Bullying or harassment in the work place

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Has anyone here experienced or seen "mobbing" in the workplace. I have a colleague that was chatting to me yesterday saying that she is being mobbed, but couldn't really offer any advice as I have never really experienced it myself.

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I,ve been in the same office for 3 years and apart from a few collegues they are all German and German speaking. I must say that I get on great guns with a few of my collegues and with others not at all.

Like someone else said its two way traffic.

What I have noticed is that the older Germans ..say the mid 40s and up are much more conservative and formal,..some of them are so unbelieveably rigid that I just cant work them out. But the younger ones are sound as a pound. We dont do too much socialising after work but I'd prefer it that way as I see enough of them all week anyway.

But i must admit they maybe be boring bastards some of them but they are mostly honest and not superficial bullshitters who are nice to your face but when your backs turned...like I unfortunatley experinced in the UK.

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Has anyone experienced or seen "Mobbing" in the workplace

Yes, I was a victim of it myself at my old company but I'm too thick-skinned (or just plain thick! :( ) to have realised it at the time. It really all started when I was called in to see the boss for "a chat" (the bitch was the initiator of it all). She said that various department heads had had reason to complain about my work, although all "complaints" were either only partially justified (I mean, who the hell never makes a mistake at work...!?) or plain lies. These superiors of mine had all been primed, and although not all really wanted to go along with it, they had little choice otherwise they'd have been next in line... I went through a series of "chats" with these dept. heads where the complaints were discussed, and I suspect it was just a way of wearing me down so that I'd just throw in the towel. I don't give in that easily though, and it just hardened my resolve to buckle down and not give anybody the slightest chance to complain about me. I finally got an idea something wasn't quite right when I was summoned out of the blue to see the head of personnel and the discussion went something like...

 

- Are you happy working here?

- Oh yes. I mean, I moved flat recently and it's all been a bit hectic, but otherwise I enjoy my work and I'm happy here.

- No. No, you're not. You're not happy here. You miss [X and Y, two good colleagues who'd left a while previously] and you don't feel comfortable here any more.

 

I was gobsmacked by that and just kept my head down, kept plugging away, and I guess the boss finally realised that I was made of sterner stuff and she must have given in. Fortunately, she was soon bumped off by the top dogs at HQ and I got on just great with my next two bosses.

 

In my case, it was just a case of putting in that little bit of extra effort and keeping my nose clean. I think it depends on what form the mobbing takes though. If your colleague's problem persists and you've got a Betriebsrat, I'd suggest she has a tete-a-tete with a representative from the BR so that her problem is known by someone official within the company, but not necessarily the boss (who might construe it as 'telling tales'). Otherwise, maybe a word with one of the more sympathetic seniors in the company. Sorry I can't offer any more advice and I hope the problem gets sorted out pronto.

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Unfortunately I have also experienced mobbing, which in retrospect surprises me for I am not usually the type of person who get bullied!

 

When I first came over to Germany, I worked in a small company here in Frankfurt! I made the mistake one day of telling a college, that my contract stated that overtime would be paid (the college didn’t)! As a result, my uber boss got pissed and as a consequence he tried very hard to make my life uncomfortable. Colleges that I had been on good terms before went neutral or cold on me! And going to work really lost its interest!

 

The good side was that it forced me to change companies! The job I have is a hundred percent better, better pay (double), better job, and better people!

 

Since then I have talked to numerous people, and it seem that most people have at one time or the other been mobbed. The situation in Germany is that it is very difficult for your company to kick you out, so they try hard to make your life uncomfortable, so much so that you end up leaving!

 

If you are week (or seen as being so) then a lot of frustration or pent up resentment is put on these people. Who need Doom or to slap about the spouse when you can remove your frustration at work?

 

The basic solutions that I have heard about are;

 

Talk to your boss, or betribsrat!

 

Confront the person! Usually there is one main proponent of such things!

 

Find a new job or position then quit the company or department! If you can, get it noted, or recorder and sue the shit out of them later! (There have now been a number of cases here in Germany where that has been done)

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A close friend of mine endured months of mobbing by his (new) boss. However, he had an exit strategy and was just hanging in there long enough until all the ducks were lined up so he could leave with an abfindung. There are advisory places around where you can go and seek advice about how to deal with mobbing. Have a look in your local paper for a "Kontaktstelle Mobbing". He also discussed the situation with a Rechtsanwalt.

