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
56-60, F
81 Responses Nov 9, 2012

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 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

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!

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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.

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!

WOW ! Great story. I feel as though your speaking of my work place ? I try to just do my best every day and not let it get to me, especially since I am in a lead position.
Thank you for your story.

It is amazing, how many workplaces have the dynamics that enable bullying to flourish. Sometimes I wonder if it is a cultural thing. One thing is for sure, no-one likes being at the receiving end of it. We need to raise awareness and seek more positive outcomes in the workplace, seek an end to bullying of staff at all levels. You are doing well to rise above it and not let it get to you.

You're so right - culture allows bullying to flourish. I am the sixth person to be bullied in my workplace in the last two years. Loads of complaints to HR and sickness as a result, but the manager is a bully and she promotes people who are prepared to participate in that.

Thank you for you comments :) It seems to be even harder for me as I am dealing with 3 males. It was not like this with one of the males until the two new ones were hired on and they are outside friends now as well. So I just smile every day and let them pull their game and one day I will be into something better anyway.

I hear about this alot. And bullying in general. At work or at school there bullies to out get innocent people to hurt them or try to. If it was me, I would try to the right thing and stand up for myself to the bully male or female. Most bullies are males as I have heard. I do my homework on this so I can prepare myself for this. If this could change. This is why I feel SO strongly about bully awareness. Get this word out! And spreading around to let everyone know. One voice that's all takes to speak up about this and do something. On Glee on FOX now on Thursdays, show bullying in the school hallways. Kurt gets shoved against the locker so many times and no one doesn't do anything about it. People are afraid that's why they DON'T do anything about it to stop it. And it keeps happening over and over again everyday. How sad

I agree. Witnesses are the ones with the real power. It is a matter of raising awareness and making people understand that they can empower themselves and others in bullying situations. And I agree, to see it happening and remain silent makes you just as guilty as the one doing it.

I don't agree that most bullies are males. I think women and girls bully too - but perhaps (at least as adults) tend to be more manipulative and less physical about it. I have received both physical and emotional bullying. I could cope with being kicked about physically better than being kicked about emotionally!

I have been bullied at work on two different shifts worked the b-shift and was bullied by men on that shift that drove me to take a job on the a-shift in the office and was bullied by the person who shares my job. Finally I just asked to go back out on the floor and took a lower position to get away from it.

I am very sorry indeed that this happened to you Angeleyes789. it is very wrong for people to get away with this and force good workers into lower positions.

I totally agree I was a victim myself. I worked for the 32 BJ Union for 2 years. The old Superintendent retired, and a new guy was brought in just 2 months in, he fires me, and a friend of mine who worked there for 15 years..I was accused of cursing at him in the office which was a total lie I secretly recorded the whole friend was fired for forgetting to punch out...we each never got our jobs back even after our hearings so much for a Union huh?..That jerk and I won't mention his name though I should is still Supervising there. He deserves to be fired immediately to get a taste of his own medicine...where am I going to find another job paying $20 an hour with weekly pay? Not bi-weekly...not anytime soon that's for sure.....

Yeah, so much for a union! Unbelievable; unfrigging believable! The union is supposed to be about supporting workers' rights! That supervisor does deserve to be fired immediately. Do you have unjust dismissal laws? This is a great tragedy in your life, I can well imagine; it galls me to think of this jerk getting away with what he has done.


very interesting!

I tried to stick it out, and defend myself, but my manager was more concerned with saving her own neck. I cracked up under the stress of it. I've never been the same since! I would recommend that anyone in this position quit, before the situation breaks them!

I hope that in time you will make a good recovery from this terrible ordeal. People can be so blind and so selfish. What does the fate of their co-worker matter to them as long as they are all right? I agree with you about quitting before it breaks you. If you do not look after your own health, no-one else will.



My hats off to you that it worked for you, but sometimes you have more than just one person bullying. In my case it was mob bullying. I would of love to do what you did. That really is the kind of strong person I am for the most part, but they ware you down sometimes and gang up on you and you are not believed.

I am glad you were able to stay and make a difference. Unfortunately, for many people the damage is done before they properly understand what has happened to them. By then, they are very sick with depression and cannot face another day.

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yes i have but this come from no supervisory will come to site and look what is happening
and do some . mangers do thing on there Owen and do see it from the employee eye your
dam if you do and dam if you do not . if we could turn the company up side down and see
the the seen all the time are the most important then the one working at the top . if you want good employees you take care of them frist.

This is so obvious - if you have a happy workforce then you have a productive workforce. But bullies are not concerned about the common good. Their vision is extremely short-sighted. All they can see is the one obstacle in their way to being seen as the top dog and all they care about is getting rid of that obstacle.

I worked in a very unprofessional, as well as agressive enviroment. I quit this job, then job hunted for nine months! Finally, I was hired for an assignment that is perfect for me and my family.
It's never worth it to put up with ridiculous and bullying behaviour. Hang in there, something great is bound to happen!

You are right. Your health does come first. If it is possible to get out of the bullying situation into a more psychologically healthy workplace, then it is the best solution.

What is described is also true for the sorts of managers that have exceed their abilities and capabilities to lead, manage and run an operation. These are even more dangerous than peer-bullies as they can negatively impact your future as the other responders have illustrated so well.
Successful managers want very creative people, the sort that are the real experts and need little in the way of direction to produce results. A successful manger does not fear or mind relying on their experts.
Many managers today arrive at their position through political appointment, or for having performed well at a subordinate level--never does the issue of qualifications, leadership, management come into play. Because you can do a task well, does not mean you are able to manage an organization.

Fearing of being shown to be incompetent, this sort of manager will want to be surrounded by the 3rd or 4th level of subordinates- this in order to maintain the managers "control" and appearance of competence in the organization. What results is that everything is micro-managed, the quality of work suffers and for the professionally competent, proficient employee-they will be viewed as a threat to the leader and the organization and the bullying will begin.

I was in a situation for 20 years until a new political appointee was assigned to the division. Changes began immediately, without any sort of consultation or consideration on the consequence. Opinions of 3rd party and friends were valued more than the subject matter experts that were on the scene. Hours per week was spent meeting with the clerical staff (4), yet the department head found and gave no time for two major programs that s/he had the overall responsibility. Responsible for a major program, yet the department head did not value my input and turn to non-professional peers for solutions?

In the world of safety, when there is an issue this has a potential life threatening consequence and not necessarily for a single person but for many-including non-employees in the surrounding community.

Combine this with the less than sterling performers that s/he has come to rely upon "yes-people", they having no idea how or what regulations apply decide that the subject matter expert, 20 years of experience, etc is no longer capable of understanding the situation and they can do a more efficient job.

The stage has been set for the bullying to play out through an increasing hostile work environment by "management" to the point of eventual very early retirement.

And you may wonder why the US science research program is in the shape it is---this is a good starting point. Incompetent leadership going unchecked will result in its own form of bullying, especially for employees who give a damn and more than proficient in what they do.

