Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: mrsbrandt on February 13, 2013, 05:24:53 PM

Title: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: mrsbrandt on February 13, 2013, 05:24:53 PM
I'm in a graduate program right now that is very competitive and full of at least 22somethings if not persons who are much older. I just got wind that someone is pulling a "prank" on a 22 year old single girl. The prank was writing her a secret admirer note and then tomorrow adding half eaten chocolates to her school mailbox. I found about the prank right before leaving the graduate school today.

If Girl and I were friends and had a relationship, I'd tell her straight away tonight, because I'd have her contact information. But, Girl and I don't have a great relationship. We actually have pretty bad blood. She said something extremely rude to me about my parenting and I'm not obliged to overlook it, because I consider it to be a character defect on her part.

But I feel like this "prank" is too far. It's mean. It entices her to believe that someone likes her and the prank puller doesn't like her. It will most likely hurt and embarrass Girl and she's already bought into the prank hook, line and sinker (based on what she said before I knew it was a prank). I'm not going to see her until tomorrow morning, but I'm inclined to try to tell her before she finds out. I don't feel appropriate revealing the prank puller, though I know who it is. But I feel like she should be warned before she's completely embarrassed. What would you do? What does etiquette dictate?
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: bonyk on February 13, 2013, 05:29:19 PM
I'd stay out of it.  If someone I had very bad blood with revealed I was a victim of this prank, I'd be pretty convinced they were in on it.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: Amara on February 13, 2013, 05:41:08 PM
I would tell her because I wouldn't want to see even someone I dislike experience public humiliation. I'd probably say something like "I know we aren't friends, but I care enough to warn you that the note is part of a prank that is being played on you. I only found out about this, but I did want to give you a heads up."
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: NyaChan on February 13, 2013, 06:03:06 PM
I don't know whether saying something now would do much good, but if you are present for the reveal, I think you should make it clear that you think this prank is silly and childish. Turn it on the prank pullers I mean. I know I would appreciate that if I were that girl.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: WillyNilly on February 13, 2013, 07:00:26 PM
I wouldn't say anything to her, because she will most likely think you are in on it.  Shoot the messenger and all.

But if this is happening on school grounds ("her school mailbox") you might give security a heads up.  That sounds like some sort of violation.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: AnnaJ on February 13, 2013, 07:30:01 PM
I despise pranks, so would give her a heads up because I hate to see anyone embarrassed, even someone I don't like.  If you think the person in charge of the mailboxes (an AA?) would be useful in this situation, tell her/him; otherwise I'd probably send an e-mail to her saying something like Amara suggested.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on February 13, 2013, 07:36:27 PM
I'd write an anonymous heads-up and stick it in her mailbox.  You can do a good deed without getting personally involved.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: bonyk on February 13, 2013, 07:41:24 PM
I'd write an anonymous heads-up and stick it in her mailbox.  You can do a good deed without getting personally involved.

That's a great idea!
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: sunnygirl on February 13, 2013, 07:51:54 PM
I think the problem with the anonymous note is that she might think the note-sender is the one pranking her. I mean, if I started getting sweet notes and stuff from a secret admirer, and then got an anonymous note saying, "They don't really like you, it's just a prank," I'd probably think either the note-sender was trying to play a mean joke, or was being witchy out of jealousy. I POD reporting it to a relevant authority if possible, though.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: LifeOnPluto on February 13, 2013, 08:38:49 PM
I agree with sunnygirl. If you try telling this girl about the prank, chances are she won't believe you (or think you're jealous, etc).

If you know who the perpetrators are, and are on friendly terms with them, you could try encouraging them not to pull the prank (although it sounds like it may be too late for this?).

Otherwise, I like WillyNilly's idea of speaking out against it, if this girl finds out in public, that the note/gift is just a prank. 
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: Lynn2000 on February 14, 2013, 09:34:24 AM
I would just stay out of it. If there's bad blood between you, chances are anything you say to her will be misinterpreted to throw you in a bad light. If you tell her, she might be upset and accuse you of lying, trying to spoil things for her. Then, after the prank is revealed, she'll be doubly humiliated whenever she sees you, because she knows you know what happened. (And, should she decide to complain about the prank to someone in authority, you would be the only person she could definitely connect to it. Even if your name was cleared you would probably be questioned, if the matter was pursued.)

If you have any influence with the pranksters or could alert someone in the mailroom, working "behind the scenes," that would be better, I think, and the most you should do.

