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workplace bullying or me overreacting?

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by redsockwhitewash, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. I have been told to do something that I'm not very happy about and other people have told me that what I've been asked to do isn't fair.
    The person that told me makes a habit of telling people what to do, often in inappropriate circumstances and also without full facts. They often ask for tasks to be completed asap when on further investigation they don't need to be done at that time or aren't being done at all by anyone else.
    Communication with this person is generally poor, so is understanding of situations (work and personal). They often pass the buck for things they've done / not done / said to others. They are a look at me, listen to me, see how great I am type, rather than actually being effective in their job.
    I am frequently overlooked by this person in favour of other people. My thoughts / opinions / feelings aren't valued / listened to. I seem to get the raw end of the deal and to try and get anything better I have to fight particularly hard (usually to no effect). I am under 30, but instead of being treated like a professional I can often feel that I'm being spoken to like I'm one of the pupils.
    The thought of seeing this person in work makes me sick. I'll often go out of my way to avoid them but sometimes it is inevitable as they are my manager. As my superior I generally accept what this person says and act on it, regardless of my personal beliefs, but I've lost all respect for them, their professionalism and their commitment to helping me develop as a professional.
    Obviously I've missed out details here, but is this potentially bullying, or am I just overreacting? I'm totally unsure as I've got so many other things going on that I don't know if I'm reacting in the way I am because I'm stressed or what!
     
  2. I have been told to do something that I'm not very happy about and other people have told me that what I've been asked to do isn't fair.
    The person that told me makes a habit of telling people what to do, often in inappropriate circumstances and also without full facts. They often ask for tasks to be completed asap when on further investigation they don't need to be done at that time or aren't being done at all by anyone else.
    Communication with this person is generally poor, so is understanding of situations (work and personal). They often pass the buck for things they've done / not done / said to others. They are a look at me, listen to me, see how great I am type, rather than actually being effective in their job.
    I am frequently overlooked by this person in favour of other people. My thoughts / opinions / feelings aren't valued / listened to. I seem to get the raw end of the deal and to try and get anything better I have to fight particularly hard (usually to no effect). I am under 30, but instead of being treated like a professional I can often feel that I'm being spoken to like I'm one of the pupils.
    The thought of seeing this person in work makes me sick. I'll often go out of my way to avoid them but sometimes it is inevitable as they are my manager. As my superior I generally accept what this person says and act on it, regardless of my personal beliefs, but I've lost all respect for them, their professionalism and their commitment to helping me develop as a professional.
    Obviously I've missed out details here, but is this potentially bullying, or am I just overreacting? I'm totally unsure as I've got so many other things going on that I don't know if I'm reacting in the way I am because I'm stressed or what!
     
  3. carrotsandcream

    carrotsandcream New commenter

    I had to read letter twice as this is happening to me . I am alot older than my head of department and senior management are awear of their behaviour , but it seems that I am insignificant ans my head of department seems to be allowed to treat me as she likes. I am tire of complaining.
    Other people say that i am being discriminated against i have pointed this out several times.
    I am now fed up i have been making lotes and have a record of all that has happened to me nder this person.



     
  4. I'm sorry to hear you're having similar problems sydonia. x
    I only reached breaking point on Thursday and spent most of the night in tears, but completely unable to explain why I was crying. Not like me at all.
    I'm feeling more rational and less tearful now, but I know I can't face work on Monday.
    I really don't want to have to get to the stage where I'm keeping notes on everything that happens.
     
  5. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    You are under stress because (I believe) you are being bullied at work by your immediate superior. Start to keep a detailed log of incidents, as memories cannot always be counted upon. Speak to your union and also see your GP as soon as possible. Look after yourself, Chick.
     
  6. If you want to keep evidence of any unreasonable requests then you need to avoid receiving any verbal request that can later be denied. Is there any way you could ask this person to email any requests to you-or give them to you in writing (you have to develop some condition that means you need to race off to the loo every time they try and give you requests/orders).
    Good luck with it all; this job is hard enough with out all the extra hassle from 'management'
     
  7. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    I also believe you are being bullied by this inadequate person, who is projecting their failings onto you. This kind of person is dangerous. I lost my career and have been badly injured by one of them, so don't under-estimate him/her/
    Poster a19pb has posted many threads, over time, on the identification and impact of bullies in the workplace. Here is the link to the thread that draws them together.
    https://community.tes.co.uk/forums/t/491961.aspx
    You may find it useful to dip into this reading and see if anything resonates with you.
     
  8. You should keep notes. It will be hard for your manager's manager - to whom this will eventually be referred, if you don't contact your union rep first - to make a decision based upon what you feel about something. You feel you're being overlooked and treated like a kid, but what have you got to back it up? Your manager could with equal weight say that you have a chip on your shoulder and take things too personally.
    You need hard facts with dates and outcomes.
    But first I suggest you need to speak to your manager, with support from a rep or a friend or a staff mentor if necessary, so that he is aware that you have a problem with the way he treats you. It is faintly possible that he doesn't realise because he is just a **** manager, and it would be unfair not to give him a chance to rectify the matter. If he knows full well what he's up to then his card will have been marked and you will have taken all the steps you could be expected to.
     
  9. I've read through the OP a couple of times, and it is quite hard to follow due to the lack of info. Also, as with all of these situations, all we are hearing is your thoughts and your feelings. I'm never convinced we are getting all the info in posts like there - especially when posters are feeling vulnerable or 'got at'.
    From what I've read, I don't see any evidence of bullying. I do see (based on your perspective) poor communication from other people, but this does not automatically translate to bullying.
    In terms of poor communication, what have you said? Have you raised how you feel? Have you told anyone that you are uncomfortable with the request, or offered an alternative?
    While I agree with previous comments that unreasonable requests are unfair, it is also unfair to expect the situation to change without raising it with the people concerned.
     
