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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Favoritism And Bullying In A Small Office

by Sabine
(Cape Coral)

This sounds pathetic and I'm almost embarrassed to talk about it, but its a true story: I work in a small office doing administrative work running a company that supports 30 individuals with developmental disabilities. I also support these individuals directly handling their finances, medical needs, behavioral issues. So its very hands-on, people oriented work. I worked round the clock in the office and with clients hands on for 2.5 years with an increasing workload, completely ignoring my personal life, and nothing to show for in reference to friendships or relationships. I was just working all the time.

I'm also European, so my work ethics and professionalism is high. This person, who had worked for us previously, 2.5 yrs ago, and who had actually trained me in my current job, was hired back to work for us at her request since her husband is sick, and she wanted to move back to FL. She is also best friends with the (husband/wife) bosses. They connect by religious bonds and she feels she is their child, they helped her financially numerous times, they feel they married her off since they were helping with the wedding issues etc. Anyhow, it was like a lost child, black princess, spoiled brat came back home. (The employers are white by the way.) She, the one who returned, was given a free house to live in (taking care of clients), a car, a job, and who knows what else, which I don't really care about. She also was offered to work in the office to help out.

From day one in the office she acted like a bully/spoiled brat, didn't accept my advice, help, rudely corrected me, when I tried to explain how something is done her response was "I know what P. wants, I'll do it that way..." she did things her way, in ways we had abandoned 2 years ago, the boss people let it go, she became more brash, any complaining from my side felt like I was small minded so I didn't say anything. Several times she rudely cut me off when I started to say something, so I just started to ignore her.

I knew this behavior would eventually backfire, against me, and it did. Group dynamics are difficult when you are up against someone in a favored position. Favoritism is the most devastating of all workplace issues. Now they have hired another one of their personal friends/favorites in the office. Its two against one, since those two people bonded right away, and I'm the odd one out. I have worked in a lot of positions and have trained people in Europe for years, this is the most awful and ridiculous experience I have ever had at work. Rudeness, bullying, favoritism, there is no healthy balance in this office anymore.

As always with new people on the job, they try to assert themselves, and in a small company they will stab anything/anybody in their way to get the bosses attention and approval. So on a daily basis I'm dealing with protectionism, separatism, rudeness, people producing their own show to look good, bypassing me to get to the boss.

The workload is divided between the three of us. I heard one of the two new people talking about a client who is on my caseload and giving advice on my client without involving me, talking back and forth loud with the boss, getting his approval on the fantastic job she is doing with my client. I went to see that client the same evening and took care of a situation just as well.

Things are happening behind my back, they talk about things I should be involved in, I am out unaware of things, and the two people in the office are gaining more influence stabbing me in the back. I am now admitting that this has caused me anxiety and possibly a form of depression because I cannot stop crying, I cannot even talk about the events at work because I start sobbing uncontrollably and hate myself for it. It has become almost impossible to go back to work for me, I get anxiety attacks when I turn in the street where the office is located, the boss even told me that I am one of their least favorite persons in the company. That did not make it easier to work there.

Talk about psychologically beating down a person. I see only one solution to my current life situation and that is to quit and make room for the two bitches from hell who have invaded my life in the rudest way. This is a women dominated workplace and I have noticed the worst catty and backstabbing behavior from these women and am pretty discouraged. I think I am a good and capable person, however these going around my back dealings are killing me. There is no openness, there is no HR person one can turn to, there is just reaction to a situation when it's almost too late and there is punishment.

Thanks for reading this, Sabine

Comments for Favoritism And Bullying In A Small Office

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RE: Favoritism And Bullying In A Small Office
by: AG

Dear Sabine,

I'm so sorry that you are going through this horrible situation at work. However, dear, did you try to speak with your boss? I feel that making your boss understand the situation will help you. Those two new hires would have already spoken about you to your boss. If your boss has any consideration for you - the one who had managed all of these tasks single-handedly for 2.5 years - he should try & help you. Is there a chance for you to consider moving you out of your current assignment to something else that is appropriate? That would help you detach yourself from these two people. Even if you had had HR, they would not have helped you. You would be surprised to see them support & pamper those who are favored by the boss. In case you cannot move to another assignment, then the best thing for you to do is to (a) take the matter to your boss - only tell him how you feel about your work taken away from you and serviced by others. Seek his help to stop this practice of your colleagues (b) not to bother much about the way the other two do their work. Let them complete their work the way they want to. That should not be your concern. You should ensure that your work you will complete flawlessly and would not allow anyone to filch your job. Always be happy at work (even if you are not, just fake it).

