Bullying! Really? But we are adults!!

Published October 15, 2012 by Kate

Workplace Bullying is well defined in this link

Typology of bullying behaviours

With some variations, the following typology of workplace bullying behaviours has been adopted by a number of academic researchers. The typology uses five different categories.

  1. Threat to professional status – including belittling opinions, public professional humiliation, accusations regarding lack of effort, intimidating use of discipline or competence procedures
  2. Threat to personal standing – including undermining personal integrity, destructive innuendo and sarcasm, making inappropriate jokes about target, persistent teasing, name calling, insults, intimidation
  3. Isolation – including preventing access to opportunities, physical or social isolation, withholding necessary information, keeping the target out of the loop, ignoring or excluding
  4. Overwork – including undue pressure, impossible deadlines, unnecessary disruptions.
  5. Destabilisation – including failure to acknowledge good work, allocation of meaningless tasks, removal of responsibility, repeated reminders of blunders, setting target up to fail, shifting goal posts without telling the target.

I came to work early, stayed late, just to try to keep up with the mountains of work this person wanted done – it was never good enough – I was told that I wasn’t good enough, that I was unreliable, unable to keep up with the workload, my attitude wasn’t in line with everyone else, I was resistant to change.   But I know my work was good – I’m a clever cookie, I was kind to our clients, I got the tasks done, I was pleasant to my co-workers, said good morning and good night to everyone – even if they didn’t respond back (which was often – no one at the office wanted to be seen talking to me),  if I had a concern, I spoke to my manager – who I thought was supportive, but in truth – had no backbone and had no desire to help, didn’t acknowledge that the director was being a bully –  but now I realize that she too, like everyone else in that organization, was afraid of losing their job – if they spoke out about an issue, then they would become the focus of this bully and at this point, all the focus was on me – and they (the management) liked that.  I went to work every day for a year with that sick feeling, the feeling that today will be a good day –  nope – I left work every day in tears, feeling like a failure and worse – feeling like maybe this bully was correct.  (I was actively looking for new employment during this time – just to let you know)

Where were these people who cared, when going through this horrible experience.   Oh yes, there is the supportive husband, the caring friends – but its the ones living it with you, your co-workers, witnessing the bad behavior, the ones that say – oh what a shame – and yet can do nothing about it – something as simple as saying – In this organization, believe in our Statement of Values and Principles

    We value and have consideration for ourselves and others, believing in the inherent worth of each individual. We regard each other as having equal value, worth and dignity.

    We have the capacity to participate in another’s feelings or ideas and are willing to do so. We care for each other and for each other’s needs.

    We value honest, sound, genuine relationships and act accordingly. We accept responsibility for our obligations and are answerable for how we meet them.

    We are committed to a process where all ideas and input are heard and considered and where decisions are made by consensus whenever possible.

    We will act in a professional manner with information that is shared.

    The intent of all that we do is for the good of the client.

    We continuously strive to improve the service we provide to each other, our clients and our community.

Did anyone besides me, point out this to the bully?   Nope…    I believe that Statement of Values and Principles means nothing to the bully!

I spoke out,  talked about how unhappy I was with everything going on – tried to discuss workload, low morale of staff – instead – I got fired – without case – that’s what the letter said – without cause…
Now there are those that would argue that an employer is entitled to let staff go, if they  want..  Sure…  that’s true… but to fire someone in a way that is totally humiliating to the employee, done in such away that confirms the bullying behaviour of the employer – that is the part that harms, leaving a scar….   My personal items were  inspected before I left, my purse rummaged through, I was escorted out to my vehicle as if I was a criminal! –  All those so-called caring managers and coworkers, did they call me, did they reach out to me to let me know they cared – No…  the few that did call me, are the ones that I always had considered friends.. the others…were too concerned about their own jobs to reach out.

If I didn’t have the support of a loving husband, family and true friends, this situation may have ended differently.

So why do I let the bullying behaviour continue?  The other day, over a year later, I actually hid from the person who fired me, I hid!!!   I was so angry, am still angry with myself…    this person has no power over me anymore – NONE!

I still have nightmares – PTSD of sorts..

From now on, I will stand up for my right to be where I want to be, no one is going to chase me away!


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