I have a bizzare problem at work that got out of hand in the last couple of weeks. This may sound stupid, but I seriously believe T-Nation is the place where I can get some constructive advice.
I work in a company where there is a lot of direct personal contact with out clients. I’m a fairly big guy - 260 lbs and around 14 % bf - the only non-sedentary person in my department, and probably the only one in the company who lifts weights and takes care about his diet. As a result of this I’m considered a freak among my colleagues, and a constant source of ridicule.
Two weeks ago my immediate superior asked that I was removed from dealing with customers because I was “intimidating” them. I asked her what does “intimidating” mean, and she replied that “being such a huge man I intimidate customers (!)”. I went to her boss and pointed out that there never was a single complaint against me by any of our clients. I thought that was the last of it.
At one internal meeting I got into a dispute with a female coworker. Later she complained to the management that she felt “frightened and threatened” because “when I started walking around during discussion waving my arms”. I was once again asked to reply to these accusations and I said that this was a professional exchange of views in which I was constantly polite and never raised my voice.
I was cautonied that “during conversations I shouldn’t make excessive hand gestures and behave in a threatening way” (!!). I know that my company tries to be as PC as possible, but I was shocked by this.
Anyway, this morning I was summoned once again to the main manager on a discussion about my “anti-social” behaviour at the workplace. There, a list of my “strange behaviours” was given: I avoid lunches in the caffeteria with my coworkers (I bring my chicken, cottage cheese and tuna in a small fridge everyday), I have displayed “offensive” materiel at my workplace - (a T-Nation wallpaper and some photographs of me on a grappling tournament) etc. The list was so hillarious that I started laughing uncontrollably.
I was issued a “serious warning” and advised by the manager that I should “attempt to integrate into the working environment” and “increase efforts to come to an understanding with my colleagues”. My first reaction was to call them a bunch of deranged PC maniacs and resign on the spot. However, the salary is quite good and I don’t see why I should be on the defensive if my performance record is good and I haven’t breached any official company rules. No one has any objections on my work.
Has anyone experienced something similar ? Any suggestions on how to handle this bizzare situation?
Thanks in advance