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Author Topic: Uncomfortable at work  (Read 11266 times)
Clarinet
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« on: April 23, 2012, 06:25:20 pm »

I have been in my present job for twelve months and it took me a little white to realise that I was the victim of very subtle bullying.  Nasty comments like "are you going home yet, we want to talk about you".  More recently it has become obvious that there is no conversation apart from good morning and work related questions and I feel really uncomfortable.  Any suggestions on the best way to deal with things. 
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gee4
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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2012, 08:02:44 pm »

I would assume your company does not tolerate this kind of behaviour?  Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect at work.

However before taking any action I would talk this over with someone first eg. a mentor, a union rep or a bullying and harassement officer.

Bullying comes in many forms so it might be a good idea to start documenting any incidents. 

Let us know how you get on.
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Atlanta Z3
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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2012, 10:07:32 pm »

For the we want to talk about you, my response would be something along the lines of - gee I hope it's really good juicy gossip - let me tell my boss so he can tell me to go home early so you can start.  Smile and move on.
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JessW
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2012, 08:46:05 am »

Cathy

Fear not, help is at hand.  The guys will give you good advice here!

I know exactly what you are talking about - I have been in this job temp to perm since December 2007 and pretty much most of the time it has been like that for me (yep, I do get asked by some of the nicer crowd how I put up with it, but truth to tell I am not sure I take any notice of anything they say or do.  I don't really care what they say or do because in my imagination it would be quite good fun to get sacked for clobbering the little beggars because of incessant and intolerable bullying that HR did nothing about - but that is just a dream!).

It may take a wake up call on their part to realise that you are basically a really nice person and that they have a serious problem with their attitude.

Whatever you decide to do, be it confront or converse, I've got your back!

Jess with the Rhino hide (and some mornings I look it - ouch my head hurts from last nights dinner with my mother!)
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countrigal
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2012, 03:20:21 pm »

Cathy, I'm the type that would probably confront them and determine what the issue is.  However, I would recommend that before you take any action that you talk to HR or someone in the company and determine what options are available to you.  Go to your boss, a trusted co-worker, HR rep, someone and tell them what is going on.  If you can cite specific examples, with dates and times, that would be even better.  But go to someone and make them aware of what is occurring.  This may simply be a situation where, if you don't speak up, no one else is aware of the issue and therefore cannot stop it.  However, if that doesn't make it go away, I'd be ready to do something else.  This is where my confront them statement comes in.  I'd gather the culprits together and ask them what you did to make them dislike you so much, and push them for an answer, not let them get by with snide comments or body language.  If you think it would be better, approach them individually.  But approach them and let them know that you are aware of what they are trying to do and that you are not going to let them get to you.  Now, this conversation can be "in your face" or can use humor or any other manner of communication, but it must be done.  If you remain silent, they not only continue to do this to you, but to how many others?  Speak up and protect yourself.  Let them know that you will not allow this behavior to continue.
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raindance
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2012, 08:07:41 pm »

As you have only been in your post for a short time, you may discover that someone is a little bit jealous - perhaps someone applied for your post and didn't get it, or you are better at your job, or someone was dismissed or left under a cloud who had your job before.  You're being frozen out because they can't rattle you, so don't let them.

My own reaction to "we want to talk about you" would be "oh dear ... you need to get out more; I'm a very boring subject" and say it with a big smile. 

If you continue being pleasant and ignoring the rudeness, you will irritate the hell out of them, which is good.  Some people, unfortunately, have no idea how to behave either in the office, socially or on the internet and I'm afraid I'm not in the mood for making allowances for those sorts of individuals.  One wonders what value they imagine they bring to their companies.
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peaches2160
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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2012, 12:53:40 am »

I too would come back with a reply to make lite of it and carry on.  However, if it persists, it could become a hostile work environment and HR and your boss should be made aware if it is getting to that point.  Some folks have a strange sense of humor and don't realize how they sound or the message they are communicating. 
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Brighton Rock
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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2012, 12:46:27 pm »

I pick up on Raindance's post, and agree with her sub-text - what is happening to you is vicious.  It is, sadly, repeated in many companies from what I hear on my travels.  Deal with it in stages, stepping up the pressure as you need to.  Diary everything, no matter how small.  I wish you well with this.  It's an awful environment in which to work. 
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Clarinet
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2012, 06:23:05 pm »

After months and months of feeling unhappy and uncomfortable I have taken control of the situation and asked my managers for a transfer to another department and will shortly be leaving what has been a very toxic working environment.  I feel loads better for taking control but angry with myself for allowing people to upset me so much and not knowing how i should have dealt with things.  The whole experience has knocked my confidence but I will never let them know how they have made me feel because bullies would just enjoy that.  I have a log of the hurtful things that have been said and done and when I move on I will give my manager a copy. Thanks everyone for your suggestions and thoughts on my situation.   Here's to my new start in another department. 
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Jackie G
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2012, 08:48:30 pm »

Good luck in your new area, and let's hope your file of hurtful sayings is acted upon.
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countrigal
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2012, 10:14:36 pm »

First, congratulations on stepping up and confronting the issue.  Do not beat yourself up for not doing it sooner... this was only a phase in your life, and you are passing through it the better for it.  You've learned something about them and yourself.  I praise you for doing something that many others would never have done, and for what you will continue to do by passing along your file of hurtful things said and done.  Hold your head high!

Congratulations on the transfer and best wishes for a much happier and healthier workplace!
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gee4
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2012, 10:27:12 pm »

I can't help feeling the bullies will be a little smug knowing they got you moved.  I think I'd have stayed my ground but we all do what we feel is best.

Hope you settle in soon.
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JessW
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« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2012, 10:18:27 am »

Way to go Clarinet - and here is to a new start.
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msmarieh
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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2012, 02:59:46 pm »

Good luck with the transfer. I hope you'll be much happier.

I prefer to change my circumstances for the better, rather than continue in an unhappy situation to spite others, so I think you have made a wise choice.
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gee4
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« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2012, 03:33:41 pm »

Why let the bullies win Marie?! 

This person could have been happy had it not been for the bullies and their childish behaviour.  Why should anyone have to adjust for the sake of others?  The bullies should have been punished, not the victim.

That is why we have zero tolerance as regards these issues.  In my opinion the bullies were allowed to carry on while the victim was relocated.

How many times will this be allowed this to happen?
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