What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Kevmo Dude

by Kev
(London, UK)

I was bullied for about 8 years at work. I ended up with a drink problem went into rehab and am now in recovery. It took me a long time to realise that my manager was bullying me (work dumping, spreading dirt, etc), because I am not a victim type of person. I was held to hostage by my old fashioned idea that one should work hard and do as your boss says. A useless lesson my father drummed into me.

Other people in the department always said what a nice guy he was. He was indeed very nice (a 'crawler') to his superiors.

I went back to work after rehab, and ended up working for the same guy. I held him at bay using assertiveness techniques but he hadn't changed. He retired last week. Early in the week I told him that I wanted a word with him and took him to a quiet area. I tried to explain, calmly and assertively that I was unhappy about his behaviour. I fluffed my words a bit, not finding it easy. He said it was my own fault and a sneering mocking expression came over his face. I said (quote):

"You think this is funny? You're lucky we're not discussing this in the car park right now or I'd be kicking your f*****g ass, you c**t!.... Any time you want." I don't know where it came from, deep anger inside I suppose. I left him there pale and shaking. When he came back, he told his boss he didn't feel very well, picked up his coat and walked out sobbing. He was crawling around me all week after that. I gave the sorry loser nothing but contempt and disdain.

However, I had failed to remain assertive, threats like this are technically illegal. It goes against the perceived wisdom, but it did me a lot of good to see him as he really was, a weak and pathetic individual, as they generally are underneath. This is how you regard your bully.

My experience with going through the proper procedures is that the managers/HR like to put it down to say, a personality clash, which I would not accept as it gets them off the hook.

Word got around and now nobody gives me any hassle around the place. You are not necessarily weak if you are bullied, just maybe not as crafty as your colleagues who are generally just relieved that they are not the target. I dare say that I could probably throw my weight around now, but it would give me no pleasure. I am not a bully.

Comments for Kevmo Dude

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PS...
by: Kevmo

Bad form to reply to your own posts, but I thought I should explain that during the incident, I used the word c**t whilst in a state of having lost my temper. This word is probably more commonly used in the UK and is never appropriate, Women especially find it offensive. For this I sincerely apologise to anyone visiting the site.

If you are being bullied, remember there is very likely to be a small and weak person hiding behind a large but very fragile eqo.

Best Regards and good luck to all

Call 'Em As You See 'Em
by: SiD

You may be on to something. I tried to be decent and reasonable. It cost me everything. My career, my health, my savings, my home, my means of earning a living. This has also devastated my family and caused them indescribable suffering.

I often wonder what would have happened if I had only used more drastic measures. Should I have resorted to violence or threats of violence? I have heard of this approach working as often as not. However, in many cases it will be turned against you and used to justify all of the abuse -- as if your threat or violent reaction to their abuse and provocations proves that you have been the problem all along.

I wonder what might have been if I had cornered the bullies and "straightened them out". Would it have accelerated the process, as I feared, and caused me to lose everything plus have a criminal charge -- or would I have been able to save myself and my family from the absolute hell our lives have been made into anyway.

I don't see how things could be much worse. Doing things the "right way" gave the bullies all the latitude they needed to continue destroying my life because, as you mentioned, those in authority who should also have been doing the right thing looked the other way (and then joined in destroying my life) instead.

This reminds me of what John F. Kennedy said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible
will make violent revolution inevitable."

Change the rules...
by: Anonymous

One must find their own way of dealing with bullies, one persons approach may not work for another.
The problem as I see it is, you can't win playing bullies games, it is their rules.
In order to change the rules of the game, and in order to shift the odds in the targets favor, bullies must realize that their actions will have punitive criminal consequences.
Bully's world view is based on fear and dread, they need to control others, that is their sole raison d'etre.
Physical or verbal retaliation may feel good momentarily, but it always backfires.
The only way to defeat a bully is to change the rules of their insidious game, so that they are exposed for what they really are...sociopaths.
Unfortunately workplace culture condones bullying, and until that perception changes, many innocent, respectful people will continue to suffer the abuse.
When bullying happens to you, you are forever changed.

CHANGE THE RULES
by: Anonymous

Re: Change the rules

I want to comment to the person who wrote, change the rules. You are right, the victim is never the same. I was bullied and it can happen to men and women of any age group. The worst part about it, was that if anything someone said or did something which triggered a past memory it was powerful enough to shock my system.

I couldnt go back to work. I was damaged. I lost everything to my name and the company didnt have to pay me a cent because I was also stupid and didnt know how to stand up for myself.Today i am bankrupt and those responsible for injuring me have been working ever since. i was taken out of work and forced to heal on my own. The people responsible were moved up the corporate ladder and even had a party after I left. Until this day, they have been kept on, and I have been defamed. You are right, one is not the same after a bullying experience. Personally, I think its a crime because it takes away everything thats worth living for.

Yessss!!!!
by: Anonymous

As a woman who is being bullied, regardless of how offensive I find the word "c" I think you handled the situation perfectly.
Bullying has such an effect that you should be congratulated for holding your ground. You probably wanted to kick that bully, but you didn't- you are strong!
I just want to add, targets of bullying are not 'victims'. Targets usually possess a quality that bullies are intimidated about - in your case, it's your brilliant hard working work ethics.

Good for you to put a bully in his place. All the best for the future!

M

The C-word
by: Blacklist-Ed

I know exactly how you felt. Here in the US, using the c-word is a serious insult, especially if the bully is a female supervisor.

When you get a chance, please read "Blacklisted in Community Corrections." After months of verbal abuse, then being seriously burned on my performance appraisal, jacked out of my raise, then called at home (when off duty to work the graveyard shift that night) and being yelled at I finally lost my temper, yelled back and used the C-word. You can read the full story.

One of the major things my research has discovered, using this and other sites, is that it is vital to keep things in some sort of context. Some bullies will just keep messing with you until you finally lose your temper, yell back once, then get you fired; without the full story or circumstances taken into account. I'm glad things worked out for you, most victims are not that lucky.

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