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Our male co-worker makes us uncomfortable


Work environment

I work with a company in the Southwest. I have worked here for about three years now and I really love my job. Our office has always been much laid back, and quite honestly, not always very professional.

Unfortunately, we have one male co-worker who doesn’t seem to understand physical boundaries. Many times, multiple women have asked him not to smack their behind, tickle them or hug them, but he still continues to do all three.

This behaviour has become expected by most of us, but I have been completely caught off guard by what I have seen recently.


My office is on the opposite end of a somewhat long hallway from his. When I am walking toward his office, I can see him sitting at his desk (he faces the door when sitting at his desk). One day, I needed to ask him a question and decided to walk to his office instead of calling.

I got about five feet from his door and could see him holding his phone in one hand, but the other hand was missing. That was when I noticed it was in his pants. To avoid an awkward situation, I quickly walked into another office.

I explained to my co-worker there what I saw and she told me I was crazy. When I walked out of her office, his door (which was wide open before) was now barely cracked open. When I came out of my office again, less than five minutes later, his door was completely closed. All of this was happening when our boss was on vacation. This same thing happened twice in a week and nothing was ever said, because I could not say for sure what I saw.

A month later, I was walking down the hall, headed toward his office and I saw the same thing. Only this time, his hand was so far down his pants and his pant line was at his elbow. I had the same reaction and ducked into the same office as before. Only problem was, she was gone for the day.

He must have noticed movement in the hallway, because he yelled out: “What are you doing?” when I ducked into the empty office. I covered by saying I needed a past order, but it was kind of obvious to me that he was worried I had seen something. Obviously, this is an awkward and incredibly embarrassing topic.

Many of us would like to report his behaviour and what we have seen, but we are afraid of what may come of it.

What would you do in this situation? Should I bring this to my boss’s attention? I really need some advice.

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