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Workplace Bullying

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by WorkBully, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. Thank you wooseywoo.
    In recent times, I've had people close to me deeply affected by workplace bullying and I decided that I wanted to try and change things. My opening post asked people to email me if they wanted to get involved - as said, I can and will get things done and I will work 25/8 to make sure they happen but I need expert help and support. Clearly I've done something to deeply annoy gardening leaves but such is life - you can't be liked by everybody and I'm big enough and ugly enough for it not to bother me.
    I'm sorry to hear of your (and gardening leaves) troubles. I'm clearly not welcome here so shall dust myself down from this little spat and move on.
  2. no, i don't want further conflict but it remains that you have been absolutely foul and certainly not "assertive and argued", more like down-right rude and aggressive. i honestly hope you are ashamed of yourself.
  3. mr greatores, don't thank me, i thank you. if your campaign comes to nothing then at least you've tried. but please don't let gardening's rudeness put you off. it does make a difference to know we're not alone and i thank you for your time.
  4. aw27

    aw27 New commenter

    In my opinion you are as welcome here as anyone else!
    Yes, people will have differing experiences and opinions, but I dont believe it can do any harm to <u>draw attention</u> to the very real and ongoing issue of workplace bullying. Additionally, you only have to read the many stories posted here to realise that you have only encountered one opinion and there will be many more out there.
    It may be the case that bullying is well documented in law, as mentioned, but the point in real life is that most everyday workers arent aware of it until it happens, and they usually struggle to realise that it is happening (or refuse to believe it) until it's too late.
    At this point they are probably too weak to deal with the legal situation and cant face the fight against their bully, who usually hold all the cards (by refusing references etc).
    My union rep said to me when I expressed surprise at discovering the systems that kick in with stress/bullying (HR, OH, unions, solicitors etc etc), that 'Most people don't know about them, and we hope they never have to'
    Whilst I can see where he was coming from, I think this is indicative of the problem - keeping it quiet. If bullying was understood and recognised widely, people may not be as afraid to stand up to their bullies, because they would know what to expect as part of the process.
    So my point is (I knew I'd get there in the end...!) is that one of the functions of the campaign is to raise awareness, and while the points on both sides in this argument have validity, there can surely be nothing wrong with spreading information in a responsible manner?
    I wish I'd known about workplace bullying before it happened to me, and how to go about dealing with it - it might not have had such a dramatic effect on my healt and career.
  5. OK!! Before this gets canned. . .
    Please let's not make me the issue here; the problem is Workplace Bullying. As I said before, my intention was not to cause upset and I'm sorry if I've offended Leaves. I'm sure his experiences have given him a very different perspective to mine.
    PLEASE however, the fact remains that I am keen to push ahead (for all the right reasons) but I cannot do it alone - I simply do not have the expertise.
    So, if Mr/Mrs Leaves or anyone else would like to contribute their experience to the website/campaign/whatever then please contact me (and thanks to those of you who already have). My email address is at the bottom of the website and can we turn this into something positive.
    Please remember, that this is not just a 'teaching profession' campaign and I simply do not have the time to come over here and fight-fires all the time.
  6. reg1950

    reg1950 New commenter

    Is this thread going for the TES Unintended Irony prize or something? I found the 'Am I being bullied?' section on Jonathan's website interesting and useful. It also struck me that it exactly described the behaviour of some contributors on this thread towards GardeningLeaves. I'm sorry to say wooseywoo and Gardening Bonfire that describing GardeningLeaves as "you hateful little person" and a "horrible person", his posts as "your idiotic comments" and saying he is someone whose "behaviour is unspeakable" is, well, bullying. Look in the mirror.

  7. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    The point that GL is making is that the law is already in place to deal with it. The issue is to get the teaching unions educated in accessing it. Like GL I used my own solicitor and the legal options in place to fight my case. Hopefully you will reread what has been written and take on board where the emphasis should be for your fight. It is definitely a fight that needs to take place.
  8. No, I share your cynicism, especially as the person's choice of username doesn't match his aims:

    Ok, so why call yourself work bully, Johnathon (if that's your real name-not a good thing to post on tes unless you're one of the resident experts or a member of the admin team)? why not call yourself something friendlier such as beatworkbullies or stopworkbullies or even the name of your campaign or group?

