Is your office full of mean girls? You’re not alone

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Think about bullies and you probably think about school: movies like “Heathers,” “Mean Girls” and “Revenge of the Nerds,” or the kid on the playground who told you hair bows were for babies or that baseball was better than band camp.

Unfortunately, though, bullying isn’t just a schoolyard problem and — no matter what our parents told us — bullies don’t always grow out of their mean-spirited ways. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll face “Mean Girls” at some point in your professional life, too.

According to a new CareerBuilder survey on workplace bullying, 27 percent of workers have felt bullied on the job, a problem that is more commonly reported among women (34 percent) than men (22 percent).

Unlike the obvious teasing and taunts of childhood bullies, though, adult antagonizers are often more subtle and passive aggressive in their tactics. Of workers who have been bullied, the following were cited as the most common forms of harassment:

  • My comments were dismissed or not acknowledged – 43 percent
  • I was falsely accused of mistakes I didn’t make – 40 percent
  • I was harshly criticized – 38 percent
  • I was forced into doing work that really wasn’t my job – 38 percent
  • Different standards and policies were used for me than other workers – 37 percent
  • I was given mean looks – 31 percent
  • Others gossiped about me – 27 percent
  • My boss yelled at me in front of other co-workers – 24 percent
  • Belittling comments were made about my work during meetings – 23 percent
  • Someone else stole credit for my work – 21 percent

Another difference in adult bullying? Most people are prepared to stick up for themselves. Nearly half of workers who said they’d been bullied also said they’d confronted the person head on, and 28 percent said they took their concerns to human resources.

If you’re facing a bully at work and have yet to confront the issue, take note: “Bullying is a serious offense that can disrupt the work environment, impact morale and lower productivity,” says Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. “If you are feeling bullied, keep track of what was said or done and who was present. The more specifics you can provide, the stronger the case you can make for yourself when confronting the bully head on or reporting the bully to a company authority.”

For more on bullies in the workplace, see:

Dealing with the workplace bully

5 ways to deal with the workplace drama queen

112 Comments
  1. I am 50 yrs old. I am a Pharmacy Tech. I had worked in that pharmacy for 7 yrs. A new 24 yr old female pharmacist started work as the Pharmacy Manager. She immediately started talking about people. I went out of my way to help her get to know the customers and their families, etc. She was angry because the customers all called and asked for me when they needed anything. She talked about me to co workers and to customers, making up lies telling customers I was not doing my job, etc, so I started a photo diary of what she was doing to harass me, by leaving notes, not empting trash, leaving delivery totes in the middle of the floor so I would have to get them out of the way. I reported her multiple times, she was finally approached and quit 2 weeks after Human Resourses Spoke with her. Trust Me, I did not let her get away with talking down to me, I gave it right back, why? Because, I am 50, to old for BS like this kid game, I don’t play games!

    • Hooray for you! I worked for a small company and the owner was my boss. Unfortunately for me there was no one to register a complaint with as he was the one with the constant criticism, the cruel remarks, the uncalled for reprimands, the favoritism with some employees and the list goes on and on. It didn’t matter how many hours I worked or how many times I covered for him. Nothing I ever did was “right”. If you look up narcissist in the dictionary, his picture would be there. I must have cryed every day for months before I finally had to face the truth of this horrific situation and quit my job. Oh, I was 50 too.

      • I was horrified by the mood swings and harsh words my “holistic chiropractor” employer dished out. Dr. B. could be sweet as honey to her patients but she publicly reprimanded her employees; I finally realized this was because she owned the company and felt she could do whatever she wanted.
        I spoke up to her once about her behavior, and she apologized. She reverted to her old ways after a few days. I was definitely too passive and wish I’d spoken up or walked out earlier.
        My former employer acted as if she wanted her patients to benefit from healing techniques which I studied (energy healing which I have used to help in spinal alignment), but I think she was afraid I would take away her patients whom she drained of their money.
        I quit after a few months, but it is hard to explain this to prospective employers. Job websites always counsel that you should speak positively of past employers.
        Her patients told me, though, that this chiropractor usually was only able to keep staff for a few months at a time. I wonder if she has received any insight into her own behaviors by now.
        And I hope I find a good job in a pleasant work environment soon!

        • That is good to hear. I have been with my company for 7 years and I just got a new boss 2 years ago. I have been to scared and broke to quit. I just had a heart attack at the ripe old age of 35, because of the bulling, and I’m still going to work at the same place getting the same treatment from her. Wish I could leave but I’m a single mom of 3 and need the job. I have been looking for another job for the last 2 years when I discovered she was going to become my supervisor and no luck.

      • Susan, congratulation!!! You were lucky, that your HR supported you. In many cases HR works for the management. If this person was your manager, who knows how HR will react.

  2. Way to go, Susan!!! I got dealt alot of or much of the crap on the list above at a place I’d worked at for 6 years. I went above and beyond in my job many times over for never a raise and never any respectful treatment. I was permanently laid off last year for being out sick for 4 days, (I’d had a medical condition requiring surgery, which I had 2 weeks later, in addition to an upper respiratory infection with fever). My boss actually called me in the afternoon when I was sick in bed with fever and laid me off over the phone. Mind you, I worked a TON more overtime than I was ever out sick!!! I now work for a client of theirs!!!! You should have seen the face on the President/my former employer when he came in and saw me working there!!! I got the last laugh AND dollars I am making are going into my pocket and not his! :) Oh, I am 50 also!!!! Taking no more BS!!!

    • Employees are covered by the family medical leave act up to 3 months leave. You should sue your former employer for unlawful layoff. That is one way to teach a bad employer there are labor laws to follow and stop their abusive behavior to future employees.Then you will put his money in your pocket.

      • I live 35 miles from my workplace. In January, trying to get to work on ice,I was hit by a diesal truck. Since going back to work, I can’t seem to do anything right. I work hard, an in pain. A few days ago I had an episode, basically dizzy, blacked out short time. Now, I am off work again. Am I protected by this labor law? Or can they find other reasons to terminate me? The day of accident, roads were closed, then I find out they let someone who lives right in town off that day instead of the ones who lives farthest…I feel like they are looking in every direction and I don’t know what to do???

        • All suggestions are lay-person opinions.
          Begin my reviewing a copy of Your Employer/Employee Policy Manual.
          1. FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act), 12-weeks a year depending on hours worked. Double time allowed if caring for ill or disabled Military relative. FMLA is a very misunderstood. Meant to protect employees. My experience has been HR Depts. or employers are not trained or understand FMLA. Employer should suggest, however, not likely to happen. FMLA can be used in one-hour encrements after when you qualify. Can be utilized for sick children, other close relatives if you are caretaker. If you qualified forn FMLA, employer didn’t offer as an option, sometimes an employee can file retro-complaint (2-years Back?)
          2. ADA (Americans With Disabilites Act).
          3. Depending on Insurance; you may qualify for Short-term/Long-term Disability,
          Opinion only-You sound like you may have Post-concussion Syndrome or other neurolological damage. You need a trusted friend or family memember, to help you check out your employee/employer rights, attend medical appointments, document your health symptoms, make and keep appts, do not make any life-changing decisions until you are at least 12 months out from trauma and injuries.
          You may need an attorney,
          1. Pro-Bono website for Attorney referral.
          2. Review State Labor Laws and EEOC (Feds help enforce state laws, etc.)
          3. State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, may be able to help you maintain your current employment or help you to acquire new skills/rehabilitation to maintain current employment or to become more employable during or after recovery.
          Be kind and patient with yourself and your loved ones! Recovery will take as long as it takes.
          I am concerned about the “black-outs”! Anger/irritability? Depression? Sleep disturbance? Memory?, etc., (conscentration, confusion, personality changes, mood swings??), possible seizures?
          Are you taking any new medications? Side effects? Make a list of all vitamins, hebal, mineral supplements along with all regular medications and keep list with you to share with your physician.
          Please, get a complete competent Medical, Neurological Evaluation, ASAP. Dorlee in WY

  3. Seems I work for a company that fosters bullies. I have realized after such a horrible and demeaning performance review that both my female boss and supervisor are bullies. I think a lot has to do with low self esteem, coupled with wanting to be better than a man, plus have rotten men in their lives whether past or present. My boss will not hesitate to use a foul mouth and yell at others in front of the office staff. These ladies are not really management, just trying to be bossy bullies in the workplace.

