Healthy Workplace Wisconsin
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Early Signs of Bullying


You know you've been bullied at work when....

Experiences Outside Work

  • you feel like throwing up the night before the start of your work week
  • your frustrated family demands that you to stop obsessing about work at home
  • your doctor asks what could be causing your skyrocketing blood pressure and recent health problems, and tells you to change jobs
  • you feel too ashamed of being controlled by another person at work to tell your spouse or partner
  • all your paid time off is used for "mental health breaks" from the misery
  • your days off are spent exhausted and lifeless;
  • your desire to do anything is gone
  • your favorite activities and fun with family are no longer appealing or enjoyable
  • you begin to believe that you provoked the workplace cruelty

Experiences At Work

  • you attempt the obviously impossible task of doing a new job without training or time to learn new skills, but that work is never good enough for the boss
  • surprise meetings are called by your boss with no results other than further humiliation
  • everything your tormenter does to you is arbitrary and capricious, working a personal agenda that undermines the employer's legitimate business interests
  • others at work have been told to stop working, talking, or socializing with you
  • you are constantly feeling agitated and anxious, experiencing a sense of doom, waiting for bad things to happen
  • no matter what you do, you are never left alone to do your job without interference
  • people feel justified screaming or yelling at you in front of others, but you are punished if you scream back
  • HR tells you that your harassment isn't illegal, that you have to "work it out between yourselves"
  • you finally, firmly confront your tormentor to stop the abusive conduct and you are accused of harassment
  • you are shocked when accused of incompetence, despite a history of objective excellence, typically by someone who cannot do your job
  • everyone -- co-workers, senior bosses, HR -- agrees (in person and orally) that your tormentor is a jerk, but there is nothing they will do about it (and later, when you ask for their support, they deny having agreed with you)
  • your request to transfer to an open position under another boss is mysteriously denied


Links to other sites

Links to Other Sites about Workplace Abuse