Boss Bullying Hostiel Work Enviroment is STRESS

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by cinnveet, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. cinnveet

    cinnveet New Member

    I Have not been on the board for a few months because of how sick I am.

    I need as much advise as I can get. Looking for answers on if a lot of real bad stress can cause FM, CF, and now Lupus?

    I have been bullied by my boss for a little over 3 years. He has made our work environment very hostile. I have been his #1 target. He was turned in by a fellow co-worker about 2 years ago and he would have to meet with me every week to discuss how we can improve our working relationship. Then we would email it to Human Recourses.

    That helped for about 5 months, then it slowley came back to what I call "BOSS BULLYING".

    Over the years I have watched my boss turn our workplace into a hostile environment, by abusing his authority with me, with verbal abuse, belittling, and overly criticizing me in front of all my co-workers.

    My boss would yell across the office of about 25 co-workers with many other departments in earshot, my last name. EXAMPLE: "CAPONE", SEE ME NOW!!" the entire office would grow silent as the office would watch me walk like a scared puppy so i could go and be intimidated in front of my coworkers.

    My co-workers would always come up to me and say why does he have you targeted. And "you should document everything"
    This was embarrassing to me as well as everyone in the office that made for hostile conditions.

    At first I would tried to speak to defend myself or answer questions, but that just led up to me be written up for "changeling management" and he would use those terms for all to hear when he raised his voice in the office. "CAPONE" "DONT DARE CHANGLE MANAGEMENT, I AM YOUR BOSS, AND I AM THE ONE THAT GIVES THE CAMMANDS"

    I would be used to set examples to others of how he wanted his offices to be ran. Nobody would dare to say anything, as the rules for the office was made up as time went along and the other coworkers were doing the same thing I was doing but if he didn't like it even thou we were all using one method, I would still be the one to be used as an example.

    There was a time he thought the office may be abusing their breaks. So, he was timing everyone. BUT the way he timed me was uncalled for. I went to the ladies room, I am embarrassed to say I was constipated, so yes I was in there for a longer time than usual. But, when I opened the door to the ladies room, there my boss was, standing outside the ladies room door, tapping his one finger on his watch and asked "I want to know what took you so long" I was so embarrassed I could not answer him. I looked down at the floor and went str8 to my desk and started working. He followed and asked me why is your face all sweaty. My God! I don't want to announce to the entire office, I was constipated and was have a very difficult time having a bowel movement!!! I just answered I didn't feel well.

    There are so many more examples I can go on forever. But, his way with me caused me so much stress. First the headaches and stiff neck and jaw, then the lower back, then the legs cramping, then going to Dr's to find out what is wrong. After several tests they found it to be FM, & CF, and now Lupus.

    It finally got to the point i started to have panic attacks, and when I knew hew wanted to see me I had like stage fright. I would throw up! then the diarrhea started.

    I used to be 188, 3mos ago, now I am 149. I am walking with a cane. I have crippling leg cramps that I cant walk at all. I have a team of Dr's working with me. My hair yesterday started to fall out in clumps. I am on short term disability that is giving me a hard time. Was in hospital last week for 4 days, and 3 of the days I was in a wheel chair. Oct. 6th is when I left from the stress and contacted HR. I called them a week ago and they still have not yet started the workers comp claim form because 3 other higher up co-workers saw with their own eyes what he was doing and they reported him before I called HR, so they need to be investigated before the workers comp claim can be started.

    They stopped my pay until the medical personnel in the short term disability policy I have, has time to review all medical records. GRRRRRRRRRRR so frustrating.

    I am looking to all of you for your help and advise. Can long term intense stress cause me to have FM, CF, & Lupus?

    And yes, after i got out of hospital I did call a lawyer who i will see tomorrow, so any tips on the meeting with the lawyer will be a great help as well.

    Thank you so very much in taking time to read such a long post as I know how hard it is to do, but I really need a friend right now and I am looking to my post for those friends. Please help me if you can. I am very scared and feel very alone right now.

    God Bless,
  2. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    You need to document and tape some of this garbage.

    Is there another department that you can transfer to???

    This guy is whacko.

    Talk to the lawyer and follow his advice. DO NOT tell any of the coworkers about your legal involvement until the lawyer gives you permission.

    There is always a "tattle-tale" in the group who will be far too willing to tell the boss. The best thing you can do is exactly what the lawyer tells you to do.

