It's All In The Past
My heart goes out to each and everyone of you. I was there, the situation was so bad that I eventually walked out of work one afternoon and went home. I had spoken with the general manager on a number of previous occasion about what had been going on. My supervisor at that time had taken it upon herself to make my life miserable at work. I had been accused of not doing my job properly, seen a reduction in my responsibilities, been belittled in front of others. Over the years, we had seen a number of people leave on account of her.
The day I walked out, I went home and spent a few hours contemplating what to do next, since I was not in the position to give up work entirely. I decided to go and see my doctor. It was the best decision I had made in a long time. He was incredibly compassionate and empathetic. I was given a sick cert for work citing 'work related stress'. His advice was invaluable, I was told that I was not to return to work until the matter had been properly resolved. Five weeks later and two three hour meetings, I returned to work. The situation was marginally better but at least there were steps implemented to have a type of protocol for any further problems.
I was afraid that when I returned I would be laughed at or perhaps ignored by others. Thankfully, this was not the case. Most people who were aware of what was going on were very supportive and understanding.
Between the jigs and the reels, I have since chosen to avail of redundancy. I felt that even though the management were understanding and supportive, there was little that they could actually do. However, should this individual engage in this type of behavior again, at least management will now have a long enough paper trail and be able to actually get rid of her, should they so wish.
Having been given the courage and support by my doctor to stand up for myself, my world has changed completely. I have regained my self esteem and optimism, I made a number of changes in my own personal life so as to protect myself in future from people such as her. I have begun volunteering and have become far more active in my community. This has helped me immensely, I have meet a lot of fantastic people. And most importantly, I am happy. So much so, that it has actually been commented on by others.
I suppose most people would view me as worse off. I am now unemployed in the back drop of a massive recession, but I know my financial situation can be sorted out because I have regained my mental health and have a much better perspective on life.
My advice to anyone that is being bullied would be to firstly, speak to your doctor. Secondly, find other outlets in life that give you joy and satisfaction. We place far too much emphasis on work and how it shapes who we are. I believe it is this view that leaves many open to being bullied. Volunteer, join a sports organization, etc. anything were you are surrounded by positive, happy people and you feel valued.
Lastly, do not be afraid to fight your corner. We all deserve to be treated with dignity and humanity. No one has the right to treat us otherwise, and the worst thing that could happen is that you will be forced out of a job. But really, does anyone deserve to be in a position whereby they are being bullied? No. Is a company that supports or ignores bulling deserve to have you as an employee? NO, not at all, after all we only go to work to put food on our tables, to keep the lights on in our homes and to keep a roof over our heads.
Please, go and find the supports that you need to help yourselves.
Being Bullied at Work? What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know