What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Am I Being Bullied Or Do I Overreact?

by Laura
(Sydney)

So this might be a little long however I need some advice to know that I am not overreacting. I started at a company a while ago and what I loved most was that they gave me flexibility with my kid. Having specific days off when my kid is not in childcare and being able to go if my kid needs to be picked up from childcare due to being sick.

Everyone there is so nice and the policy is to be nice to each other and treat each other with respect. However my boss does not seem to like me. I am a Manager and even if I have a kid I do work long hours and do everything that's needed. I have a young team and being a woman I needed to earn their respect in the beginning.

I worked with another male manager and we got along amazingly but he got transferred to another department and that's when everything went downhill. I started to work double shifts every weekend because there was no replacement for him yet. I never said a word but at one stage turned to my former colleague asking him if he knows when we find someone that I can't keep doing these hours.

My boss pulled me up on this saying that I shouldn't bother that other guy that he has enough on his plate and is not responsible for me. That he is my boss as he is his boss and also that I should be careful what to write because sometimes it is stupid (totally unrelated to the topic). I was shocked but just took it and apologised.

My boss is a very moody person. I address issues regarding the team to him and there were plenty especially with the young boys who seemed to have an issue to respect a female manager. He always said he is dealing with it but no one was really put in to place. He made changes without telling me, left me out and when my staff was asking me I had to say that I don't know about that which didn't help with the respect.

I kept on addressing issues and all I did get was that all I do is point fingers and just complain. Maybe it is myself who needs to change. That I am basically being lazy. That everyone on the team has a problem with me (which is not true I asked them all one by one and he never once approached them) one day again he made changes for the team without telling me and the other new manager (who he by the way likes, making jokes with each other and all I get is mean looks) and I got frustrated and said something.

Also he wanted to have one on ones with everyone from the team and I was asking if he wants to consult with me and the other manager to know how everyone is performing but he declined.

He had a chat with me afterwards saying who I think I am. I don't need to explain myself to anyone, I am the boss. Do you really think I don't know when you talk behind my back about me. You wanted change I made change I don't need to consult you first or explain it, I am the boss You got to know with everyone else at briefing. I will do the one on one's with just them. Why would I sit down with you first to go through everyone's development. I hired them I know how they are performing. You haven't changed a bit from day one. Are stuck to your host desk. The girls have a problem with you as well, I know because I spoke to them. All you do is point fingers, how about you step back and take a look at yourself. The boys changed because I nurtured them. I do work with people and get to know them, work on their mistakes. You don't do anything. I should help clean everything and then do cash up.

I was in tears while he spoke to me like this. Crying in front of him. He makes me so small and my whole confidence is lost as soon as he enters the room. The other day I made a wrong decision and instead of guiding me he just looked at me and said: you never listen. What did you think hey? Today I had to pick up my kid from childcare because it got sick which happened for the first time. I told him and all I got was a: do what you have to do but I have to let you know that I am not happy about this.

I left and cried in the car. I don't know what to do anymore. He is so nice to everyone else but me. It's how he is speaking to me. It's unreasonable and in a very mean tone of voice. He does it in front of people but with a smile that everyone else thinks he is being nice. I don't know what to do...

Comments for Am I Being Bullied Or Do I Overreact?

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It’s not you
by: Anonymous

One of the most difficult things about bullies is their ability to make us/targets question our role in the abusive situation. The best bullies play upon the target’s assumption that the bully is - like most of us - trying to solve problems, minimize chaos and distrust among coworkers. It is the opposite - bullies (particularly malignant narcissistic bullies) pick up on others’ minute personal tendencies (e.g. your trust in the chain of command and open communication) and use those absolutely innocuous behaviors to create a fractured workplace, make you believe you have no power and the chain of command does not apply to him. Everything this guy has said is intended to make you doubt yourself, make you believe that the rules do not apply to him, and is nearly word for word identical to the crap my boss has said to me. It is him. Do not assume anything he says is genuine and the less interested and emotional you appear - the more he will lose interest.

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