Experience Project iOS Android Apps | Download EP for your Mobile Device

The Scourge Of Workplace Bullying

It is perpetrated by people who feel threatened by others. They feel they have a certain position in the workplace and when someone comes along who seems more competent or more intelligent, it becomes their mission to thwart and undermine that person as much as they can.  They want to get the other person out of the way.

They don't do it on their own.  They co-opt others.  Those co-opted others are cowards and crawlers. They are happy for their colleagues to be fall guys for the success of the incompetent bully, or to selfishly promote themselves and their own agendas.

In a professional workplace the impact of workplace bullying is dramatic.  Competent professional people are publicly blamed for situations over which they have no control.  They do not have the means to salvage their reputations.  They work long, difficult hours, bringing a high level of skill to challenging situations, only to be undermined and insulted.

People labouring under workplace bullying burn out and have breakdowns. How many staff have to burn out and break down before the power structure changes?  Alas, it might never change.  

This story is written in the third person rather than the first person for a good reason.

perseverer perseverer 51-55, F 84 Responses Nov 9, 2012

Your Response


Workplace bullying also impacts organizations because it hampers productivity.

I have noticed a real change in workplaces and I find it sad. Starting work over 30 years ago, it seemed that workplaces were a little more light hearted.

Having fun at work didn't take away from the bottom line, rather enhanced it because happy workers are more productive workers.

Hard to know how to address the issue because it's hard to prove and it's often the victim who loses their job.

I was bullied by my boss for almost a year before I snapped and had a total breakdown. I haven't been able to hold down a meaningful job since then. That was over 6 years ago. He has never been held accountable, my reputation was ruined and I have major anxiety issues because of it.

I am so sorry. That is just awful. I do understand and wish with all my heart that he could be held accountable, and you could receive some appropriate compensation.

I agree this bully in the work place needs to stop in my case it comes directly from management and I'm one of the main victims

Unfortunately, he probably won't stop. I hope you find ways to feel more empowered in your situation. Good luck!

Yeah I feel it in the elementary school. I work as an education assistant and the other staff are great but almost everyday I can feel them being passive aggressive in different subtle ways.

Schools are breeding grounds for bullying structures, I'm afraid. Teachers tend to have gigantic egos and are always afraid of being complained about, therefore they are the first to pour dirt on each other's reputations.

lol thanks for the reply and the threat so i could vent a bit. i loved that response it feels true and i think i will keep working on my own confidence over this summer so i can deal with it again in September.

Yeah my mom who is 58 years old gets bullied and picked on all the time by her boss and coworkers. I really hate that she has to go through that

I'm sorry to hear about your mom's situation. Workplace bullying impacts on the whole family, doesn't it? And it is not easy in today's world to just leave and find another job. I'm glad you are there to give your mom moral support.

I was bullied by a professional bully in a large organization. In my case HR sided with the bully who was a long standing manager. Fortunately i had been to a registered psychologist and doctor. When the reports came in the case was referred to the company medic. I was immediately transferred to a location where I could thrive.

I have learned that you have to have outside assistance from either a doctor or a lawyer. If either of these are in place the company gets terrified of litigation. In my case the bully was also transferred.
The other way is to work for a large multinational company with good values and ethics where the HR dept. Have the strength and bullies cannot thrive.

In my case my bully was a manager who was bullied by a senior manager. Neither of these bullies realised that their teams would do a much better job with positive encouragement and good support.

I am now in a senior management position and my teams have turned the impossible into possible by delivering a program in less than 1 year that bullies could not get right over 3 years. This was done simply by sound management and positive reinforcement. It is really how you treat people.

I am so glad you managed to get out and make your own way. Thank you for the tip about having a report from a doctor or lawyer.

Yes. If you you are internally stressed and have emotional or medical symptoms, tell your doctor. Let him fully understand your position. Chances he nay send you to a psychologist. Best is a clinical psychologist, because their reports carry more weight. If he does not suggest this then ask. If he suggests anti depressants careful not to get hooked on them.
Then take the doctors report, the psychologists report to your HR. If you are looking for retribution you may consider legal advice as well.
The fact that the company4 is externally exposed should make a big difference. Good luck!

I have worked for State Govt and it is a zoo. I have seen somewhat of what is mentioned yet more of a kiss up going on in the workplace. I also noticed puppet on strings an awful lot. ETC....

