What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Workplace Bullying Victim

by Marilyn Peabody
(Billerica, MA , USA)

I was employed at a company for over four years as an Accounts Payable Coordinator. I have always been considered to be a loyal, considerate, helpful, productive employee. The first two years things went quite well; everyone seemed friendly enough. A new program was being rolled over within our department. A new position became available, but was never officially posted.

The department manager, my supervisor and one coworker was given special preference for formal training for the new Program. Training continued for a few months. The coworker that received the formal training decided to start delegating her new tasks onto me without any explanation from my supervisor. As an Accounts Payable Coordinator, I was always busy with a full schedule. Oct 2006, I was approached at my cubicle after hours by the coworker involved with the new training. I was verbally harassed both professionally and personally. Stating that I should quit my job and find work elsewhere and added nasty remarks concerning my daughter. I was so humiliated and stunned by her rudeness, that I did not take notice of any witnesses. The following morning the issue was all ready explained in full to management by the rude coworker. Everything was twisted as though I had been the harassing party.

A few meetings took place without me and then I was asked to attend with a simple request, asking me to "just let it go".

March of 2007, the department manager turned in her resignation. For another year and a half I was constantly being antagonized by several coworkers forming there own "mobbing" type group. Creating traps, constant child like games throwing elastics & paperclips. Deliberately forwarding unnecessary calls. My supervisor totally ignored this behavior. I did go to H.R. and reported that my work environment was becoming somewhat hostile. My car had been egged in the parking lot. I was written up unfairly for unrealistic pettiness by my supervisor which ended up with an unfair performance review.

May 2008, I was walking around the business park during my lunch break and was nearly run down by the coworker that harassed me. She just so happened to be leaving the company parking lot going the wrong way through a one-way exit ramp where I was walking at that exact moment.

I was given a 30 day warning from my supervisor on May 13th. On June 6th, I was set-up by two of my coworkers who were attempting to arouse me creating a no-fail way to get me fired. One coworker requested documentation from me that I did not have. I gave an honest answer, but I was still accused of being a liar. Standing there with her hands on her hips and would not leave my work area. Another coworker actually threatened to punch me out later that same day, for simply agreeing with a statement that was directed to her by another supervisor. On Friday, June 13th, I was unfairly terminated for misconduct.

My job loss was 8 weeks after the loss of an elderly parent. I tried to go back to work full time but could not function properly due to the fact that I was suffering with severe depression. I tried to reopen an unemployment claim and got denied. I appealed and was approved, then somehow was denied again. I am now going through another appeal. I did file a formal complaint with MCAD but that was denied recently stating that I did not have enough evidence proving discrimination. Should I mention; civil rights, employer retaliation? whistle blower? Dirty politics... system failure.

I have not had an income since mid December 2008. I do need trustworthy assistance as soon as possible. I'm so confused. Where is the support when it is really needed? So this is America?

Comments for Workplace Bullying Victim

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I don't get it either.
by: Solange

I know there are a lot of books and articles about workplace bullies. I still don't "get" how people can behave this way toward each other. Its a sad state of affairs. I have philosophies, but none can save you the pain you've been caused by the behavior of these ungrown-ups except to suggest that you look for whatever positive things have happened as a result of this. What new doors have opened? They always do if you are willing to see them. Best wishes.

I'm so sorry!
by: An Angel's Mom

I just want to send you a hug. It seems that no matter where we work, there is always at least one bully. When there are more and they gang up, life becomes our own personal hell.

I've worked at places that only had one, and some places that had the "Gang". I think the best we can do is try to find employment at the places where there is only one and then read everything we can get our hands on to learn how to effectively deal with that person.

I have never handled it well. I've always known for sure that employers and supervisors do not want to hear it. They do not consider handling personal conflicts a part of their job description, and most will just laugh at our inability to handle it on our own, or at the very least, they'll be irritated by it.

There are also statistics that tell us that anyone reporting such things should be prepared to be without a job soon afterward. This is, of course, extremely sad, but very true.

I'm praying for you and your job hunt. May God watch over you and help you to turn lemons into lemonade!

I know what this feels like
by: dma

I know what this can feel like, I am constantly being watched, my every move is followed, and this by the other colleagues as well. If any new sub comes in as well, she seems to have been briefed about me, and would go out of her way to stand and watch you. This is in an environment where you work with children. Sometimes a colleague will stand over your head pretending to look after the children but actually watching how you are handling the children, but yet when other staff are doing the nap or diapering then no one stands over their head. Also, if you go to the office, next minute the senior staff will come in under some pretext or the other. Notices are put out that there are vacancies at other centres to apply. No communication with you of what is happening in the program, the rest of them all know what is happening, but you will get to know after or while it has happened. Telling the manager, and as you say the manager says "let it go", and if you apprrrrrroach the staff directly, they say they are being falsely accused, and do not know how to deal with you, because you are so sensitive. and yes lies, lies lies. Your things are stolen, and returned (some of it) a month later and know one knows how it went or how it came back, quit the job, is the only solution for peace of mind, but can one get a job at this recession time.

Bullying Behaviour
by: Anonymous

Dear Mariyn,

I just read your story, and I hate to tell you this, but its going to take you time to recover. The process is not short, its long. I was a victim of bullying and I didnt know it, until my body finally gave way. Bullying is like a crime, its dangerous and the affects are serious. I would say to any person who has ever been bullied, get help to bring those who hurt you to justice, because you will suffer more so if you dont! I suffered for not standing up to the bullies or taking matters further. We live in a different world today and for the last fifteen years or so, where people attack others. I also believe companies allow it to happen. As far as I know, any company can boast that it is a bully free organisation, and the one that boasts the most, is usually the worst!!! Our world has been changed for years now, and sadly it seems its only going to get worse with more and more people out of work!!!

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