You have hit the nail right on the head with these points. I could have written this comment! That is exactly what happens, with the trail of devastation left by unqualified management that surrounds itself with yes people. They make far reaching and catastrophic decisions based on their narrow focus, then they blame their subordinates for it not working. They spend valuable time with the lower ranks who suck up to them and ignore the professionally qualified staff who actually know what to do. They dismiss any criticism with a wave of the hand expressing their complete confidence in the unqualified workers. It is an absolute nightmare, for the people paying for the services provided who feel powerless to get the quality they deserve, and for the staff who have to accept responsibility for it.

It is often nothing more than lazy management. In a workplace where bullying was endemic, the bully was disabled. He bullied people who tried to help him (who he referred to as weaklings). Nothing was done about him bullying other staff or our clients who were mostly vulnerable women with little self confidence who had been referred for skills training.
He bullied one young client so badly she committed suicide; and then he assaulted me physically: I had to report this as there were many witnesses. I was told that he was "being given enough rope to hang himself" whatever that meant and it would be dealt with.
Next he forcibly kissed one of the clients: a lovely young woman who came to me for help: again he dismissed it as "only a birthday kiss" and he was allowed back to work!
In the end he was made redundant, but companies ignoring bullying are all too commonplace!

Your recount is horrific. This bully is a shameless criminal who should be behind bars. How is it that someone who has physically assaulted, sexually harassed and menaced staff to the point of suicide has been allowed to get away with it? I hope I live to see the day when bullied employees will take out criminal and civil suits against employers who knew about bullying but chose to overlook it, ignore it or cover it up.

The man invaded her body space. The kiss was unsolicited and unwelcome. Kisses can express different things; they can be just a sign of affection or they can be an erotic gesture. To be forcibly kissed implies an overt sexual gesture.

Actually, kissing ANYONE without their consent is sexual battery, in legal terms. Sexual assault is the same as sexual harassment. ASSAULT and HARASSMENT are attacks against another person that are VERBAL or WRITTEN. When somebody is TOUCHED PHYSICALLY, even if it is not potentially harmful, it is considered BATTERY. Sexual battery is nonconsensual sexual intercourse, which is more commonly termed as RAPE. According to Webster's Dictionary, rape is defined as ANY KIND of nonconsensual sexual contact, which can be as severe as sexual intercourse, or even kissing, or touching somebody's body, should I say in a "passionate" way, that is not wanted by the second party. If somebody is not your romantic partner, or you were not invited by this person to kiss them, touch them passionately, or have sexual intercourse, by verbal agreement, or non-verbal encouragement, it is rape. It is illegal, and is a felony. There must be consent between both parties to be touched in a sexual way, both above and below the belt. Touching someone without their permission that is harmful, both physically, or emotionally disturbing to the victim is battery, and it is a felony. Sexual harassment or sexual assault is still a felony, but the penalties are less severe. Keep your passionate desires for your romantic partner, and do not engage in any kind of sexual activities with anyone other than him or her, or you will face quite a few years in prison. I was a former law student and passed the bar at age 19.

My blood ran cold when I read the post from zmate24. Sadly I think his views are all too common, and that people, but particularly men, don't consider such actions sinister,hurtful,or damaging, which they can most certainly be. They need to ask themselves ONE simple question, "HOW WOULD I LIKE IT IF IT WAS HAPPENING TO MY WIFE, MY DAUGHTER, MY MOTHER etc or even THEMSELVES"
Sometimes you have to be able to change places with the other person to realise how something feels.

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Dear Perseverer,

Your words have a powerful resonance with me. Some years ago, I went through a program at the College of Nursing at the University of Iowa designed to train people from various walks of life and educational backgrounds to become registered nurses (RNs). Presumably, the program, a so-called professional masters program that the school was offering for the first time, would help alleviate the nursing shortage. That first class---MY class, that is---consisted of about 16 women and three men. Two of the guys dropped out within a month, leaving me as the only male in our pioneering group.

Besides gender, another thing that made me stand out was my level of education: I had a doctorate. None of my classmates had more than a four-year degree. Indeed, few RNs have more than a four-year degree and about half of them do not even have that. I mention these details so that you'll see what an easy target I was for anyone inclined to engage in bullying behavior.

To make matters even worse, I was a WHITE man, which meant that I would lack even the defense that a man of color would have had---the racist charge. I was not just an easy target but an open one.

Soon after my clinical rounds began, I encountered my first bully. While in the classroom I was an excellent student, racking up straight A's in subjects like physiology, microbiology and anatomy, my first round of clinicals subordinated me to an instructor---an older female nurse---who seemed to hate men, especially intelligent, well-educated men. The old buzzard made fun of me in front of my classmates. Can you imagine an instructor doing that? Incredible! She never told me that I was doing poorly and then, at the end of the course, sprang her surprise, giving me a failing grade. This triggered a whole series events in which I had to defend myself in writing and, later, redeem my chance to stay in the program by re-doing my clinicals in the subsequent semester with another instructor. Thank God, the other instructor was a real teacher. I went through the gauntlet and survived that semester.

But then, in the following semester---what was to be my last before graduating---a nurse at the pediatrics unit, another unit to which I was assigned for clinicals, simply refused to work with me. I guess that somehow my being a man of 45 years of age intimidated her. Poor thing! Or, perhaps, it was my being a highly EDUCATED man. Who knows? The passive-aggression bullies never tell you anything.

Apparently, it was easy and common for mentors at that school simply to evade their mentoring responsibilities at the expense of the students they were supposed to be teaching. The poor girl simply told the college that I failed to meet minimum standards---whatever they were.

Word of my "failure" would spread through the nursing grapevine. (Remember, 95 percent of RNs are women and so gossip spreads fast.) As a result, the nursing college had to transfer me to another hospital in an insanely desperate effort to enable me to complete my clinicals before graduation. By this time, though, I had another instructor---another old buzzard who had just failed to obtain tenure, was depressed and resentful, and had found in me the perfect target on whom to vent her spleen. Instead of keeping my unhappy prior experience confidential, as she was ethically obligated to do, she spread the "contagion" to the other hospital, where she spoke secretly with my new mentor to have him eject me from the course. Talk about spite in action!

You, the reader of these words, may by now suspect that I am some kind of paranoid nut with a penchant for writing prolix letters. Let me assure you, I am not. The shenanigans to which I refer actually happened. I saw them unfold with my own eyes.

In the end, the nursing collage ejected me, I was left with a $36,000 student loan debt, and with no degree, I had no way of paying it back. All this despite my having been a straight-A student! Most important, I was so disillusioned regarding nurses and a nursing career, that I abandoned the idea of becoming an RN and, in the years that have passed, I have never returned to it.

The bullying experience I suffered in that nursing program was beyond anything I could have imagined at the outset. It shook me to my core and forced me to revise my view of women, of nurses, and of nursing faculty and administrators. I can never view any of them again in quite the same, innocent way I once had.

Perseverer, you have my full sympathy.



