Bullies in the work place

United States
January 10, 2013 9:27am CST
I need some advice on how to deal with a bully in my work place. I have worked at my place of employment for 2 1/2 years. Everything was great until July of 2012. A co worker of mine of whom I was very close to got pregnant. I have helped her pay a bill and had gotten her things when she needed them, also lending her things only to never get my possessions back. She drinks very heavily and I started to distance myself from her. She ended up miscarrying at only 5 weeks gestation. To make a long story short she got mad that I didn't come to her house and get trashed with her the night she lost the baby. Because of this, I have suffered a great deal of bullying at work. She has spread rumors about me, including saying that I sleep with my boss, thrown things at me, sabotages my completed tasks, tattles on me for every little thing, calls me names and ect.... She has turned almost everyone against me or at least they are to afraid to talk to me for fear of her wrath. Even the administrator avoids me. It's awful to work 8 hrs in a place where everyone hates you. I have many times brought this up with management nothing gets done. The only thing that did happen is that my employer stays with me to keep the peace and that led to the rumor that I was sleeping with him. There are three reasons I have stayed so long, I need a job, I love my job and the most important, If I quit, they have won because that is what they want me to do. Any advice?
6 people like this
29 responses
@Cutie18f (9563)
• Philippines
10 Jan 13
I can see that you are in a very difficult situation, being ostracized like that from your workers because of her. Something is very wrong with that friend of yours and I think there is no way you could put sense into her head since she does not seem to be like a person who will understand. I know that your're staying on because you need the job. Otherwise, I would have advised you to look for another work. You want to try sending your resume to other companies, wait for response, and when you find something, another work, then you can give up your present job.
3 people like this
• United States
10 Jan 13
It does seem very sensible to look for other work, but it makes me feel like I have been pushed out of a job i love. I work with the elderly and I love them as though they are my family. I have never loved a job so much. I feel so defeated.
• United States
11 Jan 13
I don't know what country you are in, but I would check for laws protecting you because she is creating a hostile workplace for you. Plus, she has assaulted you. I would also seek some kind of legal counseling on this matter. Other than that, I would be looking for another job before you quit, but if you are assaulted, you should call law enforcement against her. Her problems are not your problems. I have to ask, though, were or are you more than just co-workers (i.e. were you friends before you started working there)? Though I would love to help my co-workers, I would never get too personal with them and lend them my things or money or go to their house other than for workplace get-togethers.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Jan 13
I just saw the post where you said you can't get an attorney because you are in a small town and it would be difficult for someone to take the case. Is there another town close by that don't know the parties involved? It sounds like even looking for another job will be difficult in your case, too, if everyone in town knows these people.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Jan 13
There are tinier towns close by. The biggest is Chicago and that is 100 miles north of us. I just so mad. i have actually been off work for a week today due to an operation I had last Thursday I am going back this coming Tuesday and to be honest, I am dreading it.
@namiya (1599)
• Philippines
11 Jan 13
This is a very difficult situation and i agree with most responses here that it would be best for you to find another job. Don't give her more satisfaction by seeing your physical and emotional agony due to her sly manipulations within the office intended to destroy your image. Be thankful though that you have realized her true person. Karma is real and this may caught up with her soon.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Jan 13
I also believe in karma. Sometimes karma is all us shy, quiet ones who do not stand up for ourselves have to believe in. Just maybe if stick around and show her that she can't get to me, maybe she will leave me alone already.
@namiya (1599)
• Philippines
11 Jan 13
It's you who could decide what's best for you in this situation. Pray for her that she may come to her senses. God bless.
@kingparker (9698)
• United States
11 Jan 13
I think the first thing need to be done is to settle it done once for all. Otherwise, you might not feel comfortable at this place, and you might gone crazy pretty soon. If your workplace has a human resource department, go to talk to the manager there, or talk straight up to your boss, and make this matter clear. Have your employer, or boss to gather every single one in your workplace together, and talk straight this thing out, and let everyone express their opinion. And most importantly, give you a chance to talk, and make things clear. Also, stop this rumor, and let it be settled.