    I also agree with what you said about being careful about what to post on this type of topic, GardeningLeaves:

    However, I do think that some of what you said was a bit personal and that it should be up to us former 'targets' to decide whether we agree with this person or not and whether we want to join this person's campaign or not.

    Workbully, forgive me if I don't support you any time soon, but I've moved on from the places where I was bullied and prefer for things to remain that way and I would rather seek advice from someone like Gardening Leaves who I know is a regular tes user on here and can relate to my situation from a personal point of view (you don't mention whether you've been bullied yourself or not). That said, if you are genuinely working to prevent bullying, I wish you luck with your campaign and would sign any government e petition that you were to set up.

    Btw, the users on here who criticised GardeningLeaves for being foul, rude and a bully were very wide of the mark! I don't think GardeningLeaves was bullying the OP, just expressing his (?) opinion, if a bit harshly at times! Plus, doing the same to GardeningLeaves is not the answer (2 wrongs don't make a right)! We're supposed to be professionals here and should therefore relate to each other at that level!

    Anyway, my two penny's worth!
  9. This is interesting and exactly the sort of stuff that I'd hoped to find out. Are we saying that it is the Unions (I refer in this case to the teaching unions) rather than the law that is the problem? I remain unconvinced that the law is strong enough but if there is a PROVABLE failure by the unions to what is available to them then that in itself is an issue that needs further highlighting. If I get a (let's call it for the sake of argument) a 'union's failure' tab put on the website, would someone (Gardening Leaves?) be prepared to write the article?

    Edit to add: MsBrainy, my username is 'WorkBully' because the website is www.workbully.org - thought it would be easier than www.letsputanendtobullyingintheworkplace.com (if you see my logic!) ;-)
  10. aw27

    aw27 New commenter

    I have to say I don't think that the unions are wholly the problem but that very often they only get involved <u>after</u> a problem arises, (when contacted by an employee in distress) when its often too late to do much about it from a legal standpoint, as the necessary evidence has not been colllected etc. so they advise a course of action which causes least distress or financial difficulty.
    I dont think they do this because they cant be bothered (but I'm not speaking for all unions, before someone points out an exception to this!) I think they do it because they know how hard it is to get a positive result. My union rep advised me that I could take out a grievance, but I couldnt deal with the emotional strain, so they advised the path of least resistance instead.
    What needs to change is the <u>balance of power</u> that the employer/head/boss holds. A bully can bully because they have a hold over the person the intimidate. In children it is the fear of emotional or physical harm, in adults its often the fear of loss of job or income or inability to support their families etc. I have known Heads to refuse references to staff who have done nothing more than stand up for other members of staff, with no recourse. This does not inspire staff to support or fight for what is morally <u>right</u>.
    How does this balance of power get changed?
    To quote from a poster on another thread:
    We have a Respect at Work policy which covers most of the issues but even though the first page says that the manangement should make all staff aware of the policy and its requirements I knew nothing about it
    I think the whole issue is avoided by employers and managers and employees are kept in the dark about what can happen and what rights they have.
    Ironically the teaching profession fails to educate its own members about this...
  11. Workbully - Gardening Leaves was spot on -> There are already remidies in law which should be being used by unions to challenge workplace bullying which are not being used by teaching unions. Further, GL's suggestion that, in the context of the workplace, 'bullying' might be better described as being 'abuse', i liked. (though on here for now, workplace bullying is a suitable tag).

    The suggestion that GL was being anything other than helpful is itself unhelpful.

    There is a wealth of opinion on these forums re workplace bullying, i think it would be helpful if you spent some hours reading what has been written on workplace bullying so that you might refocus your efforts so that you might use your skills to actually make a difference. There are fundamental things that need to change. I think you suggested that all employers should have 'Anti bullying Policies'. I think you will find that they already have as without them, they could not challenge accusations of bullying.
    <h3>Dignity at work policy - Who has read it ? - Why everyone should.</h3>covers this aspect (though some of the links in that thread are now dead) .

