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Postal Service “Talks” About Workplace Bullying

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Below is the part of the Postal Service‘s “Stand up talks: respect in the workplace” campaign they provide for their employees that specifically addresses workplace bullying. Although gossiping is often considered bullying behavior, it is addressed as a separate topic. It will be interesting to see what type of impact this awareness raising effort has:

#6 Bullying in the Workplace

Good morning. This is the sixth in a series of talks on Respect in the Workplace. The topic this week is bullying in the workplace.

Many of us may have thought bullying ended in the schoolyard, but it’s being recognized in the corporate world too. And like any form of disrespect, it’s inappropri­ate in the workplace.

Bullying in the workplace can take many forms. Being yelled at, called names, or made to feel less than others are all forms of bullying. Receiving discipline for trivial matters or based on false allegations on a regular basis is a form of bullying. In addition, constant attempts to undermine your status, value, position, and potential is also bullying. Even being put down or patronized constantly — especially in front of others — is bullying.

There are certain things you have to remember when dealing with a bully in the workplace:

Start to gain control back. Recognize what’s happening to you and admit that you’re being bullied. There’s no shame in it — it’s not something you’re at fault for! Criti­cisms from a bully about your work are intended to put you down and to make you second guess yourself. Don’t give in to these fears. If you know you’re producing work of a high standard and your manager has no complaints, then don’t worry about it.

You’re not alone. Bullying in the workplace is common, but it usually consists of mental cruelty more than physical violence. The bully wants the attention or credit you get for the work you are producing. It often happens that the bully will steal your ideas for his/her own. Do not let the bully make you feel shame, guilt or fear. This is what bullies rely on to keep their hold over you. Guilt and fear strategies are the bully’s best friend, it’s how all abusers silence their vic­tims.

Don’t try to handle bullying alone. Bullies pick on those who are afraid to tell others of the problem. It’s important to remember there’s no shame in asking for help. A bully will try hard to make you feel inadequate and belittle you, making you believe that asking for help and not being able to deal with the problem on your own like an adult is cow­ardly. Tell a colleague at the very least — or preferably your supervisor, if you can. Bullying is harassment, and the Postal Service won’t tolerate harassment.

Take action against the bully. Keep a written account of the bullying incidents. Write in great detail what happened and where, including times and dates, and share this infor­mation with your supervisor.

If you need further help resolving a bullying or disrespect issue, contact a supervisor or Human Resources. If you feel it involves illegal behavior such as harassment based on race, color, religion, genetic information, national origin, sex, age (40+), physical or mental disability, or retaliation for engaging in prior EEO-protected activity, you can call the EEO number at 888-336-8777 or TTY at 888-325-2914 found on posters in this facility.

In all cases, you also can contact the Employee Assis­tance Program at 800-EAP-4-YOU (800-327-4968), TTY at 877-492-7341, or online at www.eap4you.com.

— EEO Compliance and Appeals, 
Labor Relations, 7-12-12


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