What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Being Reasonable With Bullies Doesn't Work

I have been bullied at work for years by my boss and several sychophants whom that person poisoned against me right from the start.

The boss is a long serving employee (30+ years!) who has hit a glass ceiling and will not go any further.
That person sees others, who are friends of the Directors all move further up the ladder and that person has become extremely bitter about it.

I think this has turned this person into a really nasty piece of work. Some examples of this person's behaviour include:
• poisoning of others
• gossiping
• disappearing for hours at a time
• playing favourites
• encouraging others to join in the nasty behaviour (mobbing)
• withholding work information
• not following company procedure on appraisals - not doing any, or improperly
• different standards for staff - some get away with murder whilst others (me) have comments made at the slightest thing

Despite having endured this behaviour I took on basically half of another colleagues tasks (who got paid a third more than me) after that person left. I was given a very small pay adjustment which seemed insulting compared to the wages the other person was on.

One of the sychophants is allowed to arrive an hour late every day and has never ever worked a full week at the company in all the time I have been there. Despite all my hard work and effort I have been called, amongst other things, lazy, stupid, fat, brainless, a psycho, paranoid, whistleblower etc.

I tried to appeal to the main bully boss but this was met with denial and contradicitons. eg

• "I never said anything"
• "on 31st March 2007 in front of Mrs X you said Y"
• "oh, well it was just a joke"

The first time I mention dates the main bully couldn't even look at me and looked scared and that person's eyes seemed to be welling up. At this point I knew everything I had been feeling was 100% right.

Despite this the bullying pattern followed the usual. Stops - small occasional remarks - others join in - full blown mobbing - chat - stops...

Behind my back my Boss had gone to the HR director and started a dialogue about 'my behaviour' and I wasn't made aware of this.

After a few more poorly constructed appraisals where my behaviour was marked down as "no problems", "asset to the sales team", "fitting in well" and another actual meeting whereby I specifically asked if any of my work or behaviour was unacceptable and told that there wasn't any problems.

After confronting one of the sychophants I was then, after returning from holiday - they had grouped together, asked to speak to the HR Director in the form on an 'investagatory meeting' about 'concerns about my behaviour'.

I was attacked by the HR Director right from the start of the meeting and was firstly refused to be able to see what I was being accused of. The Director handed me a sheet of paper that was dated from the previous week and it seemed to be minutes from a meeting with the other mob bullies. It said that the HR Director agreed that my behaviour 'had to stop'. After finally being allowed to read this the 'meeting' or attack continued.

I was told...

• "you're very quiet"
• "this company has done everything to help you"
• "if we wanted to get rid of you we would have done so"
• "you don't look at people when they talk to you"
• "my staff wouldn't act like this"
• "you are paranoid"
• "I'm worried about you"
• "I hear that you keep a log of the events - I find this scary"
• "where is the log - is it on your computer?"
• "this stuff would get laughed out of court - I mentioned on an email to the bully that I had taken advice"
• "this is nonsense"
• "you can state your case and we can look at every incident but frankly there is no point"
• "you must agree to stop taking notes in your spare time!!!!!!!"

The minute taker who was one of the sychophant's friends then joined in also defending their colleagues. To my surprise 75% of the stuff above was actually minuted and sent to me and the other bullies!!!!

Since then things have gotten a bit better as one of the group sadly nearly died but recovered - perhaps this focused the minds of the others?

I'm still dumbstruck and numbed by the whole episode and I've been gagged into keeping quiet.

I just thought I would share my story as a warning to others who think that they can beat a bully by reasonable actions. You are dealing with a very manipulative individual who cheats to get ahead, it isn't personal - try to ignore it or it will escalate into what I went through.

One day karma may solve the issue.

Comments for Being Reasonable With Bullies Doesn't Work

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Being Reasonable With Bullies Doesn't Work
by: Anonymous USA

You are so right...being reasonable with bullies does not work. Don't let ignorant bystanders try to convince you that it does. I've been through that hell and back myself.

