Monday, April 02, 2012



I was lucky enough to make it through  my school years without getting bullied by peers and I had a fairly good time at school, that I didnt' care for school that much had other reasons...but bullying was definitely not one of them. My first real experience with bullying was a few years ago, when I watched a coworker being bullied beyond belief, mentally tortured, threatened and degraded on a daily basis. As an employee that had been there longer as the then supervisor, it became fast obvious that she wanted all new staff that she could mould to her liking, and so I became a smaller target of her bullying ways, mostly because of my association with that particular coworker. I eventually left that work place because the stress was just getting to much and all our attempts to get any help or even just raising awareness fell on deaf ears and was dismissed. That happened shortly before there was a law put in place against workplace bullying, so we didn't benefit from it. Now five years later, times have changed and I am pretty sure that fears of lawsuits have contributed to the dealing with the bully this time around. Also people saw how it affected the whole work place and every single staff. Being bullied can affect people in many different ways, some suffer from high stress, anxiety, reduced self esteem, sleep disturbance, phobias, increased depression, financial stress due to absence, etc.
Bullying  is often directed at someone a bully feels threatened by. The target often doesn't even realize when they are being bullied, because the behaviour is covert, through trivial critisism and isolating actions that occur behind closed doors.
There are some ways you can deal with a bully....first recognize that you are being bullied, realize that you are not the source of the problem and that bullying is about control and has nothing to do with your performance. Take actions by keeping a diary of all incidents, whenever possible have witnesses, because the bully is a master manipulator and can twist every story and incident to their advantage, usually they try to catch you alone. Make copies of all bullying paper trails, keep emails and notes that contradict the bully's statement etc.
Having known all this and doing it from the day it started has definitely helped in putting an end to it. Even though we had an open door policy with the manager, it was very uncomfortable to get to that point of telling, mostly too because of the threatening comments being made by the bully. But you have to tell somebody, anybody, until somebody believes you and starts investigating. Most likely you are not the only person being bullied, there might be some of your coworkers being bullied too, and complaints from a  number of individuals speak volume. It did in our case.
Oddly enough after our bully was removed I attended an Anti bullying session and learnt some interesting, yet sad  facts, e.g. that the average bullied person is bullied for about 22 months before speaking about it to anybody,
Most bullies in the work place are women and most people bullied in the workplace are women too. I guess mean girls turn into mean women.


jnana said...

Aww, it could be very stressful getting bullied or even just having to watch it happen without being able to do anything about it.

(Thanks for stopping by!)

Pearson Report said...

Sad isn't it that the Bully is really just a weak person unable to deal with their on situation in a more productive way...instead they resort to "doing to others what is done to them".

Jenny @ Pearson Report
Co-Host of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

Autumn said...

You know, it really did take me a long time to realize I was a victim of online bullying! We have no way to stop some of this irritating behavior. I hope things are better for you now and in the future.

KC Weldon said...

I was bullied in middle school and high school and also in the workplace. I run out of appendages to count on to count the girls & women who bullied me but only need one hand to count the boys & men. Females bully more, I think we hear about male bullies because they get more physical.

Inger said...

I was bullied by boys in my elementary school for the only reason that I was taller than everyone else. After the first four years, I transferred to an all girls school where none of that existed. I have no recollection of anyone being bullied or any mean girls. There were clicks, but not mean ones. Thanks for this long post on a subject we need to keep talking about.

Gossip_Grl said...

Nice posting and my last job was terrible for workplace bullying :( Actually a couple Aprils posting is on that job and the workplace bully

Tonja said...

I've found that confronting the co-worker works really well. These people tend to back down when they are confronted. And it's less stressful if you take control.

Carol............. said...

Good's one thing when immature kids do this but perhaps some individuals never outgrow this behavior.

boysmum2 said...

What an interesting post, have been on the receiving end of this and no it doesn't make for a nice work place, in fact I got out, and will not be going back! look forward to see what you ahve to say tomorrow