Many of us have spent a lot of time writing about and providing solutions for bullying in the schools because children often have a very hard time speaking up for themselves or trying to convince adults that they are telling the truth. Many times, bullying continues because others don’t want to become involved. There are those cases where parents refuse to believe that their child could be a bully and even worse, there are parents who assist their children in bullying other kids. But, what about bullying in the workplace? I believe that many
I don’t think that there are many of us who have not witnessed bullying in the workplace. In fact, I would bet that most of us have been bullied if, in fact, we are not at the top of the corporate ladder. For some reason, most people who are in power believe that it is okay to do or say anything that they want to others in order to achieve whatever they wish.would find it hard to believe that bullying among adults is just as big of a problem if not bigger.
I don’t think that there are many of us who have not witnessed bullying in the workplace. In fact, I would bet that most of us have been bullied if, in fact, we are not at the top of the corporate ladder. For some reason, most people who are in power believe that it is okay to do or say anything that they want to others in order to achieve whatever they wish. As long as a person does not believe that there are any repercussions for how they treat another person, many just don’t care about anyone else but themselves. And because the job market is so bad these days, the problem is growing in magnitude.
I can’t tell you how many times I have talked to friends and co-workers who have told me how they have been treated. Bosses have screamed and yelled and called their employees names in front of others just as they may have done when they were children. Some bosses have threatened employees with firing them if they didn’t do exactly what they were told to do even if the order was morally or ethically reprehensible to the person receiving the order. Some bosses have ordered others to do their work and if a person refused, have reported them for insubordination and created an atmosphere where it has become so stressful to work that the person has either had to take medical leave and/or leave their job permanently. And, there are always those who are having a bad day and choose to take their anger out on anyone in their way.
I personally don’t understand ever demeaning another person in any way, shape or form. Perhaps I understand what it is like to be on the receiving end of such abuse by others that absolutely prohibits me from even thinking of doing something like that to someone else. But I am continuing to see the devastation that adult bullying is having in the workplace and it makes me very sad. I see so many people just dragging themselves to the job and doing the best that they can with the constant threats and stress hanging over their heads and interfering with their being able to do their best. I see the sadness on their faces. I know of the hopelessness that they are experiencing in not being able to find a new position so they are holding on to what they have because they have bills to pay and families to feed. And I watch as the pressure of their situations consumes the people that they used to be.
I don’t have the answers. I have seen people try to do something to help others by reporting these situations to higher management or human resources and they end up on the receiving end of even more problems. To date, I have not seen or heard of a single instance where a person who tried to resolve such problems in the correct way ever receive the assistance or the guidance that was needed. I have been there to listen and to support these people when I know that what they are sharing with me is factual. But for all of the time and effort that I have spent on trying to find a solution, I have been completely unsuccessful.
I guess I finally have reached the point where I am starting to understand why there are an increasing number of people who return to the workplace to seek retribution on those who fired them. It is never a matter of “losing it” but rather perhaps the culmination of being treated so poorly for a very long time. I would really appreciate it if anyone can provide me with some suggestions on what I can do to be pro-active in helping those who find themselves in such situations. I know too many good, hard-working people who are being abused and I really would love to have some answers about what can be done to help them work their way through these tough times when they are not in a position to walk away from their current work situation. It will make a difference to more people than you can imagine if you can help.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.