Also--secret admirer pranks in grad school? I think that's incredibly juvenile--are their advanced classes not keeping them busy enough? If you want to play pranks on your friends to blow off steam, that's fine, but this sounds malicious and harassing. I wonder if there is someone like an academic advisor or guidance counselor you could talk to about this--maybe they should be aware that these things, in general, are going on in their department.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: BeagleMommy on February 14, 2013, 10:26:02 AM
OP, any updates?  I tend to POD those who've said this woman may not believe you if you have had conflict in the past.

Also, POD to Lynn that this is incredibly juvenile.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: Twik on February 14, 2013, 10:36:39 AM
Personally, I'd find the "secret admirer" bit very disturbing, and would be relieved to discover it's just a prank.

But I have to agree, I can't see much good coming from speaking up here.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: ladyknight1 on February 14, 2013, 10:44:19 AM
I would tell her because I wouldn't want to see even someone I dislike experience public humiliation. I'd probably say something like "I know we aren't friends, but I care enough to warn you that the note is part of a prank that is being played on you. I only found out about this, but I did want to give you a heads up."

I agree with Amara. It doesn't matter that you have a negative past relationship history.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: WillyNilly on February 14, 2013, 10:47:17 AM
...The prank was writing her a secret admirer note and then tomorrow adding half eaten chocolates to her school mailbox...

...But I feel like this "prank" is too far. It's mean. It entices her to believe that someone likes her and the prank puller doesn't like her. It will most likely hurt and embarrass Girl and she's already bought into the prank hook, line and sinker (based on what she said before I knew it was a prank).

Here's the thing she already believes she has a secret admirer.  And the "prank" is half eaten chocolates.  If you tell her its a prank, she's just going to go on believing she has a secret admirer but that you put the chocolates there (out of jealousy, spite, something).  She's not going to connect the positive with the negative.  She'll probably just think you told her because you felt guilty after the fact.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: Zilla on February 14, 2013, 10:49:02 AM
I just told my own kid that it's a mean thing to do when she was telling me of a similar prank being planned to a friend of hers.  I pointed out all the reasons why it's mean and she understood and was going to tell her friends not to do it.
 
She is 12 years old...the fact this is happening to 22 year olds in grad school no less, it's boggling.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: Sharnita on February 14, 2013, 10:53:14 AM
I would tell her, not for her sake but because this is a grad program and not a 7th grade playground. People are using your educational forum as an opportunity to play mind games inflict psychological pain for their entertainment.  If you don't object to this episode, you might be the next star of their bullying behavior. She isn't nice, granted.  However, the natiness is spreading and growing more severe.  Do something to stop it, not because of an obligation to her but because of an obligation to common decency.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: auntmeegs on February 14, 2013, 11:07:30 AM
I would tell her, not for her sake but because this is a grad program and not a 7th grade playground. People are using your educational forum as an opportunity to play mind games inflict psychological pain for their entertainment.  If you don't object to this episode, you might be the next star of their bullying behavior. She isn't nice, granted.  However, the natiness is spreading and growing more severe.  Do something to stop it, not because of an obligation to her but because of an obligation to common decency.

Total POD to all of this.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: mrsbrandt on February 14, 2013, 11:25:11 AM
Apparently the prankster had a change of heart and with the crazy half eaten chocolates was a funny/nice note and bottle of wine. Thank goodness.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: Sharnita on February 14, 2013, 11:26:25 AM
Apparently the prankster had a change of heart and with the crazy half eaten chocolates was a funny/nice note and bottle of wine. Thank goodness.

Was she pleased?  I still don't see how it ended well.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: strawbabies on February 14, 2013, 01:42:06 PM
Apparently the prankster had a change of heart and with the crazy half eaten chocolates was a funny/nice note and bottle of wine. Thank goodness.
She's still going to be hurt when she finds out she doesn't have an admirer.  But I recommend you just stay out of it.  Everyone involved is a (supposed) adult.  I suspect she has bad blood with other people besides you, and that's why they're doing it. 
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: chigrrl1 on February 14, 2013, 02:22:27 PM
I'm speaking as a person who is and keeps company with pranksters.  I think the title of the thread calling out the behavior as "bullying" is a little over the top--a prank is a joke.  I think the prank is too dumb to be worrying about hurt feelings.  If said pranksters were in middle school, I could see where the potential for negative fallout, but I can't imagine a grown woman taking this prank seriously.  It's not funny, but it's not really "mean." 

