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Topic : Workplace Bullies

Number of Replies: 245
New Messages This Week: 0
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Created on : Thursday, July 07, 2005, 09:25:23 am
Author : dataimport
Bullying is not just a schoolyard pastime anymore, it has spread to the workplace as well. Share your stories, support and advice with others dealing with a bully at work.

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January 30, 2006, 4:45 am CST

important to recognize if you've been gaslighted

Quote From: minimick

I knew I had heard of that situation before...gaslight...that's it! I thought of that so often while I was working there...before my boss went away on vacation, she bought 10 binders with dividers and told me they were to do up reference binders for the Board of Directors. She even told me the topics she wanted listed on the dividers and I wrote them down. I set them up while she was on vacation, but when she came back and I told her they were done, she said that's not what the binders were for! I asked her what they were for, and she just said "never mind, don't worry about it".  Another time we spent quite a bit of time looking for a file. It was one of my feeling crazy moments wondering where I had put it....turned out she had mislabeled it...I had filed it properly according to the way she labelled it. Wow, I'm glad I'm outta there.

It is good if you recognize that you've been gaslighted......otherwise you feel like you are in the Twilight Zone. This type of boss will do everything he or she can to twist things, lie and make YOU believe that something is wrong with YOU! They can wreak havoc on your self-esteem. But if you recognize what they are doing you have more control over the situation, atleast in the way you internalize it. It is a shame that some really sick people get into high positions where they abuse their power and make others suffer. I will never again work for someone like that-I think I would be pretty quick to pick up on someone with those characteristics at this point, and I would run for the hills! 

 
January 30, 2006, 9:02 am CST

Unfair Treatment at Work

 Dr. Phil,

I apparently am a hard person to like.  My most recent problem at work was after staff voted in a union and the Executive Director resigned and the Financial Manager was appointed as Executive Director.  The new Executive Director is related to three other staff in our south county office and is personal friends with three other staff also in the south county office.  After the union was voted in, my position was eliminated and if I wanted to continue to be employed, I would have to travel to our north county office which is 45 miles from my home.  This was bad enough, but a fourth personal friend of the Executive Director's accused me of harassment.  I was not able to defend myself or tell my side of the story.  It was just assumed that this employee was correct (she had worked for the agency for two years, I had worked for the agency for five years).  So, in addition to being transferred to our north county office, I was given a written reprimand in my personnel file for 18 months.  I was the gossip of this Executive Director's family I knew because not only was I treated rudely by one of the nieces, the 9 year old son of the Executive Director came through the lab while I was working and stated to his older brother "Is that the Wanda that they are talking about?"  His brother rushed him through.  Now another position the same as mine in north county came open, and because we have a union I was offered the position in south county at the same pay.  The Employee Handbook had been revised and now harassment was added as a charge, at the Executive Director's discretion to termination.  I could not feel comfortable working in the south county office, because I would be setting myself up and since I have a prior conviction of harassment, I would be terminated at the Executive Director's discretion.  So, I declined the position and signed a paper that stated that I had declined the position and was going to continue working in the north county office at the same pay rate.  That is hard enough for me, has caused me great depression and hurt.  But that was not enough.  They advertised this position with a pay scale of $10.46 to $13.06 per hour depending on experience.  I have been making $11.00 an hour for the last three years working this same position.  Now, the Executive Director can bring in another friend or family member at a higher scale that what I have been working at, and I am expected to train this new employee.  It has caused me great depression and worry because I haven't been able to pay my bills and now I put out an additional $150 a month on gas to commute to the north county office.  Of course I feel much more appreciated in the north county office, but I really can't afford to be up there and I can't afford to be in the south county office either, because then I would be fired and have no job.

Dr. Phil, can you help me?

