(Personal comments from an online petition created by a coalition fighting workplace bullying that asks the Obama Administration to enact uniform national legislation or regulation in response to the devastating impact of workplace bullying. Each signature generates an email sent directly to President Obama and Secretary of State, Hilda Solis.)
Tragically this is only a small sampling of the stories woven among thousands and thousands of signatures. (Some comments are excerpted)
#6936 ah yes. i remember that boss i had who screamed at me that i couldn’t quit (quite intimidating about it; i was afraid she was going to hit me), and who threw the telephone across the room and kicked animals. fun stuff. good times. y’know
Beverly, You signed on February 10, 2012. Your signature has been delivered to: Department of Labor and President Obama
Finally we all have a pipeline to tell our stories and ask for respect and dignity in the workplace. Here’s what I told them:
Many of us have experienced the devastating consequences of this abuse first hand. Some, like myself, were lucky enough to move on. Far more do not. No one should ever be subjected to a hostile work environment.
This year our most popular posts continue to cover a wide range of topics and issues related to workplace bullying. We continue to focus on our mission to critique and offer new voices and alternatives to the current dialogue. Two 2010 posts ( about Mediation & OSHA ) are still extremely popular. Here’s a recap for 2011: Continue reading →
I moderate a Facebook Group and something special is happening there. Last night I came home to find that several people had spontaneously posted “Dear Bully Boss” letters. I couldn’t help adding my own. It’s been cathartic for many of us. Here’s a sampling… [ names withheld for this posting but you can visit the group and add your own by clicking here]
Dear Bully Boss: I asked you repeatedly in a very nice way (at first) to please intervene when co-workers were making insulting comments directed at me, talking over me, excluding me and ignoring me when I asked for a cooperative and respectful workplace. If you had acted when I first approached you there would have been very few hard feelings and more than likely we all could have worked as a team..
Dear Bully Boss: F_ You! That’s all I can say. Oh, and another thing… “Karma” will come your way. It always does!
Dear BullyBoss: You insulted me, you talked about me behind my back, you underminded me, you made up lies about me, you talked AT me instead of TO me. You treated me like shit and then tossed me aside like I never mattered. It will take a long time for me to heal from your abuse but at least I know I will get better. YOU NEVER WILL.
Dear Bully Boss: I was not successfull in giving you my soul and all that you expected of me; however, I was able to succeed in giving you what you asked for. Sorry for the inconveniances this may have caused you. Pffft. ya right.!.!
Dear Bully Boss: It is obvious just how deeply entrenched in sand, denial, and do-goodery you are. You know EXACTLY what you did to me and others, as do your secretive and manipulative BOD chairs, and your spineless remaining staff. No one can lie that much and not be aware of it on some level — well, except for the absolute sickest of narcissistic sociopaths…
To me, Tracey’s story shows how complicated the answer is to the first question that victims are always asked: “if you don’t like it there why don’t you just get another job?” Personally, I began making films about workplace bullying because I was smack in the middle of my own office drama. I was attracted to Tracey’s story because she was about to go on a journey that represented my worst fears. I needed to find bully free work but I was terrified what would happen if I didn’t land one of the 2 open jobs I was qualified for in the Metro NYC area — where my husband is employed, our careers are based, and our friends and family live. I knew I was extremely lucky to land one. Part of the short documentary I made about Tracey’s situation included scenes of her daughter, Kali, lobbying for legislation while her mom was traveling around the Carolinas and Georgia looking for a job. It’s been nearly over 3 years since I filmed that deeply moving scene with Kali yet still no legislation has passed.
Q: Why do you think that the HWB hasn’t passed yet?
Tracey: Why do I think there has not been a HWB passed yet is a tough question to a tougher answer. Personally, I do not like the bill to begin with. I believe it is too corporate friendly in that there is no really big reason for corporates to embrace a law that has very small consequences. Having a cap on the claim a target can obtain is ludicrious. My real belief though is that there continues to be a blindfold on this real issue to our senators and congress men and women. While some have been very supportive, others don’t. I find this rather silly when I sit and listen to how the parties behave in the senate and treat each other. They are bullies! I don’t really know why the bill hasn’t passed but I’d sure like to hear other’s opinions on it.
Q: Is there anything you would particularly like to add…
Tracey: I want to thank everybody who have worked tirelessly at getting a HWB passed. I know that many of you have suffered personally due to tragedies that happen in the workplace. My heart is with you. I hope that one day I might feel better to re-join you but in the meanwhile, know that my heart is with you all and I am so grateful for all your work.