Am I being bullied or should I just suck it up?

Discussion in 'education & employment' started by miniGMgoit, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Unfortunately, in work situations, the informal approach is either a hiding-to-nothing, or can be actively detrimental. As a union rep I was constantly having to tell people that the best way to get problems dealt with wasn't "having a quiet word", that it was following the set out lines of procedure, and making sure they were stuck to, and that I'd be happy to guide them through it.
    clicker, Greebo, fogbat and 3 others like this.
  2. Pingu

    Pingu Credo

    ^ this

    unless the quiet word can also consist of a "lickle tickle" without any repercussions. I have "fronted" a couple of workplace bullies in my time (when younger tbh) but in general VPs advice here is sound
    Greebo likes this.
  3. Lord Hugh

    Lord Hugh Multiply and

    Everyone is human. All the organisations, built for humans, because humans are humans. And because all humans are different, and some humans do things that other humans can't cope or compete with, so others give them support networks, protocols and so on to help make life less terrible.
    cesare, 5t3IIa, Greebo and 5 others like this.
  4. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance


    Keep it factual, like your OP (date, people present, summary of event) and include a brief statement about how you felt at the end (I felt it was inappropriate to call me at home late at night on a non-urgent matter).

    Best of luck, remember this is her behaviour and not yours that is the problem.
    Greebo likes this.
  5. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    Whereas my former boss was an out-and-out bully and was unapproachable at the best of times. A quiet word with her would have made things worse for the whole team.
    Greebo likes this.
  6. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    Oh ok, yes a quiet word is not always the best policy. Did you take any action wrt this former boss?
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  7. Blagsta

    Blagsta Minimum cage, maximum cage

    Something similar came up in a reflective practice group recently. Someone was called at home merely to be told off about something. Calling you at home would only be acceptable in an emergency situation (or going home with keys to drug trolley) where you possibly had some info that could save a life/prevent serious harm. Anything else can wait until you're next on shift.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
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  8. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    I'm not up on Australian data protection/privacy requirements but I would expect it to be broadly similar to European law, and I would expect the people who need access to such information to be limited, and the information itself to be kept locked away or similar. It could, depending on the law, be a breach of the relevant legislation (even if this person was one of those allowed access to personal phone numbers) to misuse access in this way.

    ETA: In Australia there is Commonwealth AND State legislation, so check the legislation for your state. This wiki link gives you the relevant laws for each state so you know what to look for. Also check what your employer's procedures for managing personal data are.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
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  9. Blagsta

    Blagsta Minimum cage, maximum cage

    In the UK its common for nurses home numbers to be available to the nurse in charge, in case they go home with the drug keys or they haven't handed over some vitally important information. Should only be used in these circumstances though.
    Greebo likes this.
  10. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    I kept a work diary. I spoke to HR about one specific situation where I was told blatantly wrong information about my annual evaluation (and subjected to a two hour long monologue about the extent of my shitness and ability to do the job - when I spent several months that year recovering from acute renal failure), and I spoke to the union on an informal basis regularly. I thought seriously about a formal complaint but found out that a previous team member had gone the formal route and the complaint was made to go away by her line manager, and the complainant was forced out.

    Fortunately she moved to a different department, leaving us behind, but it was a tough 2 years.
  11. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    equationgirl, sorry to read that, sounds like you had an awful time.

    Many years ago I worked in a company that was loss making. We had turnaround specialists sent from headquarters who were both very aggressive and totally brutal. There were sackings and regular rounds of redundancies as we tried to find profitability and it created a very stressful and unpleasant work place. Whenever I hear of people having hard times at work I remember what it was like for me back then.
  12. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    That. The only legitimate reason to call somebody up off-hours is if there's an emergency situation where their input is needed for some reason to solve it.

    If somebody called me up at home to say "yeah that code you wrote today didn't work" I'd be like "and? do you need to know something to fix an emergency? no? okay I'll be taking this further tomorrow" - but then my work colleagues aren't bullies so they wouldn't do that.
  13. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I suppose that is right. I had a woman working for me who often would go sick with no warning. She wouldn't even phone on the morning of a day in which she wasn't planning to come in so we would only learn that she wouldn't be there at nine, her start time. I asked her repeatedly to call me anytime on my mobile if she was not going to come in so I could make alternative arrangements but she never did. Eventually we had to move her to another department because she was so unreliable.
    Greebo likes this.
  14. 8ball

    8ball Up to something

    Or if you're worried about whether they're ok.
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  15. AnnaKarpik

    AnnaKarpik Queen of all she surveys

    You're being bullied, mate.
    Calling you at home only to say you've fucked up is bad enough. When it isn't their call whether you fucked up or not, it needs investigating, is plain vindictive.

    Have some hugs ((())), I know it's a shit place to be, it's also a place you can leave behind with the right support.
    Greebo likes this.
  16. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    Okay, "in a professional context".
    Greebo likes this.
  17. sleaterkinney

    sleaterkinney Well-Known Member

    You need to have that incident sorted though. Do you have the sort of relationship with management where you can talk about stuff like this?
  18. 8ball

    8ball Up to something

    Fair enough, wasn't picky, just those are the two reasons I could see my boss calling me.
    Greebo likes this.
  19. Poot

    Poot Everyone's a superhero, everyone's a Captain Kirk

    I hate to say it but some people are evil enough to take advantage of people when they're going through a hard time. It makes them feel really good about themselves to find a weakness and exploit it for their own benefit. It's the mark of a true bully. Someone really evil would be able to even impose themselves upon your home life by - say - phoning you late at night in order to tell you something to make you feel like shit.

