Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dispelling the myths about workplace bullying

Over the last few days, I have been floored over the ignorance of some people in my daily life.

1) "If someone bullied me at work. I would confront them and chew them out."

Reality: Unless you are Mr. Beamish, this tactic will get you fired and possibly jailed. The bully wants you to over react and frequently plans to get you when you do. Jobs are scarce and throwing away your career is not an option.

2) " I would form my own clique and show them"

Reality: You have become a pariah and people run from you. They may talk to you in private, but that is it. Your reputation has been smeared and people are now treating you like a disease.

3) "I would get witnesses".

Reality: People correctly fear for their career and won't risk their necks for you. If your abuser is high up the management chain they will bully you and join the crowd and look to promote themselves over the corpse of your career.

4) " I would go up the chain".

Reality: Even when the abuse is well documented, management is aware of the abuse and at least tacitly approves of this abuse. The sole exception is if someone high up knows you personally. In many cases the abuse is from a supervisor and you talk to their boss and get yelled at for violating the chain of command.

5) I would go to human resources or the companies mental health professionals.

Reality " Human Resources almost always side with management and will not even look at doccumentation. They are not called support staff for nothing". The mental health professionals can not be trusted to protect your confidence and will not risk jeopardizing their account for you.

6) I would go to the Union

Reality: The Unions can save your job if they wish. They also negotiate with management and at times are buddy buddy and make deals. If it suits them fine, but don't count on much. They are just as apt to turn on you as a noisy wheel and blame you for being bullied.

What you can do

1) Document everything. Send emails to yourself so that times and dates are not disputed.
2) Seek professional help
3) Try as best as possible to spend time with your family and on hobbies.
4) Remember, it is a war and you will lose most of the battles. It is frustrating but your goal is to be alive
at the end of the war.
5) Afterwards, be open about what happened. Do not forgive instigators and forgive followers as much as possible.


Always On Watch said...

Usually, people who haven't directly experienced anything that should never have happened to them in the first place don't have a clue as to what reality is.

Talk is big, but finding a remedy is a Herculean task.

BB-Idaho said...

Must happen all the time. Some years back, I was doing research
on a CEO directed project; a supervisor called and asked me to trouble shoot a production problem. I told him I would be over to his area that afternoon.
He demanded I drop everything and
dash over. I replied that I was in the middle of an important
experiment and he would have to wait. "You want to meet me in the
CEO's office in 10 minutes?".
I told him, no, I will meet you there in one minute. He said
afternoon would be fine. Happens all the time...*idiots*