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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Coworker Bully Backed by Coworkers

by Charlie
(SW VA Hell)

I was hired over a 1 yr ago into a small office; upon my hire all my fellow employees each in their own way warned me about a fellow employee who was a bully. It was considered a right of passage to go through being the object of her disdain, as she did it to all the new female hires. I was warned to "do the hard thing and put up with it", "ride it out", etc.

The other two women in the office see themselves as peacemakers, where really one of them just doesn't like the boat rocked. They don't want to hear the bully fuss, so I am told. If I file, do mail or anything the bully normally does not to tell her, because of the stink she raises. I am not included in any office talks, and I am not talking gossip sessions, I mean things work related. To include me, means she won't participate and she complains and fusses. So, I am excluded and often they have set me up because of this.

A recent retirement party that was supposed to be semi formal was changed by the ladies at the last minute, who forgot to tell me they were wearing dress slacks and sweaters. I wore a below the knee velvet dress and stood out like a sore thumb.

I have had it, I have been to management who just want us to get along, which means I have to take it and not say anything, not fight, not do anything. It is so bad if I have a fax forwarded attention my name she has a fit, running to management that i am not following procedure. Then they question me as to what came in w/my name... Help I want to quit...

Comments for Coworker Bully Backed by Coworkers

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Follow the Bully Leader
by: Anonymous

It has been a shock to me to learn that most people do not have the courage and the integrity, nor the desire, to stand up for what is right. I am learning that in most bullying situations, the masses will remain silent or will support the bully while the target gets pummeled. I think about this problem in our sad society a lot, but I don't have a clue what to do about it except to keep educating the public, and especially young people. I know a situation in our town where an employee revealed to the manager who was stealing inventory, and the employees got mad and ganged up on the honest employee for being a "squealer". He is about to lose his job.

And all because the employees have no integrity and the boss is a "people pleaser". I am helping this bullied employee by not patronizing the business any more and telling people WHY. It takes constant effort to stand up to the rampant bullying in our society and until "grassroots" people take a stand, it cannot be stopped. We must educate the masses, step-by-slow step.

I So Agree!!
by: Solange

I think education about bullying is the only way to stop it. Bullying happens because people are afraid... of something. Most often, I believe, what they are afraid of is something going back to their childhood that they have no conscious awareness of. That's why most bullying shows up in some sort of pattern. It comes from some development stage that was frozen in time by fear. The individual never got past that early fear, but learned to use their "child" behavior with amazing skill to get their way in the adult world. When I worked in a place where bullying was rewarded, I used to call it "getting your way through bad attitude." Well, I got out of there!!! But, watch what people who bully do. Chances are you have seen your child or grandchild do the same thing... the exact same thing. The good news for your child is that they outgrew it. Bullies just keep the behavior as a tool for getting their way. And like children, they don't have the self-awareness to understand the effects of their behavior on others. If they did, they could never do what they do.

Stand up and you stand ALONE!
by: No Name Girl

Stand up to bullying in the work place - and I promise you - you stand alone! It's the saddest thing I have ever experienced, and most certainly the toughest. After 13 years with the same company, 11 of which were like a honeymoon, with the last 2 feeling like a violent relationship - I am now unemployed and trying to put my life back together.

The road back to "health" has been very hard for me, but I'm a fighter and I believe in justice, fairness, integrity & honesty so I cannot just "heal and walk away". I know that others are being harassed now in my place, and I refuse to look the other way, as they did while it was happening to me.

I've consulted an attorney and it looks like this will go to court. But here's what is so very sad. One of my colleagues (who was a witness to much of what happened, and is now a target herself) called me recently in a desparate state - begging me not to mention her name, or to call her as a witness. WHY? How can she be at fault for just admitting to what she saw and heard? Yes WHY indeed! And, if that's not enough to surprise you, then how about the call the company made to my attorney asking him to instruct me to stop talking to their employees - my friends and colleagues who for the most part still call and or visit ME.

Still, the word is now out from management that I am not to be talked to, and the subliminal message there is that to support me is to step into my shoes and run the risk of becoming unemployed too. Oh yes - and just to "keep it fair" they have hired someone on a contract to investigate. Hmmm, what is the likelyhood that an outsider will have any clue about the sub culture? Companies have a probation period because a person can maintain a facade for only so long before it cracks. Chances are the bullies will put their best faces forward for the short time of the contract to convince the consultant that all is well and I am a wicked liar.