Wanda
 
February 4, 2006, 12:55 am CST

When your pay depends on your bully

I have been working part time for this company for a few years.  They have great pay, but your supervisor also determines how many hours they are paying you thru piecework.  That's where the problem starts because his idea of a completed piece is much different than what is in the company handbook.  It wouldn't be so bad, but my enitre year's daily wages is determined by a small window (usually a month) of the lowest production.  I have been told some of the same things others have been told and even threatened with job loss if I questioned his knowledge of the handbook. He also talks bad about others when they aren't there and lies telling us to just think positively!. Instead it is demoralizing.Even though it is a part time, I am expected to go to work at the drop of a phone call.  I have sacrificed a lot to keep this job in hopes of getting a full time position by not accepting other part time offers because of the stand by status of this job. A job is still a job in this economic market but is this really worth it?
 
February 4, 2006, 5:20 pm CST

Mindless Minion Opinion

I have an MSEE (master's degree in electrical engineering) and I work for one of the giants of the defense industry. I have been here for 4.7 years and my job has been to modify documents and spreadsheets, run errands, search the Internet for electronics and/or software, enter information in an archaic database, modify schematics and generally do what no one else wants to do. I believe a high school graduate would be overqualified for my job. I am capable of so much more, but never given the opportunity.

  

 

  

 

When I ask for more challenging assignments, I feel like I get punished. Once, I ended up working for a man who claimed that "my degrees meant nothing and that I was no better than a database entry operator". Most recently, I ended up responsible for fixing broken hardware, but with no physical means to troubleshoot. With no diagnostics, I was told to simply guess what needed to be fixed. Needless to say, the hardware is still broken and there is now a permanent record of my perceived incompetence.

  

 

  

 

Yesterday, I got upset (to the point where I finally really want to find another job) when an employee who has a successful job troubleshooting hardware failed to deliver a document on time and it's now my job to modify yet another document! I generally feel like I don't matter. When am I going to ever get any relevant work experience? I was told that my problem is that I want the world to be fair. I think it’s morally reprehensible to commit an unjust act, and then justify it by claiming that the world is unfair.  If my promotions, raises and future assignments are based on how I rank when compared to my peers, is it not at least unethical that my I get assignments with much less technical merit that my peers do?

  

 

  

 

I try to talk to the other employees about my dilemma, but they think things are the way they should be.  I tried talking to my friends and family, but most see being "paid so well, to do such menial tasks" as the "ride of a lifetime".  My issue is that the "world’s oldest profession" is the only profession where I see it as even being conceivable to justify being well paid as the best part.  I want to work as an engineer.  I think that most people with an advanced degree (scientists, doctors, lawyers, professors, etc.) have a passion for their respective profession where the true compensation is the satisfaction felt after a hard day’s work.  Am I being naive?

  

 

  

 

I am starting to think that I was only hired because as one of the few minority females with an advanced technical degree, I satisfy some sort of EEO quota.  But, it is a double-edged sword because as a minority female, I feel I am then viewed as not being capable or deserving of more than the most menial of tasks because my degrees were not earned but received as some sort of consolation prize.

  

 

  

 

Sometimes I think I should be patient and eventually I will get a chance to show this company what I'm really worth. But, then I question how I will ever get that opportunity when my core skill set is being proficient at Microsoft Word!?

  

 

  

 

My greatest fear is if I leave this company, I will face the same sort of problem somewhere else because this is the real world.  Is this discrimination or simply the luck of the draw at a huge corporation? What do you think? Are dreams only for kids?  What do I put on my resume since I’ve had so little technical experience?  Should I find a job in another field due to the fact that as a minority female, I may never have a equal chance to succeed as an engineer?

  

 

  

 
February 16, 2006, 4:05 pm CST

Workplace Bullies

Quote From: kishmameye

I have an MSEE (master's degree in electrical engineering) and I work for one of the giants of the defense industry. I have been here for 4.7 years and my job has been to modify documents and spreadsheets, run errands, search the Internet for electronics and/or software, enter information in an archaic database, modify schematics and generally do what no one else wants to do. I believe a high school graduate would be overqualified for my job. I am capable of so much more, but never given the opportunity.