I've always found pranks involving writing letters from cats to their owners or prank calling and asking for the family dog much more fraught with hilarity.  I know that the pranksters in this circumstance toned down their already weak prank, but I don't think that the original prank was so terrible that someone who actively dislikes the prankee should feel concerned about.  If it escalated to the point where the prankee was heartbroken over some random note and half eaten chocolates, I would question her mental stability.  If pranking is the norm for this group of people, she'd probably could come up with her own counter-prank.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: Sharnita on February 14, 2013, 02:33:24 PM
honestly, I think that kind of justiification is pretty much standard for people who condon or practice bullying behavior.  This is a grad class, not a frat house.  If the best justification you can come up with is "she probably hasn't reached the level of actual heartbreak" then it is time to get out of the pranking business. 

Op has not indicated in any way that prnaking is standard practice here.  I would hope that in an academic setting that would not be the case. If people want to hang out and pull that garbage on their own friends, on their own time - it seems incredibly juvenile but it is their call.  This is not the time or place for pranking even if you think it is the highest for of entertainment.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: auntmeegs on February 14, 2013, 02:49:30 PM
I'm speaking as a person who is and keeps company with pranksters.  I think the title of the thread calling out the behavior as "bullying" is a little over the top--a prank is a joke.  I think the prank is too dumb to be worrying about hurt feelings.  If said pranksters were in middle school, I could see where the potential for negative fallout, but I can't imagine a grown woman taking this prank seriously.  It's not funny, but it's not really "mean." 

I've always found pranks involving writing letters from cats to their owners or prank calling and asking for the family dog much more fraught with hilarity.  I know that the pranksters in this circumstance toned down their already weak prank, but I don't think that the original prank was so terrible that someone who actively dislikes the prankee should feel concerned about.  If it escalated to the point where the prankee was heartbroken over some random note and half eaten chocolates, I would question her mental stability.  If pranking is the norm for this group of people, she'd probably could come up with her own counter-prank.

Yeah, sorry, but something that has the potential to humiliate and hurt someone is not a joke, its mean and nasty.   
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: chigrrl1 on February 14, 2013, 02:57:26 PM
honestly, I think that kind of justiification is pretty much standard for people who condon or practice bullying behavior. This is a grad class, not a frat house.  If the best justification you can come up with is "she probably hasn't reached the level of actual heartbreak" then it is time to get out of the pranking business. 

Op has not indicated in any way that prnaking is standard practice here.  I would hope that in an academic setting that would not be the case. If people want to hang out and pull that garbage on their own friends, on their own time - it seems incredibly juvenile but it is their call.  This is not the time or place for pranking even if you think it is the highest for of entertainment.
I don't agree.  Pranking people is entirely different than bullying them.  Pranking can be a form of team-building and a way to lighten up and take a minute to laugh.  I've pranked and been pranked in both Grad School and in the workplace. Grad school is tough, if students want to blow off some steam with a prank, more power to them.  Although I don't think this particular prank was all funny, I didn't see it as anything that would devastate the girl.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: wolfie on February 14, 2013, 03:01:09 PM
honestly, I think that kind of justiification is pretty much standard for people who condon or practice bullying behavior. This is a grad class, not a frat house.  If the best justification you can come up with is "she probably hasn't reached the level of actual heartbreak" then it is time to get out of the pranking business. 

Op has not indicated in any way that prnaking is standard practice here.  I would hope that in an academic setting that would not be the case. If people want to hang out and pull that garbage on their own friends, on their own time - it seems incredibly juvenile but it is their call.  This is not the time or place for pranking even if you think it is the highest for of entertainment.
I don't agree.  Pranking people is entirely different than bullying them.  Pranking can be a form of team-building and a way to lighten up and take a minute to laugh.  I've pranked and been pranked in both Grad School and in the workplace. Grad school is tough, if students want to blow off some steam with a prank, more power to them.  Although I don't think this particular prank was all funny, I didn't see it as anything that would devastate the girl.

As someone who had a really hard time making friends and dating in college discovering someone liked me would have made my day. Discovering later that that was all a lie and not only did someone not like but a bunch of people were laughing at me behind my back would have devastated me. Pranks are only funny if the entire group finds they are funny. It doesn't even sound like the people pulling the prank are her friends. Just a group of people who don't like her and are going to go ahead and show her that.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: Eeep! on February 14, 2013, 03:01:30 PM
I'm speaking as a person who is and keeps company with pranksters.  I think the title of the thread calling out the behavior as "bullying" is a little over the top--a prank is a joke.  I think the prank is too dumb to be worrying about hurt feelings.  If said pranksters were in middle school, I could see where the potential for negative fallout, but I can't imagine a grown woman taking this prank seriously.  It's not funny, but it's not really "mean." 

