What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

HR Made Everything Worse

I work Quality Control and before we moved to a bigger space where I have my own lab space, my lab and the office kitchen were the same thing so basically everything that went wrong in there got blamed on me. The worst one was when someones bday cake got thrown out in the women's bathroom and she not only went around telling people that I did it but how and why (her manager told me yet did nothing about her behavior). Everyone also bought into it and no one asked me my side, just believed her and then went about their day. I was advised by friends and family to give HR my account of the situation just to have it on record. I did not want to involve HR ever but I trusted the advice I was getting.

About a week later I had to ask her for help with something to do with work and I got such intense animosity and was so bewildered that I just confronted her on the whole cake situation telling her "I'm sorry that happened to you but it wasn't me and you can't treat me like this" to which she just denied that she knew what I was talking about and it left me in such shock that I just walked into her managers office and recounted the situation. My boss came in and calmed me down but was telling me I was immature for how I was acting. He was nice though (as much as he can be) and told me to go home for the day and settle down.

We get a new HR person about a year after the incident and she saw that I had "a record" and she wanted to "catch up" with me about it. I recounted once again my side and she insisted I have a meeting with her and the woman and I begged not to be in the same room with her. This some how turned into a meeting with the woman and my boss, no HR present, and this meeting went from bad to worse. I tried to tell her how I felt to which she replied "aw!" without meaning it whatsoever. I was shocked to hear a grown woman talking like this but my boss didn't seem to think anything of it.

Anyway I ended up not being able to take the daily micro aggressions after almost 2 years and sent this woman an email on my way out 2 Fridays ago, just happened to be the Friday before I left for a week vacation. My email addressed that we did not have the most pleasant work relationship but if she could state clearly for me what I did to make it come to this I would be happy to attempt to correct whatever it is I did to her in hopes to patch the relationship. I ended with "no matter what the resolve is, you can absolutely count on me for anything work related". I felt confident in this email, it's something I would have said to anyone who was acting like that towards me. I come back from vacation to learn that she forwarded the email to my 2 bosses and HR. This new HR woman came in for a formal meeting with me and my immediate boss (person in original meeting with me and this woman) telling me that I should sign up for the suggested and voluntary counseling and that I am basically being watched for a year now.

HR's investigation into my "complaints" which I thought were just a written back up of my side of a crazy story proved it all to be unfounded because when questioned, this woman denied every interaction she and I ever had. Presumably making it look like I am a crazy person.

Basically what I learned is that if someone is going to all of a sudden turn on you that they will most likely begin to act completely insane and that I have to take it and let it run its course, even if it is forever.

I was also told during this last meeting that my performance is "check plus plus" and has been getting steadily better. So I guess that's good but I struggle every day and get anxiety shooting through my body thinking about what might possibly happen if I run into this woman in the hallway or the bathroom or the kitchen or the printer. It is a daily struggle for me but I just keep hoping that one day she shows her aggression towards me in a way that someone else will see.

Thanks for listening.

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