Thank you for sharing your tale of woe, Michael. I do believe it. I know at least to some extent what you have experienced. Some of the other commentators on this story have spoken of academic bullying. Your comment brought back memories of my days at uni. I was bullied by the academic staff for converting to the Catholic Church. But never did it impact on my grades or assessment. It made me profoundly uncomfortable going to classes where the subject was always raised as a point of ridicule. You suffered great damages and I am speechless about the callousness with which this was done to your life. In Australia we have an expression, "tall poppy syndrome". It refers to the desire many people have to take down high achievers. Your experience sounds to me like a bad case of tall poppy syndrome. I can only say, Michael, that I hope you have managed to find a career path commensurate with your qualifications, that you enjoy.

I also had a teacher-bully as my English class during my junior year in high school. It was so bad, all the students in my class with him and the other periods of students with him were able to get him fired by the end of the school year. The full story of this one will be coming up soon. It will be called "Fork in the Rhodes."

Thank you for mentioning it; I will look out for it.

Hi Seiler: No, I do not think you are a paranoid nut. I quit nursing 3 years ago for good after an 8 year break from it due to the stresses of bullying. Going back was a disaster and very painful realization that things were not going to change. I refuse to invest anymore time and energy in that profession; I invested 4 stressful years in college and 18 years in trying to work with those horrid people. Whenever I read about the nursing shortage, I make posts to let people know, the "nursing shortage" is their own fault and when someone decides to check them, there may be some change. Until then, they will boo hoo until they look in the mirror. You are not crazy, they have chased many good people away for decades. Take Care. I hope you can recoup some of your investment and feel better some day.

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Sorry to hear your experience,"nightspy", but i feel so much achieved today. Not only did i compel a bully to confess of his bullying past, but also made him offer analysis on what has made him into a bully -- an "evil and vile Shedevil" in your words.i feel your pain and hope you share mine. We're all victims and bullies, and we're all heroes and asholes

I do appreciate the truth of what you are saying and I agree that we all have that inner core of corruption, and that there but for the grace of God go I. What you did in confronting the bully shows a lot of courage and maturity. In the final analysis, bullies are flawed human beings like the rest of us and if we can help them to be set free by the truth then grace will return to us as well. Getting the opportunity is the thing. They run a mile when they see us coming; they are expert at being covert. Still, if we have the opportunity and the grace, it is an excellent course of action, to thrash it out with the bully.

This is so true. I know I was a "victim" in 2 of my previous jobs in the past. My co-worker at both places felt threatened because I was more competent, reliable, dependable then they were; they felt compelled to get me fired which both failed in their attempts. However in one job, my co-worker started fabricating stories about me that caused me so much distress that I had to move out of the state. Her fabricated stories about me had reached a hospital that I had once worked at and was well liked by a lot of staff. I was told by my former co-worker at the hospital that everyone at the hospital knows about the false rumor and people's perception had changed about me. I was devastated beyond belief. Let's say it took years before I overcame that event. My former co-worker is a evil and vile Shedevil. I have forgiven her but I will never forget the hell she put me through with all those lies she spread about me. She had failed to get me fired but she succeeded in defaming my reputation and name.:(

This kind of slander and defamation is like murder. It is the loss of your social life. The girl who did this to you has a lot to answer for, but so do the people who chose to believe what she had to say. To think you had to even leave the state! That is truly appalling. I feel for you from the depth of my heart and I know how it feels to be the victim of false rumours you are never given the chance to defend yourself against.

Spreading rumours about a co-worker is probably the most damaging example of workplace bullying. It's insidious and often unknown to the victim until it's too late. Damage is done.

I think the truth is that the experience of being targeted would turn a bullied into a bully. It's a chain reaction.

I think a lot depends on the age at which the bullying occurs. Bullied children often do in turn become bullies. But bullied adults, I think, is a different kettle of fish. Having been bullied in the workplace leaves a person shellshocked and broken down and unable to function, let along clear thinking and manipulative enough to start bullying other staff. Thank you for reading.

But aren't you ended up with a better job now, Mochanomad? We're all happy for where you are today.

I hope that is the case too. Amen to that!

There is an article on this blog; Perspectives that speaks to this as well. It is a widespread problem and now with downsizing and outsourcing; employers are pushing the concept of wearing a number of hats and supervisors are exploiting this practice. Take care for we understand your dilemma and pain which many of us share.

Thank you for showing your understanding and support. The more people who become aware of the dynamics of workplace bullying, the more hope we have of it becoming a thing of the past.

I have fallen victim to this myself and it is infuriating. I was the senior team lead in my work center and had a stellar track record for job performance. The bully was actually my subordinate. She falsely complained that I singled her out more so than anyone else and perceived that I had a vendetta against her...which I did not. She recruited the help of a new arrival who was placed in charge over me. I was already no. 3 in the workcenter hierarchy and that did not change...the #2 person above me changed. The bully was able to manipulate her into building on the false allegations and notifying the #1 boss who eventually fired me from my team lead position...and just guess who it was given to...yup...the bully. She was YEARS less experienced than me in the job and I had been in the current location longer, but she was able to call my judgment into question with my management when I had done nothing wrong. Lastly, no one came to my defense, but when she departed the work center later, several of my co workers approached me and apologized for her and told me that they knew I wasn't the problem. I ate a big dose of humble pie over that but I also learned a lot and am ever vigilant against those types of trends in the future.

People are so gutless. Where were those co-workers when you needed them? Why could they have not stood up for you, knowing what the truth was more likely to be? This sort of thing infuriates me. Why did your boss want to believe those lies? Just dreadful. It reminds me of my own situation. At the very least your boss should have come to you to ask for your version of the story. Why are people so callous about the devastation caused to someone's reputation?

What you say is quite correct. Unfortunately, workplace bullies are often the darlings of their superiors, so it can be very difficult to combat them. About the only way it will work is when a group of people complain, so one victim isn't just crying the in wilderness. People often lack the courage that requires. The lone victim loses his or her job. Others observe the terrorism and don't dare step forward. It's a bully's world. If you report to one, your best move is to find another job.

Some successful management bullies experience notable attrition in among their reports, direct and indirect. But for some reason, companies don't always react. These bullies are responsible for major illnesses and even death among the people they abuse; yet large companies often turn a blind eye to the situation--seemingly unaware of what the bully is costing them.
To avoid lawsuits, rising medical claims, and lowered productivity, they should.

Really, we need anti-bullying legislation such as the British have.

I think your point about a group of people complaining is a very good one. There is more power and security in numbers. The odds are that if you are being bullied, then so are others.

Administrators are mainly about expediency. They don't want hassles. They do not like having to deal with complaints. They take the easiest course of action which is to side with the bullies. They do their research and learn to wait and say nothing. They know that legal processes can take a long time and that if the complainee is unhappy enough she will just up and leave and the only real hassle they will have then is finding a replacement for her.

Yes, I agree about anti-bullying legislation. I would very much welcome this in Australia.

Thank you Tabouret. I'am the subject of bullying behaviour in my current work. I often stand up for myself and end up in a verbal fight that exhausts me. I have kept my job because my bully supervisor does not really work and I have to do most of it. Luckily, my contract ends in a few days and I'm happy to go.

Nice response, speakingtree.
However, the older you get the more you are determined to fight back. Just like when you play a game, don't you want to play with someone who has a strong drive to win?

