Posts Tagged ‘stress’
Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
WBI friend Lewis Maltby wrote convincingly in his book, Can They Do That?, that American workers have very few rights. Without a union bargained contract, all rights are owned by management unless state or federal laws provide specific protections. Among the industrialized nations (members of the OECD), US workers have the fewest rights.
Robert Fuller, another WBI friend, speaks and writes eloquently about somebodies and nobodys, the hierarchy in our lives. For him, the issue is rankism. It makes good sense in our nation of ever-expanding income inequality.
From the work of stress guru, Robert Sapolsky, Stanford University professor and researcher, we learn that simply organizing social groups in hiearchical ways with rank playing a role in how all resources are unevenly divided is stressful. Those dominated by others are doomed to lives of ongoing stress. Social subordination generates distress, that in turn, triggers major life-threatening diseases through disruption of the adrenocortical, cardiovascular, reproductive, immunological, and neurobiological systems (Sapolsky, 2005).
Workers bullied by higher ranking bosses (56% of all targets) will find it nearly impossible to avoid contact. That toxic contact is the exposure to stress that causes health harm.
I say all this to put into context the June 30, 2014 decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS). By majority votes of the conservative-dominated court, the rights of company owners were expanded. The (chief justice) Roberts Court has never ruled against corporate interests.
The two cases decided upon were Sylvia Burwell, Secretary of HHS v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (13-354) and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation v. Sylvia Burwell, Secretary of HHS (13-356) — jointly dubbed the Hobby Lobby decision.
Tags: California Healthy Workplace Advocates, distress, Hobby Lobby, Lewis Maltby, Robert Fuller, Robert Sapolsky, SCOTUS, stress, US Supreme Court
Posted in Bullying-Related Research, Rulings by Courts, Social/Mgmt/Epid Sciences | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment (
Friday, June 6th, 2014
Another reason to pay attention to workplace bullying — it’s a public health hazard.
Wednesday, June 4th, 2014
Video by Chris Wade, Slate magazine, explaining new study.
Neuro studies show that prolonged exposure to extreme stress atrophies (shrinks) the hippocampus and interferes with memory. Now comes this study suggesting that lost memory can be restored!
Tags: hippocampus, memory, neuroscience, PTSD, stress
Posted in Bullying & Health, Bullying-Related Research, Neuroscience & Genetics, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment (
Thursday, May 22nd, 2014
Is Bullying Rife in Tech? by Kathryn Cave, IDG Connect, (UK) May 21 2014
“It was quite insidious,” says Alex [false name]. “The odd comment here or there. And he’d work his way through the team. Then he started on me and I stood up to him… and it got really ugly. Really ugly – to the point where I went and got a lawyer.”
“I am a really strong person,” continues Alex. “Anyone that knows me is just shocked by what went on. But he undermined me so much, it was this whole campaign. It got to the point where you think: am I imagining this is happening? It was very manipulative and subtle: complete psychological and mental bullying. It was awful. And it wasn’t [just] a mental health issue. It was a physical thing. One day I literally started hemorrhaging blood…”
It is at this point that the naysayers will often step in. If it is female being described she would be casually dismissed as “emotional” and most likely “always running to HR”. If it is a male, this it would be the moment to give a kind of appalled snort: clearly he should “man up” and learn to deal with “tough management”.
Yet throughout our conversation, it is plain to see that Alex is extremely bright and analytical; not overtly weak or emotional. This is a firm, likeable and very self-possessed person. And still, although this happened five years ago, Alex is only starting to get over the experience now.
22% of IT Professionals Have Taken Time Off For Stress
The latest research from the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), released in Feb 2014 [PDF] shows 27% of adult Americans have directly experienced “repeated abusive conduct that is threatening, intimidating, humiliating, work sabotage or work abuse.” And Dr. Namie, Director of WBI and widely regarded as North America’s foremost authority on workplace bullying, stresses this figure would have been far higher, if he had been less stringent with the definition.