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Yes, many is the time I've experienced mobbing. I confess; I just can't help myself. I see these Germans all lined up with their mullets and their 'it's not in my job description' attitudes trying to push to the front of the queue and I can't resist getting violent with the pathetically spineless Sitzpinklers.

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Off course they have RSI here, they generally just call it something else... i.e. "Sehnenscheidenentzündung" -- My Ex used suffer a lot from it in the typewriter days.

 

Remember the traditionalists like to use german words -- Appendicitis = Blindarmentzündung, etc.

 

They tend to describe the individual cases here, but there is even a German website dedicated to it: http://www.rsi-online.de

 

So, if you work at a computer all day, off you go to the doc and tell him your arm hurts, or you've gone numb from the neck up, and you can have a few days off ;)

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A lot of my work colleagues seam to be dumb from the neck up :D Does that mean they suffer from RSI?

 

Best way to react to mobbing is if it is a bloke, slap him in the chops, if it is a woman, tell her she is fat. That should solve most problems. :blink:

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Thanks for the comments. Apparently mobbing is actually more common than people think. I find it totally unacceptable where people especially those in higher positions can actually get away with it.

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they are mostly honest and not superficial bullshitters who are nice to your face but when your backs turned...like I unfortunatley experinced in the UK.

I've had a similar experience. Have never had any problems with German coworkers, who I've found to be straightforward. The problems have been with English native speakers, some of whom (both women and men) are into rumour-mongering and backbiting in a big way.

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I work with English and my German is not yet at a high level, I made it clear when I had my job interview here and they told me it wouldn't be a problem as everybody would speak English to me.

I must say that all my colleagues can speak English, nonetheless when we have a team meeting they all speak German.

I am really sad , I am trying to do my best to improve my German but sometimes I really cannot get the meaning of what they say, especially if they speak fast.

Have you ever had the same problem? :(

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Good that this has come up as i am going through the proceeds of it myself.Complaints about my work and my attitude.Problem being my shift workers and the owner of the factory think i am ok and easy to get on with.Also got 2 written warnings a week last Friday.Now 2 in a day is a record for me.Found a brill lawyer in Münich specialising in this.He sent em a copy of the letter that he will be sending to my company and the only thing i can say is i would not like to be my Dept. Head or the personnel officer

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I´ve also experienced mobbing when I was new to Germany. The bosses and many colleagues were in on it, so I changed departments and got in a much better position than any of them were in. Revenge is sweet.

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Best way to react to mobbing is if it is a bloke, slap him in the chops, if it is a woman, tell her she is fat. That should solve most problems.

What if the woman is fat enough to send tremors through concrete floors?

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Has anyone here experienced or seen "mobbing" in the workplace.

In fact, I've learned the word "mobbing" in Germany :) I remember the first time I looked it up on the internet 4-5 years ago and realized this is what I was facing. My German female colleague suffered it more though, and she ended up leaving the company. I survived, and moved on to another project. I had the chance to work with many different teams so far. Mobbing is not always a given in Germany, but does exist in some groups. I always say, the company/project culture comes from the top, if the leaders don't close their eyes to mobbing, there would be none. Mobbing can be upwards as well, teams ganging up against the new manager for example.

 

 

I work with English and my German is not yet at a high level, I made it clear when I had my job interview here and they told me it wouldn't be a problem as everybody would speak English to me.

I must say that all my colleagues can speak English, nonetheless when we have a team meeting they all speak German.

I am really sad , I am trying to do my best to improve my German but sometimes I really cannot get the meaning of what they say, especially if they speak fast.

Have you ever had the same problem?

Yes, and although they recruited me from Turkey, knowing very well how non-existent my German was. The company paid 1000DM for the German courses but worked me to hell every day, so I didn't even have time to do the homework. After a short while, they expected me to speak German very fluently and started telling me that they want to speak their own language at work, and not English. Only after using my vacation times and my own money for intensive German courses, I was able to converse in German.

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I am really sad , I am trying to do my best to improve my German but sometimes I really cannot get the meaning of what they say, especially if they speak fast. Have you ever had the same problem?

Don't sweat it. You ain't missing much.

 

German is like English as spoken by bores on barstools after midnight ... it takes ages to never quite get to the point.

 

English version: "So, that's the proposal? Looks great, let's give it a whirl. Everybody back to work"

 

German version.

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