Author Topic: S/O Bullying in Grad School  (Read 3514 times)

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mrsbrandt

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S/O Bullying in Grad School
« on: February 13, 2013, 06:24:53 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?

bonyk

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Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2013, 06:29:19 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.

Amara

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Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2013, 06:41:08 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."

NyaChan

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Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2013, 07:03:06 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.

WillyNilly

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Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2013, 08:00:26 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.

AnnaJ

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Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2013, 08:30:01 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.

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2013, 08:36:27 PM »
I'd write an anonymous heads-up and stick it in her mailbox.  You can do a good deed without getting personally involved.
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bonyk

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Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2013, 08:41:24 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!

sunnygirl

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Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2013, 08:51:54 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.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2013, 09:38:49 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. 

Lynn2000

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Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2013, 10:34:24 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.
~Lynn2000

BeagleMommy

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Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2013, 11:26:02 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.

Twik

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Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2013, 11:36:39 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.
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ladyknight1

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Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2013, 11:44:19 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.

WillyNilly

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Re: S/O Bullying in Grad School
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2013, 11:47:17 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.