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Pot(s) Calling The Kettle Black

Four of my co-workers, one of them male, have no problem making comments about my weight. I wear a size 14-16, but from their comments you would think it took a crane to get me out of bed.

Today, as I was getting a step ladder to reach for a box, one co-worker commented that maybe she, being that she's lighter, should get on it instead. I made an obviously fake hearty laugh and brushed it off. I had a vicious comeback for her but I held my tongue. You see, she is thinner, but she often gets asked when is she due and people offer her their seat on the train when she boards.

Another, who is one of the slimmest in the office, also makes comments. What kills me is that she'll tell me stories of how she goes home and eats four peanut butter sandwiches WHILE she is heating up dinner. The third was instructed by her doctor to lose 20 lbs. and is borderline diabetic. She'll make comments about the small cup of soup I have as a snack while eating a granola bar with 25 grams of sugar. The male co-worker, jokingly bounces in his chair as I walk down the hall as if to say that I'm so heavy I cause tremors. This co-worker gained 20lbs in little over a month (NO LIE) by have 2-3 Whopper Juniors for Lunch and a large order of takeout from anywhere as soon as he gets home. He convinced himself that his weight gain was all muscle.

The only reason why these comments don't get to me often (sometimes they do) is because I know it is their way of feeling better about their own bodies which they hate. I have a pretty vicious tongue when pushed too far and I feel it coming on.

Does anyone here have people like that in their lives.

Tue. May 15, 9:46pm

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I can't not imagine what you have to go through everyday at work. You shouldn't have to put up with any demeaning comments. You may want to consider going to a supervisor concerning the comments.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007, 9:49 PM

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WOW! I am so sorry that you have to endure that in the workplace. It is totally uncalled for and unneccessary! I agree with what the previous poster said in that you should speak with someone of authority -- unless they are also in on the "fun."

You are a very admirable person for not lashing out at them or letting them get to you. I would be reduced to tears!

Good luck, whatever you do and know that we got your back here!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007, 9:58 PM

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Their behavior qualifies as harrassment because it creates a hostile work environment for you.

Google for standard advice on harrassment in the workplace, which will no doubt include keeping a detailed written record of these incidents. Then approach Human Resources with it. If you want to get totally badass, you could consult an employment attorney to see if you have a case worth litigating.

It does not have to be sexual or racial to qualify as harrassment. I'm not sure what the popular term for it is though - weightism? looksism? I know it's an issue that is starting to attract scrutiny, so HR should be reasonably responsive to it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007, 10:02 PM

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Pot(s) Calling The Kettle Black

Thanks for the support. My company has no "HR" there is just our CEO. It's a very small company. I wouldn't trust him with any of my gripes. I complained about a separate issue before and he did nothing, I took care of it myself. It doesn't bother me to the point of reporting it to my boss because I know the truth. It sounds corny but I've learned to see the truth behind people's comments and it has given me a very thick skin. A few years ago, these comments would have made me cry too.

Their comments don't ruin my day, but it is hard holding back because I know what I have to say would knock them down hard. I'm not a push over, though. I've had all of them mad at me at one point or another because I don't always put up with their nonsense over this and other things. Even if I didn't face this at work, I get it from some of my family members and they have body issues also.

I guess I get my satisfaction knowing that even though I'm big, no one has ever asked if I'm pregnant and I quietly laugh at how uneducated they are about the foods they eat. One co-worker, who was attempting to lose weight, once had a sandwich of one slice of bologna between two slices of white bread and thought that was healthy How can I not laugh at such ignorance?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007, 10:28 PM

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Ya know what!

When you lose your weight, you will have every right to reverse the roles, but you sound like someone who will do the rigt thing and not say anything to them at all.
My hat is off to you for holding your toung. I'm a thin guy and always have been, but I'll be damned if I'll make comments like that to someone.
I'm sorry that you have to deal with this.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007, 11:11 PM

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I have always felt that when people make such negative comments, that they are revealing their own personalities and flaws. They certainly are not professional. I admire your professionalism and feel you are a leader among wienies. You go girl!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007, 11:25 PM

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Sounds like the environment is pretty negative... and you are the lucky one they picked to abuse in order to make themselves feel superior.

You have to realize that if it wasn't you they picked - it would have been someone else. Look at the source it is coming from... A pretty immature group that get's their ego boosted by making fun of nice people.

Maybe you should try facing them when they make their snide remarks, and make them explain it... such as "what is that supposed to mean?". Once they have to explain themselves directly to you - I would guess they will not have the backbone to do it again.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007, 11:48 PM

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You want to make them feel bad?

When they make their smart mouth comments, just start crying in front of them. If they have even a shread of a heart, they will never make a comment about you again!
By laughing them off, you are subconscientiously giving them the ok to do it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007, 11:56 PM

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You know... in thinking about your comments... I really can relate to this alot. I have always felt fat and unaccepted - no matter what my weight is... and in a way - I think sometimes people can pick up on that weakness and insecurity... and some will try to hurt you with it.

I think everyone (fat or skinny) hears negative, useless comments in their lives. Some people can just let it roll off their back... which is the healthiest way to see it. And others (like me!) believe everything they hear (especially the negative comments). The trick is to filter out what is useful and real. These comments that your co-workers are making are not useful - nor are they real... so what they have to say should go directly to the trash!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007, 11:59 PM

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OMFG!!! I can't imagine co-workers saying things like that. It's totally unprofessional and can actually be cause for harassment. I think it affects you more then you let on or you wouldn't be talking about it. I would start making snide remarks back. You need to start documenting all these things just to cover your ass. What sort of work place is this?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 1:31 AM

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