    Where does your doctor stand on all of this???? Have you been telling him at your office visits of your stress caused by this overly aggressive bully????
  3. cinnveet

    cinnveet New Member

    They were going to transfer me to another office with a diffrent manager. Effective 12/1. After I reported to HR, they said I could wait out my time and not offically file a complaint or start the complaint right away. I asked them to let me think over the weekend. But instead the Top HR person called me and explained because of other complaints that came in about him with his bulling, that they need to start investigation asap. Thats when I lost it and went into a full blown flare and went out on disability as the boss had 2 coworkers watching everymove I made, and he started to monitor all my calls.

    He held an office meeting without me and told the girls nobody is allowed to talk to me personally. example what they did over the weekend etc... Then my boss made my the person I car pool with call me in the morning and tell me she was no longer allowed to car pool with me. Who is he to tell us how we get to and from work. I have a perfect attendance record and because of 1 accident I have a 2 minute unexcused tardy on my record.

    My primary gave me some medical notes dating back 2 years that in his notes I was complaining about the stress and what my boss harrassing me. It was noted on at least 12 doctor visits.

    the rest of the team of dr's said ther is no way i can go back until more tests are ran and i am able to not have to use a wheelchair.

    I only talk to 2 coworkers. And we never speak about what i amd doing, they have no idea i have a lawyer.

    I have documents from one employee emailing my boss mocking me because I had a cold and they took a lottery betting i wouldnt come in the next day. The email was left in the printer and I grabbed it. How dare a boss allow co-workers email him to mock others.

    Now with the transfer, I trained the asst. manager, but now that she is working side by side with my boss she has posted for the job to be the manager at that office because the other manager just got a promotion to a diffrent state.

    I dont want to work with her. He has taught her such unprofessional ways of handling the employees. I WAS excited to get better asap because I was looking foward to the transfer, I know everone there and have always recieved very high praise from them.

    My work habits and projects with montoring calls to make sure I am handling the customers properly I score between a 98 to a 99. That is hard to acheive. But I did it with determination and I fall in the top 5 employees preformance numbers.

    I cant wait to get a lawyer this paperwork is to overwhelming, and my plate is too full. Plus I hope the lawer can direct me with some good dr's to help me.

    thanks agan for your reply it ment alot to me.
    God Bless,
  4. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    I am sure the attorney will guide you. It might be a good idea to interview a few attorneys before settling on one. You don't have to tell them you are consulting with others, but for your own good.

    Make sure to tell your attorney they failed to file your requested WC claim. Your attorney may file it himself. That is not legal.

    From the time you report and ask a claim to be opened, I believe they have 24 hours to have it reported. If there is a delay, make sure to document the date "you" reported the claim to them.

    I am a insurance agent for over 30 years.

    I hope this employer gets a rude awakening, my gosh!!! They are terrible. That is exactly why I started my own business 10 yrs ago. I also had terrible, abusive employers.
  5. cinnveet

    cinnveet New Member

    I told my husband. just because we are going to this lawyer dosnt mean I wil like him and take on his serivces.
    Back on Oct 5th I told HR that I am not well enough to be working with my boss for the next 2 months while he is underinvestigation.
    There would no way I could handle it.
    He turned 4 of what use to be close co workers into backstabing spys for him.
    I was told by my one friend he told my coworkers that i called HR and complained about some of my co workers. That is untrue. He even told the one girl I told HR that she makes personal phone calls every day to her kids at 2pm then her husband at 4pm.
    I hope she was smart enough to know that is a lie. Because her kids check in with her around 3:15 everyday for about 1 to 2 min's. and if the phone rings from a customer she answers it even if she has her children on her cell.
    And I car pooled with her. She never had her husband call her at work. She would call him after we let work to let him know she is on his way.
    I hope he didnt brainwash her. That would be so sad. And very hurtful to my feelings.

    I dont even know how to interview a lawyer. I guess I need to do some homework about lawyers.

    This is a very large company.

    And I will never forget what he said to me one day. He slide a phone to me and said "If you want to call HR to complain about me, go ahead, but let me tell you I will pull things from your employee file to show them, once they read it they will never believe you, abd I will win and you will loose." Those words go thru my head all the time.

