What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

It's A Long Road Back...


(Canada)

I began working for this company five years ago, having been offered the job by a friend. From the time I started, I knew the staff didn't like me. They didn't bother to hide it. I would come into work, pleasantly say hello to everyone and no one would answer. If they were having a conversation and I joined in, they would immediately stop talking. They complained about me constantly to management and heaped more and more small jobs on me until it was impossible to get even half of it done during my shift. I presented many ideas for efficiency and was never allowed to complete my presentations before one of them would interrupt and veto it. Two or three months down the road, one of the others would implement one of my ideas as her own.

At one point, we were down to two people, at which time I worked like a fiend to help do the work of five people. This went on for three months. Never once did my supervisor or anyone else ever commend me for it.

I couldn't sleep, cried every day after work and sometimes on the way to work. I lost interest in all of my hobbies and constantly tried to figure out how I could do this work more efficiently, poring over articles on the net, buying books on organization - you name it.

I finally suffered a heart attack in 2008 and was off recovering for three months. The very day I returned to work, they fired me. It's been two years since that day and I still can't find a job.

I've been told that when people I'd dealt with at this company inquire about me, my former supervisor only says, "We had been trying to get rid of her since the day she came here." The friend who hired me was our manager and these employees didn't like her but I still can't figure out why these people would go out of their way to destroy me professionally. I eventually went back to school and am now desperately trying to build up my own home business. We're in danger of losing our house and our truck. It's been a long, long road but I'm finally getting there. I still resent that they took so much of my life and turned it into a living hell. And I'm still working very very hard to overcome it.

Comments for It's A Long Road Back...

Click here to add your own comments

Long Road Back
by: Anonymous

I am curious and interested - did the staff behave like this towards anyone else - ie was there a group that were involved in mobbing (group bullying) towards other individuals, or were you just selected as the 'one' that everyone was going to target.

What did the manager, the person that employed you, have to say about the behavior? Did they just turn a blind eye in collusion or did they talk to you about the abusive behavior.

Clearly this was a very toxic place to work and you are much better off health wise because you left. I know something will come up and often it is a long road back after serious bullying because of the lasting health effects experienced by targets of bullying.

Keep positive.

The company was down to 2 people
by: Anonymous

Hello,

If your company was down to two people, I would say that one of the two was your bully that started everyone mobbing. It is likely, that this bullying was going on in different ways, and I would make you a bet that some of the people who left had their heads played with but in different ways to hurt them personally. Could the friend that hired you .. be the culprit (and like this type of scene..clearly a healthy business wasn't their priority) or the victim of one of the people that were still with the company? Have they helped you as a reference at least? Did you notice that the more you tried to "please" the more you were treated poorly. Could someone have seen that treating you poorly motivated you and they were able to get more work out of you?

It's a long road back
by: Blacklist-Ed

I'm not sure of the laws in Canada, but you may be able to make a case that your heart attack was directly related to the work conditions imposed. Without knowing your age, prior health, etc it's only speculation but definately worth checking out, especially if you'd no prior history of cardiac illness before. Had they broken any labor laws (ie requiring you to work more than the standard workday)or posted tasks and standards (ex: making you do far more work than your job description requires) it may be provable as work related. Good luck!

To Canada:
by: LB

It's interesting how seemingly "mature" people, can be so cruel and vicious, without regard for others feelings.
I was in a very similar situation like yours, and 2 1/2 years later, I am still coming to terms with the utter and blatant bullying I experienced. I keep asking myself, "why did these people attack me?"
I performed my job professionally and did not engage in gossip or office politics, and when I did interact with coworkers, I kept my personal life separate from my professional life.
It feels like I had been psychologically poisoned, and some of the poison is still in my system, and it is very difficult to get rid of it entirely.
Until one experiences being bullied, one cannot fully appreciate or understand just how devastating the effects of bullying are.
Sending positive energies your way.

from "A long road back" author
by: Anonymous

Thank you all for your input. I am still working at the effects that long-term bullying has had on me but thank goodness for journaling, I'm finally feeling some peace. My husband has been working long hours and says if he can continue he would like me to retire. To the person who mentioned taking some sort of action, I had thought seriously about it but had signed a paper when I was terminated that I wouldn't.
I asked for a reason for my termination but they would only say it was 'a skill set problem'. I asked three times which skills I was lacking and they would only repeat that it was 'a skill set' problem. I found that sort of humorous. They weren't upset with my skill set up to that point as I had never been formally disciplined and my one evaluation in three years had been above average.
Actually, in my company, there were over 250 workers and I was in a department of five. I had written an office manual and trained two new employees using that manual. This was done on my own time using my own computer and other resources and supplies, right down to the paper and laminating and binding. One of my tormentors went to HR and complained that the manual was wrong and that she had corrected it. She reprinted it on company paper and redistributed it. I compared the 'new' version with the one I had written and it was exactly the same! I didn't bother saying anyting to anyone and now, looking back, I wonder why I didn't.
But here is the kicker. There have been four new people in that position in the last two years and all of them have quit. Tell you anything?

keep positive and strong
by: Simone Wilksons QLD

I am in my mid forties now, and if someone told me what I am about to tell you, it would have saved me a lot of suffering later on. Remember to always keep a diary of what goes on in your department and notes of things people say and do to you, especially when they make you feel uncomfortable and upset. Learn about the law and make enquiries as to where to go to get help if ever you need support. the help you get, try and keep it silent and away from the company you serve. Dont let anyone know what you are doing to protect and help yourself and remember that you, like everyone else deserves a job and a wage and you dont need to be bullied out of a company or tossed out of a team just because others dont like you!!!!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Workplace Bullying Stories.