Working in Health Care Industry is Not Always Healthy
by Judith Munson
(Magalia, CA, USA)
Years ago I worked for a major health care provider in So. California. I worked in the admissions department and loved my job. The people I worked with were fun to be around and very helpful, including my supervisor.
After about a year and a half, I suddenly became ill and required open heart surgery to repair a mitral valve in my heart. When I left to have this procedure done, I was assured by the controller that I would have a job when I returned and for me not to worry.
When I returned after 8 weeks, I got myself re-oriented to my work again. Within a few days, my boss started calling me into her office and said I was making some mistakes and that I should be more careful. I noticed that my co-workers were a bit distant with me also. As time went on, this routine continued daily and I was ridiculed and brow-beaten continuously. I thought something was wrong with me so I started seeing a psychologist. The heat was turned up on me and soon my co-workers were ignoring me, my boss was riding me harder and harder and my self-confidence went right out of the window.
During the next three months of being mobbed, my stress levels were through the roof, I was physically sick everyday before I went to work and I cried at the drop of the hat.
The day came when I was given the choice of going back on a 90 day probationary period or I could just leave right then and there. I chose to leave. I could not take it anymore.
What I learned almost a year later is that I was set up on purpose in order for me to leave. They had no legal stand to fire me as it was, but if I went back on 90-days probation, they could fire me with no cause. I was not strong enough emotionally to fight for myself so leaving was the only option I could see. I learned later there was an unwritten policy that if someone presented to be a health care risk to the facility, the employee was to be gotten rid of at all costs. By the time I found this out, it was too late for me to take legal action as the statue of limitations was past due. I found out also, that I did not make any of the mistakes I was accused of making.
This experience created such deep seeded emotional problems that it took me years to overcome. I became housebound, couldn't work at all for years and was dependent upon my husband and children to take me places as I was so afraid I'd make a mistake.
It took me years to overcome these fears and I eventually started taking small steps to regain my confidence in working and going places. I now own my own business, have authored many articles on the subject of bullying in the workplace and am currently writing a book called "Alligators in the Water Cooler; Defining and Surviving Bullies in the Workplace", release date, November 2008.
I think it's important for those who are experiencing being bullied or mobbed to know that it's not their fault. And believe it or not, it's not personal. A bully bullies to fulfill his/her need for being in control or to make up for their own inadequacies.