Posts Tagged ‘story’
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.
Tuesday, August 20th, 2013
It began as a dream job, taking care of disabled children in a home, hospital, school setting. The pay was average but finally had adequate insurance for me and my three children. I had been a widow about a year.
The first day outside of training I was ignored by a teammate. It was overlooked as a bad day for her. Within hours of my first few days off, I was told by another employee they thought I had quit and couldn’t believe I came back. My first clue! As time went on it became a mobbing event. I was ostracized, ridiculed, yelled at, etc. I helped everyone despite the cruelties.
After visiting HR on several occasions to warn them of fear of physical abuse, and requesting to be moved to another facility, a chair was pulled out from me causing physical injury. I then filed a grievance and workman’s comp claim. This stirred some administrators who then began their bullying tactics. I was then terminated, while under their workman’s doctor care.
I couldn’t file a bullying case, so I filed a wrongful termination case. I suffered a physical and mental breakdown as well as a financial breakdown. Thank goodness I had gained the knowledge to file with the EEOC (You see, I had been sexually harassed 21 years prior by a male manager and learned a little lesson). An attorney was hired and we filed a wrongful termination case, which has been in the works for several years now. While recovering, I was able to draw unemployment before returning back to work. Of course it was for another employer.
It has been an exhausting roller coaster ride and although I will never fully recover, I have gained much insight into the mind games of bullies. I advocate, meditate, and appreciate as much as I’m able. My youngest son has autism and I was hoping with that particular job, to get him some help as well. What a disappointment since that is their business! Life goes on for them but it stopped us in our tracks.
Legislation is a must! My belief is more families are harmed by workplace bullying than any other hazard known. The safety and environmental specialists have missed the boat on this. Thank you for educating those who haven’t had to endure the harsh reality of workplace bullying as well as those who have!