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View Full Version : Anyone experienced workplace bullying before?



GenerationTerrorist
17-10-2009, 00:59
Hi guys. This may be a long-ish post so bear with me. I'd appreciate any advice offered, however.

I feel I have been the victim of some nasty workplace bullying over the last 3 weeks or so. I work in Town Planning for my local Council.

Approximately 12 months ago, I was made seriously ill with work-related stress and ended up being signed off for a long period of time, placed on anti-depressants, etc. I eventually returned in July this year on a phased return, planned by the Occupational Health department in conjunction with my team leader, slowly building up my hours back to full time.

One month ago, I went home ill at lunchtime after having a god awful nosebleed. This happened to co-incide with the first "live" day of our new computer system (a complete mess from start to finish, but that is a different story) that was rolled out despite obviously not being ready. Certain people kicked up a load of fuss about me going home ill and how convenient it was given the timing.

The next day I was called into the managers office and given a bollocking about going home ill. The bossman does not like me anyway because I am not one of these ****-kissing types like some others in the workplace. A spade is a spade as far as I am concerned.

I thought that was it, but nearly every day for the past 3 weeks I have been called into his office to be grilled about something really damn stupid....Such as wearing a beanie hat on a day when everyone was wearing jeans for charity, because I "looked a mess" compared to everyone else, etc.

I was on leave Mon-Wed of this week, but got a load of text messages about a work-related problem on Tuesday and said I would pop in on Wednesday to help out. When I arrived on Wednesday morning, the person who I needed to see (whom I suspect is in on this plan to remove me) was not there. So I made myself a cup of tea and decided to clear a load of my e-mails to save me having to do so when I went back on Thurdsay morning, only to get bollocked by the bossman for being there on my day off and thusly distracting everyone...."I pay these people to work for me, not talk to you when you come in to doss around" were his exact words. Despite the fact I had said nothing but "hello" to people while sat at my desk.

This morning I received a nice "Not distracting anyone today, Al?" comment as we passed each other on the stairs. Plus some other sarcastic comments aimed my way, implying I am some kind of amnesiac imbecile, throughout the course of the day.

For a fact, due to government cutbacks on local authority grants (thanks, Mr Brown!) I know there are to be staff cuts at some point in the near future. That is aligned with the fact that, due to the recession, we are getting less money for handling big planning applications for large housing developments means people will end up needing to go to effectively balance the books.

What I am concerned about is that, given the fact I was off ill for such a long period of time, and that it is ONLY me who seems to be getting all these "come and see me in my office" demands, that I am one of those planned to be given the Spanish Archer.

The worry/anxiety/stress all this has caused me is making me feel ill again, despite the fact I have only been back a few months. Not managed to sleep properly for over 2 weeks and am making even more mistakes at work because of this. My Occupational Health follow-up asssesment last month said "Do not cause undue pressure" yet I feel I am being backed into a corner where it would be easier for me to quit rather than be sacked. Despite the fact I have NEVER missed a deadline or cocked up anywhere near much as some have.

Sorry if this is a rant too much, but I feel the need to get it off my chest and acquire some advice as to whether you guys think I am being forced out or being a victim of office politics.

Cheers,
Al

Tokugawa100
17-10-2009, 02:21
I think if your doing your job right you shouldnt be getting hassled over anything.
I only had a very brief and minute case of office bullying at my job.

A guy in his twenties who is twice as tall as me and a real surfy kind a guy seems to enjoy talking down to me.

A couple of times his told me that I must have low self sesteem because I didnt find some of his jokes funny.

I hardly noticed it though and got moved to a completely seperate part of the store where our shifts are very different.
Im in the day his at night.

Are you part of a union, I hear if you think you are the subject of office bullying or subdgugation you should contact your Union.

Just my advice hope it helps.

eltanko
17-10-2009, 07:14
Thats really sucks, make a complaint to someone higher up if it persists.

I have only recently been getting comments from someone who I am supposed to be able to talk to about anything, my supervisor. And its all about Warseer!!

He saw me looking on it once, and everyday since then he says "I bet you went home last night and started getting off on that wierd *****, didnt you"
And comments similar to that, how I must get turned on by World of Warcraft adverts, its really ticks me off!

So I know how you feel to a degree when someone who should help you turns and becomes as ass!!

ElTanko

Tokugawa100
17-10-2009, 07:27
Thats really sucks, make a complaint to someone higher up if it persists.

I have only recently been getting comments from someone who I am supposed to be able to talk to about anything, my supervisor. And its all about Warseer!!

He saw me looking on it once, and everyday since then he says "I bet you went home last night and started getting off on that wierd *****, didnt you"
And comments similar to that, how I must get turned on by World of Warcraft adverts, its really ticks me off!

So I know how you feel to a degree when someone who should help you turns and becomes as ass!!

ElTanko

That must suck, is he against fantasy of any kind or something.
I find it so hard to think bullying happens in the work place youd think they would be more mature, then again some people are jerks.

Ozorik
17-10-2009, 07:46
You certainly have experienced workplace bullying. Presumably there is someone within your organisation who deals with this sort of thing?

You could always try to talk to your immediate superior about it, its unlikely to help but you should always try. If that fails move to the next in yoru chain of command (or talk to your equal opportunites advisor or equivelent) and keep going until something happens. Make sure that you keep records though, that way if you do get sacked you may have grounds to take action over unfair dismissal.

Condottiere
17-10-2009, 08:58
Don't know if this will have an effect, but start a document chain. Record everything that you do or experience down officially, because if there's a plan to kick you out, you can bet that everything negative about you is also being recorded.

Since part of the problem is medical, go check out the possibility that your organization has for both actual medical and psychological consulting, skip the usual chain of command and go to the next level. Don't address the issue of workplace bullying directly with them, but see if through their questioning you could drop "inadvertent" hints, otherwise there's the danger that you will be seen as a whiner.

I find office politics fascinating, and the first course of action when arriving at a new job is to make allies - you apparently have none, so should tread carefully in this matter, especially if you really do want to continue working there, though it might actually not be worth the ulcers you get in the long run.

Ozorik
17-10-2009, 10:25
skip the usual chain of command

I would be wary of doing this. Going round your chain of command can have consequences. I would take any greivances to my chain of command in the first instance before making anything offical, this may work and if it does it will save a huge amount of hassle. If it doesn't well thats the time to take things further. Always start this sort of thing as gently and tactfully if at all possible.

Solving problems in an unoffical and amicable manner is far easier and better than going down any offical route for the simple reason that it is far faster. The offical route is there if all else fails.

simonr1978
17-10-2009, 10:26
This is likely to get wasted anyway but...

I'd agree with what Condottiere has said so far. Gather any document or evidence you can collect to support your claims will make your case stronger. Make sure your own conduct remains 100% above board as far as possible so that there's nothing they can use against you. I too would be tempted to skip the usual chain, since your immediate supervisor/manager is the problem it doesn't make sense to go to them first, it may give them a wake up call to sort their own behaviour out, or it may give them enough warning to cover their tracks. I'd only go to them first if you feel completely comfortable doing so.

Office politics is horrible, that's one reason I would be reluctant to ever return to an office job.

Is a transfer to another department an option?

Brimstone
17-10-2009, 10:34
Sorry but Warseer is not the correct place for this type of discussion.

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