Coworker and Former Friend Accused My Husband of Verbal Abuse

A Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a situation between coworkers who were close friends but now are in conflict about a personal issue that resulted in a confrontation at work.



I have been friends with my coworker for four years. She lived in my home for three months when she had nowhere else to go. We have spent holidays together that included her family and mine. Almost a month ago she decided to change everything.

It started off with my husband and I kicking out my daughters’ boyfriend (my daughter is now 18 and her boyfriend is now 19) He had been living with us for about a year and a half after he got my daughter pregnant. We took him in, even though it caused us a financial burden. My coworker “friend” was asked by my daughter if her boyfriend could stay with her during work days for two weeks until the house they wanted to rent was ready.

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Watched at Work and Verbally Abused–Am I Being Paranoid?

A Question for Ask the Workplace Doctors regarding being watched at work and verbally abused:
My computer is being hacked and people are saying things about me. 


I have been in my role for 5 1/2 years now. Several times I have heard them say things like “we have to record her work” or “we have to record everything she does.” For the past one to two years I have noticed random mouse movements on my screen where they menu on the software moves down or I try and move my mouse and an abusive comment is made as they can’t move the mouse.

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Problem with Boss’ Husband

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about verbal abuse: I tried talking to my supervisor because he intimidates me and I make even more mistakes. She did nothing.

I just started a job last month. My supervisor’s husband is the warehouse mgr. I still make some mistakes on orders, and when I do, he comes up from the warehouse and slams down the order and starts saying things like “What the heck is this?”, or he raises his voice. Others have heard him. I tried talking to my supervisor because he intimidates me and I make even more mistakes. She did nothing and I felt I had to do something and I spoke with HR. Of course my boss is pissed off I did that and talked about her husband to HR.

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Overheard Verbal Abuse of Coworker

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about verbal abuse:

I overheard a male coworker using profanity and a loud, angry tone with a female coworker who is very meek. I spoke to her to let her know that I had overheard his outbursts and was concerned. She said he had not apologized. Should I speak to the abuser directly, or ask a supervisor to handle it. I am female, but not meek. Maybe gender shouldn’t matter, but it seems to. I have never heard it, but this male coworker would probably speak like that to a meek male as well. He is often nice on the phone, but hollers and swears once he’s hung up. We are a small company, about 35 people. Should I send an email to the company officers to let them know that I have documented this incident? Should I speak to the male coworker directly? Should I send him an email? He’s not a terrible person, but he was terribly out of line. Thanks for helping.

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Supervisor Under Verbal Attack!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about  verbal abuse.

I’m a supervisor who has been repeatedly attacked verbally by an employee. She curses me out and threatens my job. What should I do?

Signed, On the Defensive

Dear On the Defensive:

The short answer to what you should do about an employee who curses at you, threatens your job and is discourteous is this: Take supervisory action to stop her unacceptable behavior immediately. Apparently you haven’t done that yet! Or, if you have tried, it hasn’t been effective or successful. It may be that you don’t feel you have the authority or will not be supported, or you may simply not like the unpleasantness of telling her to stop and having more arguments and anger.

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Verbal Abuse By Doctor-Boss

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about stopping a verbally abusive doctor:

I have been verbally abused by a doctor in front of the nursing staff that I work with. This doctor directly called me a “dumb ass”. Can I file a law suit against this doctor for his verbal abuse, and if I were to do this, what sort of problems could arise from this, and how would it affect me?

Signed, Humiliated

Dear Humiliated:

You may want to talk to an attorney about what is the level at which words become abusive for lawsuit purposes. Unless there is much, much more than “dumb ass” it would probably not rise to the level required to be considered harassment or hostile. However, as I noted, a lawyer might see it differently. You ask about what problem a lawsuit would cause: Potentially, many! Obviously it would be difficult if not impossible to work effectively in a small office if you were suing a boss. Others who sympathize with the boss may be angry as well.If you have a trusted friend at work, talk to him or her about the situation and see what they think. It would also be helpful to talk to your boss and explain how badly you felt. He might welcome a chance to apologize or at least to try to soften his remarks.

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