    But I'm sure she's not like that at all... :hmm:
  20. Blagsta

    Blagsta Minimum cage, maximum cage

    I'm curious what her practise is like.
    Greebo likes this.
  21. Citizen66

    Citizen66 splash the cistern

    Ask your union about the company's grievance procedure then hit the cunt with it. BOOM. :)
  22. miniGMgoit

    miniGMgoit OverWeightUnderAchiever

    The annoying thing is she is shit hot at her job. Been doing it for ages and knows a lot. Still we had a staff education session the other day regarding medication safety and I raised the question about the correct dose. She was right, our hospital does only give 8mg however giving 10mg is going to make little to no difference. When they heard I'd been called at home and that a risk man had been put in the united consensus was that whoever had done it (I left the name out) was a bullying dick and to take no notice of it what so ever. The educator chipped in that the riskman procedure is not there to catch people out and punish them but to gather data on errors so ways to prevent errors occurring in the future can be minimized. But even she said it seemed exceptionally underhanded and nasty. They were all really rather lovely and I thanked them all as a group for making me feel much better about the situation and got cuddles and slaps on the back as we walked out which I thought was rather lovely. :)
    5t3IIa, Quartz, equationgirl and 10 others like this.
  23. farmerbarleymow

    farmerbarleymow Sweetcorn, Seagulls and Wasps are Brilliant!

    That's great news. It's good that you've got some support and validation from your colleagues on this, and I hope it went some way to making you feel a bit better. :)

    I'd still push the formal route too though, as she sounds like a bullying bitch who needs bringing down a peg or two.
    equationgirl, Puddy_Tat and Greebo like this.
  24. gabi

    gabi Banned Banned

    My boss has even gone to the extent of emailing my gmail account, while I was in intensive care after collapsing at my desk, to ask what the status of a job was I had been working on. She tries to call me at home but I don't answer. She's a fuckwit.

    There are no unions here. But a quiet word to a colleague, from my other half (i was slightly incapacitated in the ICU), seemed to sort her out, for a month anyway.

    There's not much worse than dreading getting out of bed in the morning as you know you'll be facing shit for the next 10 hours.
  25. miniGMgoit

    miniGMgoit OverWeightUnderAchiever

    So I went out with everyone from work on Friday. Didn't mention the problems I was having or anything but I certainly felt the love. I work in ED and by it's very nature it doesn't lend itself to forming close relationships at work. We're all to busy. I've not gone to any work functions since I started there 6 months ago. I think this has left me isolated to a certain extent. I went out on Friday evening and realized what an absolutely lovely bunch of people I work with who all care about each other very deeply. It was a real affirming moment for me and people went out of their way to come up and talk to me and tell me thought I was doing a great job. Just one bad apple who will no longer get me down.
    5t3IIa, Puddy_Tat, Badgers and 13 others like this.
  26. Smangus

    Smangus comatose at a desk

    Good advice above, but I don't think a quiet word is appropriate given the way you are feeling unless you are very sure that you can handle that particular situation. Use your work anti bullying/grievence procedures if you feel you should to register your position and concerns formally with the employer. They have a duty of care towards you and other staff to prevent this behaviour from occuring, not reporting allows it to perpetuate (I hope you understand I'm not saying this to put any pressure on you!).

    Having said this being in the middle of any investigation like that can be very stressful so if you decide to go ahead with it take advice from the union and use those supportive colleagues that you have reconneted to, to take strength from. This person may have behaved like this to others without your knowledge so the management should be made aware of this.

    At the very least tell the manager about the phone call and say that you were suprised at this and don't think it is appropriate given that you haven't given her your number/permission to ring you, it's a real no no IMO.

    By making this point you are not being confrontational or making an accusation but are pointing out poor behaviour on her part and sending her a message without going the full formal route. Whatever you decide good luck with it!
    Greebo likes this.
  27. miniGMgoit

    miniGMgoit OverWeightUnderAchiever

    So I spoke to her today. Not about anything to do with the above. Just general chitchat, I get the feeling she "kind of" apologized in as much as saying as a casual she just seems to get nights all the time and it makes her very cranky. Kind of went out of her way to point this out to me. Still it felt like quite an honest and genuine interaction. I hope that word got out about how pissed off I was.
  28. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    Let's hope she changes her behaviour - and stops taking things out on other people. At least it's sorted, you have enough on your plate without dealing with her crap too x
  29. bubblesmcgrath

    bubblesmcgrath Well-Known Member

  30. planetgeli

    planetgeli There's no future in England's dreaming

    Fair enough bubbles. And I can't offer anything too positive. Except...we have a similar situation at my school. Which is a bit of a different school to yours (you probably know I work with excluded kids). But what you describe is par for the course. In my example, we have a female teacher, with serious health issues, who was attacked by a balaclavered male student 12 months ago, who is supposed to be prepared to take on the very worst of the new intake of excluded pupils.

    Set up. Designed to force her out. Sometimes it feels like living in the 1950s here. And there's little other work.

    Respect. Hugs. Management are shit. It's kinda in the job description. Is the conclusion I've reached.
    bubblesmcgrath likes this.

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