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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Retired Government Appraiser

It happened years ago. I was a clerk in the property tax office, and I took college courses to become a real estate appraiser -- 2 yrs after the civil service exam and I was #3 on the hiring list. My then male supervisor X said to me before I knew I'd be promoted "Why do you want to be an appraiser, you've got it made". X often gossiped about another younger married female clerk called here a "rugbuyer" behind her back, a reference to "women's place is in the home" and openly talked with other male coworkers about her physical attributes.

Gossips (men and women) called me a "bimbo". Some said I got the job because I had big boobs. X and my supervisor took me and another female appraiser M to a stripper bar for lunch to celebrate our passing probation. I didnt want to go. I told only M that it was inappropriate to take us g to a strip club. I suspect she ratted me out to X.

A few mos later she was transferred with several other appraisers to the work section we all wanted to go to. Altho I had the most seniority I was never offered the transfer. Two male appraisers won a arbitration the year before to go to this desirable dept based on seniority. (Where X was the senior supervisor). 8 years later I finally wrangled a transfer there.

6 mos later, X pointed a handgun at me and said, why dont you take off running and we'll target practice? He and another male supervisor and appraiser laughed out loud. Everyone in the room saw it. M was sitting right next to me, and I asked her "M, did you see that?" M said no. No one ever admitted to witnessing the gunpointing. I told my husband when I got home from work. He said wait a few days before you tell your manager; someone will tell the manager or X himself will brag about it. I didnt have to tell coworkers about it, since everyone in the room saw it. So, 3 days later I told my manager; he said he already heard about it; he talked me out of filing a grievance and promised he'd fix it but never did.

The bullies made me a constant target. Over a year later, I filed a union grievance citing a pattern of harassment including the gunpointing. X said the gunpointing never happened. X called the union and threaten to sue if they did not withdraw the grievance. (They withdrew) Then, X sued me for slander. After mos. of struggling to stay focused on work, I took medical leave for job stress and workers comp denied my claim.

After about 2 years of litigation (the case never got to trial) , X gave up the lawsuit and retired. Me? 10 years after the gunpointing and a 2nd medical leave and workers comp claim (denied) -- I finally lost my battle to continue working and applied for disability retirement.

My employer tried to sabotage it. For once, they did not succeed. I won. I escaped from hell.

Comments for Retired Government Appraiser

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Kia Kaha (Maori for 'Stand Strong')
by: Trinity

What a terrible ordeal, and for so long you have endured what would take most people a month to have a breakdown over. I have filed a workers comp claim and I have also applied for the invalids benefit, I suppose this week I find out whether I am worthy of either. I will never return to the workforce, I have PTSD and even though I am medicated up to the eyeballs I still have the nightmares, the memories haunt me every waking moment, anything unanticipated shocks me and I have to take to my bed and cocoon myself until I feel safe to face the world again, and I was only three months in that job, and that was six months ago, and there was no threat to my life.

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