Problematic male coworker

New momar
Sep 27, 2019 96 Comments

My male coworker has been a jerk to me ever since he started a month ago (talking over me in meetings, mansplaining my standup contributions, taking work). Nothing I’m working on requires him right now and so I’ve just been giving him a wide berth as have others on the team.

I think he’s noticed and has started a campaign to humanize himself, including, recently, bringing his wife and few month old baby to work one day, and baked goods, like as a peace offering. It was awkward meeting her. How do you say to someone, “Hi, your husband is the first guy that has ever been an a-hole to me, apparently because of gender, since I started working in tech.” The first (and only) story he ever told me about her, before he decided that women are bad engineers and should be summarily dismissed, was that she was harassed out of grad school by a male supervisor. And she went into treatment for depression as a result, and through that, he learned about the Me Too movement. And yet, here we are. (Yes, there was one day he wasn’t a jerk. It was his literal first day at the company).

I don’t know how to proceed with working with this guy. I can’t avoid him forever. I’ve been accepting interviews in case it gets bad.

TL;DR
Male coworker dismissive of female engineers (including my) work. And/or takes the work and tries to pass it off as his. What to do?


edit: the guy is the one that called this behavior metoo when someone else was acting like this to his wife. i thought of that when i met her. but, I’ve removed the designation so there will be less focus on the term and more focus on the behavior.

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TOP 96 Comments
  • Amazon odh79ebB
    Being a dick isn’t #meToo bruh
    Sep 27, 2019 11
    • Amazon / Eng SmkWdEvyDy
      Hello female person. I understand that you think you know things, but take it from me, a man, you don't. Your feelings are wrong and you are wrong. Thank you female.
      Sep 27, 2019
    • Salesforce Topology
      @bEfl27 I don't have a "narrative" or an opinion on whether or not the phrase applies. I'm not telling you how to think or pushing anything on you. I just think it's unfortunate that one of the most visible replies is a low-effort rejection of OP's experience.

      It doesn't matter whether or not this is strictly a #metoo scenario. If you think it's constructive to "call out" something as not #metoo, that's your crusade. But regardless of whether or not you're ultimately correct, it's insensitive and unhelpful for OP. The core situation is not made better with this little sideshow of a thread coopting the whole discussion.

      You're not helping anyone by "calling out" something like this. OP doesn't get anything actionable to resolve the situation, and a single sentence thesis on Blind isn't going to convince anyone who doesn't already agree with you. It's just not the place for this, and it's counterproductive to nitpick one particular part of a post this way you can hijack the thread with your own agenda about whether or not something is or is not #metoo eligible. OP is still going to have to go back to work, probably feeling worse about it after bring it to Blind at this point.
      Sep 27, 2019
  • Oracle
    not_larry

    Oracle

    PRE
    Amazon
    not_larrymore
    How’s this a #metoo?
    Sep 27, 2019 3
    • Apparently if a man annoys you it's a #metoo.
      Sep 27, 2019
    • New mlemm
      Look up sexual harassment and the me too movement instead Dunning Kruger-ing your way through this conversation, you incels. The me too movement addresses all sex-based harassment.
      Jan 13
  • Microsoft eiU
    Don’t leave he’s the one that must go. If you’re asking what to do it means that there’s pretty toxic environment in your company. I don’t have a second thought when someone is being sexist, I’ll just talk to my boss or boss of my boss. If your company doesn’t give a sh*t don’t be shy and be assertive with this dick. If he interrupts you - say i’m speaking now, taking your work? Say I don’t need your help. Presenting your work as his? Just make sure all your colleagues know who is working on the project, send “status updates “ via email etc. Defend yourself. These dicks only understand the language of ppwer. They’re like dogs - if you do not assert yourself they will own you. Speak to him the dog language that he understands. Good luck sister.
    Sep 27, 2019 5
    • Bloomberg 929449288
      For what it's worth, I'm male and have had asshole coworkers like this. This advice applies and is spot on regardless of the asshole's demographic attributes.
      Sep 27, 2019
    • T-Mobile drawing
      Yes. I second Bloomberg
      Sep 27, 2019
  • New momar
    OP
    it looks like a lot of the criticism in this thread is around #metoo as a designation.