Tags: Gary Namie, Ignite union, Pam Farmer, stress, tech workers, Tim Field, WBI 2014 U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey, workplace bullying, Workplace Bullying Institute
Posted in Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education, WBI in the News, WBI Surveys & Studies | 1 Archived Comment | Post A Comment (
Friday, February 28th, 2014
My bully boss enacted a posse of others to support her gossip and lies. She ran several major grants at a public university. I was her star employee, the go-to for all the hard tasks that she felt she did not want to do (or procrastinated on doing). She relied on me to support more than $8 million in grant-funded project activities. And, she never gave me credit or praise for any of my hard work or dedication. I remained behind the scenes as her “secret weapon.” She called me on weekends, evenings—just about any time she pleased. She gossiped, slandered and complained about everyone in the organization. I listened to her endless lies and complaints—all generated from her own insecurities—for nearly 7 years. I always knew, listening to her, that it was a matter of time before I became her next target.
After nearly two years of working for her, I had my first warning sign that I was under unusual stress. I went the the emergency room at my local hospital with stroke-like symptoms; they told me it was a TIA and sent me home with aspirin. That first warning should have been my last, but it only incited the bully to heap on more responsibilities and a little bit more monetary compensation to keep me in her grasp.
At year five, a fellow employee attempted to expose her bullying and discriminatory behavior. Courageous soul; the university backed her up because she brought in millions from government grants. He left distressed, distraught and demoralized. I knew that I was next—I had complained to several co-workers and one higher-up about her bad behavior. I had started to capture the outrageous lies, the slander, the falsified data she used to support her claims that she was “doing good” for students in need.
My second TIA was more dramatic. It happened nearly two years after the first one. I ended up in the hospital emergency room again, but this time the doctor issued a warning: Get rid of the stress. After that second TIA, her madness escalated. My productivity had plummeted. I scarcely realized that I was depressed and could not focus or function much. Thoughts of suicide were daily and normal. I dreaded each new day … even the weekends, because I knew that she would probably call me to continue her gossip and lies.
When she realized that I was planning on leaving, she resorted to keeping information away from me, using our shared social network to malign me and my good work; she even paid off several of my colleagues with “new” contracts and enlisting them in spreading lies about me, anything to keep me dis-empowered.
I did finally get up the courage to leave. My doctors helped me to make the decision. Medication also helped with my depression. It’s been over a year and a half, and my health has rebounded in the most miraculous ways. My spirit has been set free from the tyrant and her posse. I only hope that I can help others to break free and claim their right to greatness and joy.
Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
WBI's Administrator and licensed mental health counselor, Jessi Eden Brown, MS, LMHC, LPC, NCC is forming a support group for targets of workplace bullying. Jessi's private practice is located in the North Seattle area. If you're interested, please email Jessi Brown to find out more.
Monday, August 27th, 2012
A great graphic gift from Sarah Wenger
Tuesday, February 28th, 2012
Bullying is part of a worker’s psychosocial work environment (a set of external stressors) to which a person can have a stress response. Advances in stress measurement are replacing subjectivity with hard science physiological evidence of the human stress response in reaction to stressors. Stress is not a matter of opinion available to targets and deniable by bullies and their apologists.
Cortisol, an important hormone secreted by the adrenal gland during the stress response, can now be measured easily in saliva samples. Its primary function is to raise blood sugar by converting stored glucose in the liver. There are new studies linking workplace bullying and stress using corisol measures.
Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
WBI colleague, Peter Schnall (editor of the definitive book, Unhealthy Work and founder of the Center for Social Epidemiology) regularly points out that normal human blood pressure is 100/60. Unfortunately, only people living outside the industrialized world enjoy such a healthy BP. We are told our “normal BP” is 120/80, but that’s an average, according to Schnall. Working in our hurried world accounts for the difference.
The informative longitudinal Whitehall studies that track coronary health, including ambulatory BP of British government workers for 40 years, reliably find that workdays differ from weekends and vacation days. Metabolism differs. Just showing up for work carries a set of health risks.
Tags: blood pressure, Center for Social Epidemiology, dignitarian, Peter Schnall, stress, stress-related diseases
Posted in Bullying-Related Research, Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Tutorials About Bullying | 5 Archived Comments | Post A Comment (
Thursday, January 12th, 2012
Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience, January 12, 2012
If you spend your workday avoiding an abusive boss, tiptoeing around co-workers who talk behind your back, or eating lunch alone because you’ve been ostracized from your cubicle mates, you may be the victim of workplace bullying. New research suggests that you’re not alone, especially if you’re struggling to cope.