I am an English/photography teacher at a rural community college. I want to start here by noting that I have been a consistently high-performing employee with excellent student and supervisory reviews.
Three years ago, my husband was diagnosed with stage IV cancer and was told he had six months to live. Thank God, his series of treatments have been effective and his cancer is in remission.
Almost immediately after finding out about my situation, my department chair began excluding me from departmental events by making sure I never found out about them. I came to work twice during that year to find out that she and the other art teacher were holding student art shows on those days. It was humiliating to be so publicly excluded. She started purposely holding department meetings at a time when I and another teacher she disliked could not attend. On several occasions she made ridiculing comments about me to other department members as I left a room.
She also began sharing my e-mails with other department members who mocked the content of the complaints I made. She started having her boyfriend (also a college employee) call my home late at night when they were both drunk. He would leave rambling messages on my answering machine, and I could hear her cackling in the background.
She took away extra classes I had always taught in time to coincide with my husband no longer being able to work. Additionally, the college where I teach is an hour away from the town where I live. There is a campus in the town where I live, and many of the teachers who make the same commute that I do had been allowed to work several days a week on that campus. During my husband's treatment, my supervisor decreed that only I would no longer be allowed to work locally. I was (and still am) forced to drive to the rural campus five days a week during his chemotherapy.
At this point, I cracked and made a complaint to one of the deans. The college told me they could see nothing wrong her behavior, and that I needed to see how I could get along with her better. They gave her my letter of complaint as they told me this.
In the time since then, she has finagled to have her best "friend" made co-chair. These two women and one other teacher they favor are among the least popular teachers in the school. One of them is so loathed that Facebook had to take down a very nasty student discussion of what an awful person she is.
The chairs have moved on to other victims, though they still put plenty of effort into making me miserable. They have just gotten the best teacher in our department fired by lying about her. They are now working on firing another teacher who has just been through a divorce, has sole custody of three children and gets no child support. This teacher, who also lives an hour from the school, is now being forced by these two evil women to teach four night classes. In contrast, when a male teacher who works in another department was going through a divorce, his workload was lightened and he was only required to drive to the rural campus two days a week.
The victims have been desperately trying to find other jobs, but the market is difficult.
I just requested a meeting with the dean again to attempt to reason with him regarding their "supervision." He agreed at first, then later said he would only meet with me when they were present. Great.
This only touches on the major events and issues and does not delve into the daily degradations several department members are forced to endure.
All comments and suggestions would be welcomed!
Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Workplace Bullying Stories.