    The reason I thought of it in that context is that literally the only thing I know about this woman, his wife, is that she was subject to pretty much the same bs that he’s subjecting me to (he described it), and he learned about #metoo as a result.

    So when I met her, although I obviously didn’t say it, I was thinking, “your husband is doing the exact same thing to the women here”, hence writing “your husband is my #metoo”.

    Maybe there’s a broader designation for gender-based a-hole behavior
    Sep 27, 2019 6
    • @fffuun, OP mentioned that this person only does this with female co-workers. You weren’t there at the time and don’t know OP. In situations like this, you have to take OP’s word for it, because you have no other source of truth.

      Moreover, instead of getting stuck on minor points (like using the term “metoo”), think about the bigger picture here and what OP is actually going through. You need to put yourself in the shoes of OP.
      Sep 27, 2019
    • IEEE / IT Alov
      Got you, thanks!
      Sep 27, 2019
  • Keap JAzL00
    You must be incredibly self-centered to come to the automatic conclusion he brought his wife in solely on your account.

    Grow up and talk to him one on one if it’s bothering you that much.

    Based on your account of teammates avoiding him, he’s more than likely an asshole to everyone and has absolutely nothing to do with you or the arrangement of your genitalia.
    Sep 28, 2019 4
    • New momar
      OP
      For everyone, yes. Placed them on the desk next to mine. You’re reaching, and your responses are not particularly helpful. And if you’d been harassing someone then they mentioned something that perhaps got around to you, and all of a sudden tried to play nice, I think the person would be right to suspect your motives.
      Sep 28, 2019
    • Keap JAzL00
      You weren’t hired to suspect people’s motives. You were hired to solve problems. Inevitably, you’ll encounter problems outside of the code base that need to be solved. Speak with him one on one and move on from there. This is all part of being a well functioning adult.
      Sep 28, 2019
  • Salesforce Topology
    Talk to your manager, skip level if necessary. If things don't change, go to HR and change teams or companies.

    On a personal note, sorry to hear about this. I can't directly relate but it sounds awful
    Sep 27, 2019 0
  • New momar
    OP
    I actually ended up talking to the director (to whom I report). He said that he’d noticed it too and other generally shitty behavior from the guy that I wasn’t even aware of. Looks like it will be handled
    Oct 2, 2019 2
    • State Farm sweeeeee
      Great to hear!
      Oct 2, 2019
    • Tyler Technologies batwomann
      Wonderfull!
      Oct 2, 2019
  • I agree with Amazon. What he's doing to you is an asshole move regardless of you being a woman imo. I wouldn't like anyone to do that to me either.
    Sep 27, 2019 1
    • That being said you should speak to him and let him know that he's behaving like an asshole.
      Sep 27, 2019
  • Tesla / Mgmt vrgas
    Handle the situation like an adult and talk face to face to the guy, avoiding this person is not the solution
    Sep 27, 2019 0
  • Choice Hotels / IT qQpX64
    Sounds like both of you lack basic social skills. He's an ass and you don't know how to communicate your feelings of conflict without going nuclear. Also you both clearly lack empathy for each other. Him bringing in his wife and child to work isn't some ploy to humanize himself. You just want to see it that way because it humanized him in your mind and you need to rationalize it away.

    You should document and talk to him. It's what good people do. If he is also a good person he will listen and you both come out of the experience better people. You because you stood up for yourself. Him because he developed empathy and changed behavior.
    Sep 27, 2019 6
    • New momar
      OP
      Thank you!
      Sep 27, 2019
    • Choice Hotels / IT qQpX64
      I just think it's best to not assume intentions here until you can get that 1:1 time. However I understand that perception is reality. Hope you're having a great weekend!
      Sep 28, 2019

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