Grey power, eh?

I agree on all points stated. Academic bullying, as I experienced it in Canadian universities, as a grad student, is often co-parallel to racism and other forms of discrimination. It's especially cowardly when a decorated Professor, man or woman, feels threatened by the talents of his/her students, and even "co-opts" toady students, to join in against the target. Such people are unworthy of the academy let alone their jobs.

It is such a contradiction in terms, academic bullying! The whole concept of academia is meant to be one of independence in learning. Bullying due to racism - I wish I could say how extraordinary, but the fact is, it goes on all the time. People deserve to be treated on their merits and higher learning should always be respected. How sad, that such well-educated people cannot see past the end of their own noses!

Perhaps if laws were amended to cover the actions of students and the academy in general, rather than allowing universities to operate without proper obedience to standards, tribunals, and oversights.

perseverer, I agree with you, you summed it up neatly. what does surprise is that there is no boundary or age for being bullied. I am coming to think, that the more older you are , the more you get bullied if you hold a lower position, since younger people are much more favored and they are ready to connive with the bosses to get ahead etc. Also, hard work is old school and myth in current world. Work less, work smart- whatever 'smart' means. be a bit*h, no one is an angel, there is no respect anyways no matter what you do. Wish I was wrong, but I dont think I am.

You might well be right, speakingtree: it does very much seem like survival of the fittest. I agree with you about mature co-workers being easy targets for young bullies. I do not want to stoop to that level, though .... I want to play smart, but not stoop to their tactics. You have given me food for thought!

For people who've had bad experiences in academia, I would recommend this book: Page Smith: Killing the Spirit. It sure gave me solace, although far too late to save my academic career.

Thank you for the recommendation; I will look it up.

I was sort of a straightforward country boy who got a good education and trusted co-workers, not knowing many or most were out for themselves. I never wanted to be around backstabbing, and wanted nothing to do with it. The result, I ended up doing more manual kinds of work, driving truck, etc., until finally I found a way out. I found there was usually a lot more honor among construction workers, gravel truck drivers, etc than in academia. No doubt this is what drives some people to start their own businesses.

You have used your intelligence to work out a strategy for being happy in the workplace. I hope it all continues to work out for you and you do not find yourself subject to workplace bullying.

A target of bully at one workplace would often turn into a bully at another.
My advice, never, ever put up with a bully, and stand up against bullying.
Bullies are mostly powerful people, and they assume that they can take advantage of vulnerable by wielding the power and authority. But on the other hand, bullies are vulnerable too, because the more power they have, the more afraid they are of losing that power.
If you are courageous and report them to the authorities, they would be terribly terrified.
That is what happened to me -- after i reported the bully to the authorities, he backed down and lost his job. Although he got another job (his new boss doesn't know he is a bully), he would be very cautious cause he doesn't want to loss the new job. i also successfully kicked two of his two crawlers out of my company. I won the battle, didn't I?

You sure did win the battle! Thank you for telling us about your successful way of ending your abuse; it is very encouraging. When tempted to think the bullies are the ones in the highest position and there is no-one higher up to whom to appeal, there is always truth and publicity.

my superior who bullies me has been around much much longer in the company and has a proven record. i did complain, thought things got sorted, they did, but soon all got worse, though i did expect a rough patch. well, sometimes i think I should tolerate it, sometimes i think i should move out. I think about the later more often now.

I went thru this for about 7 yrs and the sad part about it was that the bullies brought the Supervisors right along with them, they could convince them of anything they wanted to. It started out with one new girl and within a few months it was 3 of them, a dock supervisor, a store supervisor and eventually the head boss. It made it almost unbearable for me to go to work and I just couldn't take it anymore and had to quit.. It has been over 3 years and everyone of them are still employed at the same company.

it is very difficult indeed when there is a kind of panel of them all boosting each other at your expense. Obviously there is a hidden agenda which is threatened by your competent presence. You did the only thing you could to save your health and sanity, I think. I hope you managed to get a job elsewhere in a happier environment.

I lived in this workplace,for many years and suffered two breakdowns...that only my wife and two other friends knew about.I overcame the situation and now one of the major perpetrators is often made fun of by many of the workers.I dont buy into that crap,I'm better than that and I thank God that I can rise above this pettiness and be the Man neither of the people who enjoyed their pranks on me can be.I dont need anything from either one of them to make me right,whether it be a smug response by me or anything else.I'm not that way,so I just help them if they need and go about my way toward the internal happiness I always deserved.A Man needs his confidence in his own self,Once that is shaken it's hard to get it back.Don't EVER give's Still in there.You just have to find it will happen.

I am full of admiration for the way you have handled the situation, for having worked through your breakdowns and come out the other side,and for retaining your sense of integrity when it must have been tempting to pay back the bully. Thank you for sharing your experience.

been down this road twice at 2 different jobs. it was horrible. all because they felt threatened....the worse part is it happened when a family member of mine was dying of cancer which added more pressure......but you know what.....Karma comes back to bite them. both eventually lost their jobs....and i sued the last company and WON!

I am so glad you had a happy outcome after your last experience. But what a horrible ordeal you have had to go through, and at a time when you were feeling particularly vulnerable. I am glad that company was made to learn a lesson the hard way.

I have not experienced this myself but I know people who have, I and know one person who's life was made a living hell for nearly 30 years. He only recently took a case against the people who abused him and won. One thing that was very important in his situation was that he was told by people who supported him to write down every incident that happened over an extended period and include a time and date, which proved very valuable.

Thank you for mentioning this. I was advised the same thing by a lawyer many years ago. Diaries are admissible as evidence in court.

Oh, boy, can I relate to this, and all the stories others have shared... Every job I ever had consisted of bullies plotting against me. I'm working on a full story on this site, about what i had to suffer through, but it's taking a while to write it because it's so long. I was a serious, goal-oriented, hard worker, and I didn't mind putting in overtime or doing more than what was required of me, because I also saw that the bullies were super lazy, so I'd end up doing their jobs for them, whether they told me to do it, or I did it voluntarily because I knew it had to be done, and if it wasn't, it would naturally undermine my own performance at whatever task had to be completed.
When bullies take advantage of a worker, or accuse them of things, or lie, blackmail, force extra work on their subordinates, or whatever else they do, they destroy the credibility of the individual they are bullying, and also destroy the credibility of the entire company. They are lazy, cowards, idiots, a-holes and completely incompetent. They are all the things that they accuse the hard workers of being. Because of all the workplace bullying and excessive work I've done in my life, I was considered retired by the government at the age of 26, and I have gotten social security and SSI, medicare and medicaid benefits since then. I've had jobs where the managers blackmailed me to get me fired. I have had bosses that took advantage of me, and refused to pay me, whom I sued, and won, which the courts said was slavery, and became a criminal case instead of a tort, and they went to prison. I've had jobs where I was a supervisor, and people higher up made a fool of me, and encouraged my subordinates to not do as I politely requested. I never treated anyone disrespectfully, or put too much of a load on them. I respected and trusted people as much as I could, but the bullies destroyed everything I tried to build up. As a hard worker, we might have to internalize our rewards, and say to ourselves and believe that we are the driving force in the company, and no matter what others may say about us, we are better than those bullies who put us down, and take the credit for our hard work. We don't have to suck up to the boss. When the boss sees how hard we really work, they will know the truth, and the bully will be the one to get punished and penalized. A good boss will be able to tell the difference between a honest hard worker and a bully that sucks up to them all the time. If they can't, they don't deserve to have the high position that they work in, and it is obvious that they had been suck-ups themselves to get to where they are. A good employer doesn't spend his or her whole time in the office. He or she walks around and watches what others are doing and takes note of who is doing their job properly, and who isn't. The good employer treats his subordinates and superiors with respect, but isn't a suck-up. The good employee does his or her job the best they can, no matter the opposition against them. But it is best to remember, that the more you are bullied, the better of a job you are actually doing! So keep on working hard, my friends. It is difficult to suffer through the bullying, but hard work with positive results is its own reward, and nobody can take it away from your heart and memory, even if someone else tries to take the credit for what you've done. As long as you know in your mind and believe in your heart that you did a good job, and did the best you could do, you are a winner and a champion, and you deserve proper treatment, and respect... And a promotion and a big fat raise!
Don't be a bully. Be a STAR. Show Tolerance And Respect. Check that out online at

