What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

People At Work Treat Me Like A Common Criminal

I am so overwhelmed by the bullying at work to where I had to go the the emergency room on Saturday morning. It got so bad that Saturday morning when I woke up to where I wish I could just go to sleep one night and never wake up again. I wish that could die of a heart attack, have a stroke, get killed in an accident, or hope somebody just shoots me in head or if I have died of cancer.

I am a 49 year old single mother of three children, two of them are grown and one child age 11 remains at home with me. The same people who use to speak, smile and say hello are not speaking to me anymore. They are all personally working against me and being told I make everybody uncomfortable. I am also experience a form of work place bullying, they are not giving me a chance, I am being sabotaged, lied on, and scorned by other peers.

The Manager and lead avoid me all the time when I need assistance. I am being singled out to be treated differently than other people on the team. They put me down and give me the silent treatment. Like when I have a conversation with my manager and team they come back and tell me there is a lot of complaints against me done anonymously, that I make people uncomfortable. That other people at work are complaining about my coughing and not covering my mouth, overlook my accomplishments and being unfairly evaluated on scores.

It may possibly have something to do with my physical appearance. I am being treated very contemptuously by other co-workers and the managers like I am something from the streets. They tried to set me up and spread rumors that I steal. I am always asking for cigarettes, but other people come and ask me for cigarettes and they don't get reported to their managers. I don't ever get a kind word from the managers compared to other co-workers. I think the new bosses don't like me, that they want me out of the way, other people are trying to get me fired because they see me as an ugly woman with a mental disability. They are always pointing their finger at me. I actually feel discriminated against...

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I know your pain.
by: Anonymous

You are a victim of mob bullying. I know this because you could be telling my own story. The sad fact is, I just came from my doctor's office on Tuesday and she is talking about "medical disability" as a result of all of this. My blood pressure is out of control, I vomit a couple of times a week. Their big "solution" was to put me on another floor with different people. Did they really think that would stop it? No! Now they bring it downstairs and are turning all these people against me too. My next stop is Personnel because I have 31 1/2 years on this job and I won't be pushed out the door by some stupid twit with bad self-esteem and her minions. I just won't have it. Get a book called "Mobbing. Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace". It helped somewhat and then I turned it over to the supervisors to read and figure out what's going on. Good luck to you. Hang in there. YOU DO NOT NEED TO PUNISH YOURSELF FOR THEIR BAD! Please try to remember that. If you do anything to yourself because of all of this, it will not make them feel bad. Your best fight against their abuse is to keep coming to work with a smile on your face. And keep in touch with your doctor. Don't let things get out of hand.

Note from Anton: Approaching management and giving them books about mobbing/workplace bullying and going to Personnel/HR has backfired severely for many. It could mean the beginning of the end of your job there. Before you do something like that I suggest you read What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know.

Response to Anton
by: Anonymous

You know, I can appreciate what you're trying to say here, Anton. But the book Mobbing talks about how to make it feel better and to derail the idea that dying is the best option available for us who are bullied. As the original poster said, they want to die. Been there, felt that pain myself. I don't think now is the time to sell books, to be honest. Now is a time to derail the damage inflicted by bullies. The book about mobbing made me feel better inside and actually helped me see why the bully does what they do. As for giving them the book and going to H.R. That was on the advise of my doctor. A medical professional has recognized the damage this is causing me and that was her advice. I am going to follow her advice. I love your site and getting our feelings out there is very helpful... but...

I have to disagree. Pt 1
by: Anton

I have to disagree. It IS the time to get the information people need into their hands before they unintentionally set themselves up for disaster that could wind up costing them their careers, their health and even their lives. (Or "the time to sell books" as you put it.) Unfortunately, it takes a great deal of time, money and dedication to create, maintain and update the website and the ebook "What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know." Yes, it would be great if I could give it away for free. But what we earn from sales of the ebook helps us keep everything going. (Unfortunately, I am not independently wealthy. Quite the opposite actually, following the workplace mobbing I went through myself. Experiences I hope others can learn and benefit from.)

Considering the stakes, is the ebook worth the price? If you paint yourself into a corner with management and it costs you your job how much will the loss of income be in just one month—how about 1 year? Will you lose your savings? Your home? What about health costs? How much is having a heart attack due to the stress going to cost you? More than the price of the ebook? Probably. All combined it could be hundreds of thousands of times the value of the ebook.

I have purchased the book you mentioned, "Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace" (yes—purchased—(the bookstore did not give it to me for free)). I also did as you suggest. I brought it to work to show managers. Managers were not the least bit interested—and it can certainly put you in the category of "troublemaker" and "problem to be gotten rid of" by pressing the issue with management in this way.


