What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Hostile Behavior and Defamatory Name Calling in the Federal Workplace

by Deborah
(Seattle, WA, USA)

I am a 6 year veteran with a federal agency. I have attained stellar work performance reviews. I receive annual bonuses for performance. I am punctual. While conservative, I am courteous to those around me. I am the target of workplace bullying and mobbing.

The trigger was my complaint to management that my coworker who sits next to me (divider between us) sings during the day loudly and plays her radio. We are on the phone all day listening to client information. She has done this for the year that she has sat next to me. She bangs on her desk when I am in the middle of conversation so as to preoccupy my concentration. She cross-talks with her next door neighbor loudly, boisterously with no regard to the noise level. I complained because her noise is making it difficult for me to focus on the technical accuracies of my calls. It is a critical element to 100% accurate work performance in my job.

After I complained over a year ago, this coworker began to systematically harass me in many ways, colluding with her neighbors that she did not like having me on her team, back-stabbing me, isolating me from events she would plan, approaching me in the corridor when no one was around with aggressive and hostile body language. In essence, this woman was retaliating for my complaint to management about her singing and radio.

Lately, this coworker has gotten more overtly aggressive, making derogatory comments about my performance in the midst of many other coworkers, calling me derogatory names in public ("dizzy broad"), calling me a liar. We had an altercation last Friday where she accused me of an action that was a fabrication. We were both called into the manager's office to resolve the issue. She insulted me numerous times and she threatened my job, saying, "You are on your last legs here, believe me, you are on your last legs."

Management has been supportive and offered to move me to anther workstation. I declined because that will not prevent this woman from successfully bullying another person. The mobbing has occurred with 2 other coworkers on my team. She has turned them against me to the point that they also approach me with aggressive negative body language, or engage in conversation with me so as to inspire a negative response from me, so that the mobbing will appear justified.

This type of behavior escalates when management does not know how to manage the hostile employee. The coworker has been there for 15 years and from what I have heard, she has had numerous complaints reported to management about her singing and radio during work hours, and also her uncontrollable temper. She has been spoken to by management. Yet she continues with the poor work behavior and temper tantrums. Management must embrace the fact that workplace mobbing and bullying is commonplace nowadays and they must get training on conflict resolution as soon as possible in order to quell the aggression before it escalates into what I am experiencing. Bullies are only as powerful as the vacuum allows them to be. Eliminate the vacuum, the bully has no authority to continue the bad behavior.

Comments for Hostile Behavior and Defamatory Name Calling in the Federal Workplace

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Reply Hostile Behaviour & Defamatory Name Calling in Federal Workplace
by: Anonymous

I sympathise with your predicament, but feel that part of the problem is your behaviour and response to the bully.

You do not have to protect other people from her. That is Management's job. Management has offered to move you to another work station, where you would be away from the bully and hopefully out of her 'radar'. Management's offer to so do has been declined by you.

Essentially, when you report someone you need to have protected yourself first. It is clear from past experience that Management would not support you. Previous workers certainly were not supported by Management. Other staff do not do anything to support you. This is most likely because they do not want to be the bully's next target. In fact they join in on the bullying.

This is not a safe work environment for you. It is not fair that you are being bullied, but you can take control of your life. Look for another job and go as soon as possible. You may wish to speak with a Lawyer about your rights. Please see my post Document the Bullying for further advice.

If you take legal action your position may deteriorate, but it is a chance you will have to take. At least if you follow my advice in the Document posting you will have protected your legal position.

Your workplace is so toxic, I feel that your health will, if it has not already, deteriorate. Be strong, you deserve better.


Let the baby have the bottle
by: Anonymous

Seriously this is too much. People have less time than more time to grow up. I blame the less than fictional Human Resources department for lack of training on the topic of harassment and people who are incompetent in their jobs to even care that is the main reason so many violent office killings take place.

Federal People
by: Anonymous

I had a person hired by her "friend" to work with us. She didn't know the job. Her friend proceeded to promote her to a position of authority within a two years. Then her hostile behavior came out. Defamatory names, placing empty candy wrappers on my desk from candy she stole. Leaving defamatory notes. Making comments about people and threatening people. One particular guy was so worried about his job and providing to his family he cried. I found her and her supervisor and an underling were breaking rules by storing classified information insecurely. I turned them in. The back lash was that they denied it and blamed it on the underling. Then less than a year later, her supervisor said to me he was surprised, I was still working there as she had assigned me duties which were beneath my experience. I said I was doing my best and would continue to do so. He made a comment that I wasn't protected from my stunt of turning them in. Less than a month later, they told me not to return to work. Saying I wasn't trustworthy. Yeah right. I no longer work for the government. I complained to the local HR folks at the facility. They said I had no rights. I told them I was contacting the Office in Washington. Then apparently she had to go to a class. No Change.

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