September 5th, 2013

Who you gonna believe? The “2 sides” of a workplace bullying story


Bully apologists always claim there are two sides to every workplace bullying story. That’s true. But they assume that both sides are factually and morally equivalent. That’s not true. Just as in domestic violence cases, the abuser does have a side. He (thinks he deserves and) “needs” to be free to express himself with physical aggression against his partner, even feeling murder is justified because “if I can’t have her, no one will.” That certainly is a side, an opinion and a strongly-held belief.

Contrast that irrational view with the other side, the perspective of the abused partner. Her needs stipulate an end to threats of violence, of constantly living in fear of unpredictable emotional and physical explosions. She needs safety — physical and psychological — for herself and the children.

Yes, there are two sides, but with whom does a decent person side? Who has credibility? Who would you believe when their tales clash? Who benefits from lying and who does not? It’s not too difficult to distinguish reality from fiction in domestic violence cases.

Now turn to abuse in the workplace. It stops short of physical attacks, but is psychological violence nevertheless. As illustrated above, there are two sides to the story. One such scenario played out in public recently. Which side do you believe?

The setting — a retail store, Journeys, in a Rochester, NY mall.

Side #1: The manager, assistant manager and another worker quit ostensibly to protest an abusive District Manager named Jamie. Unlike those who quit alone, all three quit together and will struggle to find work in this crappy no-hiring economy. The other unique action they took was to post a sign on the storefront for all to read — an exit interview letter of sorts. Nike, Jess and TJ were instant heroes to working schleps who endure abuse and bullying.

Side #2: A person familiar with Jamie the DM, said that they had been reprimanded for violating company policy and sought a way to publicly humiliate the district manager.

According to Gawker, the source said

Jamie Bean, the DM, had caught the store manager “giving days off to her co-manager” so the latter could get their car inspected. Which in itself would be a bad managerial move, but what crossed the line was that those PTO days fell on Back to School weekends which are mandatory for all employees per company policy. It was after being admonished by the DM that the manager “rallied the troops against Jamie” and stormed out, making sure the entire Internet knew about it. But the duplicity didn’t end there. the manager’s(now-ex) boyfriend contacts Jamie and returns approximately $1000 in merchandise that his (now-ex) girlfriend and her cohorts had stolen over the past several months. This was a lot of merchandise.

Who you gonna believe? Who benefits from lying — people without their jobs? or the DM Jamie?

Given the long history of accused bullies lying to investigators, in mediation, to arbitrators, in depositions, and in court testimony …

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BTW, here’s roll (sic) abuse

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This entry was posted on Thursday, September 5th, 2013 at 11:40 am and is filed under Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education. 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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  • kachina2

    Rochester? Wasn’t there a bus monitor bullied by kids with internet access in those parts? I wonder if it’s something in the water…

  • erika

    Jamie is a a cold person with no heart. Lowering wages and always promising promotions that never happen. I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more often for people in her district

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