/ Office bullying

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Chesher cat on 22 Nov 2013
How do you deal with office bullying? Apart from speak to the Human Remains person but this is where the issue is! He is the one doing the bullying.

Apart from leaving a dead cow under his car bonnet, I am at a loss as how to proceed. Don't like confrontation especially when it is work related, would like to keep my job but it has got to a point where i am now job hunting just in case it all goes tits up.

Is it a bad idea to name the company on web?

Thanks in advance for your advice



FesteringSore - on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher cat: Surely there is somebody ABOVE Personnel Dept(I hate the term Human Resources - it actually makes staff sound like pieces of equipment) Personnel departments are not god.
sleavesley on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher cat: do you work at a funeral directors? Or a crematorium?
Chesher cat on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to sleavesley: I work for a large fire and gas engineering company in the South.

I could take the complaint further up the chain of command but I am not sure if it would make things worse? Shit, should not have to put up with this or have to sort this type of thing out at work.
Run_Ross_Run - on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher cat:

Don't name the company in public. What will be gained from it anyway.
2 ways you could approach it. Either ask the offender for a semi formal chat and discuss it with them or escalate it to your line manager for them to start the ball rolling.
You 'can't' be sacked for raising a grievance.
Make notes off everything that happens from now on.

Personally if it was me is just have a 1 to 1 with the offender in a structured manner but I can understand if you dont feel comfortable.
Trangia - on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher cat:

Don't mess about, go over their head and straight to the top.
rallymania - on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher cat:

first off, don't name the company... it could lead to more trouble for you

can you define the nature of the bullying you are subjected to? It will help us identify a good course fo action.

the thing with bullies is they very rarely have any backbone, remember that!
Mark Morris - on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher cat: Lots of good advice here:
http://www.bullyonline.org/
ice.solo - on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher cat:

Personally id avoid 1 to 1. Have a witness. Bullying is an offence, treat it as such.

Until an outcome is resolved dont name anyone. After, think about it then.
GrendeI on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher cat: Send it straight to the top, shit rolls down hill. This person has absolutely no right to make you feel uncomfortable at work and this message needs to be passed on.

Depending on the environment you work in and relationships between colleagues be a little discreet but do air your feelings to someone higher up.

Alternatively can you have someone from the union put in a complaint on your behalf? Are you the only person being targeted or is it bullying throughout the workplace of other people too, or just you?

lone - on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher:

Do you ignore them? They probably feed off of your reactions, also sometimes, bullying is due to Jealousy and Inferiority on they’re part, can you pin down what might be causing it.

J
Choss on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher cat:

Take it to your Union rep if you have one.
Chesher cat on 22 Nov 2013
Not in a union so that is a non starter. Other folk have noticed it but i do have some proof. Generally i just keep my head down and get on woth my work.

Not sure if letting my line manager know would make any difference. Usually managemenet stick together.

Will wait till it happens again and yank him aside and tell him to stop.

VS4b - on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher cat:
My 2p

Start documenting all the occurances asap with as much evidence as you can get. Go back too and write down whats already happened.

Tell someone up the chain, in writing, do use the word bullying as for them to tell you what they are going to do.

Don't stop keeping records until its fixed.

Loughan - on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher cat: Really it's something that your mangers need to deal with and HR are the advisors on process as there are two sides to every story.

You could get the anti-bullying policy from HR and ask for their advice on how to what details you need to gather to support your case.

I would start keeping a diary of events including witnesses & evidence (e-mail, voicemail etc)

It's a bit crap, you just want to do your job but you have to go to extra measures if you find yourself in that position
puppythedog on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher cat:

Keep a record from now on of every incident of bullying, innapropriate behaviour etc and any you can remember. This does constitute evidence.
Ben Sharp - on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher cat: naming the company sounds like a bad idea to me. There is no one way to stop bullying, if there was it wouldn't be such a problem. 

Imo taking things higher up (teachers/employers) rarely helps, unless you have someone amazing in HR or working above you. Bullies are generally insecure and other people suffering, failing, getting angry, being unhappy or appearing weaker than them gives them the self esteem boost they're looking for. Bullying is also usually insidious, lots of little things that add up and no one thing that's easy to point to and say "this is how I'm being bullied". Formal complaints will often just show them they're doing really well, they'll pass it off ad overreacting but you'll both know they've won, it'll die down for a bit and come back. Unless you think a complaint will get them fired I'd avoid it, but that's just my opinion and I don't know what's going on with you.

