What's in your workplace?

I came across an article that led me to a few questions:

How many organizations have a policy on bullying?
Does your company have such a policy? If so, when was it implemented?
Have you ever been bullied at work? How did you handle it?
Is your state legislature considering a law against workplace bullying?
Do you think bullying is a legal issue or is it more of a cultural issue?

Here's a link to the article in case you'd like to read it. http://news.msn.com/us/growing-push-to-halt-workplace-bullying

Please share your thoughts.



  • 2 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Our policy is more along the lines of good citizenship, rather than bullying, and it was in place when we were purchased in 1998.

    Before the purchase, I had an experience with someone who bullied. I could write a book, but I will try to keep it short. This co-worker (CW) apparently aimed all her hostility at one target at a time, and I managed to walk into her field of vision. I was asked to train her for a position, something I had done numerous times before. I was baffled by her seeming unwillingness to learn. Soon she brought our boss into my office and asked if I was the supervisor since I had been telling her what to do (I don't know how anyone can train someone without telling them what the steps are and how to do it). I don't know who was more shocked, CW or me when the boss said no, but I would be soon. Sure enough, I was promoted to supervisor within the year. As time went on things became more difficult, and I was treated as if I was Attila the Hun. I began to check my tires before I left for home to make sure they weren't slashed. I attempted to talk to my boss about the problem several times, especially after CW stepped close to me and said, "Get out of my face." I thought I would be justified in taking action. My boss made me feel as if handling CW was a test. If I couldn't handle CW, then I couldn't handle being supervisor, and taking action for the remarks was an over-reaction.

    CW could really turn on the charm and had a fun sense of humor which made her generally well liked. I had an experience where a few of the people she had worked with in another department made a joke at my expense clearly based on something CW had told them. I simply stared at them and they stopped giggling and never made me the butt of their jokes again, at least to my face.

    Eventually CW left, and many things showed up which made me look and feel better. For instance, she had blamed me when we were audited and she was overlooking an item in our process. She said I never told her this step and behaved as if I had withheld the information deliberately to make her look bad. I discovered CW had done the process correctly for several weeks early in her job, so I obviously told her. In any case, it was in her written procedures (where I discovered she wrote a hand note saying I never told her this part right next to the written instructions.)

    I can honestly say I was extemely relieved when she left, as I really liked my job and hated to leave myself.

    My boss clearly was not aware of the bully at work concept, and I didn't know how to phrase things well enough to make her understand. I would fare much better if it should happen to me today.
  • Nae,

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    I think that most folks just don't know how to react to, much less effectively deal with, a bully at work. We tend to assume that bullies eventually learn that bullying the other kids on the playground doesn't really work out for them so well as they grow up so they give it up and behave themselves. That's not always the case, though, and the bullying behavior just goes underground. I believe, though, that most bullies get caught at it sooner or later and lose in the long run.

    Anyone else have a tale about bullies at work? If so, how did you handle it? Is workplace bullying a legal or cultural issue?

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