What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Bullied Again! Powerless And Tired

by Cathy
(Ontario)

About 7 years ago my boss turned on me. She gave me work to do but not the tools to do it. She took every opportunity to put me down in front of my co-workers.

My fellow team members were also intimidated by her treatment of me and I became isolated and depressed. I dreaded going in to work. She would give me something to do, tell me how she wanted it done and then in front of everyone tell me I shouldn't have done it at all. Or, she would change her mind about the procedure of something and not tell me until I had completed the work, making it seem like it was my fault I did it "wrong". Lately, she has given me outright wrong information, changed procedure directly affecting my work and not informed me and given me several sets of conflicting instructions.

Always she would tell me I was wrong no matter how I answered a question. I was not allowed to speak with members of my team or other people in the greater office.

I am a long-time employee with a good work record. I have a degree, my boss does not.

It was clear to me that my boss was intimidated by me. I tried everything to let her know that she had no reason to be intimidated.

New people in my department often left after 6 months. HR wanted to know why such a big turnover. Some of my co-workers told me that they could see that she was intimidated by me and said that "she knows she would be lost without you." I have been with the company for 29 years and yes, I know a lot. But I never presume to tell anyone how something should be done, I always tell them to go to my boss.

Eventually 7 people approached me and offered to go to HR on my behalf because most of them were formerly from my department and had experienced the same treatment as me.

My doctor put me on stress leave, HR had a talk with me. When I returned to work, my boss appeared to have changed. But it was all just below the surface. Now, a few years later, we are slipping into the same place we were. I am 57 years old, suffering from physical limitations and diabetes. I feel that my health has been and will be severely compromised if I let this continue.

I am not in a position to look for another job. I have 29 years with my employer.

But I am very tired of all this. I don't want to give in to it, but I just need to catch a break. Sometimes I get so angry I want to sue!

I have decided to forgive my boss for her ignorance. But I won't forget. I need to stand up for myself, but I need to do it in a controlled, non-emotional way. So I will keep records and proof. Compile a file of occurrences.

I will try to confront it head on - by saying " I don't understand your statement, please explain." or, I would appreciate it if you would not chastise me in front of my co-workers.

But I think this will be so hard to do. I don't know if I will be able. I just want to go to work in a congenial atmosphere and do my job and go home.

Instead I am demeaned and belittled, isolated and discouraged. Sometimes I think "If I died, I wouldn't have to deal with this any more."

I know I would never kill myself. But that's just how depressed I feel these days.

Powerless and depressed to illness.


Being Bullied at Work? What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Comments for Bullied Again! Powerless And Tired

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It's not easy
by: Anonymous

As I read these stories and people's comments I've come to realize that I'm desperately looking for the simple black and white solution, but there is nothing easy about any of these stories. There are no obvious answers.
I'm not sure how many more years you have until you can retire. My advice is to look at that or sit with a financial advisor because quite often when your so close to retiring or can but choose to stay on, your not really making that much money. It makes more sense to draw your pension and find another PT/FT job to make up the bit. Most of the guys I talk to who have retired say best thing they ever did. Most have gotten other jobs that are not demanding, just enjoyable. Best part they say is knowing that they don't have to stay if they don't like it.
If you can't go yet, at least figure out when you can. In the mean time, keep yourself busy. Don't make work your life. Get a hobby. Do something that you look forward to doing at the end of a work day. Meet up with good friends (Rule-leave work drama behind). Try different coffee shops, or a new walking trail. How about a night school course building something, or cooking class. That way your thinking about this wonderful fun satisfying thing to do all day at work instead of your ugly boss.
I think when we find ourselves face to face with a bully it takes over our lives and we forget about ourselves, our happiness, and before we know it the bully has consumed us 24/7. Don't let the bully win, she's already taken enough of your time. Same with work in general. Remember when we where younger and work was all about the paycheck so we could buy ourselves that new bike, house, go out to dinner, movies, hang with friends. When did work make it's way up the scale to being number one and we made our way down the scale, after mortgages, credit card debt, kids. What happen to us? Remember when we use to be fun?
I still have another 12 years to go, and like you I can't quit now. I've given my bully (co-worker and an unhelpful boss and HR dept) 3 years of my time (not to mention health). It's enough! By keeping a notes on situations your playing it safe if ever they try to fire you. It's really the only thing you/we can do. Please keep us posted how things turn out for you and know that there are others who understand and feel your pain.
Now if I could just take my own advise and get out of that hell hole!
Smile :)

Thank you for your thoughtful words
by: Cathy

Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. I do appreciate them. Yes, I did meet with a financial adviser last spring. Freedom 100. I have a mortgage to pay till i'm 75.
But I do have a plan.
I emailed my cousin the lawyer last night to ask how I should proceed to find a lawyer in my own city for advise on possibly suing my boss. Whether or not I go forward is another question. Advice and options are good to know ahead of time.
I have decided to take some courses as well. Just to increase my skill set.
I walk with friends. And so far my co-workers have not noticed the abuse to the extent that they isolate from me. If that happens, I will activate my options.
Meantime, I will collect every complement that comes my way and every scrap of evidence against these abusive measures.
It really helps to have this forum to talk and get feedback anonymously. Thank you again.
C

Discipline?
by: Michael

Hello, Cathy.
I am very familiar with bullying. I was bullied a lot as a boy and young man by almost everybody I came into contact with; including my own mother.

I decided to start working out and taking care of my body so people would not bother me anymore. I figured by becoming physically imposing, that people would leave me alone. However, that did not work like I'd hoped. This may seem surprising, but, instead of people physically harassing me, people would emotionally harass me.

I would fight people and argue and become belligerent, but even that wouldn't get the bullying to stop. 'What is going on?' I would wonder over and over. My attitude changed for the worse I just became a very angry person and I was always walking around "locked and loaded" as my therapist had mentioned. I was always living with a chip on my shoulder, just waiting for somebody to take me off so I could unload my hatred on whoever was around. The one problem was, there weren't many people around. You see, when we're a jerk, nobody wants to be around us... Which means we are becoming like the person who's been bullying us.

I came into a relationship with Jesus Christ and He revealed to me the sources of my anger and frustration. You see, there is a devil (Satan) and there are demons (his minions) and they want nothing more than to wreck our lives. They seek human beings to partner with to destroy us because the devil and his minions hate God.

Terrorism, bullying, and intimidation are all schemes of the devil to destroy mankind. What does this have to do with you? You see, Kathy, you are just like the rest of us and are caught in the middle of this war between God's people and Satan's people. Whose side are you on? I'm guessing in your heart, you're on God's side. Am I right? If so, the devil is trying to kill you. Or get you to kill yourself. That's what bullying tries to accomplish...the termination of a human life--especially the life of a child of God.

If you know Jesus, He has given you the tools to fight the devil. What you need to do is pray against the evil spirits who are coming against you. As long as you war in your mind against your boss, you are not fighting your true enemy.

Please read Ephesians 6 for more clarity.
Also 2Corinthians 10.
God bless you for reading this response and I pray you do what He's asking you to do. You will see God's victory in your life!

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