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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

CEO Targeted and Terminated

by Anonymous
(Washington, DC)

I was formerly the CEO of a healthcare association with an operating budget of $1.4 million and 11 staff. During the six and a half years of my employment, I increased the operating budget by half a million dollars and banked another half a million in reserves. After a poor decision by the board (which I was not in support of), the reserves I had built were depleted. Upon assessment, I recommended restructuring parts of the organization, and received buy-in and support from the board. The restructuring required the elimination of a tenured employee, which is the beginning of my story.

I was completely taken off-guard when a letter, signed by all but three of my staff, was sent to the board accusing me of extreme (and untrue) unprofessional behavior, such as sleeping with board members, and physically hitting and verbally abusing staff. The board launched a full investigation, and I was found innocent of the accusations; however, the staff relentlessly continued a smear campaign against me and even filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. Attorney's were engaged to protect the organization and, ultimately, the board took a vote of no confidence in my abilities as CEO.

I spent over $5,000 of my own money trying to negotiate my continued employment with the board but to no avail. As a CEO, I was a contractual employee and the board terminated my contract, citing no cause. My attorneys advised me that there was no case against the board or the association but I could file a civil suit against the employees for an additional fee. Of course this was not an option, as my professionalism and career was a stake. While we are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, the press alone would have been enough to cast doubt on my abilities as a CEO, preventing me from working in my chosen field. It is a sad world when people can make false accusations against you and not be held accountable for their actions.

I was unemployed for 8 months—the longest I had gone without working for my entire career—partially due to the economy but partially because of the depression and PTSD I suffered as a result of what had happened. I've been working for the past two and a half years for a very small association (only 1 staff person and myself) at less than half the salary I was making before, and I still suffer on occasion from PTSD symptoms.

Workplace bullying and mob mentality can happen to anyone, even the boss. Kudos to the brave people who experienced similar situations and the founders of this site.

Comments for CEO Targeted and Terminated

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Targeted/Terminated CEO
by: Anonymous

As far as I am concerned, your last sentence makes you the Hero that we all need in America (and the world) today--someone who understands as well as has the courage it takes to stand up to bullying, mobbing, lies, attacks that ruin careers, our hopes and our dreams. And indeed, special thanks to Anton Hout for helping uncover this rampant sickness in our society. I have thought from my own nightmare experiences in small town Kansas that if targets/victims could stand together in support of one another we would have a wall of courage and that would send the mobbing/bullying psychopaths and their sheeple into hiding places, never to be heard from again. The more we can find ways to expose them, the more eager they will go into hiding.

internal problem
by: Anonymous NJ

To the anonymous poster (not me) who stated the more we can expose the bullies for what they are then we will send them fleeing.

Unfortunately; I believe that BULLYING is an INTERNAL problem. Yes; internal that only a GOOD managed firm can un-do but it is also subjectively (I like that word) an INTERNAL problem.

Bullies are insecure people. They generally never had the security of love as love is meant. Stable home life; mom and dad and Church attendance; church attendance then manifested in LIFE living example of what is good behavior. They might have had good homes of LOTS OF STUFF. (AND MONEY even; and the best college) But...it's not ENOUGH. If one does not know from where 'the blessings' flow...one will be insecure and afraid of losing the 'stuff' and will do anything of their mind to keep it to themselves.

GO(O)D Authority that sets expectations for all workers and enables good working environments free of bullying...by not
isolating 'the worker' ... i.e.: it is common now to have two
in 'administration' (management of some type) and ONE who
does the work. A very top heavy situation; leaving worker ALONE. No witness for him or her. (For every two administrators there should be equal number of workers...and if two administrators are not needed...then TWO WORKERS 'equal' to ONE boss.

But if a worker is up against TWO with title giving directions; and
there is a problem... to be sure; the worker has not a chance in
HECK...of getting any objective ear. They stick up for one another. Also...NEVER be alone in a dept. Work in a cubicle
amongst EVERYONE... as many as possible. It is biblical. They
who sought to attack Jesus never did so in a crowd of persons.
WITNESSES; bullies do not like WITNESSES to themselves.

TWO AGAINST ONE is NOT A FAIR FIGHT...especially if both are in administration in some way. Business people; PLAY FAIR!!

Another hint someone who goes to HR seminars run by my state; spoke: Companies CANNOT FIRE anyone once hired. Ahhhh; but that also is not 'equal' as there are some who are not held to same standards (loose as standards are) Some are special and they know it. (and they are insecure for getting 'IN' solely on
ethnic make up or gender. So; they will rattle the chains of
those they fear can 'be better' or 'work better' / POKE POKE
TAUNT TAUNT... oh YES they can... one peep from non special 'us ' and we are out.

