Sojourner's Place

workplace bullying victim tells her story  

Posted by SjP in

Feb 5 2008 by jez Davison, Evening Gazette

A VICTIM of bullying, “Ms X” left a Tees Valley company with no alternative employment prospects. But the experience ultimately made her stronger.

“I didn’t even realise that I was being bullied until after I’d left the company. It was done in such a discreet, clever way, at regular intervals over a lengthy period of time.

“The management operated a blame culture and would never accept responsibility, always shifting the focus on to the employee.

“The worst bit about the bullying was being humiliated in public. This would happen on a regular basis, sometimes as often as once a week.

“The bullying affected my health. I suffered from high blood pressure, couldn’t sleep at night, my weight increased and I used to cry a lot. I took a couple of days off sick with stress. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that the experience changed my whole personality.

“In hindsight, I wish I hadn’t accepted so readily my employer’s explanations of certain situations. Quite often they would come up with reasons that simply didn’t add up. Rather than challenge them, I’d just accept it for the sake of keeping the peace.

“I also wish that I’d been more aware of employment law. I used to read about people who had taken their employer to tribunal but never thought it would happen to me.

“Looking back, perhaps my behaviour did influence their treatment of me. I’m a naturally talkative individual but my boss rarely appreciated my input. Once I was described as a disruptive influence and was moved away from the person I was sitting next to at the time.

“On another occasion I was hauled in to a formal meeting for sending an email to my friend about a work colleague. It really was like being back at school.

“I was so miserable that I decided to leave without another job to go to. It made no financial sense but I knew I’d feel happier in myself.

“Fortunately, after doing some temporary work I received a few offers of work and now I run my own business. I probably wouldn’t have made such a bold step if I hadn’t left my previous employment.

“A good thing has come out of this experience. Thanks to my former employer, I’ve become a much stronger person and nobody would ever bully me again.”

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