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Woman Receives Tasteless Texts from Her Coworker, So She Makes a Public Response and the Workplace Is Never the Same.

The Original Poster (OP) finds herself in an unsettling predicament when she starts receiving inappropriate texts from a seemingly friendly coworker. The situation escalates when he does not respect her professional stance, leading to a climactic confrontation. As other colleagues come forward with similar experiences, will the collective stand against unprofessional behavior lead to a resolution?

An Unexpected Invitation

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OP, who assumed her coworker was merely a friendly acquaintance, received inappropriate texts in the wee hours of the morning during St. Patrick’s Day weekend. In a completely unwelcome move, her coworker invited her over for “some fun,” insinuating that he’d harbored feelings for her for quite some time. The shock of the situation was magnified when he sent an almost-explicit selfie.

A Delayed Response

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Despite the gravity of the situation, OP chose to push it aside until Monday, strictly adhering to her rule of not dealing with work-related issues outside of 9-5 working hours. In OP’s eyes, the inappropriate messages were a “workday problem.” This meant her coworker’s advances would go unanswered for now.

A Bumbling Apology

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Throughout the weekend, the coworker sent additional texts, at first apologizing and attributing his behavior to drunkenness. Then, he switched gears, stating he was attracted to her but failed to express it properly. Even so, he was convinced OP reciprocated his feelings.

Setting Boundaries

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OP responded to the inappropriate advance professionally on Monday by sending an email delineating her boundaries. She requested that all future communication be limited to work-related content during business hours, making clear that she found his behavior unwelcome and inappropriate. She also blind-copied her email to keep a record of this exchange.

A Brewing Storm

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Her coworker became enraged by OP’s response, accusing her of crossing a line by attaching his inappropriate picture to a work email. He questioned if she was trying to get him fired. OP didn’t retaliate but calmly screenshot his message, attaching it to a follow-up email where she once again asked him to communicate strictly about work matters.

The Unwanted Visit

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The coworker ceased texting but instead approached her physically at her desk. However, OP firmly insisted on knowing if his visit was work-related before engaging further. The coworker left when OP indicated she wasn’t available for a discussion, insisting he schedule a formal meeting if he had work matters to discuss.

Internal Conflict

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While OP maintained her professionalism, she questioned if her handling of the situation was overly harsh. She wondered if a simple text asking him to stop might have sufficed. But after countless similar experiences at previous jobs, she felt her patience was running thin.

A Bold Precedent

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Despite any doubts, OP set a clear precedent for her boundaries. She vowed not to engage in personal discussions outside work hours or work accounts, reinforcing her commitment to maintaining a professional workspace. It was a significant step in pushing back against her coworker’s inappropriate advances.

An Unexpected Ally

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Just as OP began to question her choices, a supportive colleague, seeing OP’s distress, assured her that she had acted correctly and offered to provide additional evidence if needed, revealing that she, too, had been receiving inappropriate texts from the same coworker.

Another Revelation

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A new conflict arose as OP had to decide whether to include this colleague’s experience in her documentation against the coworker. This choice was difficult as she had to weigh her colleague’s willingness to be involved against the strength this new evidence would add to her case.

A Difficult Decision

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After much thought, OP consulted her colleague, explaining the potential implications of her involvement. Her colleague agreed, prompting OP to document their conversation and further bolster her case against the coworker.

An Unintended Audience

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During a coffee break, another coworker overheard OP and her ally discussing the issue. Surprised and concerned, this third coworker revealed that she, too, had received similar inappropriate messages from the same person.

Collective Stand

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Realizing that the problem was widespread, the affected employees decided to band together. They agreed to present their evidence collectively, increasing their credibility while diffusing the pressure they might feel individually.

The Confrontation

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OP and her colleagues scheduled a meeting with HR, presenting their comprehensive documentation against the coworker. His inappropriate behavior was revealed in full, leaving HR with no choice but to take serious action. The coworker was called in to face the charges.


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The coworker, once confident and dismissive, was now cornered. Faced with irrefutable evidence, he stuttered denials and excuses, but to no avail. The HR verdict was stern and swift, resulting in his termination.

Was The Woman’s Behavior Appropriate?

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OP posted her story online for feedback. The readers in the community forum had a lot to say on the matter. Here are some of their responses:

Forum Responds

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One reader said, “I wish I had the guts to do this myself. You handled it, and you handled it well. I will take a leaf from your book in the future.”

Another Commenter Thinks

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Another responder wrote, “This was the perfect response. He got angry because you wouldn’t play his game and documented everything without getting freaked out.”

A Third View on The Story

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A different person stated, “This is sexual harassment clear as day, and you are not obligated to respond positively to sexual harassment.”

A Final Perspective on the Matter

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Another reader commented, “I would hire you in a heartbeat to coach employees on proper conduct. Maybe consider doing this a side job and see if it takes. So many work issues would disappear if more employees handled themselves as professionally as you.”

What Do You Think?

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What are your thoughts on their actions?

What would you have done in this situation?

This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.

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