Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by jewels920, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. jewels920

    jewels920 New Member

    Been doing some research on workplace abuse and what you're going through at work is called "mobbing". That's when a group of people single out a co-worker to gossip about, exclude, criticize, etc.

    My work situation is more of a "bullying" situation as it's one person (at a time, anyway) singling me out and most of it's sexual which falls under "harassment".

    But here's the interesting part--I've been reading about what makes bullies single out a target. Attractiveness, uncompromising integrity, job competence or excellence, unwillingness to conform to "unwritten" company behaviors, emotional maturity, quick-wittedness, reluctance to say 'no', empathy and genuine concern for others...and if you weren't there, they would have just picked someone else.

    There's usually a component involved here where the victim feels somehow it's "my fault" for not being enough of this or too much of that...but research shows that the criteria with which bullies choose their targets never changes. So, no matter what you would have done or not done, it wouldn't have changed anything. It's not your fault. You were probably selected for all of your WONDERFUL personality traits.

    The research goes on to say that complaining to supervisors is often ineffective because the extent of denial of workplace abuse is so pervasive that supervisors are likely to suggest that YOU aren't adapting to the work environment, rather than acknowledge you are being abused and admitting liability for refusing to take action on a hostile work environment that's been taking place for years.

    As dismal as all this sounds, I actually felt better about my situation after reading it. It was easier for me to be more detached from my work situation and for the first time, I was able to see my co-workers for the emotional retards they are. And if I'm looking to get friendship or emotional needs met at work, I'm looking in the wrong place. Even though I spend more time at work than I do anywhere else, I have to keep things in perspective and realize that I can't look to my job to meet social or personal needs. That doesn't excuse ANY abuse. It does, however, make it easier to detach a little bit. For me.

    What do you think?

    Love and hugs.

  2. kjade

    kjade New Member

    Hi Jewels!

    I was worried you were not coming back to us - I hadn't seen any posts from you in awhile. How sweet of you to reach out to me like this - you are a GEM!!

    What you have written about really got me thinking quite a bit. I am still feeling the hostility from others, and have no idea what I have done to bring this on. Part of me WANTS to believe that they see me as a threat because I DO have the knowledge and experience - basically I am the only one in their way of getting to the top. And since I DON'T need to sleep around to get to the top, or hang with certain people to try to "get in with the cool group" all the while being a total PHONY!! At least I have been true to myself. Guess that is threatening to people too. I really want to believe I am all the things you wrote about, but my self-confidence is so low (take a look at some of my recent posts on the depression board) that I find it really hard to believe these things could be true.

    I think you may have hit on something, and I would be interested in reading the article you are talking about. I'm also sorry you are dealing with this garbage at work too. Although, I find men are so much easier to deal with than women - women can be so cruel, catty, mean, bit*#y, moody........men at work can sometimes just be, well....men. They mean no real harm. But I can tell from chatting with you that you put up with NONE of it!! I'm sure you handle yourself VERY well. I'm sure you have to with the type of work you do!!

    You know, when I first started at my job, I was really young, and newly married. Looking back, I see NOW what was happening, but I was too nieve to understand then. The "good old boys" at work did try some things with me, and I blew them right off. It wasn't until a few months ago that my friend (the veteran - don't know what I will do when she retires soon) told me what they were trying to do - she said I give off a vibe that says "don't even try it - I am happily married, so you will get nowhere with me". Guess the others did not give off that vibe. Well...then again these are just "rumors".

    But thanks again for reaching out to me - you are such a doll!!! Did you happen to see a reply I made to you on the depression board? I told you that your pic in your profile reminded me of a famous actress, and I still can't think of who? Your pic reminds me of a classy British actress, but I can tell there is a lot of "sass" too behind that little smirk of yours! I hope you are having a nice evening, and thanks AGAIN sooooo much!!! :)
  3. jewels920

    jewels920 New Member

    Thank you so much for your kind words. On MySpace, I did a search where I submitted my pic to see which celebrity I most resembled and it said Grace Kelly! (I WISH!!!!)

    I know I'm not supposed to give out any websites, so go on Google and search "workplace bullying". There are some fantastic sites listed. The sites go into tremendous detail with regard to how prevalent workplace abuse is and the amazing amount of denial involved.

    This kind of abuse is causing debilitating illnesses, including post traumatic stress syndrome--which, current research indicates can cause body-wide unexplainable pain, glandular fever, upper respiratory illness, and a whole HOST of other symptoms that closely mimic our DDs. AND, PTSD is NOT a mental illness. It's described as a psychiatric INJURY due to traumatic event(s). So, no psychologizing for a change.

