Bullying or harassment in the work place

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@ SparklinMobbing is against the law

Go to the doctors and report sick and say the Mobbing is making you ill the Doctor will write you sick and point you in the right direction

Sod em if they get ´nto trouble and if they sack you you will be worth a mintg

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Thanks for the info Stuartmartin. I will try to resolve this without any legal process.

 

 

Lol, sparkling... If I was to search your posts, I think Ill be able to identify 10 instances in which you were maltreated by people around you and in the workplace in the last month alone. Always it is conspiracy theories of women talking bad behind your back about you and them being supported by some sinister male overlord. Why don't you just leave that company, it seems to be hell on earth .

 

Really, did I write that many posts about work? Hmmm, no good. I wouldn't mind leaving, although I have invested so many years and moved to Germany because of my company. They are offering a package to many people to leave, but they are not offering it to me now! Instead I have to work with these people. My company is usually ok, but there are pockets of good and bad people, I have been on the unlucky side recently.

 

I do want to write my experiences here, so that people can see it happens even in the best companies, and to the best of people (which I am ;) ). I expect more and more people will experience mobbing in the coming months, especially after the election. It is all about the economic crisis, people trying to keep their jobs through ugly competition. It is bad, really bad, and when it hits you, it really does shake you up.

 

Btw, did I write also about conspiracy theories of women talking bad behind my back about me or them being supported by some sinister male overlord? In my private or professional life? I wonder who these women are, enlighten me, you seem to know my posts better than I do.

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I agree with stuartmartin. Go to the doc and tell them you need stress leave because of the mobbing. Sounds like you need one anyway and you can use the time off to look for another job.

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Never heard of stress leave before. Really? Can he do that? For how long?

Today I'm off from work due to high blood pressure. This was shocking, because usually the doctors are surprised how low my blood pressure is. All my life around 5/6 to 11/12, today 10 to 13. I can't think of anything other than stress, because I haven't changed anything in my life recently.

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Well, if you go to the doctor and tell him you are sick because of stress and therefore can't work and your blood pressure is too high, then I am sure he'll give you a note. I know in Germany there is something called a "kur" I have vaguely heard of where you get your health insurance to send you to a spa for a couple of weeks to recover from your daily life and if so, then there must be stress leave availability. One woman I worked with in Canada took a stress leave, basically went to her doctor, told him she had stress and couldn't work. He gave her a month. In Canada, the employer wouldn't have to pay her but she could collect on EI and our supplementary insurance sick benefits and actually she never came back because she used the month to find a better job.

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Really, did I write that many posts about work? Hmmm, no good. I wouldn't mind leaving, although I have invested so many years and moved to Germany because of my company. They are offering a package to many people to leave, but they are not offering it to me now! Instead I have to work with these people. My company is usually ok, but there are pockets of good and bad people, I have been on the unlucky side recently.

 

Hi Sparkling,

If you try your best, and make an honest effort at work, you will sleep soundly.

It's unfair but lots of good people lose their jobs for reasons beyond their control. The make-up of companies changes with time, which means that the company you are with is no longer the same as it was when you started. Furthermore, you are no longer the same person as you were back then (hopefully :blink: ). Prepare yourself mentally for the possibility of moving on. Then you will find it easier to tolerate the harassment because you will be resilient and unflappable. You will also be in a better position to plan your next move--not out of desparation but out of choice.

Anyhow, the harassment should decrease as the harassers see they aren't getting a reaction, and then they'll move on to the next poor soul. But then again, they're German, they take long to clue in.

 

Anyway, for now focus on your health.

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Many thanks Fizzy and Leon. I have a feeling it will improve, but only for the short run. I will have to leave at one point, because I'm getting older and such a competitive environment is taking its toll on me.

 

Btw, the big boss is Austrian, not German. She is German but spent many years in Switzerland and Austria. When I look back at the 9 years at my company, I recall 4 cases including this case, that I can consider as mobbing (one case before I even knew the meaning of the word). Three of them were by Austrians, and one guy was half Austrian. One of them has apparently threatened a German colleague 6 months before I came on board. Until I heard about this, I was thinking I will work on improving the relationship with my harrasser, maybe I'm at fault, etc. The boss at the time said "but the German guy provoked the Austrian guy verbally". Sick really, because the Austrian guy was three times the size of the German guy. The day I announced I'm leaving the project (after lotsa begging to the big boss, and attending a motivational seminar to collect courage), he was screaming at me, pounding on the table. Wow, this is a memory I am glad I forgot until now :) Could it be that this type of working style is more accepted in Austria? Dog eat dog style.