• United States
11 Jan 13
I should have properly described my work place. It is a small family owned senior living community. We have no HR and no real management we have an administrator who has showed she doesn't care and has and will do nothing to help. All there really is is the owner who wishes to stay out of it. It's a very bleak situation for me. Bullying should not be tolerated in the work place and it seems as if the welcome it for the drama. I might also add that there are only about 20 employees in all and that is for 3 shifts.
• Indonesia
11 Jan 13
It's a bad feeling to be bullied. A retaliation is probably worth considering. If she throws something at you, pick it up and throw it back. Speak out loud that she should stop bullying you. Such actions can to a certain extent discourage her to do bad things to you in the future.
• Philippines
10 Jan 13
Do you have an employee hand book that talks about your Company's Code of Conduct? If yes, then maybe you can go through it and try to see if you have any law/regulation about bullying and spreading rumors/wrong information/malingering in the office. It's not good for your officemate to do those bad acts against you. It will not promote a good environment for work. It can also lower your self-esteem. You may actually report that person to your Human Resource Department. However, if you don't want the issue to go bigger than it already is, try to talk to your boss.
• United States
10 Jan 13
We do have a company handbook, unfortunately, nothing is stated about bullying in the work place. I have went over the boss and to the employer himself. The thing is I have done nothing to this women, nothing.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
10 Jan 13
Have you tried talking to that woman already? Maybe she will stop making stories about you if she finds out you know what she has been up to. Or maybe it's time that you fight for yourself and your right. Whatever she's doing, it's not right.
@iva75cpb (729)
• Bulgaria
10 Jan 13
Have you tried talking to her? Although she seems like a person who can't be talked to and even an attempt may hurt you. Honestly, I can't understand such behavior and you can't be blamed for not staying with her the day she lost the baby. If this is the reason for her vendetta, she's the one to blame to, if she drank during the pregnancy. It was logical to lose the baby. Anyway, no matter how much you love the job, your mental health won't be "health' much longer if you stay there. You need a job, that's true, so, if I were you, I would look for another job before I quit this, and once I find, I would leave immediately. At the end, your health and psychic are much more important, believe me.
• United States
10 Jan 13
I have tried to talk to her twice both ending in her saying I was selfish and good for nothing. Management has also pulled us both into the office and she made it clear that she would make my life hell on earth, her exact words. My real issue is how can a place of employment let this go on? She was told one more anything and she would be gone, but she has found ways of doing things out of spite without getting caught. I know i have to leave. It has damaged my self esteem to the point I rarely leave my home. I am one of the youngest of my co workers. i keep to myself and am quiet making me an easy target.
1 person likes this
@iva75cpb (729)
• Bulgaria
10 Jan 13
I don't think you should stay there a minute more than necessary. Yes, it's quite depressing to have to leave the job you love, but such environment won't do you any good. Besides, an employer who does nothing to stop this situation once and for all, at the least fire her, is not an employer who's worth working for. If you are convinced you are right, you can have a genuine conversation with your employer to prepare a recommendation for you and your performance at work (before things got worse) and tell them you have no choice but look for another job if that womamn continues bullying you. Thus you will have an insurance that lieaving this job won't affect negatively your next one. Of course, I don't know what your boss is like and my advice may worsen things, if you tell in advance that you will look sideways and need a recommendation, but that's what I would do. The other way is that women to be fired and thus you'll never have to see her again.
2 people like this
• India
11 Jan 13
Hi friend, sad to hear about your issue, i wonder why your co worker is in this sort and spread a lot of rumors about you? May be she is jealous with your activities and did this unwanted things. Anyway you solved your issue
2 people like this
• United States
12 Jan 13
Wow, I told my employer that I started this discussion and he told me he read it. I didn't even tell him how to find it. Not that him reading this will help me in anyway but maybe he knows now how it effects me at home. It's hard to not bring it home.
