What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Workplace Bullying In A Government Agency

by Hyacinth
(Brisbane, QLD)

From the day I started my job in a government agency I was never really welcomed or included by the existing team members. But I didnt make a thing of it. I loved my job, and was happy. But I noticed that this existing small team isolated and gossiped about an older lady on our team. Then after 2-3 months they turned on me and I became the target. I was subjected to rudeness, isolation and indifference for almost 3 years.

I was verbally attacked and abused in front of staff by a male on my team. It was very degrading. He said dreadful things and I knew he had been the cause of my worries for all those months since I started. I spoke to my supervisor, and manager. But my concerns went unnoticed and ignored. I am a quiet natured, happy person and would not upset a soul. Any of my requests for training or personal betterment in the workplace were ignored, pushed aside. I didn't understand why this was happening to me.

The older lady in my section who had been subjected to this for 2 years told me she had felt suicidal. I now felt the same. I wanted to die to stop the hurt. She was my support at work. One particlaur female and the male were the instigators and would 'backstab' me, making derogatory comments to other employees about me. I raised these concerns directly with my manager but things got incredibly worse. I even mentioned this to the GENERAL manager when he asked me himself, and I felt good I'd finally said how I'd been feeling. However little did I realise by this time, that those few people had already 'pointed the finger' to blame me for partcular incidents in the workplace.

The general manager didn't care one iota about me. Some months later to my horror I was advised by my manager that I was being 'investigated' for these incidents and making written complaints about these people, apparently I was harassing them. I was absolutely mortified. I said I certainly did not harass them or anyone else. I keep myself to myself and did not understand WHY this was continuing. What did I do to deserve this? I was extremely distressed.

I was absolutley devastated. The manager told me I would be dismissed if it was discovered I had harassed them. I could not believe it. IT WAS ME BEING HARASSED AND VICTIMISED. THIS LITTLE GROUP OF PEOPLE WERE NOT GOING TO STOP TILL THEY GOT RID OF ME. But not one manager came to my aide, or asked me any questions or discussed the accusations, or showed any concern about my wellbeing or came to discuss with me. I was left alone. I was told NOT to discuss this with anyone. I felt incredibly alone but I wanted to show them I had nothing to hide, I was a good employee and kind person. I continued to go to work. My health suffered badly as I was now subjected to a lot of stress and worry.

Depression, my hair fell out, coughing blood, tremors, developed an ulcer. The fingers all pointed at me for "harassing" these people when I never ever did anything to upset anyone. I was popular in my job, and got along well with everyone and was a very loyal worker. My other colleagues never had good opinions of this particualr group and general comments made to me was the "bullying group" was threatened by me. Jealous. I didnt understand that because we are all equal I thought. Sure we are all different but I put aside the verbal attack and the spitefulness I received and kept my head held high. It was not easy. I believed they were trying scare tactics now to oust me, and that they'd "brainwashed" management into thinking "she did it". I knew it was a "power" thing for them to do this to me, they attacked my character and made me out to be an evil sneaky person.

I kept to myself and minded my business, remained professional towards all staff - but in the end they dismissed me. No discussions, counselling, warnings - nothing. I was devastated. I was not even allowed to call my husband to get me, I had to leave immediately. You would have thought I'd stolen money, or murdered someone. This was a WITCHHUNT from the start all because of 4 horrible people and their idle gossip, nasty innuendoes and finger pointing. The General Manager himslef clearly was on a campaign to prove "their system DOES really work" so I always felt I was being made an example of.

