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Old 01-30-2013, 07:28 AM   #1  
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Default Boss is a douche and affects my dieting...bad

Ok this is a problem I am currently facing.

I took a job in a tutoring school. I don't work lots of hours but the pay is good. Now the problem is that my boss is a major DOUCHE!!! And he is on the subject on my weight....

Seriously, it really annoys me. He keeps making sneer marks about how fat I am and how I should lose weight and that I should start exercising because as he says

"Woman is the representation of beauty and a fat person is not beautiful."

I have started to believe that he is extremely problematic... I mean yesterday he offered me a fitness center's card saying the do "miracles". I have already put subtly that my weight is my business and if he has any problem with my appearance he can choose to not to renew my contract next year.

Now the thing is... I know I feel so angered by his comments that I should be motivated right? Well no I have this urge to open a bag of chips and eat it in front of him. I don't know why but his words just make me want to sabotage myself. Why is that? What can I do?

And obviously I will not be renewing my contract with him next year.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:44 AM   #2  
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I'm sorry you're having this problem. I think sometimes what makes it worse with these people is that we actually kinda agree with them - I mean we DO want to lose the weight. But we don't want to be harassed or bullied about it. But it's not possible to say "He's completely wrong."

But he is a jerk. And for goodness sake, you ARE losing weight.

My Mother-in-Law is like this. She once tried to physically drag me into another room to look at wedding pictures of myself when I was a lot slimmer, digging her nails into my arm and drawing blood in the process. When confronted she says she's trying to be helpful, but the truth is these kind of people THRIVE on making other people feel bad about themselves. It's easy for people to say 'Don't let it get to you...' but let's just acknowledge that it DOES hurt - and that it's completely unacceptable behaviour.

And you know what, it just makes me hate my MIL and not want to be around her.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:37 AM   #3  
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I thought about this all the way into work today. (Which is why I'm poking into the 20-somethings forum, although I have a 20 year old son, rather than being 20 myself)

First, your weight is none of his concern. He may believe that women exist for men to look at, but that doesn't make it true. That's a sexist belief--and you don't need to buy into it. I'd disagree with Almost Me in that I do think he's completely wrong. His approval/disapproval, his comments--those have nothing to do with who you are, your value, or your beauty. We only harm ourselves when we buy into the idea that someone else's discomfort with fat people is our problem to solve.

Second, you don't need to be subtle when you tell him that the topic of your weight is off limits. This is a time when being direct and firm is likely to serve you better: "Your comments about my weight are not appreciated and I want them to stop NOW." He will probably accuse you of having no sense of humor or taking things too seriously. "If your comments aren't serious, then it won't be hard for you to stop them." I know it is hard to be direct--but it is a skill that will serve you well, and unless you are that direct, he might not pick up on that you want it to stop.

Third, what are the labor/harassment laws where you live? In the US, if he made those sorts of comments, a Human Resources department would get involved. I don't know if he is the highest level boss or not, but if he's not, I'd consider going "over his head" to report his comments.

One approach to that sort of thing is "I'd like you to do us both a favor. You see, I'm documenting every one of your rude comments about my appearance. The next time I have to add to this list, I'm going to take it to HR. I don't really want to do that, so you'd be doing both of us a favor by not putting me in that position." (And I would start documenting his comments immediately--exactly what he says and when he says it, and your direct response to it.)

Fourth, if you can line up another job, quit. Yes, you have a contract--but he is creating a hostile work environment. That may not be discriminatory where you are (it would be in my state). He'd be hard pressed to enforce a contract when he has been insulting and abusive.

You don't deserve this, you don't need to put up with it, and you may have the power to stop it.

