As Long As She's Nice to the Customers, Right?
I just left my job, where I was the target of a bully for nearly 10 months. I took the job knowing that she may be a potential problem, but I was told by the manager who hired me in that if I had any problems, to just bring them to her and she would deal with the problem. At the time, this is how it was dealt with, and things were fine.
After two months, the manager who hired me in transferred to a different location, and the assistant manager took over as the new general manager. This new GM was flighty, high-strung, and "didn't have time" for "shenanigans". When the person I had replaced decided that he was going to come back to town (and thus, needed a job), the person who was bullying me upped her ante on me.
She would do things like get on her cell phone on the way out the door and say on the phone, within earshot of me, "I don't know why this fatass still has her job", or "I don't know why this ugly cow has a husband and not me". She would make snide remarks to me whenever I approached a situation differently. She would call me a "showoff" and a "suckup" whenever I would take care of a situation she could not fix herself. She made it very clear that if she was not the best, she would do anything to make sure you felt terrible about yourself in order to make her seem the best in the end.
She was also doing whatever she could to get the old guy his position back in the company. At one point, she tried to set me up, by going into my personal file and finding out what my pay rate was, then she went to our GM and told her that I was bragging about how much I made. This was blamed on me until I pointed out to my GM that she left the personnel file unlocked every night. She would also go through the GM's computer and files, and this would get blamed on me because "I knew computers". I never thought that my expertise and know-how would actually be a disadvantage in a job.
I took this to the manager on several occasions. I was told to "suck it up and deal with it". I was also told that I was not being harassed, and that I must be doing something to ask for this. I was told "well, at least she is nice to customers, so there is nothing that could be done". In the end, the blame was laid on me. I was told at one time that if I took this to the regional VP, that he would fire me.
In the end, I grew complacent, and the very notion of going in to work at night made me sick to my stomach. I would come in to work exactly on time so that I would not have to deal with her any longer than necessary. I stopped doing extra things for people so I would not be called names for it. My husband, who had done computer work for my job a few times, stopped doing things for them as well because she would do it to him, too.
In the end, the bully won. I felt I had no other option but to leave my job. It was made clear to me that "if I was not happy, I was not wanted there". No suggestion to fix the problem was given; I was told to "suck it up and deal with it" on multiple occasions. I had a meeting with the manager and I was told that I was not being harassed, that my accusations were unwarranted, and she then tried to tell me that I wasn't doing my job properly anymore and the tables were turned on me. I had explained to her my reasoning for doing things but this was my fault, because I should have "sucked it up and dealt with it".
I don't think there is anything I could have done to prevent this. Maybe I should have just "sucked it up and dealt with it", but that isn't something I should have to deal with on a daily basis. In the end, I wasted 10 months of my time, in my eyes. I can't get a good reference out of this job now, and to anyone on the outside looking in, it looks like it was my fault. How do you explain "harassment" for a reason of leaving a job? It always looks bad on the one being harassed. I wish there was a law in place to protect those of us who are honest and hard-working, who do not bully others to fulfill their own agenda, who like being with people instead of being jealous of them. Now I am jobless and looking for something new, and I am afraid for the coming months and what will happen with our financial situation.