The bullying business

I read an article in The Economist regarding bullying in the workplace, which I know has been discussed and covered in this group; therefore, I thought to share it with you. It's really sad that statistically bullying at work has increased and high unemployment rates and economic condition are to blame. Here is the article in full:

"A COMPANY that specialises in "ethics and workplace compliance training" sends me alarming news about a surge in workplace bullying. A study last year by the University of Phoenix claims that the recession has given "serial bullies" an excuse to mistreat employees, while many more normal managers have concluded that "bearing down on people" is the best way to do more with less. A 2007 study by Zogby International, commissioned by the Workplace Bullying Institute, found that 37% of workers had been bullied at one time or another.

(The company failed to mention a horrific case at the University of Virginia. The Virginia Quarterly Review, one of the best of its type, has temporarily suspended publication after the suicide of is managing editor, Kevin Morrissey. Press reports said Mr Morrissey's family had claimed he had suffered bullying by Ted Genoways, the magazine's top editor; Mr Genoways denies the accusation).

My correspondent points out that America's politicians are already preparing to act on the great bullying crisis. In May, the New York state senate, that most august of bodies, passed a bill that would let workers sue for physical, psychological or economic harm due to abusive treatment on the job. You will be able to sue for emotional stress caused by "verbal abuse" or "sabotage". Sixteen other states are considering similar laws.

She then shifts gears dramatically. Impending litigation could create a nightmare for employers, my correspondent tells me, as disgruntled employees routinely sued for being bullied and juries routinely find in their favour. But never fear, the ethics and workplace-compliance training industry is there to help train you in anti-bullying tactics.

I admire the way that the pitch moved from identification of a heart-rending problem (bullying) to identification of a potential corporate nightmare (a litigation explosion) to a crude pitch for the company's services. But I'm afraid I drew the opposite conclusion. Workplace bullying can certainly be a serious problem, and companies should do their best to deal with it, just as parents and neighbours should. But we should resist attempts, like the one in New York, to create yet more workplace regulations.

These regulations will create a huge incentive for people to discover bullying where none existed in the past. They will create work for lawywers and spurious consultancies. And they will add yet further to the regulations that are strangling American companies. There are better ways of dealing with problems than calling in the lawyers and the "ethics" consultants."

- The Economist, 9/2/10

I'm a victim of bullying by a manager who worked two yrs to get me fired. She hated on me for a petty reason. And now I have no job health insurance may lose my home my pets why shouldn't victimized employees be able to sue a vinictive person who was allowed to run amok.

Bullying is the problem not being able to sue for it

Hey Ejovan,
Maybe you do have a case. There is another post covering how to handle a bully in the workplace...maybe look that up that see is there something that can be done.

I am deeply sorry you had to deal with this. It is desperate and extremely stressful. I would look furthur into the matter though to see can you get any .

Keep talking about this as bullying is an issue that carries deep psychological issues and it is important you get the right support.

And puppy thanks so much for the article, a really eye opening read. It's so heart stoppingly sad that there was a suicide due to bullying.

Love to you guys
Moongal x

PS I finally got my laptop back and it's working perfectly so i'm absolutely on cloud nine with it:)

Ejovan, I really am so very sorry for everything that you have gone through and have been dealing with in regard to your former bullying boss. I remember that you mentioned be a part of a union, is there anything that they can do to help you with building a case against your former boss? They shouldn't get away with this, because they'll continue doing this to others. We are here to help you in any way that we can.

My union went thru the motions and the manager built a case against me by putting all sorts of things in my file. I had a right to grieve those writeups thru the union contract n when I did she suddenly trumped up a bunch of charges against me somehow got me fired. When I asked my rep what happened she says she does not know and I will have another meeting with a negotiator involved in the investigation explain it to me in a meeting

I am devastaed and ready to move on but there r no jobs in this economy with a termination behind u.