    The type of people you're working with are labeled "serial bullies" and if you weren't there, they would be doing this to someone else. It stands to reason that if they choose who to target and when to target, that it's NOT YOUR FAULT. They are choosing criteria to target people and it wouldn't have mattered what you DID or DIDN'T DO...YOU DON'T THREATEN THEM. They act aggressively the way they do out of their OWN insecurity. They hate themselves. And that's something you can't change, my dear. You can't. You can be nice, you can be rude, you can ignore them, you can give them attention...and it won't change a thing. Because it's not about you. It never was. It's about them.

    After doing some reading about this, I can remember a job where I was a target of "mobbing" years ago. I had forgotten all about it because I was only there 3 months.

    I was mobbed all the way up to the owner of the company. The worst of it was: My father was very ill with heart disease and when he would go to the emergency room, I would ask to leave to meet him at the hospital. The boss, who had a sick father, would say, "Yes. Of course. Go." Then, the next day, the owner would have my manager pull me aside to "talk to me" about my attendance problem. After the owner said it was OK. And the manager who had to speak to me about it--I could tell HE thought it was extremely unfair and didn't want to do it, but he had to. Not even going into the exclusion, gossip, whispering, etc. What a bunch of freaks.

    You're not the problem, dear one. And if you're not the problem, how can you possibly be the solution?

    The biggest problem I had with my work situation, and not a single shift goes by that there's not a discussion of female body parts, is SHAME. It's embarrassing to admit the things that are said to me and the pics shown to me...I've heard and seen things here that I didn't even know existed. Most of which I can't even discuss here without getting seriously banned. Really, really bad.

    I have a supervisor that yelled "JULES" at me so loudly that it made my ears ring last night. Because I was standing too close to him. Yells at me like I'm a dog.

    Another guy, who knows I have FM, will pick me up and swing me around. Practically guaranteeing a flare every time. And I've told him to stop. One time, he was sitting down and pulled me across his body so that, somehow, I was straddling his thigh and he told me I was warm "down there". Yeah, I know. That's assault. I know it.

    The higher ups give me the "boys will be boys" speech. If I file a claim, I will have to deal with repercussions. And it's not that I'm afraid to stand up for myself! My problem is, I have to stand up for myself SO MUCH that I'm freakin exhausted. Well, I'm usually exhausted anyway, but more so because I have to back these guys down all the time.

    I understand why you don't think leaving your job is an option. I'm in the female over 40s group and I know it's not as easy to get a "real" job for us, at least not as easy as it was in our 20s. I've climbed the ladder to the point that it's next to impossible to get an entry-level job doing something else for the same pay rate. And who can afford to make less money? I can go on and on about this.

    I don't have an answer right now. But reading some of the research about workplace abuse helped me distance myself from the situation and realize that the co-workers are not, and never will be, my friends. I need to look outside work for friendship.

    The only answer I DO have is a stun gun in my purse for the next person who puts hands on me without permission. That should be quite the night.

    There are so many of us suffering from workplace abuse. And there are so many of us that think it's happening because there's something wrong with 'me' or 'i just don't fit in', or in our case, 'it must be the FM or CFS or depresssion...'and I feel very strongly that this attitude we have that something needs to change within US to make it better, is why they succeed in keeping us feeling trapped.

    Even if we have to keep our jobs, we don't have to be trapped.

    Love and hugs.

  4. kjade

    kjade New Member

    Thank you again. I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your wise advice. You seem like a tough lady.

    It's hard for me to write - they have put me into a flare yet again today. I just don't know how much more I can take, I really don't. Now I feel very depressed because I have no options, and all I can do is just take the abuse.

    I haven't had a pulsating headache or neck pain in weeks (I've been taking Lyrica & it's really been helping me) - then today - BOOM!! All back again....all because they just won't stop with the little sneaky cruel remarks and gestures.

    I have to get to son's practice now, but I do plan on reading up on what you have written about. Thank you for giving me this info, and again, I appreciate everything you have written to me.
  5. jewels920

    jewels920 New Member

    you're in a flare. That just makes me so angry. One of my officers made sure I went home for the weekend with some bullying to think about.

    It was about a day and a half before I could stop thinking about what he said and by then, I was flaring.

    I just purchased a book on Amazon about workplace abuse. It was highly rated and I'd be happy to post some suggestions once I read it. Maybe between the two of us, we might find something helpful for our situations. And I'm sure we're not the only ones suffering from workplace jacka$$e$.

    I know how hopeless and how trapped you feel.

    Sometimes, I don't have much faith in humanity.

    Love and blessings.