What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Strong But Not Sure How Long

by Feel Like I Am Bullied
(New Jersey)

I work at a newspaper which is part of a large newspaper company. I am succeeding in my job. Won 15 awards over a year's time, often on television for my newspaper and caught the eye of other newspaper folks within the company.

My boss who has never given me much recognition, worked hard to keep me when I was hired off by a competing newspaper in the same company. He made it impossible for me to leave by calling a person high in the parent company. I continued to do well - getting unbelievable gets.

Then, my boss asked me to do another job (totally untrained and highly technical) as well as do my other duties. I am not getting paid more. I work from 8:30 a.m. and leave at 10 p.m. every single day. But I am also doing my regular job as well as the job of one of my subordinates and also taking lead in getting huge access for a particular project - which I have done with huge success. So we are talking four jobs.

My boss also put me over several subordinates who can walk right into his office and tell him anything about their boss. This has happened to my predecessor who was immediately fired. And I am suppose to work with another person whose equal on the food chain with me (We will call this person Carla) who is close to my boss. That person has been the bain of my existence. I told my boss when he told me I had to do this other job that my only reservations were that three of the players are people who deem they are close to him. He said he'd have my back.

At first, Carla was always in my office - being extremely duplicitous, criticizing my staff, talking about people on the business side. But I began to work closely with my staff and they have succeeded and I have gained their trust. I am hard on them but also give them many kudos. We have succeeded. I have done well in this new job, too while also doing my other jobs well but its getting too much. I feel like I am being set up to fail. I feel like I am being used.

Carla likes to pitch her team agaist my team. Everytime we do well, Carla brings up a roadblock. At one point, she screamed at me via the telephone because she wasn't happy with my staff. I let it go but immediately told my boss via email. It got so weird a few days ago that I told Carla to stop being so divisive. This happened after Carla screamed at me on the phone accusing me of being rude to one of her staff members. That staff members told her that in fact I wasn't and that it was Carla who had been rude to her. I also told Carla she was way off base.

Carla has now decided to just destroy me as she has done to other people. My boss has done nothing. He loves Carla and also is a person who will help no one. He just told me welcome to management and that I am doing a great, great job. My boss realizes she is saving money by having me do three jobs (well actually four jobs). Actually, one of his subordinates said this via email and the email was kindly passed to me.

I just feel like I have done well, protected my reputation through the years but not sure how long this will continue since Carla is putting her energies on destroying me. Please help. Am I being set up to fail? I also hired a work coach as my first step to ending the madness.

Comments for Strong But Not Sure How Long

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Carla Baby Will Destroy You
by: Anonymous

Carla sounds like the bully witch from the west. No one should have to endure what you are going through. But in this job market, and in the newspaper business, you must feel terrible stress over this situation. I know from my own experience with bullying that indeed, people do set us up to fail. And then when we rebound, time and time again, it only makes them more angry.

During one of my darkest hours a friend told me, "Remember, that everything always changes." Indeed it does. But it may take a lifetime sometimes. After four decades, I am finally running for Mayor of our town to try and get rid of the bullying and mobbing city officials who have tried to destroy me (it passes on from one generation to the next). Some tell me I am going to win. Now won't that be interesting if I become the boss of them? I suggest to just keep rethinking of new ways to solve your problem, now matter how far fetched the solution may seem... never once did I want to be a politician but it is the last hope for our small town, so why not try? They won't change -- but we can change our approach. And it just might work!

Set Up To Fail? You Betcha!
by: No Name Girl

I am sorry to read what you are going through - but if it is any help - you need to know that your situation is classic! You are being set up to fail by being loaded up with 4 jobs and set up against difficult, underhanded people (Carla) and a management team that needs help. It seems to me that there is some undercurrent of passive agressive behaviour (in your management team) where they like to watch high achievers (like yourself) struggle and overcome amazing odds. Rather like cruel little children putting a bug in a bottle to watch it struggle for it's life ... know what I mean here? Some people get some kind of perverse power and enjoyment from this kind of thing. Sad - but true. If I can offer any advice - start keeping notes, e-mails and most of all - start to redo your resume. Insist that your work load be cut to a more reasonable level, and then use the time to get out and network your (clearly very competent) self into a new job. Leave this toxic swamp of passive agressive, small, petty and bitter people behind. For your own sake and your career, use some of your energy and ability to move on, before they destroy you (emotionally & professionally). Good luck and let us know how it goes!

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