There was no proof who wrote any complaints. I had supsicions but I would never say. However one woman in this little "bullying' group accused me of writing to her home and that I must have stalked her. I could not believe my ears or eyes. I saw the letter she received and in fact it seemed a kindly letter. Someone showing concern for her. But from someone who knew her family and husband. I knew nothing much about her personal life, but she wrote a complaint blaming me. Stating I was psychotic, mentally unstable, etc etc. It was highly defamatory. I was devastated to read that. She and I had always got along well. Or so I thought. There was only ever 2 obvious troublemakers SABOUTEURS as I call them. But she contrived things that never occurred. But there I was, now out of a job thanks to all of them. My career gone. WHY WOULD I STAY IF I WAS GUILTY OF ANYTHING. WHY WOULD I PUT MYSELF THROUGH ALL THAT ? I WAS INNOCENT AND DEPSITE IT ALL I WAS SHOWN THE DOOR.

If you were doing bad things and knew they were onto you - you'd be gone wouldnt you ?! You would not stick around. So in order to prove my innocence I went to an appeal tribunal, my husband stood by me the entire time. We paid for a solicitor. Sadly, my employer painted a very very black picture of me. They made me out to be a wicked evil person, not worthy of getting my job back. I said I have done nothing to warrant this, I felt I was in a no-win situation.

My former employers witnesses and supposed evidence were pathetic. Amounted to nothing and my solicitor proved it. To top it off, to my horror, my personal Hotmail account was tampered with, some emails contrived to appear they had been sent from my hotmail account... again I was devastated. I think they knew that they had to have 'something' to prove they were right all along, so they contrived some "evidence" (a smoking gun as my solicitor said). I proved I was not near a computer when these were sent. But they dissed any proof I had and again made me look like a liar.

From the start I trusted my management to help me. I trusted my team mates. But my passwords were stolen and that was very easy to do in my area. I am a very trusting person. Unfortunately the Tribunal board sided with my employer. I WAS NOT GIVEN A FAIR HEARING AT ALL. My employer suggested I created a conspiracy theory - when all the time it was bullying/cyber bullying being directed at me. They would go to any lengths to cover this up, have to have my former co-workers appear unified in their opinions of me.

I was extremely hurt and upset to hear them say those things. I had been through so much. The whole ordeal was stressful, humiliating and depressing. As I said to my MANY friends and supporters still in that workplace, this agency will stop at nothing to destroy you. They are not interested in the truth. It is about protecting themselves, protecting the real perpertrators. Because quite simply if I was allowed back to work I could probably take things further if so inclined, sue them or whatever it is. But I only ever wanted my job. My income and livelihood. To work in harmony with everyone. But this small group of people were hell-bent on getting me out - I was "the outsider" and they would gang up and stop at nothing till I was expelled from the workplace. And it worked.

Comments for Workplace Bullying In A Government Agency

Click here to add your own comments

My deepest feelings for you
by: Anonymous

I Know how you feel .i had my job of 14 yrs taken from me by individuals that falsified harassment complaints , that in the end , management decided to join the falsifying of evidence in which have ultimately destroyed my children and wife lives .ontop of that they have used a 3 party to harass breach our privacy and destroyed our reputation in our community. I know how you feel.I can say that innocent good people are being destroyed what has this world come to?

my heart is with you
by: Anonymous

I worked for a government agency and I was bullied and mobbed by a group of people in front of managers. Managers witnessed the bullying and did nothing and sided with the bullies.

They wrote me up on work performance issues and I am about to get fired.

I am with you, Take care...

I know many government agencies promote workplace bullying by doing nothing to help victims.

