Bullied at Work

I get bullied at work. This is my space for ranting about it. It's also somewhere for myself and others who are being bullied to share ideas on how to deal with bullies at work.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Destabilisation Merry-Go-Round

The person who bullies me has gone on holiday. This is such a relief !

Left in her wake, though, is a pile of p**h created by the tactic of destabilisation. This is a ploy used to keep people disorientated, anxious and prevent them from forming alleigiances that might help them stand up to the bully.

'puh', the bully in my workplace, is a manager, so she has the power to alter what roles people are asked to fill. She has abused this power this week to destabilise the whole section.

Organisational change is sometimes necessary, but how this has been handled by 'puh' has put everyone on the back foot. 'puh' has put several people into new roles they are unhappy with, even doing so when people had specifically said 'please don't put me in such a place'; she has done exactly what they asked her not to do. To me this seems to be deliberate, manipulative cruelty. This has even led to one of my colleagues resigning because she feels so vehemently that she does not want to fulfill the new role assigned to her by 'puh'. She actually tried to protest the action with human resources (doesn't that title say so much ?) and was told that she signed her contract saying she'd do anything, so she had no cause for complaint.

('Bad Contracts' are one of the ways of institutionalising bullying. I'll look at that with you sometime).

I don't want this blog to simply be a place where I look to cry on peoples shoulders or to rant against the injustices being inflicted on me by the bully in my workplace. I want to examine bullying behaviours and possible solutions and share successful tactics with people. I could go on and on, getting increasingly more vituperous about 'puh', but that would be giving her power, and that isn't going to be what happens here.

'puh' has made two errors with her use of destabilisation... She has given reasons for why she is doing it which don't hold up under scrutiny and she has left the gate open for the victims of the tactic to compare notes. This means that the tactic has been exposed for what it is, a ploy to demonstrate her control over us and keep us on the hop. We all realise what is going on...

So my question this week is:

How to deal with the tactic of destabilisation ? Answers please, folks.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Start here - You are not alone

You are not alone. Many people get bullied at work. At this blog I intend to offer support to others who are experiencing bullying at work. I intend to glean support from others in return. Strength in numbers and in knowledge. The first piece of knowledge I offer is that none of us are alone.

My situation is that the bully is my manager. Her bully is her manager. This means that I have no-one to go to about her bullying behaviours who would be sympathetic to my plight or see anything wrong in what she does to me and to others. You may have heard of the term 'institutionalised racism ? Regrettably, we have 'institutionalised bullying' in our workplace.

A note about the words we use

I am conscious of the language I am using here; maybe that's because my field of expertise is the English language. Maybe it's because I am a witch and recognise the power words hold. Maybe it's because I am into BDSM and again language and terminology are important in that aspect of my life as well.

The person bullying me is not 'my bully', she is 'a bully'. Even this suggests a title, therefore I am going to diminish this bully's power by referring to her as 'puh'. I could refer to her by a rude word or phrase, but in doing so would be giving her My Power. So 'puh' is the person bullying me at work.

I will not be capitalising the words I use to refer to those who bully, so please don't waste time correcting my punctuation. Again, this is about denying the bullies power over us. (It's a convention used in some forms of BDSM; although the meaning / purpose for using this here is not the same it's a ploy I feel is appropriate).

I mention the 'Others' because when you are being bullied you feel isolated. Isolating people is a ploy the person bullying me uses a lot.

Fortunately 'puh' is not very clever, even though she is very sly. Many bullies rely on / depend on secrecy to maintain their power. The efforts 'puh' makes to isolate her victims are not a secret any longer where I work. Her victims talk to each other.

Unfortunately, because bullying is an accepted management strategy where we work, it is difficult for any of us to feel able to do more than acknowledge that we are not alone.

It occurs to me that one thing we could do is set up an out of work 'victim support' group. Bad word though. Labelling ourselves 'victims' would give our bully additional power over us. It would change our mindset. Words have power, remember.

The way you use words can alter the power imbalance tool which bullies use. I'm starting now, though, to get onto the nitty gritty this site is about, so I will close this particular entry for now.

Remember :

You are not alone. You are not in isolation. Strength can be found in numbers. We outnumber the bullies and We will prevail.