    • Bruce,

      You are right. I have been with this company for more than 10 years and I have not seen a company which fosters bully mentality like this one, but it is true. The bullies are the bosses because they need to keep you in control by intimidation and control.

      The situations have been reported to HR many times by me and my coworkers but the HR just send you right back to your boss. They refused to do anything about it. Furthurmore, if I report this to the upper management, they will just tell me that it is not true (deny right out)..

      So good for the companies which have good ethics but there are many that do not.

      • I worked for a company full of women,knew the position would be a challenge,I took it anyway,thinking i was above all the crap,back biting,glares,Talk about being skinner than the rest,( fit) all ways have my hair done,nails done, clothes pressed ‘WHAT THE HECK” all that nitt picking,looking for something to say, I was tired of it all but, wasn’t about to quite,so i got fired hooray! thank you! women are something else to work with some times.

    • Perhaps Bruce your initial comment shows some underlying issue- talking about women bullies trying to BE BETTER THAN A MAN. Not sure exactly what you meant by that but it tells me you need to check your own attitude.

      • As a business woman, I can say for a fact that there are many women who have serious gender issues that they bring to the job. Sexist jerks are not always men. Much like the “race card” the gender card is played to gain power, manipulate others and to escape from accountabiltity.

        I prefer NOT to work with women. All in all, they tend to be very difficult and self-centered.

        • Linda:

          Glad to see that you don’t have a racist bone in your body. What a bigot and a bigot who can’t spell.

  4. In my case it was the boss/owner at a new job. I quit after 11 days. Life is just too short to work in a situation like that. I am so thankful that another opportunity presented itself! I love my job now!!!

    • Sue for unlawful firing. You have every right to make a complaint against a boss or a co worker that is harassing you.

  5. Oh yeah is that so true. My employment was terminated because of an immature 21 something who thought she had it made with upper management. Upper management found out later on how her true colors came out she ended up quitting because she felt that the new manager was a pain in her “you know what”.

    • Kitchen you say! I have been in restaurant management all my life and I worked as a server, and had another server slam me against a counter with witnesses for no reason, The “boss” was a server with no mgmt experience they made a manager and she falsified documents (write ups) Of complaints about me that she made up, yelled at me in front of guests and other employees, made me open and close, would not let me take a break to smoke but let everyone else smoke and eat, I could go on and on I finally got fired but I stuck it out because I am the bigger person and I believe it will come back to her ( like from a state lawsuit) she also used to not let me in the bldg so I would have to time in late when I openened. This was a breakfast lunch only place. The owner loved me and begged me to work at another location but I did not want to work for a Company that could put up w/ pp like her. I had the highest avg check, won all contests and had highest coffee bar, juice and add on sales. They all were just jealous at what an outstanding job I did, and that B would not even let my regulars sit in my section I would discover them in other areas of the restaurant and they would say she said I was not there. I definaltly got the last laugh!!

      • i had a similar expirience working in a restaurant where almost everyone had a problem with me from my first day working there I had the bar tender yell at me in fron of a full house while i was doing them a favor filling their ice buckets…I had the general manager breathing down my neck making comments and telling me i sucked and that everyone there hated me..no matter what i did i was always the punching bag and due to so much stress and mental games i just had to quit! I loved the job but i just couldnt take the harrasment!

    • Why should a person take the “heat” which is abuse in this case, when they understand that
      this is a cowardice and submissive role to play that only benefits the bully?

      • To the bully I hopeyou receive a big lawsuit to puts you homeless. If you treat people like a bully you deserve to be homeless and hungry. What goes around comes around and I hope you get yours.

  6. I worked with a meanie, and for a while she was my director, so I jumped at a job opening in another department. It was such a relief to be away from her negativity. we called her the “white leg police” because she’d yell across a room or the parking lot (with tons of other coworkers around) if she saw someone who “dared” to wear a skirt with bare legs but didn’t use self tanner. At the time I was a young newlywed and money was tight and honestly I didn’t have extra cash to spend of frivolous things like self tanner. She would make fun of people’s clothes who probably made less than a third of her salary. She would also repeat snipets of conversations or things you said to make you look stupid or even insubordinate. After I left her department she repeated to my new boss something I said but phrased it in a way that made my new boss furious and got me in very hot water! Probably she was just insecure and to compensate put on an act. I almost feel sorry for her because clearly she’s not happy.

    • I agree. Maybe she was insecure about herself and her coverup is being not polite. What a waste! Same thing happened to me years ago. I tried not to take it personal because there were others before me that got let go. It didn’t matter if you were black or white, female or male. I spoke to an older gentlemen, later released by this mean-spirited woman boss, and he said he never experienced this type of behavior from a manager. Before retiring, he have his own business and he had no problems with people he employed. Later, after I settled my anger, I begin to feel sorry for her. She may have some issues, and anger and screaming is how she dealt with it. But I lost my job, and I wondered how many people lost their jobs because of unprofessional bosses with bad manners and behaviors? How many good workers are gone that companies could have benefited from their expertise, but lost?

    • White-leg Police? Man I would have been in trouble, I like my skin pale, don’t know why just do. I wouldn’t have put up with that.

  7. I work at a private middle school and was recently told that my teaching contract would not be renewed for the next school year. I worked for this school for several years, and worked alongside probably one of the worst woman bullies in the southeast! I was the only african american teacher there and put up with a lot of nasty, offensive jokes from her. Not only that, this woman manipulates the principal and other admin into thinking that she does all this work when her main job is creating drama and dropping F bombs. The principal is so stupid to believe everything this woman says. I did not have anyone to go to because if I did talk they( the principal) would go back and tell her what I said making my job difficult. It’s sad when things like this happen in a school. This woman will reap what she sows. Bullies are insecure people, but that does not give them the right to behave like idiots.

    • Your story sounds similar to mine. Guess what being in southeast even if you are a thorough professional just the color can be a demerit in the hiring process. I had to leave my job due to personal circumstances and now the trail of this powered people is following me. She is writing and circulating letters to all the counties that I should not be hired and guess what the Principal and some whites are helping her and jeopardizing my chances of getting a job. But the sad part is people with important positions are cooperating with these people and not hiring me because of prejudices/hostilities. They preach and mislead people but practice nothing zero. They thrive on hatred and feel sorry for students who come with their open hearts and minds to learn and face them and their judgments everyday. Educational institutes should not be used as political grounds for these ill bred people to vent their anger and frustrations.

      • No matter where you work or live, that is the general characteristics of racist white people. I also live in the Southeast region of the country and I noticed one common denominator with these people: they fear/hate intelligent people of color. They act as if they are the only people on the planet who have a brain and are capable to success. They have the worst entitlement mentality. I do not trust them and thank God I work for myself thus creating a very small need to communicate with them. Self-sufficiency is the way to combat this type of situation. Oh, even if you are self-sufficient they will try to find a way to stop you from being successful. Stand firm darling. Things will get better.

        • I disagree with one post about how white people are scared of an intellegent person who is black. I can not speak for the stupid folks in your office, but I do not feel that way. I have on the other hand been discriminated against for being the only white person in the office over many times over. I been loaded up on work, very harshly or overly critized for minor errors, left out of the office Christmas party for being white and having the meeting for planning the party right next to my cube. Why is it never mentioned about reverse discrimination? I am not calling you prejudice, but why does this happen and you all get away with it. I feel anymore if your white you have no more rights. I feel like I earned my job and moved up out of the hell of an office. I had to move up by knowing something, not by getting a break for being a minority. peace out all.

    • Welcome to the world of Education. Its all about self-promotion and escaping from resposibility and accountability.. and telling the world how under paid you are for working 9 months, with socialistic benefits and a great retirment. By in larger, teachers and administrators in schools suck.

    • This is typical black racism. I suspect the reality of the situation is far different from how you present it.

      Odds are – you are the problem..and people are responding to you accordingly.

  8. I was bullied, harassed and demeaned by my female boss and went to HR about it. What happened? I received a final written warning and was told no one wanted to work around me any more. I left the company, filed a complaint with the EEOC and found out there is no protection from bullying or protection from retaliation when you make complaints about it. So Rosemary Haefner, I don’t recommend anyone take your advice if they want to keep their job.

