What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Husband and Wife in the Workplace Resulting in an Uneven Power Base

by Mary

I work in a close, busy environment with other health professionals, clients and their friends and families.

A couple have been working in our unit for a few years. It seems to me that having a man and wife working together has not been good for morale of most of the other staff in the unit.

This couple seems to have disproportionate power, in that they back one another up and they simply make decisions without regard to others. Other staff have "joined" this couple, and so there exists a situation of some in the loop with power and some outside the loop without power.

All sorts of things have happened, such as taking leave without it being recorded; using the workplace vehicle for private purposes; going to lunch together regardless of the needs of the unit.

I have looked on the internet for information about power abuses by couples who work together in the workplace.

Comments for Husband and Wife in the Workplace Resulting in an Uneven Power Base

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I have experienced this !
by: susan

I worked for 5 years in a salon with a husband/wife team. I was the only one who worked there. I had no back up - no one else to turn to. They were a power drain for sure and they bullied - especially the man. He hid his passive-aggressive actions against me through so-called humor and jokes. He played tricks on me. He gossiped about me all the time. So did the wife. A lot of their friends and customers would come in and stare at me very hatefully - from people I did not even know, and I cannot imagine what on earth he could have said to elicit such cold stares. It was very unnerving.

He was sneaky & clever, finding out I took meds for anxiety, exposing my vulnerability to others.

5 years I stuck it out - it was not worth it. I should have left much sooner. I was never comfortable there from the start, felt watched by them constantly and treated like my work was substandard - especially by the man. My work was and is very good - 26 years experience and my customers liked me and my work.

The man would do his best to sabotage me. He would not book me. He would turn business away from his shop rather than give me clients. He lied about things or at best left out facts when relating things to me. He fancied himself a real charmer and a lot of people do not see through him. But I did over time and he came to realize it and stepped up his campaign to discredit me to others.

I tried to please them. I tried to see things from their point of view. I took down my own price list on the wall behind my desk - my prices were slightly lower than theirs. (I was self-employed and renting my station from them), even though they had told me it was ok in the beginning to post it. I gave them gifts. Got them drinks when I went to lunch, for a while. They never reciprocated. I was NEVER late with a rent check. I tried to never speak against them, at least in the beginning, even though I knew they were slandering me to their clients and friends.

The man played tricks on me - changing my time on my station clock. Taking my paper and pens. And other things I cannot prove, like scratching both sides of my car in the parking lot with his truck doors. He was rude to my clients when they called. Over the 5 years - over a dozen of my clients complained about him to me.

Towards the end, I stooped to his level and confided to some friends and clients I was close to. I wanted to discredit them. But it is still wrong to do that no matter what and my self-esteem suffered for doing that. I felt degraded to gossip like that and realized it was time to give up and go. He won in a way.

But I won too, because I have more peace now and am surrounded by friends and family who love me and are honest and good.

Sorry I went on and on about myself in response to you, but it just sort of poured out when you mentioned your encounter with a husband/wife team at your work.

Best of luck to you.

I agree 100%
by: Anonymous

I feel your frustrations... I am in the same boat and it is a strain on a number of fellow employees. There is no place for a husband and wife "team" to be working in the same company, or office, in my case...

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