This week Eyewitness News 4 (NBC) broke a story about a family who claims a Santa Fe suicide is the result of workplace bullying. I’m not writing about whether that claim is true or not – both sides haven’t been heard yet and none of us know. This is about how the media and advocates often frame these stories. In 2010, I interviewed Ed Wasserman about the way journalists cover suicide for my documentary, What Killed Kevin? which is about the tragic suicide of Kevin Morrissey. Kevin’s death turned out to be the pivotal event that turned workplace bullying into a ‘hot topic.’ Wasserman is the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation professor of journalism ethics at Washington and Lee University and he addressed this case in his bi-weekly column for the Miami Herald.
The Workplace Bullying Institute’s blog blasted Wasserman accusing him of “trivializing” Morrissey’s suicide and that “Wasserman’s denial of the reality that bullying could drive a person to suicide seems indefensible.” But, Wasserman says he never denied that a person could be driven to suicide — he was questioning the link in this situation and the rush to coverage by the media. These interviews show that, far from trivializing workplace bullying, Wasserman takes the topic very seriously and feels the media doesn’t dig into the story deeply enough. He argues that the way the story is framed by the media hurts the possibility of a real dialog that would help bring about change. Watch these two clips and decide for yourself.
(Note: the interactive web version of this documentary will soon be available to the public and allow site visitors to hunt through the interviews and clues to decide for themselves, What Killed Kevin? and join the dialog about how best to prevent and address workplace bullying.)
Nearly two years after the managing editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review killed himself following complaints he made about his boss, Ted Genoways, Mr. Genoways has announced that he is stepping down as editor of the award-winning literary journal. - [Chronicle of Higher Education, April 4, 2012 Robin Wilson]
This weekend I finally finished editing the long version of my documentary about the aftermath of Kevin’s suicide. It’s a revealing portrait of today’s workplace bullying movement, the lack of depth in media coverage about the topic, and a cautionary tale about the complexity of our office relationships.
The final film (hat tip consulting editor Pam Arnold) is exactly what I promised everyone who agreed to take part – a chance to tell the story from their individual perspectives. And, for the first time the POV of the alleged bully is included. The result underscores the urgent need to embrace new approaches to this topic. The long awaited web version has taken an exciting turn and will soon enter the web design and coding phase that will make it a truly interactive experience. Now it’s time to look to see what festival deadlines are coming up.
If you haven’t checked it out yet here’s the first installment of the documentary:
In 2010 I posted my short documentary “Jodie’s Law” about a young woman who her family alleges committed suicide due to workplace bullying. This is an update from her Aunt:
We have received tremendous response from your documentary both Nationally and around the world.
We/My family always felt if sharing the heartbreak of our family would help save one life, our efforts and Jodie’s death would not have been in vain. Having taken that step forward, has brought many to us who have told us they were prepared to take their life when they saw your documentary or read our stories, and they pulled back from the brink, saving their loved ones the pain they endured. Normally those accounts have also been accompanied with statements of renewed courage to face their situation, their bully, or find a different job.
There have also been e-mails asking to speak with me directly as they were contemplating taking their lives. With my heart in my throat, I felt I could not dial their phone numbers quickly enough. But through the mercy of God, I reached each caller, listening to the pain of their experiences and the dire choices they believed were in front of them. These callers repeatedly expressed their gratitude; but I too felt grateful, as helping is part of healing ones broken heart. Though there are times I still hold my breath when we interact, most have found their footing and belief in themselves. This does not mean there was a rosy job in front, just waiting for them. The struggles have been long and hard; but joyfully many have gone on to find new and fulfilling careers. For those who continue to struggle, I remind them they are the heros, for they are survivors; as well as hold them in my heart and prayers.
Add “Teeth”to Pending Legislation:
Passage of Healthy Workplace Legislation seems to drag on. Perhaps this is the way it goes when trying to pass a law. I admit I am still a novice to the roll of Citizen Lobbyist. The political outlook in Wisconsin has been very dire. Yet, State Representative Kelda Roys, and Senator Jon Erpenbach, sponsors of the Wisconsin bill, assure me that Jodie’s Law (as we like to call it) has not been lost on them; they are simply waiting for a more favorable political climate.
We, as a family find it discouraging that many working on the legislation insist on calling it a Healthy Workplace Bill as opposed to an Anti-Bullying bill. We think there has been so much news in the media about bullying, that it should no longer be considered an aggressive term when working for a law against it in the workplace. There are few people who are not familiar with the term Bullying when it comes to schools and young people, as the numerous pieces of legislation indicate. Also the idea that the law would have to prove malice seems unacceptable. It is not required in other protected status laws, so it does not seem wise to set a precedent now.
Also, we would like to see a tougher stance to adding some financial teeth if employer negligence is found. I/we have not given up on these bills. We write, call, sign petitions, and anything else we can feasibly do to help them along. I try to keep up with all that is posted on Facebook, writing responses, opinions, bringing up Jodie’s story, etc. and always including the link to your documentary. We are in the process of having a brochure of Jodie’s story printed so we may easily hand it out when people ask about our button that we still wear with Jodie’s picture & caption Workplace Bullying Breaks Hearts
I am chagrined there are times it all gets to be too much for me and my spirit sags and I find myself on the verge of days of depression. Jodie’s Mom encourages me to take a break from it all for now, or maybe for always, as she says Jodie would be proud of what I have accomplished and she would not want to see me ruin my health or lose the joy of life. So I have been giving myself permission to do just that.
Expanding Advocacy Efforts:
We sisters have talked some about focusing our work towards the children and teens anti-bullying issues. Perhaps developing a program geared towards talking with children and teens, as well as parents, teachers, administrative leaders, as well as school boards and city/county board members. Jodie was a leading member of DECA in her high school and we feel the DECA program would be a good place to start. This is all in the talking stages for us, put we do feel at times our efforts would be better spent in that direction. Many States have passed Anti Bullying laws for children and schools, so we may have a better foot in the door. Growing our citizens of tomorrow with an understanding of the damage caused bullying and the benefits of tolerance, may in the end bring the best results. Hopefully their parents would be learning right along with the kids, and then start to stand up for their own rights in the workplace as well.
We have been appalled at the number of suicides among young peopled. In Wisconsin a teen attempted set himself on fire, and in Minnesota two middle-school girls made a suicide pact and hung themselves, all due to bullying. Jodie’s daughter is now 10 years old. These stories have scared me to death! Over dinner I spoke with our little girl about what they are taught in school about bullying. It seems it is discussed frequently, as she had a lot to tell me. I also gave her a book about bullying published by the American Doll company. Because she has a very active 6 year old brother, we never got a chance to get back to the book or the subject, but at least it is a start. We have not yet broached the subject of suicide. It seems like such a cruel topic to confront and we have not had the right moment to talk with her Daddy about it and what and when he thinks the subject should come up. It is still all very heartbreaking but everyone is heroically carrying on and doing what each of us can to help the other along.
Jodie’s husband is doing a great job in raising the children, though he seems to steer pretty carefully away from any serious discussions with us about Jodie, and all that has occurred, yet relations between all of us are becoming more comfortable. He brought the kids to Florida for the first time since Jodie’s passing. We all went to Disney World & then spent Thanksgiving at Grandma Jean (Jodie’s Mom).
He has his hands full keeping the kids clothes clean, as well as the house, seeing their home work is done, fixing their meals, getting them to school and to bed, girl-scouts, religion classes, swimming, soccer, T-ball, and even coaching their teams. He loves the children very much. I think I can safely say they are his world, and the kids feel the same. Jodie’s daughter is very protective of her brother and watches over him and her Daddy like she is a little mother – sometimes more than either male of the house appreciates.
Grandma Jean (my sister & Jodie’s Mom) & I had a wonderful but short visit with them in August. We spent two nights at their place, where among other things we played salon and Jodie’s daughter gave us facials and did my hair (!) and her brother painted my fingernails and make-up. I only regret we did not take pictures of the end results! We …spent lots of time with their Auntie Lisa (Jodie’s sister in your video) and a lot of time in the swimming pool. It is always hard to say goodbye.
It is important to note that no single factor leads to suicide and Jodie’s employer did not respond to an offer to participate in the documentary.
Have you been bullied by an abusive boss or co-worker? Post a comment below to join the discussion and share your voice and experiences.
(Note: Please do not use names, titles, or any other details that might be considered libelous as you are legally responsible for the information posted. Never take advice from a website — always seek personal face to face counseling from qualified professionals. See our site disclaimer.)
March 21, 2012
[see: Canada Takes On Workplace Bullies!] I am in a situation now that I have been bullied by my boss for the last 2 yrs..I am at my wits end and am going through such a hard time..I have lodged a complaint with Human Rights Canada for discrimination and since then the bullying has gotten worse..I work in a unionized place but they are of no use at all..It is the HR manager who is doing the bullying..she does not talk to me right now but she is doing the bullying through my boss..I was told friday that I am to do my job and my job only as I am doing extras and I am making the other girls feel they are not good at thier jobs..so I know when I have nothing to do and do nothing I will be called in for that as not being a team player and they will deny telling me that they toold me not to help people..Help!!
March 4, 2012
[See DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: “HELP US! We’re being bullied out of our jobs…”] I, too, have had to endure 6 years of condescening comments, hateful remarks and bullying behavior. I have had it, though, and will be retiring after 30 years with a school district I love. I’ve been to management so many times, I can’t count them, and they
have given him a finger-shaking, but that’s all. Others in my department have left as well, and currently 5 more employees plan to leave this summer. I feel there is no recourse, and I want him to pay for my pain! EEOC claim??