I've always found pranks involving writing letters from cats to their owners or prank calling and asking for the family dog much more fraught with hilarity.  I know that the pranksters in this circumstance toned down their already weak prank, but I don't think that the original prank was so terrible that someone who actively dislikes the prankee should feel concerned about.  If it escalated to the point where the prankee was heartbroken over some random note and half eaten chocolates, I would question her mental stability.  If pranking is the norm for this group of people, she'd probably could come up with her own counter-prank.

Yeah, sorry, but something that has the potential to humiliate and hurt someone is not a joke, its mean and nasty.

I agree. The whole point of the "prank" is to make someone feel stupid.  What other motivation could there be to string them along thinking that someone "out there" admires them?  Not remotely similar to receiving a letter from your pet.  Heartbroken might be a over the top reaction to the situation, but "humiliated" is almost as bad in my book. 
And I personally think that changing it to a bottle of wine is WORSE. At least the half eaten chocolates might have clued her in on the fact that it wasn't real.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: Sharnita on February 14, 2013, 03:03:11 PM
honestly, I think that kind of justiification is pretty much standard for people who condon or practice bullying behavior. This is a grad class, not a frat house.  If the best justification you can come up with is "she probably hasn't reached the level of actual heartbreak" then it is time to get out of the pranking business. 

Op has not indicated in any way that prnaking is standard practice here.  I would hope that in an academic setting that would not be the case. If people want to hang out and pull that garbage on their own friends, on their own time - it seems incredibly juvenile but it is their call.  This is not the time or place for pranking even if you think it is the highest for of entertainment.
I don't agree.  Pranking people is entirely different than bullying them.  Pranking can be a form of team-building and a way to lighten up and take a minute to laugh.  I've pranked and been pranked in both Grad School and in the workplace. Grad school is tough, if students want to blow off some steam with a prank, more power to them.  Although I don't think this particular prank was all funny, I didn't see it as anything that would devastate the girl.

And once again, the fact that devastation is used as the benchmark kind of underscores a level of insensitivity, IMO.  One can be merely hurt and it is bullying.  it doesn't have to reach devastation.  It can be hurt or embarrassed.  And yes, I've been to grad school too.  I don't see how humiliating peopl makes it easier.  And in this case team building seems to be teaming up to embarrass a classmate. I have never seen a grad class or (healthy) work place where that was the kind of team building that would be acceptable.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: Eeep! on February 14, 2013, 03:07:38 PM
honestly, I think that kind of justiification is pretty much standard for people who condon or practice bullying behavior. This is a grad class, not a frat house.  If the best justification you can come up with is "she probably hasn't reached the level of actual heartbreak" then it is time to get out of the pranking business. 

Op has not indicated in any way that prnaking is standard practice here.  I would hope that in an academic setting that would not be the case. If people want to hang out and pull that garbage on their own friends, on their own time - it seems incredibly juvenile but it is their call.  This is not the time or place for pranking even if you think it is the highest for of entertainment.
I don't agree.  Pranking people is entirely different than bullying them.  Pranking can be a form of team-building and a way to lighten up and take a minute to laugh.  I've pranked and been pranked in both Grad School and in the workplace. Grad school is tough, if students want to blow off some steam with a prank, more power to them.  Although I don't think this particular prank was all funny, I didn't see it as anything that would devastate the girl.

Regarding the bolded - I truly don't see how you can equate the OPs situation with this.  First of all, she has said that they aren't friends with the girl - they don't like her. So there is in no way "team building" is a goal. Secondly, this is an on going prank.  That is not taking "a minute to laugh".  It is ongoing activities with the payoff being someone being embarassed that they believed it for so long.
And while I think some pranks are funny- it REALLY is a "know your audience" situation, even for the best of them. 
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: chigrrl1 on February 14, 2013, 03:12:48 PM


Yeah, sorry, but something that has the potential to humiliate and hurt someone is not a joke, its mean and nasty.
[/quote]

I fail to see how this would be humiliating to a grown woman unless she was going around bragging about her awesome secret admirer.  This trick would be mean in middle school...y'know, the place where I presume people still write notes.  But if you get a SA note as an adult, you should know enough to come to one of these conclusions: a) it's a joke b) the SA is a creep or c) the person writing the note is not mature enough to talk to her in person and subsequently not mature enough for a relationship.

