Archive for the ‘Media About Bullying’ Category


Essence: How to handle an office bully

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

How to Handle An Office Bully

By Arlene Dawson, Essence Magazine, June 2015

When brainy go-getter Nicole*, 28, accepted a position at a trendy beauty start-up in New York City, she thought it was her dream job. “The company promoted itself as being progressive,” says Nicole. But her work situation devolved quickly and became more Mean Girls than The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

Early on, when Nicole wasn’t dancing at a company party, a White coworker said to her, “You’re Black. We hired you because you could dance.” Other colleagues laughed. “I always thought that if this type of thing happened I would come back with a response, but I went to the bathroom and cried,” Nicole recalls. “I had never experienced those types of comments—racism—so blatantly in a work setting before.”

Nicole reported the incident to her immediate boss and her complaint got laddered up to the CEO. Although her superiors feigned remorse, she says, “That was the beginning of the end for me in the company.” The bully got promoted, found out Nicole “told on her” and escalated the bullying. During staff meetings, Nicole says her ideas were met with coldness; the bully rallied other coworkers not to associate with her; and more negative remarks—this time about Nicole’s naturally curly hair and clothing—ensued.

Even management turned sour, setting her up for failure by assigning impossible, vague projects. And despite Nicole’s management of million-dollar accounts, she recalls work review meetings being filled with nitpicky, unfounded accusations. “They were systematically trying to push me out without actually firing me,” says Nicole.

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Comstock’s: Calif mag scrutinizes new workplace bullying law

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

This Time, It’s Personal
Will legislation to protect employees from workplace bullying stifle demanding managers?

By Steven Yoder, Comstock’s, March 31, 2015

Carrie Clark, 63, says bullies aren’t confined to playgrounds. Sometimes, they run the whole school. 

In 1995, Clark directed an English as a Second Language program in West Sacramento’s Washington Unified School District. An influx of foreign students was forcing her staff to work ever-longer hours. She wrote several reports to the district superintendent documenting the extra load and asking for more help. She got no response, she says. So her teachers union representative suggested she put together a petition signed by program staff.

That got a reaction, but not the one she wanted. The superintendent took Clark off of the school’s committee of department chairs and canceled and consolidated classes. Clark says he called her house and left an odd, garbled message, and one day after a meeting, he followed her into an empty hallway. Towering over her, his face a foot from hers, he screamed that he wanted “no more petitions!”

Scared, Clark quit a few weeks later. She developed tremors in her right side, which she still has, started having heart palpitations and couldn’t sleep. Today, when she talks about what happened, her speech slows to a crawl and her voice quavers like a warped record. A Sacramento occupational medicine specialist diagnosed her with a post-traumatic stress disorder related to her job. After a 20-year teaching career, she’d never set foot in a classroom again. In 2002, she won a $150,000 workers’ compensation claim against the district.

There’s evidence that the superintendent targeted others who crossed him. He took a job in a district near Yuba City, and in January 1999 the teachers association president there told The Valley Mirror that the superintendent verbally threatened her and that she’d asked a court for a restraining order. She also told a reporter that she was having panic attacks for the first time in her life. (The superintendent, now retired, keeps an unlisted phone number and didn’t respond to a certified letter sent to his address requesting an interview.)

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Posted in Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, Target Tale, WBI in the News, Workplace Bullying Laws | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



AlterNet: What To Do About Your Jerk of a Boss Before You Get PTSD

Monday, March 9th, 2015

What To Do About Your Jerk of a Boss Before You Get PTSD
Millions of workers are suffering from anxiety, depression and even PTSD because of bully bosses.
By Alyssa Figueroa, AlterNet, March 5, 2015

There’s something dangerous happening to millions of Americans nationwide. It is happening in places where many people spend at least 40 hours a week. It is causing severe physical and mental illness. It runs off fear and manipulation. But its victims are not talking it about.

So what is it?

Work abuse.

Look around the average American workplace and it’s not too hard to find. Twenty-seven percent of all adult Americans report experiencing work abuse and an additional 21 percent of Americans report witnessing it, meaning some 65 million Americans have been affected.

“Anything that affects 65 million Americans is an epidemic,” said Gary Namie, co-founder of the Workplace Bullying Institute. “But it’s an un-discussable epidemic because employers don’t want this discussed.”