    He intimidates me, he scares me, and i dont know what type of trick he has up his sleeve.'
    THANK YOU so much for advice,
    God Bless,
  6. cinnveet

    cinnveet New Member

    thanks for the web address. i felt like it was written just for me.

    I looked up Corporate Policy Against Harassment:
    Maintain a workplace in which each employee is treated with respect an dignity, and certain an environment i which each of us can focus on achieving our business objectives.

    In addition to our management principles, our policy prohibiting harassment ensures that complaints of sexual harassment or discriminatory conducts are investigated and that appropriate corrective action is taken if warranted.

    In addition to sexual harassment, which is prohibited by law, the company prohibits harassing comment, conduct or other behavior based on any characteristic protected by federal, sate or local employment discrimination law. Racial slurs, derogatory comment of sexual nature, or similar offensive conduct violates the company's harassment and equal opportunity policies.

    I hope some of this employee handbook will help the lawyer.

    I know of 3 people that are on workers comp. for stress.

    Every month with him got worse. Every week with him got worse.

    It was like he was getting his kicks out of stressing me out. EXAMPLE; He would come to our office and email all the girls, except me to meet him in the parking lot at 11:30 for lunch. Then he would tell one of the co-workers that they need to switch lunches with me. He would take the girls out to lunch and excluded me every time. and this happened all the time. When the 2 agents would come back from their lunch they would be dumbfounded that I kept getting excluded from their lunches and run the office by myself. I would have people in the waiting area for long periods of times waiting to see me to write their policies. Well one of those times the Regional Sales MGR came back from lunch with his agents and saw me in the office all by myself and asked how often does this happen. I didn't answer him, and instead both agents advised him exactly what has been going on in the office. He sent 3 separate complaints to HR prior to me even calling HR.

    It got to the point that one of the co-workers started to refuse to go to lunch with the boss and the rest of the girls. and my co-workers all said they felt embarrassed every time he did that. One of them even said to him they don't feel right to always excluded me and he blew it off as he is the boss and he can take who ever he wants out to lunch.

    Ok, I am getting upset, tears are flowing. This is the part I am going to hate today when I have to relive the past of all the very nasty things he did to me.

    But I do thank you for your reply and that web site has some great info.

    God Bless,
  7. Chris3251

    Chris3251 New Member

    I'm new to this site, but your posts brought tears to my eyes! I've had a couple of tyrants for bosses in the past, and my employer hasn't been the most friendly towards me and my situation, but yours goes way over the top with his abusive behaviors!

    The advice about not telling anyone that you're talking to a lawyer is good advice. This guy doesn't seem to understand there are laws against such abuse in the workplace. And I'm appalled that your HR dept. hasn't been more aggressive. The email alone you found on the printer is enough to start an investigation - or at least it would have been where I work.

    If you have time before you see the lawyer, I would sit down and document EVERYTHING in chronological order, as far back as you can remember. Dates, names, EVERYTHING. All of his behaviors, and include any time off you've had to take due to illness - especially since it sounds like alot of it is related to workplace stress. Anything that is in print, get a copy and include it.

    I do hope this lawyer takes action. I don't know where you're from, but some states have laws protecting employees from workplace bullies. I wish you the best of luck and improved health.
  8. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    Dear Cin,
    I'm so very sorry that this has happened to you! I feel for you very deeply.

    I'm not a doctor, but I do have lots of experience of stressful workplaces where one is bullies and humiliated. All I can say, is that I ended up with CFIDS, FMS, and a host of other ailments, accompanied with an inability to be part of an organized group,( such a s work or church - anywhere, where people have expectations).

    I don't blame these for my illnesses, totally, but I do see that they played a part.

    I was in the convent for 19 years where plople were always overestimating my abilities and I was constantly put into positions for which I had no training, that were very public (There was no getting out of them, because of the vow of obedience). Then I was repremanded and humiliated when I failed, also publicly.

    In public schools, I had a boss who was a monster, dividing the staff, lying about them, one to another, and publicly humiliating them. At one point, I was at a meeting,and, without realilzing it, I was twisting my hands together. All at once, my ring went flying across the room! That was a strong example of how stressed I was. I changed schools.

    About your lawyer, Please be sure that he is a workmam's comp lawyer, if that is what you are suing for, and that he works on contingency. If you are going for a workman's comp. award, be advised that they are not large. I had one of the top 3 Workman's comp attorneys in Northern California, and my award was almost 2 year's salary, and that was considered to be very good. I'm really grateful for that,and he did a great job, but it still was not what one hears of in other types of cases.