How I would handle the above situation. OK I am being bullied or treated unfairly work with cowards and have no one for my defense. OK THIS BRINGS OUT THE BACK EAST STREET IN ME!!!

1 Hunt the culprit! I would find out the main idiot's place to hang out get dinner or wherever I can confront AWAY from the office.

2 Confront him or her about their unfair treatment demand answers.

3 I was told a long time ago by a wise man, "If you can't reason intelligently with someone to resolve the problem
belt the hell out of em' !!! This usually will put a end to their acting out on you.

Yes this may also seem not rational or outdated YET sometimes fire has to fight with fire and swords have to be crossed.

Agreed, aradia11. Force is the only language barbaric people understand.

so sad but true...

Persevrer your right and recently iv had to use that kind of behavior towards two extended adopted family members, who thought they could bam boozzle me !!! and guess what!!!!

their plan back fired on them!! they thought they had me bagged, signed and delivered !!! NOT!

they thought id for get about their history ,how they have treated me badly!

one thought she could just walk into my life and make decisions with out any notice .and the other thought he could act sickening sweet for a month and that would get him what he wanted !!!NOT!!

Aradia yep!!!

just the other day i was having a one on one with my West/C man.

He was complaining about my ways !! I told him, hey I'm from East/C

Its what I do!!! what do you want Mother Teresa!

1 More Response

I was bullied in the past 2 years by some old men in my office. They were lazy and stupid were especially jealous of young girls who worked hard and graduated from top colleges. They especially targeted on me because I was the only one who had the same nationality with them which made their jealous comparison more valid. They made me do their work, and told others that I was not familiar with the work so I worked long overtime while they didn't need to. They told me they didn't know how to do the work (which was true, they were really stupid and low-skilled) and I thought I was helping them and should be gratified for but instead I was said to be unskillful and inefficient.

They also ganged together every lunch time to judge my appearance. I was told every day by one of the fat old guys that I was ugly and he didn't want to see me coming to the office.

Another really old guy even asked me to be a prostitute.

They also made rumors about me and my senior having an affair.

Another said I looked like eating **** and accused me of having mental illness.

As a fresh graduate I had completely no idea these senior staff of an international office would behave in the same way as bastards in high school, completely unprofessional, unethical and childish.

I quitted the job and on my last day of work I sent an email of complaint to all the bosses and HR. All of them were very supportive but none of them know how to deal with it. Nothing much could be done but at least there were people who know it, and good people who showed support.

During these two years i was seriously depressed and my so-called friends thought I had changed into another person. All left. Some tried to help but failed, and chose to leave too. Worst part was that when some people tried to help, they thought it s my fault to be bullied; that I must be stupid, awkward in some ways that made people picked on me. And they helped by finding more fault of mine, some of which i had no control of to remedy, like 'you have bad genes for your hair and skin'.

So far I have learnt the best way to deal with office bully is to ignore it. No one can really help and no one in the office would stand up for you, everyone is only for themselves.

I am very sorry for your plight, Sssim. Those peoples' behaviour toward you at work was criminal. It was sexual harassment, verbal abuse, slander and defamation, and it cost you your job. It also seriously affected your health. Being so young at the time, it must have been a complete shock to find yourself the subject of such evil behaviour. I am so glad you left and then made formal complaints. It is now on record. You would have every right to take legal redress too. I hope you find peace, security and happiness in your future work situations. Thank you for sharing your story.

Thank you perseverer, in my new job ppl gossiped and made fun of me too. Now after more than half a year situation has turned better. I ignored them most of the time and realize the most important thing is not to let their words get into you. People can say anything irresponsible based nothing on facts. And to accept yourself is important. I could be ugly but that doesn't bother me anymore.

I agree... Clients who pays u think they own you

Let's bash them up :)

Add a response...

Bullying is such a waste of our lives. I hope the person bullied is now recovering well and learning to leave this terrible experience behind.

Thank you for your response. Both my husband and I took leave from our workplace and the effect of the bullying was so traumatic that it is not known whether my husband will ever be able to return.