I didn't get the impression that the pranksters were targeting this girl out of spite for any reason, the OP said that she was the one who had beef with the prankee and didn't mention *why* they wanted to pull the prank.  Perhaps, the prankee socializes with these people and their group is one that can take a prank.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: chigrrl1 on February 14, 2013, 03:19:31 PM
honestly, I think that kind of justiification is pretty much standard for people who condon or practice bullying behavior. This is a grad class, not a frat house.  If the best justification you can come up with is "she probably hasn't reached the level of actual heartbreak" then it is time to get out of the pranking business. 

Op has not indicated in any way that prnaking is standard practice here.  I would hope that in an academic setting that would not be the case. If people want to hang out and pull that garbage on their own friends, on their own time - it seems incredibly juvenile but it is their call.  This is not the time or place for pranking even if you think it is the highest for of entertainment.
I don't agree.  Pranking people is entirely different than bullying them.  Pranking can be a form of team-building and a way to lighten up and take a minute to laugh.  I've pranked and been pranked in both Grad School and in the workplace. Grad school is tough, if students want to blow off some steam with a prank, more power to them.  Although I don't think this particular prank was all funny, I didn't see it as anything that would devastate the girl.

As someone who had a really hard time making friends and dating in college discovering someone liked me would have made my day. Discovering later that that was all a lie and not only did someone not like but a bunch of people were laughing at me behind my back would have devastated me. Pranks are only funny if the entire group finds they are funny. It doesn't even sound like the people pulling the prank are her friends. Just a group of people who don't like her and are going to go ahead and show her that.
  Fair enough, but when you were in college, would you have fallen for a Secret Admirer note? Perhaps that's why I don't think this prank is so terrible, it's not funny, but I would be pretty suspicions of any anonymous notes, not assuming that some person was really out there secretly admiring me.  If I didn't know it was a joke straight off, I'd actually be really creeped out if I thought it was real.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: wolfie on February 14, 2013, 03:22:16 PM
honestly, I think that kind of justiification is pretty much standard for people who condon or practice bullying behavior. This is a grad class, not a frat house.  If the best justification you can come up with is "she probably hasn't reached the level of actual heartbreak" then it is time to get out of the pranking business. 

Op has not indicated in any way that prnaking is standard practice here.  I would hope that in an academic setting that would not be the case. If people want to hang out and pull that garbage on their own friends, on their own time - it seems incredibly juvenile but it is their call.  This is not the time or place for pranking even if you think it is the highest for of entertainment.
I don't agree.  Pranking people is entirely different than bullying them.  Pranking can be a form of team-building and a way to lighten up and take a minute to laugh.  I've pranked and been pranked in both Grad School and in the workplace. Grad school is tough, if students want to blow off some steam with a prank, more power to them.  Although I don't think this particular prank was all funny, I didn't see it as anything that would devastate the girl.

As someone who had a really hard time making friends and dating in college discovering someone liked me would have made my day. Discovering later that that was all a lie and not only did someone not like but a bunch of people were laughing at me behind my back would have devastated me. Pranks are only funny if the entire group finds they are funny. It doesn't even sound like the people pulling the prank are her friends. Just a group of people who don't like her and are going to go ahead and show her that.
  Fair enough, but when you were in college, would you have fallen for a Secret Admirer note? Perhaps that's why I don't think this prank is so terrible, it's not funny, but I would be pretty suspicions of any anonymous notes, not assuming that some person was really out there secretly admiring me.  If I didn't know it was a joke straight off, I'd actually be really creeped out if I thought it was real.

Probably - yes I would have fallen for the Secret Admirer note. 
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: Eeep! on February 14, 2013, 03:24:48 PM
honestly, I think that kind of justiification is pretty much standard for people who condon or practice bullying behavior. This is a grad class, not a frat house.  If the best justification you can come up with is "she probably hasn't reached the level of actual heartbreak" then it is time to get out of the pranking business. 

Op has not indicated in any way that prnaking is standard practice here.  I would hope that in an academic setting that would not be the case. If people want to hang out and pull that garbage on their own friends, on their own time - it seems incredibly juvenile but it is their call.  This is not the time or place for pranking even if you think it is the highest for of entertainment.
I don't agree.  Pranking people is entirely different than bullying them.  Pranking can be a form of team-building and a way to lighten up and take a minute to laugh.  I've pranked and been pranked in both Grad School and in the workplace. Grad school is tough, if students want to blow off some steam with a prank, more power to them.  Although I don't think this particular prank was all funny, I didn't see it as anything that would devastate the girl.