WORK is becoming HELL because LOVE OF MONEY is all consuming. LOVE OF MONEY with little understanding of THE BIG PICTURE of the reason for the earthly journey

Bullies Not Held Accountable
by: Anonymous

I recently read that bullies are not held accountable for their actions, but are given slaps on the wrist. Maybe they're not accountable for their violent acts because they are not being disciplined so as not to draw unwanted attention to the organization as being a hostile work environment; the company may see the business perspective of terminating just one person, as being more profitable, because how can their company run without any workers, but one; and the bullies may have so much power and influence over them that could bring the company down, because it has allowed bullying for so long. We have to cope, pay, and rebuild our lives after being victimized by bullies, but the bullies are satisfied having caused so much harm to one person and consider this as a positive outcome. They see violence as a positive action that gets them what they want at any cost. If an administrative agency designed to handle these complaints had been instituted, where claims are made, this would have been decided long ago, and would have deterred it from happening again.

Expose them and They will Go into Hiding
by: Anonymous

You missed one point, who is in charge of taking care of the bullies once they are exposed? We have one Boss up there who looks down and laughs, because He's seen this happen many times before, and wonders when will we ever learn. But He instills in us the ability to overcome all adversity, so why does the bully overcome all that is good? The Man in charge feels like out of all the sin in the world, these three are an abomination to Him: greed, slander and unequal weights. Maybe the bullies have put their spin on that lesson, by using violent acts toward their own ends: want all the work, lie about others to make them look bad, and get others to believe them against the good hard working American. One way to expose them, is to put it in His hands, or take it to the legislature to create new anti-bullying laws, administrative agencies in every city across the nation to hear and decide these claims, and finally deter this from happening in the future.

Bullies are liars and are always believed over the victim
by: Anita

Part of the worst suffering a bullied victim goes through is the indignity of not being believed when he/she shares her plight. A victim will usually have known that something is very wrong and offensive about the way they are being treated and will in vain to address it with the bully. Calling out the bully on their offensive acts usually drives them into a mad frenzy causing them to escalate their bullying acts. At such point the victim may speak to some one in HR or even the CEO or MD, but will not receive any support and usually no action is taken. The worst part is that the bully gets to know that the victim has filed a complaint, and continues with impunity to bully the victim. At this point the bully has a murderous rage and wants the victim squashed or even dead. What most HR officials do not realize is that the victim is suffering high levels of stress and confusion which can get to suicidal levels if the victim has no support structure like family. Victims usually have to resign rather than face continued abuse, and when they do not leave, they end up being dismissed in the most shameful manner, while the executive management laughs it off and congratulates themselves on a job well done.

by: Anonymous NJ

You are correct; the victim of a workplace bully IS NEVER believed. Not by other co workers, not by direct supervisor, CEO, and never by HR. HR is not for the 'employee of the business' HR is there to support THE IMAGE of THE BUSINESS. And HR is THE LAST PLACE a worker wants to go to. Friends and Relatives don't even believe the story.

I was a clerical assistant in HR. (a 3 person dept; I was worker amidst two administraTORS; but officially only reported to the one 'boss' of dept. The other came in 5 weeks after I began the job handling benefits administration for the firm. She got an office with nameplate on door; I was to assist her but I did not report to her. Yet she believed I reported to her. (when she started; the boss took off for a 2 week vacation; leaving two new employees alone. This WAS a test…'of me' WORKER of course. (very disrespectful to two new people)

Anyway, Anita, you are right that victims are vulnerable without support. Usually the victim is the newest KID on the block. For whatever reason businesses feel they need to 'test' loyalty of this one (more than the official business type test of 3 mo. probation before benefits kick in)

There is one reason for all this 'nasty stuff' … it's called immaturity. The bulk of the working world are driven only by what's good for me, myself and I and acquiring MONEY. MOST have had their lives wounded by divorce, separations, single parents with kid(s), or been touched by 'the drug culture' either themselves when young or a family member growing up or their own child now. They are angry in spirit because THIS LIFE is all they work for and it isn't giving them such happiness. They LOST THE MESSAGE of the reason for the earthly journey. They have 'no class' (i.e. SPIRIT)

Narcissistic best describes many. (think only of their wounds, anger, and ill feelings with little regard for anyone else)

Victims are not believed because Narcissistic persons only see their life…no one else really exists nor are they capable of empathy or sympathy (feelings for the wounds of someone else)

The idea we need to be popular with tons of friends is false. We need one or two 'OUTSIDE the OFFICE friendships that tell us 'we're ok' / THEN to keep our esteem up; we need something beyond 'the job description' (a hobby to look forward to at end of work day, a 'dream' to shoot for kept to ourselves, continual education (kept to ourselves) Then…whatever is the problem of others as they talk AT us…we can tune them out keeping GOALS uppermost in mind (picture life a picnic and accept that amidst the good stuff spread out…a pesky fly or ant will crawl onto the scene. What's a picnic without the pests. Continue to enjoy the feast God gave and as to pests…put some honey a bit of a distance from your feast for them to buzz around so they stay off you. (i.e.: PRAISE THEM CONSTANTLY, listen to their gripes but don't fall for it; just listen with half an ear, don't get sucked in to their non spirited joylessness, feed them work that keeps them from buzzing around your cubicle even show them how to do if they don't know how) BULLIES are like small children; they can't work alone, they get bored easily, they hate their life and are VERY angry but KNOW NOT how to shake off their feelings. They need CONSTANT attention.

Maturity of Spirit is thru God knowing. Many do not know HIM.

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