The Student Room Group

Did i have the right to be offended?

if you are an adult and another man calls you "goodboy" at work. Would you be offended?
Generally speaking, I don't think that's an appropriate term to use in a work context at all as it comes across to me as patronising and lacking respect. However, context is incredibly important for all situations like this. Respective ages, whether that terms or terms like it are used regularly by that person or in the workplace generally, the specific circumstances under which it was used here and how it was meant. All of that can make a big difference to whether it was appropriate or not, and if it wasn't, how inappropriate it was. Equally, being offended in and of itself doesn't mean anything. Nothing happens. People do things in life all the time that you won't agree with, both to you and generally. Most of them aren't worthy of a particular reaction at all. If this has bothered you in a work context and it is something that you think you should take further, your employer should have processes for that if you want to use them, or otherwise an informal chat either with the person themselves or a manager should sort it out. But whether that is appropriate will, again, depend on the circumstances of the particular incident.
Reply 2
Original post by Crazy Jamie
Generally speaking, I don't think that's an appropriate term to use in a work context at all as it comes across to me as patronising and lacking respect. However, context is incredibly important for all situations like this. Respective ages, whether that terms or terms like it are used regularly by that person or in the workplace generally, the specific circumstances under which it was used here and how it was meant. All of that can make a big difference to whether it was appropriate or not, and if it wasn't, how inappropriate it was. Equally, being offended in and of itself doesn't mean anything. Nothing happens. People do things in life all the time that you won't agree with, both to you and generally. Most of them aren't worthy of a particular reaction at all. If this has bothered you in a work context and it is something that you think you should take further, your employer should have processes for that if you want to use them, or otherwise an informal chat either with the person themselves or a manager should sort it out. But whether that is appropriate will, again, depend on the circumstances of the particular incident.

I told him to**** off! It came across patronising.
why did he say it
Original post by Rogermoores
I told him to **** off! It came across patronising.

A reaction which could range from entirely understandable to a significant overreaction depending on the circumstances. But why are you even asking this question? Are you concerned you overreacted, or concerned about consequences at work for swearing at someone?
Reply 5
Original post by ohyegodsmyroast
why did he say it

I was asked to grab something for a work colleague as a favour. And he came over and said "goodboy".
Do you have the right to be offended? Yes.

Do I think you are taking what was meant to be a compliment too far? Yes.
Take it as a compliment and move on, I’m assuming this person was relatively older than you and said it as they saw you as someone younger than them or perhaps they know someone roughly the same age as you and say the same thing to them.

Basically, brush it off and forget about it. Easiest thing to do.
Reply 7
Original post by Crazy Jamie
A reaction which could range from entirely understandable to a significant overreaction depending on the circumstances. But why are you even asking this question? Are you concerned you overreacted, or concerned about consequences at work for swearing at someone?

I just wanted to know if my reaction was justified. And if what he said was meant to be patronising and degrading.
Reply 8
Original post by Scienceisgood
Do you have the right to be offended? Yes.

Do I think you are taking what was meant to be a compliment too far? Yes.
Take it as a compliment and move on, I’m assuming this person was relatively older than you and said it as they saw you as someone younger than them or perhaps they know someone roughly the same age as you and say the same thing to them.

Basically, brush it off and forget about it. Easiest thing to do.

How is that a compliment? He did look older than me. But the word "goodboy". Is something I would call my neighbours dog. Not another human being, and certainly not a work colleague.

You don't just brush a comment like that under the rug. It's important to stand up for yourself, otherwise they will think these types of comments are okay!
Original post by Rogermoores
I just wanted to know if my reaction was justified. And if what he said was meant to be patronising and degrading.

we have no way to tell obvy
Effectively I remember when I was at work about a year ago, I would come in and say “Morning everyone, what’s the damage?”. Someone took it like I expected something to have gone horribly wrong overnight (I worked in a diagnostic lab) and someone said something to my senior saying that I said this.

My senior knows this phrase very well and knew it was a joke but advised me to not say it as sometimes if you’ve had a rough night, it can be seen as like I’m talking down to someone as opposed to just a kind of formal greeting.

Basically, don’t take things too personally as it’s not like it was directly offensive to you. It will just create a problem further on if it was meant as a compliment or a common greeting.
Original post by Rogermoores
How is that a compliment? He did look older than me. But the word "goodboy". Is something I would call my neighbours dog. Not another human being, and certainly not a work colleague.

You don't just brush a comment like that under the rug. It's important to stand up for yourself, otherwise they will think these types of comments are okay!


Look, do what you want but all I can say is if you do something or take action against this, it’s going to cause problems between you and your colleagues and given you work with these people, it’s something I’d advise against… as you’ll be doing it for a while and you want as little a hostile environment as possible.
Reply 12
Original post by Scienceisgood
Look, do what you want but all I can say is if you do something or take action against this, it’s going to cause problems between you and your colleagues and given you work with these people, it’s something I’d advise against… as you’ll be doing it for a while and you want as little a hostile environment as possible.

So you want me to apologise to him? I had to speak my mind, otherwise I would have pondered the whole day on why I didn't say anything to him
Original post by Rogermoores
So you want me to apologise to him? I had to speak my mind, otherwise I would have pondered the whole day on why I didn't say anything to him


I don’t “want” you to do anything to anyone. I am simply saying as someone who has worked with some VERY toxic people before that it is best to sit on something for a day or (preferably three) before reporting anything as more often than not, a bad day can make something which is basically a 2/10 in terms of severity feel like a 9/10…

I’d take it as a compliment but that being said, I don’t hold grudges and really don’t care what people call me as I respect people I work with and (mostly) expect the same of people from me.

When I was working with people in the lab, when I received samples from some particular people, I would quite frequently say “*Inset Name*, I see samples, I don’t want to see samples, *uck off”.

It’s common banter or good fun.

Do what you want but I’m telling you, it isn’t worth the hassle…

When you have a senior threatening you or your colleagues with a pay cut, that’s a time to cause a ruckus, not something as minor as this…

Needless to say the person threatening a pay cut didn’t last long…
Yeh that’s kind of sexy
Terms like "good man" or "good lad" are pretty commonplace. I agree that "goodboy" is liable to be taken as patronising, but not worth much more than a raised eyebrow.
Original post by Rogermoores
if you are an adult and another man calls you "goodboy" at work. Would you be offended?

Yes, I'd be offended. It's unprofessional and just not needed from a colleague.
If I was you, I'd address the issue with him to make sure he knows not to say it again. However, I wouldn't report it.
Generally not a good phrase for them to have directed at you. That said, you’ve told them to F off so I’d just score it as settled if I was in your shoes.

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