Definition of Workplace Bullying

Workplace Bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators that takes one or more of the following forms:
*Verbal abuse

*Offensive conduct/behaviors (including nonverbal) which are threatening, humiliating, or intimidating

*Work interference — sabotage — which prevents work from getting done
"Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life, but define yourself.”
~Harvey S. Firestone

Monday, August 29, 2011

Interesting Facebook emails a month prior to the target being me!

I was looking over some facebook emails and want to kick myself right in the butt.  I have always been a person who would defend a person being bullied, stand up for others in need and advocate for others when need be.  I think that is the most disappointing thing about re-reading these facebook emails, although there were some issues with this particular co-worker, every few months he/she was the "targeted" employee.  Defending him or her, pointing out positive factual stuff and even joking that the bullying boss was never going to fire this co-worker, never stopped the bullying this co-worker experienced for nearly 3 years, the abuse was consistent.  In the end, this co-worker played the game with the bullying boss against me and funny thing, the bullying boss looked to this co-worker to help target me. 

Maybe "birds of feather flock together".  I wonder if a bully surrounds themselves with followers, insecure and like people? Or do they play people around them to catch them in their web of dysfunction?

The signs were there and the comments about another "targeted"co-worker clearly shows his/her narcissitic/bullying thought process.  Here is a glimpse of the bullying boss in action and his/her thoughts about the "targeted" co-worker:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dr. Jekyll appears more clearly

Where to begin, hmmm?It is almost one year to the date I had a personal encounter with Dr. Jekyll.  Here a glimpse of  the "craziness" created by Dr. Jekyll.  Trying to keep these blogs as neutral as possible, not giving exact dates, times and places or situations.  So, here is how the story began.  I had asked off of work for a specific date about a month in advance and was given the green light by the bullying boss.

First, I need to back up a week earlier from my approved day off.  My family had a big function going on and the bullying boss was invited, along with members of his/her family.  At one point during this function, a conversation took place regarding needing to make sure there was coordination of some items prior to my vacation day, vacation weekend.  Yes, the bullying boss, along with a member of his/her family and one from my family discussed the items and when I would need to get them.  The bullying boss knew clearly the date I was taking my vacation day, I was going to get these needed items from him/her.

"Craziness" inserted, Dr. Jekyll appears.  As I was driving on my vacation day, I receive an email from bullying boss and the nightmare begins.  In his/her email she/he asks where I am and that she/he was told by other employees that I was taking the day off.  I emailed him/her back, explained this was approved by him/her and I was over 5 hours away from home.  His/her response was I just did not show up for work, blah blah blah.  I was really offended and could not believe this was happening.  I had never not just showed up for a job, was frantic and if I would of been closer to home, would of turned around, canceled my plans and went to work.  In the meantime, I called another employee to get a better understanding of the severity of my situation.  Sadly, Dr. Jekyll already struck and made it well know in the office that I had not shown up for work and there was no previous knowledge of my vacation day (this was confirmed by others in the office too).  I was beside myself, professionally and personally, the picture the bullying boss had painted was in no way apart of my character.

I vented for a while to my husband/wife and when I arrived at my destination took a moment to respond to his/her email.  In the email I responded in a professional manner, offering my apologizes for any misunderstanding and (knowing he/she already gossiped about me to other employees) explained the importance of my professional image to an employer and co-workers.  You will be surprised, Dr. Hyde showed up for a brief moment and sent an email response everything was fine, blah blah blah.  I knew his/her pattern of gossiping about his/her employees and knew my name was being trashed.  I was deeply insulted and hurt.  Looking back, had the bullying boss NOT gossiped about his/her thoughts to my co-workers and lied..

If you have been bullied you understand and can relate to the Dr. Jekyll persona trashing my reputation.  Everything I have read about bullies goes right to this point, they are not ethical people and if they are feeling threatened or are not the center of attention (narcisstic personality disorder), they are going to create "craziness".  As I wrote before, he/she was experiencing a pregnancy and with it came insecurity and uncertainty for him/her.  Keep in mind, the bullying boss was not happily married, at least the daily trashing of his/her husband/wife would lead one to believe this to be true.  Looking back and realizing a bully or someone who suffers from narcissitic personality disorder is a very insecure, unhappy and ugly person.  Maybe he/she was the only problem in the troubled marriage.  I just had a analytical thought, can you visualize this in an office week after week, month after month...

The bullying boss would put the wrath of the Dr. Jekyll on his/her husband/wife this week and the next week, yes I am not exaggerating, the next week Dr. Hyde would appear and they would be making out in his/her office.  Just another realization of how sick the bullying boss was!

And so, the beginning of my nightmare begins

Watch for the signs,


Monday, August 15, 2011

Serial Bullies Explored!