February 21, 2012
[See: Workplace Bullying Is Not a “Silient” Epidemic Anymore!] Thanks so much for this website. I have a bully in my office in Japan who aggressively dominates the quiet work space by speaking in a loud, unnaturally high pitch voice. It is irritating and disruptive, because you can’t hear yourself think at your desk. I’ve seen her exposing herself to a male colleaugue in the office during office hours. Japan is known as a productive place to work, but this is counter culture gone wild. I’ve managed the situation by blankly refusing to return her fake smiles, getting up suddenly and leaving my desk the moment she starts speaking, ignoring her if she calls my name in a breathy come get me whorey way, and if she’s talking to management, I interrupt the conversation with a loud request to talk to one of the VPs about something work related. I’ve also recorded her empty loud conversations on tape and have loudly interjected with “not again!” or “come on, please” if she invades a space where I’m working and I’m not able to get away.
Norma, January 30, 2012
I used to work for a bully boss [name deleted by moderator] and found that her boss [name deleted by moderator], the head of human resources, thought that the bully boss could do no wrong. It was a no win situation, I was stuck working in a sick work environment with two major bullies. [She] made up lies and terrorized me. [She] harmed staff and patients, and no one ever stopped her. [He] protected Kathleen no matter how terrible she was to others. I blame [her] for trying to ruin my life and she was responsible for patients getting intentionally burned. [He] was informed and yet refused to step in and stop her from harming people. Both of these people are still harming others with physical and mental abuse to this day and have gotten away with it with many employees. I have found out from talking with others in the community that this has been going on for twenty years!
I fully understand the pain of being bullied out of a job due to a sick, mean-spirited boss.She deserves to be stuck with herself for the rest of her life; thre is no better punishment. Even though [name deleted] tried to ruin my life, I have grown stronger in every area of my life. When her boss, [name deleted], refused to stop her from bullying me and allowed her to continue bullying me at the expense of myself, other employees, and numerous patients, in order to protect his bully for some inexplicable reason. The human resources people did absolutely nothing to help or intervene whatsoever. Even with meticulous documentation and witnesses to physical and mental harm [she] caused me, other staff, patients, and others, [he] never once called her on her behavior. In fact, [he] did his best to silence me by getting rid of me with false accusations: he accused me of stealing a camera when I never did that. The camera was in the cupboard the whole time and I have witnesses!
Mel, January 22, 2012
Thank you for this site! I have worked at my job for 12 years. My manager came here 6 years ago from another site, was demoted to supervisor when I stepped down (trying to get away from her), then promoted back to manager 3 years ago when the manager left. She is incompetent and has very poor time management skills. I am literally awesome at my job, and I truly believe she is jealous and intimidated by me. Right before she became manager 3 years ago, I was taken to lunch by our acting manager and told that “L” was not going anywhere and I had to get along with her or else. I honestly feel the director does not know I was threatened. She really likes me but I think she has a loyalty to both of those managers. Two years ago she hired a new supervisor who has saved my sanity, but the crap continues – only now I have someone to validate how I’ve been feeling. (as well as another supervisor in another department she manages.) My supervisor T tells me she’s ready to quit on any given day.
People all over my building know to call me for help because L doesn’t have a clue, though she likes to pretend she does. She had never actually done the work for our company so she is always spouting stuff which I then have to correct. Almost two years ago, I was written up for not defending the management team – I made the mistake of mentioning how I was doing my work, some of L’s work and some of T’s work, and someone overheard this and reported it to the director (yes, lesson learned, even if it’s the truth!) T and I get along well. We run the department working together but L constantly tries to micromanage!
We tried to fix some of the issues in the department but because L allows people to come sit for hours and complain, then believes what they say, it undermines what we do. We have several known liars (and embellishing is still lying) and now at least two have gone to her with lies about me. They skipped over T because they know she won’t listen to their BS. We had made a policy that if anyone complained they had to have a solution, or if it was directed at someone else, all parties needed to meet. T does this and it had cut down on it, but now they’ve turned on us both. Said I have been on Facebook instead of working and that I stand around for hours talking! I was more angry that L believed them without question than anything! WTH! And L made T tell me a month later. Of course I argued back and she didn’t have answers so I finally asked to meet with them tomorrow to get it all out. I am under no illusions as L talks out both sides of her face. She’ll try to placate me, I’m sure. Most likely because she pulled productivity and I ranked 2nd out of 19 employees, without including the 20%+ time I spend on my lead duties! Take that!! If I was wasting so much time, how could I get my work done? I’m sure she’ll have a “but” and I’m ready for her.
My husband cheated on me over two years ago and I found out at work. I went to L and explained what had happened and why I had been on the Sprint site at work which was how the calls ex was making were discovered. She was totally fine and actually appears to be a nice person and helped me thru. Well, A went and told lies about the whole thing to people in the department. A and L as we as several others have low self esteem – I see it and work around it, but I had told L I was going to talk to A and tell her she should not spread rumors, and L okayed it. A admitted she has a problem but still continues to do this. I wrote her off as a friend but still treat her in a respectful professional manner. A told T she wants her to make people be friends with A! T told her know so now she’s claiming we have a hostile environment she can’t work in. She also has only one “friend” left who also is a documented liar. I believe the two of them concocted the lies and L believed because she really is jealous of me.
A went to L after failing to get a job in another dept. L sent her to HR but said I am the common denominator thru those few complaints. Now I get what mobbing is! T wouldn’t listen to the crap – when she tells the complainer let’s all get together they back off saying they don’t like confrontation or to be retaliated against! Really? I could lose my job over that and I am a single mother! I would do nothing to jeopardize my job! HR told T that they wanted to talk to all individuals involved but I want them to talk to everyone. I don’t complain and neither do most people though there are many days we are fed up. Squeaky wheel gets the grease?!
Because of L’s mistrust she wanted me to move my hours back to first from a third/first swing shift. Like I am four years old and need monitored? I fought it up to the director and T backed me up (L was off most of December) – and we showed how it would negatively impact the department. The director said if it’s not broke don’t fix it so I am allowed to keep the hours for now. Funny thing, when we lost a third shift tech, no one else stepped up to help or even have a solution and I proposed this. It ends up working well for me, too. Amazing how two allegations that can easily be PROVEN – security tapes can be viewed to see if we’re standing around and history canbe pulled from my computer – are believed. What happened to backing up the management team? Does L get written up now? I have to speak with employees sometimes about confidential stuff so if people see me talking they need to mind their own business! I expect L to back me up on that but now I know she doesn’t trust me. Can’t wait to see how tomorrow goes!
The director doesn’t even want L as the manager but there’s nothing to do. I think I make more hourly than the manager (we had different pay scales when the company bought the one I worked for) so that pisses her off too I know no one is indispensable but my department will suffer greatly if I leave.
Terri, January 15, 2012
It helps to know that I’m not alone in suffering the pain of workplace bullying, but that doesn’t help with how to STOP it! I’ve been to Personnel many times! They’ve asked me, “Do you think he is bipolar?” “Do you think he’s having a nervous breakdown?” No, but I’m about to! I am being forced to retire early because I can no longer stand the physical and emotional pain. He has made it abundantly clear he doesn’t want me around and reminds me of it on a daily basis. My co-workers have reported how badly he treats me, but nothing changes. It’s not right.
Anonymous, January 8, 2012
DC – my bully boss was ex-military who abused his bullish power in a clever, and covert manner. He was very plausable and charming when i first met him, a wonderful disgise to all who first met him. Then i got to know him, and for the two-faced aggressive, evil fraudster that he was. He would shout at start, make them feel intimidated. He was very clever, most bullies are, yet got defensive when he felt under attack. I managed to save myself from the torture by telling him how his behaviour (on my last working day there) had affected me, and i did this in front of our finance director. Oh and by the way, for the record, be very careful of HR, especially where bully managers are concerned. HR are most interested in the organsation and not you the employee. I am now in a job where i am much happier, and even a wiff of bullying i stand up to and nip it in the bud! Bullying changes you, it changed me, and i must say everyone has noticed a difference in me. I know how to stand up for myself now, you must take personal control, and do not rely on anyone (like HR) for real support. I wish all of you who have been bullied, strength and dignity, and love and support from good friends and other people who have had this misforune of such a terrible expereince. I also believe that life presents itself with these challanges to make us stronger and mentally healthier. Bullies will never get away it, trust me, life has it’s own way of getting back at nasty, ugly people
Anonymous, December 1, 2011
Horizontal violence is so devastating. I was severely bullied, harassed, and targeted for over a year by my superiors.
I reported serious issues of fraud and client abuse to state oversight agencies, and when this was discovered by management, my life was made a living hell. The oversight agencies did not fully investigate, even though vulnerable citizens were neglected, abused, and died, and there were multiple witnesses and documentation to corroborate my claims.
My superiors systematically lied about me to my co-workers, and then solicited letters from these workers describing what a terrible person I was. I felt so betrayed. Many of these co-workers who wrote libelous letters had no problem with my acting as their advocate to secure salary upgrades, and while I was sticking my neck out for them, they were stabbing me in the back.
I sought legal recourse as my exemplary 30 year career was destroyed, and I was placed on administrative leave for bogus charges. My nightmare only grew worse as I was denied witnesses at hearings, and never allowed to present my case. I hired unethical attorneys who took thousands of dollars from me, and then sold me out. I was terminated by a department head who lied extensively when she testified against me, and who participated in fraud, medical record tampering, and gross misconduct.
My last hope for justice was a federal civil rights claim. The judge sat on the case for four years. Witnesses never were deposed, and when I filed a grievance against my attorney due to his misconduct, the judge (whom my attorney claimed was a friend) was verbally abusive towards me. I never could have imagined how immoral and corrupt our legal system is.
My only hope for justice is to expose the lies and extensive workplace bullying via the media. Maybe, maybe, these bullies will not be allowed to strike again.
