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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Worked for Federal Government in Australia

by Corey
(Queensland, Australia)

My Workplace Bullying story starts after 3 years of fantastic employment with a Federal Government Department. I was re-assigned to a new team, not long after the Team Coach was moved to another department and an Acting Team Coach was appointed.

At the time she and I had a friendly working relationship, by that we would talk everyday about tv shows, books and music that we were into. At the time Twilight and True blood were just released.

In a meeting "A" yelled at another co-worker and walked out of the meeting, after 20 minutes walked back in like nothing happened. 15 minutes after the meeting "A" pulled me aside (in a one on one meeting) and asked "was my behaviour in any way inappropriate?"

My answer was "I can see your side and I can see his side and I do not want to get involved."

From then on "A" stopped speaking to me, would not include me in team lunches, meeting etc. "A" even went as far as to stop team members speaking to me, threaten my employment in one on one meeting, approved my annual leave in on breath and then took it way in the next, yelled at me in front of other co-workers and so on. "A" sent emails to management that lied about my behaviour, threaten formal counselling/discipline.

After reporting "A" to Human Resources I was told to keep a record and time line, have a meeting with the manager. I held the meeting with the manager and she treating both me and the situation as a joke stating "We are all adults and you and "A" need to start acting like adults and I am not going to intervene on your behalf and nor should I have too."

After making a formal complain the treatment got worse, I was isolated from all employees in the department, when I reported the bullying to the union I was told that they had received a number of reports from other union member about both the manager and "A" but before they could act I would have to join the union.

I was told by a friend that a meeting was held and everyone was told not to talk to me.
A new Team Coach was employed after a year and I was told "to see how it goes." The new Team Coach was worse and the treatment continued. I was put under performance review for false accusations and rumors were spread about me. In the end I became really sick and was forced to resign.

I suffer from Major Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, PTSD and Agoraphobia (Fear of leaving the house) and I have even thought about suicide a number of different times. I am fighting for Workers compensation even though they have rejected my claim twice stating that it was my employers right to treat me like that.

I am unemployed, can not hold a job, looking at being medicated for life and at 32 being placed on a pension due to the fact that I have major trouble leaving my house.

If anyone can help please let me know.

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

Comments for Worked for Federal Government in Australia

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please seek help
by: cathy scannell

Hi I have posted on this site on several occasions. I was moved to tears by your submission earlier but I did not have time to respond. I worked for the government in Ireland and had a very similar experience to yours. I know it is difficult to understand but the problem is with the perpetrator here, not the victim. To be honest I would seek professional help to heal yourself honey and let all this crap behind you. I am sure you are a lovely person and a good worker. Make 2012 all about yourself and your recovery. Find help through these websites, through counsellors, your doctor, your family. Put all your energies into healing yourself. You are a good person and I am absolutely convinced you still have so much to offer. We are put on this earth for a purpose and sometimes that purpose eludes us for a very long time. Stay well, stay strong, stay healthy. I will say a special prayer for you tonight. Please stay in touch via this website if you need to talk. Sending you hugs xxxxxCathy

I'm sorry this happened to you
by: Anonymous

Hi Corey,

I'm sorry to hear this happen to you. Thanks for your comments on my "Worked In The Federal Government In Canada" It seems to me that this is prevalent in workplaces at the federal government all over the world. The previous poster is right. Make 2012 the year of recovery. Please do get some help. I am trying to get the same. I know exactly what your going through. I myself am facing the prospect of having to take medication for the rest of my life.

Reply Worked for Fed Govt in Australia
by: Anonymous

My heart goes out to you. I experienced a similar experience in a State Dept in SA. Like you I sought legal redress. If I could turn back time, I would not do so again. I would have resigned, retrained and continued with medical and like treatment earlier. I retrained as a Lawyer, continued with mental health counselling, medication and treatment and now have my own practice.

The bullies are not worth your time or your effort. Focus on yourself and make 2012 about you and being the best person you can be. Success is the best revenge.

The law will never compensate you adequately for your pain and suffering. You are a good person and have a right to be happy. Go out and reach for the stars.

Good luck.

Thank You
by: Corey

Thank you Cathy and all that have replied.

Just to give an up-date:

I am in treatment with my GP, Psychologist and psychiatrist. I have been put on medication and am in counselling.

Everything is going ok... I am taking it day by day and most days are down days still but it seems to be getting a little better. I have noticed there is that light at the end of the dark tunnel.

The main problem I have is letting go... the anger, the hate, the wanting justice (that I know will never happen) and the fact that I was forced out of a job that I finally found that I had fun and loved doing.

