HR Director Bullied For 12 Years
I'm the Director of Administration and Human Resources for a nonprofit corporation. I have been bullied for 12 years; the last 7 very intensely. By accident I came across a workplace bullying article last year, and it wasn't until then that I realized the article described me to a tee.
I'm a member of a 4 person executive team. I work extremely hard, and am well liked and respected, and genuinely care about everyone I work with, except my bully. When something goes wrong, I'm the one others rely on to fix it. I strive to help employees whether the situation is work-related or they are having trouble outside work. Funny that I can't help myself.
The bullying started when I was promoted to HR Director, and then became intense when I was promoted onto the executive team. A peer in finance, also on the executive team, has done everything in her power to discredit me. She withholds necessary information, rolls her eyes and laughs or gives me the "death stare" when I'm talking, has started several rumors about me, including one that I'm having an affair with a vendor. Her campaign to discredit me eventually led to an entire department being removed from my supervision.
The incredible thing is she is the most incompetent person I've ever had the displeasure of knowing. She is the head of finance but couldn't count her way out of a paper bag! She has made so many mistakes that have cost my company thousands and thousands of dollars, but nothing happens.
She has lied, given me the silent treatment for weeks on end only to suddenly one day be my best friend (that's when I know real damage is being done), and has told my supervisor, also her supervisor and the president of the company, I'm untrustworthy and incompetent. Thankfully, he knows this is not true.
In group settings she belittles me and makes snide comments about me to my co-workers. She has told one person I supervise I'm a b*tch who is insanely jealous of her, I'm stupid, and the company is lucky to have her to keep things running.
After doing some research I mistakenly approached my boss with what I thought was happening. He listened, agreed to some of my points, but has done nothing. I received an excellent review last month; hers was so-so. We both received the same pay increase and make the same salary. This makes me incredibly angry and sick.
My bully never blinks and her eyes are black. I honestly believe that if given the chance, she would physically hurt me. She smiles one minute and goes cold the next. It scares me how evil she is. She has stalked vendors, inappropriately approached them sexually, then threatened to fire them when they didn't reciprocate.
Now this person is bullying those I supervise in an effort to get to me. I'm watching, helplessly, as people I've worked with for 22 years are being targeted because of their relationships with me. I've withdrawn, don't attend luncheons, don't participate in the "fun" activities for fear she will target others. One target has suffered serious stress-related heart problems, having already had one heart attack. How can an employer watch as this happens and do nothing?
I love my job and have worked very hard to get to the place I now am. Unfortunately, this evil person is destroying my confidence, my marriage, and my relationship with my adult daughter. I no longer seek out family, and no longer attend church, both things that previously were important to me. I no longer help in the community, which I loved to do.
I don't know what to do next, except seek therapy by a professional trained in workplace bullying. I am proud of the fact that I stand up to her now, and no longer allow her to run me over. Unfortunately, that means the bullying intensifies, but I refuse to lie down and take it.
I have been looking for another job for 3 years, and plan to leave as soon as I can. Any advice is greatly appreciated.