Also - who is paying who here? We all know, you get what you pay for so if you want a certain result, then buy it. Considering a recent environmental "achievement" the company bought and bragged about, this does not surprise me. So - it's off to court we may well go, where I hope the judge is impartial and does NOT buy into media hype & cutsey, folksey PR. The company had an excellent reputation that was real. No more - but the PR machine is still trading on it and while word is seeping into the market, it's still a dirty little secret that is not quite out in public -- YET.

The company is large, well known and has done many bad things to employees and customers alike, it cannot hide forever. Like the Titanic, they are sinking and instead of saving lives the captains of the ship are rearranging the deck chairs and beating the band for playing the wrong music, while others look the other way, avoiding any mention of the lack of life boats. Meanwhile - I have jumped overboard and am swimming, in frigid water, for my life ...

Coworker Bully Backed by Coworkers
by: Anonymous

I have great empathy for what you are going through... been there, done that, been there, done that. Just know that I am out here supporting you via ESP! If you wish, it is fine with me if Anton gives you my email address... sometimes "real contact" can help when we are in the "survival mode". I simply can't turn my back on someone sinking.

Coworker Bullies
by: Teresa

I've worked for a company for 21 years first half was great but one day a girl started and after that it was the worst years of my life. I feel after closing this past feb the hurt is so deep in. She had everyone turn on me. Now I started a new job and was warried of this lady. Yesterday I was her victim. She said she hold grudges bad I was loving my new job too this point. Very hard too look forward to the future in here. Once again what does a person do? Sad

by: Anonymous

I had a situation at a former job where a coworker bluntly called me a vulgar name out of the blue for no reason at all and he was the victim. I also worked with this girl who said another one of my coworkers cut up her jacket and the lady never did it. This same girl went around my department making me look bad along with two other coworkers. They made my last year at the place a living hell. I'm glad I finally decided to quit and leave these people who still act as if they are in high school.

My experience with bullying
by: Anonymous

Bullying is never a new experience for me. I have been through this for over 20 years of my employed life. I quit the first job then this. The only difference is, currently, they back-fight. They don't like me, my very presence means a stigma for them. I didn't do anything bad, just silent working. They talk too much, more often, against other people in our hospital ( i am a med transcriptionist). Majority of these bullies are ladies, i am the only male in the unit. However, I was assigned also in another unit, where the bullies are men. Bullying occurs everywhere, and unless, you can stand for your right alone, the bullying goes on...

Assistance with Bullying
by: Anonymous

The best way to help someone being bullied is to start by providing them the realization that they are strong for coming forward and asking for help. Meaning, that by asking how to change the reoccuring scenario is brave because she/ he doesn't want to be part of it and questions on how to make it different. Make things different: his/her responses, his/her environment. Tell her she needs to come up with statements of confrontation that are positive and true regarding the position she is being put in. By using the adjective "positive statements" you are encouraging the individual to acknowledge or recognize that positive statements can be when you simply refute someone for good reason. This good reason can also help her establish a voice.

Sadly, confrontation can become violent especially when there are peacemakers surrounding the bully. Peacemakers are formed by others that were bullied and tolerated it or those that sadly are entertained by the spectacles the bully creates.

For those suffering from a bully, be brave, assertive. Violence is cowardly. Assertiveness is strength. Being alone is silly, find someone to trust. Two people are a bigger defense and offense than just one person by themselves.

I wish I never said anything
by: Anonymous

I have been bullied for 4 years. I finally went to HR and now the bully is getting a new office to move her further away from me. So basically she got what she wanted and now I feel that management has let me down and I have been branded as a trouble maker.

Bullied for over 3 yrs
by: Anonymous

I work closely with 2 ladies, one of which is a bully. The other gal is younger and just follows the bully where she goes, does what she does--when the bully is on vacation the other gal is a different person, truly sweet, caring and kind. I have sat back and laughed off much of the abuse taken from the bully--I have even reported her to her boss (who did speak to her about her behavior) which has been toned down a bit. But the nasty remarks, whispering, closing doors to have private conversations (un-related to company business)telling someone something hurtful and then saying "I am not trying to hurt your feelings"....doesn't make it hurt less....I am sick of this behavior and just want her to stop. One would think she would grow weary of this after a while...not her she just invents a new way to do it. I detest having to put up with this and I want out but can't afford to retire yet... she and I are both the same age 62.

I put a stop to bullying
by: Anonymous

I have work for the Fed.Gov now about 30 years. For years I had to do more work than others, I was always considered "stupid" by the bully and his gang-I got laughed at etc. This had gone for years (20). My productivity did not stop I always was "on the top" until one day I got hurt on the job and became disabled.
The bully and the gang refused to pay me my salary and also cut off all my benefits- the bullying went through the roof... I was in a hospital and ended up in a wheelchair ... totally unable to support my family. That was it!!!
I went to law books ,studied the law ,made notes, WROTE LETTERS to every Federal Org.(human rights etc.)
Got response letters from them.

