by Anonymous from NJ
A few tips I discovered through trial and error as to how to handle being new in a new work environment.
1. Avoid being isolated. My most recent job set my desk up so I had my face to the corner. (I thought nothing of it at first, until the 'other pieces of the department ways started coming together.' They wanted me, from the beginning to be submissive. Put me in the corner like a 'wittle' child. (but don't speak it as such, they don't see their ways) Just state the benefit to the department if those entering department are greeted warmly and I can announce them to whomever they are there to see; which is part of my job)
2. It is also helpful at interview to gauge how many in a department. A crowd of others is important. As in Jesus' day (the good book teaches us much on human nature) his persecutors never verbally attacked if there was a crowd of others. * more on this if you are in a threesome dept.
3. Be 'mystery' / do not have social hot topic bumper stickers on car that define your good ideology. No bumper stickers that read: I love Jesus or I'm pro-life, of the family that prays together stays together. This isn't denying your ideology; it's keeping your private life and thoughts private. They will know us by our actions. And don't play religious tunes in an office or hum Kum ba ya or make an altar of your desk with holy pictures. This is a business. Don't antagonize others of different belief. (COMMON SENSE; don't follow the world who does this) Don't put your family photos on desk either; the vacation in Hawaii, or the spouse who looks so great physically. Kid head shots ok. (nothing to show you have a great life) Human nature is prone to jealousy.
4. From first day; do not be shy. The boss will start out explaining the job itself in a normal way. How we respond to this training time is very important. Always ask appropriate questions, take initiative and speak of experiences; without suggesting better ways. ie: oh; you wish me to keep the personnel files in order according to date (recent to earliest) I certainly will; but I recall when working in.........; documents of importance were listed and put on the inside cover of a folder. List was in columns: document, date of document and then a series of blank columns heading across top file removed; the procedure was any who took from file had to initial and put date. That's all. If the document still was out; we knew where to start the search. (this also prevents you (boss) from being blamed if something is not there. It sets up accountability - BUT don't say it as such; just give an observation and let them have the idea to do it) We should keep our lips tight on some matters but show we know where it matters. Do it with a soft voice and never criticize - always be helpful not dominant.
5. Get important procedure in a memo; or if the clerical assist; type the memo up. Make sure everyone 'in the chain of command' is aware of what is happening in your department and why. (signed by the head of department) The head of department hiring you; hired so you make her or him look competent. So don't be shy. They won't always tell you how they want it or have such procedures in place. Draw upon past experience (and hurts) and use beat their deficiencies to the punch. Head 'em off at the pass; or really: make them look good. Always make them look good. (don't assume they should tell you how it is to be done if assisting the administration) If just a worker doing a task; confirm at interview how directions are given; verbally or by memo. If every important procedure is done verbally; do not take the job. Verbal means nothing and good management knows this.
6. Memos are your protection.
7. NEVER NEVER criticize the work habits of those we work with to the boss; even if it is causing you not to be able to do your job. The bully hopes you run to the boss. However, if your brother or sister is doing a wrong to you, go to brother or sister in private and tell him or her; nicely and give reason. (don't make assumptions they know the right way to act; assume they don't and teach with a gentle spirit) Make it light, use words that sound like 'I'm saying this so you don't get in trouble.' If they rant in your face; tell a story to drive the point of why it's bad to do. "I remember a workplace where a colleague screamed at a subordinate one day; the subordinate handled it just fine; but on the way home from work a car ran a red light; and this subordinate was killed. I can't tell you the sadness on that screamer's face when he heard the news and realized; he never got to share his real feelings with this one. Never got to say sorry. It haunted his mind for months; and his job performance plummeted so that he had to be let go. Anger is never the way to communicate. I tell you this, because I would hate for you to come to such. I am for you, if you are in need of something, if you want help, if you don't know exactly what type of help; bring me in to your office or cubicle or type me an email; I will help you and keep that help confidential. I want you to look good.
Never criticize or yell back. (be mature) Think of others needs first, even those who are ignorant of this process. Always allow your bully to save face. Their anger is at themselves, they are scared, and they need gentle handling.
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