Blackmail at work
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12-06-2011, 02:24 PM
 
Blackmail at work
I'm kind of in a weird place at work. I have a born again criminal that has feels the need to spread the word at work. He talked to me several times tring to get me to go to chuch with him. At the time I did not feel real comfortable telling people that I am atheist. I though he would leave me alone at some point. Besides his his relationship with god he seemed to be an ok guy to talk to. Well after a time him said that I needed to go to church with him. I said I dont think thats going to happen. He followed with, well if you don't I'm going to tell your boss things you told me. At that point I said there was no way that I was going to go to church with him. He was true to his word. My boss makes my life hell on the daily. He wasnt finished. He asked me to go to church with him about two months of this going on to see if what he had done had changed my mind. It had not, and I told him do not ask me again. I do not believe in your god. I do not enjoy living in fear and to me that is all your belief is to me. Well he has never talked to me about god or going to church ever again. Which I guess is a great victory in a sense but, He has stepped up his efforts in making my life hell. Watching everything I do, looking for any mistake I make and report it to my boss. He is pretty much trying to get me fired from my job. Its just a matter of time. If I do not do anything to stop him I will lose my job. I have thought about talking to my boss about it but this man is in high reguard with just about every boss in my plant. I dont think I should have to go find a new job just cause a jesus freak wants me out. 1. Jobs are hard to come by in todays times. With the pay and as close to home as this place is, I will not find anything better. 2. He lives one house down from my parents house. Everytime I go to my parents with my wife and son, I will see him. This whole story has been going on now for about a year and ahalf. The stress and the affect it has had on my family are huge. I'm not really sure what to do at this point. There really isnt away way to prove any of this has happen. This is my story. If any of you have any advice I would be more than willing to hear it.
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12-06-2011, 02:30 PM
RE: Blackmail at work
You're in a tough position.

My first question is what did he say to your boss about you? Was it religion/atheist based or was it something else? If you're comfortable sharing, give us a little more details and then maybe we can come up with something.

Also, where do you live? If you're in the US, what state? I don't need the town or anything but give me some idea.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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12-06-2011, 02:54 PM
 
RE: Blackmail at work
(12-06-2011 02:30 PM)BnW Wrote:  You're in a tough position.

My first question is what did he say to your boss about you? Was it religion/atheist based or was it something else? If you're comfortable sharing, give us a little more details and then maybe we can come up with something.

Also, where do you live? If you're in the US, what state? I don't need the town or anything but give me some idea.

I live in Michigan. Well there is a story behind what he told my boss. When I first started this job. My boss told us that where he used to work the people he had working under him used to call him little hitler. I though that was kind of a weird thing to tell other people when you start at a new place. Anyways this guy that has been giving me problems got his butt chewed by my boss for really no reason at all. He came up to me later in the day and asked me what that was all about. I thinking I could trust him at the time told him, that sometimes my boss gets a little weird and gets on people and treats them like crap out of the blue some times. (pretty common thing for my boss to do) so I told him what my boss had told me about being called little hitler where he used to work. He was the only person I ever told about this. I was way to trusting of him in from the start. He told everyone in the shop that was my boss's nickname. It is now his nickname at our shop. Along with other terms that mean the same thing as hitler. So he told my boss I told everyone in the shop that I made up the nickname. Kind of weird. When my boss talked of the nickname he almost sounded proud when he told the story.
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12-06-2011, 04:48 PM
RE: Blackmail at work
ok, good to know. I'm shooting a bit from the hip here, but these are my quick thoughts, and some of the cons that go with them:
1. I wouldn't worry about the nickname thing now. First, what is done is done so there is no point in dwelling on it. Second, if your boss told you that was his nickname, the fact that it is now common knowledge is on him, not on you. You can't share something like that and expect people not to pass it along. I'm not saying that the boss doesn't now have an issue with you on that, but I wouldn't dwell on it and it is not relevant.
2. This guy is not an ok guy to talk to or ok in any way, shape or form. You need to stay away from him and make it a point to keep your distance. If he comes up to you, politely excuse yourself and walk away. He clearly can't be trusted and nothing positive is going to come from talking to him.
3. Are you in a union? if you're in a union, then go talk to your union rep about this right away. Tell them you are concerned about your job from due to rumor mongering from a co-worker. Unions live for this kind of stuff. If this guy is in the union too, they will probably do something to keep it from spreading.
4. If you're not in a union, I'd suggest you go talk to your HR rep and express your concerns here. You need to be a little careful about this because sometimes when one employee complains about another, both can get labeled. It shouldn't be that way but sometimes it is. Also, if this guy is popular and word gets out you filed a complaint about him, that can cause you issues with co-workers as well. In theory, that should not matter but in stark, cold reality if your fellow employees are against you then your long term probability of remaining in that job are not great. Sometimes being right is not as important as getting along.
5. Consider talking to your boss about it. Now, this one is risky both ways. If you do talk to him, it could backfire on you. If you don't talk to him and you go right to HR, that could backfire on you by poisoning your relationship with him. Do you have a decent relationship with him? Or, does he hold some kind of grudge over the "Little Hitler "thing? From what you are describing, it seems talking to him will certainly be a risk, but I suspect that avoiding him will be as well. I suppose you can always play dumb.

