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Disrespectful Colleague Insulted My Wife, an Office Janitor — My Response Was Swift and Decisive

Susan, 61, who works as an office janitor, was demeaned when a colleague, Mark, intentionally spilled her cleaning supplies and insulted her. After her grievances were dismissed by HR, Susan and her husband Jack took action to reveal Mark’s misconduct and sought accountability.

My wife, Susan, at 61, enjoys her janitorial role in an office as it provides additional income and flexible hours, allowing her quality time with our grandchildren and her beloved hobby of reading. However, she recently faced a distressing incident at work.

One evening, Susan returned home visibly distressed, prompting me to immediately inquire about her day.

“What happened at work today, Susan?” I asked as I put aside my newspaper.


With a heavy sigh, she replied, “You wouldn’t believe the day I had, Jack.”

Curious, I urged her to continue.

“While mopping the hallway, I overheard the company manager, Mr. Thompson, reprimanding someone loudly for missing a deadline, which cost the company a crucial sponsor.”

“That sounds serious,” I noted, leaning in.

“It was,” she continued. “The commotion was so loud that bystanders paused to listen.”

“Who was he yelling at?” I inquired.

“I’m not sure; I couldn’t see. But then, a very angry man stormed out of the office.”

“And then?” I pressed.

“I kept mopping, trying to avoid any conflict. Suddenly, this man approached and kicked my bucket, spilling water everywhere,” she explained, her voice shaking.

“He did what?” I exclaimed in disbelief.

“Yes, he tipped over the bucket, and the water spread into the nearby offices,” she recounted.

“How did you handle that?” I asked.

“I started cleaning up immediately. But then, he ridiculed me, calling me clumsy and old, and just walked away,” she said, clearly hurt.

“Did anyone assist you?” I questioned.

“No, people from other offices blamed me for the mess,” she replied.

“Did you explain what really happened?” I asked.

“I tried. But later, my boss warned me I could be fired if such an incident happened again,” she disclosed.

“That’s unjust!” I exclaimed.

“I know. Despite explaining, no one believed me,” she said, tears welling up.

Angered by the injustice, I declared, “We have to address this.”

“What can we do, Jack? They won’t listen,” she lamented.

“I’ll speak with HR tomorrow,” I resolved.

The next day, I met with the HR manager and detailed the incident involving Susan and Mark. After reviewing the security footage, which did not capture the moment of the bucket being kicked, the HR manager expressed inability to act due to lack of evidence.

Returning home with disappointing news, I told Susan, “They can’t do anything without proof.”

Understanding yet saddened, Susan nodded.

Refusing to give up, I invited her colleagues over to gather more insights. During the lunch, I learned from others that Mark had a history of similar behavior, particularly towards the cleaning staff.

Motivated by these revelations, we composed a letter to the CEO, outlining Mark’s actions, and supplemented it with a covert recording of Mark admitting his behavior.

Frustrated by HR’s lack of action even after presenting the recording, I shared the evidence online, which quickly garnered media attention. The public outcry led to the CEO’s apology and the dismissal of Mark and the negligent HR manager. Susan was compensated, and justice was served.

Relieved, Susan expressed her gratitude, “I’m so relieved it’s over, Jack. Thank you for everything.”

I assured her, “You deserved justice, and I’m glad we achieved it. Now, let’s look forward to peace and your books.”

Grateful and relieved, we both felt ready to move past the ordeal, hopeful for quieter days ahead.

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