Don't give up if you can!!
by: Ruth Ann

I have searched and searched for a web site like this one where others are going through similar situations. I also work for the government. My story is very similar, except that my bullying was from my supervisor and his assistant. This went on for almost 5 years, I felt helpless, I was the only female in the group. they trashed my reputation, told everyone i was stupid and that I couldn't do the work, which wasn't true. I asked for help, but to no avail. I would warn them that I was going to take other measures, but that I didn't want to, hoping to stop the bullying. It didn't work. I even had to go to a psychologist, because my life was being ruined. My reviews would last 3-4 hrs., while everyone else's would last 15-30 min. All the while I would be crying. They acted like it gave them pleasure seeing me at their mercy. When no one would help me I filed harassment charges against them. It has been going on now for 6 years. My attorney says that the Federal judge threw out volatile work conditions and age discrimination charges which were the basis for the complaint. We receive e-mails from the Secretary of the Dept. all the time saying that "THERE IS A NO TOLERANCE WITH DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT" What a joke they have all they money and attorney's. I have been contacted by the news media and the news papers for my story. I wasn't going to do it, until they through out the most important part of my complaint, but now I am. My situation involved screaming and degrading situations, retaliation. I could go on and on, but I no how you feel I have been there and done that. I have hung in there all this time and let me tell you it hasn't been easy. My co-workers have been great, it's been management and my supervisor that have made it so hard on me. I will close for now, because I could go on forever with my story. Thanks for listening.

Overcome Odds
by: Anonymous


May I ask how you overcame these odds. Your experience may help others. Much thanks.

take care
by: plumtart

i worked in large corporate and govt department before, this shit happens.
there are these old crokery folks who like to abuse you and yell at you, and invent a lot of negative allegations towards you to make you feel bad.
either you had enough of this unpeaceful shit and the hurt takes you to the mental trip to knife them on your last day, or you sulk it up and get mad at home to injure yourself to vent the anger, then heal your hurt over some quiet moments, and count on luck to take you to another workplace where people are normal and reasonable (these places exist).
BUT bear in mind in my past life experience... those bastards do not necessarily win over you. they may earn little in money compared to your new ventures, or while you grief over your mistreatment or loss of job, even if they think they are all well prepared and protected with cctv, guards and data collected from the world, they do in fact still get killed in tragic incidents eventually. therefore either you can celebrate their tragic death by making a scene at their funeral and tell the world your story of how they treated you when they were alive, or you just get on to move to a new life by forgetting about them all together. afterall, why put them on your mind when your well being and interest is probably the LAST thing they would ever care about. Yeah those bastards still put themselves up on facebook, linkedin to brag to the world how cool they are when many of it are lies. Just count on karma, their names should be identified and dirty deeds should be documented and spreaded across the world

Is There Any Help?
by: Anonymous

Almost 29 years of working for the Federal Government and I am still trying to get beyond the fact that bullying, harassment, violence, sabotage, work performance/evaluation degrading, blackballing, just to name a few happens so heavily in the workplace. I am hardworking and loyal to the duties for which I have been assigned throughout my career. No one should have to come into the workplace to be harassed, verbally abused, threatened, and overpowered due to someone’s using their position as a catalyst to instill fear. For almost two years now, since coming into my current organization, I have faced some type of bullying or harassment. After sitting down and talking with my first line supervisors and the other individual involved, more fears came into the picture as things became clearer, as nothing was resolved in the meeting, when it is looked at as management protects management. I know that I am in this alone as everyone walking around there from the day I arrive look like they are in fear. Currently, the stress of this situation and the “fear” of not knowing what will happen next and knowing that there have been several suspected (hint, hint)incidents where individuals who have called attention to degrading work performance atmospheres such as bullying and harassment have been sabotaged causes undue anxiety. My question today is, Are the manager's today using these mechanisms as a way to eliminate individuals from the workforce? If we cannot buy you out, FORCE you out!!!!

Be strong
by: Anonymous

I have been bullied throughout my life - from school, throughout my first marriage, and I had
two ongoing periods at two government workplaces which seriously affected my mental health resulting in breakdowns. I know it is difficult to find new jobs nowadays, but it is equally important to hold to your principles and decide the values that are important to you. Mine are health, wellbeing and family. Fighting bullying and discrimination is not necessary in life. Best to transfer to another agency or find a new job as soon as it rears its ugly head. My experiences are that bosses don't want to become involved. If it happens to me again, I won't be staying around in a negative atmosphere to feed other people's egos.

Defarmation/harrassement/work place bullying
by: When does it end?