It's easier to stop if you spot it early, by not reacting, but once you've been pinned as a target I think it goes in cycles and it's hard to stop it creeping back. In all honesty if it gets this far your options are 1) get out (new job), 2) never react and wait till they move on (hard to do and unlikely to work imo), 3) confide in a mutual friend who'll call them out instead of ignoring it when you're not around (and thereby tacitly enabling/encouraging it), having been the mutual acquaintence this does work in the short term but I imagine it could spectacularly backfire if you choose your friend badly and may also start up again later on. 4) The other option is to confront it, remembering theyre the weak ones and they havnt got to you, you're just reacting because they're a petty annoyance and you've got bigger fish to fry. This is my biased advice by the way but don't treat them like your the victim and don't for ask them to stop bullying you because they're getting to you. I think if you're like me and generally non-confrontational and easy going a raised voice and a hard stare in private is pretty effective. Just stay calm, in control and tell them to stop bothering you, they're annoying you and you don't have time for it. If your both male then a strong tone can convey a subtle threat of physical violence which is quite powerful, especially if they've never seen that side of you before. Bullies are usually cowards, provided it's in private and they're not losing face they'll probably back of rather than risk losing out. Like I said, "usually cowards", there are plenty bullies who love a good scrap as well abd you want to end things, not escalate them.

I don't know how helpful that is to you without knowing exactly what's going on but fwiw I'd avoid doing anything subtle in retribution, you'll only exacerbate things and quite possibly lose
ice.solo - on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to VS4b:
> (In reply to Chesher cat)
> My 2p
>
> Start documenting all the occurances asap with as much evidence as you can get. Go back too and write down whats already happened.
>
> Tell someone up the chain, in writing, do use the word bullying as for them to tell you what they are going to do.
>
> Don't stop keeping records until its fixed.

this
David Martin - on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher cat:
> Not in a union so that is a non starter.

No, the union will be willing to lend an ear even if you aren't a member. And if necessary, you can always join on the spot.
PebblePusher - on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher cat:

My advice is not to sit it out and wait, if you let it build up it can to turn anxiety, depression or you could just hit tipping point one day and erupt! I've seen this happen and although on that occasion I felt for the guy who blew up both him and his aggressor ended up losing their jobs over it! As you say, you shouldn't have to put up with this sort of s**t! It's not uncommon these days and has been in the media a lot the last few years so it is something that companies are aware of and don't want to be associated with.

Agree that going to a union is a good course of action, they will be able to give you advice without having to join. If they suggest joining up because they want to tackle it with you and you value your job then I would do that because I've been in HR meetings over similar issues and they are brilliant people to have on your side. A job worth keeping is a job worth fighting for.

Be careful with direct confrontation and only do that in a measured manner with witnesses. A 1 on 1 chat can easily escalate and you end up with your word against his or hers and normally the person who holds the higher position wins that one!

Don't forget that it isn't you 'being sensitive' and, as ice.solo said it is an offense. They are in the wrong, if tackled in the right manner for a company that has a clue with how to deal with their staff then you WILL get the support you deserve.

I feel for you, I've been in a position where I would dread going to work (for different reasons) and it's something that plays on your mind day in day out. If it starts to affect you outside of work (i.e. can't sleep, struggle to enjoy your time off) then deal with it.

I ended up rambling a bit there but that's my opinion on it anyway, for what it's worth.

Chris
ads.ukclimbing.com
Timmd on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher cat: If other people have seen it happening getting their corroboration in writing could be helpful.
dissonance - on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher cat:

> Not sure if letting my line manager know would make any difference. Usually managemenet stick together.

You would be surprised. Different departments dont always have a love in. Particularly HR.

> Will wait till it happens again and yank him aside and tell him to stop.

This could be dodgy, depending on how it is done.
As others have said. start keeping a record then look at either the union or your line manager.
needvert on 22 Nov 2013
I once read somewhere I've since forgotten, is that HR is not there for your benefit. In this circumstance they're there to protect the company.

