I was bullied by my boss
Unfortunately, bullying can happen even when you're no longer at school. One volunteer journalist, who prefers to be anonymous, explains how she escaped her bullying boss.
You'd think that once you entered the world of employment, the silly antics of the school playground would be behind you. Unfortunately, as I discovered, some people do not grow up and the school bully you thought you'd left behind rears their ugly head again.
After graduating came the usual search for a job. I was lucky: I landed one quickly that matched what I wanted to do. I made the move to pastures new and started the job as planned. My direct line manager was supportive and I was finding my feet, slowly. What I wasn't prepared for was the head of department returning from her holidays.
She had not been present at my interview and from the introductory handshake seemed to take an instant dislike to me. I was pulled up for not having greeted her appropriately. It was the first in a long list of supposed trivial offences over five very long months. The most ludicrous? She took offence to me sitting with my arms folded in meetings, even though colleagues would be sitting in exactly the same way.
She took offence to me sitting with my arms folded in meetings.
I felt I was treading on eggshells and that even breathing would soon become "an offence." I started a log of events and turned to my trade union representative for support. He believed I had a strong case for a grievance. I was scared of my own shadow, panicky, tearful and confused. My self-esteem had hit rock bottom.
I was debating how to progress when something really out of line came to my attention. She had circulated an e-mail to all my colleagues, canvassing views on my behaviour and asking them for examples of things I had done wrong.
This was the final straw and with a heavy heart I decided to resign. I did not want to be beaten by her, but staying was not doing me any good, and after that e-mail had been circulated I felt my relationship with my colleagues could never be satisfactorily recovered.
There was some comeuppance. I was adamant no one else would be affected by her underhand tactics. Management were given the details of everything I'd endured and shortly after my departure, she left to "pursue further study." It shows that bad pennies can be ousted, no matter what level the person is at in the organisation. To deal with it takes immense strength and you need support. Equally, don't be afraid to walk away if you reach a point of no return; it's not the coward's way out, but a means of preserving your sanity.