Pinoy BPO Advice: Physical Abuse in a Call Center

Dear Ate Helen, our OM is very physical; he hits agents on the back and pretends that he is just joking around. Sometimes, it hurts, and when we complain, he makes fun of us by saying we can’t take a joke. Last week, his car got scratched up in the parking lot. They reviewed the CCTV but found nothing. I think this was done by some agents who are already angry. Can we report him to HR? What if he says that were just “over-reacting”? -Martina, Cavite BPO


Dear Martina, this is a very odd problem that you have.

It may actually be true that your OM is just that type of guy who likes being physical when expressing his emotions. He might not be really aware of his actions. :0(

The best you can do is get the advice of your HR. Ask them what you should do and say every time you feel physically abused by your OM. Most likely, your HR will give you a line that you need to firmly deliver, something like, “Please stop hitting me when you are joking around.”, and if your OM is dismissive of your statement, you follow up with, “I am serious, if you don’t stop, I’ll report you to HR because it hurts when you hit me.”

An honest response from your end will do a lot, and if your OM laughs thing off again, then go straight to HR and file a report. Be patient. Some HR’s are slow to move on these things, but if enough reports get to them, they have no choice but to sit down with your OM and discuss his unacceptable behavior.

Do note that physical violence/abuse in the workplace is mostly treated as a zero tolerance-capital offense, punishable by termination.

Good luck, and I do hope your OM changes his ways. –Ate H.


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