What can we do about Office Bullies?

Photo courtesy of Lachay Orpen

Photo courtesy of Lachay Orpen

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about a hot topic that is on everyone’s mind. That topic is bullying. Bullying is everywhere these days; however, it has been around forever.

I just finished reading “The Book Thief.” A very emotional story and my review is posted here:   https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/a-review-of-the-book-thief/

Anyway, as I read the story, I felt the fear of the Germans and the Jews and it made me realize that Hitler was a very powerful bully. This is an extreme example of what can happen when a bully gains power. This is why we must do something about this horrible epidemic.

I know what you’re thinking, this is an extreme example and it has only happened once in our lifetime, but in my opinion once is one too many times. We encounter bullying in all forms. Our kids experience it in our schools. We experience it in the workplace. I’ve written about it many times on my blog and I’ve read many other articles about it.

I have a friend who has just gone through some office bullying. Office bullies are the worst. She was dependent on the bully for training for her position. The bully didn’t like her from day one. She would scream at my friend and treat her disrespectfully in front of customers. My friend went to the boss, but the boss did nothing. You see the boss was dependent on the bully as well. She wasn’t going to upset her either.

The bully was horrible to my friend, she got others in the office to side with her, and they worked against my friend. They sabotaged her and misled her during training. When you’re trained incorrectly, on purpose, you’re bound to make mistakes and incur the wrath of not only the bully but the boss as well.

My friend had no choice but to leave the position. She’s well rid of the job, but it’s unfortunate because she could have excelled at it if the environment had been different. This is why people become bullies, because they get the results they want. It works for them.

It’s unfortunate, but true. So what can we do? We can make sure the bullies don’t win, but we’re going to need the help of corporations. It’s going to require Human Resources to crack down on complaints of bullying and support the victims who report it. I’m sure many events go unreported because the bully is in a position of power. We need to break the code of silence.

We need anti-bullying campaigns not only in our schools, but in our corporations as well. The question is, how do we do that? My guess is that we need to get our representatives involved. We need to make it part of a political campaign.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. If you’d like to share your experiences with office bullying, please leave a comment. I’d love to read them! And if you have any solutions to the problem, I’d love to read those too!

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About Lisa Orchard

I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.
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10 Responses to What can we do about Office Bullies?

  1. rita monette says:

    Great post, Lisa. Never actually thought about office bullies before, but I’ve certainly had a couple of bosses in my working career that were definitely bullies. Down with bullies!!!

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      I agree with you Rita! It’s pretty bad. The problem is that bullying seems to work. The bully gets results with the tactic and the results they get is they usually get rid of the threat in the office. The threat being a competent worker who can get the job done. We’ve got to get the corporation’s top executives involved and they have to enforce a no bullying rule. That’s my opinion any way. Easier said than done I’m afraid. 🙂

  2. Tara Newman says:

    Hi Lisa. Stopping over from SITS. I am a Director of Human Resources and it is a very real and troubling situation when there are bullies in the office. I feel it is often overlooked and people are expected to just have tougher skin. I am sorry for your friend and I hope she is in a better environment where she can thrive.

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      Thanks for stopping by Tara! I appreciate your kind words for my friend. I believe you’re correct, it is often overlooked and it’s hard to prove because the bully is rarely a bully in front of the boss, or the boss is dependent on the bully in some way, shape, or form. She’s the only one who knows her aspect of the job or something like that. It’s unfortunate that our kids have to experience it in the classroom and then as adults we have to experience it in the workplace. Do you have any ideas on how to combat this in the workplace?

  3. Adrian says:

    I’ve been in the Corporate world for 35 years and I’ve had my share of office bullies and particularly bad bosses. I think that’s why I’ve stayed in the same department for 12 years, long past the time I’ve basically outgrown my position, because I like my group and no one ever hassles me. It absolutely terrifies me to think of moving to a different department. It’s almost like a woman from an abused relationship trying to date again – you never forget that feeling of powerlessness. #SITSSharefest

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      Thanks for stopping by Adrian! I understand how you feel and I would have to say that dealing with an office bully is a type of abuse. It’s emotional abuse just like the emotional abuse that a woman experiences in an abusive relationship. It’s unfortunate that this type of abuse exists, but if everyone starts speaking out, maybe something can be done. Where I find most of this type of abuse is in volatile organizations where there’s a lot of turnover. I don’t know if you’ve notice that or not, but it would be interesting to see if this type of behavior is industry specific. 🙂

  4. Workplace bullying is awful AND is one of the reasons I left the traditional workforce!
    This was many years ago – but I imagine it has gotten work.
    Great job on this article – very thought provoking.
    I’m visiting from the SITS Tribe building group. Glad to meet you!

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      Thanks for stopping by Julie! I agree with your statement that workplace bullying is awful. I don’t like to participate in it or be a victim of it. Sadly, I think that’s how many organizations get rid of employees. They make them so miserable that they want to leave.

  5. Chrystal M. says:

    Stopping by from the SITSTribe Challenge and wahliving.com. Office bullies usually turn out to be the school bullies in my experience. As a child I was bullied and when I starting working in an office setting, I had to endure their crap there too. Thankfully I work at home now and no longer have to deal with bullies and office politics.

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      Thanks for stopping by Chrystal. I agree with you, about the office bullies probably being bullies in high school too. It’s unfortunate that my friend had to deal with this person, but hopefully she learned something from the experience too. I avoid them at all costs. The way I look at it, I don’t have time to put up with their unacceptable behavior. I’m glad you work at home because I think bullying is becoming more and more common in the work environment.

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