I know that is tough. I have been off work for six months sick due to bullying. I spent several months so shaky I could not leave the house and just hid. I have just decided not to go back ever. That will mean a cut in pay, losing career prospects, etc, but I won't have to confront people who are not going to change. It is such a relief. Not sure how we'll meet the bills yet, but we will cope. I am telling you this so you can see, things will change, you can find ways through this, even though, at the time, everything is so bleak.
I have taken up walking (cheap!) and find that helps a lot. I just walk off the misery and stress as much as possible.
I hope this works out for you. At least you have each other. Best wishes.

Thank you. I am so sorry for the terrible ordeal you have been through. It is so wrong, to do this to colleagues in the workplace. It is a dog eat dog world out there. I am glad you are prioritising your health, because without that you have nothing. You just concentrate on getting well again. I still hope my husband will get back to work one day, maybe next year. It has been tough this year because we were both off work and I have needed a lot of surgery. But you are right, things have a way of working out, even if it means things get tough financially. I do still have my job to go back to, but things are going to have to be very different for me if and when I go back.

Thank you for your kindness.
It seems you have the correct name, Perseverer! I hope you get well soon, and that you and your husband find more peaceful work.

I left a job due to bullying. And as you said pay loss and losing carrier prospects have happened, but it really is better than being brought down by those people. I do miss some of the nice people from that job and some of the aspects of that job. But I know if I had stayed I probably wouldn't be here right now because of how sick I was getting from being there. I'm still looking for a better fir and hopefully that will happen sooner than later. But right now I have a not so bad job, but it's not the job I want forever.

3 More Responses

use to be there was only one bully in an work group, but these days everyone joins the bully side to keep from getting bullied.

That is so true - and so becomes established a culture of bullying.

Aaaaagghhhhhh! I so hate work bullies ( all bullies).
There is a lot of it where I work and I see them go from one person to another so they always have someone on the go.
I always try to defend the bullied, but sometimes the bullied are their own worst enemies .. and I include myself in this - who has been a victim .

interesting how the boss always believes the bullies lies!

Why is this? It is so horrible isn't it. I felt like I'd been kicked to bits by the bully, then kicked again by my boss when I finally went to him for help after six months.

You are doing a great job, standing up for the bullied. It is not an easy thing to do when under pressure.

Well I dont know what side of this your on. But thank you for writing such a perfectly tuned peice. Your very clearly a writter. Thank You!

I am on the side of the oppressed.

My friend and I are being bullied like this at our workplace right now. A new co-worker, who has only been there for 2 weeks, is already inquiring about my position and pressing for some pretty personal details, like my salary, from other managers. My friend, who only got a chance to work there for a month, has been bullied by our store manager since her second week and is "not needed due to hours." She is not fired, she has yet to be fired, but is not getting any hours. Our boss has harassed me since "suspending" my friend and warned me not to get involved in the matter. I am not going to abandon my friend when I know she was treated poorly. However, I am also worried that my actions are not only affecting the two of us, but my other co-workers as well. I just wish our store was less like a high school and more like a workplace!!!!

Your friend is not needed due to hours, and yet they can employ someone new. How is that supposed to make the existing workers feel? Don't let the newby make you feel threatened but confront her with her very personal questions. The behaviour of this newcomer and the store manager is way out of line.

Isnt it really bugging too that a newbie tries to take your hard earned piece of cake, and succeeds. talking about workplace being like high school and not like workplace, mine is a similar situation. my manager is a temperamental jerk who, I have come to believe, wants to irk me now and then just to get sadistic pleasure and satisfy his inflated ego.

Both of you should look for other jobs. Don't put up with it! Any job is better than bring bullied. If you are bullied it wrecks your self esteem and you cannot perform well.

You have perfectly described what I just went through and I want to thank you for writing it. I don't feel so alone. Last year I worked at a school. The principal was new, she had just been promoted from a reading teacher. I have over 20 years of office experience in various fields including legal. After working in the front office and doing several projects for her, this principal, with her new found power, bullied me. It was discreet but profound, ending in my termination. I was nothing but professional, working long, hard hours and giving it my all, in spite of her, only to be sabotaged and set up to fail, time after time. I have been unable to obtain work since. After I left, a former colleague told me that in a staff meeting she let everyone know I was gone and why, stating that they would get someone competent to replace me and there wouldn't be any problems anymore. I feel like this has ruined my reputation and my work life since now that I've been "discharged due to misconduct" I can't find a good job. In no way did I deserve this but once you've been bullied to this point, sadly, there's not much you can do to fix it.