I am most interested to read your story when you post it. Thank you for sharing something of yourself here. It sounds like you have been through every form of nastiness workplace bullying can serve up, even to the point of losing your health and future income earning potential. I like what you said about no-one being able to take away from you your knowledge that you did a good job. That is a point of sanity. I would like to see more about strategies that can help lessen the impact of workplace bullying. You have experienced the full gamut of impact, by the sound of it, and at such a young age! I hope you were able to get well compensated for your loss through the courts.

Thank you greatly for your very kind and respectful reply, Perseverer. And you're right. My life has been filled with so much crap, I feel like a sewer sometimes. But it is what I learned AFTER all the disasters, that make me who I am today, and I like to think of myself as a better and wiser person because of it. Once I finish that story, I'll let you know. But what i can say for now is that being passive or aggressive never works. We have to be ASSERTIVE, and defend ourselves, but also not lose our self control when we face opposition. We make ourselves who we are by our own choices, and even when we face trouble, or pleasant things, it is how we choose to respond that makes us who we truly are. With self-patience, self-confidence and self-respect, we can overcome every difficulty. As my army unit motto said, "Nec Aspera Terrent", which translated from the Latin, means, "No difficulty terrifies us," or "Fear no obstacles." No matter how afraid we are, we must be strong, and choose to do what is right, because if we do the wrong thing, we will suffer even more. I pray and give my best wishes to all those who have been bullied. But my prayer is not that the bullies stop their bullying - My prayer is for those who were bullied to gain the strength to stand up against the bully and fight the good fight, for their human right to be respected. But they should fight in a positive and polite way, so that when they win, they know that they have not become bullies themselves during the fight, because they did something negative or harmful to someone else. The Bible says that the meek shall inherit the earth. To be meek does not mean to be weak. Those who are positive, strong and assertive will gain all the goodness that the earth and the Lord can give as a reward for our positive choices in how we behave with others and how we look inwardly to ourselves.

Beautifully said, Napekisser. Thank you for the Latin quote; I will remember it.

Yes, I can totally relate. I have obsessive worry... OCD...with GAD and Clinical depression and vulnerability issues. I am on SSDI because of this. When I went to work I would get physically sick. Then, I was A WHIRLWIND! I worked so hard, not because I was just a good worker, but because I felt my job depended on it. Basically, everytime I wnet to work, I felt like I was taking an SAT test to get into college! Except this test was based more critticle. You past the test or you fail, get fired or the boss creates life so hard for you at work that you have to quit so they can get someone else in to take your place.// AND, who knows? The boss might have a friend whose son needs a job and feels obligated to jostle him in and you get selected to be replaced. Instead of firing you... he slowly pushes you until you so pressured that you start going crazy and have to quit. Then he doesn't have to pay you unimployment.// Then you have to worry about your co-workers. You work so hard, creating distractions to keep your mind off those fears of yours that the other employees get jealous of you. They feel threatened by you. So, they complain about you: anything they can find. The insecure bully knows what to do. He sucks up to the boss, befriends him and tries to make himself look good in his bosses' eyes. He/she just doesn't want to work, complains about their back... stays stagnenent like some piece of driftwood stuck on the bank and must sit... and they believe there is too much work to get it all done. And, YOU are doing 2 to 3 times more work than they are. You become a threat to the laxy bully. "You must be dealt with," the bully thinks. "What can I find? How can I pick on you!"// It doesn't matter. In my case, the boss (manager) didn't care for me, but needed a position filled. I had worked for another store (south store) owned by the same owner and this manager didn't like that other that store. Actually, no one did who worked in my store (north store) store. Rivalry between stores, basically. Yet, the owners Son, who worked at this "forbidden south store" store loved me, since I worked so hard. So, the Owner loved me, too. The Son graduated to Vice President, and still worked at the "forbidden south store." The owner worked in the central office at the "north store" where I was having trouble. So, it was like this. The employee who hated me, kept nagging the manager who didn't care for me. The Owner loved me, yet, stayed up in His "castle" like office and never came down.// I was chewed out by the manager and theatened for helping customers, TOO MUCH! (what?) That same day, I was approached by the Owner, a letter in hand. This letter was from the person I helped "too much" saying how fantastic I was! The owner parraded me around to all his office staff... not the people who counted, like the manager or the employees... but just his office staff... and gave me a pat on the back for a job well done. Dammed if I do and dammed if I don't. If I complain to the Owner about eh manager, The manager hates me more, and everything gets worse. I get into the middle. I had to quit! The anxiety was too overwhelming.// It is not fair when you work hard, take pride in what you are doing and take pride in the business itself, and put up with lazy people who do not want to work, who suck up to the boss for security and destroy all those who are around them so they can keep their job. It ain't right...

No, it certainly aint right. You did well at your job and you were a valued employee by the owner. In spite of that, you were psychologically pressured to quit your job! I have seen that happen so many times .... the boss wants a particular person, maybe a relative or a friend, or even somebody who goes to the same church, and squeezes a perfectly good employee out of her job to make room. I do not understand how people can be so callous. You deserved much better than this. I hope you have found a new job that gives you satisfaction.

Well I think some times it is not that much complex from my experience.It depends on the resume,the age,graduation country and sometimes nationality.

If those are bad no matter how much you do good work anyone could ask the manager to kick you out at any time and he will accept.

Sometimes it is even worse.You may get a temporary job (few months) to learn their young employees your skills while you think your job is a permenant job(2-3 years).I found to many companies like to do that...

I expected that my last job could be a temporary job (Because of my age and resume) so I asked for a big salary.So when they told me we cannot transfer your sponsorship (As they promised 10 months and 20 days ago) and make some pressure on me to resign I was not very sad...

You should learn from your past (as I did) if you didn't find someone who give you advice.

