Discussing :: Workplace bullies - making life hell...

#1

Workplace bullies - making life hell...

I recently worked in an office where I was subjected to the antics of a workplace bully. Her actions were very cleverly disguised and to the large majority of those with whom she works, she seemed perfectly charming, helpful and delightful! However, for whatever reason (probably because I was a temp), she targeted me as her victim. Luckily, the job was short term and unbeknown to her, as I had previously been involved with teaching seminars on just this topic (workplace bullying), I had quite a bit of knowledge about it and recognised the insidious behaviour instantly. I simply ignored my bully and went about my business. However, I am well aware that had the job been long term, my bully and I might well have come to blows one way or another. I would have had to have dealt with the problem. It was very easy to see how this woman could have had a less confident person in tears on a daily basis. For me, I knew I would escape her and she was just someone with problems, So what’s workplace bullying all about? It’s the cutting comments, the withholding of information or training, the unhelpfulness, the goading, the manipulation. In the end one feels stressed, intimidated and humiliated and loses confidence in themselves and how well they do their job. Unfortunately, victims who report the bullying often are told to ‘harden up’, if they are believed at all. I have to admit, I feel very guilty that I did not report this woman myself but in the circumstances, I just couldn’t see the point though I know she will probably target another victim before too long. Here is a questionnaire taken from http://www.leadershipchallenge.co.nz/beyondbullying/targets.asp 1. Are you constantly criticised; subjected to nit-picking and trivial fault-finding 2. Are you asked for explanations and proof of achievement which are then are ridiculed, overruled, dismissed or ignored 3. Are you undermined, especially in front of others 4. Are you having false concerns raised over your performance 5. Are you isolated and excluded from what's happening; e.g. not invited to important meetings 6. Are you treated differently from the rest of your colleagues 7. Are you subjected to disparaging remarks about your work or personal life 8. Are you humiliated especially in front of others 9. Are you taunted where the intention is to embarrass and humiliate 10. Are you set unrealistic goals which are unachievable and which are changed without notice or reason 11. Are you denied information or resources necessary for undertaking work and achieving objectives 12. Are you denied support by your manager and find yourself working in a management vacuum 13. Are you overloaded with work making it harder to achieve targets 14. Are you finding much of your work taken away to be replaced with inappropriate menial jobs 15. Are you finding your responsibility increased but authority removed 16. Are you having work plagiarised intentionally 17. Are you given the silent treatment: refusal to communicate and avoidance of eye contact 18. Are you blamed unfairly 19. Are you receiving instructions only via email, memos, or a succession of post-it notes 20. Are you subjected to excessive monitoring, micro-management For analysis of the questions and your answers, go to the above website. There is lots more information there which might help you if you think you are being bullied.

#2

Bullying is nasty! and its sad to know that people don't get over it after their schooling years. Thankfully, I can say I've never bullied anyone!!! I believe it can be to do with jealously... I think that I was maybe involved in a much lesser version of bullying at a place I worked at...My mother rang up and complained about the lady that was doing it (awkward...and I'm sure it made the situation worse)....she was really nasty, and only ever to me. Funny thing was, I was an extremely hard worker, always have been (not just saying this, I have been told this). Since I was a casual employee, she could roster me as much or as less as she liked. On their busiest day of the year...she rostered me on for 3hours..it didn't matter that the kitchen was absolutely lacking in staff and was in need in of more staff...she was in power, and she wanted to show whos boss. Luckily, turns out a lot of people have made complaints (EVEN CUSTOMERS)...so things have now changed (so I've heard). It was probably the worst summer job i'll ever have and I am happy I left it. Its hard work working with two-faced people who seem bright and cherry and amazing etc etc in person, but really behind your back they're not.

#3

We have one of these. I have worked with her for over 6 years and luckily i don't get the brunt of it a) because I am above her in the pecking order, and b) i stand up to her. However, I have seen her do similar to others - usually the new staff or volunteers. It's hard to pick out who is going to be the target as she can be really nice to some but shit to others. Usually changing tone etc when the boss is around. I have been encouraging others to stand up for themselves as I know this person is not as confident as she appears and if challenged she will back down but it is getting people to stand up in the first place. She gets reported but our boss likes to be everyones friend and so is quite ineffectual in sorting this (otherwise why would it be going on for 6 years!!). I brought in a zero tolerance policy to appoint accountability for actions - one of the consequences is to have to expain in a meeting why you thought it was ok to treat colleagues in this manner. Has been a bit better - but trick is to show you will not be a victim. Easier said than done though..

#4

...there is always one in every office...who for no reason will make someones work environment hell....that is why if I start at a new job I usually find out who the funny one or joker of the office is and that is who I would hang with during working hours because they are usually cool relaxed people....and who the rest of the office usually likes even the bullies......

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