It is amazing to me how the human body reacts to a situation, what i mean is my official diagnosis is (and yes they are all Severe clinical disorders) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Primary Hypersomnia and Primary Insomnia.

At this point I do have to look forward to what the future has for me so i am hoping that there is life and hope after "workplace bullying" but it is still hard to get over.

The more i see, read and learn about how wide spread bullying is from the school yard to the workplace and beyond it is just unbelievable that the legal system cannot or will not make laws to let the offenders know that their actions are criminal and will carry prison time and a prison record. If only that would happen then a lot of people would NEVER be able to be employed in any government position anywhere around the world.

To end this up-date... I am doing ok, a little better from when i first posted, but it is day by day. I am trying to make time to get myself back on track - happy, healthy and able to enjoy life once again. It is a long road but a road that i have started to travel down.

Thanks again for the support

I will keep you up-dated of any change.

Thank you for the update
by: Anonymous

Thank you for letting us know how you're getting on.

I've thought of you often and hoped that you were ok. There is light at the end of the tunnel. You will slowly heal and get better. You will also go on to bigger and better things. Have faith and stay true to yourself.

Some days will be harder than others, but it does get better.

All the best.

Hi Corey
by: Cathy Scannell

Sorry I am only replying now, sometimes I flick through my emails and mean to go back and read them afterwards! It is good to hear that you are moving on Corey, "a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step" as the Chinese (I think!) say. All of us who are on the receiving end of bullying have suffered tremendous trauma and I think no matter how much time passes, one still has good days and bad days, days when the anger and the injustice of it all seem to overwhelm you, especially if you find it difficult to move on, get another job, are in financial constraint etc. Try to take pleasure in the little things, in having the health that you have, in being able to watch a sunset, walk the dog, whatever makes you happy. Be immensely grateful too for the person that you are because I am convinced that most bullies see some wonderful qualities in their victims which they envy, hence the horrendous behaviour. I am always comforted by the prayer widely associated with AA "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference" Onwards and upwards my friend. God bless for now---Cathy

Another comment Worked for Federal Govt in Australia
by: Anonymous

I fully agree with Cathy Scannell's recent post. I too am glad you are moving on and wish you all the best for the future.
You have support. If you need it, just ask, we'll be there for you if you need us.
All the best.

I'm a federal employee currently victimized
by: Anonymous

I work for the DOE and have fought management about my bully this year. He is a man who is a minority and veteran. OMG, management barely slapped his hand.
I was the first DOE employee brave enough to come forward, little did I know that my move would lead to my bosses bullying me for questioning how they handled my situation. Now a reputable contractor has come forward to say he has now been the current victim. I now have hired an attorney to help me, I'm a 21 year award winning employee with an impeccable record. But I dared to question my boss.
At least my work had hired private investigators to check into this whole mess, and this comes as a good sign since they have had EEO come forward on my behalf to present a wonderful solid case.

I just went back to work after 5 weeks off, I have insomnia and horrible graphic dreams where my hands get crushed. I just want to get back to normal some day. My family has been wonderful and many from work support me as well.

Thanks Corey for sharing your story for this helps all of us who feel isolated by these cowards, not to be isolated. Sure our counselors say to take our back power, easier said than done.

Take care friend, DOE employee

Update and New Life?
by: Corey

Hello to Cathy Scannell and everyone else who has commented and shared. I just want to thank you all for your support and kind words, it has helped me to know I am not alone!

To give you all a new update... I am doing well. There are still dark days but over all I am good. I still am in treatment and checked by my GP and Psychologist every week. I have been on meds for a while and they seem to be working - I have moved passed the anger and injustice and working on getting on with life!

As I still have flash backs and panic attacks, trying to gain employment is the worst, but I think I have come up with a great option!

I am taking control and have started my own business (well gone into business with my mother and aunt). I have been learning a great deal of new skills. I have created a facebook page for my new business (CJ's Linen). I am hoping it will be a great success...

About a year and half ago I invested in the best treatment there is a new puppy. My little (or not so little anymore) dachshund has been the best thing in my life. Dogs give you something to live for and they give you all the love and support you need and they know when you need it the most!

So again Thank You all and hope that you are all doing well. Corey

Response to Corey
by: Cathy

Hi Corey
So happy that you are on the road to recovery honey. Be kind to yourself. Your experience will make you a very strong person. And your little dog-wow that's fantastic. I too have a dog and he was the light of my life on those very very dark days. Good luck with your business hon, I am so happy for you. Will continue to keep you in my prayers xxxCathy

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