What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Blacklisted in Community Corrections

by Blacklist-Ed
(United States)

After reading many of the articles and stories on this site, I am compelled to share one of my own. It pertains to Community Corrections/Halfway Houses, and I was bullied differently in two of them, then permanently blacklisted from the industry.

After moving to a western state from NYC, I got a job as a Correctional Technician at a halfway house. Being a Correctional Technician (CT) is kinda like working in a prison, except that you have to administer drug tests, allow sign outs, and don't have to wear a uniform. The place I'd worked at had a very high staff turnover, with most CT's not lasting a year, two tops. I lasted close to four years, until I could not take it anymore. I later learned that the main boss was a highly functioning manipulative serial bully.

One of the major powers that such bullies have (especially in a 24/7 operation) is to use the schedule as a weapon. They deliberately stick you where you do not want to be and just make you miserable until you give up and quit. My bully also used a double standard, letting some employees get away with all but murder, while writing up others for lesser conduct. After being unjustly written up, placed back onto probationary status, rejected from promotion 3 times, jacked out of my bonus and the raise I'd have received had I lasted the full 4 years due to probation time, then completely wrecking my life by putting me on a far more demanding schedule, I finally had enough, got a job at another halfway house, gave 3 weeks notice, and quit on (what I thought to be) reasonably good terms. Little did I realize that I was going out of the frying pan and into the fire.

For the first couple of months the job was good, until the new serial bully came after me. She'd no college degree, leadership or management stills, but had wrecking people down to a science, using what I now know to be workplace sabotage, public humiliation, and exclusion to ruin staff. Once again I tolerated it, until she went too far. Yelling and screaming at me while at work I don't like, but can tolerate it to a point. She burned me on my performance appraisal, finding something wrong with everything I did in all categories, and jacking me out of my 3 month raise. I requested a follow up and a transfer to another facility, then worked the PM shift.

The next day I was scheduled to work the graveyard (AM) shift. That witch called me at my house in the middle of my sleep cycle (she makes and knows the schedule) and did not leave a message, as usual. Being half asleep I called back, to be asked "Are you coming to work tonight" by the witch's second in command who was working the main desk. I confirmed, as I'd never missed a days' work, then the witch demanded to talk to me. She started yelling, and I finally lost my temper, yelled back, called her a c^*T, then hung up. I am not proud of what I said, but in context she'd no business calling me at that time when I was understandably asleep to work the graves. Waking me up, then yelling and screaming at me when I'm not on duty is absolutely unacceptable!

The witch then called back, left a message instructing me not to report for work and to call the main office the next business day. I did as instructed, never received a callback, and got my last check in the mail later in the week. The witch got me fired, claiming poor performance.

Because of this, I was out of work for about 2 months, and was rejected from several other halfway houses. Thankfully, I'd remembered what I'd learned in college after calming down, and that is not to make it worse for yourself.

In closing, my story is not anywhere near as bad as many I've read; yet that is due to the fact that I still had my degree (BS, Criminal Justice), clean prints, good driving record, a reliable vehicle, and some money saved. It is important for the readers to know that when dealing with being fired it is perfectly legal (in the United States) to put down "Will explain at interview" under reason for termination. Should the interviewer ask, politely explain that you had a conflict with one supervisor. So long as you do not badmouth the company you'd previously worked for and admit to being disappointed, it can work out. I now work in private security, and although I am resentful for the slightly lower wages, greater traveling time, and more hours, I'm also grateful for not having to deal with either of those two bullies anymore!

The only real possible solution I can come up with to deal with workplace bullying is to unionize the entire United States. Without a union contract you are employed at-will, and can be fired at anytime for any reason or no reason. Union contracts can put in writing what is or is not acceptable conduct, as well as provide promotion criteria, and seniority benefits. I look forward to hearing any and all replies to this post.

Comments for Blacklisted in Community Corrections

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Hi
by: Trinity

Hi there,
I remember my mother saying that she would like to see more women in positions of power, and I agreed with her. But since being in the workforce I have had very few female boss's that were not psychopathic bullies, hell bent on destroying a persons life, job, reputation, family and finance. They deregulated the unions and neutered their power some time ago in NZ, then that policy went viral over the western world so that we have more people like me who can never return to work because I am justifiably afraid it's going to happen again. I've a couple of degree's and post graduate bits, heaps of professional experience but I am certifiably unable to work again on medical grounds due to bullying in the workplace. Thank goodness you have a job again, now you can build your way back up again.

Blacklisted
by: Linda Guirey

Wow, your story sent shivers down my spine - so clearly a case of targeted interpersonal destruction - and yet you survived to tell the tale. The reason you survived was because you 'got out', but you are right - how do we prevent this from happening to others.

I am surprised that in the USA you can fire someone on the spot for little or no reason- here in NZ, it is very very difficult for an organisation to dismiss an employee, unless it is gross misconduct and what constitutes gross misconduct is usually spelt out in policy and contracts.

Here you have to show that you have outlined the performance issues, offered support and guidance and opportunity for change, had meetings that were documented, several warnings and opportunities for the employee to state their case and then finally after a long process... dismissal.

Whatever the laws, policies etc - what you experienced should never happen, but fighting it also takes a lot of energy, time and sometimes money. I am amazed that you took as much as you did, but also think you made the best decision possible - which was to leave.

Linda Guirey
The 'Marbles Expert'
www.lindaguirey.co.nz

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