I've been in federal government for over 13 years, in the past seven years with a few exceptions of maybe two naval personal supervisors, I've had terrible experiences. I've been to the Union several times before and the president at that time told my rep. to drop my case. The latest incident has been a naval personal became my supervisor after being removed from the hospital for harassment, She hasn't been here for about two months and already starting to discriminate against me. Telling me what to wear and not telling other civilians the same thing. I filed an EEO complaint which is now in the informal stage. Its so frustrating and it seems like a mountain to climb just to get justice. I had to call out sick so many times just because of the amount of stress and anger I feel. My supervisor has been spying on me through other military employees. I'm just tired of all of it, I really feel for all of you who are going through the same thing or similar and just can't seem to find help. I've been applying for better jobs and praying I get a new job VERY VERY SOON! It seems like unless you have a sexual harassment complaint, there is really no hope. So many other things are going on, too much to mention right now. Best of luck to all you guys

Why does America tolerate such behavior
by: Anonymous

I had a career of 24 years taken from me, it did not matter that I was once nominated for employee of the year, or that in a position of leadership I was given an award because over 3 years as a leader, I treated people with respect and as a result their productivity increased. DUH!!!!
How could a once promising career suddenly come to a halt. BULLYING, and I once had a fellow employee who knew me before I got into management say that if I treated the employees in a professional manner, it would not sit well with other employees from other areas who were not treated equally and that they would eventually wonder why they are not being treated fairly. I was bullied and every employee right afforded to me was either denied or ignored to the point that in a 6 story building I was the only employee without email access and of course there was never any documentation ever associated with why this decision was made and when you consider that the Merit System Protection Board process goes against the employee in 97 percent of cases brought before them, it only allows the government bullies to operate with impunity and extreme arrogance. I have no choice but to move on with life and although I received disability (I understand how important and difficult it is for some to get this benefit) that was the only out the bullies had, and with 49 years of living and no mental disability ever ever in my life, the defamation of character is what I am forced to live with going forward. The circle of bullies placed more stress on me than I could ever imagine.

Bad experience as an immigrant!
by: Amadou

I was once bullied by the federal government (more likely the cia). I was working at an Exxon gas station, in Waldorf MD on Crain highway (between McDonald's and wawa). If I can recall the a dress, I think it's 2055 crain highway Waldorf Maryland. It was back in 2008, I had a case pending at immigration, did not have my immigration paperworks straightened up. So I found this job as a cashier at that Exxon gas station, so obviously I was being paid under the table. The business was owned by an Indian man, and was run by a Pakistani named Khan. It all started when government agents were showing up on a regular basis, kept on asking me "if I am Muslim", provoked me, propelled me to rebel and become violent so that I end up getting locked up. When that did not work, they pushed my manager Khan to bully me with disgraceful and offensive remarks to encourage me to quit. This has been going on for 3 months until I was terminated for a silly excuse, because I surfed the internet. I am African, after facing this horrible experience, I was devastated. I couldn't believe that the country that plays policeman around the world, and spread the words of democracy, I would end facing such a horrific treatment. Now I understand what it's like to be a minority in this country, and the discrimination African Americans and Hispanics endure in this country. I finally adjusted my immigration status in America, and I wish all American minorities and immigrants the best of luck.

Conspiracy Theory
by: Another Anonymous

28 yrs. in the Federal Government. Like many of you, I too have had to endure a hostile work environment but, what I find so interesting is it only began as I reached my 25th year coming closer to retirement. And those who started the trouble are coworkers with less than 12 years of service. Hummmmm! Management is all too quick to jump on board with the attempt to write me up for the slightest infraction. Example, turning a gas receipt in the days after I filled the GOV. Now their after me based on an acceptable lifelong medical condition. As I like to say, "the fun never ends". I'm not finished with them yet, there are benefits to being a pack rat and their about to find out. An won't they be surprised to learn they aren't the only ones that can read and interpret CFRs.
My conspiracy theory? That upper management gets a bonus when they terminate an employee close to retirement. Which equates to a lot more money not being paid then to a nice bonus of x-amount of thousands to the manager that runs off an employee a close to retirement. Just saying.