Not talking about work abuse has, in turn, normalized the violence, fear and power structure inherent to the phenomenon.

As Namie said, “Work abuse doesn’t shock Americans anymore.”

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Posted in Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, WBI in the News | 1 Archived Comment | Post A Comment () »



Get a bully to build a “bully” team — Rex Ryan in Buffalo

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Richie Incognito, the most visible of the three perpetrators in the 2013-14 Miami Dolphins bullying scandal, was the only one to not play in the NFL during the 2014 season. He was probably considered a public relations liability. Even the violent NFL stayed away from the emotionally volatile veteran offensive lineman.

At the end of the season, Rex Ryan was fired as head coach of the NY Jets and hired by the Buffalo Bills. The bombastic boastful Ryan promised that he will “build a bully” that opponents will fear. Though Ryan is famously defense-minded, the Bills just signed the NFL’s most visible “bully,” Richie Incognito.

Read what Ted Wells, the NFL’s investigator in the Dolphins scandal, had to say about Incognito.

Now if Ryan and the Bills want to build a “battering” team, they can always sign former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice. Heard he’s still available.

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Posted in NFL: Jonathan Martin, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



Bully state senator claims to be “tough,” “fair,” & “the most unfairly treated senator in state history”

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

The Washington State Republicans run the state Senate. That means Republicans chair all committees. Committee chairs have great control over which bills get a public hearing. But typically during those hearings, chairpersons grant each committee member opportunities to pose questions and to comment on bills before the committee.

State Sen. Pam Roach, chair of the Governmental Operations and Security Committee made a snide comment to a group that was testifying before her committee in early February. She asked if they knew where their campaign support money went and commented, “Because you know what? I won.”

That exchange drew a scolding letter from the Democratic Lt. Gov. Brad Owen. Read the letter dated Feb. 13, 2015.

This wasn’t Pam Roach’s first encounter as a bully/perpetrator. The Owen letter lists 16 years of prior incidents starting in 1999 and including a Dec. 2012 finding that she had violated the Senate’s “respectful workplace policy.” All bullies are repeat offenders as is Roach. Her own party caucus, fellow Republicans, found fault with her “abusive conduct.”

Roach now must be accompanied by a fellow Republican during all future meetings with committee staff, the non-elected professionals who serve the committee, many of whom are attorneys.

The Lt. Gov. ends with a veiled threat. “Your abusive behavior must stop. Further violations will not be tolerated.” Yeah, sure. The policy that she willfully violated for years is evidently toothless because it has no enforcement provisions.

Read the letter to see the entire list describing how offensive and abusive Pam Roach has been.

Of course, Roach’s reply to AP reporter Rachel La Corte is that she is a “tough chair.” And that she herself is the actual victim, “I’ve been the most unfairly treated senator in state history.” Of course you are. All bullies are misunderstood victims.

She will not change until made to change. Stay tuned.

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Mulcahy on Lubbock Texas radio: Bullying in the workplace

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Frank Mulcahy On Jan. 29, 2015, WBI Associate and Business Development Mgr. Frank Mulcahy previewed his upcoming presentation at the Lubbock, TX Chamber of Commerce meeting. Jim Douglass and Curtis Parrish, hosts of the show West Texas Today on AM 950/FM 100.7 (KJTV) get a primer on workplace bullying.

Click on the audio player below to listen.

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Professionals are invited to acquire the expertise Frank demonstrates. Attend the WBI Workplace Bullying University.

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Posted in Broadcasts: Video, TV, radio, webinars, Media About Bullying, WBI in the News | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



PTSD sufferers: Be smart consumers of prolonged exposure therapy

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

After PTSD, More Trauma
By David J. Morris, New York Times, Jan. 17, 2015

David J. Morris, a former Marine infantry officer, is the author of the forthcoming book The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

WBI: In an ongoing search for answers for trauma sufferers, many of whom are part of the bullied target population, we re-post this essay.

Going in for therapy at a Veterans Affairs hospital is a lot like arriving at a large airport in a foreign country. You pass through a maze of confusing signage. Your documents are scrutinized. There are long lines you must stand in and a series of bureaucratic rituals that must be endured before anything resembling a human encounter occurs.

In April 2013, after doing a series of intake interviews and sitting on a waiting list for three months, I had my first human encounter with my assigned therapist at the big V.A. hospital in San Diego. Little did I know that the delay in treatment would be less agonizing than the treatment itself.

