Workplace Bullying In A Government Agency
From the day I started my job in a government agency I was never really welcomed or included by the existing team members. But I didnt make a thing of it. I loved my job, and was happy. But I noticed that this existing small team isolated and gossiped about an older lady on our team. Then after 2-3 months they turned on me and I became the target. I was subjected to rudeness, isolation and indifference for almost 3 years.
I was verbally attacked and abused in front of staff by a male on my team. It was very degrading. He said dreadful things and I knew he had been the cause of my worries for all those months since I started. I spoke to my supervisor, and manager. But my concerns went unnoticed and ignored. I am a quiet natured, happy person and would not upset a soul. Any of my requests for training or personal betterment in the workplace were ignored, pushed aside. I didn't understand why this was happening to me.
The older lady in my section who had been subjected to this for 2 years told me she had felt suicidal. I now felt the same. I wanted to die to stop the hurt. She was my support at work. One particlaur female and the male were the instigators and would 'backstab' me, making derogatory comments to other employees about me. I raised these concerns directly with my manager but things got incredibly worse. I even mentioned this to the GENERAL manager when he asked me himself, and I felt good I'd finally said how I'd been feeling. However little did I realise by this time, that those few people had already 'pointed the finger' to blame me for partcular incidents in the workplace.
The general manager didn't care one iota about me. Some months later to my horror I was advised by my manager that I was being 'investigated' for these incidents and making written complaints about these people, apparently I was harassing them. I was absolutely mortified. I said I certainly did not harass them or anyone else. I keep myself to myself and did not understand WHY this was continuing. What did I do to deserve this? I was extremely distressed.
I was absolutley devastated. The manager told me I would be dismissed if it was discovered I had harassed them. I could not believe it. IT WAS ME BEING HARASSED AND VICTIMISED. THIS LITTLE GROUP OF PEOPLE WERE NOT GOING TO STOP TILL THEY GOT RID OF ME. But not one manager came to my aide, or asked me any questions or discussed the accusations, or showed any concern about my wellbeing or came to discuss with me. I was left alone. I was told NOT to discuss this with anyone. I felt incredibly alone but I wanted to show them I had nothing to hide, I was a good employee and kind person. I continued to go to work. My health suffered badly as I was now subjected to a lot of stress and worry.
Depression, my hair fell out, coughing blood, tremors, developed an ulcer. The fingers all pointed at me for "harassing" these people when I never ever did anything to upset anyone. I was popular in my job, and got along well with everyone and was a very loyal worker. My other colleagues never had good opinions of this particualr group and general comments made to me was the "bullying group" was threatened by me. Jealous. I didnt understand that because we are all equal I thought. Sure we are all different but I put aside the verbal attack and the spitefulness I received and kept my head held high. It was not easy. I believed they were trying scare tactics now to oust me, and that they'd "brainwashed" management into thinking "she did it". I knew it was a "power" thing for them to do this to me, they attacked my character and made me out to be an evil sneaky person.
I kept to myself and minded my business, remained professional towards all staff - but in the end they dismissed me. No discussions, counselling, warnings - nothing. I was devastated. I was not even allowed to call my husband to get me, I had to leave immediately. You would have thought I'd stolen money, or murdered someone. This was a WITCHHUNT from the start all because of 4 horrible people and their idle gossip, nasty innuendoes and finger pointing. The General Manager himslef clearly was on a campaign to prove "their system DOES really work" so I always felt I was being made an example of.
There was no proof who wrote any complaints. I had supsicions but I would never say. However one woman in this little "bullying' group accused me of writing to her home and that I must have stalked her. I could not believe my ears or eyes. I saw the letter she received and in fact it seemed a kindly letter. Someone showing concern for her. But from someone who knew her family and husband. I knew nothing much about her personal life, but she wrote a complaint blaming me. Stating I was psychotic, mentally unstable, etc etc. It was highly defamatory. I was devastated to read that. She and I had always got along well. Or so I thought. There was only ever 2 obvious troublemakers SABOUTEURS as I call them. But she contrived things that never occurred. But there I was, now out of a job thanks to all of them. My career gone. WHY WOULD I STAY IF I WAS GUILTY OF ANYTHING. WHY WOULD I PUT MYSELF THROUGH ALL THAT ? I WAS INNOCENT AND DEPSITE IT ALL I WAS SHOWN THE DOOR.
If you were doing bad things and knew they were onto you - you'd be gone wouldnt you ?! You would not stick around. So in order to prove my innocence I went to an appeal tribunal, my husband stood by me the entire time. We paid for a solicitor. Sadly, my employer painted a very very black picture of me. They made me out to be a wicked evil person, not worthy of getting my job back. I said I have done nothing to warrant this, I felt I was in a no-win situation.
My former employers witnesses and supposed evidence were pathetic. Amounted to nothing and my solicitor proved it. To top it off, to my horror, my personal Hotmail account was tampered with, some emails contrived to appear they had been sent from my hotmail account... again I was devastated. I think they knew that they had to have 'something' to prove they were right all along, so they contrived some "evidence" (a smoking gun as my solicitor said). I proved I was not near a computer when these were sent. But they dissed any proof I had and again made me look like a liar.
From the start I trusted my management to help me. I trusted my team mates. But my passwords were stolen and that was very easy to do in my area. I am a very trusting person. Unfortunately the Tribunal board sided with my employer. I WAS NOT GIVEN A FAIR HEARING AT ALL. My employer suggested I created a conspiracy theory - when all the time it was bullying/cyber bullying being directed at me. They would go to any lengths to cover this up, have to have my former co-workers appear unified in their opinions of me.
I was extremely hurt and upset to hear them say those things. I had been through so much. The whole ordeal was stressful, humiliating and depressing. As I said to my MANY friends and supporters still in that workplace, this agency will stop at nothing to destroy you. They are not interested in the truth. It is about protecting themselves, protecting the real perpertrators. Because quite simply if I was allowed back to work I could probably take things further if so inclined, sue them or whatever it is. But I only ever wanted my job. My income and livelihood. To work in harmony with everyone. But this small group of people were hell-bent on getting me out - I was "the outsider" and they would gang up and stop at nothing till I was expelled from the workplace. And it worked.