Lindy Bellamy, November 7, 2011
I can relate to many of these comments; isecurity and jealousy; our bully likes like a Stepford Wife with a plastic face and everything perfect but she runs around behind everyone’s back and undermines and defames everything they do; always comments that the place would never run without her. Decided to really pick on me about 18 months ago; had a couple of good rounds; she was outright caught lying but pulled an Elizabeth Taylor” acting scene worth an academy award, in tears, actually claimed dimensia and got sent home til she felt better. I didn’t even get an apology, not even from the boss who I told him it was his job not mine to control her. The staff morale is horrendous and he asks about it but has his head so far up – – – – – – – you know whose behind; yeah the inappropriate relationship so that he has lot his management abilities and perspectives; so many indicidents; I go on holidays and another comes up and I come home to being fired without cause after 10 years and being #1 in my position. Anger, betrayment, abuse, bullying – all of it; I am taking them all to supreme court. And I am writing a book on all the feelings, the devasation it does; have a writing and teaching background – and then I am fighting for the laws to be changed and educating the world if it is the last thing I do. I don’t know if it is allowed but if anyone wants to share their story with me; I will be writing and then do a documentary…
Judy, October 31, 2011
It is so apparent that the bullies are always the incompetent people in the department, who are in a supervisory roll and have a relationship with the boss/HR. I especially feel for workplace warrior, because similar incidents happened to me before I was bullied out of my job by an incompetent supervisor and department heard. The supervisor would say and do things that were not proper and then blame me for it. She even said that the Department Head did not like women in his department and when confronted by another employee, she said “Judy said it”. This supervisor yelled in the face of other employees and myself, making lying accusations and was always out of control. She would take emails I have written and spin them in a different way to the Department Head. He seemed to listen to everything she said. This would lead me to believe he was as incompetent as her or they had a relationship. Both of these individuals slandered me to other employees and clients, who advised me that this was happening.
Workplace Warrior, October 30, 2011
I was bullied/mobbed for 18 months by a new supervisor and her staff 1/2 of which had been my trainees for 2 years and unbeknownced to me where/are close friends of the supervisor. I was the lead in a highly technical position for a decade and I had worked in that program for 22 years. The new people including the supervisor had vertylittle to no knowledge or experience in the work at hand. They set out on a course to denegrate all 22 tears of work I had accomplished. Everthing I did was wrong, everything that I ever did was wrong. Staff with 7 months of experience were writing work standards and I was excluded ;when I took exception to the documents I was forced to work 9 hours overtime as punishment. I was excluded from Every meeting except staff meetings, wgere I was either ignored or yelled at. I was written up for every trumped up excuse they could think of. I was ostracised, humiliated, shunned! I was told to retire because I was old, that I could not change, (age discrmination) as I was the oldest woman in the office. My reputation was severly damaged, they planted horrid notes in my work area then “found” them and accused me of all sorts of bad acts. I was held responsible for mitakes that were not my responsibility, and the responsible parties were never disciplined. I had people yelling at me all the time, actually in my face. I told my HR dept, I told the chief, I told the director, I told the administrator. Nothing was done. After 21 years of exceptional evaluations I was downgraded to less and zero. I asked for a transfer and was willing to take a demotion to get away from the abuse. Instead she was allowed to trump up more charges and I was demoted then allowed to transfer.
For the last year and 1/2 they still have been slandering me. Now 1 1/2 years later she had 22 charges against her including extortion and all she had to do was say I will sue you for racial discrimination and nothing happened to her! Then 1/4 of her staff was tranfered into my new work area and the bullying is starting all over again! I am about 5 years from retirement and I am not sure I can tough it out!
Anonymous, October 29, 2011
never thought that what I endured as a child, I would also endure as an adult. Bullying in the workplace is so demoralizing and invalidating. I have been the victim of workplace violence for over 8 years for reporting behaviors that were unethical and hurtful. I am a female and the bully is also a female who is a little older than I am and has an administrative position. Not everyone was meant to be a supervisor but it does not matter because workplace violence is a culture that is promoted in CT and if one decides to set onself apart from that corrupt culture the person becomes the problem is targetted and the bully and her supportive team will stop at nothing to discredit, defame and humiliate their target by mobbing and threatening.
I have not worked in a couple of months. I had to take a break because I became so depressed and anxious that I just could not deal with the constant attacks. I became ill and you want to know what the sad part is?
I work for an agency that is funded by the government to provide services to the chronically mentally ill. I wish god would grant me one wish. I wish all the workplace bullies in the world could get a tatse of their own practices. These bullies are cowards who intentionally hurt others and what has been done to me is sickening but as I have read and heard others tell their stories it appears to be a major problem that we need to speak up about on a consistent basis.
findI have been told to my face while my boss laughed at me before taking a leave “I’m ok if you…
Anonymous, October 29, 2011
my supervisor is a contemptous person. I have never said anything nor did anything that would warrent termination. Yet I have been threatened with repeatedly. So finally I turned on her called her out spelled out how I was tired of her passing the buck and perhaps she should be a leader or at least read a book on the subject. I stood up for my family. Now she really does lack inteligence and her supervisor is a no good non-thinking bully which is an issue she is dealing with….
Sherry, August 6, 2011
I was a victim of lateral violence in the workplace for the past 7 months before they decided to let me go. I worked for a major health insurance company & was subcontracted with another company. Some people from the subcontractor made up lies about me that were totally untrue, yet my so called leadership believed them & used it against me in a CAP (corrective action plan). I have been in health care for the past 35 years & never in my life have experienced anything like this! The company mentality is to just be a ‘good little Nazi’, in my opinion. My immediate supervisor was very condescending to me & treated me like I was a complete idiot, when in fact, I believe she was the idiot as she had no clue what the line of business she was managing was about. She always had to ask her ‘helpline’, before she could answer a question, which she could never do alone. I truly believe they wanted me out because I was well paid & they could replace me with someone who they can pay much less. I am considering a lawsuit but realize cases such as mine are difficult to prove.
Jennifer, July 4, 2011
Almost all jobs suck…it is better to have your own home based business!
Gayle, July 4, 2011
I began a new director position in higher education over a year ago. Bullying from my direct reports and supervisor began within the first three months. Eventually, my staff “mobbed” me and were supported by my boss (an officer), and HRD. I came to the work with all good intentions, my whole heart, and committed to collaborative management (which has worked well for me in the past). I entered an extremely toxic environment. Even peers and faculty were reportedly encouraged by my boss to harass me and to embellish the truth, so that I appeared to always be in the wrong or harming a project or person. People told bold lies about me and my boss believed them. His response to me “you are new, I can’t trust you, I have to trust people with a work history here”. The whole higher ed scene is often toxic, but this went beyond the pale, I was constantly ill and on several occasions could hardly breathe, My secretary attacked me publicly, after privately assuring me she was on my side, Shortly after this she began to attack me privately and deny it when confronted. I was denied union representation by HRD officer and my supervisor in meetings with my staff members and their union reps. I told them they should be ashamed of themselves. One staff member (who retired sixmonths into my employment) repeatedly stared at my bosom when I spoke with her. A faculty member told me my breasts were too big and asked what kind of bra I wore. When I told her, she said I was doing the best I could. She told me I should lose weight and wear the uniform of black or gray suits. She told me ( I am a cancer survivor) to “do something a bout my hair” (it was only just growing back) and that male faculty made “ugly comments” about y breasts —b ut not who or what they said. This became a pattern at the institution, from my supervisor to HR, I was frequently told people “complained” about me for one unfounded reason or another, but was never given any details. My supervisor implied that I lied on my resume because I referred to subordinates as part of my team, rather than “subordinates.” (My philosophy has always been to work as a team, and I always talked about my staff “working with” rather than “for” me (which to me always sounded officious anyway.) In the interviews my team approach was praised, in practice, it was attacked. After working hard to deal with staff complacency, My secretary told me I did not deserve the job and she planned to get me fired. She was supported by management and HR. The management at this institution is a total joke. I later learned she has pulled crap on other people when she did not get her way. This institution would rather spend money protecting status quo than making any authentic progress/growth. The position and my supervisor’s management was all a sham, It is particularly hard because I loved the work itself and had a real affection for my team. Ultimately, the culture of isolated “silos” prevailed and my efforts at collaboration were trashed. Someday when I sort it out it will make a darned good article. Hanging on to confidence and self esteem, as well as my faith, in the midst of all this harassment and ultimate mobbing by subordinates and supervisor, was draining and impacted my energy, immune system, spiritual health and even worse, the stress just kept on and on, there was no way to recover from the stress — accusations would come at me out of left field several times a week and I never could understand it or figure out why/where /what happened. It felt sort of like the movie “Gaslight” (which no one at that place knew about which should tell you something – - they don’t even have a broad understanding of popular culture – they are really truly isolated and seem to like it that way) All I did on the weekends was sleep to try to recover from the week. Sunday nights I never slept. The result is they decided to non renew me, however an attorney says I have an excellent case for discrimination based on age, disability, sexual harassment (the problem of my breasts) – - but I don’t want to spend my time working on the negative. I want to be constructive and work towards a new position -someplace where my skills and collaborative, egalitarian management style and creative/critical thinking, non profit and for profit and fundraising successes, background and knowledge, will be useful and help an organization move forward. I also just LOVE to work. (which reportedly was also a problem) Keeping my head in the midst of this has taken lots of prayer and really challenged my faith practice. Keeping a St Michael prayer card handy and a rosary in my pocket helped. I had to pray almost constantly. It still hurts, but will be over soon. Then I will have to decide which way to go – “turn the other cheek” and move forward, and let go of the whole thing, or, alternatively, pursue legal avenues for justice. As a cancer survivor, I just feel life is too short to spend on “non-constructive” activities and to some degree, I believe being litigious can potentially generate bad karma. Cast your bread upon the waters and it will return to you” as the wisdom goes – - so I still want to do good things and help make an organization healthy and successful. I have a lot to contribute!! All of this probably started from people being fearful – and fighting people’s unfounded fears can really be a waste of time. I prefer to use my time well moving forward. In the future I will look closely at an organization and insist on interviewing my own team befre accepting a position.