@silverfox09 (4727)
• United States
11 Jan 13
That is very bad , the situation you are in is not very nice . I cant believe she would blame the lost of her baby on you . The woman sound like she will make your life hell if you continue to stay at that work place . Its not safe to work somewhere where everyone hate you and she even throw things at you . You will have to either play fire with fire are look another job . Dont leave your job until you got another one .
2 people like this
• Indonesia
11 Jan 13
In this bad global economy it's not easy to find employment. It is only sensible that you keep your present job before you get another one.
• United States
11 Jan 13
Get everything in a journal. Dates/times/activities. Days you talked to your bosses and their responses. When that is done, go back to management and let them know that if they don't handle the situation that you are prepared to get an attorney. (If you choose to talk to one, that would be up to you) I have found out that once you SAY that you will get an attorney, they take care of business. I'm sure there are some attornies out there that will talk to you for free. She's violating your rights to work in a peaceful environment and management isn't helping matters either. When they realize that you've written things down with dates/times, you should see action. Bullying is making the circuit on the news....who would want bad publicity????? ;)
2 people like this
• United States
11 Jan 13
Unfortunately, getting a lawyer is not an option here due to there are only 6000 people in this town and that would probably never fly here. Although threatening it might be an option or maybe even finding her replacement might work too.
• United States
10 Jan 13
If you try standing up for yourself in front of her and those employees. I bet she will stop what she is doing. a bully is really a punk deep down. The only thing that stops them from being this way is when people say I am done being a fol for you and I am going to stand up and fight for my rights. you have the right to work in a peaceful work place and not be harassed.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Jan 13
I love your response! I would love to stick up for myself. I feel it building. I have been dealing with this for a year and I am so tired of it. I think of myself as a lady and not someone who is confrontational. I have told my employer that one day I will not keep my mouth shut. I had enough a very long time ago. My employer said I can say and defend myself as I wish with no repercussions, if only I was not so shy.
@edvc77 (2143)
• Philippines
10 Jan 13
I think you must find another job. You have an unhealthy environment and you will not achieve peace of mind there. In time you will be corrupted too. Let God avenge for you. Something is wrong with that girl and surely she will be accountable for what she is doing. It will return back to her. Leave that place. It will not do good to you. Just a suggestion. God Bless
2 people like this
• United States
10 Jan 13
Thank you edvc77, I wish jobs were more plentiful in my area, but they are not. I also am a single mother. This job has the hours I need. Yes, I do believe God will avenge her. One of my favorite quotes is from Mother Teresa, " God never gives you more than you can handle, I just wish he didn't trust me so much ". Thank you for your suggestion and God Bless.
@rosekiss (30258)
• Eugene, Oregon
10 Jan 13
I am so sorry that she has done that to you. I can certainly understand why you don't leave, as you need the job, but you also need peace of mind as well, and you won't get it there, with everyone against you, and saying things about you behind your back. If you didn't like your job, it would be easier to leave it. I do think though, that being in a place wehre you are talked about has to be stressful, and you don't deserve that. maybe, you should try to find something else where you can be stress free and not ostracized. Take care, and I wish you the best.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Jan 13
Thank you Rosekiss, yes, It is very stressful. I have never been bullied my entire life and now I have seen how it depresses people. I wasn't even invited to our company Christmas party until the day before. I wasn't asked to sign Christmas cards or even donate money for our bosses gifts. I get left to do most the work, which is fine cause its gets me away from them.
@xtedaxcvg (3190)
• Philippines
11 Jan 13
You can raise this up with your ethics committee if you have one. I believe every company has an ethics committee. If your company doesn't have one then you may want to talk to your boss about resigning because nothing gets done on your current situation. If you have substantial evidence, then you may want to sue your co worker.