  10. I have had this happen to me before and had to change my job role in the position i'm in to get away from the guy. Don't be bullied at any cost, report the person and I hope it gets better for you.
     
  11. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    I feel I need to take issue with some of the things you have written here, Ceinwyn. Whenever anyone posts on these forums, asking for help, we can do no more than to take what they write at face value. None of us knows the background or context.
    In terms of whether or not these behaviours amount to bullying, the law is quite clear that they do. My lawyer (a very respected expert on workplace bullying and harassment) has explained that, in law, the impact of a series of incidents which may seem relatively trivial when examined individually, is much greater than just the sum of its parts. Thus, the course of conduct to which the OP has been subjected amounts to serious behaviour which the law onssiders to eb criminal.
    As a 'rule of thumb', the test one should apply to the question 'Am I being bullied?' is to ask whether one feels the need to 'walk on eggshells' around the prospective bully. Is their behaviour inconsistent? The OP has explained that he/she feels fearful to the extent that he/she feels sick at the prospect of going to work. That is a normal and typical reaction to abusive behaviour. As an aside, it is interesting to read the decriptions of abusive behaviours and their impact on the Women's Aid website. Although it deals with domestic abuse, you can immediately see common behaviours in workplace bullies.
    In terms of what the OP should do, he/she should be very wary of raising the issue with the bullying manager as this will often result in an exaccerbation of the problem. Where leadership is weak in the school, and senior managers reluctant to take firm action, the OP could find him/herself the target of more bullying behaviour.
    The union needs to be involved here and, yes, all incidents should be carefully logged with specific dates, times and places, together with the names of any witnesses. The OP would be best to get out of the school and find a job in a healthier environment as soon as is practicable.

     
  12. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    This is good advice. A good way of doing this (and thereby acquiring evidence for yourself!) is to email confirmation of the request that has been made to you verbally. e.g. 'Just confirming and clarifying that you have asked me to do X and you have asked me to do it by Y. '
     
  13. Thank you for all of your advice and support. It really is appreciated.
    I do apologise for the vagueness of my original post, but I didn't think it wise to give details. I can obviously only state what 'I think and I feel' so I also apologise if it felt like a 'woe is me' post.
    I was looking for opinions, and I am very grateful for all those that have been given - even those who disagree! It can be very helpful to have an outsiders perspective. I have used a different name for the purposes of this post, however, I am a regular poster so I know just how difficult it can be to interpret and understand situations on here.
    I am struggling my way though the last few weeks, counting down the days and doing my best to avoid all those concerned. Maybe after a nice, long holiday everything will seem a little better.
    Thank you all again.

     
  14. I stand by my comments.
    The original question was 'Workplace bullying or am I overreacting'. I think I gave an objective response to the question asked, which will allow the OP to consider other sides to the situation.
    The fact is people do sometimes overreact. One of the problems with discussing these issues on this site is that there are number of people who feel they have experienced workplace bullying, and their views on the topic (and subsequently their responses) are coloured by these experiences. Frankly some people see bullying everywhere they look, and this isn't helpful to anyone.
    Before I get jumped all over, I am not dismissing the OPs feelings or views, I am simply saying that it would be wise to consider other possibilities.
    Redsock, I think you comment in your last paragraph is quite telling
    If you avoid the people and the issue, how is a solution ever going to be found?
     
  15. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Hi redsock, I too thought Post 8 was a bit harsh and I could read between the lines of what you are going through. I can understand your position and feelings absolutely and you are quite right to give few details (a friend of mine was dealt with harshly by their school and TES as a result of a lack of discretion - I thought it was grossly unfair but it still hurt my friend).
    I think you have a positive attitude
    and try to forget these troubles if you can. However, be prepared to gather information/evidence if need be as bullies should not be allowed to make life awful, but as a regular you know that! Hope you have something lovely planned for your hols and focus on happy things in the meantime - take care.
    Joni x
     
  16. I'm happy to accept feedback. What part of my post was harsh, and in what way?
     
  17. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Ceinwyn, I feel your tone is harsh -
    and
    I think/feel that Redsock has raised this with her manager and the problem is with said manager passsing the buck.
    But I don't want to turn this into a squabble, as this post is about the health and wellbeing of a fellow-poster here who is simply asking for advice, so maybe we can agree to disagree?
     
  18. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    I don't think Ceinwyn's post was harsh, just another viewpoint. Bullying is a sustained campaign that is designed to undermine someone. I think it is used too readily when sometimes there are interpersonal conflicts that are a natural part of life.
    Feeling sick about going into work is not normal. Talk to teacher support line or your union in detail about incidents and see what their reaction is. That would give you a better perspective.
     
  19. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Lead commenter

    I agree. And due to the (understandably) vague nature of the post I think it's very difficult to judge whether the OP is being bullied or not.
    Yes, agreed.

     
  20. I don't want to divert the topic either, but I am becoming increasingly concerned about some of the advice being offered on this forum.
    We jump to bullying accusations far too quickly, and far too often there is someone willing to advise that the best course of action is to walk away from a job. This is appalling advice when all we have to work on are the vague explanations in the original post. I'm stunned that the OP on this thread has been advised to leave their job, when there are a thousand other conversation to be had, and options to try first.
    There are people presenting themselves as experts, when they should not be offering advice at all. This doesn't help anyone, and it may even leave some people vulnerable.
     

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