“Been There,” July 3, 2011
The bottom line is (Learned from Many years experience at toxic workplaces).
1. If they are out to get you, and gang up on you, you don’t have a prayer.
2. Try to get out while you can….in this economy, that is usually impossible.
3. NO MATTER WHAT, DON”T QUIT…..They will make things BEYOND hellish, to make you quit, so they don’t have to pay Unemployment, but DON”T DO IT< TOUGH IT OUT!
Think of the money you’ll leave behind! Make them FIRE YOU! They probably will come up with a lame excuse like staff reduction….good, all the better. TOUGH IT OUT, you’ll be glad you listened to me!
Joyce, July 2, 2011
1) From the time I started, I asked her if 2 times a week should could come in before 9:15 so we could discuss business. She has refused. I am here at 7:40 everyday and thought that discussing business would be best done before hours rather than in between patients.
2) She arrives, and leaves and never acknowledges me. No “hello”, no “good bye” – nothing.
3) She refuses to address me by name, usually referring to me as “that one”.
4) She has others relay messages to me rather than speaking to me directly and when she DOES speak to me directly she is hostile, beligerant, demanding, and accusatory.
5) Whether it is my fault or not, she blames me, even to the point of lying.
6) She accuses me of harassing employees despite the fact that there is staff who vehemently deny that ever occurred.
7) She has made it virtually impossible for me to manage the staff/office as her level of micro-management has gotten out of hand. I am pretty much prevented from doing anything that would improve the business as a whole. I am not allowed to expect the biller to do anything more than simple data entry. When I ask her to do A/R follow up and give her projects to clean up the A/R, the biller runs to Doc and says I am harassing her even though other employees have said that isn’t true. The other clerical staff wonder on a daily basis, what the biller is doing with her time as everyone else seems to be doing her job.
9) Drug reps have said that they will cut down their visits to the office because she is so toxic, and the environment is so awful in here.
10) One drug rep described her as “despicable”, saying she is as bad as they come.
11) She has complained openly and loudly in front of patients that they had no business coming in without an appointment and expecting to be seen. (no tact). Shemakes patients feel awful for having an emergency and needing to come in.
12) When the cable TV had an issue with not receiving FOX NEWS (the only channel she will permit to be on), we put on another channel with entertaining content. She turned off the TV, rather than let the patients watch something other than FOX NEWS, then claimed that Obama did it because it was Glenn beck’s last show. One patient wanted to watch the Phillies game but she turned the TV off rather than make the patient happy.
13) She insists on imparting her political and religious views on people. She is extremely vocal on her hatred of Obama and anything Democrat and also has said that we all need to go to church more. She specifically told me that the current problems I am having with my children would be resolved if I would just go to church with her.
14) She spends her time in with M, talking trash about everyone and then criticizes the staff when the patient flow is not moving as smoothly as it should.
15) She criticizes the staff because no one wants to eat lunch in the kitchen with her. Staff have taken to sitting in their cars because they can’t stand listening to her badmouth everyone at lunch, and when some of us ate in another office one day, she sent out a memo saying that people could not eat anywhere BUT the kitchen (forcing us to sit with her and listen to her and her negativity).
16) K, the biller has been given numerous projects to improve cash flow and has consistently made the excuse that she does not have time. She then runs to doc and says I am harassing her which all the other staff deny. So doc has decided that instead of speaking to ME about this (the administrator), she speaks to Kristin’s PEERS which is extremely unprofessional.
17) She never commends anyone on their hard work. All she does is talk “shit” about everyone to anyone who will listen. She talks about everyone to everyone – very unprofessional.
18) She DAILY undermines my efforts to improve the flow/income/productivity of the office contradicting everything I am trying to do:
a. Protecting the biller when I am trying to get her to collect the money owed to the offices
b. Disapproving of the revised schedule which would reduce/eliminate patient backlog and improve the front desk in their scheduling of patients.
c. Shifting around some duties and responsibilities off of the biller so that she can concentrate on billing/A/R as her usual excuse for not working the A/R is because she says she has no time.
19) One of the first things she asked me to handle was employee lateness as many employees (including the biller) show up 10-15 minutes late everyday. When I commented on this CONTINUED lateness I was accused of harassing her. MRB chose not to support me when I was trying to do what SHE asked me to do. Staff continue to show up late however I no longer say anything because if I do comment that they need to show up on time, I will be accused of harassing them. The staff who can manage to come in on time really resent this as they (and I) feel everyone should show up and be ready to work by 8:30 or their scheduled start time.
20) She refuses to support my decisions, even the smallest ones, being combative and undermining me on a daily basis. She is extremely unprofessional/immature.
21) Every day she exhibits anger/hostility/vendictiveness/childishness towards pretty much everyone.
22) She refuses to do more than 8-10 cases a day and when 10 cases are scheduled, she finds a way to cancel one because she cannot handle anymore.
23) When I first arrived, I sat down with all the staff individually and spoke to them about myself/my management style and also got to know them. Almost everyone had a horror story about MRB and how she has treated them, how abusive she is to them, and how horrible she has made their lives. No employee should ever have to come to work and be harasses/ignored/ or treated with anything but respect and dignity. There are also lots of incidents in the employees charts documenting her reprehensible behavior towards them.
24) She NEVER accepts responsibility for her bad behavior. It is ALWAYS everyone else!!!! She never sees what HER actions do to people. There is a REASON why K finally had enough and left. There is a REASON why 3 PACU nurses quit in one day. There is a REASON why there is no DON anymore in this office. She makes people’s lives so miserable until they have no choice but to quit.
25) L, C, doc and I all attended a wedding for A (one of our staff). There was also a former employee (J) there. L, J and I all sat together for the ceremony and then hung together for cocktail hour. Doc came over and criticized what everyone was wearing. I had on Capri pants and a dress top with sandals. After dinner jeanette’s husband came over and asked me to dance. When he walked me back to the table she and Carol abruptly left. On Monday she went in to m’s office and said she HAD to leave once J and I started tickling each other and how “people” wore shorts and flip flops to the wedding. She then related the “tickling” thing to L who said “WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?” THAT NEVER HAPPENED!!!! M and L told me and then I asked her why she would be spreading those lies about me? I asked her what she was talking about and was expecting an answer but she abruptly changed the subject and made a comment about J being my new BFF. I told her that was not the case at all. Since J is a FORMER employee who QUIT because of Doc’s behavior, Doc was very unhappy that we were all together and having a good time. Her jealousy and childish behavior is completely unacceptable!!!!!! From that point on, she has refused to speak to me. I do not appreciate anyone making up lies about me. She lies about everyone, causing trouble wherever she goes.
26) I would venture to say that EVERY employee who ever quit from here did so quite justifiably and because of her continued and extreme harassment and unprofessional behavior. She will make someone’s life so miserable that they have no choice but to quit because she refuses to pay unemployment.
27) Staff who were here when K was here now say that Doc treats me just like she treated K. I actually emailed K and asked her how she lasted so long and her response was “did you see the wet bar”?
28) I make a point of treating people the way I want to be treated and so for now I have “taken” her abuse but I don’t know how much longer that will be the case. I hate seeing her treat my staff badly and they hate being victimized by her on a daily basis. I have done nothing to deserve this.
29) Instead of speaking to me, she leaves notes on my desk. She is completely unapproachable and hostile.
30) Her family wants nothing to do with her. She has no friends except the priest next door and if he knew how she treated us all, I venture to say he would not be friends with her either. She goes to church every Sunday but is probably the worst Catholic I have ever met. She spews venom EVERYDAY!!!!
31) She would rather me call the Delaware County Daily Times and complain when she doesn’t get her newspaper than to do my job. She barks orders at me and makes me feel like it’s my fault that the paper didn’t come.
Diane Whitaker Update – June 27, 2011
I need to leave an update. I am going through workplace bullying at my new position, as a ICU nurse, and a local Veterans Hospital. Gossiping behind my back, clamping my piggyback medications, and unpluggng my tube feeding, totally ignoring my questions, and acusing me of doing taks wrong, when I am 100 percent sure, the task were done correctly. I have implemented a double check for myself to be sure the nursing tasks are being done correctly. Yet, my preceptor cleans up a MRSA patients stool,with her bare hands, and dumps MRSA sputum onto the floor from the patients T-piece. My bully is my preceptor, with 30 years experience at the same facility. When does the mistreatment ever stop?I asked to be put into a housekeeping position instead of an RN position, and was outright denied. I just want to do my job, and take care of my veterans.
Diane Whitaker June, 12, 2011
I am a critical care nurse of tweleve years. Since 1999, I have been slapped, called derogatory names, tormented, controlled by my co-workers and my supervisors. I came home after being told I had breast cancer, which was a misdiagnosis. I needed, and wanted to be closer to my family. I was hired at [redacted], In Utica, New York as an open heart nurse. It was my dream come true, after working so hard to be a critical care nurse. My preceptor, kept putting her stomach up against my left leg, even after moving away, she continued to physically violate me. She would use fear tactics, about the cardiac surgeon, Dr. [redacted], and use the silent treatment,and not answer my questions, Which is extremely dangerous in an open heart critical care unit. I would not recieve help to turn or move my patients. She would tell family members lies about my skills.I was told by my co-workers at night, that my night time precptor had treated prior new employees very badly. Her manager knew, that I was being mstreated, and changed me to another preceptor, whom called me a F___ing Ho, after asking what unfractioned heparin meant. My night preceptor would not sign off my skills so, I could get off orientation, another controlling issue she used against me. I resigned immediately, and have been fighting with New York State to receive my unemployment benefits,for eight months now, still denied to this day. I contacted the Legal Aid society in Syracuse, and Utica, and was told they did not have the funding to help me.I unerwent a cardiac catherization from the stress of working with my night time preceptor, which turned out to be coronary artery spasms. I sat at the bottom of my dads’ driveway, and had to decide to pull out in front of a blue gasoline tanker, instead of going to work with my controlling, intimidating, physically abusive nigth time precpetor. I decide at that poitn, that no weasle, snake, or evil person is worth taking my own life. Recently; I was in a homeless shelter, until I could start my new job in Buffalo, a four hour drive from my family.