I have to disagree. Pt 2
by: Anton

Continued from Pt 1...

Actually, funny story, I remember having the book on my desk at work. Throughout the course of the days I had it at work about 6 or 7 people who came by my desk noticed the book with the large print of the word "Mobbing" on the cover. Hmm, "What is this?" they wondered. I noticed they would pick up the book to check it out. As soon as they found out that it was about workplace bullying… every single person—every one—put the book back down on my desk FACE DOWN. I'm sure my co-workers were just trying to protect me, hoping that managers wouldn't see this book on my desk. I printed out information from Tim Field's website and gave it to managers. I sent emails to managers with links to information about mobbing. (Even supervisors that I had (up until that point) considered to be my "friends.") BIG MISTAKE.

So, making yourself feel better by reading a book about mobbing is one thing—bringing it to work to show management is entirely another. If you are so lucky as to have management that responds to this approach, understands the error of their ways and transforms their behaviour and addresses workplace bullying—great—but, generally speaking, that is not the reaction targets get.

If you have found a doctor that even recognizes the dynamics of workplace mobbing and the damage it can cause you are much further ahead than most. Many doctors are not familiar with mobbing and have not experienced it for themselves. They may be decent, honourable people who believe that if you just explain mobbing and how bad it is to managers that they will be enlightened and transformed as human beings. I don't want people to simply follow this advise, go to managers and HR (Mobbing book in tow) and set themselves up for the onslaught that often follows. If people want to try this (I'm not saying it can't work) that's fine. I just want them to be able to weigh the pros and cons of proceeding in this manner.

Agree with Anton
by: Anonymous from NJ

Anton your advice was 'right on' with regards the person who gave a book on mobbing and bullying in the workplace to a supervisor. We should NEVER go to management with our difficulties; as though 'the authority' will fix it for us. It is the equivalent of saying that we are unable to handle life. I think the reason I and others do go to authority is because, we came from a time when authority did want to ensure a comfortable workplace. We came to understand that authority was good and impartial.

That they would solve a problem objectively. Not firing subjectively. Management will no longer serve in capacity of arbitration of who his right or wrong; because they 'fear' the legal suits that may come. So; any who point fingers, is now 'the wrong one' in a world that no longer has objective understanding of right and wrong actions. It all comes down to the mighty dollar getting honored out there. Bullies love it when nothing can be called wrong. They are free to harass 'til their target yells Uncle; and then out the target goes. (dare I say; evil is running amok in today's work environment)

If it's any consolation; with target gone; while a firm can't call something right or wrong, they do know 'the score' / the bully will be called upon to up performance; if they can't comply, that is the only way to get rid of them. I believe many bullies are released also. Not that target gets to know that. Company got rid of two people and then they start hiring again.

Zero Sum Competition; would you explain that Mr. Hout? I think it will explain why management doesn't care anymore.

I was released after two years and some months and at 'talk' before being let go, I was told that others found me offensive. Nothing was spoken to me about this in all my 2 plus years. I asked 'who said such' and tell me when and where. No response was given. Then, this HR manager said "but you can stay if you sign this paper stating you will no longer be offensive."

Is that funny? They can't tell me what the offense is but I should sign that I am and I won't be. NO WAY! Once that paper was signed, the intimidation would have gotten worse.

The funnier part, I can laugh now...two months later I email and ask for a reference and was given a glowing one. (someone suggested I ask) At least I got a reference signed by this HR person, attesting to my integrity.

I sure question what colleges are teaching business managers today. Anything you'd like to add Anton?

Note from Anton: I'm not sure about the idea that bullies are put upon by managers after they have gotten a target fired and wind up getting fired themselves. I believe that they simply choose the next target to blame—many become serial bullies. Others are even promoted themselves. I suppose the zero sum competition you referred to would manifest itself in those who are not happy with win/win resolutions. Some cannot enjoy a win unless there is is a loser for them to lord it over.

a p.s.
by: Anonymous in NJ

p.s. - This phenomenon is being allowed to continue because the bullied worker has to let it go; they can't go public with it on tv or newspaper, they will NEVER get a job.

I think the only way to stop it, is as I originally wrote: think of what is above not of the earth. If one is bullied and have offered it up as much as possible, give notice and move on on one's own. It's tough, to leave without another job; but it's easier at next interview to say "I left because I found I could not give as much as I wish to give in a job" I know we feel to quit gives them the satisfaction; but SO WHAT? Thier attitude is between them and God. They don't care about you and so; why should you care about what they think. Go and move on. Do it with dignity in a letter. Ask when they want you to officially clean out the desk, they will no doubt say immediately. (*if you can time the departure to when they have a heavy work demand, see that as your justice)

Go work part time, or get two part time jobs. You test them by how they act. With two jobs, one isn't as vulnerable and thus will relax more to any 'dumb stuff' that goes on.