The easiest, and often safest, thing to do is to just bite your lip and wait for the problem to pass. If you really feel you are at risk to lose your job, though, then you need to go on record with HR. But, that opens up all kinds of new doors and risks. Most companies claim to take these types of issues very seriously, and quite a lot of them do. However, even the most that are serious about this stuff tend to focus on harassment and discrimination in minorities or women or even anything that has to do with religion. Lack of religion is a bit of a grey area and you may not get the same help and backing from HR as you would if you fit into another category. You just need to be careful is all. If you really feel your job is at risk. then you must go to HR and tell them what is going on.

If worst comes to worst and you do lose your job or feel that is about to happen, go talk to a lawyer as quickly as you can. It may cost you a few hundred out of pocked but it can be well worth it to get a consultation to see what your rights are. In most states I've worked, you are an "at-will" employee but even in at-will states you can't be fired for discriminatory reasons.

Best of luck and hope it works out.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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12-06-2011, 05:21 PM
 
RE: Blackmail at work
You are right. I have learned some very tuff lessons. One's I should have already learned by now. We are not union. At will and very good at pointing that fact out. I think I will have to talk to some one about it. This whole thing has been going on for along time now. About a year and a half. I really dont even care if I can right. I just want it to stop. Than you for your advice. I'll let yea know how it goes.
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13-06-2011, 02:10 AM
RE: Blackmail at work
I'm not sure if it would help, but have you thought about contacting the ACLU?

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." - Voltaire
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13-06-2011, 03:23 AM
RE: Blackmail at work
I had a similar problem a few years ago. A boss that was nicknamed mini-Hitler and an incompetent colleague that was licking his ass 24/7, even though she was incompetent. Every time I said something, she would immediatly inform him. Mini-Hitler would often become enraged for the slightest infraction, much to lick-ass's delight.

In the end, I did everything I could to get a transfer. Didn't solve the problem, but my job an mental sanity were safe.

Ok, I know this won't help alot, but it should make you realize you're not alone. Can you get a transfer of some sort? If not, I'd suggest writing everything down. I was doing the same thing but never got to use it. Should you get fired someday, you can at least show some proof. Find colleagues with similar problems, make them sign declarations. record conversations, keep emails.... everything helps.

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
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13-06-2011, 03:48 AM
RE: Blackmail at work
Work is a place for a lot of abuse, I was being abused by the bosses and eventually fired (after three years). When you need money you put up with plenty of shit. My abuse was about my body, but Missouri doesn't care, and I wasn't in a position to get a lawyer or anything. If you go to the HR tell her that this guy is harassing you because you won't go to his church, don't even mention your own stance on religion, if it's just that he won't let up that should help. A large percentage of co-workers are in too much support of religion to side with the non-religious including HR's. You have to find a way to help them see your issue. Make sure it's something they can follow.

I would suggest talking to your boss over the HR personally, but yeah it's risky. When you start being unable to work properly is the best time to start saying why. I had bosses asking me all the time, but I didn't bother answering because they were harassing me. Eventually it was just too much.

You can try to ride it out, but this is effecting your family and they should not have to suffer the problem. Try at least to talk to your boss informally and just get to know him a little. Act like the person spreading everything isn't getting to you and that will most likely be best for your image with the guy. When you are being abused you have to find a way to make friends in the situation, even if you don't really like the people.

I'm not saying much more to help, but yeah it's tough out there.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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13-06-2011, 04:41 AM
RE: Blackmail at work
(13-06-2011 02:10 AM)daemonowner Wrote:  I'm not sure if it would help, but have you thought about contacting the ACLU?

It would not help. The ACLU deals with civil liberties issues, which requires government actions. Private employment is outside their scope of interest. Plus, bringing in a high profile agency to help rally for your cause is a sure fire way to ensure you don't have a job when it is all over.

The question is what is the goal here. If the goal is to make a stink and make the point about religious based harassment and the consequences be damned, then you start bringing in the lawyers right away. If, however, the goal is to keep your job and be left alone while at work, you need to go for a more subtle approach.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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13-06-2011, 05:14 AM
RE: Blackmail at work
This is a called religious oppression at work, religious blackmail, religious harassment. And you live in USA, you can sue everyone for anything. If you were living in Croatia, then the solution would be to beat his ass senseless until he understands your answer, and if your boss says anything, then you act like you are going to beat the shit out of him too. Problem solved...

Smile

But in USA it's a different thing, just start to threaten to sue them all. First thing I would do is go and talk to my boss, while politely explaining how my college is molesting, blackmailing and harassing me I would also mention the words LAWYER, SUING and COURT. Every company is very afraid of those words. I your boss ignores you, or gets mad and wants to fire you, then you go to your HR rep, also join the union, they will eat your college alive for this kind of harassment. After these steps, have a monologue with you "college" and tell him you are suing his ass for religious harassment if he EVER looks or talks to you ever again. This includes time when you are off-work.

Remember at all times, you are a victim of religious harassment here. You know how sexual harassment sues end up? This is the same thing. I would talk to my boss if I were you, let him be a mini-Hitler to your college for a change. If he realizes what the idiot is doing, he will lose his job before your boss will allow you to go to union or a lawyer.

Trust your instincts, use the force.

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