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by Tim K.
After reading some of the stories I think I am a target of a workplace bully.
Here is my story:
I started working at a well known retail store where they pride themselves about their customer service and respect for employees.
When I first started working there everything was great. I was originally assigned to being a stock person and took great pride in my job. Until...
Every new person was required to train for register. It was around the holiday season and as soon as they found that my numbers worked I was thrown into a register position.
Here's where the bullying started. The manager assigned me to my original post as usual. When it got busy I was called for backup. NO PROBLEM. I know around the holidays it gets busy. The Front End Supervisor who was nice understood that I had a job to do and let me go to finish my assigned job. As soon as the Front End Manager punched in I was automatically called back to the register.
The Front End Manager ask, "Why did you leave your register?"
I politely said, "I am going back to complete my job that I was originally assigned."
The Front End Manager said, "No you are not you are here all day."
After going back and forth I concluded the manager told me to complete this assignment this is what I am going to do. I walked away feeling confused and a little frustrated.
I don't take two steps in the stock room. When the Store Manager paged me and said we need you now on register. A far cry from what was needed this morning.
Later that day I was called in the office. I was told about strategies to make my job more efficient however if a block of time is not devoted then it is next to impossible to complete. I tried to give them a suggestion that would have me on stock half the time and then as a backup register person the other half of the time. The suggestion was kindly overlooked.
As the days past it was very obvious to me that I was no longer stock and I was being herded to be a permanent cashier. This is something I did not want but I tried to make the best of it.
I noticed the bullying started after my first bad evaluation review from the Front End Manager. I paid it no mind and signed the paper and thought I could improve. It was a tell sign I was dealing with a workplace bully when my evaluation from the front end supervisor was a stark contrast to the front end managers. Front End Supervisor Review: Very positive remarks with room for improvement. Front End Manager's review of me was a Gatling gun of criticisms and negative feed back.
It became more apparent this person was a bully and attempting to undermine me when the Front End Supervisor said after my review.
"You are doing good and improving. I don't see what so and so (the front end manager) is talking about."
The Fire Fight Begins
It began to be a pattern I come in every morning. There was no need to go to stock because I no longer worked there (but no one officially told me). So I go straight into the register. I ring for a while maybe for an hour or two and when there are few customers around. She would walk to my register and rattle off a laundry list of things I hadn't done.
This has happened over three times and now I see it being part of a patter. She got into her routine of rattling off criticisms and negative remarks; I stopped her and asked her, "Are you telling me I am a bad register person." Mind you I have been semi-permanently assigned to register duty for a month.
She looked stunned while I asked this. I asked her again. Are you saying am I a bad register person.
Her response was, "I am not saying that."
The next question I asked was, "What are you saying then?"
I got no response from her she turned around and walked away sulking to management.
Recently (Martin Luther King Day)
The Front End Manager got into it with another cashier. This cashier went to management to complain even mentioned that it's obvious that this Front End Manager is a bully and likes to pick on people and this cashier mentioned that she has also witnessed the Front End Manager picking on me. We finally thought that something was going to be done when the Front End Manager was pulled off the floor and sent into the office for 3 hours. We thought something would be done by upper management to give us lowly employees a respite from this person's constant nit-picking and morbid negativity.
Something was done alright. The girl who complained and at the end of the day...
Her hours we slashed to one day for next week. As for my hours...... 0 yes ZERO hours for the next week. My name isn't even on the schedule.
It is apparent that this bully has the power to steamroll over management and probably turned the situation around that she feels threatened which is BS.
When I come to this place now I feel like I have to wear an army helmet and bullet proof vest. I am always on guard when this manager is around because I don't know what dirty trick she will do next. Since my hours have been cut to zero I can only imagine the worse that management is harboring, condoning and enabling this Front End Manager's behavior. To this point I have been assertive and professional however I fear that since I know this Manager's game and bullying tactics and recognize it for what it is and is not (IT IS NOT: Training as upper management would call it) it is straight up bullying. And from the looks of it... It will continue and maybe escalate.
I would of expected this type of behavior on a 5th grade playground not a retail establishment. I have only been there for three months and this experience has left a bad taste about this store and the workplace culture it has cultivated. On a side note I have worked with some great people there most have had the same run ins with this same front end manager. But this one person who is in power has ruined and altered my perception about this store for good.
Any advise or words of encouragement would be most helpful.
How To Deal With Workplace Bullying: What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know