I have suffered psychologically, financially, physically, and am still struggling with fear, of going through the same work place bullying at my new job.
I am a Unted States Air Force Veteran/Paramedic/Registered Nurse.
I am truly sorry to the faimily of Jodie Zebell, and Kevin Morrisey, and the family members of the employees who took their lives, due to mean nasty, controlling jealous bosses, and co-workers.
We need to work together, to get the Healthy Workplace Bill passed in 21 states. Please write to your assembly person, senators, governor, and our president to get the Healthy Workpace Bill passed. Check out the Workplace Bullying Instittue.
“I Hate Bullies” June 6, 2011
Every story is similiar. it is sad that it seems to be getting to be more and more.
bullies should be made to pay something to the targets who loss their jobs, dignity, for damages they caused, etc etc, they should be punished big time……..I hate bullies, big or small…..did they do this in school when they were school age? were they born this way? if i recall, one of my bullies at work, was in face a miss know it all in school, not very pretty, but sure bullied others in school, and still doing that today……..man she even bullied her mother…….
I hate bullies
Judy April 26, 2011
It is interesting how most of the stories have a common vein that the people bullied were very good in their work. Bullies will only pick on a strong employee with good work skills, because weaker employees have either succumbed to them already, and are coerced into doing the dirty work of the bullies to keep their jobs – thus mobbing occurs. A work team is only a good as the weakest link, and if the manager or the department head is the weakest link, then you should look for a better company for a career.
I worked as a System Implementor and Trainer and was bullied/harassed for almost 8 months before I was forced out of my job by a new female manager. I also experienced mobbing in the area I worked in. My demise started when the manager spread lies about me to the work team and department head. Both her and the department head discredited me to other employees, within the company, new department staff, as well as to clients before and after I was terminated. I was aware that both held a meeting with a junior staff member and tried to coerce her to admit to negative things that I supposedly said and done (events the manager made up). She was a confident young woman and didn’t buy into their tactics and she was picked on as well until she left. A client also advised me of the undermining going on behind my back.
Because the bullies were poor managers, I was blamed for everything that went wrong in the department for instance, an anti-bullying memo was put up in the coffee room while I was on holidays. The department head accused me of doing it, when I came back to the office (I was out of the province). For managers to have so much time to play these games and ignore the real work (ie. client wasn’t invoiced for almost 18 months and wouldn’t have been if I didn’t do it – the accountability for invoicing clients was a not done.
I was very good in my profession which involved a lot of travel and working independently with clients which was why the management could derail my efforts because no one really gets to know everyone very well. I received many thank you letters and small token gifts from other employees and clients for my support to them. It appears that bullies, whether they are a co-worker, manager or department head, are insecure individuals, most often incompetent in their role and then combine this with mental issues.
renna2 April 25, 2011
I have learned that you have to investigate potential employers just like they do job applicants. I know that the motivation for any company is profit as it should be but, when that profit disregards the health and well being of employees you are in a dangerous place. Companies stress that safety is first and when an accident happens it is always the victims fault, regardless of where or how it happened it is your fault. It’s the same with workplace bullying by complaining you draw attention to a major problem no one wants to address therefore the victim is left to fend for themselves. Bullying is a no win situation the victim loses money, health, respect, dignity, job, sanity and sometimes their lives and some people have the nerve to say we dont need another law.
Mrfaisel34, April 22, 2011
I know of a nurse manager who was under so much covert aggression, due to workplace bullying, that she had a stroke in her mid 50s. At first, this nurse manager had lost weight and appeared to be doing well but the workplace bullying in the form of covert aggression proved too much for her. She gained all the weight back and suffered constant ailments until an early stroke disabled her. Indirect workplace bullying aka covert aggression has claimed yet another victim under the guise of natural causes.
Workplace bullying and covert aggression can take a physical, as well as mental, toll on people.
Medical Assistant, March 9, 2011
Lisa – sorry you went through that and everyone else on this website too. I was just forced out of a job I had held for 7 months. I am very pleasant and easy to get along with, extremely competent, hardworking etc. I never realized why I was bullied all the time but as you said bullies do not like these traits because we are everything they are not. They are threatened and generally they suffer from the narcissistic personality disorder. I encourage you and others to read up on this disorder if you haven’t already come across it. Also, if anyone is a Christian on this site, Jezebel spirit is another one to research. Do not blame yourselves, I have the habit of doing this, even though I know it is not me. There is nothing much we can do unfortunately because these people are master manipulators and they pull Person A, B, C etc. in and form a triangle of people and they are so good at convincing people. I do not have a mean bone in me and this doctor I worked for managed to convince everyone I was no good. She was nasty to me and treated everyone around her nicely. I cannot think of a single thing I did to her except be nice, even gave her candy with the files sometimes. Absolutely nothing worked. I finally talked to management about an issue which was truly over the top and management spoke to her and evidently she told her that I treated the patients bad and made all these mistakes. I am sick over this because I was an absolute gem on this job and treated everyone with respect, helped people etc. I do not want to sound like I am boasting or anything, I could only do this with Christ’s strength, otherwise I would be nothing. Any way,she convinced management and they let me go. I am now unemployed.
So hang in there everybody. We are better off out of these situations because it will only make a person miserable and sick. I believe we will be rewarded some day for our good works.
Wanderer, January 22, 2011
I am not going back to work on Monday, because I can no longer deal with being bullied and abused at work.
I have been employed with this company for a year and two months, and all that time I have been harassed, verbally and emotionally assaulted, and threatened with my job by my boss. The boss is actually married to the man who owns the company, which apparently gives this person the right to treat me like I’m less than old gum under a desk.
The Boss has rarely if ever had a kind word to say about my performance. I should have realized the trouble I was going to be in when I started on my first day working in shipping, taping up boxes for orders, and The Boss stood over my shoulder the whole time, complaining that I wasn’t taping the boxes up right. Then The Boss moved on to how I didn’t pick orders in a correct manner. When I was brought to a different section of the company to work with customers, the complaints ranged from talking too much with the customers, to typing to slowly when typing orders, to picking too many of one item to be shipped (even though all orders are checked before they are shipped out, to not leaving enough extra on the end of a fabric order (which recently became too much), to asking too many questions (and then being told that I was assuming that I knew everything). The list goes on and on.
I cried a lot. I knew I was a good person, and I knew I could be good at my job if I could only get The Boss to trust me just a little… but no. Never. No matter what I did or how well I did it, there was no “getting it right”. My job was held over my head almost every day for another reason, usually small trivial things, and if The Boss wasn’t threatening to fire me because I got something wrong, The Boss was threatening to fire me because I couldn’t be trusted to do anything. Oh, and the constant belittling in front of customers was the icing on the cake.
I started off with a pretty hefty job description, but then it was limited to just a handful of duties. Then The Boss complained that I wasn’t doing enough around the store and I had to “start doing your job as you were hired for it” or face being let go. Then, I made a mistake and my job was limited again, with the same reminder that “the last person who did this got fired.”
Today was the last straw. An innocent comment from a customer got me hauled in the office and threatened with termination again. The Boss even said “I’ve heard from various customers that you don’t like me, and if you don’t then you’re stupid to stay here.”
She then named the customers both of whom had actually gone to The Boss to complain of the treatment of myself as an employee based on what they’d seen. The Boss took that to mean that I had complained to them about how The Boss treated me, and wanted to use that and the conversation from earlier as a reason to fire me.
I took a deep breath, worked the rest of the day, and will NOT be returning on Monday morning. The Boss is bad for my mental health, and when I send in my resignation notice (effective immediately due to health issues), it will include the line:
“I don’t need to talk about you to anyone. Your track record speaks for itself.”
Concerned Mom, January 19, 2011
My daughter has been going through hell the past 13 months. She works with a clique of women who are doing everything they can to make her life as miserable as possible. She has been written up and is on the verge of being written up again. Unfortunately upper management has done nothing but make matters worse. The women accuse her of ignoring or not being sociable with the other ladies in the department. Yet they are the ones that whisper and gossip, ignore her, make false accusations that they then take to upper management without discussing with the department supervisor. She has been written up and told that if things do not change she will lose her position. She thought everything had blown over when she was called to the management office again and told that apparently her behavior had not changed and that the women were complaining again. When she said they were lying the response she got was “They said you would say that or that they have a conspiracy against you.” At this point she knew it was hopeless and left the room in tears. As her mother I am galled that this type of cruelty is allowed to go on. The ringleader of this clique is someone who has a very questionable personal life and yet is allowed to be the character barometer for my daughter. I get the sense from what she tells me that one or two ladies know its wrong but are perhaps afraid to speak up in fear of losing their jobs. This is a small town where people look out for themselves and eachother. We are outsiders. My daughter is now dealing with anxiety, depression, stomach issues etc. She has had to take off because it is so upsetting that she has severe stomach pains or wakes up with her eyes swollen from all the crying. She does not want to give them the satisfaction of quitting or seeing how upsetting it actually is for her. I agree with her and yet I feel that no job is worth all this suffering. That being said the thought of a group of women making life so miserable that their sole purpose is to break my daughter,force her to lose her means of supporting herself, lose her health benefits, galls me. Amazingly this is happening in a health care setting. Something needs to be done so that victims of this abuse can have a voice that will be heard. Noone deserves 8 hours of misery every day. Shame on the bullies. There should be a consequence for making an accusation without merit or they should be vigilantly observed as well. But to anyone who allows a coworker to go through this and not speak up is more shameful. I hope my daughter gets through this and for all of you in similar situations I wish you courage and strength as well!