My friend, my heart goes out to you. What you suffered was a grave injustice indeed. I have witnessed exactly the kind of thing you described in your comment. It must have been especially heartbreaking to know that the rest of the staff failed to stand up for you. There is no substitute for the knowledge of the nuts and bolts of the school's functioning that experienced and hard working office staff supply. I only wish I was in a position to employ you, because I would be honoured to have you on my staff.

You are very wise and kind indeed. Thanks for the pat on the back!

Yours is such a sad story. You have so many skills and such great experience. I hope you find a job that deserves you soon.
I had no good references after leaving a job. I was able to get a former employer for one reference, then for the second good one, I did some voluntary work and got that person to write. I think good bosses know that stuff happens and are prepared to understand that you can be forced to choose references that aren't most recent employment because of bullying.
The most important thing is to look at what happened, get your own balanced perspective, and not let them ruin your future as well as your past. You will get back out there. Maybe you can turn this into an opportunity to do some self employed work? Or to follow up some dream that got lost in being a competent adult? Just keep your chin and self esteem high!
Best wishes.

When I graduated from high school workplace bullying was not an issue. All of the people I worked with had grown up during the great depression. I enjoyed work. There were bosses who bullied but somehow that was to be expected. Generally if you did your job well, took on extra work, and got along well with people your boss left you alone and occasionally would cut you a little slack when they could.

I started my working career in 1970 right in the middle of a recession. I had trouble finding work but I found it in a job that most people turned their nose up at and still do to this day. The older generation did their best to get us younger workers to stay. I stayed.

Things changed around the mid 90's. I had a good position with the same employer. I was in charge of a great crew. Me and the people I was in charge of had learned how to recruit good people. People liked working under me. Life should have been good.

Jealousy brought me down. In retrospect I think some of the new workers were influenced by those reality TV shows where the bad guy always wins. I was the top senior person in my department. People wanted what I had and they worked to undermine me. Administration was on this trend of getting rid of older workers. We were more expensive than new workers.They also felt threatened by employees who were competent. Many people in Admin never stayed in one position long enough for their stupidity to catch up with them. Those types were the ones who were pushing to get rid of experienced people.

My program was shut down. My excellent crew disbanded and split up. We were a bit like the guys on the movie "Band of Brothers" only with women too. Our job had danger in it and that situation tends to bring the smarter employees closer to each other. The clueless tended to wind up on long term disability at a young age.

That was several years ago. I am physically disabled from some of the things that happened to me at work. Several of my crew are now dead. People in my line of work don't live long after retirement.

Just before I left work on disability I was moved to a new position. I had a a fellow employee who was angry that I had more seniority than him. He campaigned to have it taken away from me. When that did not work he physically and verbally bullied me. He was not afraid of me because I was old, slow and close to leaving work permanetly. He insulted me,my wife,and my son. All I wanted to do was end my career in peace.

One morning he kicked me in the butt. I stewed about that all day and night. The next morning he insulted me before I had my first cup of coffee. It was then I snapped. One second I was sitting in a chair. A split second later I was on my feet with my hands around his neck and it felt good too. Note to bullies: Never bully an old man who milked cows by hand in his youth. The strength in their hands never fully leaves.

Fortunately for my victim I snapped out of my anger and was thinking " My God what in the hell am I doing!" and I let him go. The bullying and insulting stopped. I threw a scare into him. He did not know that I could move fast and it surprised him I still had strength.

I should have been fired. I was not. The bully did not turn me in. Administration eventually heard of it and investigated. When they asked my co-workers who witnessed the incident they all suffered memory loss.

To sum it all up I say this: There is a certain class of people who even though they appear civilized only respect physical strength. Kindness is seen as weakness. They do respect those who are both kind and strong but you have to prove to them that you are strong first. They have to see it with their own eyes before they will believe it.

I have not worked for years now. Like Mr. Winters in Band of Brothers I did get my peaceful retirement. I have outlived some of my co-workers. I miss them and i stay in contact with those still living.

Thank you for sharing your story with us, thundercloud47. It is a great shame when more mature employees are seen as obstacles to be removed rather than assets to be treasured and esteemed. I saw this happen to my mother too. She spent many years working as a nurse's aide, and towards the time of her retirement was constantly having to put up with younger workers plotting to push her out of the way to make room for friends of theirs.

