Gransnet forums


Adult Bullying! have you/was you ever Bullies as an adult? at work etc

(42 Posts)
bikergran Wed 12-Sep-12 17:53:52

I came across a clipping that a friend gave me quiet a while ago.(I will copy it when I find it again)( I have been tidying)!!!
It was about a lady that had been bullied for almost 20 yrs (working as a nurse) the person who bullied her is a friend of mine, whom I have known for about 16 yrs and I wasn't aware that she had bullied this other person.

It got me thinking as last weekend I was in a well known bedding/curtain shop and was looking at some cushions and a throw, when the manager of the shop spoke out! and he was telling this young girl(maybe new girl or on work placement I don't know) he was speaking to her and pointing out that those curtains etc etc needed swapping round..he turned to her and said something like "welll if you would actulaly look!! where I was pointing you would know what I am talking about"!!!! he was quite agressive! I didnt eyeball him I just glanced at the girl, who looked embarassed and be littled! he then turned to an older member of staff and remarked "if we cant work as a team then what can we do"! or words to that effect..he then came over and asked if he could help me? I am normaly a bit slow.but this time was ready, and just said "After hearing the way you spoke to that young girl! I would not buy anything from this shop"! and walked out!

So it got me thinking, have you or a friend ever been bullied at work, etc.
do you still see the person who bullied you or your friend, have you stood up to an adult bully?

Movedalot Wed 12-Sep-12 18:00:05

Yes, I was bullied and no I couldn't stand up to her. The company covered it up and my boss wouldn't let me go to HR about it. I expect you will think that I should have gone anyway but unless you have been through it you won't understand. You become so downtrodden that you lose all self confidence and can no longer think logically and just want to get away from the situation. I even put it on my annual appraisal but my boss refused to talk about it, she was a coward. It made me extremely ill.

wisewoman Wed 12-Sep-12 18:09:51

yes, I have been bullied too by a very passive aggressive female boss. I understand exactly what movedalot is saying as being constantly undermined wears away at your self confidence until you think you are worthless. It is an awful situation to be in and I eventually left my job. It was a well paid job but I had reached the point where I was actually weeping as I drove into the car park each morning! The only thing that kept me going at all was listening to Terry Wogan as I was driving along and sometimes I would have a wee laugh through the tears I don't know why I put up with it as long as I did. It was a small organisation so there really wasn't anyone to talk to about it.

soop Wed 12-Sep-12 18:26:10

Yes. I was the new girl in my first job. Shall never forget the pain of feeling powerless.

nightowl Wed 12-Sep-12 18:47:16

I was also bullied by a female manager who made my life a misery. I worked part time but she used to phone me at home on my days off and scream at me down the phone. I walked into my office one morning and she was sitting at my desk going through everything in my drawers. By this stage I was in such a state that I didn't even challenge her, instead I just walked out of the room. I was not the only woman she treated like this but it was only ever one person at a time - other people (including me on first acquaintance) thought she was a wonderful, supportive manager. It was very isolating and the worst time of my career. It didn't help that my mother was dying at the time. Even though I worked for a large local authority with an anti-bullying policy in place I felt helpless and unable to explain or prove how she operated. The day she announced she was leaving I literally danced in the office - colleagues thought I was mad. I met her some years later and she spoke to me as though we had been friends. I looked at her and saw what a pathetic character she was - it was enough to know that she no longer had any power over me.

I echo what Movedalot and wisewoman say above; it made me feel worthless and weak. Prior to that I considered myself a competent, confident professional but this called everything into question. I'm not sure I have ever fully recovered from this episode. It still makes me feel sick to even think about it again.

granjura Wed 12-Sep-12 19:00:05

I was bullied and 'blackmailed' by the Headmaster of one school I worked at. He told me I needed his reference to move on to another school, and unless I towed the line ... I laughed and replied 'watch me' and walked straight into another job, thanks to other excellent references.

Anagram Wed 12-Sep-12 19:14:58

I had a similar experience to Nightowl. I was working part-time at a solicitors' practice and this woman was a legal executive (I found out afterwards that she had failed her final law exams). We got on well for a couple of years, although she often made disparaging remarks about other members of staff, but I never got involved as it was a lovely firm to work for. Around the time my first husband and I split up she turned against me, making me work late even though I had a young child, and even going in at the weekends to make sure I had too much typing to get through on Monday!
She found fault with everything I did, raised doubts about my competence with other members of staff and generally made by life miserable. Being at a low ebb anyway, it didn't take much to make me leave although I'd been happy there for years. People came out of the woodwork afterwards to say she'd done the same thing to other staff members, one an elderly man with health problems whose daughter never forgave her.

whenim64 Wed 12-Sep-12 19:33:57

My first line manager was a bully. She moved from one new member of staff to the next. I felt powerless because she was the person who would write my appraisal and confirm me in post. She was caught in the act by our deputy chief probation officer, when she was berating me and a receptionist about nothing at all. The phone rang and was answered by the receptionist just as she was calling me 'stupid girl' and the receptionist said 'yes, she is here Mr X - you can probably hear her bullying Mrs Y here in the background. Then she passed the phone over! I stood there open-mouthed and then went to my office.