“caroli”, December 29, 2010
I was bullied and secually harassed for 9 months. I finally quit. I feel very sorry for all the people being bullied. Please look for help! Or another job. No job is worth your mental health.
“ER Nurse”, October 31, 2010
I have chills down my spine reading everything on this site. This is way too close to home for me. I was bullied almost to the point of suicide like Jodie’s story. Gosh, not only was I bullied but I was discrimated against and had co-workers gossiping about me and spreading rumors around the department. I tried to defend myself, but nobody believed me. In the end, they let me go!! I couldn’t believe the whole experience. People can be so mean, especially fellow nurses. Now I feel like I have PTSD and have tremendous fear of ever working again….
So relieved to see this website!!
@ER Nurse – I’m so glad the site has helped bring you comfort. Anyone going through this type of experience needs to reach out for individual counseling in gathering inner strength, reclaiming your health and moving on. Warm thoughts and wishes to you. – Bev
“Good Girl”, October 8, 2010
The same thing happened to me. I was bullied by my boss for about 8 months, but then others joined in and it became a workplace mobbing that I endured 6 more months before I finally quit. I was so upset when I got home everyday, and I usually google to do problem solving. I was blamed for something that another employee did, and the rest joined in on it. I googled “Salem Witch Trials” because that’s how I felt like they were treating me. I ran across the word “mobbing” so I googled it. That’s when I ran across “Workplace mobbing”. It was like reading about myself. Everything that I had gone through the past year, was all over the internet. I quit taking it personal, realizing it was insecure people’s way of office strategy. It was too late though, because I had already developed PTSD.
I kept a journal everyday, thought about trying to sue them. I decided maybe to compile it and write a book instead.
LG, September 19, 2010
Four years ago, I was “all but dissertation” in clinical psychology, on my way to a PhD and a career in research. Then I was hired as a research assistant by a professor who, unbeknownst to me at the time, was a serial workplace bully. After having my first dissertation topic fall through due to an inability to find enough of the right subjects, I thought I was lucky to have my employer offer her set of data for me to use to complete a dissertation and my PhD degree.
I was not a target at the time; someone else was, and warned me about her. I didn’t believe them. After all, at the time, she treated me well.
Then the target was fired. And shortly thereafter, my boss began a campaign of harassment that included every type of humiliation and subterfuge you can imagine. In addition, I was also pressured to twist the truth in a scientific paper (which I refused to do).
I was stunned. I had never seen anything like this before. When my boss finally resorted to overt sabotage (as all my work passed through her hands, it was easy for her to remove essential documents and blame it on me), and I began to suffer Stress Disorder symptoms, I knew it was time to leave. Her reporting me to Human Resources on overtly trumped up and false charges was the final straw. When they took my report of what she’d done to me, but did nothing about it, I knew she was too important and well protected, and that no one would listen or really believe me. And I was right.
So I left-leaving my dissertation data and ultimately my PhD degree and career behind.
In the end, I was unable to find another job in my city in research, as the university I’d worked at was the only one that regularly hired research assistants in my area, and as soon as other professors there talked to her about me, I couldn’t get a second interview–and I owned a home and was (and am) married, and I couldn’t leave. So my career as a psychologist was dead–no access to research data, and blacklisted at the one university where I was able to work in my region.
Two jobs later (one as a copy editor, one as a secretary)–and, believe it or not, two more encounters with other bullies, who quickly targeted me and forced me out–I have lost my home to foreclosure, my husband and I have been forced to declare bankruptcy, and I’ve developed an autoimmune disorder.
I have learned that being targeted more than once is not uncommon. We targets seem to carry subtle “signs” that shout “Bully her!” or “Bully him!”
Indeed, there ought to be a law. I and my husband have lost everything. Our home is gone, my career is gone, we are bankrupt, and we live in my mother’s house (Thank God for her willingness to allow us that!). I have always been complimented on my ethics, my hardworking attitude, my competence, my pleasant personality, my agreeableness, and my likability. Now I find that all those things attract serial workplace bullies.
My only recourse now is to try to reinvent myself–at the age of 54, mind you–by using my skills in low-paying jobs to give us some type of steady income, while trying to start my own business, so that I’ll never be bullied again.
Three times is enough. There’s nothing left to take away from us, at least. It’s all gone.
But I’ll never stop mourning over my lost career. I loved research, and I loved being a psychologist-in-training. All my hopes, all the years of work on the degree, are all gone.
Oh, by the way–the bullying professor was promoted shortly after I was forced out.
“OT”, August 22, 2010
I have being going through that situation in my job for 6 years, sometimes I have to take a pill to be able to work under that pressure. The only solution I have is to leave the job and my rent control apartment and move with my relatives,losing the job and medical insurance. To prepare for this decision got me depressed already. One feels helpless and angry at the same time.
“OT”, August 21, 2010
I have being going through that situation in my job for 6 years, sometimes I have to take a pill to be able to work under that pressure. The only solution I have is to leave the job and my rent control apartment and move with my relatives,losing the job and medical insurance. To prepare for this decision got me depressed already. One feels helpless and angry at the same time.
“CS”, July 5, 2010
I was fired after 34 years as a nure in a hospital. I was bullied by my manager for about a year. She made false accusations about me,ctitized my every move,twisted my words around,criticized me in front of my co-workers. What I know about “floor” nursing she hasnt had time to learn. Now I have no job, no insurance,cant get a job because the hospital put a complaint againt my nursing lisence that will take 6 to 8 months to take off. My dream of retiring and buying a toyota truck to ride my dogs around in are out the window. If I want a truck now I’ll have to build one!! When I’m in a stronger place[I hope Im not dead then} I will go to the media and give my name.For now Im a citizen Lobbyist for the HEALTHY WORKPLACE BILL in Arizona. I wrote my State Representitive and U.S Senator. I’m now asking people for their help to support this bill. I think we should have a protest march at the state capitals around the U.S.
"Katey", July 5, 2010
#1 How is anything ever going to be done when no company, organization or names can be mentioned, due to a lawsuit. In time it could be found out who the worst culprits are and weed them out. We all need to band together and step up to the plate and fight this bulling. It is almost like alcoholism, cunning, baffling and powerful to the point where it destroys lives. Financially I am ruined and mentally I am torn due to many jobs where bulling and verbal sexual assault were the norm. Lets just say I am a health care worker, where bullying has been the norm for many years. This should not be taken lightly as those bullys also abuse thier patients, but they know how to manipulate and suck hole to the boss. The boss is a part of the process many of the times.
Year ago no one knew of such a thing as bullying in the workplace so one just shutup and putup with the crap. The circumstances have not changed a lot. I was called into the bosses quarters and told that some of the residents and co- workers had allegations that I was leaving residents in a state of neglect. I went straight to the shop steward at my workplace, as without a doubt I knew I had done no such thing. As soon as it was found out that I had done this my boss terminated me that very day only one hour later. I went to the union office in the town where I live and put in a grievence.Each time a meeting was called I had no representative to be there. They all worked in the same department as I did and for fear of losing thier jobs would not represent me. One of them even told me to zip it at all times and say nothing or I would loose my job. This was prior to my forced resignation. Following several meetings with the boss and her accomplices of whom did not even work in the same department, It was basically admitted by the boss that allegations did not exist. I looked her in the face addressed her by her name and asked her straight out WAS THERE EVER ANY ALLEGATIONS???? Her exact words in an exasperated tone were. Hmmmh! I went about this all in the wrong way. Co- workers later came to me and offered me reference for other work. As it turns out this Health Authority where I live covers a huge area and with no money due to lack of a fair living wage at other part time demeaning jobs, I am unable to just pick up my life and move. I have a close relationship with my children and grandchildren and do not feel that following years of prayer to have them all close to me, most of them have migrated to the area where I live.Why should I have to move. I came to this area for my work and I did nothing wrong! That was established. The agreements that myself,my union rep and myself came to were never adhered to from thier side and in fact they have done something to keep me from getting with in the health area. I have been the full circle more than once with the so called powers that be. If the half of what goes on with in these organizations were ever known, many of the chain of command would be out of work. I am financially ruined and mentally distraught. I should be compensated for the unnecessary indignation, financial ruin, emotional trauma etc. THERE OUTA BE A LAW!!!!!! and AN ORGANIZATION TO ENABLE the ordinary Joe to fight such BULLYING. Those involved in the bullying need to made to suffer the same hardships and down right misery they have put upon others with thier LIES, MANIPULATION, RECRUITING OF THE SHEEP ETC…..
"Diane Wilkinson", June 7, 2010
I am reading the personal stories on this website and I am filled with an awful sense of doom – how are we ever going to stop this nightmare that grows and infects with every hour that passes. Our call for criminalisation of workplace abuse/psychological violence falls on obstinately deaf ears (in Australia) letters, pleas, submissions to politicians, at every level, continue to be conpletely ignored. Globally, it is surely a crime against humanity so why is it not regarded with such gravity. I am at my wits end. Why don’t they care??
Rough Acres, May 19, 2010
I wish Connecticut had had SB60 when I worked there… I had a boss who was the most emotionally abusive person – screaming, belittling, bullying – imaginable.
It took me years to recover from that experience, and I had to go out on my own to do so; I couldn’t bear the thought of being subjected to that kind of treatment ever again.