Good Luck to you dear,

Moving On
by: Trinity

Hi, sorry to hear about your situation and I am sorry to tell you that you have lost your job. Club Catty are going to bully you into leaving, either by your own accord (constructive dismissal) or by 'finding' things wrong with your work so that your boss looses confidence in you and eventually announces changes to the workplace structure such as redeployment etc. If I were you I would go to your boss and say that you love your job and colleagues but for personal reasons ie work hours/commuting time etc you need to move on and would they be a referee. Do not quit your job until you have a contract elsewhere. Your boss will give you a fantastic reference if they see this as an opportunity to change a situation they believe is untenable, with as little blood on the floor as possible. A good reference is worth more than a good CV. Throughout all of this I would like you to know that this is not your fault, no part of this situation is your fault. They are culpable for their own actions. It is an unhealthy environment and you could be very happy elsewhere.

Why just why don't people prefer work over other things?
by: Anonymous

One of my colleague is given more preference I don't know the reason, but she gets comfortable shift timings, she comes and goes whenever she wants to, is paid more than others, given rewards and acclamation when actually someone else deserves it and even she is not a bit suitable for that, she takes leaves like anything, she has got 17 leaves in 4 months and even then it is one of nominations for being the next team lead; the manager over our head gives her more marks than other, she is not marked on her mistakes when actually our marks are being cut for the same mistakes. Do not know what the hell is wrong with the managers why do they favor her, give preference to her? Don't they feel that they are ruing others' lives, don't they feel what they sowing, they also have to reap that. I wish some miracle happens and things changes for better where actually the good employees get preference over the employees like her who just I do not know what they do flattering or buttering or blah blah blah. Can those sick flatterers as well as those who are being flattering one day be kicked out of the office. Hope that Day comes soon

Job Gone!
by: JessicaLouise

Hi Sabine,
Before I begin, I wanted to highlight something you wrote in your posting. I feel it's not wise for you to make too much of the viewpoint, now or in the future, that 'since you are European, you have a great work ethic' I'm not sure what you mean by that, but it honestly doesn't put you in a very good light, and it came across to me as quite offensive and discriminatory. There are good and bad workers on every continent, and it's not constructive to generalise in this manner. It may also make you a target, so do be careful about this.
Now, about the bullying situation. I totally agree with those who have said you have already lost your job to these witches, unfortunately. Take steps to get out of there as soon as possible, because things are not going to get any better, and you will be doing yourself the greatest favour if you leave now - they are not winning by you leaving, you are, even though it probably feels like you would be doing what they want you to do. Leave them to their sad little lives, and move onward and upward! ;)

Head up
by: Dee

Dear Sabine,
I came through the same nightmare. I was bullied by a band of females who were ready to kill me only for the fact that I am alive. The issue was "my person in general" - opinion given in grievance I filed against them.

First of all you shall no longer involved your energy into this job and this place. It is not worth it. Stay on your sick leave as long as you can and start to look for another job if you have not done already so. Your strength, health and self confidence is the most important and your most important asset.
And remember you are not the only one with such problems. You will find a good job sooner or later.

Similar situation with happy outcome
by: Anonymous

Hi Sabine, i am truly sorry for your position. I advise that you raise a grievance on the basis that you are singled out and treated differently than the other employees. Are you of a different nationality or race or religion? If so and you feel this may be the reason, then mention it in your grievance letter. It would be worthwhile to consult a lawyer.

I had an almost identical situation, small office, one office manager, who was related to the owners and two admin. I made informal complaints, following which I was severely disciplined as the bullies retaliated, and finally dismissed for GM for doing my job correctly. I suffered anxiety throughout my employment but shortly after dismissal i recovered, and have never felt better. I have successfully sued the ex employer.

Small company in Northern colorado
by: Anonymous

I work in a small manufacturing company in Northern colorado. They bully me for talking like everyone else and they only pick on me when I'm doing a better job that anyone else. I get paid barely over minimum wage. There is favoritism because this person is a young pretty girl. I have a disability even that it's high functioning and they will definitely not give me some benefits from having that, instead they bully me and trash me not from the others employees.

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