    • The EEOC is worthless in most cases. And, you are correct as far as retaliation is concerned. I was told by a manager of a financial institution I formally worked for, that if I filed a EEOC complaint I would never find other employment. I did file an EEOC complaint and was provided a right to sue letter. Being naive and altruistic I was not interested in money damages, I just wanted the organization’s “leadership” to understand that their behavior was immoral and illegal. One of the criminals resigned and the practices I identified in my complaint were changed. I didn’t pursue a court case. However, I have not been able to find decent employment since. There should be a recourse to address the harm done by those companies, those HR employees, and those that insure corporations who engage in blackballing individuals who standup to the stupidity and backwards thinking afflicting the workplace.

      • I loved my job, I worked there for 3 years, when my manager left and a new one was hired. The new manager couldn’t even remember my name and confused me with other employee’s, so I was accused in front of my customers, of giving poor customer service. I needed the job, so I stuck around, just to be constanly nagged at, wrote up for things that had nothing to do with me, and told that I would have to drop to part time or be terminated within 30 days. When I refused to drop to part time within a couple of weeks I was brought into the office, and harrassed for 3 hours! I was being accused of stealing. Of course I was histerical when they kept telling me if I didn’t admitt to what I did they would call the police and send me to jail. I wasn’t about to admitt to something I didn’t do, instead I walked out and went straight to the EEOC as well. What I was told was that if I didn’t go back to work, they were leagally able to fire me due to job abandonment. So out of fear I went back, but the harrassement continued. Because now I was being gossiped about as if I were a theif. Even the security personnel would ask other employees if I had been at work because there was money missing. It just so happened on the day they asked that, I had been off work for two days. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I finally walked out for the last time. It took me months to find another job. I was getting the feeling that I had been blacked balled. So one day my mohter-in-law, walked in there and actually told my Ex manager that if we found out that I was having a hard time getting work because of him, there would be law suits. The very next day, I got a call for an interview, and I now love my new job!

  9. I have been there, I was bullied by a female co-worker, who was an equal to me. She was horrible to work with and the manager was on her side. They would team up on me on a regular basis. I actually think that the manager was semi afraid of this office bully. Looking at the list above, I dealt with every single one of them. My comments were not acknowleged, ideas and credit were stolen, I was fasley accused of many things. There were different standards for this bully. They could come and go as they pleased, sometimes only working 3-4 hours a day, but when I would leave early (5 minutes) something was said to me. The list goes on and on. The one thing that I noticed about this person was that they always had a victim, when they realized that I was not one that was easily pushed around, they moved on. But always came back to me, because I was outspoken, did my job well and was a threat to them. I was not eating, losing sleep and my health starting to suffer. I ended taking a leap of faith, left that job in hopes that something better would come along. I have not looked back once and realized that life is way too short to deal with a miserable experience like this one. Fingers are crossed that something great will come along soon!

  10. I just left a position with a 501.3c where the director was an uneducated moron. If you were a thinking, functioning individual, someone who actively sought to improve the workings of the organization, she viewed you as a threat. She would belittle and make fun of employees who she disliked and was hostile and punitive in her actions towards those employees. As a the supervisor of those employees who were the subjects of her baseless and unwarranted attacks I spent a lot of my time acting as a buffer to her adolescent behavior. She customarily made had personal and demeaning commits about those she disliked. The final straw for me was her attempt to do harm to a court officer who served the community well and who was not in her pocket. This “director” was short sighted enough to call me and share her plan in anticipation I would support her. I did not. I did inform the appropriate authorities. Her plan falled, she however survived and continues, by her immature behavior do a disservice to those in the community in need of the mature application of services her organization provides. I am no longer working with the organization, I miss the work, but I don’t miss the sorry leadership with which the organizations is afflicted.

    • I was in that situation. I refused to sleep with my boss and ruin my 25 year marriage. I went through all of the above. Yes, people can be pretty evil. My boss dumped his fifth wife and married the HR director’s sidekick. I was transferred from IT to a lower position in the company – under HR. EEOC was useless, the HR director did start firing those around me who continued to speak to me. Of course, my HR file was padded and I was “fired” but they made it look like I was laid off – weird stuff.

      It was so bizarre that TWC called me about my unemployment claim. I explained all that had happened and confirmed that I has plenty of documentation to back everythng I said if I needed to provide it. I received unemployment and was assured that the director had been flagged in case other claims were filed. I did not sue because I was worn out, newly separated from my husband, and I knew that there were plenty of other lawsuits before mine and nothing changed.

      It took two years for me to find a part time job after that. If I had to do it all over again would I do anything different? You bet! I would have taken legal action and gone public. But I didn’t; I have learned a lot about myself and human nature.

      I wish I had advice or the perfect answer but I don’t. I can say that I found a website with information that possibly saved my life and yes, I have a comment out there as anonymous.

      go to http://www.kickbully.com

  11. Wow I’ve been wanting to say something about this since the topic of bullying became a big topic.I have to say I had to quit two jobs because it got so bad.I reported to guys that were harrassing me ,they got away and the sad thing they were always getting away with it.Another job that I worked didn’t want me to go to the doctor after recieving a bad cut.I went anyway.I had to take on three people and with my temper I was ready to take them on.I tried to fight them legally but to no prevail I lost.

  12. For the better part of 56 (soon to be 57) years and over 35 years in the workforce I have been a target for bullies. I figured that after 12 continuous years of bullying through elementary and secondary school (and four relatively good years in college) I would enter the workforce and finally be treated like an human being. It was not to be. At numerous jobs I have had supervisors and/or coworkers who seemed to take pleasure in trying to get me fired or, at least, in trouble. At one job two female coworkers told a lie about me to get me fired (they said I made a derogatory statement about the company-not true). At another job I was accused of posting an obscene cartoon on the bulletin board (again, not true-I really had to state my case to the H.R. director to keep from getting fired). At another job, I was told in the interview by my future supervisor to “ask questions” and then was fired after two days by the same guy for “asking too many questions!!! Several supervisors and I had personality conflicts because of age/generational differences (I was 21 at the time, my supervisor was 64), religious differences (the supervisor would hire friends who belonged to his church and cut me down for my religious beliefs), military vs. non-military (the supervisor treated everybody like a “stupid buck private” and couldn’t/wouldn’t tolerate anybody asserting any intelligence/knowledge) or gender (I worked with a predominately female group and was frequently berated because of male/female related issues). I put up with a lot of abuse mainly because I needed the job and had to work!!! I could go on and on but I’ve taken up a lot of space already. I’ll check back to see what kind of responses I get!!!

    • Allen – bullies smell blood in the water. They are like sexual preditors in that they are finely tuned into any indication of weakness of vulnerability. Women are particularly good at this as we see far more than men do in terms of human relationships.

      In business you get raises and promotions not because you deserve them, but because you have the power to demand them. Sad but true. In my company, its the ability to bring in clients that is the source of power. I developed the ability and then used my client base as leverage to demand more money, a higher postion and a host of other things.

      Those who place nice, follow rules and think management will look out for them are fools.

  13. I’ve run into three bullies in my 30-year working life. Two weeks into my first job out of college, my boss asked me to make up data for a client. I refused. She asked me if I liked my job. I said, “not particularly” so she fired me. Luckily, I got another job right away making nearly twice the money! Then after I moved, my second bully was the company’s founder. His secretary would call 5 or 6 people to come to his office at the same time, and he would make us all sit there while he yelled at someone else. These yelling sessions would sometimes last 45 minutes. He also liked to walk up to your desk and hang up the phone (while you were talking on it!) and then ask you some pointless question. Thankfully, I got laid off because of bad economy. The third workplace bully was someone I didn’t have to work directly with – thank God – but she one time told me that her “job” was to make her new employees cry so they’d know who was boss. Needless to say, she had a LOT of new employees. She also used to literally spend hours on the phone talking about her social life to her mother. I spoke to our mutual boss about it and he defended her! It made me wonder what kind of hold she had on my boss that allowed her to get away with stuff like that.

