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“One Slap, You Will Reach…”: Woman Shares Toxic Workplace Experience

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A HSBC bank employee recent post on LinkedIn on dealing with toxic workplace has ignited conversation. Nitika Kumari who has been with the bank for over an year revealed that she is serving her notice period in the company. In her long post, Ms Kumari mentioned that she has been associated with HSBC’s Hyderabad branch for more than a year and has dealt with several episodes of panic attacks and mental health issues. 

Sharing details of the recent incident, Ms Kumari wrote, “The incident happened on 22 April 2024 when I was subjected to ethnically insensitive remarks by my colleague.”  

She shared, “The exacts words which was used by him is ‘EK CHAMAAT MAARENGE, BIHAR PAHUCH JAOGI’ which exactly means – I will slap you so hard, you will go back to Bihar.” 

Ms Kumari shared that she followed the protocol and informed her manager about the whole incident but “nothing came out of it”. A team meeting was held where she was told that her colleague did not physically assault her. “it was just a hatred comment which I can let go of,” she wrote. 

Ms Kumari reached out the HR team and filed a POSH Complaint. “After weeks of the incident, on 3 May, I received an email from the HR team to give feedback for the same without any updates on what action was taken.”

Sharing another incident, Ms Kumari revealed that a colleague made objectifying remark on her. “The comment he made was ‘Tmhare jaisi ladki hum aaj tk ni dekhe hai, akele pura UK team ka naam kharab kr k rkhi hai.’ which means – He has never seen a girl like me, I have ruined the name of their team. I did ask him the reason for saying such things to which he replied ‘tmhare alawa kisi UK team ki ladki ko hm ni dkhe hai cigarette pite huye’ which means – he has never seen any girl from the UK team smoking cigarettes. Later while going back inside the office, I saw him eating tobacco and spitting on the wall inside the office premises,” she wrote on LinkedIn. 

See the post here:

The post got a lot of attention, with many sympathising with the employee, offering words of reassurance and encouraging him to find a better job.

A user wrote, “Girl, you have got guts and grit. Not everyone has it. Years back, when I was working in Tech Mahindra Noida, a TL commented on one of our colleagues- ye log to aise Kam krtin hain jaise anganwadi mein kr rahi hon. Reason? She used to come in time , and leave in time. Unlike the so called boss, she hardly took chai, sutta break, would complete assigned task….yet, just because she would not spend extra time loitering around, TL commented. Sick!”

Another user commented, “Good for you for standing up for yourself. Absolutely HR arrogantly swept your concerns of the toxicity you faced under the carpet for no one to see. Downplaying your experience allows HSBC to move on. The only winners is HR and upper management. The toxicity will grow stronger every time these bullies that work there get away with their intimidation tactics. The failure of HSBC to act on such vile behaviour is not your fault. Your expectations of a truthful outcome to this situation sadly have to be adjusted. Your behaviour however should not be disheartening in any way. Stay strong, honest, and brave.”

“Good work Nikita , the person should be fired from the company to set an example. HSBC please look into this matter. It’s not acceptable, being tortured,” the third user wrote. 

Infact, a survey conducted by Harappa Insights shared the top reasons workers left their jobs. The survey revealed that toxic bosses and toxic workplaces were the primary  reasons for the ‘Great Indian Resignation’.

 Ms Kumari mentioned that she has dealt with several episodes of panic attacks and mental health issues.    

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