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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Older Worker Among Young Bullies

Since I moved to my present location I have been a victim of bullying. I never had it so bad before. Maybe, my mind just didn't grasp the reality of a world gone mad before.

I am an older worker among a younger population. I am friendly toward people, but I don't join in on the lax environment around me because I am a health care provider and have an obligation to not neglect residents. It is sad to see it done. I am a hard worker and try to be a team worker.

When I first started my job I thought everyone felt the same way. I went out of my way to do extra thinking people would appreciate it and it would motivate a team work mentality. I was so wrong!

I can only think it is my age and my willingness to pitch in that has people taking advantage of me. The bosses don't care about it all. They turn a blind eye to co-worker's behavior toward their job duties and I feel so victimized there.

They try to make me be mandated so they don't have to do it. Crap like leaving only one person on the floor. Me. It all has been done. I feel so alone there. I am in school now. I have one term left and I am switching out of the field.

Everyone has personal lives and I understand that, but tired of suffering in silence. I have to watch my back every time I go there because there is a clique there.

Lost in a time warp where work standards matter and bullying is not allowed.

Wondering if anyone else deals with this crap?

How can you get it to stop?

I feel stressed, angry, and near to tears over it all. I dread going in when I know I got to work a certain unit.

Comments for Older Worker Among Young Bullies

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Generational Divide
by: Anonymous

I also had a hard time in my last job of being an older worker amongst millennials. The job paid poorly and the 20-something HR manager said I got it because I was the only one who applied with any kind of experience. There was no formal interview and I had no idea who I would be reporting to or working with. I had been educated in this industry and been looking for years to break into it. So desperation and lack of other options blinded me to the red flags waving from the get go.

My first day I met my boss and co-workers, I was shocked to see they were all young women in their 20's. None of them had gone to college, nor had formal training in the industry. They were hired because they were friends with the office manager, another millennial. I was the old lady of the bunch and treated as such.

The environment was like a high school cafeteria. Little work was done as gossiping and social media was priority. The case files were a mess and clients were ignored. I single-handedly organized the case files and followed through on doing what the clients paid us to do.

My 23-year old boss was impressed at first. Her way of handling angry clients was to argue with them about the no-guarantee clause of the contract and talk down to them. Most of the clients were seniors. She and the other girls would make fun of them. Anyone over 30 in their minds were old and they would groan on their birthdays as being "one year closer to 30". They also used profanity constantly, which could be overheard by clients on the phone.

I got tired of the unprofessionalism and was encouraged to complain to HR by the owner's sister-in-law who worked in another department and had seen the same kind of behavior. She said HR was making inroads on cleaning up the work environment and was easy to talk to. For her maybe, as she was related to the owner. I was not treated so nicely.

The only thing that changed for the better after my complaint is the girls were told not to make derogatory comments about someone's age, as the company could be held liable for discrimination. The blatant ageist remarks stopped but not the high school behavior. The girls now had a vendetta against me for snitching and started a mobbing campaign.

They started complaining about my work and accusing me of misplacing files. One morning after a group of them kept insisting I had the missing file, I told them in so many words that I had nothing to do with the file they were looking for and to stop blaming me. They immediately conferred amongst themselves and went to HR. I was later called into HR to fill out an incident report, as the girls claimed I had "threatened them with raised fists". I filled out the report with the suggestion to check the video camera in our area to see what really happened. The issue was dropped after that.

The girls talked about me like I wasn't in the room and even gathered around in one's cubicle to criticize my LinkedIn profile. They claimed my qualifications were fake and if I was that educated, why was I working there? They made fun of my appearance and my status as a single woman with no kids (most of these girls had kids already). They spoke of a social media page they had made about people at the company they hated. No names were mentioned of course, they were careful to cover their tracks.

I went again to HR to complain about the gossip and how disruptive it was to getting work done. The HR manager dismissed my complaint as petty and said if it bothered me so much, then wear earphones. So that's what I did and it helped immensely, along with anti-anxiety medication prescribed by a psych doc. I hung in there for months because I loved the work and I could ignore the girls for the most part.

My boss, although she disliked me, didn't try very hard to drive me out other than a bad review for not getting along with the other girls and being written up for not following verbatim the wording on a form letter. I attribute this to her being an inexperienced supervisor and the fact that I was getting the most work done in my department and receiving good reviews from clients.

In the meantime, I had been applying for other jobs to no avail. There was absolutely no future there for me and at some point the mobbing would intensify as I have leaned from various workplaces in the past. Mean girls don't give up when they have it in for somebody.

When my folks got sick, I decided I needed to relocate to another state to be near them. I left that job in February and have been unable to find gainful employment since. Have had interviews, references checked, then...nothing. I have a gut feeling I am being blackballed by last employer and am trying to figure out what to do about it. I see a counselor next week. I have anxiety attacks over this. I'd love to leave that job in the past but the fall out from it continues.

You are not alone in this
by: Anonymous

I do not know where kindness to others has gone especially in the workplace. Worse are weak leaders who enable this and hide behind EAP and policies that are only on paper. They just do not have the will or required skills to deal with a toxic workplace. This is why the Great Resignation is happening in 2021 and much needed older workers who stick around through thick and thin have just had enough and drop out. Do not despair though; timing is everything. I am taking a kind of perverse pleasure in ghosting many employers who are reaching out to me and will only return when an opportunity presents itself that is a good fit for me rather than me fitting into a bullying tolerating workplace. It's about time employers get to see what it is like for applicants who work hard on a covering letter and resume only to not so much as even receive a confirmation of receipt of same.

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