 

I seriously work for a world class, top company. Why I am running into these people every few years, I don't know. Good thing each one lasted a max of 1,5 months. That's the good thing about consulting, you can run away.

 

Maybe it's time to leave the corporate world altogether and focus on realizing my dream of living in a small town by the sea somewhere in Turkey.

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Btw, the big boss is Austrian, not German. She is German but spent many years in Switzerland and Austria. When I look back at the 9 years at my company, I recall 4 cases including this case, that I can consider as mobbing (one case before I even knew the meaning of the word). Three of them were by Austrians, and one guy was half Austrian. One of them has apparently threatened a German colleague 6 months before I came on board. Until I heard about this, I was thinking I will work on improving the relationship with my harrasser, maybe I'm at fault, etc. The boss at the time said "but the German guy provoked the Austrian guy verbally". Sick really, because the Austrian guy was three times the size of the German guy. The day I announced I'm leaving the project (after lotsa begging to the big boss, and attending a motivational seminar to collect courage), he was screaming at me, pounding on the table. Wow, this is a memory I am glad I forgot until now Could it be that this type of working style is more accepted in Austria? Dog eat dog style.

 

Hmmm, sounds like people at your workplace need to chill out.

 

Why do they take their work relationships so seriously, that is so emotionally? Yes, most of us need a paycheque, but being negatively affected by other people is too much of a concession to make in return. I think you can try to minimise how all of this affects you, by retraining yourself to see your bosses/colleagues as mere mortals, and trying to find attributes about them which are worthy of disrespect. Of course, you keep those thoughts to yourself, but mean comments coming from crap people will surely affect you less than coming from ones you look up to. Personally, I do this all the time, but I was raised by wolves I suppose.

The other thing to consider is that you have been working at this company for many years, maybe you're being taken for granted for your coolheadedness and then you go blaming yourself when others use you to take out their frustrations. I'd try to make small steps towards asserting yourself, and even throwing back some of this BS back at the harassers. Little things like looking at your screen when they're talking to you, making sarcastic comments when asked to do something, you figure it out. Since they're German--or similar--, they'll go insane to try to figure out what changed!

 

 

Maybe it's time to leave the corporate world altogether and focus on realizing my dream of living in a small town by the sea somewhere in Turkey.

 

Sounds enticing but how old are you, you will likely end up incredibly bored in retirement. I don't think you're at that point yet where you have nothing left to give.

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Has anyone noticed how it is nearly always women who are the worst for office bullying? With women it's always devious BS like cutting people off, refusing to send them emails, ignoring them flatly whilst being nice to everyone else, bitching, nasty body language, daggers. Why don't women like this stay at home and knit.

 

Hello Matthewsmith,

 

First i must say, I did not appreciate your comment at the end about women staying home and kitting. Now that I've got that off my chest, the book behind the following link is a detailed answer to your question:

http://www.phyllis-chesler.com/books/womans-inhumanity-to-woman

 

here's a relevant article: http://dir.salon.com/story/books/feature/2002/03/29/girls/index.html

 

i'm going through a serious, blatant, uncompromising mobbing by my Project Leiterin. The woman has no work plan and attempts to make me the scapegoat for her incompetence. Basically, although we're a Gemeinnutzung school,the woman runs the project as if it were her own private playground. Yesterday i was sent home by her, and today i got an Abmahnung for not showing up! (there are more details but i'm too exhausted at the moment).

 

Someone else mentioned taking sick leave but Verdi and my Betribsrat told me that in Germany, unlike in the US, mobbing is not accepted as a reason for absence from work. Anyone knows something about it?

 

and when is it that the Arbeitsamt demands explanations regarding why i was fired? will they be interested even if i worked there only 8-9 months?

 

oh, and hello to all of you :)

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I was "mobbed" in my first job here - I was the only "auslander" - the others were all Bavarians.

One of the deputy managers used to ignore me, except when she found something that I had failed to do 100% correctly (at the beginning, because of language difficulties, not all of my work was 100% because I didn´t know what was expected!)

Anyway, if something wasn´t quite right, she would shout at me, and make me do all of the work over again, plus some, whilst she stood right next to me "tut-tut-ing"...

she was always unfriendly to me, and would also expect me to work overtime without any advance warning...