I know what a tough time this is for you, but I know that you will come out of this so much better, I just know it. It's hard to see and feel that now, but try your hardest to look ahead at an amazing future. Don't lose hope, know that you will prevail. The key is that you have a clean conscious and did everything right on your end, and that's all that matters. You will be rewarded for this. Please keep sharing with us, we are here to help you through this.

but i did make mistakes. i was irritable with my manager once, because i am a human being, and she never forgave me for it. i should have been forgiven, but i was not. if i could control my irritability, i’d be the happiest person on earth, but this is what i need to learn from this. never speak irritably to anyone unless it is a person who really loves and can’t get you fired. that is my challenge in life. i had no idea it would turn out like this. i am having trouble perceiving this as a new opportunity in this horrible and crappy environment. i want various jobs but they are monstrously competative. and i don’t want to switch careers at all, but necessity might dictate that i do. but i don’t know what else i can do at this age. rats i am scared but right now i have unemployment for 99 weeks, unless congress changes it in another 6 months, and i have actually 97 weeks left now. the first week i just spent drunk and the second week i am renovating my flat and i am going to move to my third floor with no heat or a shower (i can put in electric heat and a tub in the middle of the kitchen since there is no bathroom. all my hopes and dreams in the crapper right now, but i have money save, unemployment and even one of my little jobs left so my resume isn’t dead space all the way through this time. things could be worse an i am in mass so i can get some subsidized health insurance for people on unemployment. it is so hateful what my boss did to me and i just had a bad moment. her mother had died recently and i was irritable with her and i felt bad and apologised but she never forgave me. i do have some culpability i did have a moment where i wasn’t thinking about what she was going through and it hurt her feelings and that is why she hated me so much cuz it was personal cuz she felt like i didn’t care about her, but that is not true, it just wasn’t happening to me.

that is all it just wastn’t happening to me, my frustration with her was happening to me at the moment and i showed her i did not care about her emotionally. i need to be careful about that if i ever get another job again. and in this economy it looks slightly doubtful that i will.

oops i should stay positive. it has only been 2 weeks since i have been unemployed but i was looking for 2 months before that too, halfheartedly. there are 2 jobs i am interested in and if i dont'get them i will just whither for a while.

This is the most painful rejection of my life. Tragically humiliating.

I can only begin to understand how you are feeling and it's so good that you saw the error in your ways [which I personally think was so minor] with your boss. It's always a good to walk away from something having learned a lesson and being able to grow from it.

I love that you are reminding yourself to stay positive. You are right, its only been two weeks of which you've been dealing with both emotions and moving details. Let that time be an ok thing for you and don't be hard on yourself for it. We are human after all and need to allow ourselves time to go through the motions of emotions.

You have 97 weeks left which is quite significant, and you have two job opportunities, which is a lot more than many people can say. Tell yourself that you WILL get these jobs, turn your energy around and know that they are yours. Know that you have a bigger and better opportunity awaiting you; remember when one door closes, another always opens. I truly believe that. Don't lose faith and hope. I am here to help you in any way that I can. Please keep sharing.

right now i am so busy missing my job. i can hardly appreciate new opportunities which i really have not seen. i found out today that i will not be considered for the job in buffalo. there is another on in New Hampshire, but they have not called me yet. I have not heard a peep. not much out there. not much right now. i want a job yesterday. yesterday. but maybe i am meant to suffer without one for a while. thank god i work 2 days a week still. 97 weeks of unemployement on the wall, my car needs work which i can hardly afford. i need to rent my flat and move to the attic. i have to spend money to just get heat up there. hopefully i will get something reasonably soon. i don't know a ****able thing. perhaps i need to go back to school for nursing, even though i like what i do. it is a ****able shame. a **** shame.

Ejovan, this is all temporary. Sometimes we have mini road bumps in life to get us to a bigger and better place. You are on your way. The key is to focus on the positive that you have in your life; you have somewhere to live and an opportunity to rent your flat, you have a part-time job...these are all really positive things. Every time you are feeling down, recite and/or write-down everything good in your could be so simple. And, then things that you wish for.

