July 23rd, 2012

Let’s Talk with Kalola: Two Person Job


Another Let's Talk with Kalola, where targets can share their experiences with WBI's blog readers. Here we go!

Dear Kalola,

My supervisor is a bully who primarily focuses on one person, me. To others, they know she is not very nice, but they don't see the bullying.

She recruits others to tell on me for the littlest error. She badmouths me to others.

It started from the very beginning, and I have been there for 2 years. I was doing a high volume A/P job( 2 person job) for the majority of those 2 years by myself.

She was okay in the first 3 to 6 months, kind of snappy, but okay.

As time goes on, she has become more and more abusive.

When we finally got a second person in A/P, she bullied her so bad, she had a mental breakdown and was off on mental leave for months. (Needless to say, I was back to doing a two person job again with no credit or kudos for it, only criticism).

She belittles everything I do, making it appear that I am so stupid and incapable. She micromanages me, blames me for errors, and now I shake with fear, become physically ill before going to work, almost to the point of throwing up.

She makes the errors sound way worse they are, goes on for pages about them on a review, and lists nothing positive.

I have other supervisors who told me that they turned in super positive reviews about me, and yet, it is never mentioned on my review, only her negative comments.

I could go on and on, but whatever I fix from her complaints, she barely gives me credit for that and minimizes what I fixed, and goes on to a brand new list of criticisms to make it appear that I'm oh so stupid and incapable.

What can I do short of quitting?

The last lady that went to HR got no support. She still was bullied and ultimately had a breakdown and then they let her go for missing too much work the second she came back from medical leave.

Thank you,

Diamond


Dear Diamond,


Your supervisor has been bullying you since you started the job.  You have been doing the work of two people.  A worker was hired that would have relieved you of half the work that you have been doing.  That worker was severely bullied, took a medical leave, and was released from her job.  You now believe that you are the sole target of the bully.  Know that you aren't the first to be bullied by your supervisor, and you won't be the last.

You are not stupid, and you are not incapable.  It is the supervisor, the bully, who is the problem.  With the high volume of bills that you process and pay, the employer is lucky to have you.  Even with the increased work load, you still manage to get the job done.   Other work supervisors have turned in positive reviews about you. 

Although you say that other workers don't seem to see what is happening to you, your co-workers are well aware of what is happening.  By seeming to be unaware, your co-workers are protecting their own self interests; they want to keep their own jobs, and don't want to be the next Target.  The economy is still very fragile.  No worker wants to have to look for another job.  I can understand why a worker wouldn't want to be involved in another worker's fight, but when co-workers would sink so low as to help the bully in bullying another or by reporting to the bully about your activities they then become accomplices and bullies themselves. 

 

At work, be professional with all those that you deal with during your work day.  You can be cordial to your co-workers without revealing too much about yourself.  Do not lament to your co-workers about your situation.  Do not feed those that would gossip about you, and those that would feed the bully information about you.  These workers are not your friends. 

Can you put in for a transfer to another department?  Go to HR, and tell them you are interested in a job transfer.  You don't have to state why.  Giving too much information about why you want to transfer out might get back to your supervisor.  Your goal is to get out of the department, and out from under the bully.  Save your complaints about the bully for another day. 

Over time, working for an unappreciative, bullying boss will make you not want to do the work to the best of your abilities, that is, your heart just won't be into it. 

Because you are feeling the physical effects of bullying, I would strongly suggest that you see your doctor and get a health checkup.  Tell your doctor what is going on at work.  Ask for a referral to a mental health professional who can work with you to develop ways that you can learn to cope.  As long as you remain in the job, however, the stress and anxiety will affect you.  You will have to ask yourself, "is this job worth it?"

When a job begins to affect your health and your overall well being, and you dread going to work, it is time to start looking for another job. 

There are a number of staffing agencies where you live.  Check them out.  If you are unable to find full-time work maybe you can find a temporary job.  As an office temp you would be filling in when someone is on vacation or on an extended leave.  Sometimes a temp job can lead to a job offer. 

If you are unable to find any kind of job consider doing volunteer work.  Volunteer work can be placed on your résumé, and will fill the employment gap on your résumé until you can find full-time work.  It may not be work that puts food on the table, unless you are volunteering at the local food pantry, but it will be work that will help others.  That kind of work can help you to feel good about yourself.  Be persistent in your job search.  No matter what the job is do the very best job that you can do under the circumstances that you are given.

You might consider taking a night class at your local community college to keep up or expand your current job skills.  Taking a night class will not interfere with a day job.  If you don't feel like signing up for a class where you have to study and do homework, take a fitness class.  It will be cheaper than signing up for a class at your local gym. 

The point is that you do have options.  If you choose to leave your job or should you be let go from the job, have a plan. 

If you become unemployed, keep busy.  Try not to dwell on the bad things that have happened to you.  You are a good person, and a good worker.  Take a drive to the sea shore, and walk along the beach clearing your thoughts.  Breathe in the fresh air, and take time to renew your spirit.

 

I hope that you can find a better job where your work ethic, knowledge, and skills are valued.

 

Sincerely,

Kalola

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This entry was posted on Monday, July 23rd, 2012 at 2:42 pm and is filed under Let's Talk with Kalola, Target Tale, Tutorials About Bullying. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.



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  • kay

    I think that the response was very good advice. As I read the post of Diamond, I was nearly transported back to my nightmarish situation and environment. Everything that Kalola said is true…every bit of it. Those bystanders indeed know and will not speak. They may even get involved when elicited and further infect the environment and increase your harassment.
    They will lie and even scapegoat you in order to position themselves within a spot on the -right- side of politics.

    It is so true to understand that ANYTHING that you tell them will find its way back expeditiously to the bully/bullies. It is a staggering realization to find yourself within an environment void of humanism and seemingly toxified with sadistic behavior and principals. You will feel as though you live within another country and that this could not possibly be happening.

    The boundary-less environment will consume your thoughts and functioning will become harder and harder because as you clearly see the bystanders participating, they will speak to you as if they are anything other than their true selves…void of empathy, independent thinking and morality. They will smile in your face and without your even turning your back completely they will stab you in your side as you view the massacre peripherally.

    The lack of laws and thus public outrage will allow bystanders to turn away from morality as a matter of popular and working practice (mobbing).

  • Marisa

    Hi Diamond,

    I think we may have had the same boss.  I also worked in a high-volume A/P job for almost two years.  I had a “mental breakdown” (severe depressive episode) and was on two months of disability leave as a result of her bullying.  Very shortly after I came back from leave, I was fired… although a coworker of mine was about to blow the whistle to upper management on my behalf, and that might have had something to do with the firing.  I had difficulty finding another job because my bully ex-boss badmouthed me to potential employers.  There are very few people on this earth I honestly hate–but she is one.  This woman was, and is, evil.

  • Kay

    This is almost exactly my current situation. The only difference is instead of bullying the new member of the department, she isolates me and is continually training her on new responsibilities and at the same time looking for ways to diminish mine. When I get off work, the way she treats me seems to be all I can talk about, and I blame myself because I keep thinking I could have done something different. I am currently looking for a new job to get out of this situation so I know how tough this is on you especially when you feel you don’t have anyone to turn to in this situation. I am just glad to be reading that others are going through very similar experience I am dealing with at the moment.

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