What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Set Up 'N' Wiped Out

I started my new job as contracts manager 2 1/2 years ago. My employer was quite impressed by my skills and eagerness to work and was awarded quarterly with award bonuses for almost 2 years in a row.

The CEO had some difficulties with the bookkeeper's inexperience and we were growing steadfastly. Since I had 15+ years experience as a bookkeeper I recommended they hire a full time Comptroller/Accountant. My advice was heeded and a Comptroller was hired in Oct 2007.

The Comptroller was not happy with our accounting software and recommended a rather expensive and complex software that was contract driven. I was happy and relieved everything was moving along smoothly. The Comptroller took a shining to me and soon wanted me to be her right arm person.

I explained that although I had many years of accounting under my belt I was no longer interested in accounting and wished to stay in contracting. It was soon very clear to me that the Comptroller was not accepting my decision and convinced the CEO that I was to be pulled into the operations of the accounting software.

At the same time I started to notice the Comptroller had a Jekyll and Hyde personality such as verbal abuse; degradation towards me and other co-workers but conservative and professional in the presence of the executives. Soon, I and other co-workers literally experienced verbal abuse, and felt mentally beaten up.

I approached 2 board members and our HR manager to discuss the matter. At the same time I advised them that the operation of the accounting software and contracts management was too heavy a load and impractical for one person to handle as well as the fact that accounting did not belong mixed with contracts management.

They took several contracts off my hands and left me with the most difficult one that required the most data input into the accounting software. I was so inundated with data entry there was little time left for contract administration. I often had to walk out of an accounting meeting to attend a contract conference call. Estimates and evaluations were falling on the same period as our billing period. Last minute requests frequently come in from the customer and required a 24 hour turn around.

I again stated that it still remained cumbersome as well as the fact that the comptroller was not training me accurately on the software informing them there were times where she refused to advise how to complete a procedure and that she would handle it herself. My response was that if I were not properly versed on the procedure in the first place the same difficulty would continue over and over again.

During this time I was sent to various contracts conferences to which the Comptroller became jealous of and requested that she be allowed to come along as well. This worked the first 2 conferences and was stopped thereafter by the Exec. VP, stating the Comptroller had no business attending the conferences.

Shortly afterwards I noticed whenever I had to be out of the office the Comptroller made a rather large complaint that I would not be available for her reports; meeting; deadlines etc. Request for reports often surfaced the day before I was to depart for travel. (I guess you have the picture by now).

The CEO called me into her office in February asking why I had changed since I first started with the company. I used to be so easy to work with. I confided my change in personality was the result of lack of/improper training from the Comptroller. I also advised her that I felt I was either being set up for failure by the Comptroller or her training abilities were rather poor. I frequently experience instances where the Comptroller expressed jealousy if someone was given a new laptop; software; etc. and not her.

The CEO's response was that the Comptroller liked me and had nothing but good things to say about me. Shortly afterwards, Management no longer supported me. I felt isolated for the next 2 months. The difficulty continued until the first week of March and I was terminated. I felt totally bullied and very much the wounded victim.

Comments for Set Up 'N' Wiped Out

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by: Anonymous

It's too bad that managers really do not know what their employees are doing, even though MANAGE is what they're supposed to be doing. Managers pick their favorites and you can't do anything about it. It has to go to the court system just to be believed!

Bullies Don't Care Who They Hurt or How Much They Cost the Company
by: Anton Hout

I'm sorry to hear what this bully put you through. At least now you can start to put this ordeal behind you and take the time you need to heal.

Thank you for your story. This bully helps illustrate several characteristics and tactics that others may be faced with.

Bullies have their own agenda and they don't consider the well being of coworkers or the interests of the company itself. This is demonstrated by the Comptroller costing the company by attending conferences unrelated to her job function. These bullies lash out at anyone who does not obediently serve these selfish interests.

Withholding information, sabotaging success, manipulating deadlines/workloads to cause problems and being abusive to subordinates while maintaining a facade of professionalism around executives are all classic bully tactics.

You are better off for being out of there and the company is the worse for it.

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