  14. Remember everyone – It is because of insecurity & unhappiness that they are acting up the way they do… if you have to leave the job to save your sanity, by all means do so! But if you like your job & want to stay…play the ‘ignore’ game; they try to make you look bad…ignore it, do not reply, etc. etc…..DRIVES THEM ABSOLUTELY MAD!!

  15. I, too, was bullied in more than one job. In the last, my boss was the one who was totally supported, and I was “let go” in some supposed “restructuring” of the department. I worked in a major healthcare system and had for more than 13 years with excellent annual reviews and relationships with everyone I came into contact with until this witch got herself promoted to supervisor. I complained about her behavior toward me to everyone: co-workers, other supervisors, almost all of the HR personnel separately, Employee Relations, and the Vice President of Human Resources, all of whom ignored me. First she cut my hours back, then she had me “shadowed” during my working hours (apparently by someone whose own job wasn’t as important as following me around was!), and then got rid of me altogether. When I consulted an employment attorney, he agreed that it was one of the most egregious cases of harrassment he’d encountered — and this was his specialty — but she hadn’t crossed the line far enough that he thought I could win a lawsuit. Four of the nine people in the department left at about the same time because of her, and still no one did anything about her. She’s still there, and I’m on unemployment struggling to keep my head above water.

    • I went through a similar situation with an employer a few ago. I was fired, but with the evidence of harrassment I presented to the department of labor in my state, I was awarded unemployment benefits. I was also struggling to keep my bills paid and almost lost my home/car but God prevailed and I did not lose a thing. Here it is 2011, someone I know who is affiliated with this organization told me that this same boss who fired me is on his way out the door, has a son who recently went to prison and a teenage daughter who now has a baby and did not finish high school. What goes around comes around.

  16. I worked at a financial institution in which bullying, harassment, and discrimination were commonplace. After 10 years of having this bank chase me to work there, I was treated horribly from day one of my job. I kidded myself into thinking it would get better. I had always been a top performer and was considered in my industry as one of the best. Not being one of the good old boys, I was treated differently than my male counterparts. In many instances my performance was better which made them treat me worse. At the end of the day, I was called into the CEOs office and told that no one there liked me which was one of the most unprofessional things I have ever gone through. I asked him who said they didn’t like me and he would not answer me. 90 days later, I was called in and fired with no reason, just that “they were an at will employer and didn’t have to give me a reason”. My blood pressure was up for two years prior to losing my job and my health was in great jeopardy because of the constant barrage of bullying. The bad part is everyone knew it was going on and wouldn’t associate themselves with me because they were afraid they’d be bullied or lose their job. At the end of the day, I’m glad I’m not there, but I pray no human being ever has to endure what I did. With God’s grace and lots of prayer I survived it. May I say to all who have gone through this, IT WAS NOT YOU….WIPE YOUR FEET OF THE IDIOTS AND GOD WILL REPAY. Don’t become bitter because then they win. The best way to get them back is to be happy and be successful somewhere else. Then you can smile when you see them and make their day!

    • I know the feeling because I experienced this also working at a bank. We were going through re-deployment and my dept was transfered under another manager. For one year, I’ve endured the worst behavior from this boss. My stomach would turned by the time I got into work. I had headaches at the end of the day. It was a 8 hour workout without the gym. She would scream, not only to me, but there were others, about anything. Sometimes she would get the jobs mixed up with other workers, she didn’t know who was doing what, and I think, that frustrated her even more. Finally, after my released, I cried and felt so, so good. But I felt bad for my coworkers left behind, wondering who will she pick on now. Years later, found out she lost her dept but still works at the bank under another manager. I’m no longer angry, but feel sorry for her. At the time, I didn’t think about what she must be going through on a personal level, at home or with other people. Was she going through a medical issue? Maybe by now, is she better with people skills.

  17. I work at a large membership organization and have a boss that is a little man with a superiority complex. This man has inflicted all ten examples listed above on me and all of his staff, yet he remains. I believe God puts these people in our lives to teach us how not to treat our fellow human beings. I’m a big believer in what comes around, goes around. This man will get his comeuppance and I’ll be there to relish the moment. In the meantime, I continue to look for a better person to work for and pursue opportunities that may lead me to become self- employed. There is an Irish saying, “Patience is poultice for all wounds.”

  18. I was also bullied worked at a major dept. store in cosmetics a hostile envoirment to start with, two weeks into it the bully started talking about me, the nasty looks and comments I documented every thing in detail for 8 months finally I was let go because of my attendance so they say but I think they had it with my complaints but sometimes just the thought of going in to work with her made me ill, I guess it was for the best my health and sanity are far more important than that job. I know it was because she can’t stand herself thats why the treats other people so badly, I know it’s not me.

  19. I don’t know if there is any real solution to the problem of workplace bullying, unless there is a culture that discourages that behavior. I am a psychiatric nurse, who was working at one of the U.S.News & World Report’s top 10 psychiatric hospitals in this country. I ended up being fired a year ago, after being tag-teamed by an administrator and a nursing supervisor. The only way they could actually find any reason for firing was to make it up and change a policy after the fact. A colleague of mine was also targeted and I became seriously targeted when I would not help the bullies frame this co-worker. Some of their behaviors actually verged on the illegal.
    I have found that if you have characteristics that cause you to stand out in any way, you have a tendency to be a target; these behaviors are rampant within the health care field; nurses, especially direct care nurses are frequent targets. For me, I tend to superior performance; can pass tests easily; have a passion for working with children and adolescents; have memberships in professional associations, including the honor society of nursing; have board certification; and am a whiz at the computer (self-taught,too), etc, etc.
    To make a long story short, this prominent psychiatric facility has a tendency to place its bullies in supervisory positions and treats its employees as fodder to be thrown under the bus. Now that I no longer work there, I have managed to deter at least 10 nurses from seeking employment there (one dropped the application process in the middle of it) and have been advising nursing students to avoid subjecting themselves to that place. Meanwhile, I have engaged the services of a lawyer and pressed charges through EEOC for ageism and retaliation.

    • Linda,

      I experienced much the same treatment. I was bullied by a physician who rakes in the money for the health system – I was accused of doing something I didn’t do and ended up having to file a grievance. What I thought would solve the problem only made it worse and I was terminated two weeks ago. Now I’m looking for work . . . I’m 54 yrs old and have never been fired before. I have always been a top notch exemplary employee but now I feel like my integrity and reputation have been sullied by the poor management of this organization. I feel I was retaliated against but it comes down to my word against theirs and I can’t see spending more time and money for a lawyer to get my job back when I don’t want to be there anymore. Good luck with your suit.

      JJ

  20. I am working at a pest control company where my very bi-polar boss takes turns harrassing and yelling at the crew. I also have a self-cenered 27 yr old who can do no wrong in his eyes. At Christmas,though,he turns into a good samaritan and gives everyone bonuses–only if you show up at his lame party you can’t even bring your spouse to! Soon as New Years is over he is back to his old mentally abusive tactics! He told one older colleague he ought to kill him for being a fat loser. Told my whole office one day that there are plenty of over-qualified unemployed talent that can replace us. It’s a miracle I’ve lasted this long but I just ignore him and continue to do my work and get out at the crack of 5pm everyday. I feel sorry for what a miserable person he is and pray for him. I am just biding my time looking for a new job to escape to!!!!!!!!!!

  21. I am so glad that bullying in the workplace is now being discussed — i’ve been bullied, too, from my earliest memories but also at work from “adults”, to the extent that i developed post-truamatic stress disorder and attempted suicide —- even some of my managers. Professionally, the problem was that it SEVERELY effected my ablility to do my job … and, thus, my work reputation … and thus my ability to find work and support myself. Eventually, my company (who i’d been with for over 20 years despite the harrassment/bullying) did begin to address the problem, but that was after i’d been with them for 13 yrs. and the damage was done. ~~~~~~~~~ As a side-note, i believe that all the workplace and school violence/shootings are actually victims of bullying finally not being able to take the bullying/hate any more; i think if we can eliminate the emotional violence, we will eliminate the resulting voilent reaction (which includes suicide —- the anger and hate against the bullied person vented back on his/her ownself …. and the hopeless and the helplessness to protect his/her self from the perpetrators). (By the way, you never see the bullies held accountable for what they did to the person who finally reacted; they should be.)