I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:28 AM   #4  
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Third, what are the labor/harassment laws where you live? In the US, if he made those sorts of comments, a Human Resources department would get involved. I don't know if he is the highest level boss or not, but if he's not, I'd consider going "over his head" to report his comments.
This. A thousand times. If you have no one to go to within the school system (or is this one of those tutoring companies?), then I would be sure to let him know that you are not afraid to contact an attorney if he continues his behavior. Your body is in no way, shape or form his business to talk about as your employer. To me, this seems like a super-creepo, guy's got some control issues kind of a deal. You don't know if there are other women who have had to quit working for him because of the same issue.

As his employee, your body is not his to look at for beauty, try to control, or make comments on. This would seem like common sense, but if he's not getting it, you need to let him know that this behavior is unacceptable.

Last edited by Song of Surly; 01-30-2013 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:33 AM   #5  
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Sue. Sue him like theres no tomorrow.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:26 PM   #6  
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geeze that's terrible of him. what a (insert expletive). ditto to checking harassment laws where you live.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:43 PM   #7  
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Wow, what a jerk! I guess motivation is always good...but in this case you are doing this for you and he shouldn't be saying anything about it!
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:43 PM   #8  
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Don't let him win. Don't let him have that kind of power over you. No ONE is worth taking that step backwards. He is lacking and you are his target.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:00 PM   #9  
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I had a boss who was a douche. And for a while he got to me. He was douchey in other ways. And my fat coworkers kept trying to derail me. But I found a diet plan that let me lose weight fast and I wore my fat clothing for most of it. So, it was really very late before he noticed the weight loss and so I had lost a lot of it before he could ruin things.

I don't think you have a case for "discrimination" or a law suit -- it isn't against the law to have a hostile environment only a hostile environment because of a legal protection -- ie sex. However, no human resources department wants to see a lawsuit filed (with merit or not) and so you should at least run it by them without mentioning names.

Also, I don't know what the contract says but any chance it has a clause about how he needs to behave? If so seems like maybe you could get out of it for breach of contract?
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:11 PM   #10  
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Girls, I thank you for the support. Unfortunately in my country the law is not very helpful where harassment and discrimination works. Sexual harassment is, indeed, punishable but not this kind of harassment. In fact in this Mediterranean part of my world everyone is compelled to give you an advice about how you should eat, how your weight should be etc.

I even get people staring my boyfriend in amazement when we walk together holding hands. It is as if they are thinking "What is wrong with this guy? How could he date HER?"

I am quite hard-skinned over the years of being obese so their comments, whispers or remarks don't affect me anymore. I lost all this weight and my self-esteem is rocket-high.

But this guy is getting on my nerves. I feel like I want to eat fatty food just to spite him.

Ah and for those who asked me. He owns the tutoring school so there is no one to complain about...
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:03 AM   #11  
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Let's not forget that his comments ARE sexist - and not just about your weight, but your weight in the context of how a woman should look. It is sexist bullying to comment on your attractiveness to men. So... while it may not be actionable in terms of weight, it could well be actionable in terms of the sexist nature of it. I'm not au fait with EU employment law, but I'm guessing this isn't OK.

To BethFromDayton - I meant not factually wrong - the behaviour is completely wrong. If someone says I'm stupid, then that's totally wrong and I can shrug it off because it's so far from the truth. I may be annoyed or upset by their behaviour, but I'm not going to take it to heart. If someone says I'm fat, well, it's true, but it doesn't make it less hurtful. In fact, it makes it more hurtful as I tend to dwell on it and internalise it.

BTW - I love your "If your comments aren't serious then it won't be hard for you to stop them."
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:58 AM   #12  
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Isn't this illegal? Or some kind of harassment? Of course you don't want to lightly bandy about the "sue you" strategy, but is there an HR person or resource you can talk to?

It's not just none of his business, but being overweight/obese is considered a disability and is seriously protected under the american's with disability's act I think - I don't think those folk would take kindly to hearing about your boss's interactions with you on this matter...

Just something to consider!
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:05 PM   #13  
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Do not eat to spite him. Eat to fuel your body.
Ignore him, easier said than done.
Stick to your plan and make him eat his words.

Hugs
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