  

 

  

 

When I ask for more challenging assignments, I feel like I get punished. Once, I ended up working for a man who claimed that "my degrees meant nothing and that I was no better than a database entry operator". Most recently, I ended up responsible for fixing broken hardware, but with no physical means to troubleshoot. With no diagnostics, I was told to simply guess what needed to be fixed. Needless to say, the hardware is still broken and there is now a permanent record of my perceived incompetence.

  

 

  

 

Yesterday, I got upset (to the point where I finally really want to find another job) when an employee who has a successful job troubleshooting hardware failed to deliver a document on time and it's now my job to modify yet another document! I generally feel like I don't matter. When am I going to ever get any relevant work experience? I was told that my problem is that I want the world to be fair. I think it’s morally reprehensible to commit an unjust act, and then justify it by claiming that the world is unfair.  If my promotions, raises and future assignments are based on how I rank when compared to my peers, is it not at least unethical that my I get assignments with much less technical merit that my peers do?

  

 

  

 

I try to talk to the other employees about my dilemma, but they think things are the way they should be.  I tried talking to my friends and family, but most see being "paid so well, to do such menial tasks" as the "ride of a lifetime".  My issue is that the "world’s oldest profession" is the only profession where I see it as even being conceivable to justify being well paid as the best part.  I want to work as an engineer.  I think that most people with an advanced degree (scientists, doctors, lawyers, professors, etc.) have a passion for their respective profession where the true compensation is the satisfaction felt after a hard day’s work.  Am I being naive?

  

 

  

 

I am starting to think that I was only hired because as one of the few minority females with an advanced technical degree, I satisfy some sort of EEO quota.  But, it is a double-edged sword because as a minority female, I feel I am then viewed as not being capable or deserving of more than the most menial of tasks because my degrees were not earned but received as some sort of consolation prize.

  

 

  

 

Sometimes I think I should be patient and eventually I will get a chance to show this company what I'm really worth. But, then I question how I will ever get that opportunity when my core skill set is being proficient at Microsoft Word!?

  

 

  

 

My greatest fear is if I leave this company, I will face the same sort of problem somewhere else because this is the real world.  Is this discrimination or simply the luck of the draw at a huge corporation? What do you think? Are dreams only for kids?  What do I put on my resume since I’ve had so little technical experience?  Should I find a job in another field due to the fact that as a minority female, I may never have a equal chance to succeed as an engineer?

  

 

  

I'm sorry to hear that you're having such a tough time,  but honestly, I think you need to be proactive - you've tried to do this at work by asking for more important tasks, but now it's time to take some further action... I don't know about America, but the most of the rest of the world is literally screaming for talent and skilled labour - I wouldn't continue to put up with this kind of nonsense, and find another job.
 
February 18, 2006, 6:18 am CST

healthcare bullies

In one of these posts someone was surprised that there would be bullying in healthcare. Well I've been a nurse for a loooong time and believe me there is a saying, "nurses eat their young" Yes that is so true, and not only their young, they eat the old ones too. Of course this doesn't apply to everyone, obviously there are a lot of really nice nurses, however a lot of them are bitches, believe me. The hardest part of being a nurse is having to put up with workplace bullying. Just a few days ago I was bullied to the point of tears, this happens at least once a month, and I am not an emotionally unbalanced person either. I guess nurses have so much responsibility, but very little authority, so they get stressed, so they take their stress out on each other. The thing is, management shouldn't allow it, but they do. Often it's the managers who are the meanest of all. Ever see the movie "Mean Girls" , a picnic in the park compared to most health care settings. I would never advise anyone to go into nursing, unless you have really thick skin.
 