    Good luck to you. You have my prayers.
  9. California31

    California31 New Member

    There are plenty of them out there....and upper management....boards of directors...executive committees, HR....don't seem to give a flying least in my experience.
    You obviously are a designated target for this whacko...I've been there...and did not know how to stand up for myself with a tyrant.
    A lot has been referenced in FM to early verbal, emotional abuse...I agree with much of that...and in later life...guess what....we very out that...sick comfort zone...of abuse again....the bosses, who like sharks, smell our blood....and come in for the kill.....
    I'm glad you've got your short-term disability going...and then WC file established....
    Hey....just occured to me....why not just go for longterm disability...your condition merits....(I'm talking about your group's LTD...and then file for whatever they require you to file for on the bureaucratic rung....and back up with WC....) You really need to keep your health insurance in tact....very important...
    I may have missed it....what state are you in...?
    I hope you get some kind, supportive health care practiioners...that you can learn to rely on...
    Want to add ....that a very perceptive therapist...sent me to assertiveness training...and that helped me learn to better communicate....still got hammered with FM...but over a period of time...was able to discern which practioners were more helpful than of the top dogs in the FM field...went on an on about all the money his adult children were making...(while I was hanging on with next to nothing) as he was examing me..NOT GOOD.
    A renowned pain specialist in Santa Monica was an extraordinary help...he used alternative with allopathic therapies...GOOD
    So my discernment abilities have increased with this condition...but I was in a major fog....when I needed legal advice..., and only was advised by an attorney from a cosmetics' industry his marble-lined offices, to, " just get on with my life."...when I saw him in regard to the intense abuse on the job.....
    I exhibited shingles...and very shortly thereafter...FM...which took about 6 to 9 months to diagnose.
    Those were dark days...
    I am so glad you have reached out....and that this site exists.
    I looked at my condition on many levels: mental, emotional, physical(but of course...abject pain)...subconsiciously, you name it...spiritually...still do...and shifts occur.
    It's taken me on quite a journey....[This Message was Edited on 11/27/2006]
  10. cinnveet

    cinnveet New Member

    reading the replies has given me even more wisdom on how I need to approach the situation.
    Found out they stopped my pay as they were waiting for a form to be filled out by primary Dr.

    I had 45 days for the dr to get medical records and forms filled out. My primary never received the forms so they were relaxed, he filled them out and on the 45th day I ran to the Dr's got the paperwork and faxed it to my short term disability rep. at 3:50 pm.

    Today the rep called and said that he closed my file at noon because he figured that he was not going to get the primary dr's papers. I said no way. 45 days. Not 44 and a half. So now he has to reopen the case have the medical nurse review and let me know if I will be reinstated. Should take up to 2 wks.

    By that time I will have already missed 30 days of my pay!
    And just in time for the holidays. I told him he should have never closed it when my husband called him to tell him I was in the hospital. But he didn’t want to listen. I think they make a commission on declining disability claims.

    I have a lawyer’s appt next Monday. I hope he is a good lawyer. I have asked all around if anyone could refer me to a good workers comp, and disability lawyer, but had no luck. I live in Florida so I am going to do some research on workers comp.

    Again thanks for the nice replies as it means a lot to me. It is keeping me going, by knowing there are real people out that who care for others.

    God Bless,
    [This Message was Edited on 11/27/2006]
  11. jake123

    jake123 New Member

    These kind of people like your boss just bring out the evil me. I like to find someway to make them appear stupid or lazy or something!!! Here is one of my favorite lines:

    "Are you the kind of lousy person who doesn't feel good unless they are making someone else feel bad?"

    It seems to fit the matter at hand.

    Dear, I would come to you aid and really rough this person up if I could but right now I am going to bed before I fall asleep in this chair!
  12. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    I got a little lost in your first paragraph when you stated, "They were going to transfer me to another office with a diffrent manager. Effective 12/1. After I reported to HR, they said I could wait out my time and not offically file a complaint or start the complaint right away. I asked them to let me think over the weekend. But instead the Top HR person called me and explained because of other complaints that came in about him with his bulling, that they need to start investigation asap. Thats when I lost it and went into a full blown flare and went out on disability as the boss had 2 coworkers watching everymove I made, and he started to monitor all my calls."
    So what does you lawyer want you to do? If he thinks you should file the complaint form, then I'd file it. Don't assume that HR is on your side, they are out to cover their own butts. Their paycheck comes from that company, it doesn't come from you. You do what you lawyer tells you to do.
    Document, document, document.