 

I complained about her to my regional manager, who, after speaking to her, took her side, but having been able to get a transfer to a different location, I now hear that she has been demoted for being unfriendly, and for "mobbing" - it made me feel good when I heard it, but in the long-run it´s good for nobody!

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I am not sure whether what I experience is in mobbing category. (Never used this word before)

 

My job involves lots of travel. One of the regular travel places is a rural area of a developing country outside EU. There are certain risks which were mentioned, such as, infection, health related problems, etc. However, during the interview stage or after, nobody mentioned the existence of the armed gangs after the cars team members drove. I learnt this three months after I started working here and totally by coincidence. I refused going there although it is a part of my contract. My arguement was that I signed the contract without any slight idea of what's going on in the place I was supposed to go. Honestly, if I knew it, I would not have accepted this job at first place.

 

My boss and team coordinator first accepted my decision, but then they started asking me in every two days or so, if I changed my decision, if not, when will I change my decision. This grew into a huge problem, they threatened me to take legal actions. Then they must have consulted a legal advisor or sth., they suddenly quietly accepted it and stopped pestering around. My boss and I came to a common agreement on my job descriptions and what I could do instead.

 

During that period, I realized that my boss was actually quite a sensible person, however, it was the team coordinator who led the way to a big conflict. He was telling me that he personally thought it was OK if I did not go there, but the boss wanted to send everyone. I learnt after a while that it is actually just the opposite, boss does not care and he accepts if people cannot go, but the coord. wants to push everyone in one way or another and usually in a non-visible, sneaky way. There are hundreds of examples of how he misled both myself and the boss until we had a huge argument. Now, when I have something, I talk to the boss only without that jerk and we get on well.

 

This coord. guy shows disrespectful behavior in the meetings, like engaging in side-chats, etc. Whenever it is my turn to speak, he either chats with someone on his side, or starts looking at the ceiling, wandering his eyes around the room and even behind himself. I get the message. He does not give a shit to what I say. He was showing this behaviour to my co-worker some months ago but somehow managed to turn my co-worker against me. Once, they were like enemies, now they start side-chatting together, when it is my time to speak. Plus, my co-worker (actually smone like my second boss) who thought I was 'too good' once, now criticizes everything that I do, makes ridiculuous decisions about training & development needs, then asks me to tell the stuff about what he did not send me to the training of.

 

What do I do? Where do I start?

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Guy sounds like an arsehole.

 

What you should definitely do is document everything. Keep a diary.

 

One of the things of major importance when you're dealing with a bully, is to not get rattled and upset by it. Any sign of weakness and discomfort can be pounced on and used against you. Whereas if you stay polite and calm, you may actually end up exposing this guy as a dick.

 

I once had problems with a bully. Although I'm not a shrinking violet by any means, this particular person knew how to strike for maximum discomfort and I found myself on the defensive all the time. Once when I knew I had a very unpleasant meeting coming up, I spent the weekend before with a friend, rehearsing all possible permutations of the conversation. I got my friend to attack me, over and over.

 

Worked like a charm. The meeting was still unpleasant, but I stayed calm and got what I wanted. That person was never easy to deal with, but I was never bullied in the same way again.

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Thanks Milton! It's a brilliant idea!

 

I'll do that before the meetings. Actually, I kind of prepare for the meetings in a similar way but by only thinking about what would come up. I never put it in practice with someone.

By the way, I never show anger or weakness which triggers the bully even more. I give 'I do not give a shit to your stupid behaviour' message by turning my face to others when he starts side-chat. They have 'planned' hidden attacks in order to decrease my productivity. They try coming up with ideas of new tasks for 'newbies'. When that happened, I knew exactly what they were after. The body language suggested that they expected from me an argument against the idea. I, instead said I had already talked to the boss about those matters and the boss already talked to the other team leaders in the company. It was quite amusing that they felt almost disappointed when I supported their idea :)

 

But the worst thing is that they increase the severity of attacks, level of criticism.

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Duck, I sympathise with your site. I'd say that anyone who starts talking in a meeting while someone else is should be dealt with. You either ask them to stop or you stop speaking until they get the message. Anyone. No matter what their motive. Nothing personal.

 

That's in no way anger or weakness - just normal assertive behaviour imho. (The opposite, I guess, some might say, much as milton says perhaps, that not dealing with it, is seen as "weak" and a "win" for a bully, so then they think they can try new tricks).

