Posts Tagged ‘abuse’
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013
By Michael De Groote
Ron McMillan must have seemed like the perfect target to the three workers on an assembly line in Clearfield, Utah. McMillian had just finished his first year at college in the summer of 1971 and looked clean-cut, nice and perhaps naïve. So they bullied him.
“They’d do things like when I sat down at lunch — while I was eating, they would distract me,” he says. “Then they’d pour motor oil on my sandwich.”
They were relentless. They mocked him. They put him down.
“Words do hurt,” he says. “They do damage.”
That was when McMillan was, as he says, “quite young.” The experience helped stir an interest in workplace bullying. Now, at 61, he is the co-author of the national best-seller “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High” and cofounder of VitalSmarts, an organizational consulting firm based in Provo, Utah. He is also part of a large demographic. Various studies place the percentage of people who have been bullied at work between 30 and 37 percent.
Friday, October 4th, 2013
The Federal Shutdown is hurting the middle class and the working poor the most.
Saturday, September 28th, 2013
Two months will mark the year anniversary of my disillusionment from employment. I continue to have many sleepless nights, suffer from depression and am frankly scared to even look for work. For anyone who thinks bullying is a playground taunting toward the weak or society’s outcasts – think again. It can be a subversive, calculating and cruel breakdown of a good person/employee’s belief in themselves and their abilities.
For a bit over eight years I worked in a large corporation as an Executive Assistant. For the greater part of that time I was considered one of the best – independent and proactive with unquestionable integrity. Then my organizational structure changed/grew and 4 other Assistants joined the department.
Over the course of the next two years one of these Assistants (peer) lied, set up “failure traps”, twisted my best traits into weaknesses and effectively gained the support of the other Assistants and her Executive. The mob grew fast. It was shockingly evil and efficient. And I was shockingly naive for far too long! Not until it snowballed into my PIP (performance improvement program) did I fight back. Defending myself at this point fueled the bully’s fire. Speaking with my boss put him in a difficult position with his own peers (the bully’s bosses). Bringing in HR not only was ineffective, but strengthened my reputation as a liability to the company.
After living under these circumstances for months (some incidents got quite ridiculous: one involved Ms. Bully writing an email to HR and my boss because I hadn’t put an envelope in a travel packet, breaking some unknown, unspoken and un-requested protocol; Ms. Bully actually gave my name and phone number to a police officer as a possible suspect in a crime!) I put in my resignation. My boss and I worked out a 6-week transition period so I could train a replacement and find another job within the company. By this point I was a broken, anxious, emotional wreck but I still had the hope to stay within the company. I had multiple interviews during those six weeks and for the month following my official last day that went very well, and then mysteriously disappeared.
I know there can only be two or three people in my life who actually believe this blow by blow and those are the select few of my closest friends whom I worked with and confided in at the time. My poor, dear husband and family have only seen it’s devastating affect on me.
Society will only start believing and understanding when stories like mine combine with other types of workplace bullying – education must include types, prevention, interference techniques and recovery.
Companies will only start taking workplace bullying seriously when a potentially large monetary penalty is involved – if discrimination is illegal, workplace bullying should be illegal.
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
Wheaton, Illinois city officials, embarrassed by the recent disclosure of a culture of bullying and harassment that some say has lurked in a specific city department for years, say the city and department have rebounded in the months since the incidents were reported to council members.
A recent investigative report by the Chicago Tribune uncovered a city employee who is believed to have endured years of “crude pranks, improper touching and taunts about sensitive personal issues” and the discipline meted out against the two co-workers responsible and their supervisors.
Mayor Michael Gresk said Monday that, back in February, one of the “primary tormentors” was suspended without pay for one week while another was moved to a different division. Supervisors, he said, were also disciplined “for letting it go on,” but he did not disclose their punishment.
“This is a situation that we address in regular training so if this behavior was going on, it was under the radar. Once senior management became aware of it they jumped on it and launched an investigation,” Gresk said, noting the discipline was handed down in February and the council made aware of the situation in April. “We are not taking this lightly as a city. Once we were made aware, there was a police investigation and hours and hours of meetings with human resources officials with all of the parties involved.
Tags: abuse, coworkers, Evelyn Pacino Sanguinetti, Illinois, John Rutledge, Michael Gresk, Todd Scalzo, Wheaton, workplace bullying, workplace violence
Posted in Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines | 1 Archived Comment | Post A Comment (
Wednesday, July 24th, 2013
Bullying at the workplace creates a toxic ‘divide and conquer’ environ that prevents positive teamwork and collaboration
By Skaku Selvakumar, Financial Chronicle, July 19, 2013
Dig a little deep. Go back a few years, or maybe some decades. Remember that bully who made your life miserable at school? And you thought, “hey thank goodness, I am not in school any more.” Well, not so fast, my friend. You just might be bullied at work. According to Workplace Bullying Institute, 35 per cent of the adult workforce has experienced bullying first hand and an additional 15 per cent witness it and are vicariously made miserable. Bullying ranges from verbal abuse, to conduct that is threatening and humiliating. It can also include intimidation, exploiting a psychological or physical vulnerability, and at its worst, actual sabotage of the victims’ work.
Bullying affects the bottom line and creates a toxic “divide and conquer” environment, which prevents positive teamwork and collaboration.
Dr Gary Namie who heads the Workplace Bullying Institute, shares some alarming facts and the impact to organisations where bullies are allowed to thrive.
Q. You mention that bullying is four times more prevalent than illegal harassment. Can you elaborate on this?
Bullying goes beyond illegal harassment and ignores gender, ethnicity and race. We have identified that it occurs alone in 80 per cent of the cases and the remaining 20 per cent is a compound of other factors. As there are no state laws yet, in the vast majority of the cases there is no illegality. The individuals have nothing to fall back on as there is nothing that can be done about it with a legal umbrella. This also allows employers to ignore it and the bully continues to act with impunity.
Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
Let’s Talk with Kalola, where targets can share their experiences with WBI’s blog readers. Here we go!(more…)
Friday, March 15th, 2013
At WBI we define workplace bullying as health-harming. It not only triggers a host of stress-related diseases that compromise the bullied target’s health, in its severest forms, it is another form of interpersonal abuse. Yes, abuse. Not simply eye-rolling as trivializing critics mischaracterize it. Bullying is a non-physical form of workplace violence. A systematic campaign of interpersonal destruction launched by a single instigator and executed by many joiners. It becomes an attack by many against the lone principled and shocked target.
American society reacts oddly to workplace bullying. Those to whom it has happened (35% of adult Americans) do not doubt its seriousness. Those with no experience are inclined to doubt and castigate the victims as somehow deficient. But we can’t wait for everyone to personally experience it before they agree to stop it.
There is precedent that even in the indisputably violent culture that is the U.S. some forms of abuse have been acknowledged to be morally wrong and prohibited — not eliminated — but frowned upon and condemned. They are taboo — not workplace bullying.
Tags: abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, Gary Namie, student bullying, taboo, workplace bullying, workplace violence
Posted in Commentary by G. Namie, The New America | 2 Archived Comments | Post A Comment (