Let's try to understand the reality of a bully and relate their behavior to mental health.  I was reading an article about "seriel bullies" and wow, sure puts things in perspective.  I will highlight a number of points that seem the most prevalent and will provide the link to read additional information.

The serial bully;

1. "has a Jekyll and Hyde nature - is vile, vicious and vindictive in private, but innocent and charming in front of witnesses; no-one can (or wants to) believe this individual has a vindictive nature - only the current target of the serial bully's aggression sees both sides; whilst the Jekyll side is described as "charming" and convincing enough to deceive personnel, management and a tribunal, the Hyde side is frequently described as "evil"; Hyde is the real person, Jekyll is an act".  

This sure highlights my findings when it comes to the bulliedatwork situation and there are a number of situations, emails and conversations which describes this person's personality perfectly.  It is very frustrating looking back, I knew from the first moment I met her/him to the last moment I dealt with her/him that she/he was a Hyde person but the Jekyll persona keeps you off balance...and it is this persona which questions the red flags. 

2. "is a control freak and has a compulsive need to control everyone and everything you say, do, think and believe".

In reflecting back on my bulliedatwork ordeal, I realize control was the central focus in every aspect of the situation.  She/he wanted it her/his way or no way, she/he controlled others by making them fearful of her/his Dr. Jekyll, Dr. Hyde persona which made having control over others manipulative and down right shameful. 

3. "is highly manipulative, especially of people's perceptions and emotions (eg guilt)".

This goes with #2, highly manipulative, for sure.  She/he made sure she/he kept her/his hold on you by showing Dr. Jeykll to throw you off balance, making you believe her/his intentions for helping or doing something special was from the kindness of her/his heart.  Reality, it was about control and manipulation so when she/he turned into Dr. Hyde she/he believed and many times did control the response of others.  In my case, I understood the guilt that was being bestowed on every once of my being and any past good deeds she/he extended my way was the carrot to some day control/manipulate me. 

4. "poisons peoples' minds by manipulating their perceptions".

This fits right into the last two points with out having to add additional comments. 

5. "is arrogant, haughty, high-handed, and a know-all"

I laughed when I read this point because she/he had an issue with everyone, everything, only she/he knew or did all the right things.  Definitely a KNOW IT ALL and arrogant is an understatement. 

6. "often has an overwhelming, unhealthy and narcissistic attention-seeking need to portray themselves as a wonderful, kind, caring and compassionate person, in contrast to their behaviour and treatment of others; the bully sees nothing wrong with their behavior and chooses to remain oblivious to the discrepancy between how they like to be seen and how they are seen by others ".

This hits everything about her/him right in the gut.  If there was a meeting in the office, outside the office, lunch meeting, etc, it did not matter, she/he was going to talk about people in her/his life, focus on her/his issues, never listening to others or caring to allow others to get a word in edge wise...Narcissitic, attention seeking, definitely.  You have experienced a person like this in your personal life, work relationships and maybe in your own families.  Picture the person who walks in when others are talking, does not pay attention to the conversation at hand and jumps in to complain, gossip and does not shut up, talking about themselves.  Remember, it is all about them at all times. 

7. "uses gossip, back-stabbing or spreads rumours to undermine, discredit and isolate".

If people only knew or accepted that old saying your mother use to tell you, "if there talking about that person, they are talking about you".  I never did not think she/he was not talking behind my back, I accepted she/he was a gossip, heck, she/he talked about everyone from her/his own employees, her/his children, her/his parents, family members, friends, name it, she/he gossiped about every person.  Sadly, she/he felt so confident in her/his manipulation she/he would put things in emails, she/he did not care, as she/he said, "no one is that smart to keep the emails to use against me".  Hmmmm, never know what emails someone saves or how they may come back at some point to bite you.

I only highlighted part of the website, it is good reading but lengthy.  Serial bullies, this helps me to understand why over three years things would bounce from one person in the office, to a person in the bulliedatwork family or friends...just cannot help themselves since the pattern is a part of a mental health diagnosis. 

Take note


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Establishing history about a bully

After reading a number of books and articles about workplace bullies, I have come to realize that the "targeted" is usually more skilled and the bully feels threatened by their presence.  My bullying boss, "bullied" on a daily basis for nearly four months.  I have emails upon emails, pages upon pages of the daily abuse she/he dished out, all having the same message, you are an asset, you are doing a great job, blah blah blah with the underline tone of I am the boss, everyone else conforms to my rants and now it is your turn to do the same.  Looking back, she/he confirmed I was doing my job, I was an asset but that was not good enough, she/he wanted my dignity, my soul and all that I have stood for in my life.  I kept steady, pushing ahead, doing my job, bringing in business for her/his business and staying on target with clients.  Still, this was not good enough for her/him, she/he was feeling insecure about a current pregnancy his/her wife/husband had (making a comment, she/he usually fires people when she/he husband/wife is pregnant) and she/he intended to target me to make herself/himself feel better. 

