I work at a call center. I said something somebody I work didn't like. I was working. They came behind me while working and just kept calling my name and would not leave me alone. I reported this to HR as harassment. HR told me this was not harassment. So, what is the proper word to describe a situation like this?
I believe that harassment is the correct word.
Here are two of the senses of the Merriam-Webster definition of harass:
1 b (1) : to annoy persistently
// was harassing his younger brother
1 b (2) : to create an unpleasant or hostile situation for
especially by uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical conduct
// was being harassed by her classmates
// claims that the police were unfairly harassing him
From the description of a colleague standing behind you and constantly repeating your name, despite you saying you didn't like—and, presumably, being annoying in a persistent fashion, I would say it was a clear case of harassment based on the English definition of the word.
Having said that, however, the HR department at your company might have a different definition of the word they use as part of their own policies.
If so, a more accurate response could have been:
"We acknowledge that it was harassment in the commonly used sense of the word, but it's unfortunately not something we can act on. Per our policies, actionable harassment is defined as . . ."
I would call the behavior of your colleagues DISTURBANCE.
According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disturbance:
: the act of disturbing
: the state of being disturbed
// apologized for creating a disturbance