This time will pass for you, it's just still so raw and fresh. Each day will get better and better.

today i called a pet store to find out if they would like the opportunity to resell my guinea pigs to another family. i was crying so hard trying to talk to the girl at the pet shop. i explained i lost my job and i might need to relocate and i will not be able to manage them in such an upheval. i just don't see anything positive about this. i am moving up to my attic with the squirrels. no heat no shower, (but i will install electric heat and a tub, in the middle of the kitchen where the plumbing is and shower at a friends house sometimes. i need to try to get some spaces insulated.

I have unemployment if i ever do not make enough at my part time job.

I can volunter at the local hospital and possibly learn a new skill if they let me do an internship.

i have a place to live.

i have rental income

i will get healthcare through unemployment programs

i still have a little job and relationships to build there and keep my hand in work and have something to put on my resume in this period.

i am drinking a little less.

i did not start smoking again.

sometimes i do not lament my fate and accept it

yes, i have some things to be thankful for.

this is a big one...i will not lose my house tomorrow.

i have savings. i will not lose my car tomorrow.

i might get another job soon if i keep plugging and not let myself get discouraged.

if i do not get a job by december, i will look into nursing school even though i am not sure i am smart or hard working enough, but perhaps i can do it if i must do something.

yes, i have things to be thankful for.

i could even get my job back if my union continues to fight for me in a third step. means my case goes in front of an independent mediator and if they believe i was unfairly fired, then i will get my job back and all my pay retroactively. perhaps even my vacation time. i prayed for that today, very hard.

thank you for your positive vibes. that is cool

morning is the hardest. i drank 3 pints of beer last night. now i am tired and depressed physically in additionally to my mental state. i finally showered today because i was letting go on those details.

2 people were supposed to look at my place today, but no one showed up. it is always like that. keep plugging. the kitchen renovations aren't even done yet. my brother is doing it and his schedule is spotty and he lives far away.

what an up heaval. i am going to apply for jobs on line today. just keep plugging and at least tomorrow i work. how is your life. i would kill myself if it were not for my 86 yr old father who doesn't konw anything about this yet. he will be so crestfallen.

i must be strong but it is hard when you are tired, mildly hung over and your body and mind hurt (endo and adenomyosis) ouch. messes me up for days on end. i took a ibuprophin but not much and it takes forever to work

your positive vibes are great i don't know what i would do without this place to complain to. i went to get my inspection sticker checked and i got a saftey failure. my friend was afraid to lend me his car cus it was in bad shape, so i rented a car. now i have to fix some expensive thing on my car and the exhaust too so double my stress as usual.

my manager was so mean to me. bullyied me for years until she cruely fired me, waited for me to be irritable one day with a coworker who was part of her bully team and outrageous. i spoke affirmatively to him is all and she said i raised my voice. all my other coworker had problems with him and wanted me back. they fought for my return. there was even a witness in the room who said i did not raise my voice. but when the corporation supports management, it is hard to win.

it is such a long wineding story. thank you all for being here. i just need to talk to people woh can relate

Ejovan, thank you for the updates and I am really so happy that you are here. This Site is such a blessing, a place to come to for amazing support and a place to vent when needed. It's helped me through so many tough moments.

Is there any way that you can cut down on the drinking a bit. I know that it's sometimes easier to turn to drinking to drown ones sorrows, but it's a depressant and only pouring fuel into your fire. I would suggest focusing on health and well-being at this time. You need to be as strong as you possibly can be.

I am so happy to read through what you are grateful's all so positive and uplifting. I know that you are still going through hurt over how your manager treated you and from the after effects of being let go. Continue taking it one day at a time and tackling one task at a time, try not to get discouraged along the way. Keep looking ahead to your bright future.

Please keep sharing and updating us.

