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Topic : Workplace Bullies

Number of Replies: 245
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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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March 12, 2006, 8:39 pm CST

Workplace Bullies

Quote From: bonnielove

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?  

I f it is possible contact (prefebly phone or email) your previous employers as a prospective employer of you.  See what they are saying that way.   

NB If you ring they may recognise your voice so get a friend to do it.  And if you email, dont use an account they know was yours! 

  

Isnt referencing just impossible, I have a past tutor who gave me a bad reference and then told me to my face after!!  Funnily though I still got the job! Which was lucky cos she was being bitter. 

 
March 27, 2006, 9:20 am CST

Workplace Bullies

I've been in the workplace about 35 years and I've had my share of bullies.  Luckily, I've also had my share of caring, intelligent, culturally sensitive, wonderful managers/coaches/mentors.   And the latter have given me some strong coping strategies for dealing with the bullies.  

  

My last bully was my direct manager who made my life miserable for two and a half years.  (I believe he has bi-polar disorder.)  Every time I was called to go into his office, there was a thunder-cloud over my head.  I never knew whether it would be SOMETHING or nothing.  In those two and a half years he raked me over the coals only eleven times.  Yet, the fear was always hanging over my head. 

  

In hindsight, I know that he was the hardest on the employees he truly valued.  He would alternately call me on the carpet, and then turn around and give me very positive feedback on my job performance.  After some time went by, I realized that he was being bullied himself by the senior officers of the company and he would take it out on those of us who he believed could perform what needed to be done.   Still, this bullying behavior inhibits job performance.   

  

Okay . .   it's real easy to be an arm-chair psychologist here.  But I think there are several reasons why people bully, but I think it stems from their own fears and insecurities.  I think many bullies have been bullied themselves.  I think for some of them it is a need to control and drive fear in others in order to deflect the fear and insecurity they feel within themselves.  Oh . . . and yes of course, some people are just plain mean.    

  

I believe that how we react to the behavior of bullies teaches us something about ourselves.   Maybe they are placed in our lives for a reason.   

  

I can't think of a time when I didn't have a "bully" in my life, whether it was at home (abusive day-care), school (school-yard bullies), or the workplace (co-workers or bosses).   I have finally learned to always ask myself when dealing with these people, whether or not I was taking the "high road" with the person or just lowering myself to the standard that the bully had set for me (their goal is to get you fearful and defensive).   

  

Most important is learning to achieve a calm-assertive state with the bully.  Yes, at times they can affect your employment status.  Yes, they can affect your mental, emotional, and physical health.  And of course they can drive you insane.  The less of a grip they have on you, the more power you have over your well-being.  Yes, they can end your job.    But . . . do you really want to be in that toxic environment anyway? 

  

The more you can focus on the behavior and actions of the bully, the more you control your behavior in reaction to the bully and less on how bad they make you feel; the more of an upper hand you can gain.  If you are at the hands of a workplace bully then maybe you need to ask yourself whether it is worth it.  Do you want to be in such a toxic environment?   

  

Ehhh, well.  There are no easy answers to this.  People need their jobs and their incomes and sometimes it seems there is no way out.   I'm only offering a perspective from someone who has been there many times.  I wish Dr. Phil would do a show on this.  Get one or two abused employees and one or two bullies to agree to be on the show and just duke it out on the air.   

  

  

  

  

 
March 27, 2006, 10:14 am CST

Workplace Bullies

One other thing (as you can tell, this is a hot topic with me) . . .  

  

Ask calm, direct, and probing questions when you are under attack from a workplace bully about the situation at hand.  The goal of the bully is to try to evoke an emotional, fearful, and defensive response from the victim (whether they understand that at an intellectual level, or not).   

  

They do not expect calm, assertive and specific discussion from their victims.  This will usually turn the tables and equalize you with the bully.  Then, one step further, calmly state that you would like to reach a mutually agreed upon solution to the issue.  If necessary, get it on paper with signatures.  It's worked for me. 

  

The worst that can happen is the bully will not have any ammunition to use against you (unless they are totally freaked-out psychopaths and start making things up.  In which case, they'll self-destruct eventually anyway).    The main thing is not to sink to the level of the bully.   

 
March 27, 2006, 10:31 am CST

Workplace Bullies

Quote From: xristeenna

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? 

Bullies can be real shape-shifters.  Sometimes it takes a while to recognize them.  They can start out as your best friend, secure your confidence, and then suddenly you realize the toxicity starts to creep in.  I have had this happen with several friends.  One minute you have a friendship, the next minute they are running your life.  I do not believe they do it intentionally.   