    • Hello, I don’t know who you are, but your writing sounds just like that of someone I know. Like you, I am a survivor of many years of peer abuse and bullying- and in my case it was made worse by the actions of the adults in my life, especially the teachers at the schools I attended. Their actions caused me far more harm than anything my peers ever did or said. When will this country ever realize that kids who are bullies grow up to become ADULTS who are bullies, and that people who get bullied NEVER OUTGROW the effects of such traumas? There are REASONS, folks, why massacres like the ones at Columbine and Virginia Tech happened. Bullying and peer abuse is one of the major ones. The kids who did the shooting in both those cases had ALL endured years of abuse and misery from their peers and teachers, just like this poster and I have done. Eventually, they got to a point where they simply couldn’t take it any longer, and the result was carnage and DEATH. It doesn’t need to be this way- and I am working hard to see that it doesn’t stay this way.

      I know only too well what it means to have your past held against you- that has happened to me more than once. I also know what it means to be condescended to and looked down upon because you are considered to be “different” than everyone else. I’ve had that happen too. There are far too many people in the corporate world who equate being “different” with being “unacceptable”, as sad as this is. Lack of acceptance is another reason why some people end up as bullies while others wind up as victims.

  22. I work in Flint, Mi for a homehealth care company-the nations largest as a matter of fact. It’s a known fact that my boss is a bully, and I am just one of two office girls. I have worked here for so long, that my boss has influenced me and the other girl and so the four of us together (two managers, and two office girls) bully all of our clinicians. We are encouraged to do it everyday, we are encouraged to constantly text and call them while they are driving to go see patients. We love to threaten the employees that they won’t get paid if they don’t make corrections to paperwork. But we are passive-aggressive, too!! So, we love to wait until the last possible minute to call them about this, so that they can’t possibly make it in on time to correct, soo we don’t pay them!!!! Isn’t that a hoot? lol I make such a pittance, and I am so jealous of all the nurses and therapists, (not that butt-ugly social worker though), that I love to give them hell. Everyday, I wake up at 5:30 to care for my husband, who is dying because of the stress I have put him through (te-he), then I go to work and take it out on everyone. This is not a joke, I really do this!!! I hope no one from work reads this, but I just had to write this from a bully’s point of view!! I am dumb, uneducated, and very unhappy in life, so I have to make others miserable. It’s what keeps me going, and one of the only reasons I enjoy going to work! Oh, I want to ad this! Ha ha! Any new “account execs” (nice sounding name for lowly salesman) we try to influence them, and get them into our web of lies and deceit and turn them against all clinicians as fast as possible!!! It works everytime!! Everyone is unhappy, miserable, and stressed out, JUST THE WAY WE LIKE IT!!

    • Your grasp of satire is weak. A true bully rationalizes his/her behavior–s/he is never “wrong” but is “getting justice.” I hope that your middle school English teacher finds a better outlet for your interest in fictitious satire, however.

      • In any event making other people miserable at work just because you are is wrong. The person above mentions that they do this on a daily basis as well. I find this quite disturbing when bullying in the workplace is actually nurtured at any workplace. As for my play on words in the previous comment well the point got made.

  23. It is curious, but many women, including my wife, have told me about female bullies they’ve known in the workplace. I don’t know many women who actually want to work for women. I don’t know why that is.

  24. I read the comments and agree most of those things had been done to me by one woman. There seems to always be that one employee and if you become the target my only suggestion is to leave as soon as you can because you will never be respected once that one person is done spreading rumors about you. No matter how hard you work, meetings, showing proof they are lies it still sits in the back of the mind of your boss everytime they are considering someone for a promotion. Especially when they are friends with the bully. My only satisfaction was being called several times for months following being terminated asking me to return and the joy it gave me to say NO every time.

  25. After being fired from a job in the mortgage industry for refusing to work for “Chinese Overtime” (I swear, that’s what the HR person called it), I took a “temp” job for $10/hr at the place where my neighbor is the office manager. Things went swimmingly for 4 months until the owners of the company promoted me to a permanent position and gave me a raise – which is only a little less than the office manager makes. I had been offered a different position at another company, and the co-owners decided they wanted to match the offer I was given, in order to keep me. It has been two weeks – and I suffer bullying, insinuation and passive-aggressive behaviors daily from my neighbor/office manager. When I spoke to the owner about it, he said, “Well, you’re a woman . . .”. His excuse for the bad behavior and a less than subtle suggestion that I just take it. The office manager and I are the only women who work for the company, and she has run off every other woman who has worked for her. At 56 years old I can’t just leave this job until I have another – but I SO wish I had taken the other offer. I knew before I was offered this position that the office manager complains daily about her health, her family life, her boyfriend, etc. ad nauseum. She averages actually working about 5 hours a day – between running “errands” and talking on her cell phone to her boyfriend. She has screaming profane fights with her son, who is also a manager at the company, in front of customers and the entire staff. And the owners do nothing – its like they are afraid of her. I just never thought she would turn her considerable wrath toward me. I should have known that when I was in a stable position and my work was being appreciated by the owners – I would become an enemy in her eyes.

  26. I was bullied so many times during the first 10 years of working . That I finally decided to work the graveyard shift and not have to deal with so many hateful people in the world. Something about my nice personality makes people think I’m timid and weak. Their are some people in this world that are just mean and want to rip you apart. They dont care if you have families to take care of or not. They treat the workplace as if its recess at a elementary school. Now I work by myself and I dont have the stress I use to have.

  27. Funny, but not a single poster here named the company/companies at which they were bullied. Why not? Are you still afraid of retaliation? I don’t doubt for a moment that these stories are true, but it’d be nice to know which companies to avoid.

    One of the best ways to exact a little vengeance of your own is to let others know about workplace cultures. It also gives talented, well-adjusted productive workers who don’t need this bullshit in their lives an opportunity to avoid bad employers and focus what they have to offer on employers who truly value it.

    • Look for anonymous forums/rankings if you want to know where to work or not work. Yes, if you say something and mention a specific name, you can be tracked down pretty easily (as one must mention one’s email). People are wise to be circumspect.

  28. As a small business owner/manager, one thing I have learned: fire the a_______ ! I’ve had to work with some over the years that were amazingly nasty, unproductive and demoralizing to the rest of the staff. They generally kept their positions because they were “protected workers” (minority, etc), until the situation reached a breaking point and they were terminated anyway. Document everything to the last little detail, fight their claim for UC (you will win with proper documentation), and try your best to avoid hiring errors. But if you find that you have made a mistake in hiring, terminate that person immediately – it’s vital for the survival of your business, and for a productive, efficient workplace. I learned this the hard way (personal experience); check references thoroughly and take your time in hiring.

  29. Scott S., you are full of crap. You are probably one of the biggest bullies out there and I wish we could meet face to face. You would not last dude.

    • I am sorry you took my post in such a threatening and offensive way. I understand that many employers have a “long arm” and, if the internal attitudes demand it, will “track down” those who speak ill of their ex-bosses as “fob” says. His/her suggestion of anonymous forums and rankings sounds like a positive way to avoid getting trapped in a bullying work world.

      If you have been hurt by or lost your job because of workplace bullying, I am truly sorry. But name calling and veiled threats aren’t the best solution to avoiding it in the future.

  30. I am over 50 and spent 3 years in “hell” working with three girls in their 20′s. When I was hired, the manager stressed to me he wanted me to set a professional example as the young ladies in the office needed some guidance in that area. They spend the day talking. laughing, and talking on the phone. I was forced to help them with their assignments as they never got anything done. The more I did the more was expected of me. Not a day went by that I did not endure smart remarks about my age, my dress (I was asked to wear suits) and my family. Finally I had enough and quit. My family needed my income is the only reason I lasted as long as I did.

  31. what happens when you work for a family owned company and the owners wife is THE HR DEPT?

    she ignores all legitimate complaints. she knows there is an office affair going on but does not stop it between those two doing it!

    what do you do when the company is family owned, it is a toxic work environment, and you have been passed over for advancement because you filed a complaint against a co-worker which was ignored.

