I saw a workplace bully in action and did nothing :(

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I saw a workplace bully in action and did nothing :(2013-04-05T11:09:33+00:00

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  • #119990

    Fabulous
    Member
    Post count: 173

    It happened yesterday. I was at a government office. One staff was viciously deriding another staff (not present) to another member of staff. It was a shockingly venomous tirade; loud, aggressive, and punctuated with curses.

    Are you thinking the targeted staff must have really done something bad to stir up such a strong reaction?

    She had asked what time her break was.

    My response to this happening right in front of me was to put my head down and get out of there as fast as possible. I was in a huge rush and went on with my business and I didn’t think about it again for the rest of the day. But this morning my mind kept replaying it to me. And the realization that I had witnessed workplace bullying in action — and done absolutely nothing — put me off my cornflakes.

    So I wrote an email to alert the department to what was happening. I just wish I had reacted appropriately at the time. As a non-NT who has been the target of workplace bullying for pretty-much ever, I have zero right to ignore it when I see it happening to someone else. I promise next time I will speak up.

    REPORT ABUSE
    #119993

    Patte Rosebank
    Participant
    Post count: 1517

    @Fabulous, you DIDN’T “do nothing”.  You did exactly the right thing!

    And waiting a bit was also the right thing to do.

    Think about it:  You gave yourself the time to analyze the situation and plan your response before taking action.  You also gave yourself a safety cushion, by not immediately confronting the bully, who could have then turned on you.

     

    From your post, I’m not sure whether you’re an employee in that office, or a customer.

    Either way, as a government office especially, it is governed by a Workplace Health & Safety Policy, and a Workplace Anti-Violence/Anti-Harassment Policy.

    Under the law, any comments or behaviour which make a person uncomfortable, are in violation of those policies.  So whether you were the subject of those comments, or you witnessed them, if they made you or anyone else feel uncomfortable, then they violated the policies and must be reported.

    If you don’t hear back within a few days, you might want to follow-up.  By speaking up like this, and not letting the matter drop, you’re a hero!

    As Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

    You didn’t “do nothing”.  You stood up to evil.

    I’m so proud of you!

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    #119997

    Fabulous
    Member
    Post count: 173

    Thanks, Larynxa; I had some inkling that there might be some sort of dusty government policy on such matters but from what you say it sounds like they really do take this stuff seriously. That actually makes me think my email might not go directly to the ‘delete’ folder. I don’t work there – I have my own company. But I was there on business, so maybe that makes a difference. And now that you mention it, it probably is a good thing that I didn’t launch into a confrontation right there on the spot. I’m not good at that sort of thing. But do I ever wish I were!

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    #120876

    ali770
    Member
    Post count: 2

    Women are more frequently bullied than men. In fact, a survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute found that 62 percent of bullies were men and 58 percent of targets were women. The survey also revealed that the majority (68 percent) of bullying is same-gender harassment and that women bullies target women 80 percent of the time.

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    #120877

    ali770
    Member
    Post count: 2

    In my experience, WorkSafeBC provides little comfort when investigating Bullying Harassment claims. One of the investigator stated that, “If we can’t control bullying in our workplace how do you think we can do anything about your wife’s?” Needless to say I asked him to be removed from the case.

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