  

I just believe there are different types of people in this world and we all do what comes naturally based on our basic type and maybe our upbringing and environment.  You are a nice person.  Unfortunately, people who are truly nice become "sponges" for the behavior of those who have active behaviors that are more self-motivated.  I don't think anyone wakes up in the morning saying "I plan to be evil today."   It's just human nature the way we are.  But as Dr. Phil says, we do teach people how to treat us.  So, it's those coping strategies that some of us need. 

 
March 27, 2006, 10:33 am CST

Workplace Bullies

Quote From: xristeenna

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? 

Bullies can be real shape-shifters.  Sometimes it takes a while to recognize them.  They can start out as your best friend, secure your confidence, and then suddenly you realize the toxicity starts to creep in.  I have had this happen with several friends.  One minute you have a friendship, the next minute they are running your life.  I do not believe they do it intentionally.   

  

I just believe there are different types of people in this world and we all do what comes naturally based on our basic type and maybe our upbringing and environment.  You are a nice person.  Unfortunately, people who are truly nice become "sponges" for the behavior of those who have active behaviors that are more self-motivated.  I don't think anyone wakes up in the morning saying "I plan to be evil today."   It's just human nature the way we are.  But as Dr. Phil says, we do teach people how to treat us.  So, it's those coping strategies that some of us need. 

 
March 27, 2006, 1:14 pm CST

Workplace Bullies

Quote From: xristeenna

I f it is possible contact (prefebly phone or email) your previous employers as a prospective employer of you.  See what they are saying that way.   

NB If you ring they may recognise your voice so get a friend to do it.  And if you email, dont use an account they know was yours! 

  

Isnt referencing just impossible, I have a past tutor who gave me a bad reference and then told me to my face after!!  Funnily though I still got the job! Which was lucky cos she was being bitter. 

Verify with your former employer what their policy is with regards to references.  Most companies will not give out information other than employment history and salary information.   

  

Anyone who volunteers a negative reference to a prospective employer of a past employee is opening up the company to a lawsuit.   Make sure, when looking for work that your list of references is solid and you are on good terms with each person on the list.   

  

The H.R. department of the company with which you were previously employed should only verify with prospective future employers only the dates of employment and salary information.  Anything else they volunteer could expose the company to a lawsuit. 

  

It's a pain, but educate yourselves on the labor laws in your state.  It could help you later.  And document everything you can.  Dates, times, conversations, incidents, paper trails, etc..    The more documentation, you have, the more clarity of the situation will be available and the more likely you are to win your case if that is what it comes to.   

  

  

  

 
March 27, 2006, 1:23 pm CST

bullies come in all forms

I worked for a Christian organization as a residential counselor to developmentally handicapped adults.I loved my job and adored my clients who I worked with for five years .The organization couldnt keep staff because of the inexperience with the high behaviors the clients exhibited.I was one with a lot of experience and had little problem with behaviors.Others had trouble non stop.Staff would spend hours doing nothing ,no interaction ,no stimulation very often ignoring the clients and just talking amongst themselves .These clients were very highly funded by the Canadian government and the money was redirected away from them by the organization to other homes so there was little to give them a quality of life and they were so financially abused and emotionally deprived .As the years passed we went from having their behaviors brought almost totally under control to have them become almost unmanageable .I became more and more frustrated.Programs were not being followed .Anyone off the street could be hired and do their damage through inexperience. I was eventually let go on untrue charges of abuse and was so devestated by it that I have almost become a recluse over the last five years.I was refusing to train new staff as it was to time consuming and clients were really suffering from this lack of interaction.I was finance co ordinator for years and had so much documented evidence of misuse of funds and theft of client supplies.I tried to fight this dismissal for months with a lawyer but here in Canada you have to pay up front and I didnt have the money.These people who go under the guise of being a Christian organization are abusive to their staff but more to the defensless clients who come with big funding dollars...talk about bullies
 
April 18, 2006, 7:34 pm CDT

Workplace Bullies

As the years slowly pass, the world turns, people are born and people die.  

  

Years and time, minutes, hours, etc. are not tangible, and we put so much value into the idea of their existence.  They are measurements, to some they are jewels, and some just give little thought to time. 

  

Pain is real, but not tangible.  But has such a profound impact on my life.  Mental and physical; both. 

  

Timeless, what does it mean?  Your world is yours and mine is mine.  The earth and the elements and weather we share,  our time, our worlds might as well be billions or trillions fo miles away.  Is a mile tangible?  Can you pick it up and put it in your pocket?  Can you change it's properties?   

  

Can you change the wind and rain, the seas and frozen oceans?  Can you move the stars?  Can you touch an angel?  Can you see God?  Can you see my pain?  Can you feel my emptiness?   

Does it matter? 

  

Are you better than me?, smarter, stronger, more important, loved more or more alive? 