in pain
by: Anonymous

I have a coworker who I outrank and have more experience than and she gives me the silent treatment now that I have stress related hypertension from this job. She used to just try to humiliate me and speak very low so that no one could hear her. I started also to document all interaction with her and I just want to stay home and cover my head. In 15 years in my position I have never experienced a person so nasty and mean in my life and while I find being here a problem. My current assignment in this office will end summer 2016 so I will be leaving eventually but in the meantime I am just sick being here. So I know how you felt about your own situation.

Bully to the ground
by: Bully to the ground

We also have a bully supervisor working to the federal government. Gets away with it all the time. Bullies think they don't - it's their nature .This individual is constantly on a witch hunt to take me down. She/he is allowed, and makes it's mentioned, not to have anyone stand in the way when conducting business. The federal government allows people like them! that sad!

Oh My God
by: Anonymous

Beleive me Beleive me, I am literally crying by reading your article since I was a victim of a work place (private company) bullying and its been a month since I am home without job. I did not heal from that horror yet. And my personality is exactly like yours. I never harm anyone and bother anyone and I too have a good work ethic. From the day one I was bullied and the whole group never be friendly and total bullies. Not worth being in that work place. Exactly, nobody even calls me to know what happen. It looks likes something was stolen or did something wrong to let us out. At least one human being with a heart should be there to at least to listen to you. There should be some laws to stop this. Bullies should be out of the job and not the victims.
People who earn money by doing harm to other individuals will definitely suffer immediately with the same so that they will realize. And I have a habit of reading neuropsychology books. Bullying is a kind of mental illness and they have to go for therapy for sure.

So True
by: Anonymous

I read your statement/story. If I say one thing... I mirror your report. It is not only unfortunate, it is beyond comprehension this repeats itself.

I am a victim and your story aligns 100%. Corruption is in charge, validation is no longer.

I only regret I am no longer able to support my family...

Same story deffrent victim
by: Anonymous

I have to say I agree one hundred percent with your story. What you had to go through is so crucial and painful, i hear you. My heart goes out to you. I can not begin to tell you how much of a relation this is to me as the same has happen to me as well. Everything in what you have described!. It all started 5 years back and just this year it has some what died down. I ask my self how a manged to survived through it all. I fought back so hard even if it was I who was going to go down 6 feet under. That to me was prove that i did not start that has been done to me all these years. My friends,family,and the community went against me. It all started when i was working as a civilian worker at a military branch. I am sure after all these years I have proved myself to the max . I am not angel, but i am a type of person who does not interfere with anyone. After all who else is going to defend and protect me. I was surveillance in my own home I was renting, to the current place that i am at in my own family's home!!! Damn, the list goes on. They will call me a quack and let them. Being taken my own right to work denied when I was never denied in the past to people acting really rotten to me left and right when I was always a likable person. I was being controlled. Controlled is the word. Controlled. I was deliberately being harassed left and right and manipulated by friends and family. Shit. I can go on forever. I am not done here. I will continue to fight back and gain my freedom back. This is not about money. This is about my time that has been taken away from me and my health that has caused me and so much stress. i will have the last word.

Horrible but true
by: Anonymous

I have lived under the conditions and even worse that you describe since 2008. I am a very strong willed person and have always been a top performer. I took a new position that opened me what I call the government bullying network.
These folks are simply weak and unable to perform as individuals and need each other to go forward. They bond and attack those of us that are capable and able to move ahead of them. I finally was at a mental breakdown and took a different government in a different state.
Who would have thought I would end up working for one of the Brothers of the supervisors that viciously attacked and practiced unethical behavior.
No wonder the government is failing, a great deal of garbage has floated to the top. As I prepare to leave government service due to the career assault I now face, may each of these folks gain the justness they deserve and soon.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Workplace Bullying Stories.