I think bullying of mature employees is an absolute disgrace. Long serving workers should be respected; they know the job better than anyone else. When I was growing up we were taught to have respect for our seniors; they had earned every one of their entitlements. But then this new culture emerged, and I cannot help wondering if the recession had something to do with it, of younger people just looking out for what they can get and it doesn't matter who they have to trample on to get it.

I admire your strength in standing up physically to your tormentor. A show of strength is definitely what is needed when it comes to dealing with bullies. I certainly agree with you about that class of people who see kindness as weakness. We do have to be kind, but we have to show that we are strong too, which was the valuable life saving skill you learned.

thank god you showed that som ***** thunder!

i think bullyig in all paces must stop. am a student , last year of highchool so i never thought of workplace bullying, but this year ive moed schools and i am constantly verbally abused, a couple of days i go a girl actually went on and hit me with a crutch. and yeah, it should stop. its horrible on all levels. and i know there are many out there just like me however they cant stand up for themselves. i taught that girl a lesson by simply speaking up about it.
we should have a day where people all over the world have some sorta walk for those bullyed at all places..would be awesome

That's a great idea! A "Stop Workplace Bullying" march! Hmmm perhaps we could make it a worldwide thing - a Stop Workplace Bullying Day and people could organise marches etc wherever they live in the world.

I am sorry you experienced this in such a nasty way so early in your working life. How soul destroying! But you did very well to speak up about it and I am glad that you were able to. Unfortunately, many people feel they have no-one to turn to or appeal to.

That is a great idea. I bet about half the world would need to join in. I would go on this.

That is a very interesting idea... That would get attention really, I would go march. These people who make the laws , alot of them anyway seem to feel that the target of these bullies has done something or is dumb or there is something wrong with them and that's why there getting bullied. They can't seem to understand that what is really about is that the target is a hard worker and the bullies don't like that we stand out from them and want to damage your credibility.

There is a book that I believe will help you with this. Its helped me understand much more about life than ever before. Its called "The 48 laws of power". Go to the book store and read some of it, see what you think about it. I hope it helps.

Thank you for mentioning it. I will look it up. I have an old one that helped me a lot too, called, "The Roots of Violence". If you can get it, it is a very good read.

Have worked for over 30 years and now is a real issue.
Naughty, shame on you who Bullies anyone at any time very imature.
I work for a very large company and the Ministry I see this more and more.
It is time to end this permanently and we need to get as many on board as soon as possible.
The unions in Canada are on this hard and we are spreading as much education on this nasty bussiness of bullying.
It is time to get the Government to make this a Law on the books.
As for kid's at school don't know what to do but I'm sure that they would like to have this erradicated also.
Very slimy, ugly subject, glad you brought it up

It is one of those issues we all know about but haven't fought actively enough to really change, in much the same way that for so many years inequality in the workplace between men and women was tolerated. It is time to call a spade a spade, to stand up for our rights, and to put an end to bullying of all kinds.

I nearly had a nervous breakdown from the bullies on the B-shift. I was asked to take a position in the shipping office as a transportation planner because my boss said I was the only one they felt had the skills to do the job and they wanted a "Backup person" Huh!. I thought wow that's nice.

Well it wasn't nice, he put me in training on that postion because they had planned on firing one of the quys in the office and did so the next week.

That's when it all started for me. They took it out on me because there buddy was fired. They did everything they could to make me uncomfortable, and even got other team members to join in.

They isolated me from everyone, and would even mob bully me.

It nearly destroyed me. I still have anxiety attacks when I get into stressful situations because of it.

I went to Albany in my state and even worked with the lobbyist who are trying to get a anti workplace bullying law passed, and told my story to Assemblymen.

People say, why don't you tell HR, but they don't understand that it's you against all of them. The things they say and do seem silly if you just look at each situation alone and don't look at the whole picture. This harrassment happend every day, all day long , every week, for months and months. They bring you down.

The best thing all of you can do is look at your state and find the lobbyist that are trying to pass a anti bullying in the workplace law and support them. Honestly people are actually killing them selves over this crap. Think about it you have a family, you need your job to support your family, you can't just quit and walk away. You have a morgage, car payments, rent, children to feed. Your trapped and there is no one to help you stop these people.