I believe that our only hope against such destructive bullying, when we can't make a change, is to write it all down as an observer and if nothing else, archives it for history. (I have 85 linear ft. of four decades of Mob bullying safely sealed in a University Archives for benefit of future generations.)

Another goal is to outlive the Rotten Apples. It gives a new meaning to longevity!

Many die excruciating deaths, too, as you can't be cruel, live lies, be dishonest and expect your body not to be wracked with toxic overdose.

And yes, Karma does bite back in due time. In a small town where "the boys" bullied me unmercifully for years, even putting me in jail illegally, an important historic block in their downtown blew up and burned, totally destroyed. I made a custom t-shirt "Ain't Karma A Bitch?"
And put a sign in my van window for a couple of years and when people asked about it, I told them the Truth. Some PR for a small town that wants people to move there?

We live in a sick world today. The best we can do is carve out our own small niche of caring friends and support people, hang tight and never, never give up hope.

Managers are supposed to be professional
by: Anonymous

I have been bullied by a certain company and basically ran out of town, and also I know personally 2 others that they did this to.

My husband at this time is working for a certain company thru a promotion, and it sounds like the same thing that's going on there to me at least.

I would get 2 or 3 letters of recommendation if I were you and start looking for another job, not only for job stability but for your peace of mind, that's what we're doing as we speak. The yelling at jobs, and name calling is all harassment, and I think you could probably sue them if you can retain an attorney, prepaid legal
may be able to help you also, it doesn't cost much to join. It doesn't do any good for you to sit there and listen to them, because that doesn't help your self image, and I know probably all fo the things they say are not true, that's what happened to me, I was told to go to another store, and there were suggestions and things that were said that I did not ever ever say or would in this lifetime.
Please for your own sanity, start looking for a job, and when you do find one and you will, do not tell people there where you are unless you can trust them.
I'm sorry you're going through all of this, you're in our prayers.

Karma doesn't work
by: Anonymous

Sorry to say that Karma doesn't work. Relying on Karma means subjecting yourself to abuse forever and one day, when one of your bullies stubs his toe, you gleefully exclaim Viva la Karma!... but it doesn't solve your problem and won't protect your health.

You have two choices:

1) Find new employment and leave

2) Stand up to the bullies. Make formal complaints to HR in writing with specifics. Stand up to the mobs and be vocal about their comments and bullying no matter how silly it seems. At first, your assertiveness might encourage them because they get some response from you. Eventually, they will leave you alone -OR- you will no with certainty that there is no hope at THAT company.

Some companies simply have a culture of bullying. In a few companies, bullying is not only condoned, but encouraged. NOT EVERY WORKPLACE IS LIKE THIS. If you are in one of these companies and you are a victim, LEAVE. No amount of money is worth the damage that a bad work environment will do to you.

Sharks
by: Trinity

I have worked in many shark tanks, I never learned to swim with the sharks because, like you, there is something about me that amplifies 'wounded fish' and I am always above the radar and I am always being bitten. Now there is nothing of me left but you can take some advice that I wish I took: Update your Income Protection Insurance and Total Disability Insurance, your union membership. THEN make complaints about all the bullying behaviour, complain to the colluding HR, the CEO, the board of directors TELL THEM THAT YOU ARE UNDER ENORMOUS STRESS AND CAN NOT TAKE IT ANY MORE, then go to your doctor, go on anti-depressants, take stress leave and begin legal proceedings. Too easy.

Follow up
by: Anonymous

I've now witnessed one of the main bullies crying twice when confronted and is now having a go at another new start.
Yet people still fall over themselves to help this person and can't spot that they're being manipulated.
Perhaps some targets are targeted because they are so obviously playing the game by the rules and this makes cheats nervous?

By cheats I mean bullies and manipulators who have to resort to the lowest forms of human behaviour in order to progress.

I could learn how to manage people or I could learn how to cry as this worked when I was five years old.