  32. I too have been through hell more than once at work. From being fired for not sleeping with the boss’s son to having to constantly kiss the you know what of an owner’s horrifically spoiled, ridiculous and psychotic daughter who was placed in a position of great authority….I have been there. As a single mother; I was preyed upon because a boss can smell your desperation to keep a job and feed your children from a mile away. I worked constant unpaid overtime and developed a very painful ulcer. I was fired by the insane daughter manager for supposedly being nasty to a new 20 something moron who had just been hired and had managed to completely ingraciate herself with the daughter by lying and pretending to like her. I felt like I was in high school all over again only x 1,000. People are just viscious and will stop at nothing to elevate themselves; even if that means destroying someone else. I now work in guidance at a high school and manage to get by on the very low salary compared to what I used to make. There are still issues but luckily I am too busy with students to get involved. I focus on them. I did work for a very successful attorney once who did not have any problems with his all female staff. BS was never tolerated and in spite of it being a very high pressured job; it was a pleasure to not have to worry. He would fire anyone who came in and created personal problems. Too bad I had to move. I have rambled but I enjoy seeing that I have not been alone.

  33. Just resigned from a very difficult situation. Library, unranked vocational, quite horrible middle-school quality teasing from circulation staff in the wake of a relationship with one of their staffers that went nowhere. Another librarian pursued same staffer, whereas some limited perception B.S. had all equate my discomfort to an interpersonal zero-sum game where both elements of this couple felt exhalted it did seem; i.e. one felt desired X2, the other, validated for his presumably fine choice.

    It does provide this poster some satisfaction that these ‘star-crossed lovers’ will no longer be able to blame interpersonal dysfunction upon the presumed corrosive influence of quite terrible me, that they will be forced to sober up, and that the tepid choice they’ve likely both made will in time be revealed as plain.

    Libraries can be sad social laboratories housing interpersonally inexperienced men and women both, or rather should I say boys and girls. Both fitfully try to catch up in the maturity sweepstakes, and mix in experiences not had in high school, a certain desperation, too much unstructured time, the low socioeconomic status of all players, and matters get ugly. I don’t exempt myself from that which I’ve stated, but please understand that I at least did all I might to cease contact and expand social relations outside of the building.

    After-hours teasing, wide staff participation, HR denial that it all could be anything more than ‘what was in my head’, etc. ensued and would not stop. A new semester would bring new work studies on board and renewal of corrosive chatter – for wasn’t it all terrific fun to bring new hires up to speed. Detailed record keeping penned as incident reports did me little, and as terrible behavior continued and more chose to participate, I declined to play and was eventually deemed incapable of performing an essential aspect of work; i.e. relating easily to people.

    Such people, and such a vile network of cruel and unprofessional sorts who deserve no better than to have such behaviors visited upon them in their personal lives at some time, in some place. How could they behave so and imagine in some casual way that to give vent to such behavior didn’t reflect upon their own character, and that skills developed so will eventually be turned upon those they presumably love?

    Bullies breed bullies I do believe, whereas utterly fatigued I was and remain for they would not let it go. I’d forget for days – and then there would be further evidence right before me, confirming without a doubt that the ‘perceptual zero-sum game’ others were deeply invested in required that I play my role. Giggling, laughter, recce runs to gather information, further chatter, bonds expanded upon amongst female staff for excited chatter – all without my participation. The permission needed to engage in such behavior they simply took without asking, whereas no matriarchal Judi Densch would ever set down from above to afford the sort of engaged parenting too may over-aged part-time library clerks with patently too little to do so obviously required. Such excitement!

    Titles speaking of teen girl culture having to do with matters described as Alternate Aggression, Relational Aggression, and Behavioral Aggression help, as do materials for myself that relate to a certain vulnerability I carried in having to do with a legacy of emotional deprivation. HR yawned, older staffers pulled back and were appalled though they could not say, mean girls culture held total sway.

    May all who avidly participated experience these as the greatest days of their lives, that their total experience of life effectiveness not transcend the sordid social environment they gleefully cultivated, and that may life pass them by.

    I’ll remember an environment of my increasingly difficult social situation being played for a laugh, one where poking me with a stick validated the social worth of someone who in a reasoned and adult environment, in a professional environment, would not have a role. Thanks for your kind attention. Everyone be well…

  34. 51yo female as seems to be a running theme here. Worked for same co for 11 yrs and just quit because of female crap. Still shake some because of consatnt lies, and petty stuff like theft and destuction of personal property.
    HR? Really?!? Does anyone still believe HR departments actually do anything for the employee? Naw, they’re just there to help legal keep you from filing charges or claims.Good Luck to all (of us) highly motivated women still looking out there.

  35. You are all lucky you work in the USA. I worked for 10 years on a “soveregin nation Indian reservation” in Minnnesota. Most of us women were/are harassed and bullied daily, but because they are not requiered to obey the laws of the USA, they can get away with it. I was finally fired after a customer wanted to sleep with me, and I wouldn’t accumadate him-he was a big spender, and the Shift manager fired me on the spot. Actually made me sick to my stomach to go into work, but needed to support the family. Thankfully got a better job. But I know this kind of stuff is all too alive and well even today. Sad.

    • I have a clients who are with native owned companies and what you say Jane rings true with what I hear. Natives, like most blacks, are self-destructive and with out morals.

  36. I have worked for a business for several years. Things used to be good. Then we got a new bank president. Had to hire friends with no expereince and put them into management positions. Older workers are treated like a piece of shit. Careless with money and lazy. Can’t complain because then you are a bad worker. Also have fat over weight people you lie steal and cheat from the company. Terrible place to be.

  37. Glad I’m not alone but sad that I am in this situation. NOT in a job I chose but as a result of workplace negligence. Then a car accident pretty much did me in as far as doing what I love to do and that is caring for patients at the bedside. I’ve been employed by this institution for 30 yrs and in a small office. There is one person who is the “teacher’s pet” and her best friend who get away with everything but I am singled out. I am single and need my benefits to survive and a paycheck to prevent homelessness. What does someone in my position do? I have stood up to these people more than once and it has done no good.

    • p.s. I am on medication just so i can go to work and have panic attacks on Sunday evenings knowing I must go to work the next day.

  38. I was persuaded, from a job at a hospital 30 miles away, to work only 5 miles from home in a retirement home as a nursing supervisor, treatment nurse, infection control nurse. I was repremanded repeatedly after a street smart CNA reported to the ADON that I was after her job. She told her peers she knew how to get rid of me, because I dared to tell her to get the piercings off her face while she was on the clock. I too am 56 years old. The ADON was her “friend” and I was told to back off on correcting the “good CNA’s”. After the ADON was convienced that I was after her job she would yell at me in front of co-workers, snip at me and not answer direct questions, make me write things over and over and over (taking up time I did not have) reprimanding me for over time, reprimanding me for clocking out and working overtime on my own, all the while under the nose of the Director – who stated “I can’t do my job without her and her experience”, and “I got your back-you ain’t going anywhere”. .. knowing that I was doomed to be fired from the nasty ADON.. I eventually planned my exit, and reluctantly turned in a two weeks notice – to be torn up by the CEO. The CEO quit two weeks later.. Then I was called into the DON’s office again “DID you say you were after the ADON’s job..No,I replied.. why are you going to fire me now?? No I just want this cleared up..(this is 6 months post 1st accusation, 5th time in the DON’s office) The ADON sat with her arms crossed saying “where’s there’s smoke there is fire!” I had to laugh to keep from crying..I did not tell them I found an old sheet in my file with all the salaries on it..lol ADON made a dollar more than me..should I have told them to stop this madness?.no. I never said I wanted her job..so I felt that my word was enough) then I was told in front of my accuser and reprimand queen that I would not be fired that I was too valuable..I then Became “Employee of the month” that week. The next week..recieved a NEW CEO..and then I was called into her office and let go. (who got fired after firing me for not passing her CEO examination within a week)Another nurse got fired within two days for supposedly talking to me -which she hadn’t. Employees are told I am filing a huge lawsuit and not to talk to me. I am receiving UI..what should I do. So many nurses, within 7 months of my employement, quit because of that nasty woman, fearing retaliation from the ADON, an LPN. She yells at everyone except her four favorite employees, they go out together, they laugh with each other with that all knowing bound that rules don’t apply to them. If you go along with them you are safe, if not, you will go. Turnover is very high, call ins are more than 30 per month. Employees 60. I tried to bow out, got talked back into staying, then fired when the DON was sick and there wasn’t anyone to stop the evil ADON from completing her goal of getting rid of me. Yes she was bred that way..remarks made to me “she looks like a million bucks on a daily basis”, “I don’t know why everyone loves her”, “I don’t know why she is so cheerful all the time” “I don’t do perky””I’m busy can’t help ya-(fake smile)” She would volunteer me for any new jobs, she even wrote me up for parking my med cart at a fire door. She is very insecure in an empires new clothes world. I never did anything “right” in her eyes. She got into her position by telling lies to corporate about the ADON before her constantly so I was told. She is walking toxic. Making anyone cry is her power. Why a corporation leaves this mean spirited uneducated LPN to run the show and shoot stress levels through the roof is beyond me. Its a small community and her reputation as a “B” word is everywhere. Its her last job if corporate will ever wake up and see her damage they will let her go. Lawsuits? Anyone win one? I have a dairy from the first day, some of the last months I omitted because I thought well I am leaving this mess and did not want to dwell on it. But as someone mentioned its hard to explain as to why you don’t work somewhere anymore, what is something I could say ..”change of management?” lol The nurse still call me and its been months..they beg for me to call corporate and get rid of the ADON and DON. I sigh..