2 people like this
@jazel_juan (15767)
• Philippines
11 Jan 13
|First do not any of these affect you because if you let it, then it will become it. So as much as possible do not let this affect you. second, tell your boss what you think of it, tell your immediate supervisor or manager if you can trust him. Then go to the HR and file a complaint or just tell the HR what you feel, i mean if you can trust the HR then go. Then ignore her and show her you are not someone to be messed up with she is not worth all your worries especially if you love your job and you excel at it.
2 people like this
@carolbee (16241)
• United States
10 Jan 13
I would definitely begin to look for another job. Feeling as though they won I understand but at the same time your sanity is most important. Self defense is something I like to promote in my own life. If I don't take care of me, who is going to do it? Jobs are hard to find right and I understand you love your job but is it really worth all the heartache and abuse you are taking? Maybe other employees are jealous which causes all kinds of trouble in the work place. Good luck and hope you are able at least to get to a better comfort zone with your current job.
2 people like this
@tshihmin2 (186)
• Malaysia
11 Jan 13
As I know there are bullies in any workplace. In the workplace, if the person is a bully to me, I don't make contact with the person. I make contact with the person for the job purposes only and that's it. Bully is like that if you try to be on their side, the person will make full use of you and control you making you a slave. My advice is of course, you don't have to quit your job. Just fully focus on your job and your boss. When time to work, just do your own work. When time to go home, just go home. If you had to make contact with the bully, then make contact with the bully only for job purposes. Just ignore the bully, keep a distance from her and do your own work. The bully is always like to boss around. Let the bully say whatever she want, or do whatever she want. Once she realize that you have nothing to do with her, she will leave you alone.
1 person likes this
• Indonesia
11 Jan 13
In most cases bullies don't last. People will avoid them by and by. They would feel not accepted and resign eventually or at least they would change their bad attitude.
@spazz435 (323)
• United States
10 Jan 13
I had this same problem at a place that I used to work at. I even did all the things that they say you should do when you are put in a position like that. I first asked her to stop, and when she didn't I went to talk to my Leader on Duty. I thought that would take care of the problem, but was surprisingly wrong. I told her I was uncomfortable working with this person and wanted to change departments. What she told me was that they had enough people in the other departments and that she really needed me where I was, but that she would talk to the person and tell them to stop. Well, I guess she "forgot" and the bullying continued. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and I put in my two weeks. If she would have taken care of the problem I would have been fine. But she didn't so they lost a good, hard worker of two years and focused my hard working at another job. I think you should try to talk to your manager and hopefully that will fix everything. But if not, then you should probably find another job. It's not fair for you to be put in that position and its against job regulations. Hopefully that helped? Happy MyLotting!
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Jan 13
I have went to the administrator, she is all we have for HR. If anything it made it worse. The Owner sticks up for me but says he needs his Administrator to deal with things. You would think that these things would be against some kinda law. Not to mention the Administrator seems to care less if I even show up for work at all. I will at some point stand up for my self i think.
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
11 Jan 13
Hi barbiegirl, My best advice would be to continue to do your work and say as little as possible. I know that it may be very difficult but if you can, smile and be gracious to everyone including the co-worker who has hurt you. If this person knows that she is getting to you, she will continue to make everything as bad as possible. If on the other hand, she knows that you are not caving in, she will eventually give up in frustration. The less you say and do about the matter, the faster things will improve. Blessings.
1 person likes this
@Mavic123456 (15189)
• Thailand
11 Jan 13
i usually don't mind co workers and specially those bullies. i had a co worker who was a bully, at first i just get along with her. but then, i see to it that we will crossed paths and she will not have any chance of to bully me. I saw how she bullied younger co workers.. i mean I am more senior than her so I was a bit saved on her claws but unfortunate for the new co worker. Me, i just don't mind her, since she's not boss and she was never my boss. \she is just a piece of trash for me.
1 person likes this
@JamesKYTan (1607)
• Malaysia
11 Jan 13
I have a solution to your predicament. Confront her in front of all the office mates in the presence of your boss. Tell everything that happened between her and you to everybody. She got pregnant and you even lent her things which she did returned.
1 person likes this