February 18, 2006, 6:51 am CST

Workplace Bullies

Quote From: female54

In one of these posts someone was surprised that there would be bullying in healthcare. Well I've been a nurse for a loooong time and believe me there is a saying, "nurses eat their young" Yes that is so true, and not only their young, they eat the old ones too. Of course this doesn't apply to everyone, obviously there are a lot of really nice nurses, however a lot of them are bitches, believe me. The hardest part of being a nurse is having to put up with workplace bullying. Just a few days ago I was bullied to the point of tears, this happens at least once a month, and I am not an emotionally unbalanced person either. I guess nurses have so much responsibility, but very little authority, so they get stressed, so they take their stress out on each other. The thing is, management shouldn't allow it, but they do. Often it's the managers who are the meanest of all. Ever see the movie "Mean Girls" , a picnic in the park compared to most health care settings. I would never advise anyone to go into nursing, unless you have really thick skin.
Scary, but this is also very pervasive in the field of education.  Especially in the public schools.  It is frightening that the same people we entrust with our children can be malicious to the extreme.  I have seen this firsthand. Yes, "Mean Girls" would be a cakewalk compared to this too!
 
March 2, 2006, 1:26 am CST

How can I find out?

I had been bullied at my work place until I was requested by my supervisor for my resignation. After I was approved my unemployment, I filled a complaintant with department of labor. For several months now I've been looking for employment, but have not had any luck. This is the first time I haven't been able to get another job quickly. I was woundering if my last supervisor had written or lied to my protential new employees about me. How can one find out what your past employeer(s) say about you on a potential new job reference?  

 
March 7, 2006, 11:37 am CST

What should I do!

I'm on my maternaty leave and in september I should go back to work.  But I'm not so sure if I should go back to the daycare I work for or find another one.  I used to have a classroom of 8, 2yrs old.  It was great, I had so much fun and I gave quality to the children.  But When our director did some renovations, some classrooms whould be added to the daycare and maybe some changes.  I was in my little classroom and doing a good job, I knew that the classroom changes did not concern me.  But we have another educator who is often complaining about everything and often makes other people feel bad or mad.  She told our director that she wanted to change physically her classroom.  If not she would quit.  So It turns out that I was kiked out of my classroom and my children to go in the new classroom but double the children.  I went from a classromm of 8 to a classroom of 18, with a other educator as a partner and a helper.  Not happy about it and my director knew I was happy where I was before but I had no choice.  6 months after I got pregnant and left As soon as possible (medical security).  Now I don't know if I should go back there.  Nobody made efforts to stay in contact with me through pregnancy and maternaty leave.  I would probably go back in that class of 18, my director appreciated the work i did, I have a permanent position.  If I go somewhere else I have to start from zero, friends, position, and I would feel bad if after a few months I get pregnant again.  I would like to walk in and face my director with a few demandes but I don't like putting poeple in tough positions, I feel like it's being mean.  My bully situation is that educator who toke my classroom and my director.  I would love some advice. 

Peek-a-boo 

 
March 12, 2006, 8:34 pm CST

when bullying leaves you inhibited

While it is comforting to know that other adults are experiencing bullying, it is tragic  still.  I was bullied at all schools I attended and as a child was constantly told by adults, that it's something that kids grow out off.  Now I am a young adult I see that bullying is an insecure person thing not a kiddy thing. 

  

Well I wasn't sure where to post this message, but after reading the cases of others who had been bullied at work thought this was the best board to post what I had to say.  As previously mentioned I have been bullied by a good few people in differing situations.  However the most recent occurence was in my final year at college by a girl who was a few yrs older.  It was really bad as we shared an apartment-with private en-suite facilities but with a shared kitchen.  This girl was soo evil (strong but totally accurate use of the word).  After first moving into the apartment I could see that she was a very rude, controlling person.  The kind who never lets you be, she will always offer to cook you stuff or, invite you to socialise with her but she has to always call the shots.  i'm a prettty individual person so I figured our personalities would clash so I tried to avoid her.  However she was highly skilled in the art of manipulation, and for a while she was only showing her nice side.  She would do stuff that kind of invites you to partake in conversations, pay you a really nice compliment etc. 