I don't believe in giving up.I keep trying not to slow down.I have goals in my life

I started my own business hoping to succeed.Hope success to all of us...

Congratulations on maintaining a positive attitude. I wish you every success in starting your own business.

Stand up to bullies. They're nothing but humans powered by hot air and other gases.

And the means of control. They are the ones hiring and firing and paying. Everyone would like to think that they can beat the bully boys. But it is not that straightforward. You are right though. Bullies do need to be stood up to. It would help if there was recourse to the law.

Stand up with a clear, sharp mind, your best tool to evaluate the situation and to respond properly. Immediate response is crucial. As soon as you detect the problem, move to address it. Never let a bad situation sprout into a disaster.

More masculine than feminine? You are truly wacked out of your mind! maybe in White world women are timid to stand up for themselves. But women in other races will give you a good kick in the *** verbally OR physically!

Please do not wilfully misunderstand what I said. My reference to gender differences was specifically about the inclination to vocally promote oneself in the workplace. My opinion is well founded as studies about the different traits displayed by men and women have shown that men tend to boast about their achievements whereas women do not. If you google the subject you will find that much research has been done about the different traits men and women display in the workplace.

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I think many people who are competent and intelligent have to experience these things at least once in their lifetime. I say at least once because, fortunatelly if you are really inteligent, afterwards you try to avoid it happening again by "keeping your enemies even closer". Of course this works in theory, but in practice is not so easy. Incompetence and sense of unfairness is frustrating and quite difficult to hide at most times, especially if you're naive enough to believe that hard and competent work results count. Your employer usually has no idea who delivered the results and your coworkers will often take credit for your work.

Very true. You have to be vocal in promoting yourself, I have learned, and that is more a masculine trait than a feminine one. And yes, I know the one about co-workers taking the credit for your work.

Jedonlan5, this sounds exactly like an experience I had a few years ago. New to a job, I was introduced to the senior person in my position. At first sight, she couldn't stand me. Why, I don't know. By the end of the week she was cursing me out in front of my team (true corporate cowards - one kissing up to her for her own self promotion, the other guy turned into a complete jellyfish, fearing for his own job). My supervisor excused her behavior on the fact she was pregnant (she was not when this all started), and the boss over her admired her 'killer attitude'. He had a rather disengenuous look of sorrow/glee when he told me he didn't like letting me go from the contract. Regardless, this senior colleague would spread rumors about me, denigrate myself and my work (an obvious joke, if the bosses cared to look into it, because my customers and my previous employers commended me). I would hear colleagues I barely knew talking about me and my behavior. Of coarse, confronting them didn't help. People were afraid of her. I myself would wake up in the middle of the night, hearing an insult from her, more than once.
My take on it is, in a competitive world, which it is and gets worse, hard work is not enough. Politics is truly important. Even if my overall boss wasn't a sicko, he'd still not have enough contact with my team to know the truth, and would base a judgement on appearances. Hard work doesn't make it up to his level other than as a team result, the individual is only judged by appearances. She was humorless and stressed all the time, ie, she cared about her work. I was lost in thought or had my head in my work, and appear relaxed only because of my confidence in my work. Relaxed is NOT good in the work place, so I was gone. Add to this a bad word here and there about me, and I left that office wondering if all the wacked people going postal today are not a result of humans reaching the limit of office politics and work pressure, baked into one nut-filled job. Of coarse not, I know. These are worse cowards. But the anger I kept in me lingers. It remains, and I am always on the lookout for anyone at work who even jokingly tries to push me around. What do you do in a new job when someone takes badly to you? Rock the boat in the first week?
The only advice I could give is ALWAYS keep your ears open for new work, even if you're happy with your present job. If you can't work with someone, and aren't supported by the management (almost never are), and you are truly a good worker, jump ship. Nobody at the company will care, but you will save your soul.

Yes, leaving might be the only recourse in a workplace. I agree with what you are saying about hard work not being enough, that politics also count. My tactic is to throw what has been said back at the person who said it in public situations, so that they must be publicly accountable. People don't like me, but they are careful what they say about me, too.

i was forced to resign from the job i loved because i was bullied out of it by a new managment team who felt threatened by my knowledge and previous experience in their positions. it still haunts me as i havnt realy worked since in fact im now retired from all but voluntary work.

That is an absolute tragedy. This is where employees need to have representation and a voice that cannot be silenced at whim.

I had a terrible workplace experience with a bully. It does happen and in my case, it was because I came into "her" territory and was competent and innovative with my approach to my job. I was a diligent worker and grateful to have a job. And I spent 8 hours a day in the same room with my tormentor and knew how she acted and that she did very little work. I didn't want to make waves, but could not take the bullying anymore. I reported it to my supervisor, to the manager of the department and to HR. After an HR "investigation", during which I was made to feel like I was crazy, both the bully and I were made to sign an agreement about how we were to work together. Yes, I had to sign it too, as if I had caused her behavior. If I didn't sign the agreement I would lose my job. Turns out it didn't matter. I lost my job anyway. I asked HR why I was being let go and was told "you signed the agreement, didn't you?", but they never said what I did that violated it and I never got a reason for losing my job. The worst part was that I was employed by the college I graduated from and now I feel ashamed to be an alumni of that place. Also, my son goes there. The whole experience changed my identity forever.

I imagine such a soul destroying experience as yours would change your identity for ever. Obviously the concept of loyalty was totally lost on these people. The process of natural justice should ensure that if someone complains about you in the workplace, you have the right to know the exact complaint; you have the right to know who made it, and you have the right of reply. To bully someone for reasons of vanity to the point where their livelihood is threatened or lost is the very worst kind of bullying in my opinion.

Such a sad and upsetting experience. Hope you have been able to move on in life. Yes, it does leave you changed. Your description of the bully -- as someone who did little work -- so resonated with me. btw, HR works for management... no help there.

I work in a professional office and have been for close to 25 years. Bullying is not tolerated and people can be fired. As of late, three woman acted up and had to be out in their place. Now, they still act like everyone 'owes' them. It will only take one more screw-up for one or two to be fired.

I also worked a part-time job for over 10 years. The owner was very bossy and two years ago I started having pains and resigned. She kept trying to talk me into coming back and I said no. It has been close to two years and she has yet to find a replacememt.

Bullies need put in their place!

If only all work places were as committed to the health and happiness of the staff as yours! I totally agree with you; bullies do need to be put in their place - by the law, if need be.

your right i have just gone through a similar situation i worked at a waggon garage in bradford when i started it was agood job but a new boss came and he over doubled my workload and in two yrs i was physically worn out so he terminated my employment due to ill health he also bullied another two guys so much they just walked out the bosses today expect far too much

If the demands are so great that your health is affected then yes, the expectation is way too much. Everyone loses in the end including the boss. If only everyone could see that!

You are so right, it's physically and emotinally draining and the stress kills you each morning. What would you do if the management doesn't see that, this one person has made pretty much everyone's life miserable, she makes it a point to bully everyone and when people just back off thinking they don't have a chance, she thinks its out of respect ... cheese I wish someone could tell her that not many people have even a little respect for her, I cannot imagine how someone can make people's life miserable like this and still be able to sleep at night :|

Indeed. I wonder this too. But they don't even see it that way. They surround themselves with crawlers. Unionisation is one way to have a voice.

