I work as a project coordinator in Boston.
The bullying begin after I moved to a different department. I wasn’t getting trained or work to do after moving to the new area. I would ask the project managers and director if there was anything I could help with. They’d say no but would give work to the other project coordinator. I expressed my concern of not getting work to do. Then my cubemate started turning the radio up loud, someone took my cell phone off my desk, and someone opened my desk drawer. Someone also broke the lock to my file cabinet and took things out of it.
The co-worker sent an email stating that I needed to sign in and out because he didn’t know where I was when I’d be to lunch or a meeting or after I supported our new assistant general manager at an event.
I asked myself: why would my group not want to work together?
Problems escalated when I went to Employee Relations. They were upset that I didn’t just let it go and let them continue to do whatever they wanted. My computer started acting funny: login passwords, documents that I was working on, and data I entered would be changed. My credit card company called me to tell me someone was trying to check my balance from a different number, and I’d have problems at the ATM. Random people would follow me in the from my work building, in stores, and on the road (a number of cars would drive fast behind me, stop at a dime, high-beam me, then swiftly drive away).
The employee said to me while I was about to leave that they’re going to get me. “Watch.” This situation was reported to police, who said there was nothing they could do.
I reported the crazy driving and high-beaming to the police, and they told me to write down license plate numbers and go to the station to write a report. After my third call to the police about the high-beaming, they said that I was having psychotic issues and wanted me to be evaluated to see if I can do my job. No investigation was done by them.
My director said he can’t make grown people do anything.
They did an investigation and said there was no proof of anything. They made a recommendation for my seat to be moved and for the abuser to stay away from me.
I was told I couldn’t go back to work until I saw a psychiatrist. I am also mandated to see the onsite social worker for a year. I believe I was passed over from position to leave the department.
I’m looking over my shoulder all the time, checking the rearview mirror to see if anyone is following and high-beaming. It’s been stressful. To see people laugh and joke about this so-called game they play with my life is not acceptable.
I would like workplace abuse legislation to pass because it’s terrible for adults to behave this way and not have repercussions for their behavior. It’s not healthy for anyone to be targeted because they want to be an effective employee.
My advice to other targets: stay strong. It’s not you — it’s them. Keep being the best you you can be. Keep striving to improve your career in spite of other people’s opinions of you.
Share your workplace bullying story. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org in one page along with an optional photo:
Where did you work and what did you do?
How did the bullying begin? What tactics were used?
How did you feel?
How did it escalate?
How did your employer react (or not react)?
What was the impact on you?
What was the impact on the organization?
Why do you want workplace bullying legislation to pass?
What advice do you have for others going through bullying at work?