 

There's been much talk in the UK press about bullying in the last week (in respect of no less than our head of government). A lot of commentators say that you distinguish bullying from "normal" harsh behaviour when it becomes personalised.

 

It also seems to me that it often involves what you set out - one difficult situ / decision / preceived vulnerability (in this case the travel) becomes a long-term stick to beat someone with or an excuse to do so. That it's not let go, or closed. Somehow, it may be down to your boss to do that.

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Yes, swimmer, it is important to distinguish bullying from other negative workplace behavior.

 

I've been looking at the official definitions of bullying, mobbing, etc. This guy and his acts also involving other team members classify as one. It just took 1.5 years for me to realize I've been systematically victimized by a bully!

 

Germans disagree with themselves in order to disapprove the target. I heard 'no, that's not true' so many times after a statement I made to confirm what initially they said. This is just one concrete example. They do this 'that's not true' trick especially in the meetings when juniors also attend. Has this been happening with some of you as well? I'm really curious about it.

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Fighting internal battles at work is counterproductive and bullys know it. They want you out or your position and unless you are well armed, it is better to find another place that is not so combative. The problem is that management is always the cause, either because they are the ones doing it or they allow it to occur. Deep rooted bullshit at work cannot be corrected unless they are the ones booted. If that is not going to happen, better find a better place.

 

I spent years at places fighting those endless battles and was so stressed and even began to question my abilities. When I finally got into a job where my boss respected me and my co-workers felt they could not do without me, my life at work became a joy. Did I become smarter or a better worker? Not really, no I wised up and got a job where I was appreciated.

 

If you feel you must stay and try and fight this, then arm yourself with documentation. E-mails, inter-office memos, dates and times, etc... and have them with you at meetings, etc... Nothing shuts up a "that is not true" person faster than quoting them from their own memo or the like. Asking them if they have changed their stance and you will get a deer-in-headlights look from them. As for the talking aside during meetings when you are speaking, simple.... stop talking, look directly at them and ask if what they are talking about needs to be shared with the group. Never get emotional, be all business and ask questions that make them justify themselves.

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Once when I knew I had a very unpleasant meeting coming up, I spent the weekend before with a friend, rehearsing all possible permutations of the conversation. I got my friend to attack me, over and over.

 

Worked like a charm. The meeting was still unpleasant, but I stayed calm and got what I wanted. That person was never easy to deal with, but I was never bullied in the same way again.

 

 

 

Thanks Milton! It's a brilliant idea!

 

I'll do that before the meetings. Actually, I kind of prepare for the meetings in a similar way but by only thinking about what would come up. I never put it in practice with someone.

Ooh - I smell a new type of TT get-together, the "Let's help ___ deal with mobbing at work" party! I'm sure there's more than a few people here who'd be willing to go out for some drinks and pummel people with verbal assaults - just to help out others of course... :D

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For what it's worth, I strongly believe in standing up to bullies... as long as you're calm when you do it. If you act like an adult, you'll expose them as an idiot if they're behaving like a dick.

 

A friend of mine works in Asia for a manager who screams to get what she wants. It is partly a cultural thing, but the result is that everyone scurries round the office in terror. The first time the manager did it to my friend, she looked down her glasses and said: "Do you realise you're screaming? Are you all right? Do you need to sit down?"

 

Never got screamed at again.

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Well, I agree in standing up to these people so that they know there is at least someone who will make them pay for it.

This is not the first time I am seeing these idiots around. I left in the first case and found a better place. My employer was a bully, encouraging all the negative behaviour from team members towards me, out of his own personal issues I guess. I remember once he was comparing me to a junior- fresh starter implying even the junior is better than me. I remember saying 'I will talk to you 5 minutes' after the meeting, then asking him why he was insisting on working with me if my performance was so bad. He apologised and said it was just a joke. Anyways, I left the place. When I was leaving he was so sorry and telling me that he had very good plans for me and he was also concerned who would do the job. I then, with a great joy, hit him with his own very words, 'well, you've got brilliant juniors, everything will be perfectly fine'.

 

But, I am not taking it this time. Sure, the absolute solution is finding another place. Until then, I need to make them pay for it if they think this company is their kingdom and noone else is welcome. I start to believe that I am not the first person who experienced this. The bully guy seems to be pretty experienced in his acts.

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Be very careful before deciding to make colleagues 'pay' for anything. The last thing you want to do in a work situation is up the conflict.

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