What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Mobbed in Health Care (Part 4)

by Silenced

From the day I returned the ostracizing and silent treatment continued, and their facial expressions at report was that I was abhorred. None of them would talk or team with me, and the games began anew. I was openly mocked. They would falsely report me to the VP and facility leader weekly or more. Finally, a meeting of the VP and team was called, and the VP went all "spiritual", stating to "live in the present, not the past or future". The manipulator voiced out about how Silent Joe was "so much fun" and how others aka me were so negative, and bring so much "stress". The VP said it was her issue as to how she saw the world. The bully union president stated "until management says something different, no one can tell me how long I can take on my breaks" (she hadn't worked the floor in 2.5 years, and the break issue was a lie perpetrated by the trio). I was not given the opportunity to speak. However, the unit manager was told to have "an open mind". On the way back to our unit, I mentioned to Silent Joe that the manipulator was spreading poisonous statements about me over such a long period that it would stick in people's minds. About ten minutes later I heard the manipulator ask Silent Joe if I had said anything. I heard him say no, and then "but she was all over that". I then knew he was Silent Two-faced Joe, and the unit manager would not have been so determined to pass me off as a "paranoid" if he had said something.

One day, I heard Silent Joe and Dogmatic talking with the female bully RN in the office about Casual, and that the RN didn't want to get fired. For over a year, Casual had been leaving one half hour to an hour and a half early each shift, which frustrated the unit manager as she "only had permission for one half hour from the facility leader on Tuesdays and Thursdays". I asked the guys alone if maybe she was leaving early but claiming to work full shift. Dogmatic strongly said "it was done right". I looked in the discrepancy papers, and sure enough, she was signed on full shift as per RN. I realized she had been doing this the whole time, and was being protected by all knowing staff on the unit, including the two male co-workers who easily lied to protect her. I reported the event to the facility leader and heard Silent Joe's response when questioned: "why would I lie?". The outrageous abuse continued against me, and I met with the VP privately, having to use the union president as my "protection". She was hostile to my aim as two of the bullies were her friends. I explained that I was in the final stages of mobbing, and provided documentation of their abuse, and I understood there were no laws against it. He said he was not in a position to deal with six union members filing grievances. He then came in close and asked me if I saw myself working with these gang members in the future and could feel the trick question. If I answered no, I would be moved. So, I answered honestly, with a strained and angry "yes" as I had done nothing but work with them in the past. The look in his eyes was a triumphant eagle landing on his prey, and he said to the union rep "boy, if all that she relayed happened to me, I'd be more upset and say something like, "maybe in time I can forgive them". The union president then verbally agreed with him, and the attitude after that was "shut up, we're done with you". He then spoke of "change is hard but necessary in life" and I knew that I would be moved or fired. I shook his hand at the end and said, "it would have been nice to have met you under different circumstances" and his demeanor became less harsh. I left feeling totally betrayed by my union rep and a company who would not investigate properly and only make it easy for themselves. I called for an appointment with the national union rep after accessing the union mobbing info in another province. I asked for my union president not to be present. I met with her, she read my private communications with management, and said I absolutely had a case. The union president came in after our meeting, and she was told a "watch" would be put on the manipulator. The union president concurred what a problem she was to work with, and the original bully was far too reactive and assuming. I was told to "not trust anyone" and say nothing and just let management take over now. She advised not to take a polygraph, which I had offered, as it was "too stressful", and to eventually approach my MLA to help change laws.

The abuse at work continued, and finally culminated with the manipulator refusing to work with me, even though she was assigned partner that day. I called her on it, and she came stomping down to help me. The unit manager followed, and said "you guys just can't get along, and the VP is going to move people". Manipulator launched into a barrage against me about how incompetent I was, how I wouldn't help the rec therapist, etc., etc. I addressed each statement, and she would quickly launch into another. This continued down the hall until we were alone, when she cackled at me, called me "mental" and that Dogmatic and Silent Joe were "so sick of me". She enjoyed the entire rant until I smiled and called her "typical abuser" and a "sociopath" I have since learned that she falls into the socialized psychopath category. She immediately left. I found out later that she, the original bully, and the rec therapist ran down together to the VP to get me fired.

About an hour later, it was announced that highest management was coming up for a meeting, and the bully RN didn't know what it was about. The atmosphere was triumphant, and I feared I would be humiliated by being walked off the floor. Instead, the facility leader and organizational leader arrived and stated the unit manager had been fired. The mobbing group immediately piled into the office to gossip after, and the manipulator was on her cell phone. I heard loud whispering statements, "maybe she knew".

Soon after, one of the bullies quit, and the temporary RN was replaced by the returning male RN (close friend and ally of the manipulator). This male RN wanted the unit manager position, and was upset the position was given to the old unit manager I had spoken with about the abuse. He called her appointment "inappropriate". Yet, he is her special favorite (he manipulates with gifts, attention and charm)and she has told me she is "emotionally close" to him. Therefore, I feel completely unsafe in mentioning the bully tactics he has used on me. She only assures me now that she will hold her position for another 5 years, but then he will get her position.

The ostracizing continued when she took over, however, she addressed it by saying to everyone, "the proper person was fired - no one else is getting fired" and from now on she would take no more complaints. This included me, as the day before I had addressed their continued behavior, and showed her my WCB witness statement. I heard her address the statement with Silent Joe, who loudly said, "I don't know what to say". She warned me after to "leave the boys out of it" as they don't want to be involved, and Silent Joe could leave over it. I was told the gang was furious with me for being too close with the unit manager, and they had admitted to not speaking with me, and told they had to stop. I asked her if they admitted to the humiliation and game-playing. She said no. When I mentioned that they showed no remorse, she told me to "be humble".

My evening co-worker later told me she had got together with four other victims who had quit due to harassment at work by other bullies. Some of them made sexual harassment claims against the unit manager (this is what got him fired). I was forced to smile each day while seething in anger towards the group of seven who got away with murder, but now had no problem acting the part of nice, cooperative co-worker. None of them apologized or acted even remotely sorry. They continue to gossip behind managements ears, stating I got the unit manager fired, was lazy and not to be trusted. When I speak of my emotional pain privately to the current unit manager (and social worker by training)...I've tried twice in two years...she answers with an unemotional "I believe you, but it is only your perspective". She's also said, "I was assured by management that nothing was going on on the unit" but that it was false, but she had to follow their instructions. She said the past unit manager tried to "bury" me with his "paranoid" accusations, and that if she didn't get the team working together, four of us would have been fired, and that included me.

About seven months after the new unit manager took over, a full-time position opened up on evenings, and I got it. That was a year and a half ago. Even though there are two friends of the bullying gang I work with, they are outnumbered by strong people who won't put up with manipulation and abuse. I distance myself as far away as I can from the bully group while giving them polite exchange. The same goes for the two male co-workers who let the abuse happen (one of the quit a year ago). I have redeemed myself from the false gossip as much as I can, and many people like working with me. The hypervigilance is slowing leaving, but it has taken two years. I experienced PTSD symptoms for about a year after. I know I am working in a Machiavellian environment that is "safe" for the moment, but things may change if the right people come in power. The bully group continues to target others (it came to a meeting head not too long ago), and one of the targets is "Casual". Both Manipulator and Casual got full-time positions after I left days. I can now say I am healing.

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