The next morning she brought us both some flowers and gave her version of an apology, saying she was under a lot of stress. She didn't do it again.

Littlenellie Wed 12-Sep-12 19:42:59

Yes a manager,who denied me training to do my job,but gave it to other newer members of staff,who then overtook me in the practice,I was undermined,and leaved in fear of the monthly appraisals ,and performance related reviewsw.To this day I live with the impression that I failed in that job,and I was worthless,8 was ther for 12 years,have been bullied by older women when I started work,I wasn't one of the pretty young things that I started with,so I wasn't included in the protective fold that they enjoyed,,I always make sure that the youngsters are made to feel welcome,what they have to do,and where the toilets are,I hate bullies sad

Grannylin Wed 12-Sep-12 19:44:03

Yes, I was bullied by a teaching colleague. She got everything she wanted, not by being aggressive but by crying and playing the victim.Interesting that most of these examples are female bullies.

Grannyknot Wed 12-Sep-12 20:03:34

Years ago I was bullied at work by a male boss, needless to say the job didn't last and I was too initimidated to do anything about it, you sort of doubt yourself, don't you? However, I learnt from that and other experiences and there were attempts to bully me in my current organisation by another female in the team (not my boss) so on one of the occasions when this happened - can't remember the detail now - and she asked me to 'step outside' (I'm not joking) the moment we got out of earshot of the office, before she had a chance to say anything, I calmly told her that she was a bully and that I was on to her and I had no problem in dealing with bulllies without involving management, because I was experienced in conflict management. She left me alone after that, even tried to befriend me, and I think that is typical of many bullies, if you confront them, they will move on and look for the next victim, probably someone who won't stand up to them.

Anagram Wed 12-Sep-12 20:26:52

Yes, I think that's true Grannyknot - it seemed that 'my' office bully was fine with colleagues when they were strong and self-confident, but as soon as she saw a chink in their armour or they experienced personal problems, she couldn't help herself from homing in and chipping away....

vampirequeen Wed 12-Sep-12 21:07:11

I was bullied in my first job by the chief clerk. I was 17 and she was in her 30s. She was a wicked woman who went out of her way to catch us out and when she found any tiny mistake she would go into the manager's office and after a few minutes when we were all terrified he would ring for one of us to go in. Then we would be ripped to shreds.

joshsnan Wed 12-Sep-12 22:55:55

I can relate to all these posts....I was bullied by my female manager, I went from being a very confident person to a nervous wreck.
She would undermine everything I did, she always had the ability to get work collegues on side (isn't that what bullies do ??? ) they also were terrified of her.

I used to go into work in a morning with a tight knot in my stomach and felt completly on edge.

I went into work one morning and our area manager was there, I asked her if I could have a transfer to another department ( she never asked why and I never told her why) 2 weeks later I got the transfer that I anxously waited for. I really dont know why I waited 2yrs before I asked for a transfer.

I heard she found another victim after me.

The best news Ive ever heard was that she was sacked 9 months later for being drunk in the work place. grin

Joan Wed 12-Sep-12 23:38:01

I was bullied by everyone in my first job as a clerical officer in a County Court. I've told the tale elsewhere on here, but to cut a long story short, among other bullying issues I was given far more work than anyone could possibly do and berated for not getting through it. I revolted, tipped my desk over, kicked the papers away and stalked off home. Convinced I would be sacked I didn't want to go back - ever - but I was only 16 and Dad made me go back.

All my problems were solved when I got back - better desk, work done, training course arranged (which should have been done months earlier) and no criticism. I realised later that the chief clerk would have been in deep trouble for the way they had treated me, had the truth come out.

18 months later a new girl started. They bullying started too. I got together with the better staff members and we put a stop to it. It never happened again - it was a cultural thing that just had to end.

POGS Thu 13-Sep-12 00:48:57

I am not happy to see so many G.N.'s have had experience of bullying but I too have had a similar experience, sadly at school and later on in a workplace.

I think it is very true to say, once a bully is confronted they become what they are , a shallow person and they back off and has been mentioned find another victim. I sometimes wonder what makes them that way and I come up with the view they either have a chip on their shoulder, believe they are superior or sadly have had an unhappy childhood/upbringing.

