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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Bystander Sees Sweet, Smart, Hard-Working Coworker Bullied At Work

by Anonymous
(Aurora, CO)

I just feel incredibly bad for a woman at my job. She is the sweetest person and the go-to person for questions. I don't know what to do to help because this whole situation leaves me in an awkward position. This person is a very hard worker and very smart.

I have overheard some nasty comments about the poor woman who is also a beautiful young lady, by a nurse who was recently promoted due to default. The woman I feel bad for I heard made a complaint to her boss after being mistreated by this nurse where there were witnessed accounts who also heard this nurse yelling and insulting this newer employee and ever since then, this amazingly sweet and quiet woman has been told to come speak to the department director several times over miniscule situations.

Office personnel have also been involved and told false statements concerning this employee. There was recently a day when I was given time sensitive information after the fact that it was due, only to be told to point fingers at this same employee so to speak. It appears there is a new intentional mishap surrounding this poor woman on a daily basis!

For example serious reports being due only to tell the woman the day of. Then of course hearing the office talk that she is not doing her job but everyone knows that it's as if she is blatantly being set up by others yet no one is doing anything about it. Including myself.

Obviously we all see what happens when someone complains. She was called in recently being accused of a huge medication type of error which I heard she had proof so they couldn't do anything by falsely accusing her. But when we saw her she looked like she had been crying the day through.

This poor woman also has more work given to her alone than I've seen in my many years working here. I wonder if upper management is aware of this at times because it makes me feel uncomfortable to not trust those in charge of my position. I've never seen anyone in this company do anything so cruel during my career here.

What's really sad is that our profession we are supposed to be advocating for others however we are bullying those just trying to make a living. I'm just as guilty in this for not sticking up for this poor woman. This girl really seems to care about helping other people so to assign her to one of the chief management caseload then set her up could not only have temporary issues for her career but it could falsely slander this girls future.

I really don't know what to do to help because will saying anything help anyways?

Comments for Bystander Sees Sweet, Smart, Hard-Working Coworker Bullied At Work

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Hi there
by: Anonymous

Like you said, keeping quiet makes you just as guilty as the people doing the bullying. If she is complaining about how she's being treated it will help her to have at least one person backing up what she's saying. Maybe after you others will too.

Re: Bystander
by: Anonymous

Most people like yourself won't say anything for fear of retaliation and or putting their own self in jeopardy. Most people that resort to this type of office politics take advantage of innocent and naive people knowing they probably won't play dirty.

The reason these people use these tactics is because they can and do get away with it and they will do it to every new person that takes the position...that is why you should find out if the position has high turnover...if so there is most likely a problem with management and or co-workers, conditions etc.

I've found that management usually does little to nothing because they have their key people in place and all the other positions are mostly ground level jobs & they don't care if the person stays in fact they want it that way as it protects their job as well.

You are to be commended
by: Anton

You are to be commended for your concern and for taking the time to look into this and actually post your questions here. Most people would never do that. Most bystanders will just watch it happen. They will be horrified and disgusted that such a thing can actually go on in a workplace, but their fear will get the best of them.

Bullying affects not only the target but everyone else in the workplace as well. It is not your fault that you have been placed in this position. It is not my place to tell you that you should stand up for the target either.

That is a decision only you can make as it will affect you and your family.

Here's the thing. If you say nothing, things will likely get worse and worse for the target. Their physical, mental and emotional health could be destroyed along with their career. But you may remain safe and keep your job—at least for a while.

The other option is to stand up for the target. Join your voice with theirs. Perhaps get others who support the target to join in and approach management as a common front. If all goes well you and the target come out it and keep your jobs; management addresses the issue and puts an end to the bullying one way or another.

Or the bully turns the tables on you, management supports the bully (as they very often do) and both you and the target face reprisals from both the bully and management.

It's because of this that many choose to say nothing; to just watch as someone's health, life and career are destroyed. They didn't ask for this and they have to look out for themselves and their family. They may have kids, need to pay the mortgage and put food on the table and who would help them if the bully got them fired?

Most people want to do the right thing. But when the cost is so high it's not an easy decision to make. It becomes a true moral dilemma.

But another thing to consider is that those who do say nothing in order to protect their interests may not come out of it unscathed. They may watch the target be abused, devastated and then fired only to become the bully's next target.

In case after case bullies are not satisfied with destroying one life. Once they've gotten someone fired many bullies are driven to find their next target. If you didn't stand with the target and fight the bully when you had a chance as a group, what do you think your chances will be when you are alone and the bully smells blood in the water knowing that management (and other coworkers) will do nothing to stop them?

One day it maybe you.
by: Thelma

My personal belief, is to never allow it, I have always stood up in situations like this, if in no other way then to teach the bullied person how to cover their behind, send the emails that verify what time I Recieved the late requests, keep the voice activated recorder ready, work like everything you do is being filmed..why because it keeps you personnaly accountable one, but it also gives you the strenghth to do the right thing..because when you do these things you become empowered to conquer the bullies..try it it really works.

You must act, but not alone. Get support and act together.
by: Anonymous

How would you feel if this coworker killed herself? I guess you'd feel real bad.
I suggest you sound out some other coworkers and then approach the bullied coworker to give her your joint support. Ask her how you can help. This will give her support without disempowering her.
Perhaps consider issuing g a joint grievance against the bully, and a second grievance against the bully's line manager for not acting to safeguard staff from bullying. Add grievances all the way up the line if you don't succeed.
If this doesn't work, go to an outside mediation organisation for help.

fed up with it
by: Anonymous

My fiance is the victim of workplace bullying and its not nice especially those who have to pick up the pieces. There are days where she comes home tired and miserable to the point where she breaks down in tears because Her boss undermines her ability to teach and makes her feel inadequate by sending her emails blatantly implying that she is inadequate in her duties and amongst other things.

A little while ago a ludicrous allegation was made about her verbally abusing a student when no such thing happened she had to hire a lawyer to represent her and during that time she had no morale support from anyone at her work. Also she hasnt been reimbursed for those fees and has had to pay nor did she recieve an apology of any kind.

I personally despise bullies of any kind and there have been many times I have wanted to go down to her work and have a chat to her boss to discuss the way my fiance is treated. I would like to know if it is acceptable and if I am within my legal rights to send an email to her boss explaining that I am unhappy with the way in which she conducts herself and that I would like to even have a friendly chat about her bahaviour towards my fiance any feed back would be much appreciated.

Best Advice - An Exit Plan
by: Anonymous

It is so disheartening to see this continue to happen time and again, the world over. The sad truth is the co-worker should begin to make an exit plan - now - and try to find a better company to work for. Statistically speaking, it's not going to get better. In fact, most likely it will get worse as time goes on.

Workplace bullying mirrors the mental and emotional abuse of domestic violence. The only thing that really separates the two is the lack of physical violence.

Your co-worker needs to take control of her life, and leave. In fact, she may be planning to leave already, and hasn't shared that fact with anyone else. Let's hope that is the case.

It's not siding with the bully or even letting the bully win. It's about taking care of ones self first. No one has to work for a bully. My mistake several years ago was staying too long. It started to make me physically ill and mentally unstable. I was so glad that I left. I felt relieved and unbelievably free once that toxic situation was out of my life.

I wish all the best for you and all of your co-workers. It's a long road to travel.

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