It's physically and emotionally draining enough to struggle to keep up with the pace of hard work (and deal with cranky customers) without having to worry about bullies. Bullies are lowlife monsters who suck the life out of decent people. After it has been thoroughly VERIFIED that workplace abuse has taken place, the bully should be FIRED on the spot with no severance pay and a bad reference.

I completely agree. They should be fired with a bad reference. Too many times, people just look the other way when someone is getting bullied and/or tell the victim to stand up for themselves. It is everyone's problem, not just the target's, and should never be tolerated.

Unfortunately, the people doing the firing are the ones condoning the bullying. Any dismissal process needs to occur due to an outside influence, unless someone can think of a better way of justice being done. The only recourse really is to leave that workplace, especially if the employer owns the means of production. Government jobs might have a better chance of being independently reviewed.

this was very emotive i have suffered at the hands of a work place bully and her sheep and had the resulting breakdown. now im away from this and im determined to never let it happen again :)

I am so sorry. It is not quickly recovered from, either. I hope your next workplace is a happier one for you.

I can so relate to this, it's like someone had gone into my thoughts and written it word to word.

As you said, burn out and break outs will keep on happening but we might never see a change in the structure.

I feel like unless there is workplace protection legislation and a system of independent review then the only recourse one has is to leave and risk not being able to find another job.

Yes you are right but in an economy like this people take torture over insecurity, oh how much I want to leave, its like this need that I just want to get out of here but after 12 years in a company and then starting over scares the life out of me plus the necessities for living ... :(

sadly, in my case, for the most part I am bullied by my managers. They have their favorites and when one of them tattles no one gets questioned. Most of the time I'm the one getting punished because I'm the outsider. I mean, moving to a new town after many years after a long abusive ,traumatic, emotionally scarring marriage maybe these people would be accepting. NO! They cut my hours every chance over stupid things. I try to defend myself and it gets worse. My manager went so far as telling me not to speak to anyone because they hate my voice......all I can say is, bullying never stops, there are far too many ignorant people......

I totally understand what you are going through and how you are feeling. I have been tattled on too and although I exercised my right to reply, it has just made things worse. I am being branded in the worst possible way. One of my bosses told me, when trying to justify himself over his favouritism, "Well, you can't help people wanting to support the better looking person."

They also have very good intentions of contributing to the company and see it grow and become successful. Then comes along the office bully who feels threatened by the working person who might actually bring about a positive change. So the bully must try and brain wash the boss to get rid of the working working. The worst thing is the Boss went along with it. Now the company is on the verge of collapsing. Deep down the working person is secretly happy to see it go down like a titanic..speaking as a thrid person :)

Unfortunately, some people only learn life's lessons the hard way, at a great cost to other people. If someone cannot rise above personal feelings an d prejudices to act in the interests of the common good, then he should not be in a position of management.

Amazing that it is always after you have had enough, burt out, and disgusted that you have to leave a job because one loser staff member has it out for you because you are smart, competent and a good employee that you quit your job. The loser employee is so insecure they do anything to make your life miserable everyday at the workplace. I have had it happen as well. Karma will come around in due time for them... It always does.
Unfortunate that we have to quit our jobs, put our life in a different road because of others pathetic insecurities - always after you leave they see the loser employee is just a weak, sad, insecure - non hard working poison.

Self confidence and self assurance matters but little when one is in such a workplace. What hurts the most is not so much that our skills and achievements are undermined, but that those in control wilfully ignore it for personal reasons and attack us in underhanded ways purely to suave their fragile egos. So much loss, so much waste. I am sorry that this has happened to you and all I can say is, I hope one day that you are the one who gets to be in control.

Oh, I could have written this! You know, when it happened to me on my last job, which DID force me to burn out & stop working, I really felt isolated and the only one. There is no one to turn to in this instant. Are others so blind to this? Everyone, except a subsequent therapist, called me a weak, pushover who made herself available for such activity. And I was accused of being paranoid. Now I know that I'm none of those things. I am glad, however, to be away from the poison.

I am glad you finally learned not to believe the negativity. But at what a price! I do believe these people tell themselves whatever makes them feel psychologically comfortable. They certainly do not see it from your perspective. Yes, that is exactly how they operate, to say in the face of their own dreadful actions that YOU are the one being weak, YOU are the incompetent one; the bad effects are not because of their ill informed decisions but because of YOU.

A fellow employee tried to bully me when I began work as a government employee. Fortunately I came in as management after much success in the private sector. I was in my late 30's so had much success behind me. As I began to see what she was going, I began to document her tactics. I also asked for some communication in writing from her.

In talking with others I found this was a common practice for this employee to target other people in management when she felt threatened by their competence.

After documenting different times she told me he said to do something when he had not, and preparing, I went to see the Director. She was his secretary. I showed him what I had, told him what had happened, explained this was common knowledge she did this throughout the office and I was not going to accept it. Nor was I going to quit as many had done before me.

He arranged a meeting for the three of us and I presented my information and complaint. I had already told him if he did not address the issue, I would take the information to the Board to whom he answered.

He was not happy about this and his secretary was furious. He asked her why she had done this and she answered, "I just don't like her." He asked me what I wanted and I said "Communication from her to me always in writing." It did not make the most pleasant work situation, but I made him look good so he did not even try to fire me even though I always believed he would have had he not known he would have gotten into trouble if this was known outside the office. I have no idea why he let her get away with that so long and I never cared. I was there to earn a living and let him know that.

Sometimes we have to stand up for ourselves. Sometimes it is just better to leave, but had I been young this might have affected my feelings about my competence since the young are not as prepared as I with my background.

If you know you are right just do what is best for you and move on.

You did well to document what was happening and cover yourself. But isn't it interesting how the boss didn't like having to deal with it, even to protect the workplace environment of a valued employee. They just want to make the sicko one happy. You are quite right; you do have to protect your interests and keep records. I have also had confrontations with the powers that be in the presence of the bullying staff member. It stopped the harassment in some respects but now she works overtime to undermine me in other ways.

What amazes me, is that my work makes others look good as well, while those very same people are "setting me up" to look bad, like pure "sabotage".... I'm one to always try to make the best of things, as long as I must work, but it's like these jerks are "living in a soap opera" or something...yes-sir-ree folks, mental illnes is alive and well...even among the so-called "productive people" in our blessed society!!!....

Yup; it is like the wind; you cannot see it, but you can see by the effects and by peoples' reactions that it is there. You find yourself thwarted and undermined in a zillion ways. Your input is no longer required. Your effort was not worth mentioning, but the poorer efforts were lionised. Your ordered resources end up going to someone else etc etc

Excellent analogy! thanks for posting this....I just found it in my the EP guys!

Due to health issues...I"m no longer employed....but seriously reminded me of the "good ole days"

I am really sorry this has happened to you. Are your health issues due to workplace stress? Anyhow, I hope you are resting and recuperating.

