not only money!
The following is the best video lesson on workplace bullying out there, at least that I know of.
If you can spare 12 mins to watch this, it may help detect workplace bullying (and any bullying at that) earlier, as this is often very subtle. And please pass this on, it may even make a person who bullies or those who witness it rethink their actions.
One quote from the video: “Bullying is a form of violence.”
At around 4:55 min, quote: “… Employers just get more creative avoiding the issue, forcing targets down formal grievance procedures, rather than taking the matter in hand. Organizations committed to stamping out bullying are proactive, they don’t make the injured party drive the process.” This is exactly what I went through, being diverted to raise grievance after grievance in a toxic environment that I had no chance to tackle the problem. In my anger and being sarcastic to cope with this I wrote my own “how to’s” on grievance hearings and how to conduct them fairly and truly impartial.
If you feel bullied or if you witness someone being bullied, please get help. Do not be silent, don’t look away, and don’t take part in the bullying. Don’t be intimidated by being enticed to join the bullies, even if this means you will get yourself into trouble. You won’t stay in trouble forever and in the long-run you will gain true friends, true supporters and will be able to sleep at night. When people play with unfair cards and you join an unfair game, you will be dealt with unfair cards in time to come by the same people you supported.
Or take it the other way around: when you stand by and support a vulnerable person who’s being mistreated, one day that vulnerable person may become strong again, maybe even influential. And maybe your paths cross again, imagine how this person who has become strong again and maybe even influential, may remember you. I for myself remember those who helped me more than those who mistreated me. We should never forget that life is an up and down. People will not always be at the top or at the bottom. Life is not a straight line but a journey through valleys, mountains, on water, through the desert, in an oasis…
The last thing I would want to have is an encounter with a person who used to be vulnerable, was bullied during their darkest time and I just stood there watching or even worse being part of a mob. I would not want to meet that person again, especially when they regained their strength back. I am not talking about revenge or bitterness, I am talking about missed opportunities to make a positive impact in someone’s life.
Stand by the one who is being bullied and then you are already two. Maybe a third person joins you and the target, and then you would be three… and before you know it you have outgrown the mob and brought to light what is actually happening. Point the light on it, raise the volume up, but don’t look away!
As the narrator of this video says right at the beginning, “[bullying] thrives in silence”, as does all wrong doing!
In my worst time, two days before the first anniversary of my brother’s death I was bullied so extensively that I still can’t understand how I went through this. I still suffer and am paranoid that people are “out to get me”.
Whatever you do to get help, do NOT stay alone! Take it from me, you will have no chance, no matter how right you are or how the facts and evidence is on your side, a “mob” of people, especially people in high positions who have the power and resources will back each other, lie, continue to bully in more subtle ways. Keep gathering evidence, even if just writing events and conversations down in a journal. But do not stay alone!
I wasted three years during an already extremely traumatizing time of bereavement, being bullied and trying to change the work environment, playing with open cards, naively giving them the benefit of the doubt, and in my trauma even blamed myself. And they conveniently turned it around transforming me from the victim to the villain at times.
I became very angry and ill, not dealing well with this nightmare. I lashed out, helplessly, cried out for help, started to drink which is another building site I’m working on, raised grievance after grievance that where conducted in a flawed way, was tricked and trapped again and again.
I will eventually turn my “rants” into a softer tone again, but for now this is how I write because I almost lost my life.
I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.
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