Should they be feared or pitied, I don't really know but they are not in general a nice person are they? In my case with the school bully she apologized to me in my adault years and I found out she was being abused by a relative and took it out on the other kids, she was jealous of our happiness at home. In the workplace I think she was just a person who thought she was superior and not a nice person. Could she have had issues, I don't know but I to this day think she was just a nasty piece of work.

Faye Thu 13-Sep-12 01:41:08

I too have been bullied when I was in my fifties by women of the same age. I would lie awake at night thinking about the previous day and not looking forward to the day ahead. I gave notice three times and the boss (owner of the company) said he would talk to the two women. After hearing from the storeman that nine women before me had left because they were bullied by these two women, I knew nothing would change and just walked out. I then took a temp job and was immediately targeted by another bully. I tried to ignore her but was working along side her all day, I spoke up for myself but it made no difference. Women in another section told me this woman was bullying them on her first day in her job. She really was strange, but got away with it, except the new manager was not happy with her as she was really rude to him and he did not like her behaviour to other staff members. I did not stay as I had lost my confidence and started to doubt myself.

I think there is something missing in people who are bullies, they see no wrong in their behaviour. I can not sit back and watch it happen and have often stepped in when I see others being bullied, yet couldn't stop being bullied myself!

bikergran Thu 13-Sep-12 07:44:29

Gosh! we all asume it is children that are the most bullied.
but to read some of your threads,, this is a bigger issue then we is quite upsetting to think so many adults are bullied(by other adults)! yet it seems it is kept silent sad

vampirequeen Thu 13-Sep-12 08:27:40

I was bullied at home, school, work and by my ex husband. Sometimes wonder if it's me tbh. Do I have a victim mentality or a sign on my head that says 'feel free to bully me'?

The rest of the time I know it's not me but the bullies who have the problems and have to make themselves feel better by making others feel bad.

Littlenellie Thu 13-Sep-12 08:45:43

I understand that too vampire I seem to have been bullied by all and sundry,it started on my first day at school,my crime I was fat,and wore glasses,and had never mixed with another child until I was 5 and a half ,mum was not a mixer,no cousins,only that time,and was not prepared for the school playground at all..didn't help mum was ashamed of producing a kid that looked like me,so was left to get on with it,which is where my humour and sharp wit come from,I developed it as an armour,used even to this day,as a defence mechanism,If I can get a rise out of myself and make people laugh,I have got in first.
I hate confrontation,and when I look back and at myself now,I have made the best of myself,look reasonable..oh ok glamourous....and haven't done too bad...but in social situations that little girl is still in there,and I cope better in one to one stays with you all your

Movedalot Thu 13-Sep-12 09:24:25

I was only ever bullied once before the time mentioned above and that was when I moved from the midlands to the London area before we had children. I worked with 2 other women in a small publishing company and had taken over from a man who was paid twice as much as me and had left the job in a sorry state but that is another story.

One of these women kept being nasty and spoke to me with contempt when I didn't know local things. She kept deriding 'the north' and eventually I asked her if she believed you were a better person the further south you came from. She sad yes and confirmed she was local. I responded with "well I come from Dorset". It shut her up for a while! I could cope with it at that level but not at the level which happened more recently.

It is interesting that when you have to work with a bully no other colleagues will stand up for you, they are so scared they almost avoid you. One colleague left because of the woman concerned but would not talk about it afterwards or give any support.

Why is it that so many women bully women?

I agree that bullies have a personality problem but do they really not understand they are bullies? There seems to be a thread here about the bullies doing it to several people so surely they must know? Do they really feel they are so superior to the ones they bully? Does it give them a feeling of power? I wish I understood what makes them tick.

Littlenellie Thu 13-Sep-12 12:05:09

Just sad people movedalot

soop Thu 13-Sep-12 12:33:57

I'm amazed to discover that so many of us have suffered at the hands [and words] of female bullies. Today, I heared someone on the radio say...^we should aspire to inspire before we expire...^ which seems to me to be the antithesis of the bullies' approach to life.

bikergran Thu 13-Sep-12 14:22:26

I have not been bullied in a work place but a little at school but nothing major.
but my elder daughter (now 37) was bullied by younger girls as a nursery she worked at..DD was a stckler for safety and when mentoined certian too many plugs in one electrical socket/no railings or gate on steps that little one could just step off the edge/member of staff picking a child up with it's arm!! etc ..then DD was on her own so to speak, 2 of the otehr staff made a chart and there usd to be stickers/stars on! apparently it turned out this was a chart for my DD as to how many times they would wind her up or upset her!!(she only found this out as she was leavin) I often feel the need to comfront these people now..many yrs later in fact I am getting angry thinking about it again!! (as mother) we never stop wanting to protect)

(Im still trying to find the clipping) smile

soop Thu 13-Sep-12 14:36:17

Thank you for raising this point biker. flowers