Hired a Federal attorney and quietly noted down every talk ,every phone call etc...
End result-won a law suite , retired.
To all who are bullied:
1. Keep a log for everything what was said.
2.Go above the bully and write letters to people,organization above them.
3. talk to an attorney.
The reason why you get bullied is usually the fact that the bully sees you as a threat to himself and KNOWS you are brighter, smarter than he is.

Get Out
by: Anonymous

I've been bullied over 2 years. I accepted a position in a different part of the company only to be bullied by the manager and several co-workers (friends of the manager). I reported the incidents to HR including the manager and was told that they don't have time to monitor people's behavior and of course the bullies denied everything. The bullies now know everything I reported to HR and the harassment continues to this day. There are several people who watch on a daily basis the harassment and will not say a word. One person told me that she does not want any trouble. It's like the running joke of the department. To make the matters worst, someone also called my part-time job and the harassment takes place there as well. So be very careful when you report incidents to HR especially if you don't have someone to back up your compliant because it can follow you from job to job. If you can get out of the department/ company as soon as you can. I ignored the warning signs, thinking that it all would pass. It hasn't and the bullies get craftier and craftier.

So True
by: Ms. S.

I am a teacher and have been bullied for years. If one person on staff doesn’t like you because you stand up for yourself then they tell the whole group, who tells everyone else then you get a label as being a mean person. I never start arguments but always stood up to people. Because of this, I have always had problems. My principal, Mr. G. once said, "You don’t play the game do you?" I told him No. I say what I mean and am not fake. I finally figured out that people have a fake smile, fake voice, and gossip behind your back. There are a few "real" people, but not many. So, I was the "lone dinosaur" without a pack. When you don’t have a pack, the bullies try to eat you. I went from school to school, but the bullies passed on gossip stories about me. They said that I’m not a nice person. I am a nice person but just never allowed people to push me around. Finally, a new church taught me that I only need to please Jesus. I don’t fight bullies anymore. I trust that Jesus will redeem me. And he always has. God Bless.

The real solution to workplace bullying
by: Anonymous

My story is much the same. A couple of bad apples turned against me. They accused me of "tone" issues that were always isolated to 1:1 communications when nobody else was around, i.e. impossible to prove otherwise. They poisoned the well and brought many others onboard, likely by spreading maligning rumors about me, e.g. I'm out to get them, or some rubbish like this.

I can tell you that an attorney is USELESS. A complete waste of time, even if you can find one that will talk to you. What they want is an easily winnable case, where the company has violated one of the sacred legal classes: age, gender, or race. They would want email documentation that prove this.

My preferred approach would have been to talk to each of them 1:1 and record the conversations, then take their bile confessions to my boss (who was playing detective, uselessly) and was forced to side with the mob, easier for him, although they eventually got rid of a lot of the culprits, "after" I left of course. On the way out, I told him specifically he had zero evidence beyond hearsay from isolated conversations.

My friends said "just talk to them and try to work it out," but you've gotta understand, I really had never said a cross word to them in any way, in fact, I was walking on pins and needles not to. I didn't see a point in giving them an opportunity to dismiss me or lie to my face or be honest while also telling me what they think, knowing I could do nothing about it.

So yes, the taking notes with dates is USELESS. Think it through ... it's your word against theirs, and whether you write it down or not, it's the same thing. If they're stupid enough to say something in an email, then you may have something, but face it, unless you're really lucky, they're not doing this, and you'll spend more time logging than doing your job. Ultimately, your boss will look at your logs, and view getting rid of "the litigious logger" as the simpler solution. Remember, bosses frequently have to go to their boss before firing, if even as a formality, they've got to justify why you, who they hired, are now actually a liability. It's your job to make this as painful as possible for him.


It's illegal to record people in California, and other places, you can actually be sued for doing it, except under very limited circumstances,

HOWEVER, there is something concrete you CAN do: hire a detective or other professional to be a witness and have them overhear your conversation at a cafe or public venue. Pay them to give you a signed transcript of what they heard. If your co-workers divulge the truth, take the transcripts to your boss. Now you have a true document that will force your boss to think twice about firing you.

If you were to do this with two separate detectives, you would have two witnesses against X number of employees. The math will start to work against them. You may even get a promotion by the end of it if your boss is not the instigator and is acting in good faith.

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