I fear for my future. I am crippled by it. I try to stay positive but the more I gander at the job market the more I quiver with fear. I an traumatized by the way I was victimized at my last job. Traumatized by the way a cruel person victimized me for being human. By the way my livlihood was taken from me and my life was torn assumder

I understand Ejovan. For me to sit here and advise you to be positive is far easier said than done. Trust me, I totally understand that. I was once laid off, it came out of left field and caught me so off guard. My world was turned upside down. I had to move out of my place because I could no longer afford it. I know what it's like to have that happen. What was worse, is that the people at this company treated me as if I was their best friend, their family, and then tossed me out onto the street.

After the shock wore off, I did take it day-by-day, step by step, I couldn't handle anything more than doing just that. Try not to be crippled by this, instead set daily goals and work towards those. The key is to have continued purpose to drive and move you in the right direction. You will get there slowly but surely. I know that you will.

my situation was a little different not to trivialize your suffering in any way. losing a livelihood is losing a livelihood not matter how you slice it. but my manager hunted me for years trying to fire me. it is painful. i lost so much, good pay, a pension, 10.5 weeks vacation and enough other benefits to sink a ship. now the market is saturated, and i can barely get a job, especially with this pox of termination behind me.

the pain is magnificent. she deliberately did me this very particular kind of harm steeming from a petty idiotic vendetta that should have been solved by me saying sorry, for being human, and her forgiving me. me being frustrated with her like any normal human, and her forgiving me like a normal human, not some crazy hurtful hateful vendetta machine. 8 years of hard work and dedication right down the tubes and now in this economy to be looking with a pox upon me. i am frightened and besides myself.

i have unemployment.

i have a little job.

i have an income property (which s 100+yrs old and always has needs and i could easily lose it depending on which way the wind blows)

i have a car which runs some of the time.

i have a little hope but i feel so squashed right now, like a cockaroach that accidently crawled on my bosses floor. wow. it was criminal what she did, but the hospital where i work, the corporate part, supported her, and they have enough lawyers to sink a ship and i aint got ****, just putting my hand out for subsidized health insurance right now.

i am moving to my attic with the squirrels so i can rent out my home in an effort to not lose it.

my old father. 86. i told him last year. (he lives in serbia and the economy there is frightful) i told him last year that as long as i am ok he is ok. guess i failed him, again. and my animals. what will become of them if i have to move like a vagabond. they are guinea pigs and have had a soft life with me. i can't cart them around a vagabond lifestyle. my heart breaks. it is criminal what this person did to me.

i am going to write my union rep. supposedly i am supposed to have a shot at a 4th step. but they are toothless and they don't care. they don't give one ****. everyone is just trying to get through wednesday. she told me the best thing to do was get another job...but guess what baby. there ain't no other show in town. no jobs covering the road to tomorrow. wow.

i am scared and i try to think positive but wow, it is scary. worse that a lay off cuz then someone will say something positive.

my heart breaks for the life i could have had. that i did have but that is no more. i am trying to be positive, but it is hard. everyday right now is hard.

Ejovan, I really like how you are sharing your fears and being so incredibly honest about your emotions, because that's not easy, but you are intermingling all that you are grateful for. Doesn't it turn your energy around a bit? How many people even have all of your opportunities? No many in this economy. The key is that you have all of these options;

MOVING - the move is temporary until you get situated in a new job which you WILL.

ANIMALS - you will find them a happy and peaceful home; can you maybe find them a temporary home with a friend or family member until you get back to a place where you can care for them.

FOURTH STEP - that is so amazing! you have yet another opportunity with your union and to try to resolve what's weighing heavily on you.

Try to learn a valuable lesson in all of this. From every experience, whether personal or professional, I really try to take something away from it. For you, maybe it's how to handle a difficult personality next go-around. Remember, very unfortunately they are everywhere. I have learned that the hard way. I used to think by switching jobs that I could escape them, when low and behold there they were yet again.

Please keep sharing! I am here for you.