    Ask your lawyer if you should wear a recording device.
  13. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    I'd ask him some basic questions like:
    How many WC cases have you handled in the past 2 years?
    How many involved harrassment?

    How many of these did you win?

    How many or what percentage were settled out of court?

    How would you be paid if you take my case? per hour, contingency, or what?

    If he hasn't personally handled several cases, I'd ask him for a recommendation of a lawyer that specializes in this area ---and get out of there.

    Remember, be succinct. He will let you gab on and on BECAUSE HE IS BEING PAID BY THE HOUR.
    [This Message was Edited on 11/27/2006]
  14. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    Dear Cin,
    If you want to, you could contact my old attorney, and he might be able to refer you to a good attorney in your area. His name is Robert Bledsoe, and he is in San Jose, California. He is one of the top rated attorneys in the state, and is very nice. You could also ask to speak to his wife, Joyce, who works with him.

    Don't use the name "Terry" as that is my message board name. You could mention an old friend and client, who moved to Paradise.

    Good luck,
  15. cinnveet

    cinnveet New Member

    Thank you so so much for all the great advise. I am printing everything out so I don’t miss anything.

    My lawyer appt. was cancelled until next Monday and that always me to pull out the 2 big boxes’s I have of documentation I kept over the years.

    The lawyer wants me to fax this week anything that I feel is important for him to have for next Monday. God I hope he is a good lawyer.

    And I am going to call the other lawyer in san José to see if he can give me a referral. Thank you very much for that.

    Again I am so very grateful for all the advice.
    Now I have to play the waiting game with Short Term disability to see if they will reinstate me now that they have the form filled out by the primary. And let me tell you my primary filled out the form and checked everything off that there is no way I should be in work.

    Yesterday in the mail I rcvd forms from workers comp and investigation on boss. I can’t even look at it. I told my husband to read it for me and let me know what it is all about. I don’t want to get frazzled right now.

    Saw my counselor last night she is great I love her. I wish everyone here could go to her. Very wise, kindhearted person.

    I brought her up to date on my condition with the weight loss, cant eat, cant swallow solid foods, hair loss, and the usual spasms in my legs. She read my blood work and said it shows lupus and everything I have told shows signs of lupus, and she advise me to get back to my endo, to get to the bottom of it or I wont be around to see my kids graduate. Boy that hit hard. But it was the truth and I guess I just needed someone to tell it str8 to my face.

    Thanks again
    God Bless,

  16. cinnveet

    cinnveet New Member

    Looking for any advise for when I have my phone conference with disability lawyer. I hope he is good, or I will continue to keep looking for better.

    UPDATE: received a phone call from the workers comp dept. he wants to interview me tomorrow at 2pm. Since I don’t have a lawyer I know I need to keep it brief and to the facts of stress in workforce is the cause of my workers comp. Then I will try to cut him off to tell him I don’t feel good and it will have to wait until next week, this way I can have time to speak with lawyer.

    I also found out that our HR department is having a huge investigation on my boss from all the complaints sent in about he was treating me, before I even called to report him.


    I will never forget that day for as long as I live. He made me cry, then wrote me up for wearing my heart on my sleeve and unable to control my emotions when management talks to me. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

    Ok, now I want to cry, I hate reliving this. I feel like such an idiot for staying so long with that abuse. Why? I really must be a very weak person. I need to get thick skinned.

    Ok enough of my blabbering.

    With love for you all,
    God Bless,
  17. cinnveet

    cinnveet New Member

    I have all my documents. But I need to keep it short because I talk with a Lawyer on Monday. I dont want to say anything that can cause me problems.

    The WC person said the reason for the invterview is to have me tell him why the company should pay me for leaving because of stress. WOW. now I have alot I can say on why, but I dont want to go to far without a lawyer representing me.

    I already blew this person off on wensday and yesturday, and I cant today or they will close the file.

    I just hope the Lord is watching over me while I speak with them.

    Any post interview advice would be helpful.

    God Bless,

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