  39. I am female, age 54 and sole support of my family. My husband is disabled and unemployable and my sister has been out of work for a year, living in our home. Just lost my job after 5 years of employment because of constant bullying by my supervisor, co-workers and other employees. My employer agreed not to deny unemployment benefits, but the money I will receive won’t be sufficient to cover my mortgage payments, so I will undoubtledly lose my home to foreclosure. Bullying in the workplace should not be tolerated and it should be made illegal; otherwise an employee has absolutely no legal recourse against the perpetrators or employer.

    • I am truly sorry for the heart-wrenching situation you have been put in. I wish you well and am confident that you will find the break you need and deserve. Do not take foreclosure with out a fight.

  40. I have had two blatant issues of bully bosses or supervisors:

    The first was during college when I worked part time as a video store. The atmosphere of the job was really laid back, we wrote in the hours that we wanted, and the 4 of us that worked there did a pretty fair job of splitting up the prime working hours (slow times when we could study or do homework).
    The original manager quit suddenly and one of the workers, a recent college grad that only worked one or two shifts a week was promoted to manager. Within about 3 days, she had hired several of her friends and “gave” them all the hours that all the previous workers were signed up for. I just quit because it was obvious she was just trying to get rid of the people that weren’t friends and it was the end of the semester anyway.

    The second case occurred several years later when I was independently contracted to help do some landscaping with a small landscaping company. I was hired because I had almost 10 summers worth of landscaping experience. Early on the boss heaped praise on me for the excellent work I had done, but about halfway through the job one of the female workers was unofficially promoted to oversee and manage all of us peons, despite having no landscaping experience, no work ethic, and an uncanny ability to spend half the day driving around in the company truck “supervising” and coming back looking strung out (pretty sure she was a meth head).
    Anyways, once she was ‘promoted’ for her tendency to wear skimpy clothes and kiss the bosses butt, she instantly turned into a micromanaging B that didn’t know what she was talking about, would tell me I wasn’t working fast enough (though I got more done than the rest).
    After discussing it with the other workers, they all pretty much agreed that she was causing a lot of friction so I talked to the owner about it. A few days later I was given my last check and told that he wouldn’t contract me again, because apparently the crew loyal to him turned their backs on me after basically making me their spokesperson for the complaint.

  41. I’ve been working for more than half of my life(I’m 42) and have come across the bullying behavior in more than 1 place. I’ve been targeted over really lame reasons(small mistakes) that were blown way out of proportion for no real good reason at all. I’ve been disliked by a few Supervisors/Managers throughout the years, but I could always hold my head up as I knew my job well, worked very hard and completed everything in a timely manner, and got along well with colleagues.
    So, point being, never let anyone tell you who/what you are! If you know you did the best job you could do, then do not ever feel badly about somebody elses opinion.You cannot control such things, so best to ignore people of this nature or if cannot be tolerated anymore, move on. Life is too short and “deplorable characters” like these should have no place in your thoughts, let alone your life. Rid yourself of them and you’ll be happy. My favorite part is after you move on and are successful elsewhere, sometimes former employers hear of it and cringe! Love it, be happy and it’s the best revenge!

  42. I worked at a local University for over five years in Academic Counseling. My boss was a man (nicest guy around) and his assistant was a woman who was working on her PHD and was related to the wicked witch of the west. She would pat the day shift girls on the back for “good job done” but since I worked the 2-8pm shift every other day I did everything wrong or below her standard. Approximately 99% of the time the day shift played around and left the second shift to clean up their messes. My boss had surgery and he was out for about two months. During this time, it became a witch hunt. I did nothing right. Well one Saturday we all had to work for what is called open registration. All the second shift group shows up and out of 10 of the day shift, one person showed up. Well, in walks the assistant boss and she wanted to know where so and so was. One of the other woman spoke up and said they were not there and did not call in. Her response was “oh they may have overslept that’s ok.” The following week, I ran into the woman who ran payroll and told her about who didn’t show up. She looked at me and said she had just received pay authorization slips from this assistant and all those folks who did not show up were “clocked in” and needless to say she was not happy. She was able to discredit the pay slips by asking for copies of audit sheets we had to sign. The assistant was embarrassed and said she thought she saw them. Shortly after that incident she left the school but before she did she gave me a bad personal rating (75 out of 100) but the HRM office threw it out. The funny thing is she was caught doing her dissertation on the clock at the school in her office by the HRM Director! Her 60 hr work weeks finally caught up with her!

  43. Ive experienced nasty bitchy women in offices, and my first action is to dismiss them. The female control freak is an immature, insecure, miserable blight on peace, productivity and retention of good employees who dont have to take her crap, they can go home and be abused. Number one is the Doctors wife who acts as office manager, HORRIBLE ! Second is the middle maager who thinks she is there to protect and “mother” the boss. Third is the tired sagging hag who cant deal with her own mortality and hates the younger, prettier and more active. Forth is the inept one who got where she is by kissing ass and taking names only to be found out by the up and coming newbies so pre-emptive strikes are needed. HAGS, take your hormones,and if you cant be nice, GET OUT.

  44. I worked in an office with 8 other women. (It was an insurance agency.) From the moment I started, I could tell who the Queen Bees were.
    One example — being yelled at for asking a question of someone while they were on their lunch hour. (A client had come in and given us her name. After searching for information for 30 minutes, I decided to ask a “Queen Bee” who the woman was. The client finally told me that she was married and used her husband’s name now.)
    Another example — being yelled at by the owner of the agency for trying to get help for a client.
    This example is my favorite — the boss took all of us out to dinner one night to blow off some steam. By the time we got to the restaurant, the boss had already polished off 4-5 beers. The waitress came around to ask for drink orders. Since I don’t drink, I ordered a “Virgin Pina Colada”. My co-worker heard the word “Virgin” and began to interrogate me very loudly in the middle of a crowded restaurant about how many men I slept with…all the time she was yelling about it. One of my bosses sat two chairs away from her and did nothing to stop it. If I knew then what I know now, I would have filed a sexual harrassment lawsuit, and I would have OWNED that company!

    That was one of the worst jobs I ever had. If my boss wasn’t so yucky, I would have kissed him on the lips for letting me go!

  45. I was bullied by people who just came in to my company, it was all aracial company they only honour one particular race of people because of the boss, I was paid the least . Everyone that works at my company was being paid $3:00-$4:00 per hour more than me,all because of my culture I was also doing two jobs, I was bullied by my coworker who just start working a few months in the company whereas I work for five years. She talk about me to her supervisor,that I hang up on customers, I put customers on hold, where as she was the one doing that.The new people that the boss hire, she gave them a title so they are being paid more than me.They paid by title, if you are not her culutre or her friend you are being paid a lower salary, this goes on year after years, all her friends are being promoted with higher salary.She treated you like a low class,just because you have anotherbackground.

