Is It Childish to React to Bullying at the Workplace?

The bully is someone she knew in high school.

Back then, the Original Poster with the username u/Wooden-Lion6192 admitted that the person she was talking about in her post was a popular figure on campus. But she was also known for being a snob who hated people who were “below” her.

Photo: YouTube/SafeWork SA

OP did not expect that she would see this person again, or that she would actually become her co-worker. Although she had disliked this person back in high school for her vanity, OP wrote on Reddit’s r/AmItheA–hole forum: “When she joined I knew I just needed to be an adult and a professional and not bring this dislike forward. I treated her completely normally, was particularly friendly and of course, it was known we went to high school together. However soon, after a few weeks, it became apparent to me that she had been repeatedly telling our coworkers that I was ‘soooo different’ from how I used to be at school. If asked to go into detail, she would say that I used to be really shy and quiet.”

When she first learned about these comments from her former schoolmate, OP just told herself that this new girl in their company did not know her at all. She might have perceived her that way, but OP in reality has always been an extrovert.

Photo: YouTube/SafeWork SA

OP cast aside the things she’d initially heard, but it did not end there. As she continued with her story, she wrote: “But she keeps repeating it to everyone who will hear. To me, at this point, based on what I’ve been told by coworkers, I feel like she’s trying to make the point that I wasn’t cool, and she’s using coded language to imply that without actually saying it. I pulled her to one side, and I asked her why she was making so many comments about how I’d changed when she didn’t know me in the first place, and I would appreciate it if she would stop. She said that I’m overreacting and that although she didn’t know me that well, I was obviously an introvert then, and she’s allowed to be surprised by the difference.”

The issue is that this former popular campus girl kept on with her “comments” about OP for several months until OP had to make a report about it to their Human Resources Department. But in spite of the fact that the situation has been making OP uncomfortable, HR did not regard it as a serious matter. However, they did call the concerned employee and talked to her about it.

Photo: YouTube/SafeWork SA

The result? OP wrote the following, seeking AITA’s opinion if she had been really a jerk: “She has now called me an asshole for reporting her and having something on her record and for making her feel uncomfortable at her new workplace. She also said that I’m the only one who’s holding onto how things were in high school, as I was and must still be jealous of her and am now taking my revenge. AITA?”

And the judgment?

TheDangerousAlphabet commented: “I think when she said that ‘you are still jealous,’ she really exposed herself. She thought in high school that she was better than OP, and she still does. These things are not in OP’s head.”

MartinisnMurder remarked, “Haha we call those people ‘high school heroes!’ They still live in their high school glory days in their head because that was when their life was the best it will ever be.”

Photo: YouTube/SafeWork SA

“Yes! It almost sounds like new girl is trying to recreate the high school hierarchy,” agreed saltyeleven. “At first, I was thinking it was in OP’s head, but based on new girl’s reaction to you asking her to stop, I don’t think you are overreacting here. Proceed with caution. Do not let her get a rise out of you. Next time she’s telling someone how much you’ve changed, I would say something like ‘wow, why are you so obsessed with me since you got here?’ or even ‘hasn’t everyone changed since high school?’ If she keeps going with ‘your change,’ maybe add ‘from what I recall, we weren’t close in high school, so how would you really know?’ loud enough for everyone else to hear. Obviously they’ve all heard about how much you’ve changed, so it should be old news at this point. Play her game right back so your fellow coworkers can see that she’s a shit starter. Just don’t lose your cool while you do it.”

CampClear likewise wrote, “Yup, I’ve said so many times that I’m glad I wasn’t one of the people who peaked in high school. I was the ugly duckling, shy and timid and bullied. I’m much more comfortable in my own skin and have a great life and don’t spend my time obsessing over how great high school was. Those people are pretty sad and pathetic IMO.”

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