b Self-Helpless: True Tales of a Working Girl: It Has a Name: Workplace Bullying

12/14/2005

 

It Has a Name: Workplace Bullying

This is an interesting website: http://www.bullyonline.org/workbully/bully.htm#Why

It talks about bullies at work and goes further into detail about what bullying is, who is targeted, why it happens, etc.

Although it is encouraging that there exists a fair amount of information on the topic, it sucks that it’s happening to me. I used to love my job. No joke, it all changed in one day.

The site's bullying list is very long so I’ll summarize some points most relevant to my circumstance (my notes are in Italics):

People who are bullied find that they are:

1: Constantly criticized and subjected to destructive criticism (often euphemistically called constructive criticism, which is an oxymoron) - explanations and proof of achievement are ridiculed, overruled, dismissed or ignored.

Last summer, in an effort to push for a promotion, I developed enhancements to a weekly report that I published. This enhancement made it possible to finish the report faster and in a more streamlined manner. It didn’t rival the invention of the wheel, but it was an enhancement to make the report flow smoother and save valuable time.

To say that it was shot down is an understatement. “Miss Manager” may as well have blown her nose with the report. Long story short, I didn’t get the promotion and when all was said and done it reared its ugly head in my annual review. When my Idiot Boss brought up my contributions, she said only that “there may have been one or two” but that they were “of no consequence”. Thank you for stomping all over my intelligence and self-confidence you flea-minded twit.

In the end, I was moved into a different job and my report enhancement never came to fruition. However, my old job was then split up and given to a team of 4 people. So, I’m guessing that they had the time to do the report the long way. More power to ‘em.

2: Forever subject to nit-picking and trivial fault-finding (the triviality is the giveaway).

This fits “Miss Manager” like a glove. Let’s see, should I mention the grammatical corrections (“this comma belongs here instead of here” and “this word needs to be bold and in blue Arial font” – or any variation thereof. How about I shove that comma down your throat in an active grenade?)? For further details please see my blog from 12/12: Revenge_of_the_Parentheses

3: Undermined, especially in front of others; false concerns are raised, or doubts are expressed over a person's performance or standard of work - however, the doubts lack substantive and quantifiable evidence, for they are only the bully's unreliable opinion and are for control, not performance enhancement

My oh my, this just keeps getting better. I’m beginning to wonder if the term “work-place bullying” was coined just for me.

“Miss Manager” has harangued me on this very point in my annual review and in my daily performance. Yet she gives no examples. I wonder why?


4: Isolated and excluded from what's happening (this makes people more vulnerable and easier to control and subjugate).

About a year and a half ago there was a full-time contingent employee who was brought in to “help out” on my team – but not under my supervision (I was already a departmental pariah by then).

In our previous building, my office was immediately next to my Idiot Boss’ office.

One day, I watched as this temp walked into her office followed behind Idiot Boss’ boss, “Miss Understand”. Since the office was next to mine and they left the door open, I could hear what they were discussing: Work directly related to my management area. So now all the alarms in my head went off and I got up and stood in her doorway.

Idiot Boss’ boss, “Miss Understand” gave me their back and not once attempted to make eye contact with me. Am I really that intimidating? Or was the scenery out the window more interesting? We'll never really know.

I asked “Miss Manager” if there was a meeting that they forgot to tell me about.

She looked right at me and answered “No”. Then she broke out in nice red splotches all over her neck, which meant that I at least made her uncomfortable. She then proceeded to tell me that they were discussing something completely different. So she lied to me – out-right lied to my face. Either they thought I was too stupid to realize it or they just didn’t care. That’s a nice touch, I thought.


5: Set unrealistic goals and deadlines which are unachievable or which are changed without notice or reason or whenever they get near achieving them.

Someone must be spying on me… this list is REALLY accurate!!!

6: Subject to excessive monitoring, supervision, micro-management, recording, snooping etc.

Did I also mention that I was required to submit a daily status report… for a year???


Targets of bullying usually have these qualities:

Popularity (this stimulates jealousy in the less-than-popular bully):

I would say this applied to me… people used to think that I was “Miss Manager”’s supervisor.

Competence (this stimulates envy in the less-than-competent bully):

As long as she’s working 18-20 hours a day, I will always be more competent than her. No kidding, she BRAGS about working on her weekends.
I have and appreciate the ability to work SMARTER. Anyone with half a brain would realize that something was wrong and needed to be re-thought. Might I suggest a new strategy? Use your head -- it’s that lump about 3 feet above your ass.


Intelligence and intellect:

Intelligence, me… intellect, me… That’s 2 for me and NONE for you!

A sense of humor, including displays of quick-wittedness:

A butter knife is sharper than my Idiot Boss.

Ability to master new skills:

It’s called the English language – learn how to use it! Take a public speaking class or something because when it comes to clarifying a point, simply repeating the same thing over and over explains nothing and people do NOT understand you! It’s like shouting at a deaf person – they won’t hear you and frankly, it’s embarrassing.

Helpful, always willing to share knowledge and experience:

Oh boy, am I head and shoulders above you on this one.

You know, I'd like to say that I could go on and on but then I'd have nothing to publish tomorrow. But that would be wrong. I could go on and on and still have tales to tell from here ad infinitum. As a matter of fact, these tales are the basis for the book that I'm writing.

Stick around, I'm just getting started.

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