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

(43 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?

Humbertbear Thu 25-Oct-12 22:20:29

I taught in a secondary school where the (male) Head Teacher was a bully. It got to the point where if anyone was summoned to his office you took a colleague, preferably the union rep, with you. On occasion he would lock you in and shout. He wouldn't have dared treat the children in that way. At one stage he made me too ill to go in and I made it very clear on the answer phone why I wasn't coming in that day. Interestingly, several of us also lodged complaints against him for sexual harassment.

Deedaa Thu 25-Oct-12 22:14:15

I spent a horrendous year working for a national supermarket. I was supposed to be a trainee manager but got no training. The department manager left abruptly and other staff were not replaced. I was left to cover all the gaps and ended up working from 6.30 in the morning till 10pm with no time for a meal break. I lost a stone and a half and went down 3 dress sizes. We twice found replacement managers and all the otheer department managers would gang up together and see how quickly they could reduce the newbie to tears. The store manager seemed to find this quite amusing. Anything that went wrong was always my fault and after a year I still had no idea what I was supposed to be doing because I was too busy trying to keep the department open from day to day. At that point I left and went to work for M&S where the atmosphere was completely different.

tattynan Thu 25-Oct-12 21:43:57

It's so sad that adults can be so nasty to each other. I too have been bullied in the workplace by a horrible women manager. I had just left uni and felt to shy to challenge her. I have with experience grown into a confident person and wouldn't stand to be treated in such a way now.Down with adult bullies - you should all know better!

york46 Wed 24-Oct-12 22:09:09

Many years ago I worked for an organisation where all new typists had to start off in the typing pool before being sent to work in the various departments. The supervisor would "ride" new girls, who found they couldn't do right for doing wrong. When challenged about this behaviour she replied that she liked to see what they were made of and how far she could push them before they "turned". If they managed to stand up to her she would back off and leave them alone, but others left because of her. When this was reported to management they just said she was an excellent supervisor and they didn't want to lose her.

chadsky Fri 05-Oct-12 15:37:53

I too have been bullied, both at school , and work - , this was by a team manager, and her flavour of the month x 2 being my direct manager, she managed to put me on a performance reviow for no reason - thankflly, my work is a place, where changes take place often, and see was move to another section, thankfully, but she still does it, I know form other members of teams she has managed, once she gets here teeth into you, she neve stops, and no end of her staff go off with stress - long term, the strange thing is she still retains a managment place - moral is, never trust someone who is always smiling, ( sharks do that)

FlicketyB Tue 18-Sep-12 20:27:08

Roadiegran, Spot on, my company was in the throes of reorganisation and I had moved to a new post, then this manager joined the department and as is normal met and talked to all his new staff. I can remember it clearly, we were chatting aimiably and he asked me what my previous post had been. I said I had been a regional market research manager, he said you mean you worked in market research and I said, no I was the head of department - and I watched the blind come down. After that the constant criticism and down-skilling started.

Fortunately, as I said, my colleagues supported me, they had known him before and I had the confidence of a successful career before I worked for him but the three years I had to work for him were the most unpleasant in my working life.

roadiegran Sun 16-Sep-12 22:04:51

I was a senior manager for 20years who did not allow bullying and always nipped such behaviour in the bud.

However, both my daughters experienced bullying by women in the workplace.

Bullies are often afraid of the competition they perceive as coming from younger more competent staff which just proves their inadequacy.

Greatnan Fri 14-Sep-12 08:03:05

Reading some posts on other threads, it seems to me that many women are bullied by their partners or children. It must be much harder to deal with that than with bullying at work.

FlicketyB Fri 14-Sep-12 07:54:27

I was bullied by a senior manager (male) in my last job. I was, still am, a union member and when the HR department would take no action I spoke to my union rep who took the matter up. I did not file a formal complaint but the fact that the union took it up and talks took place meant he backed off but continued to make my life uncomfortable for several years before he moved on.

Fortunately he was a generally disliked man and my work colleagues were supportive and other managers were satisfied with my work. In the end he suddenly disappeared to a job elsewhere in the company leaving behind a stash of illegal files on every member of his staff. Mine contained a copy of every email I had sent him which had a minor typo or spelling mistake in it.

nightowl Thu 13-Sep-12 23:20:32

You've hit the nail on the head there Anagram - I started to believe I was useless at my job. It was only when I moved to another team (after she had left) and began to receive positive feedback that I started to believe in myself again.

If we, as mature women felt like this it is easy to see how children who are bullied at school can feel so desperate that they sometimes take their own lives.

Anagram Thu 13-Sep-12 23:05:07

Yes, I agree, nightowl - the incident biker described is not in the same league as the systematic bullying that some of us experienced, but that man obviously had the same mindset. I think any form of prolonged bullying affects the victim profoundly, and it can sometimes take a very long time to see it for what it was. I didn't even think of my colleague's behaviour towards me as 'bullying' at the time - I suppose I felt it must have been my fault.

nightowl Thu 13-Sep-12 22:52:53

I know you are right nanaej but it's hard to explain just how the bully works to erode your self-confidence and thus your ability to confront or tackle it. I did not feel that I needed any assertiveness skills before I became the target of a bully; I had been a successful professional for almost 20 years at the time. Looking back on the situation from this distance I find it hard to believe the state to which she reduced me - but I can easily recall the feelings that she evoked. I have said many times that I would never allow anyone to treat me that way again; but I will always have a lingering doubt that it could happen again. I'm afraid that is the legacy of a bully.

nanaej Thu 13-Sep-12 22:37:16

Bullying is always unacceptable and needs to be tackled strongly. We always taught assertive skills in school to our little students (3-7) and gave them strategies to use if they felt they were being treated unfairly. Happily children that are that young are less often bullied /bullies but it does sadly happen. More often upsets were a perfectly normal disagreement that children have where one feels they have not got their own way!

Adult bullies are reprehensible because, even if they have been bullied themselves, need to take responsibility for their anti-social behaviour.

I know I did not see the incident biker so did not hear the tone etc but that is only one side of the situation. The guy might have been a bully or just a person at the end of his tether with an employee who, for an umpteenth time, had let the store down. Bullying is sustained targeting of an individual or group to undermine and demean them. A one off loss of temper is just human!

bikergran Thu 13-Sep-12 21:40:28

I suppose this is one of those "silent subjects" that needs to be brought out and dealt with.I have not been in the workplace for a long time as I have cared for DH for many yrs..I know work places have "anti bullying polocies" but it seems that if you makes waves you are seen as a trouble maker, and like other posts have said, if your stand on your own it is a long hard battle to fight solo! (I have found my slip of paper,which started me off on the topic) and maybe if people can open up and post their stories then perhaps it may be a way of putting them to rest, although of course they never really leave you,as they have made an impact on their lives, but some times once you have "unloaded" then it does help you move forward.
We would think that as adults they should know better, but it seems not to be.

Anagram Thu 13-Sep-12 20:32:18

And it does seem that once they get a taste for it, the bully will keep on repeating their behaviour with every new victim....

Oldgreymare Thu 13-Sep-12 20:17:07

Sadly, workplace bullying is more common than people realize and, sadly too, woman on woman bullying occurs more than one would expect.

vampirequeen Thu 13-Sep-12 19:59:06

That's appalling. People are so horrible. They'll have thought it was funny.

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

Thank you for raising this point biker. flowers

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 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.

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

Just sad people movedalot

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 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

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.

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