b Self-Helpless: True Tales of a Working Girl: A Little Late to the Bully Club

11/03/2006

 

A Little Late to the Bully Club

There were a couple of people that brought this Yahoo! article about workplace bullying to my attention. So I figured I now had to make some kind of mention of it. Frankly, this writer is a little late to the game. However, what I want to mention is the common mistake that these writers make, this woman included. They think that the problem continues because:

“Most bully victims keep their mouths shut, whispering their horrid experiences to close friends rather than higher-ups.”

While this may be true in some cases, let’s look at some other things that might be going on here.

How likely is that the bully in question is completely undiscovered? Not bloody likely. The only case I think that a bully might be getting away scott-free is if they’re new to the team and there isn’t anyone that knows what this person is truly capable of. For the most part, there’s always someone that knows what’s really going on. In my case, not only did other employees know about my boss (from firsthand experience), but my boss’ boss knew - and let it continue. I mean, let's face it; if a supervisor delivers results, their bosses may not care or question how they go about doing their job - as long as they do it.

For me, it took a little while but I eventually did go to the “higher-ups”. When I did, they did nothing. So not only was I wrongfully accused of being a bad employee, when I took my documentation to the higher-ups to clear my name, I was then viewed as a troublemaker. I know I’m not alone in this: there are employees everywhere that try to do something about their situation and are shut out by those that can help them. Instead of helping, it makes their situation even worse – if you can possibly imagine that.

So, those that don’t speak up may not be wrong by keeping silent. You may ask, “Well how much worse could it actually make their situation?” The answer is: MUCH WORSE.

Let’s be clear on this point: The reason bullying continues is largely because the bullying behavior is backed by others – not because the subordinates (or other coworkers) are keeping their mouths shut.

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