I have had 3 office bullies in my workplace. There have been others but these are the main ones who have really caused a lot of damage, not only for me, but for the entire company.
Bully Type Descriptions:
1. The Executive Assistant:
Bully Type - The Two-Headed Snake/The Constant (behind your back) Critic
2. The "Professional"/IT Director (they wore 2 hats after driving the IT Director out):
Bully Type - The Gate-Keeper/The Guru (or at least put on a good act as one)
3. The Manager (not my supervisor):
Bully Type - The Wannabe/The Constant Critic (to your face and behind your back)
Recently, though, as of this month, 2 are leaving or have left. One is still there but I understand they haven't been complaining about me recently. One was leaving for personal reasons and the other because there was finally a showdown with management and they lost.
The problem is... I was up for a promotion recently and did not get it because of the damage to my reputation caused by these 3 office bullies. Our office has two floors and I work on a different floor than these 3 bullies and upper management, so upper management doesn't know me as well. They only know what they hear and they tend to have believed these bullies over trying to find out the facts.
My job is a very stressful one. The whole industry is very stressful and government deadline driven. So the very nature of the work we do there is extremely stressful to begin with. So I don't need this additional stress.
I wear many hats working for mostly one department but also for others. And I have been told I'm accurate and do quality work. I have a lot of heavy responsibilities that they trust me with that requires me to keep things in constant check or I get complaints about it. And the bullies seemed to have fuelled these flames with the complaints. Whenever there was trouble, I would eventually find out that they were at the source of it.
Although, I kept ending up being looked upon unfavorably because I wasn't helping my co-workers when I'm already drowning with work. Depending upon who it has been, some do help me but others have not much at all. It appears that my co-workers are either not given much work to do or get help from a high school or college girl who comes in to help. While I keep being given more and more responsibilities/work and little or no help.
This was fine for awhile because I like to be busy. But then it got to the point where I was feeling burned out and finally approached my boss about my workload. He did distribute some of it to my co-worker. But then during our busy season, he said that she was busier than I was so I had to do it again. But after busy season, I am still doing it, even though now I'm busier than her. She also has had her hours cut to 4 days a week and thinks she can come and go as she pleases, which makes my job even more stressful because now I have to cover for her and puts me more behind.
This co-worker has ended up helping the Two-Headed Snake a lot (the worst offender of trying to get out of work). The Two-Headed Snake's game is to tell each of us half truths to pit us against each other. In most cases, it has been that I am trying to get out of work, so then the person ends up rebelling so I end up doing MORE work than I already am and/or don't get any help.
She tried getting me to fall for her game. But I finally got smart and didn't try to let her get me going anymore.
The result of all this is that I am now considered slow, unresponsive and unhelpful...and was called on the carpet for it.
To add to all of this, we have had a lot of technology changes lately. The Gatekeeper/The Guru, continually kept me out of the loop, did what they could to keep me out of training sessions that I needed to do my job, wouldn't give me rights to things that would make my job easier and faster (I have to work around). And would go behind my back and do things that would create more work for me without telling me about it. I would just happen to find out about it.
What made it worse is he is also the IT Director and I used to help the old IT Director that he drove out. The GateKeeper was also spreading around rumors about my competence with computers when I have a degree in computers and business. But he was also keeping me from getting the training and knowledge I needed to do my job efficiently. The only way I found out how to do things was by what little training he did let me have so he wouldn't look bad, figuring it out myself, or asking people I somewhat trusted how do something. He kept belittling me in front of people like I was dumb when it came to computers and couldn't be trusted with rights to do things. He wouldn't even listen to my boss when he requested that I get these rights or be included in important meetings where my input would be valuable.
With the third bully, I tried to help them with making their work better, which part of my job is to make the managers look good. But instead they would complain about me all the time behind my back to my boss about me. This was before I realized what they were. I just do as they want, and they haven't been complaining about me.
My boss seems to know how these people are, which has helped. But I think he was getting as frustrated as I was.
All this has been going on for years and I finally got to the point where I was fed up and probably didn't handle the situation very well. I got emotional and probably complained to HR too much. But I didn't know what else to do. Upper management seem(ed) to think these bullies were just great and wouldn't hear of these complaints. So I got frustrated and upset and I shouldn't have.
And now that is being held against me and I am being considered part of the problem when I have been under attack for all the years I have work for this company. Was I just supposed to sit there and take it just so there wouldn't be any waves? I did take it... for years. And because I said nothing... I'm considered a negative person, slow and unresponsive.
The sad part about this is. I have been a loyal, supportive, hard working employee. I stay late when others won't. I'll take comp time instead of overtime if it's an off time of the year. I bend over backwards for that company. But I don't really think I am appreciated at all for my efforts. My boss has been waving this promotion carrot in front of me since almost day one and now it's being pulled out in front of me and put back with them saying...well...if this person doesn't work out than maybe you can try again when they leave. When? In 15-20 years? Thanks!
So I guess the moral of my story is. Don't get emotional when dealing with office bullies or it will only end up hurting you more.
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