Small Town, May 4, 2010
I am in a small town where everyone in my field knows each other. Everyone knows that my boss lacks leadership skills, and they volunteer this to me without me even asking, when I tell them where I work. “But he is such a nice guy” that he will never be challenged. It is just my boss and me as staff, and its a non profit organization that is supposed to be doing good for the community. However my boss does not like to work and lacks leadership, vision , or concern about what the mission of our organization might actually stand for. In the morning when i walk up to the building i can see him playing Solitaire on his computer through the window. He takes off very early most days ( like at 2 or 3) , or takes extended lunches. Meanwhile I work through lunch and fill my 8 hours if not 9 every day. I have ideas that our board likes, and he agrees verbally but never supports my working on them, and will micromanage me if he sees me working on something “else” ie other projects. I never miss deadlines or fail to get all my work done. I have a major project right now I instigated– to simply work on and “prove myself.” even the mayor of our town has taken interest in this. But if i had listened to my boss, i would have kept my idea to myself, and no one would know about it, and he could go on playing solitare and arguing with his wife. The board also likes this project so now he is acting like he is a part of it even though I have done all research and planning so far.
He argues with his wife on the phone in front of me sometimes off and on all day, and has me do demeaning things like address an envelope for him and mail it even though he has nothing else to do . Then he will leave 2 hours early because his kid has a music lesson or something. He will also do stuff like introduce me to important people as his “assistant” and while it is true i am staff with a lower position ( and this is fine with me) , that title discredits the work i am doing and in the end it just makes the organization look bad because the assistant is working on something the boss should be!
Anonymous on April 15th i feel your pain. I hate going to work and after reading up on it today ( i called in sick) i can tell i have been depressed due to this treatment. I have been blaming myself for not being able to “handle” a professional job and just put up with the way he treats me, and all the politics in my town that enable the situation.
Others tell me to confront him, and so last week i told him all his personal calls in the office make my work environment stressful. He replied that it was stressful for HIM as well. I really don’t think he will ever change and I want to quit but it could be career suicide if i do. I have only been there for one year and I fear other orgs field will think I am flighty. I hate going to work so much, and it is damaging my home life as well because I am exhausted and want to watch tv and hide in my room all the time. Now I know this is depression. Everyone in my town knows he is not a leader and that my organization is stagnant. I thought I could come in and help make a positive change with good ideas and so on, but his personality is tearing me down very much. The ultimate irony is I do not feel dedicated to the actual work i do any more so my performance is slipping . And honestly I love my job if it werent for my boss. I dont know what to do because i feel it is an ethical situation where our org is supported by donors, foundations, and city $ ( taxpayer $ ) and his abuse of his position seems really wrong. what do i do?
Kathy, May 2, 2010
It’s five years today, May 2, 2010, that Marlene took her life. As her trustee I am still waiting for the Department of Interior to release the full report of her suicide. As a volunteer for the Workplace Bullying Institute, I am still working for a law that would make workplace bullying illegal. As a friend, I am remembering that fateful day, when I knew something was not right, when the phone call came, when I learned she was dead. The following day I read her letter in which she told me her boss had made her life “utterly unbearable.” Thank you, Bev, for your tireless work to make sure they are no Marlene’s and Jodie’s, no more people who believe the only way out of the pain is death.
Julie, April 22, 2010
i am a retired rn from the federal government. i had aboss that i will call hitlers niece-she was mean, ignorant and sociopathic. she came from a large family and a rural setting and as i look back on her now-she was mentally ill. the federal government has alot of mentallly ill employees-it is an instituition in which they can continuie their illness-my federal facility became ill when the natives from my state took over-small town people with family problems and most of all drinking problems-50 and 60 years at happy hour weekly and cliques like mean girls-junior high emotionally and the fact they are responsible for veterans care is frightening-i would like to hear from other va retired nurses on this subject through your column and have their responses forwarded to me-thank you.i am writing a book on my experience-anyone else like to share?????
Unhappy at Work, April 11, 2010
We are going through this at our workplace and the person doing the bullying is very good at hiding it from others. There are four of us who are the targets and we have been keeping records of this. We took it to our higher up in the company and they so called investigated it and basically put US on trial. We were told that is was us who were at fault and we needed to be more professional and put our customers first not worry about the aggressor. We were all to GET ALONG. The person that is doing it does not work for our company but is instead a worker of a person who leases a place in the establishment. In other words this person has no accountability and can basically get away with it. I just do not understand why this is allowed to go unpunished. We dread going to work and I have found that I was thinking of suicide but this video has changed my mind. People just do not understand how this tears a person down. The CONSTANT degrading and little things do add up. Lately it has been getting physical with things being kicked out in front of people trying to trip them as they walk by. One person was actually elbowed by this person. When this was brought up the investigators asked if that person was maybe being playful with them. Playful????? How can they even think that?? Maybe these investigators need to be in our shoes for a month to see what its really like to understand what its like. I will probably loss my job for this but I have had it. There are many other places I could get a better job without working with a pathetic bully like this person.
Anonymous, April 15, 2010
I cry everyday because I feel so trapped in my job. I live alone and support myself if I quit I will lose everything and a place to live so I need help. I work in a professional environment and my boss is an expert manipulator thoughts of quitting run through my head everyday. I am on anti-anxiety medication and my depression is getting worse all I wanna do is be in bed. What do I do? If I quit I will have no where to go. Is anyone out there in this situation? If you are and got out how did you do it. I can’t go back to school because I maxed out student loans. I can’t get a loan from the bank currently looking for another job but no luck.
Jess, April 9, 2010
I was bullied by my boss…she was mean and treated me like i was no one… i stud up to her one day and she fired me… now im unemployed for over a year ..i cant find work and im struggling with my four kids… there should be a law against this ..my children and i think so…..
"BW", March 27, 2010
I am just learning about the severe bully “boss” that I have. I reported a “bully” co-worker for overhearing comments she was sharing with other co-workers about myself. Said, “she should be fired, and I just can’t stand her!” (meaning me.) and that DID it. (this person had been abusive for 3 years;not just to me. I just couldn’t take any more at this point) I reported this to my new boss, ( of 1 year) and he in turn reported to HR. He said I wasn’t allowed to know the results but that I could be “assured” it would never happen again. It back fired and from that point on “he” has been on my case saying I am not doing as I should and “hearing” that my co-workers have to finish what I have started. ???? Questioning him about what he had been hearing and how do I go about fixing the issue? He could never say. My annual review comes, (3 months later), and he’s STILL telling me how bad I am doing but not giving any examples. This goes much deeper then I can write about in this little comment box, but I am feeling threatened for my job. I went to his boss and I went to “EEOC” and now I’m in the process of a “formal complaint” to my works’ HR. I understand fully about the sick stomach, no sleep, intimadation, peranoid, stress and the anticipation of the unknown. I am still in the middle of this mess and have not been “let go” from my position but my guts are saying he’s working up to it. He put me on a improvement plan for 3 months with HR, (I was forced to accept the PIP), and I’m ready right now for the pushout. I have been reseaching the internet to see what my recourse is; (if any) or will I hear: “Too bad; so sad.!” Like I was told by eeoc and an attorney I spoke with, “don’t go down without a fight!” I haven’t been able to say the “EXACT” words they need to hear. Like: I’m too old; I am white: It’s sexual attack; or whatever. But you know…..I am human and I don’t deserve this treatment…..Just seems wrong. I need more then that.
"D" March 23, 2010
I am so sorry for the loss this family has suffered because of needless workplace bullying. When the family was describing how silly Jodie felt over documenting the hundreds of tiny little things, it rang 100% true to me. Today is my 8 month anniversary at my job and I feel like I've been there 800 years. Perhaps it will ease the family's pain just a little to know how many people they're helping by making this documentary. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
"Bullied No More", March 18, 2010
I left my job and career of 26 yrs because of bullying. I will never understand why I and other targets were seen as the difficult ones when our boss exhibited all sorts of abusive behaviour. She yelled, poked fingers in faces,insulted people, demeaned and demoralized staff in private and public meetings, she told people they weren’t worth the money they were paid, breached confidentiality etcetcetc. I spent ages depressed and anxious in a mental health serving agency and never was offered any type of assistance. When I was provided intervention through a board member’s EAP program, the bully was told and my job was threatened unless I revealed WHY the intervention was needed and WHAT I was saying. I refused and the bullying ramped up because the bully had no control over what I was telling to an outsider. After 3 years of targeting, I left feeling defeated as I did not want to leave a job I loved but my own health depended on not being bullied any more. I would love to see anti bullying legislation as it would provide employees an option when internal complaints don’t work. It’s time bullying was identified for what it is: Abuse in the workplace..we have come along way in recognizing abuse in homes, schools and communities ( I know more needs to be done) but the workplace seems to be one of the few places left where abusive people can show their wares and be rewarded for it.
"Jess," March 2, 2010
I have worked for this company for 6 years, the problem is the manager of my department, she has tried to get me fired or have me quit, and let me tell you im not going to quit. She has accused me of stealing from the company she has spread rummors about me and later denies them, she talks behind your back then gives you a friendly face to cover it all up. I have gone to HR and i even broke down in tears and cried my eyes out because i felt so alone and tired of being picked on, i got hurt doing my job and i notified our EMT, HR, my manager even the project manager new about it, and i never was sent to the doctor and this happened a couple of years ago and last year the project manager said that he was going to talk to HR so they can send me to the doctor and im still waiting. I think i did my job by contacting the proper personel about my injury and feel its there responsability to take care of the problem. My manager has prohibit me and one of my co-workers to work together when we do all the work and still do more for her. Every year we have an employee opinion survey and this year she had a very low score and she still wonders why. She has sent people to search my belongings without me being present. Some people have quit because they just got tired of her but i dont plan to because this has to stop NOW!!!. There´s so much more she has done but i realy need to sit down and talk with some one that is going to help me not just give me bull. This is a serious problem, this lady from what i heard, has been sued and has lost, and i still dont understand why she is still there. Hope a new law comes out to protect us, god bless us and help us beat this evil in the work place.