  

Foolishly I fell for it, and before I knew it I was spending alot more time talking with her, although I would walk away feeling really unhappy or upset.  As Im quite reflective I would ask my self why do you feel upset or inadequate?  Sure enough- I saw it was subtle little comments that this girl was making.  She would begin to attack me personally or ask some really personal questions- she thrived on making me feel uncomfortable.  Then she began making racial comments- she is white and i am black, she would say stuff like black girls are moody, bitchy etc.  She would make nasty comments about my hair, skin if I had extensions she would try to humiliate me by asking questions she already  knows in front of boys etc  And she would say she isn't racist cos she dates black men and they told her, so its fact not messed up opinion!!  I could see that this had the potential to escalate and I didnt want it to, I just wanted to finish up at college and be done with her.  I tried so hard to avoid her, it was a real depressing situation cos I was the only ethnic minority in a long distance and if the guys from the apartment below came up she would always start her malicious topics.  I dont know whether they were also racist or if they were also afraid of her too but, they would all agree and I was never once deffended. No one even deared try to stop her, or change topic.   

  

I knew there was no point in complaining to staff at the college as this girl is a strait a student and i knew they would take her side or not believe me- say i was playing the race card.  I began to avoid the kitchen if she was in there but, was hard cos if I went in there then she would follow me in too.  If I had friends round she would try to talk to them but not me, freeze me out of convos, organise parties not invite/notify me.  She would come in from bars at 3/4 am and blare her music, my room was right next to hers so I would get it full blast.  The few times I dared ask her to turn it down, she would then she would turn it right back up again when I was in bed.  Once she blared a song I hate u so much over+over again.  She would bring guys into the flat and they would trash the kitchen and start to wrestle in the corridor in the middle of the night and bang on my door.  If I tried to ask to refrain from doing this she would always say it wasn't her, it was the guys etc  I had heard of instances when she had bullied people before and on1 occasion she physically attacked a girl. 

  

What was bad was that she was very good at making herself seem the victim, she told me was constantly sexually abused as a child, etc I guess she was making excuses for her behaviour so I would just put up with it.  By the end of it I was feeling real low, I was soo upset.  I was sourrounded by people who only ever made me feel bad.  The most frustrating thing is that she refused to ever allow me to keep myself to myself, if I went in the kitchen she would be in there within seconds-her room was directly opposite the kitchen so she could see when any1 went in there. 

  

I was left feeling so distrought, things came to a head when she had guys in the flat who made alot of damage that I knew would take alot of deposit.  When i questioned her about it, I of all people was accused of been rude (how dear i ask her anything!!) and was faced a verbal assault of F**k, B**t* etc Things were getting heated, and i could see that this was building ready to pop.  There was no way i cud have moved (finacially impossible) so i was stuck there.  In the end she started to bring a guy into the flat who i had previuosly been acquainted with who had been very unpleasant/racist to me.  This was meant to be my home, they would make snide comments, noise etc i felt so violated, i was afraid, upset, scared and felt so unsupported. no one would even admit to what she was doing let alone tell her to stop.  It was made even tougher by the fact that  we studied the same course and I would have to seee them daily in classes.  At this point i could stand it no longer and packed a few things and moved city, staying with family.  Even though this meant I could no longer attend classes, my work suffered but it was the only way I could get a bit of a break.  Although this still didnt stop them bothering me, she got  this other girl to send me real horrible sms to my cell phone. I didnt return until a few days after they had all moved out.  That was when i discovered that they had gone into my food cupboards and put cockroaches, beetles etc in my food!!   

  

For a whole year this went on, during my final and most important year.  Every day i thank god i am out of that situation, but it has left me really inhibited.  I used be quite outgoing but that has made me real reserved.  Even worse is I am afraid i have not gone for a job, it worries me to think that no one dared help me stand up to this girl, they jjust ignored it/pretended it wasnt happening.  I am afraid to have to go into the wrkforce with similar people (remember they all did my course) who enjoy persecuting me in such ways.  i am still mad at myself for even talking to her in the 1st place even though had a pretty good idea of what she was like.  What if i get sucked in by someone else again?  I need closure but dnt know how to get it.  Am left feeling very scared of situation happening again.  What can I do? 

 
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