How's that sound.

There is no solution. Just move on.
by: JayinSoCal

A book helps. Reading about the experiences of others helps. Exercise helps. My dogs are a godsend. Even good drugs and a stiff drink help for awhile. But there is no real solution.

There will be bullies, there will be the bullied, and there will be those who just go along. This is our nature. In every culture, throughout recorded human history. (It can also be observed in other species.) The bullied simply have to make a decision -- take it, find another job, and/or get revenge. There will almost *never* be a grown-up resolution. And it is very rare that someone in the organization will go to bat for someone else who is being bullied. Don't ever assume that, because you would, someone will do that same for you. You are on your own, kiddo!

In my case, I tried everything. I changed my approach in the workplace. I stepped up my game -- I was the hardest working guy there, coming in earlier and leaving later most of the time. I made mistakes like the next guy, but I owned up to and resolved them immediately, and I was consciously patient with the mistakes of others. I treated people with respect. I was consciously equitable and generous in working with others. I spoke to the bully directly and tried to gradually win him over. I spoke to my managers, who were powerless, or were unwilling to take the risk of confronting their management. I documented everything and reported the final straw -- when he physically menaced me twice in one week.

I was unceremoniously removed from the project and benched -- a "cooling off" period they called it. Now I must reapply to another project as any other person would apply for a job - "That's business," the CEO said to me. And he's right. That *is* the bottom line. I was taken out of the equation to preserve decorum (read: revenue stream). People in my company now look at me as if I did something wrong, as a failure. Nobody from the project will speak to me. HR is keeping me at arms' length. When I asked if they had resources for people who were bullied, they replied by saying, "What do you mean?" They will only respond to my emails with a telephone call. (They won't put *anything* in writing.) I was (am) completely on my own. No time off was given. No clear guidance on what to do next. Just, "Sit down over there and cool off. And reapply somewhere else."

Back to the story: At one point early in the bully's trajectory, my coworkers were palling around with him right in front of my eyes. They made a point of "making nice" to him while I was there. The bully was visibly thrilled to have finally isolated me. I received an email from someone in the office stating: "You're my new best friend, because you are now the target." It was incredibly frustrating to watch this happen to me. I noticed other bullies and their targets in that same office. I also saw "mobbing". As soon as I was sensitized to it, I saw it everywhere. It was a giant mess. It was one of the most dysfunctional, predatory organizations I've ever encountered. It was egregious. If I was a female, or a protected minority, this would never have stood. But I'm white and approaching middle age -- nobody gives a $#!t about a guy like me, except my wife and my dogs. [cry]

So there it is. I've considered my options. Certainly, creative revenge strategies were at the top of the list, and I've not counted them out completely. I decided that for now, I had to move on. Life is not fair. I can elect to be fair to those around me, but most people are mean and/or cowards and completely unwilling to do the right thing if it means they perceive risk to themselves. We accept this self-centeredness almost as a virtue in society -- when we see this happening with others, we expect people to "take care of themselves." This is reality. This is the truth!

So I am moving on. And you all probably should, too, when you find the strength. It sucks! It may happen again! But what choice do we have? (Still thinking about revenge....)

Make sense?

Bullying/mobbing is highly manipulated situation.
by: Anonymous

Bullying/mobbing is highly manipulated situation. Just find the correct person(male/female) who initiated this intentionally and just think to hurt him/her seriously in any manner, just as revenge. This is the only solution.
The reality is something like some one is against/jealous/in-competition with you and he/she only wants you to be get bulled. Since he /she may be very closer/in-favor with his boss/manager/authorities, thats why only he/she can enforced the bulling/mobbing against you. Others, your colleagues, are under his/her pressure or they may also have their selfishness. Thats why they all are also supporting that person. So no one will cooperate you in any manner and there is no use of complain also. So you just need to understand the situation and handle so smoothly and politely and wait for right moment to get revenge from him only. Forget others. And since you are alone now to fight the situation, so it will very difficult for to hurt that person or get revenge. There you need some healthy and effective suggestions/helps from your relatives or may be from here on net. Now I request people over here, instead of saying just ignore the situation, see other job, keep calm, be strong... bla bla bla... suggest and give some healthy and effective ideas so that the person under mobbing/bullying can hurt/get revenge. And it will be projected such that no one should do this with any one anywhere in future. If ny one like to make the group to help such people that will also be great IDEA, may be consulting ,etc.

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