  46. Wow there are a lot of winners that are women for this post. Boo hoo. Ladies welcome to a “MAN’S WORLD”. You say that you want to be equal with a man, that you want out of the kitchen and not be barefoot and pregnant.We men have be putting up with this crap a lot longer than you have. If you want to work in a “Man’s World” and be equal to us men then do what we men have been doing for so long… Suck it up, shut it up and get back to work. Or get back to the kitchen and make sure my dinner is ready when I get home.

  47. I worked at a well known food store named Basha’s in North Phoenix. My manager took to making sexual comments to me and “accidently” rubbing against me from behind. I complained to corporate about it and when he was confronted about it, he completely denied it and said I was crazy. All of his underlings said the same thing. They were all afraid of losing their jobs. Then things really started to get bad. He started gossiping about me, put my photo online, said I was chasing him and said that I was trying to get him fired because he wasn’t interested and black. Everywhere I went, people called me horrible filthy names. They took photos of me and called him. These “idiot strangers” actually believed all this crap and did whatever he said. Finally, I complained again and was told I could either transfer to a store that was 30 miles away or quit. He was a manager and I a mere woman worker. I was labeled a trouble maker and actually was asked about it at a Fry’s store interview where I now work. It’s just not “mean girls” you need to watch out for, it’s the “mean boys” too.

  48. I worked with a bunch of women that apparently missed being the “in-crowd” from high school, even though most of them were mid-aged, over-weight and lacked social skills. As my job phased into their department I was never included in personal items like baby showers, weddings, etc. There was only a handful of us not included and they made it obvious that we weren’t included and when asked they lied. I was not told about meetings and my cube was kept away from them even though I was on the team. My performance was higher than anyone else there and they had records to prove it. I even caught them having a meeting about getting rid of me! Another girl and I were going through cancer treatments at the same time. She got flowers, cards, etc I got no acknowledgement and my surgeries were a “hassle” due to my time off. When I had scheduled my treatments, they scheduled meeting and then complained about how I screwed things up. It was the same time everyday!! We had a snow storm once and I was at treatment, they closed the office, no one bothered to call me after driving back in over a foot of snow! At the very end when I was going through cancer treatments, they had me send out bankruptcy notices to clients. It was a long 10 hours of stuffing envelopes. They waved and smiled as they left for the day and I was starving and needed to get home to my small children. They had another employee not show up for work for days and we would not get a call, she even came in drunk a few times. But when she resurfaced, they embraced her with open arms. She had been wrote up so many times too. But when layoffs happened, I was told I had less seniority and so I was being let go. When asked why a “less performing employee” was not considered they claimed that they had never seen her wrote up and her performance was amazing.

  49. our workplace just had a presentation on harassment training/office bullying. which the mean trio in our office continued to be mean. and when i reported them (following the chain of command) only to add to the complaints for the past 2 1/2 years about these same people. i was verbally berated and used as a whipping boy to management and HR stating that my complaint against them was inapproporiate behavior and i was a troublemaker. my only recourse was to transfer to a different office. amazing HuH?

  50. When I worked for Walmart a few years ago in DUMFRIES VA (yes! it’s me and I am going to randomly complain again!) I had various negative experiences. One of my managers told me he needed to speak with me about my “three month review?” I think it was and I told him I already literally worked 2 hours and needed my legal 15 minute break. He said he was fine with it. So… I went to sit and have a snack. A random employee… a middle aged woman SLAMMED HER HAND on my table an inch or two away from my face and told me the same manager needed to talk to me. MY LEGAL 15 MINUTE BREAK literally just started but decided to see what was up. I asked him if anything was wrong and he said no (and he didn’t seem upset whatsoever.) He just wanted to go over my review. The woman who slammed her hand on the table I was sitting near assaulted me. That IS a form of assault.

    Here’s another situation – there was this heavy looking 20 year old girl who worked in the ladies department. She always flat out IGNORED me when I politely said hello (and yes she heard me but ignored me many times when I was close by her, and the store wasn’t busy or loud.) She would give me rude facial expressions, and once when someone blatently stole another’s wallet in front of many cameras in the middle of the ladies department, she went up to me and asked if I stole it in a very mean way… HELLO MISSY, how can I steal someone’s wallet in the middle of a store with hundreds of cameras around?? When the wallet was stolen, it was NOT stolen in a hidden area. It was stolen IN FRONT of many cameras! She is either dense as he!!, or she was desperate to get me fired because she hated me so much. I know people don’t like this subject, but I think she was just racist because I was “different” from her and most of the people in the ladies department. Why else would she specifically be rude to me, ignore my attempts at kindness, and blame me for something I CLEARLY AND LITERALLY could not have pulled off?? This is why there will always be some form of “racial tension” because of ladies like her who are only friendly and helpful to people with a “similar background.” And I’m not full of it. One of her friends who she and I worked with was the same background as herself, and this friend of hers told me on three seperate occasions that she didn’t like my race SO I’M NOT ASSUMING it was about race. It literally was that way, especially when one of these ladies went on and ON about hating my background.

    Just my experience with “mean girls.”

  51. My bully actually trumped up charges while I was on 6 weeks of medical leave for 2, yes 2, surgeries that I scheduled back to back so I would only have to take 1 six week leave. furthermore I was forbidden to speak to or about anyone who had reported to me or I to them or I would be fired for retaliation. I survived, but it took years off my life and attitude.

  52. I used to work in an International Corporation my immediate boss was the Managing Director also the Chairman of the Group. I was SO HAPPY I had the coolest assignments and I was getting higher and higher and doing mighty well for a 25 year old. The unfortunate news was that it was after all a family-business and the Chairman’s daughters were employed there as well, we were the same age; I was faced with all sort of sabotage and BS, they could not keep up so they used all kinds of dirty tricks even in my social life. The day I resigned the company offerd my a high position with a great package but I was so grosed out and I declined. Now I am working in a great place, still bunch of bullying but I am kinf of immuned now and keeping my distance..and guess what? just last night I received this killer offer from the ‘MEAN GIRLS’ to head the Strategic Planning Department in their Company…guess what? Still not interested,my mental well being is much more important to me. Good luck everyone :) and kick some A.S.S

  53. Oh my, I have had so many. When I first started working at a large grocery chain in high school, I learned quick that women were evil. And I am a woman. But I was a cute 17 year old and they were 40′s. These women were so freaken me to me. Not just to me most people that worked for them. Until one day the head office got too many notes and they took a couple awsy. But at this same time I had a gay boss, I did not care if he was gay. My brother is gay. This dick hated women! He would try to degrade us by yelling at us in front of customers to making us clean the floor on our knees

  54. Pingback: Are You Bullied At Work? - K96 FM: Wide Open Country

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  56. I’ve been bullied by Operations Manager, reduced to filing, placed under my younger sisters authority, and then told by Ops Mgr that no one in the company wanted me. Imagine my horror. Went to HR, they worked with me for 5 mths trying to find out what I had done to turn everyone against me. After no warnings from HR, not in verbal or in writing, I was placed in another entry level position away from the bully. After 6 mths of uploading faxes into clients account, I walked out. it’s been a month now, my company is paying me, and I’ve threatened a law suit against them. My lawyer said it’s a very strong case, and that my company is huge. They will do what ever I ask to avoid an out right law suit. I called human rights comm of Canada, Labor Board of Ontario, they both said he’s a bully get a lawyer. Best thing I ever did…If the company wants to stand by their manager, then make your governments laws stand by you…if we don’t stand up to them, there will be no end to this childish behavior

  57. The information you provided here are extremely precious. It proved this sort of pleasurable surprise to have that looking forward to me once i wakened today. They can be constantly to the point and straightforward to know. Thanks a bunch for the valuable ideas you’ve got shared the following.

  58. Yes, I sooo agree with your terminology “mean GIRLS” Girls is what they are…never grew up…and yes their gossip and such caddiness in the workplace is disrupting to getting work done…I say though few people are able to let things roll off their backs and be fully productive workers on the job while undercurrents turn into large undertows that start taking people down under. When I was younger I never confronted anyone about bullying or gossiping about me.. NOW I AM OLDER AND WISER !!!  NOW I DO !!!.  and feel better when I do. 

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