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Got Out And It Feels GOOD!
After reading others stories I feel compelled to share mine.
I was a senior level HR manager at a successful national company. Initially my relationship with my "soon to be Bully" was positive.
All that changed when he started sleeping with one of the clerks who was a poor performer. For some reason this employee had it out for me...the reason I can decipher is that she was extremely lazy. As she did payroll and I was HR our jobs were interconnected. Having said that in her 8 month tenure I may have asked her for 3 things and she labelled me a slave driver.
During the time this VP and clerk were having their fling the VP's behaviour towards me changed. All of a sudden employee's were being told not to complain to HR, he would publicly (and unjustifiably) criticize my performance and in front of subordinates.
One example is when I put forth a candidate for a senior position. When he walked out of the interview he said to me in front of several employees "I can't believe you would put him forward, he's not one of us". Fortunately my boss, the CEO, had also interviewed the candidate. He commended me for finding a person with such a strong skill-set. I asked him if he had debriefed with this VP after the interview because he obviously disagreed with the CEO's assessment. At this time our offices (mine and the VPs) were right next door to each other and he must have overheard the conversation because the next thing I know I'm cc'd on an e-mail to the senior management team about how great this candidate was!
This is just a small example of the scrutiny I endured for 3 years. I even volunteered my services while on mat leave and this VP was one of the few who took advantage (if he thought I was incompetent why).
In another instance he was literally screaming and cursing at me when I wouldn't identify an employee who had made a complaint (I knew the employee would get reprisal). As a side note I'm proud of how I handled myself that day, stayed calm and kept repeating - "don't speak to me that way".
This VP is one of the most influential people in the organization (3rd in command). I had brought several complaints from other employees forth to the CEO (but not my own for fear it would look like I had a personal vendetta) but all I heard was - "he's not perfect, but he makes money" and "he's like that with us too". So because this VP's misbehaviour is "water off a ducks back" to the CEO it's acceptable?
As with most bullies of course there were employees who were exempt - but it was not related to performance. You could tell who was in the in group because they could show up whenever they wanted and were drinking with him at the bar every Friday afternoon (getting paid and using company credit card).
If there was one failure I had at the company it was in getting the CEO to appreciate the severity of the situation, the impact it had on all staff at that location and how it affected the organization's bottom line (in terms of staff productivity). I tried, I really did but they just didn't want to hear it.
It's been 4 months since I left, so I have distance on my side but my perspective has not changed. Former co-workers who I maintain a relationship with tell me things have not changed.
It's just a matter of time before this company gets sued and if they plead ignorance I'll be the first one lining up to testify.