Was bullied too
by: Anonymous

Hi,

I worked for a great company, but spent the last four years working for a bully boss. I complained about this person, but it backfired, and I think I was made to look like the bad guy. Anyway, an unexpected opportunity came up for a job elsewhere, which I took. However, I did lose in some ways, ie. benefits, pay, etc. And, the job is in a new field so there is some uncertainty about how well I will perform. However, I was just so tired of dealing with the negativity of the situation, and dealing with the dysfunctional people. I hope I did the right thing leaving the job. I need to find out how to come to terms with this-- how do I put this totally behind me?

coping
by: Anonymous

To: Was bullied too

The fact that you recognized the dysfunction of your coworkers and work environment, and the adverse effects the bullying caused you, in a small but important way you are coming to terms with your bullying experience. Because something internal told you that something is just not right...trust your insticts, because they are usually correct.

Personally, and having had a similar experience like your's, the effects still linger. Do the effects go away completely, I don't know the answer to that question, because, if the bullying was severe enough, the effects cause PTSD.

And, when one is suffering from PTSD, one's entire existence is affected. Bullying is very traumatic and a shock to the system, and healing takes time. I say healing, because you have been wounded.

The bullies you left behind, have already forgotten about you, they're on to the next target.

I am still dealing with the effects of my experience, and I find that most people who have not been bullied, have a difficult time completely understanding the effects.

I don't know if any of this is helpful, but I recently read, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, by Kinchin, 2005 Edition.

There are some helpful ideas and perspectives that, at least for me, helped me come to some of the terms I am dealing with.

Sending positive energies your way.

Being Reasonable With Bullies...
by: 'Sarah'

I am currently experiencing something similar.
The bullying has started up again.
This is what people in my local community are doing. First of all they work in the store. It started off with one person, now it is a whole group of them. This is what they like doing, these are women, the 'gentle sex:'
Gossiping and backstabbing.
Treating me differently when I get to the checkout i.e. not speaking or being friendly, when they are friendly to customers just before or after me. (Some customers may notice this for instance, this sudden change in behaviour).
Whispering to their colleagues in front of me, but out of earshot.
Refusing to make eye contact.
Getting other people (or perps) in on the act.
With the two main antagonists, walking away or getting up from their place of work when I am spotted in the store.
Sneering at me (one of the main antagonists) this time from the side instead of straight in my face).
I have informed the Management again, as he denied any previous knowledge. But this time I spoke to the head office and they got in touch with him. He said he would keep a close eye on the situation, but I am doubtful they can do anything.
I do try to shop in other places, but I don't drive, I have to get a bus, and it's not always practical since I work locally and don't always have the time.
My store is within a minute't walk. And it sells everything. It houses the local post office, delicatessen, grocery store, newspaper shop, so you can appreciate how difficult it is not to use it.
The Co Operative have even taken over the local funeral services. Perhaps some people are hoping I'll be a customer there pretty soon.
My physical health is not what it used to be. Walking long distances is becoming increasingly difficult. Short of leaving the area altogether, there doesn't seem to be an easy solution to getting away from the hate-mongers.
If we did move (unlikely) what is to stop me believeing it couldn't happen elswhere, that another group of harrassers might be waiting for me to turn up there?
I do sypmathise with what you are suffering, and suffering it is, believe me.
Emotionally and psychologically it is devastating, and yes, I sometimes wish I wasn't around, that at least if I died I could find a place without hate..
I get on Second Life nowadays. I seek out forests, waterfalls, quiet valleys, pet cemeteries, where I am sitting at the moment, where I can be with the animals that I love and who have loved me. The animals that have found peace.
I cannot be a social person on Second Life. Such a thing is beyond me I think.
Also, no...you can't be reasonable with bullies. Hate does not recognise reason, re-conciliation, or being nice or being friendly. None of those things work. Hate is just hate, nothing more, nothing less and it can't be turned into something better.
The banality of evil is astonishing, but it is the only thing that some people are any good at.

thank you
by: Anonymous

I just want to say thank to you to the October 23rd post which sent positive energies my way. :) I sent the same to you. Positive energy to all of us who have been targeted by bulliers, or have had to endure the negative energy of others.

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