I found this information off the Workplace Bullying Instistute website, it puts things into perspective for myself and hopefully for anyone else going through an ordeal like this.
Who Gets Targeted

Why Me?

Unlike schoolyard bullying, you were not targeted because you were a "loner" without friends to stand up to the bullying gang. Nor are you a weakling. Most likely, you were targeted (for reasons the instigator may or may not have known) because you posed a "threat" to him or her. The perception of threat is entirely in his/her mind, but it is what he/she feels and believes.  WBI research findings from our year 2000 study and conversations with thousands of targets have confirmed that targets appear to be the veteran and most skilled person in the workgroup.  Targets are independent. They refuse to be subservient. Bullies seek to enslave targets. When targets take steps to preserve their dignity, their right to be treated with respect, bullies escalate their campaigns of hatred and intimidation to wrest control of the target's work from the target.
Targets are more technically skilled than their bullies. They are the "go-to" veteran workers to whom new employees turn for guidance. Insecure bosses and co-workers can't stand to share credit for the recognition of talent. Bully bosses steal credit from skilled targets.  Targets are better liked, they have more social skills, and quite likely possess greater emotional intelligence. They have empathy (even for their bullies). Colleagues, customers, and management (with exception to the bullies and their sponsors) appreciate the warmth that the targets bring to the workplace. Targets are ethical and honest. Some targets are whistleblowers who expose fraudulent practices. Every whistleblower is bullied. Targets are not schemers or slimy con artists. They tend to be guileless. The most easily exploited targets are people with personalities founded on a prosocial orientation -- a desire to help, heal, teach, develop, nurture others.
Targets are non-confrontive. They do not respond to aggression with aggression. (They are thus morally superior.) But the price paid for apparent submissiveness is that the bully can act with impunity (as long as the employer also does nothing).

According to the 2007 WBI-Zogby Survey, 45% of targeted individuals suffer stress-related health problems. Additional findings regarding targets' health can be found in WBI research and the PTSD-related research by others posted at this site.

As I continue over the next few days to establish some understanding into workplace bullying and also the journey it took me on, I am hopeful that this will help educate you along with inspire you to continue to stand on your morals and know you are the better person for it. 

Goodnight for now,


Background History...Getting started

Lets start from the first moment I met my bullying boss.  It was many years ago, we were at a 50/50 raffle(to keep people anonymous, I will use he/she as not to draw attention to the gender of the individual(s).  I knew her/his name and a little about her/his dealings with individuals we were mutually acquainted with but this was the first time I had met her/him.  My initial intuition about her/him was that she/he liked being the center of attention, she/he was loud, opinionated and had a curt edge about her/him. 

We were seated at a round table with other couples, she/he never shut up and I remember thinking and saying to my husband/wife at one point, "she/he doesn't shut up".  I remember feeling uneasy being around her/him and she/he was not someone I would pick as a person to be involved with.  The evening ended and we all said our goodbyes...we did not see each other again until I went to work for her/him a few years later.  

I always believed in following your intuition, your gut, you know that little person deep in your soul that whispers, "hey, this is a bad thing or stay away from this person, or warning, warning".  We all know the little person and I know personally how often I disregard the warnings, analyzing, convincing ourselves that maybe we misjudged or misunderstood another persons character.  I am learning as my life goes that my first instincts are usually accurate.  

With following the first instincts which I do not always listen too or follow, I normally kick myself at the end and always hope I get better at listening to my little person.  Honestly, I have gotten better at following those first instincts but sadly I still do NOT always listen and proceed into the fire to get burned.  You maybe asking at this point, which I do in my analytical mindset, "You know better, you have no one else to blame but yourself".  Believe me, I kick myself extremely hard each day knowing this person was not the type of person to be involved with but I ignored my gut.  

There are warning signs along the way about bullies.  I ask you, even if you have not been bullied or if you have been bullied whether as a child on the playground or in a employment situation.  Look back with a very open mind and try to recall those first few encounters with the "bully".  As you are recalling those first few moments, we all knew this person was exactly what our gut was telling us they were, right?  I can honestly say in this situation, this person ended up being what I knew she/he was.  

I am hopeful as you read my blogs and my thoughts throughout the three years I was employeed by the bully, you will listen to that inner person and warning signs.  I plan to provide articles, definitions and an understanding of a bullies mindset. 

So the story of being bulliedatwork begins...Targeted!