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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Retail Head Office Bullying

I moved to Australia from the UK 8 months ago and started working in a retail head office - my role in this organisation was never fully explained to me and when I arrived I discovered I would be managing two junior buyers. In turn I would be managed by a buying manager who was over 10 years younger than myself (not that Im ageist in any way). It very quickly became apparent that one of the juniors I managed did not want to report into me and would prefer to go direct to my buying manager. I alerted my boss of this and asked for her support but what then happened and is still happening is a process of undermining and bullying.

My boss sided with my junior (they are the same age ) leaving me with no support and no-one to turn to for help and advice. I went on holiday for 2 weeks (I had then been there 7 months) and on return had discovered my boss had spoken to both of the girls to give feedback on me - I was called into a meeting first day back by my boss to advise that I had been making negative comments about my manager - when asked I had to advise firstly that I wasn't sure what she was referring to and secondly that morale was so bad in the office that if negative comments were being made it was not only by myself but other senior managers.

Two days went by and I was then told there was another meeting with HR - apparently to discuss my role in the company. An hour before this meeting I was asked if I wanted a representative in with me… I had to ask why? What sort of meeting was this? When I turned up to the meeting with the HR manager and my boss it materialised there was more feedback - my team had complained I was negative and in short I was told "what do you think the solution is?" There was a feeling that I got from the meeting of please resign or else we will go down the formal route. I was told that they were unhappy with my management skills and when I asked how to improve they advised Google a book on the internet!!!

This was all interesting to me seeing that I had no meetings to review my performance with my manager from day 1 so in effect I had gone through my 3 month and 6 month review without even a well done or you could do this better chat... confused I was but also clear of one thing that the process of 'managing me out of the business' had begun and with it the bullying and feeling that people were talking behind closed doors about me begun.

In meetings I would be humiliated by my boss in front of my junior team who I managed about things I hadn't done right /product that I was showing was apparently not right (all of a sudden). My confidence plummeted and the feeling of intense scrutiny on my role and how I was performing was immense from all sides - above from my boss and below from my team who I found out were also having meetings with my boss to feedback on how I was doing.

The situation got so bad that the only option was to resign and to finish my notice period signed off for stress. I was in a no-win situation with no support and an easy target/scapegoat for all the things going wrong. What have I learnt? Not to suffer as long as I did and to get help earlier.

How To Deal With Workplace Bullying: What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

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