TL;DR Does anyone have any tips on how to navigate when you are assertive in the workplace and feel like you're been treated as the problem even when you have proof of the opposite? When I return people's energy or tell them their behavior is unacceptable, they think I am being problematic and treat me as such without literally addressing the documented issue. I'm already looking for another job but I'm trying to survive here while I can before I leave.
I've been at my job for about a year and a half, but in the past couple of months, instead of going along to get along, I started to speak my mind more because I was constantly being treated like a secretary or just straight up disrespected/taken advantage of. I've noticed that in the past I've either been harassed, triangulated or talked down to by my male peers or superiors. It put me in a weird depressive spot for a while, but thanks to a new therapist, I gained confidence to be more assertive to shut that down.
Recently, I have had a discussion with my newly promoted boss and addressed my concerns on how his tone seems like he doesn't trust me or that he talks down to me. I brought it up in our 1:1 and he acted surprised but I held my ground. He said he would stop doing that and stop witnessing me get berated by his peers, which has happened several times when I'm trying to get feedback on marketing collateral that I make.
There has been a chauvinistic male coworker that has gone out of his way to treat me like a secretary and humiliate me, cut me off and demean me in our team meetings. No one says anything. Before I had passive aggressively dismissed him or not said anything, but the last time he humiliated me, I called him right after and told him to stop that behavior. He tried to gaslight me and then to (what I believe) "punish" me, he tried to embarrass me via email the next day trying to task me all of this work with our entire leadership copied and wanted them to weigh in on him telling me what to do. I just returned his energy and told him to do it himself and gave him a deadline to give it to me since he has been doing some of it already. I attached the email where I had reiterated that he needed to address me respectfully from here on out. I was assigned a woman on the team to work one task he brought up. The one he was already doing.
I found out yesterday that the coworker had complained to my boss that he "can't express his ideas around me." My boss asked me if I wanted to address that and I told him that the issue isn't about ideas because I welcomed his idea verbally in the meeting he would not let me finish speaking in and in my email follow up and that his first excuse about why he was unprofessional/wouldn't allow me to finish was because "there were a lot people speaking in the meeting." The issue is his behavior. I had already brought up my concerns to him (my boss) about this coworker several times in the past and nothing was done about it. My boss acted like he needed to "investigate" what really happened because he was out the day of the meeting and wasn't there. I told him that I had already called that coworker privately to address his behavior already (and documented it) and felt his email afterwards was retaliatory. He asked what he could do to make me feel more comfortable. I told him there's only so much I can say that he has already heard but he is the manager who is supposed to address it so what will he be doing going forward? He said "Well I'll talk to him again and if he doesn't stop I'll go to my manager." I documented our conversation in a recap and attached the emails between myself and the coworker and made sure to say that the issue is this person's behavior (because he's "angry" "difficult" "retaliatory") and that my manager will be addressing him or engaging his if this does not stop. AKA it's this man's problem and solving it is on you.
Today I was on a meeting with the woman to work on the project task and my boss shows up to the meeting wanting to know what was going on and how things were going. It's hard to explain succinctly, but I feel this is an intimidation tactic to "watch me" because they actually feel I am the aggressor even though I am not. Or at the very least some test. He and the woman were acting like he was all of a sudden needed for his perspective and saying I was the right person to do this task because I'm so good at marketing. My manager has always been optional for this meeting and never attended before. I kept my cool the whole time but I felt it was extremely sus. I don't trust the woman either because she will passive aggressively say phrases like "we can peacefully meet weekly" or "we need to make sure we're all being a team and everyone is heard" or "it's important we all get along." What? Why wouldn't we peacefully meet?
I don't think I'm overreacting here, but if you think I am, tell me. I just don't like that I keep having to pretty much tell people to treat me with basic respect. When I return people's energy or tell them their behavior is unacceptable, they think I am being problematic and treat me as such without literally addressing the issue.
Has anyone dealt with this? How do you do deal with this? I'm looking for another job but I'm trying to survive here while I can before I leave.