Get up and get laws passed to stop it.

Whew! a bit long winded but it is so important.

Thank you for sharing your own nerve wracking experience, Angeleyes789. I can relate to what you are saying because in one of my teaching positions I was an unpopular choice of employee due to old scholars having applied (unsuccessfully) for the position. They were forced to hire me due to the influence of my referee. But I was made to feel the resentment and I resigned from that job after just three months. You are right about the importance of protecting the workplace when so much of family welfare depends upon the health and productivity of the income earner. Definitely, workplace safety, including freedom from bullying, needs to be protected by law.

yes hr does nothing! believe me I know

My experience was that HR did a lot - for the managers who had (against their own policy) protected the person who bullied me! I was naive enough to trust HR at first but would warn anyone now, that HR departments can be focused on the institution's rather than the employee's well-being.

Persevere, apparently, the focus of your outreach should be your son and others suffering mental disabilities, shouldn't they? They are the ones whom you love, care and worry about the most. Present your findings to them, including their motives and intentions, through your gangsters and let them be an equal part of you. They will appreciate you as an equal partner and love you back.

Hmm, EP users. BoringTopic is so right. It is an issue that needs to be addressed and should arouse attention from everyone. In fact, isn't it the topic that you guys want to discuss about?

Those people who suffer dining room horror will create boardroom terror. If the inner pain of the bully is not addressed, it will eventually cause disasters far and wide. It will not only affect their daily clutches of the affluent people but also take away the privileges of the authority figures.

Well, this begs the question, doesn't it: who should be the primary focus of our outreach? The bully or the victim? or both? My inclination is to support the victim first and foremost because the bully is already in a position of power at the victim's expense. It is about redressing the imbalance of power, of mediating to enable clear communication and redefinition of policies and behaviours.

there is bullying everywhere. its rampant. and its getting worse.

So true, clarkee. It is everywhere because everywhere there are human beings whose inner core is corrupted. It is a human failing, after all. And getting worse because we no longer have a sense of sin. Violence in all its forms is getting worse. Bullying, terrorism ....

So much talk about being the bullied, but not about the bully.In fact, the bullies have inner pains and want others to feel it. Sometimes, they have serious disabilities -- psychologically feeling inferior than others, and want everyone else know that he is equal with them. However, this type of understanding is rare, so when it happens, it is very precious, isn't it? But they will be grateful if their actions or behaviors are understood by others.

You are so right. There is no such thing as unmotivated human behaviour. Every murderer, every rapist and every child molestor has inner pains and wants others to feel it. And God bless those rare individuals whose role on this planet is to bleed for them. Only please do not expect their victims to rise above their sufferings and take on that role.

I would second that last sentence. I spent a long time trying to understand the woman who bullied me - it was clear she did have problems and I tried to support her. She took every kindness and used it against me, and the kinder and more understanding I was, the weaker she believed me to be. Now I know that kindness is not a weakness but a strength, but with someone really manipulative and weird any quality can be twisted about.
There is a difference between understanding that the behaviour is motivated and seeing it as rational or acceptable. Bullying is about projecting what you feel on to someone else and using them to mop up your own difficulties. I think people's behaviour needs to be understood if you're going to help them change it - but at work, that's at most a manager's responsibility, not for the person who has been bullied to sort out.

I've been following the postings on your story. Wow! I had not realized there were so many workers being bullied, whether subtly or in the open. I had not realized how many people in the work force join forces with a bully and allow the bullying to continue. In my case, I was told by my manager & ***'t manager that it was all meant as a joke and I was not to take it so seriously. Wow! Thanks for nothing! Had I not had a counsellor who knew better, I don't think I would have or could have got past this. It is sad when a work place has its groups, and those who are "in" the group experience no problems; those who are on the "outside" are targeted. If people would just do their jobs and keep their noses out of others' business, the work place would be so much better. For those who are being bullied, stand up for yourselves. Let it be known that you are not going to be anyone's doormat anymore. Be strong and silence the bullies.

Workplace bullying is one of those hidden crimes that people might be unaware of until someone actually speaks out. It reminds me of a Czech lady I met and I spoke to her about the years of soviet occupation and all the people who were sent of to prison camps in Siberia .... it was with sudden realisation and deep shock that it dawned on her what had happened to that family that just vanished without trace one day.