  

Does anyone or any entity of space or earth care or know how I feel?  Should anyone care?  Should I ?  Or should I not?  Are you children, wife and family more important than mine?  Am I bad because I hurt?  Do I deserve this?  Do the birds still sing? 

  

Are the stars still in the sky?  Is my heart still in pain?  My Body?  Should my doctors care?  Should I care?  Should I just TAKE IT LIKE A MAN........THE END? 

  

Ride off into the sunset...no one will notice, like Van Gough.  What did he see. feel and think?  Was it hard for him to die?  Is it hard? 

  

SELF MATTERS INCLUDES YOU
1) I am feeling WORSE and WORSE every day.
2) I will be..... 
3) I will have faith in ??????.
4) I will turn negatives??????.
5) my best friend????.
6) I am not calm, not relaxed,not  poised and NOTconfident
7) I HAVE TRIED myself on writing DAILY positive things about myself.
8) My past is the past and today is YESTERDAY AND TOMORROW and I have NO  future
9) "Life is not." and it is up 
10) Quitters FALL TO THE GROUND WHEN THEY HAVE EXERTED ALL OF THEIR EFFORTS, TRAVELED EVERY AVENUE, LOOKED UNDER EVERY STONE, BEHIND EVERY CURTAIN, IN EVERY CRACK AND CREVICE UNTIL THEY CANNOT.  YOU CAN ONLY DRIVE A CAR A CERTAIN DISTANCE ON A TANK OF GAS, AND WHEN IT'S OUT....IT'S OUT...
 

  

Look the Other way and you won't have to think about this.   

Delete this and you will forget. 

Take it the wrong way, you need not be despaired. 

  

I can't think of anything else to say, It's all been said. 

  

 
April 18, 2006, 9:16 pm CDT

old gal left, they hired me, she came back, i was fired

I was recently hired into senior position at a company that, as I found out after it was too late, has an OUTSTANDING record for firing people at whim and without notice or reason. I even spoke with a recruiter at a staffing firm only yesterday who said, "I hate sending people to them. It's like leading lambs to the slaughter." because of the owner's well-known reputation for firing people for some weird sadistic kick. At any rate, I left a job that I was at for nearly 4 years to go to this position because it was so much closer to home. I'm a single mom and to have such a short commute was such a blessing to me and my girls, so I took it while ignoring a weird feeling in my stomach. Long and short, the old gal left because of the owner's temper. She called him abusive, sociopathic, and a tyrant. But apparently she could overlook it because he was so attached to her being there that even AFTER I started he kept calling her begging her to come back. He must have offered her some kind of serious raise, because 2 1/2 weeks later she came back and I was let go without any notice at all. I was told that I had performed very well, but they were just used to her, liked her, and that they would be letting me go with 1 month severance pay and a letter of recommendation. Now that I'm looking, 1 month is really not going to be long enough. I've been out of work for almost 2 weeks now and have only had 2 interviews with staffing companies, no full-time employers. I left a job of nearly 4 years for this guy only to be fired on a whim! I have 2 daughters to care for all on my own with no child support and now I'm really in a bad place because of this psycho! What can I do? I'm sorry, but this is not enough severance and Illinois unemployment just is not going to cut it. I can't even pay my rent with that. Someone please let me know what I can do! Thank you!
 
April 20, 2006, 11:09 am CDT

what to do?

I have worked for many employers in my life time and have never had any problem until my last job.I worked at my last job for 2 yrs and had always had good reviews and was employee of the month one month.about a year into my job there was a manager change everything went ok ,he was younger and seemed to relate to the younger employees better ,even socializing outside of work with them,he offfered me a promotion due to my good work ethics,he stated that i would see the difference in my pay the next check.A while went by and nothing happened with the promotion but one of the younger girls that he was close to got the same promotion he promised me and she had not been there even 6 months,when i questioned him about this he told me he had withdrawn my promotion due calling out,i had not called out that much and informed him that the girl he had given the promotion to was absent a great deal and when she was not  she was late almost everyday.during this conversation i became upset and started to cry and told him i needed to go home.he said o.k. when i got home about a few hours later i recieved a phone call from a coworker that was not even on that day telling me i needed to fight this issue,that was how i found out i was terminated.my manager called me about an hr later telling me to set up a exit interview with hr for job abandoment.i went to hr and they told me they would look into it,they didnt it was really his word against mine until they appealed my unemployment.during the appeal hearing my manager admitted that i told him i need to leave where in his statement  before he said i just left and told no one where i was going.now i have the proof but not sure what i can do about it.it has really taken a toll on me.i have always given at least a months notice upon leaving a job.i just dont understand how someone can get away with this!!!
 
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