Yes, they were...but a few years later, I came down with diabetes, DPN [nerve damage-complications from diabetes], and a host of other inconviences from those's kind of a balancing game w/health problems...Thank you for your kindness/asking also....Hope things are better for you, too!!!

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Soooooooooooo, true. I rescently changed jobs because of this. I was at the previous job for 7 yrs and one day I just had it. I found another job that actually pays less but also got a PT job to make up the difference and quit the 7 yr job just because I was done with all the crap. No matter how hard I tried, I got talked about, I got blamed for other who didn't do their job....etc. I actually found out last wk that the SM said he nevere should have allowed for me to leave, they should have done something about it. I guess he learned a lesson and maybe he looks at things differently. But now I have to start all over again.........o well, such is life. I'm happier now with not having as much stress, hopefully it stays that way.

You took a dramatic turn in the interests of your health and I am glad that it has paid off for you. I think that leaving the workplace is, in fact, the only solution for workplace bullying. Maybe you did make your boss sit up and take notice, but even if you had remained, the behaviours would probably have continued regardless.

I know exactly how you feel, as I was bullied at all three of my previous workplaces. I was even carpeted for being frightened of the boss's dog at the second of those, while my last supervisor made me photocopy large amounts of forms; whenever the photocopier jammed, I'd go into meltdown because I was so scared of her. I have had only two permanent jobs since I left my last permanent position in '07; I had to provide round-the-clock care to my late father while holding down my last job.

I must stress that I was happy for most of my 7 years at my last permanent post; it was towards the end that the bullying took place. I was also bullied by my primary school teachers for loving classical music and being introspective, and by a swimming instructor on a trip to the baths for being nervous of water. I know that not being able to swim is a disgrace, but I don't like it, full stop.

Not strange. Not badly behaved. Just different. That's me, and it harms nobody.

I agree. But it seems that when an employee harms no one, it's reason enough to target him or her by a bully. I was at my last job for ten years. Always got along well with my immediate supervisor and colleagues. Then this new grad came in and started a**-kissing my boss to hire more of this new grad's classmates. And she did. And, these new grads, en masse, would convince the boss that current employees were "not good enough or not competent" and managed to get rid of them only to be replaced by more of these minions' college-mates, one by one, finally including me. I was told that the day I was let go, my ex-boss, literally, one hour after I left, was on the phone calling yet another of the flatterer's friend that she got my former full time position!

Wow, do I ever know how that feels! I know that sick feeling you get when your boss is listening to someone with less experience and less qualification. It is worse when the boss himself is not as well qualified or experienced. You find yourself subject to decisions that were made in your absence, decisions made by people who know nothing about that particular area of skill. I know what it is like to suddenly find yourself in a workplace that is less about the job at hand than about the employees feeling they all belong to a particular milieu. One of my former bosses used to employ people connected with her son's football club.

How wonderful to see that you can express it so well for all of us who have fall victims of workplace bullying . I am one and find that I have lost my drive and spirit and motivation in going back in the workforce.

I am very sorry that you went through this. Workplace bullying really takes its toll on your life; it is so far reaching and totally debilitating. Psychological stress. I can only pray that you and everyone else who has been through this find a place of healing and strength.

@perserver you said "Workplace bullying really takes its toll on your life; it is so far reaching and totally debilitating".........I know that first hand. I could not sleep but maybe 2-3 hrs a night. I never dreamt anymore (which is very very bad). My body hurt all the time. I had chest pains and I cried every day on the way to and from work, but especially to work, wanting to be in a car accident on the way. I became a bit of a recluse because I just didn;t want to be around people anymore. I'm better now that I have been gone from that job for 3 months, but, I'm still struggling with being with people again, but, much much better. I actually dream again. And people from the former job whom I've run into have said I look really good :)

Wow! Have you hit the nail on the head with this story. Thanks for expressing what I am experiencing but unable to express myself. Workplace bullying is destructive mentally and physiclly upon the one being bullied. There is no difference from this and school bullying, and it is so sad when adults carry on the bullying from their own childhood. They just find different victims. In the end, bullying is what it is, and that is the oppression of one individual over another. A bullied child can go to the authorities; a bullied coworker can go nowhere. How sad this is.

The tragedy is that workplaces can be truly great for everyone when the staff honour and respect one another and work together as a team. When the boss's psychological problems are causing imbalances, what you end up with is behind the scenes power struggles, disrespect, fear and distrust. Employees end up taking inordinate amounts of leave to try and cope physically and emotionally, and the people being served also end up being short changed on service by a less than fully effective staff.

I recognise much of what you say. One thing I think you missed out; the perpetrators are often people promoted beyond their abilities, they are often crawlers who ingratiated themselves with their superiors and kissed a lot of *** to get up the ladder; basically, they fear anyone who is obviously smarter than themselves.

You have hit the nail right on the head. That is exactly what has happened in my workplace. I am extremely concerned for all our staff under the present circumstances.

Thanks to you and everyone else that are so eloquently describing the effects of Workplace Bullying as well as the role of bystanders and cohorts. My life has been devastated by this It has been nearly two years and I am yet still without a job and searching diligently. My PTSD rages on each night and morning as I awake. I have a totally different feeling about the world in general and everything is foreign and abnormal.

It's like a war zone with no rules. I can't believe what can happen to you and how company officials will participate and encourage the harm. They will provide cover to bullies and oust the once known competent, ethical and kind employee. The attacks will be built on personal content and directed at your character (however knowingly ridiculous) as well as your entire self. It will be pervasive and escalate the more that you ignore the bullies and thrive. They will not relent and will seek assistance in pulling you down and eroding your self confidence and finally taking away your economic stability. Next up, your once productive thriving family will be downtrodden and broken.

Why won't lawmakers get their heads out of the sand and pass legislation against worker abuse bullying to demand psychologically healthy and respectful workplaces. They must pass the Healthy Workplace Bill or employers will keep the mob mentality and retaliate against productive employees siding with the fray, nomatter what the situation. If they don't have to protect...they certainly will not.

Why won't they, indeed. New Zealand has such legislation and the first person vindicated under it received significant compensation. There is a splendid book on the subject by New Zealander Andrea Needham called simply, "Workplace Bullying".

Thank you for your heartfelt comment. My heart goes out to you and I am deeply sorry that you have suffered this. I can relate to every single thing you said. And I am with you 100% on the need for legislation to protect psychologically healthy and respectful workplaces.

Stopabuse, you see things as they are. I am sorry you had to experience work place bullying to such a degree. It is so true that the bullying escalates as the one being bullied works very hard to ignore the bullies. The harder the bullies work to destroy the worker, the more the person's defenses break down until, as you say, the self confidence is eroded to an irreparable level. Think of a pack of dogs. A once proud and confident pooch is brought to one that always holds his head down and has his tail between his legs. Eventually, he turns tail and runs away from the pack, desperately trying to fend for himself. He becomes weak and wears away to nothing but skin and bones. This is what happens to the bullied employee.
All bullying needs to end once and for all. A worldwide force against bullying could not be stopped!
Thanks for writing such an honest and thoughtful reply.