Tagged: story

A bus driver wants to know why workplace bullying was never addressed

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DD worked as a bus driver for seniors.

Several staff members, including one supervisor, bullied her through name-calling, ignoring her when she asked questions directly, and pushing (she was pushed into a coat closet because she wasn’t moving quickly enough).

“They treated me like I didn’t exist and didn’t matter,” she explained.

The supervisor would use her position to intimidate. “When speaking to us, she would be aggressive and condescending,” she said.

Some of the power moves involved screaming at employees for taking sick time. “She would yell at us if we called in sick. I called in once in a great while. I had 420 hours of sick time, but she would still make me feel guilty for using it. Her attitude was that no matter what, we needed to be there,” explained DD.

The supervisor also withheld positive feedback. “My riders would send me thank you cards, yet I never saw one in the seven and a half years I worked there. They would ask me if I received their cards,” she said.

Revenge was not beneath her supervisor. “My supervisor was vindictive. When we tried to talk with her about her actions, she’d triple our workloads the next day. She said to me ‘If you’re not happy, go find another job,'” DD added.

DD felt angry, violated, anxious, depressed, abused, hurt, unheard, unprotected, ganged up on everyday, and tormented. She went to urgent care with pain on the left side of her neck going down to her heart due to stress from the bullying.

Her employer listened but did nothing. “Then I spoke with my legislator, and nothing has been done politically either,” she explained.

“There should be repercussions in place when an employee bullies to tell employees loud and clear that there will be zero tolerance of bullying. The victims should not be the ones who get punished,” DD said. “No one should ever have to put up with any type of abuse. I will never ever be the same. The physical pain will always be there as a reminder of the abuse. Where is the justice for me?”

 


Share your workplace bullying story. Email to info@mahealthyworkplace.com 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?

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An advocate’s story of being pushed out of a museum from workplace bullying

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Derek worked in a museum as a Museum and Gallery Assistant. He considered his line manager a serial bully. “The bullying was covert. It took me five years to understand that I was being bullied at all,” he explained. “Bullying tactics ranged from a blame culture to micromanaging. The controlling bully got some type of kick from seeing his staff suffer and struggle under their large workloads. He would often come in late, do little work, panic, and them spread that panic onto others. He was lazy and manipulative, hiding his incompetence by taking credit for other people’s work yet putting their work down.”
The bullying made Derek feel stressed out, tired, and that his work was never good enough. He developed constant headaches.
Then the bullying escalated.
“Once I confronted the line manager on his behavior and made a formal grievance a few years later, his bullying escalated. The bully acted like the victim and called me a bully,” Derek said.
Even worse, the employer took the bully’s side. “Human Resources made a plan to get rid of me. I was called the troublemaker. Five other managers made up false statements and a well-being report about me. They claimed I made managers ill and had to be terminated. HR isolated me from my workplace for an ‘investigation’ — all dragged out over 18 months. A complete farce,” he added.
Meanwhile, Derek’s health only got worse. His doctor put him on antidepressants, which made him drowsy and bedridden. When on sick leave, his employer made up more lies and got rid of him.
The impact: the employer lost a competent staff member and kept an incompetent one who went on to bully others.
“Workplace bullying should be a crime,” said Derek. “It is mental violence that ruins lives and careers, and currently, managers are unaccountable in the workplace and can treat their staff like trash. This problem must change.”

 


Share your workplace bullying story. Email to info@mahealthyworkplace.com 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?

Tell us your workplace bullying stories, and we’ll send them to reporters  

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As we get ready for the next legislative session in January, we want to share your workplace bullying stories this fall to build our base (last week, a reporter from Redbook asked us for your stories, and we passed many along).

We can help get your story out, even anonymously. Email us at info@mahealthyworkplace.com THIS WEEK with your one-page story. Include:
Where did you work and what did you do?
Where do you live?
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 we’ve done so far

As we plan for next session, here’s what worked and didn’t work for spreading the word about workplace bullying and the bill:

What worked

  • Asked people to call key offices at different stages of the process.
  • Shared personal stories.
  • Tweeted at legislators and potential supporters.
  • Made phone calls to potential supporters (women ages 30-54 in most progressive MA towns without current co-sponsorship).
  • Researched email addresses in those same towns.
  • Spoke in front of Democratic Town Committees.
  • Sent out requests for endorsements to organizations.
  • Held Flyer Days.
  • Testified at the hearing.
  • Created and promoted an easy tool for calling and writing legislators.
  • Created videos for social media.
What didn’t work
  • Wrote letters to those who made civil service complaints about telling their workplace bullying stories.
  • Wrote letters to non-leadership legislators and sent emails to all State House staff about workplace bullying stories in the State House.
  • Pitched to reporters how workplace bullying fits in with #MeToo.

 

Our plans for next session

There are two major challenges with this bill:

  1. Educating others on what workplace bullying is since it’s not yet a household term.
  2. Creating urgency behind the bill in the State House since it competes with other pressing matters.
Here’s what we’re already doing about it — and how you can help:

Getting media support. Since legislators tend to pay attention to what’s in the news, we hope to get the word out through news articles, which often generate more news:

  • Boston Globe Spotlight reporter may write a story about a bullied Cape Cod nurse who took his life after workplace bullying.
  • We’re obtaining data on roughly how much workplace bullying has cost Massachusetts taxpayers.
  • We’ll continue to pitch reporters about tying workplace bullying to the #MeToo movement since sexual harassment is a form of workplace bullying.
  • We can help get your story out, even anonymously.
Getting organizational support. We’re always reaching out to organizations asking for their official endorsement of the bill, which will help generate support (we already have roughly 20 official endorsers). Do you have connections to any organizations that might consider endorsing the bill? Ideas include:
Associations for government employees, lawyers, mental health professionals, non-profits, and teachers
Democratic Town Committees and progressive groups
Labor Councils
Republican Town Committees
Social justice groups
Unions

In the next couple weeks, we’ll announce meetings all over the state to plan next steps for pushing the bill. In the meantime, send us your stories so we can continue to reach out to reporters about what we’re doing and why it matters.

Share your story to help make workplace bullying a household term

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We’re teaming up with Project Millie, an organization dedicated to bringing visibility to workplace bullying through shared personal stories. The staff at Project Millie will turn your experiences into impactful pieces that get to the heart of what it’s like to endure workplace bullying. Our goals are the same: to give a voice to those beaten down by workplace bullying, those who are “discouraged by poor process or by an underlying culture of tolerance.”

The staff at Project Millie will protect the anonymity of you and your workplace and reserves the right to edit your story.

Share your story.

I started Project Millie to give a voice to those who believe they cannot speak out.
– Lorna McTavish, Founder