One of our staff members left due to illness last year; we only recently learned that she had had a breakdown due to stress. She never talked about it with the staff and yet we were aware of her unusual workload.

Employees sometimes feel too intimidated to speak out, and so the problem continues. I agree with you; we need to find our strength and silence the bullies.

Yes, we sure do! Employees everywhere need to unite in this cause.

I like Moniai994's idea of having a walk. We could have a worldwide march against Workplace Bullying.

That would be a great idea! We could get the media and professionals involved, everyone from actors to athletes to politicians, etc!

1 More Response

How about when the bully comes last in and starts changing things around without asking, hides their work and never acknowledges help they get? They complain to one colleague about the others and vice verse. They talk up themselves to get the job they want and then blame others for their incompetences. They never do what they are asked to do even they agreed they would. How should manager deal with employees like that?

In my opinion, managers need to set policies about how things are done, how decisions are made etc and if someone starts changing things without asking, they can be shown that they are in breach of policy. One policy could be that any complaints about staff must be made in writing, that all written complaints will be shown to the staff concerned, that those staff will know who made the complaint and will be given the right of reply. Staff in breach of policies can be notified of their breach and given a set amount of time to rectify the situation. If they continue to fail to comply to the policies they should be dismissed.

Policies aren't enough. Managers need training in standing up to bullying. My experience is that bullying policies are there to hide behind, and protect the employer (they look like they're doing something) but bullying is incredibly difficult to prove to a degree where action gets taken. The person who bullied me shared an office with me. For six months she criticised, undermined, took credit for my work, excluded me from work activities, bad mouthed me to colleagues, etc, etc, but because it was all behind closed doors and not in public, no-one believed me. I think beyond policy, we all need training in what's acceptable practice in the workplace so other people will know the sorts of actions that can be used to push someone around.

<p>&nbsp;<p>Not sure if anyone else has mentioned this, but there's a new book out about mobbing that's getting favorable reviews. Here's a link to the amazon page:</p><p></p>

If the link doesn't work, just go to and search for Mobbing: Causes, Consequences and Solutions. It was published earlier this year. There's another excellent book by Noa Davenport called Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace, published in 1999 and also available on amazon and probably in your local library. I got a copy of it from the library after I was mobbed out of my job as a copy editor for a newspaper in Indiana. Read all about it on my blog at

Gang stalking is another form of mobbing. It involves mobbing the "target" whenever they go out in public, and it's sanctioned by local police departments all over the United States. I know, because I've been a victim of this horrific crime since 2004. Read all about it at

Thank you for mentioning this. I first became aware of mobbing and gangstalking about a year ago. It does happen, and these people are resourced to the hilt. I have also read of cases where people being harassed by gangstalkers succeeded in documenting the evidence and took them to court and won. But it it is a long process and takes much determination. I would hate to be at the receiving end of gangstalking - my whole life would feel threatened and I would want to move to another country.

And how many times are people bullied by their managers. I have been bullied by managers often, and many times you have no where to go, but to leave or be fired.

You do have options, the first is to calmly tell them that you feel threatened when they do or say certain thing or have such a behavior. Depending on their reaction, many do not know that you might feel threatened, I would go from there. If they respect you then you have gained, if they do not then you have to say it once again in a calm manner and then if they do not hear you, I would go to their supervisor. The main feature about dealing with bullies is that you have to stand firm in your position of not taking abuse. I am not saying you will always win, and there might be a fine line between abuse and the directive to work, but you will prevail if it is truly abuse or bullying that you are looking to change. Many times bullies operate below the radar and know they will not be reported or at least assume they will not be. Once many are outed they respond quite a bit differently, many do not even know they are bullies, these are the ones who have hope, the others not so much. Good luck tell them how you feel, but don't become a complainer either.

In one organization I worked at it, it was protected all the way up through HR, which I ultimately took the issue. HR said they had a policy, at which I responded I would like to see it. They responded, "oh, well it is up to the discretion of the director of the area." They fought unemployment with no documented policy and won. Management will win in far more cases unless people are willing to take legal action. Unfortunately, it costs money to do that and management knows that.

The sad thing is, managers benefit when their employees are happy in the workplace! So many people feel insecure and have to bring others down to make themselves feel important. Very sad indeed!

Good answer!

1 More Response