As someone who had a really hard time making friends and dating in college discovering someone liked me would have made my day. Discovering later that that was all a lie and not only did someone not like but a bunch of people were laughing at me behind my back would have devastated me. Pranks are only funny if the entire group finds they are funny. It doesn't even sound like the people pulling the prank are her friends. Just a group of people who don't like her and are going to go ahead and show her that.
  Fair enough, but when you were in college, would you have fallen for a Secret Admirer note? Perhaps that's why I don't think this prank is so terrible, it's not funny, but I would be pretty suspicions of any anonymous notes, not assuming that some person was really out there secretly admiring me.  If I didn't know it was a joke straight off, I'd actually be really creeped out if I thought it was real.

Probably - yes I would have fallen for the Secret Admirer note.

The OP said that the  "the prank puller doesn't like her", which I took to mean in general, but I guess she could have meant "like" like.  But I really am trying to understand how the goal of this particular prank isn't to embarass the person. And if that is the goal - regardless of if you think the person SHOULD have fallen for it - then it is mean.  Plus the OP said that the girl had fallen for it "hook, line and sinker".

ETA: I could totally see someone thinking that the whole secret admirer thing was "romantic", not creepy. Not saying that would be necessarily be my response, but I don't think that is an out there idea.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: chigrrl1 on February 14, 2013, 03:25:02 PM
I'm speaking as a person who is and keeps company with pranksters.  I think the title of the thread calling out the behavior as "bullying" is a little over the top--a prank is a joke.  I think the prank is too dumb to be worrying about hurt feelings.  If said pranksters were in middle school, I could see where the potential for negative fallout, but I can't imagine a grown woman taking this prank seriously.  It's not funny, but it's not really "mean." 

I've always found pranks involving writing letters from cats to their owners or prank calling and asking for the family dog much more fraught with hilarity.  I know that the pranksters in this circumstance toned down their already weak prank, but I don't think that the original prank was so terrible that someone who actively dislikes the prankee should feel concerned about.  If it escalated to the point where the prankee was heartbroken over some random note and half eaten chocolates, I would question her mental stability.  If pranking is the norm for this group of people, she'd probably could come up with her own counter-prank.

Yeah, sorry, but something that has the potential to humiliate and hurt someone is not a joke, its mean and nasty.

I agree. The whole point of the "prank" is to make someone feel stupid.  What other motivation could there be to string them along thinking that someone "out there" admires them?  Not remotely similar to receiving a letter from your pet.  Heartbroken might be a over the top reaction to the situation, but "humiliated" is almost as bad in my book. 
And I personally think that changing it to a bottle of wine is WORSE. At least the half eaten chocolates might have clued her in on the fact that it wasn't real.
Yeah, I wasn't quite sure how to read the bottle of wine gesture.  She mentioned it came with a funny note, were they fessing up or trying to further the farce?  Regardless, I probably wouldn't want to be drinking wine that a creepy SA would have sent me anonymously.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: chigrrl1 on February 14, 2013, 03:29:43 PM

[/quote]

Probably - yes I would have fallen for the Secret Admirer note.
[/quote] Duly noted.  I guess pranks are definitely a know your audience thing.  I used to write hilarious secret admirer notes to my coworkers, but they were so ludicrous that they were obviously jokes.  I don't think that making up a "real" sounding SA is all that funny, but I didn't realize that people would actually take it seriously.  Thanks for your perspective.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: mrsbrandt on February 14, 2013, 03:34:17 PM
She actually laughed it off. So I think it what was included in today's package was a funny valentine, bottle of wine and cute note explaining the "joke/prank" and who the prankster was. I do think this Girl lacks emotional stability and that's why when I thought it was just a Secret Admirer note and chocolates I thought it was mean. Most people in our grad class would be skeptical of that note (I know I would have), but this Girl doesn't react like most people in our grad school class.
Title: Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
Post by: chigrrl1 on February 14, 2013, 03:44:02 PM
She actually laughed it off. So I think it what was included in today's package was a funny valentine, bottle of wine and cute note explaining the "joke/prank" and who the prankster was. I do think this Girl lacks emotional stability and that's why when I thought it was just a Secret Admirer note and chocolates I thought it was mean. Most people in our grad class would be skeptical of that note (I know I would have), but this Girl doesn't react like most people in our grad school class.
  Thanks for the clarification. I'm glad she took it well, I was starting to feel like I was the only one who didn't think this prank was intrinsically mean and evil.