Go over his head. I had a similar issue, kept a detailed diary. I don't think its out of line to name the company, but only if you've given them a chance to address the issue and they don't.
Nigel Modern on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher cat: If you like your job, tough it out with support (union?)...don't do the 1:1 thing. Maybe look for another job while this is going on.

If you can get another (good) job you might be best advised to go for it. The repercussions of any grievance process are highly unpredictable but I guess this depends on the company. Is it worth asking someone (union?) what the company is like in dealing with bullying?
Timmd on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher cat:

> Will wait till it happens again and yank him aside and tell him to stop.

Be careful that your emotions don't run away with you. Do you have any thoughts on how he will react?

It's in a different context, with me not being paid, but when another volunteer started to order me about, I didn't confront him directly, but more let it be known that I was finding him annoying, and that I had other things to be doing as well, and in a few ways let him know I wasn't going to put up with it.

It might be that little things like tone of voice and body language could be enough to communicate that you're not going to put up with it?
puppythedog on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to David Martin:

That's not always the case I'm afraid David, with dwindling memberships some unions are not accepting work from those not in. otherwise what's the point in having a union. If everyone can benefit from Collectivism without participating soon there is not a benefit or collectivism.

That does not mean it's definitely a no go and maybe some advice would be forthcoming.
Duncan Bourne - on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher cat:
What form does the bullying take? Physical, mental, etc?
Any physical bullying is assault and should be treated as such.
Mental bullying relies on getting a reaction.
First of all make notes and keep a record. If possible get witnesses.
I am not a confrontational person either but there are ways of tackling bullying without confrontation.
When I found myself in such a situation I found that the best way to deal with it for me was to be as pleasant as possible to them but not go along with them. And also to do what I said I would do.
So when some one "as a joke" kept leaving shopping trollies in my front yard (after I had pulled them up about stealing shopping trollies) I said that if it happened again I would take the trolly and put it in the top managers office with a note explaining why it was there. They did it again and I did as I said I would. They of course ranted like hell at me for doing (as they had a reprimand) it but I simply replied that I had told them I would and would do so again in the future. Unsurprisingly I had no more trouble.
Decide what you are not prepared to accept and don't accept it
Timmd on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher cat:

Studiously ignoring people can be helpful too.
thin bob on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher cat:

as people have said: write down what's happened, who said what *how it made you feel*, what other people have said. Times & dates if possible. Keep copies away from the office. you can send yourself emails so you have a time & date, invest in a desk diary, maybe.

Talk to a union, Samaritans, ACAS, doctor, family.

If you feel able tell them to stop, preferably with witnesses. Formal greivance is a pain and stressful. tel the person you consider it inappropriate and bulying. also tell thier boss. Even if you just ask the casual question 'so where can i find the bullying procedure?'

HR are there to protect the company first & foremost.
And good luck. it's not about you, it's about the bully. And they're a ****
Dave Perry - on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Chesher cat:
As an ex HR manager and employment law advisor I can't add much else to the good advice you've been given:-

But if you are or consider yourself, assertive I'd tackle the individual concerned, politely and clearly, explaining the behaviour you consider bullying, and as Thin Bob says, how it makes you feel. That way you are not directly blaming or accusing the HR manager. You only need to do this until you get an acknowledgement of your feelings. Difficult to do it right without coaching. But having done it, you've got yet more evidence that you tackled it and it still didn't go away!!

Asserting your right not to bullied gives you some protection in employment law terms as you can't (or at least, shouldn';t) be dismissed for asserting a statutory right.

Find or ask for the 'bullying & harassment policy/procedure and follow that - a company with an HR manager should have one.

Keep records. This is important for obvious reasons. If it is possible you should get evidence in writing. The way I used to do this following a meeting with someone was to simply politely write back, summing up what you said etc.,. (Unless they immediately reject what you said they won't be later able to deny they ever said it!!)

Finally, put in a grievance.

As others have said don't name the company. Yet!! You may find yourself disciplined for bringing the company into disrepute because the company will argue that you've given them no opportunity deal with the issue, which in any case they will argue is untrue!!

Let us know how you get on.



Chesher cat on 26 Nov 2013
Thanks for all the replies and advice.

Spoken to said person and they have apologise. I kept calm and said my bit so hopefully things will now improve and the issue is closed.

CC

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