards of the worst kind. They feel they wield power-perhaps they do. But their power is the same as that of a terrorist.
Personally? I think I'd do something underhanded-hit him where it hurts. But that's just me. I tend to be passive-aggressive.
I'm pretty dangerous when furious!
Go with answer "F"
It's your husband's life. He has to work with Don. The last thing any man needs is a woman meddling with his affairs. Even if she's trying to help, she's only going to make it worse on many levels, the least of which being, "Awww, little Johnny needs his mommy to come fight his fights for him."
Every situation is different, etc., of course, so that's just one guy's opinion. Hope it works out.
Habee - I don't really have an answer for you. It's too dependent on individuality. However, I think a little understanding needs to be accepted.
It appears to me that Don probably called in sick and more than likely was reprimanded by his boss when he returned to work - since the boss was informed of the bbq, he obviously wasn't sick - if your hubby could communicate this to Don, that he didn't know, then things might be able to be smoothed over. (whether or not your hubby agrees)
Your hubby could make it known to Don that he wouldn't have said anything had he known, beforehand, of the calling in sick when not sick routine in order to observe MLK Day.
just a thought...
I had a similar issue a couple of years ago and went to Human Resource to file a complaint...trust me it worked well...
Many companies close for MLK Monday and I don't see error in taking the day off if the company doesn't close. It sounds to me like Don either feels guilty about taking off or is looking for an excuse to play his race card as big and loud as possible.
I always advocate filing EEO complaints for hostile work environment and taking them step by step up the ladder to the highest authority when necessary (then to the local and/or national media if nothing is done) -- your husband would need to do this instead of yourself to be legal and he may not wish the retaliation often inherent.
However, being a long-term problem and the guy got in my face, I'd automatically (as I have done before) strike and break his nose in defense or strike his trachea to collapse it and call the EMTs and the Police and be ready to file charges and follow through - Jimmy's been sick and can't do it, which his being sick and older both add to his case against Don for workplace harrassment (or it would in Ohio at least). In my city/state, getting in my face to that degree is 1) EEO violation and 2) legally a 'simple assault' and actionable -- maybe not in your city. What you can do yourself is research what steps can be taken via your state's EEO webpages and even a free attorney consultation probably.
I hope something is done about Don, because the situation definitely is a hostile work environment imo.
Good success to you.
You have had some great advice here. I have been in a similar situation at work. I would definitely not interfere yourself, but your husband should file a written report. It will protect him and the company. No one should work in an environment that they are uncomfortable in. It is the employers responsibility to provide a safe, harassment-free work environment. I wonder though if the contract labor puts a damper on things. Hmm, don't know about that. Sorry to hear you and your husband are having to deal with this.
We had a lady like that where I worked, and, you so much as looked at her funny, she would threaten to call the NACCP. She pretty much ruled over our department, even though she was not in management.
That, and she was a total bitch. Nobody liked her, and management was terrified of her, because she had a couple of them fired for so-called racists remarks.
She finally went too far, and got in a nasty arguement with one of the girls who was about 8 months pregnant. This bitch tripped the pregnant girl as she was walking past her after the fight, and she fell chest first to the floor. They had to rush her to the hospital and she lost her baby. Because of a jealous bitch.
We were all standing there when they came and removed miss bitch from our department. Leave your name badge and uniform behind, you are done here. Clean out your locker and get out! NOW! She left kicking and screaming about her rights being violated, and how she was going sue. but they fired her on the spot.
Nobody missed her, not one bit.
Not, sure how your husbands ordeal will turn out, but, you have to be extra careful with people like that. They almost have to do something pretty drastic to be disciplined. An anonymous phonecall might help. But, again, be very careful. Believe it or not minorities and women have more rights at work then white men, mainly because very few white men will win a discrimination lawsuit, over a minority or a woman, because there is nobody willing to back them up. No large powerful group for us.
Although if I was Johnny, I would probably have done A, for the long term work environment, I'm guessing the best thing to do is for Johnny to tell Don that he did not know it was an issue that he took the day off and then just say he was sorry it upset him. Then at the proper time, I would ask the company president if he was aware that Don had anger management issues, and then let him run with it if he wanted to. If he didn't, probably be best for employment security, to let it go. Remembering in the future the suprising hostility of Don.
I am guess that Don was set off by something Sarah Palin said, so I'd just blame her and the Tea Party. MM, LMC, Doug, Paul, John, and Stump will verify that for you.
another option: find 'Don's' mama and sick her on him. Gramma too.
Holle, Don is the worst kind, if different spin on the squeaky wheel. It wouldn’t really surprise me if management didn’t know, or that they do know all about Don, but don’t want to “rock the boat”. The world is full of pu$$ies I always say.
If your husband feels really strongly about doing nothing, try to convince him to at least start writing “Memos for Record”. I’ve done this many times. Most of the time they never leave my computer. But you have the documentation if things really come to a head. I’d use phrases like “hostile work environment”, “aggressive”, “intimidating”, “threatening” etc.
I suspect Don has a personality disorder. Individuals with antisocial personality disorder for example are characterized as angry and belligerent.
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