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What would you do?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by RedQuilt, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. RedQuilt

    RedQuilt Star commenter

    What would you do if, on your return to work after a reasonable amount of time off due to depression created by a bullying line manager and colleague, you were told the following?
    The line manager has been questioning your students about decisions that had already been agreed with them (in Aug) and other senior staff?
    The line manager and the supply teacher covering your classes BOTH undermined you to your classes whilst you were away?
    A colleague was deliberately and maliciously spreading lies about you to your classes?
    The supply teacher was permitted to radically change BTEC assignments and assignment tasks in your absence?
    and much more of the same type of thing.
    My case is being dealt with the union at regional level and I have had some advice from them but I just wanted to see what opinions/experiences were out there.
    I've been signed off again, unsurprisingly, and now I'm beginning to wonder how the heck I can ever go back and be able to hold my head high or to deal with the feelings of total intimidation and fear!
  2. I'd say you need to get some cognitive behavioural therapy. Depression cannot be 'created by a bullying line manager' and you need to accept that if you're off work that life goes on without you. You sound very down on yourself and paranoid. Maybe it's time to get a new job and/or get some therapy to boost your self esteem so you stop seeing everything as a negative.

  3. What total nonsense. I have a GP, two psychologists and a psychotherapist who would disagree with you.

    You may find that CBT and mindfulness techniques may help you become more resilient. Keep your union fully involved and informed of your situation. Did you have the support of Occupational Health to get you back to work? If not I suggest that you see if you can be referred as they can make recommendations to your head to enable you to return to the workplace.
  4. I totally disagree with you. Just because you are down does not make you paranoid. I believe that the actions of a bullying line manager can create feelings of depression. I don't think that your attitude is going to help anyones self esteem very much.
    In my case , I believe it was the combination of the realisation that I had become physically ill from workload and stress created by bullying management which impacted on me developing a long term chronic illness which created the depression. Counselling did help, but only in as much as it helped me to understand what had happened to me.
    Red Quilt pm me if it is any help as I also had an unsuccessful return to work. It sounds like you need support/more support from OH.
  5. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    And I have a decision from a tribunal judge that states that my psychological injury of depression and post traumatic stress disorder was caused by specific incidents of bullying by three senior colleagues and a ruling that I was disabled because of it. Perhaps you would like to tell him that his judgement is 'nonsense'? Or what about Employment Judge Burton, who recently ruled in the case of Dr Eva Michalak and awarded her £4.3 million in damages for depression and other psychological injury caused by bullying? Is his ruling 'total nonsense' too? Do you know better than the many expert medical witnesses called to give evidence in that case?
    With respect, julieacorn, your post is - to be generous - 'unhelpful'. Unless you have post-graduate medical qualifications of which you have made the rest of us unaware, you are not qualified to label the OP's experiences as 'paranoia', which is a specific psychological illness.
    It may always be true that any poster's perceptions of their situation may change over time. However, we know posters on theses forum only through the few words they choose to share with us in a post. Particularly on this one may be found, at any time, a number of very traumatised people who have stumbled here for advice as a first move. It is not for us to second-guess what they are or are not telling us. I know, for a fact, that some who post here for first advice are so desperate that they are suicidal and have no idea what options are open to them. If we are going to offer information or advice, we have a moral duty to take posters at face value and offer the benefit of information and experience with compassion.
  6. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    I would resign, get better, find a new post. This environment is not likely to change and neither is your mindset.....and it is clear it is not a healthy place for you to be as it causes you great distress.
  7. RedQuilt

    RedQuilt Star commenter

    I was only quoting what my GP has said about the cause of my depression! I am certain that I wouldn't have it if I hadn't been through the things I have been through. Still..
    So, doesn't anyone think it's completely outrageous that the bullying continued, in the form of the things said deliberately to try and damage my (previously good) reputation, in my absence? I am SO cross I can barely think straight. I actually feel absolutely terrified about my job, terrified about what else has been said/done and generally just terrified.
    What Gardening Leaves wrote about bullies leaving a trail of evidence is absolutely correct but even with the evidence we (the union and I) have I feel hopeless at the moment.
    Oh well, thanks for the replies.
  8. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    Yes, RedQuilt, I do think it's outrageous that attempts have been made to deliberately undermine you in your absence. My comments above were aimed at the poster who ridiculed your attribution of your depression to bullying. I pointed out that medical experts and judges are in agreement that bullying can cause serious illness and injury.
    If you have evidence of the bullies' behaviour, what action does your union propose to take? It has often been said before in these forums that teaching unions do not necessarily handle bullying cases as well as they should. If you feel your union is not being as effective as they could be, you could contact a specialist employment solicitor (without telling your union). Your home insurance may provide you with legal support - it's worth checking.
  9. I agree with Gardening Leaves I also think it is outrageous.
    Sorry my previous post was a bit muddle (dratted lack of paragraphs). I too was disagreeing with the poster who said your depression wasn't attributable to bullying. I would also second GL's advice.

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