    Other links of relevance are :-
    <h3>'Kangaroo courts' -- Never ! -- Our systems are both fair and reliable.</h3><h3>Workplace Bullying in Schools - Good teachers are most at risk - links</h3><h3>Lets do lunch said the HT and the union Reps!</h3><h3>It's so easy to accept the obvious but sometimes ...</h3><h3>bad reference</h3>and for more
    <h3>a19pb's hotlist - Oct 09 --mainly to do with workplace bullying in schools.</h3>The bottom line i think is that if you want to make a positive difference, it is essential that your focus is on aspects that can help people recognise bullying in whe workplace before it causes serious damage to either themselves or others. Beyond that, campaigning for change in the reference system, exposing the use of compromise agreements to silence people who are bullied out, shaming unions into using existing legislation to challenge at least serial bullying and to educate the masses about antisocial and narcissistic personality dissorders and how these conditions are linked to workplace bullying.

    Final links which everyone should look at are
    <h3>Is your boss a psychopath or a narcissist</h3>and
    upon a time there was this brilliant teacher who seems to have lost the
    plot. - The rumours that he wasn't coping must be true.
    best wishes


  12. Thanks A19, that's exactly the sort of support I'd hoped for. Will get reading.
  13. snowstorm

    snowstorm New commenter

    Before you condemn Gardening Leaves motives please read
    <h3>Workplace bullying: a loophole closed? </h3>Please also do a search on Gardening Leaves on this website; I believe you will find that several posters on here have alot of time and respect for this poster.
    I, for one, am indebted to the advice and support I have recieved from Gardening Leaves in my darkest hours.
    Through GL I have been able to uncover information that I never dreamt I could access had I not persued the route this poster suggested.
  14. snowstorm

    snowstorm New commenter

    Also read
    <h3>Industrial Injury Disablement Declaration/Benefit for bullying injuries </h3>
  15. i'm sure he/she is well respected but the fact remains that he/she was utterly foul. not everyone is an 'expert' like him/her but it doesn't give them the right to be frankly bl00dy rude to someone just starting out on the road of trying to help people. the op clearly said that he was asking for help and assistance in promoting the campaign that he was just starting yet gardening leaves responded form the outset with rudeness and personal attacks. i apologise for what i said, let's see if gardening leaves is big enough to do so also, after all we're all trying to put an end to bullying just doing it in different ways.
  16. "i'm sure he/she is well respected but the fact remains that he/she was utterly foul"

    I don't agree - firstly being utterly foul is not GL's style and like I said earlier, in my opinion GL was 100% correct and has nothing to apologise for.
  17. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    I hesitate to post this, wqoseywoo, because I don't want to cause you any further angst when you have said you are newly raw from bullying. But I think that it's precisely that you are hurting so much that you see the exchange of comments between me and the OP as threatening. Newly-hurt, your body is in 'defend me at all costs' mode, so that you see any challenge to someone attempting to promote an anti-bullying organisation as a threat. It's called being 'hyper-vigilant' and is similar to the reaction that made it impossible for me to walk out of my house and down the road for some while, because I felt like everyone was going to attack me.
    Actually Jonathan Greatorex and I are having a civilised conversation off the boards, via the PM system. Things are not always they way they appear at first glance.
    Now, wooseywoo. You came to the forum looking for support because you are being bullied. Do you want to start to tell us what is happening to you, so that people can being to support you with thoughts and information?
  18. reg1950

    reg1950 New commenter

    GL wasn't "utterly foul" by any reasonable measure. You just disagree with him/her. That doesn't justify you bullying GL. Your apology is welcome but demanding GL apologise to you too is just more bullying by you. If you don't understand why your behaviour here is bullying I suggest you go and read Jonathan's website again.
  19. Can I echo that. There is certainly no reason at all for GL to 'apologise'. My opening post was pitched wrongly, I realise that now and I hope that between us all some good can come out of this.

  20. your body is in 'defend me at all costs' mode,

    Dear GL, OMG I did not even know that I even feeling that. I find it difficult going out some days and I have to really talk myself round. I feel like people are whispering about me or that I am inconveniencing everyone wherever I am and whatever I am doing. I thought it was just me

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