"Anonymous," February 2010
I worked for 15 years at the same small business... The shop was honed to just me, doing it all, and 1 very part time [worker] (who refused to deal with the boss and I protected!). I knew [my boss] had problems, especially since I worked in his home. I saw things I should never have been privy to…
I finally began therapy over a year before I left. I didn’t want to quit my job! I could take anything he could dish out. And his family and partner (not to mention clients) often turned to me to smooth things over for them. I was also aware that he had to go to court for domestic violence against his wife and was forced into anger management. I was also aware that a client actually had a restraining order against him! He lost clients because of his behavior and bad business practices. He was the most counterproductive employer I had ever met and it was his own money he was wasting! But I perservered because he never ever attacked me to the point where I was scared.
He made me nuts, I never got a good nights sleep, I developed a gastrointestinal disorder, but I went to therapy every week to prove to myself that “I was not the crazy one.” And I never put two and two together about my health. My therapist did but I just remained in denial. Because I made a good salary, had flexible hours and a commute under 30 minutes. Then the [economic] crisis hit and my husband retired at the ripe old age of 54. No worries, I made enough money to get us through until he got a new job. Then my brother-in-law was diagnosed with stage-4 cancer and came to live with us.
My husband became his primary caregiver and was no longer available for work. But it was still all good because I made good money and we could get by. Then my husband had to have surgery…and I was approved to take the day off…I got screamed at the moment I got to work for not coming in… No amount of conflict resolution skills worked. I tried everything I could think of to calm that man down. He just kept screaming, insulting me, pacing, spitting, calling me names, insulting my family, getting in my space (so close I could see his spit curdled in the corners of his mouth…His eyes actually glazed over! I felt like slave labor. So I picked up my purse and tried to leave. Wow. That was even crazier…
He trapped me at his front door and for the very first time I was really afraid of him… I did get out safely but hysterically…I talked about my next step with friends, family and my therapist. Because it was just me and the owner there was no higher authority to intervene. I agonized all night about leaving my job but it was clear that I had no other choice. No amount of money was worth my personal safety… I rationalized that he was not an evil person, just a sick person who needed help. But the man would not even admit to any wrong doing. He blamed me. If I would just not make him mad. If I would just be a good employee. Why was I making such a big thing out of it.”
“Horrified Worker” January 14, 2010
I have been documenting workplace mobbing in my work place for the last 17 months. you see my boss needs to manipulate the employees and I am not easily manipulated. I am friendly and professional but I am no ones lapdog. Well she has picked up on that and she and her friends which constitute much of the workplace set about a plan to ostracize and isolate me completely. So it can not just be a boss, but all her friends as well. When my alarm goes off in the morning its like a punch in the gut that I have to go back to that office again and feel their collective disdain and hostility as I sit there totally alone. I have all the documentation a person could want, I had different (less) training, extreme hostility, songs sung about me my weight my appearance, and the whole room laughs. It could drive a person to end it all. But there is no legislation in new york yet to protect me.
“Danger Dave” January 13, 2010
I myself have been a victim of bullying and currently am still in a job with a corporate bully which believe it or not …is a old lady who has such high status that nobody talks back or disrespects her or questions her decisions. She writes me up and never gave me a raise nor acknowledges me as a good worker plus has humiliated me in front of other coworkers. What laws in Kansas are here can give me some legal muscle to get her back to reality and so I can enjoy working?
Bully Buster, November 16, 2009
thank you so much for sending this to me – I’m late in finding it but it’s being posted on the facebook page. Are you just exploring bullying in the States? I am from the UK and have experienced bullying within the teaching profession. Unfortunately it appears to be rife and (as stated in the above comments) people are too afraid to stand up to it and those of us who are brave enough to put ourselves on the line are often condemned further for trying to show integrity and stand up for what is right.
Something is seriously wrong.
Please keep up your fantastic work, if you ever need a contact from across the pond…
Lynne, Maryland, October 3rd, 2009
56 yr old RN county gov worked in various settings, never had any problems in any of them, needed good health insurance,have a disabled son, daughter was also still on my insurance at the time.I had left a job I loved (home health private industry) where the health insurance coverage had declined medication coverage for my son who had grand mal seizures, since his Dad would not supply me with the RX card or cooperate with me (divorced) single parent since kids were 10 and 5. The pay was also terrible, no raises for 8 years! Years pass, I accept this new job as a school RN. The Nurse manager haggles over a dollar starting salary which is less than what I was already getting in my private industry job, but pretends that there might be a position open with insurance in the future. I take it, hoping and praying, keeping the job in home health on weekends. I work 2 jobs. Finally, I get the job in school health fulltime with insurance. It is a hellish experience, but I tolerate it. I find that some of the other RN’s were offered benefits and higher salaries than I, one of which came from the same employer that I came from! I even referred her myself! We have the same education and experience. Why? I ask. No answer.
Later. The Union asks too, why? It comes up as a question called the “wage compression review. Many RN’s are involved and meet together. The Nurse Manager is found out to have offered different salaries to some RN’s who she “liked” bettter than others. She now has to fix what she did. This is how she went about it.
She asked all the Managers that supervised the RN’s who would have been eligible for “back pay” of thousands of dollars to find fault of any kind in their work. Any detail at all. Whether real, contrived, or exaggerated, and document it in exaggerated form, then surprise the RN at the end of the year when she had her annual review with a below expectations review and a work improvement plan, so that she would be humiliated into leaving. Some RN’s including myself, would work harder to improve, not knowing this was the issue, thinking :there must be something I can do? Work harder, yes! I can’t lose my health insurance! So, I do, and I pass.
Another year goes by, another annual review, again, another raise is approved, but then, again, another written complaint, another below expectations, another new Supervisor, move me to a school further away…my father is sick and dying, I am below expectations when I can’t finish my work during my grieving period.
I go into deep depression. They allow me to come back, But they do not allow me to look at charts.It might be too stressful? “Sit here and just file the top pages”. Don’t get up from your seat without asking. Report to the main office when you are done.” You are still under a work improvement plan. when you complete this you must report to immunization clinic, you can train there, work for 3 months, find a new transfer position, if not, you will have to resign, There is no place for you here. The story goes on….
2 weeks after I resigned. I was hired by a private agency. The agency placed me ..in the same county government!!! in another department of course!! They LOVED me! I had to spend 11 months of my retirement money on cobra insurance waiting to be hired back.. at the same salary no less…just to get my health insurance back again. My son is in college. I am struggling financially. Te other RN makes $7 an hour more than me. She said “why didn’t you negotiate your wage?” I said “too late now”. She has way less credentials and education than I, but there is nothing I can say or do. The union did not help me then , and they won’t help me now. They are in this with the gov. The managers I”ve had so far. LOVE me, they use me like a dishrag.They know my history in the county.
BG, July 29th, 2009
These bosses are very common in government offices and the civil service, where it’s much harder to be fired. Same goes for public schools. I hope you examine those areas in future episodes.
Susie, July 26th, 2009
I have 7 shifts left at a place where I was bullied. At one point, I was clinically depressed and another time, with 10 weeks left, I was asked if “I had a plan to kill myself”. That scared me that I was conveying that image of myself to others. It shook me into thinking no job is worth considering suicide over. The bullies are happy I am leaving. I gave a 6 week notice. With that said, 5 days after I had given my notice, one of the bullies took my picture off the wall that we have of all the employees. I had approached upper management with a plan of saving our department roughly $32,000/year. Naively, I opened a can of worms and thus, the bullying began. It has been an extremely painful experience but I can say I am taking my life and putting it back in my hands. I will never work in a situation like that again. Thank you for this video.
LnddMiles, July 23rd, 2009
The best information i have found exactly here. Keep going Thank you
Eileen, July 20th, 2009
Help, my workplace is run by a clique of bulies. My new boss has a number of members of the department that he goes drinking with. Then he spends most of the day talking to them. Almost all of my work has been taken away and is being done by them. They are doing their best to destroy my reputation with my work group and demean me in meetings? Should I go to HR? [Note: This site is not meant for counseling and you should always seek out qualified specialists who can help you with your unique situation. Warm wishes to you as you move forward. - Bev]
Lisa, May 25th, 2009
Thank you so much for sharing this experience & working for legislation! I am watching this in tears because I am in a similar situation with my boss. Co-workers scurry away when she comes near & she seems to loom constantly. I feel isolated & alone. I start to have anxiety attacks on Saturday night because Monday I have to return to work. I am nauseous every morning driving in & have several moments everyday when I want to just run out the door. She yells, breaks pens, punches walls, points her finger in your face, jumps up & down, punches counter tops, throws things. And you don’t know when it’s coming. The littlest thing (or nothing) can set her off. I can do the same work now as I did 5 minutes ago (when it was correct) & it will set her off. Anyway, I am ranting, but please know that my prayers are with you in this fight!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Carol, May 11th, 2009
We need the “teeth” of a law to protect us from the devastation of bullying/mobbing. In my case, I thought I was in the ‘twilight zone’ because the better job I did, the more I was attacked. I couldn’t figure it out for years – until one day, not knowing what to do, I entered “emotional abuse in the workplace”into a search engine. My jaw dropped as all these sites came up. I read for hours and hours and finally understood that this is a real phenomenon, and it is not my fault!
While just learning about bullying helped to a certain extent, I also learned that once the bullies co-opt others into their game, there is pretty much nothing I can do to salvage my reputation. I’ve had most of my meaningful work removed by one of my 2 bullies. My co-workers had enjoyed my work prior to the bullies’ success in ‘demoting’ me, and are now not happy that I am working at the mediocrity the bullies desire. We, the taxpayers, are paying for this.
Daniel, May 8th, 2009
I’m glad you shared your experience. I’m sorry that your life was so affected by this treatment. I’m studying to become an Organizational Psychologist right now, and this is one area that I’m starting to become more interested in. Hopefully, people will start to be able to see the impact that tyrannical supervision and injustice can have on employees’ well-being and health. Once again, thanks for sharing.
Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics (US DOL) released preliminary results from the “National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries In 2009.” While the homicide rates include incidents like the shooting in Fort Hood they also include other types of homicides at work. Continue reading →