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Bullied mature university student tells her tale

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Bullying Doesn’t Stop When You Leave School
By Sarah Ivens, Daily Mail (UK), Jan. 17, 2015

Journalist and mother Sarah Ivens endured months of spirit-crushing bullying as a mature university student. Here she explains what happened when she finally gained the courage to stand up to her tormentor.

Tears stung my eyes and my face burned red-hot with humiliation and fear. Don’t cry, don’t cry, I urged myself, as my tormentor continued to mock me in front of the entire class: ‘I mean, what a stupid thing to say!’ She glared at me disdainfully. ‘Does anyone have anything to say that is worth listening to? She clearly doesn’t!’

My fellow students giggled and regarded me mockingly. I tugged at my ponytail so that my hair fell loosely around my shoulders, shielding my crumpled expression from their gaze.

The scene did not take place at school: I wasn’t a naughty child in the playground or a rebellious teen whose teacher had finally had enough. I was 37 years old, a mother of one and had enrolled at university to do a master’s in literature where my female professor had been making my life hell for three months. I felt worn out and pathetic.

As an adult, you think you’re done with these emotions. But bullying doesn’t always stop when you pick up your GCSE results. In the workplace, within families and even among tight friendship circles, many women are victims of mean-spirited, vicious tormentors – often other women – who make their lives hell.

A 2014 survey in the US by the Workplace Bullying Institute showed that 20 per cent of people feel they have been bullied in their adult life, and that women bullies choose female targets 68 per cent of the time.

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Debunking a Puritanical myth that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

Monday, January 5th, 2015

What doesn’t kill you doesn’t necessarily make you stronger
By Virgie Townsend, Washington Post, Jan. 2, 2015

WBI: In this frank and personally revealing essay, the author effectively counters the notion that all traumatic early experiences in life contribute to the construction of a stronger adult character. It’s noteworthy that 44% of bullied targets admit experiencing prior familial abuse in their lives before their workplace experiences with abuse (WBI IP 2013-H).

When I was 15, I attended a writing workshop with a girl who had been sexually abused by a family member, trauma that she explored in her poetry. She said she was offended when people told her: “I’m really sorry that happened to you.” She felt like they were saying they wanted to change her, so she’d reply: “Don’t be. It made me who I am today.”

I also grew up with violence, terrified of a parent who was verbally and physically abusive, and drove drunk with me and my siblings in the backseat. Sometimes this parent would threaten to choke me with a dog collar or would fire off shotgun rounds overhead for the fun of seeing the rest of the family cower. I am glad my classmate found a way to cope with her past, but I can’t be grateful for mine.

I would have been better off without that dog collar, without those years of fear. After such episodes, I was so exhausted that I couldn’t concentrate on my homework. I repeatedly failed state math exams. My immune system was weak. As a child, I had frequent, unexplained fevers, which baffled my pediatrician and led him to test me for cancer.

It was difficult for me to make friends because of the pressure I felt to keep my home life a secret. Between the abuse and my innate shyness, I mostly avoided other kids, which was easy because I was home-schooled until ninth grade. I tried to stay quiet around my peers; I didn’t want to draw attention. And I constantly second-guessed how I acted around them, afraid that I might disgust or anger others, too.

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Posted in Bullying & Health, Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, Related Phenomena, WBI Education | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



Univ of Minnesota: Graduate student bullying

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Grad and Professional Student Bullying Rises
By Christopher Aadland, Minnesota Daily, November 24, 2014

University of Minnesota surveys show peer-to-peer and faculty-to-student bullying has risen since 2007.

From verbal attacks to threats, graduate and professional students are increasingly experiencing harassment and bullying at the University of Minnesota, according to surveys.

“… I’ve lost all desire for research because of the continual harassment and hostile environment I’ve experienced,” an anonymous student said in a recent survey. “I never thought I would give up on research, but I guess anything’s possible. I’ve given up.”

For the past decade, Jan Morse, director of the University of Minnesota’s Student Conflict Resolution Center, has noticed an upsurge in graduate and professional students coming to her office looking for relief from bullies.

And despite work over the last six years by a group of school administrators, faculty members and students that aims to tackle bullying, this year’s survey still shows graduate and professional students are increasingly experiencing harassment.

(more…)

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