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Old 08-20-2019, 09:50 PM   #1
3rd rock
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Default Bullying at work

Some possible triggers below...

At my place of employment there is a strong culture of bullying. This culture comes from some of my co-workers, but also from certain members of management. It's the kind of bullying that whenever you complain about what it is, then it'll immediately be excused or minimised. It can take the form of public criticism rather than private, intimidating behaviour, favouritism in discipline, favouritism in work assignments, and other things like that. It's not a majority of people who are responsible for that, in fact it's probably only a small minority. This is one of the factors that led me to seek stress leave. I haven't been back at work since the beginning of May, as I've been seeking psychiatric care, with little progress having been made since then. I have been working at this company for over 5 years and it's only recently that the bullying has really escalated, or maybe it's that my general mental health has deteriorated so I can no longer put up with it. I have been suffering from depression to one extent or another for over 15 years, so workplace bullying doesn't cause it but definitely is a major factor in exacerbating it currently. It causes feelings of intense hopelessness and helplessness.

Now, I'm on medical leave for mental health problems, which are worsened by workplace bullying. If I return to work without having made significant progress on my psychiatric problems, then I'll feel trapped, like I have no way out. Then I'll have no choice but to do one of three things: 1) switch shifts to try and minimise exposure to bullies and bullying, which means taking the night shift, 2) trying to find another job that pays comparably, or 3) ending my own life. None of those are particularly appealing. I know that fighting the bullying is not going to work, because of the immense bureaucracy built up in the company which ensures any complaints take literally months to deal with, and inevitably don't resolve the problem. I can leave or endure, and I can't endure. The situation at work has definitely contributed to thoughts of suicide, because I have no job prospects for anything better in terms of pay. In general, those who perpetuate the culture of bullying at my workplace know that most other companies don't pay as well and they take advantage of that in bullying people.

I am not the only person at my company to have experienced workplace bullying. I have witnessed others being bullied as well as myself. I have 1 or 2 'allies' in the company who would at least give my concerns a fair hearing, but even they wouldn't be able to stop it.

How can you deal with workplace bullying? How do you fight an institutional culture of bullying?
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Bullying at work

First of all Iím sorry you are going through this difficult situation at work.

Second I can tell you the ending you own life is a very drastic and unnecessary option to this.

Third, you work in a toxic environment and no matter how much money you make itíll never justify staying.

So what do you do? You leave and take a pay cut. You donít endure and you most certainly donít take your own life because of them.

Ending your own life is a permanent solution to a TEMPORARY problem.

Again sorry that your having a rough time. Their are many resources available if you feel uneasy or donít trust yourself.
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Old 08-22-2019, 09:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: Bullying at work

Thank you for your reply. I'm not seriously contemplating suicide, but I have been having some thoughts about it recently. Perhaps my new psychiatrist and new medications will help deal with that particularly. I'm hopeful that when I return to work I'll be able to survive long enough on the night shift to find a new job, which could take a while. I only hope that the economy doesn't crash in the time that comes. I have a second income (writing) but it's only a few hundred dollars a month which isn't enough to live off.
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: Bullying at work

This is called a hostile work environment. There are laws against this.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: Bullying at work

Keep yourself a small memo pad and take the time to jot down specific incidents and times of bullying behavior that you experience or witness. Be specific about what was said etc.
This may, if nothing else, give you a better picture of the dynamics---how this is used/plays out in the place you work. Unfortunately bullying does not continue without administrators either turning a blind eye or tacitly endorsing this, using the tension/uneasiness this causes to what they consider their benefit (it isn't, but I have worked in places where it was very much a part of the institutional pattern---it can be used to shut people up, to blame others for systems failures & it goes on.
You can pursue a hostile work environment claim (better if you have a few people in on it) but research this and be prepared---HR is with the employer. If able, be professional but calmly point out "that is bullying", or engage in behaviors to help yourself and others do your work well, praise people when you can, and if bullied, you can say "I don't respond well to being bullied/yelled at/whatever the behavior is but if you want to talk about something....". Also, when able, stand up for bullied co-workers.
Documentation is important if you choose to take if further. Unless this is really a job you want long term do begin to apply elsewhere, look around, look at other work places and make sure you not only get a tour but get to talk to other employees about the work site/conditions before accepting. (trust yr gut on this) Good Luck!
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:54 AM   #6
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Default Re: Bullying at work

Iíve been bullied in hostile work environments. Itís horrible and can really lead to self doubt and feeling like what is the point. I agree with the other posters. Thank you for posting this.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Bullying at work

This does sound like a hostile work environment. Sometimes things can improve but often they do not. I would try to find another job if possible. In the meantime, maybe you can try to observe and learn from this situation? I say this because I have found that toxic work environments are everywhere.
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Old 09-11-2019, 05:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: Bullying at work

I'm sorry that you are experience workplace bullying! I have plenty of experience in being bullied. Please don't take your life than the bully wins. Start saving money and gathering evidence and get a lawyer who will fight for your rights when you sue the company for harrassment. Make them pay for your medical bills for your mental health
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Old 09-14-2019, 09:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: Bullying at work

My employer is very similar, mostly due to the minimum wage hike that happened back in April. The company is trying to get rid of full-time employees who are covered by a health care plan as well as employees who have been with the company for a fair amount of time. The purpose is to cut labour costs. The company cannot fire these people, however, because they have no valid reason to. Therefoe, they load the work on them and make the work stressful for them so that the employees will voluntarily quit and the company can then hire part-time and/or government sponsored employees such as immigrants, students, people with disabilities, etc so that the labour costs can be reduced. In the end, it has nothing to do with you, personally, it has to do with keeping labour costs down...bottom line. You have to decide...are they worth staying with? Would it be worth taking a slightly lower paying job to be happier? Can you change your mindset a little to remind yourself that the job is only a task for that time frame...a means to an end...so that you can do other things that mean more to you, things that are more rewarding?
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