Being Bullied At Work - What Should I Do?

January 21, 2007 6:50am CST
I have been working at my present job for 2 years now and I enjoy it very much. I don't do anything special or fancy, I am a QA Inspector at a very large multi-national food company. Now I don't know if any of you know about QA departments, but they are usually the most hated amoungst the work force. This is because the production teams want to get the product out of the door, no matter what, and a lot of the time we stop them from doing that because the product may be sub-standard. My problem is that the site manager and his assistant are allways belittling every decission I make, they don't go as far as being outright nasty in what they say, it's more the way they say it, usually sarcastic or as if they are talking to a child (I'm in my 40's), often indicating that I don't know what I'm talking about. Other people see the way they talk to me and the way they treat me in general and I have been asked on numerous occassions why I don't report them for bullying, but how on earth can I report some one as high up as they are? Apart from hearsay from other members of staff, I have no proof. This is really starting to get to me, most of the time I go home so depressed that I spend the evening crying. I cannot afford to just leave my job as there isn't much work about where I live and I like what I do and the people I work with, apart from those two of course. I don't think they treat anybody else like this, not in my department anyway.
12 people like this
48 responses
21 Jan 07
You need to ask your line manager if there have been problems with your work and discuss that you are under the impression that you aren't being taken seriously. It is a difficult thing to do but my mother suffered severe clinical depression because she was having problems at work and didnt do anything about them - now she is unable to work. It is difficult when it is people in a higher level of authority that is making things difficult but you must have a human resources department and it is their job to look after the staff and look into things. You need to do something now, even if its just saying that you dont feel you are being treated with enough respect and they have to do something about it. Please dont leave things it could make the situation a lot worse if you do.
2 people like this
21 Jan 07
I have brought the matter up with my supervisor, who is so laid back that he is almost laying down. His attitude towards it, is not to worry about it, just let them get on with it, if I ignore it then they will eventually stop. That's easy for him to say, it's not happening to him. There is nothing wrong with the way I have been doing my job, I am doing it to the guidelines set out by the company.
1 person likes this
@bison007 (254)
• Indonesia
22 Jan 07
Some company really strict about this matter, they don't tolerate that matter. I think your company is big enough to do that kind of policy. My suggestion is talk with higher manager, and tell them what's your problems. I think they will do something about this.
2 people like this
@xyla_v (314)
• India
22 Jan 07
work place bullying is a serious issue and you have to let the management know that you are being bullied at work. As you pointed out,you are working in an MNC so i'm sure there should be a "speak up" policy in your office.so use it to your advantage and you don't have to reveal your identity too.so you can be sure of confidentiality too.
2 people like this
@pradesh13 (287)
• India
22 Jan 07
I have seen and sometimes experiece such kind of Harrassments in the employments, Just note down/ document everything so that it could be useful in future. Also start collecting data on others who experience the same thing so that if you want to take some action it would have better impact. Contact Human Rights Legal Network in your area. Be firm on your decisions even if other people are considering you childish. When you will achieve your set goals they will understand the importance of your thinking. Just go on working on your experience and expert. But be cautious about what other people are doing.
@lingli_78 (12836)
• Australia
22 Jan 07
well, if you think that you have not been treated fairly, you should really report them because what thet have done to you can be considered as abuse... don't leave it just like that as it will make your life miserable and it is not your fault that you are doing your job... don't let them stress you and make you feel depressed for something that you not deserve to... do something before it is too late...
2 people like this
@alienstar (5142)
• India
22 Jan 07
Bulllying at work places are common these day's as i have also experienced it and one thing you have to learn here is to be patient enough and most of the time patience works and sometimes it really goes out of proportion and that time try talking to someone close to you who is in higher position or try talking to other friends of yours working in different companies....
@wilson81 (343)
• Malaysia
21 Jan 07
WEll, Tellknow1. I think U should collect the evidence in order to report this matter to the authorithy. DOnt keep this thing happend to U, as it will become a nightmare in your life.
21 Jan 07
I sympathise, I work in a similar environment too - i'm in production, i do not like sending junk to the customers. The manager and his assistant should look at it this way - If you or they send poor quality products out of the door, the customers will realise that the food is rubbish and will not buy any more. some will also publicise the fact that your company do not produce quality items. The end result is that the factory will close and you and the site manager and his cronie will be out of a job - i think they need to be aware of this. It has been my recent experience that the only thing the managers are interested in is getting the products out to make the figures and themselves look good - and to hell with the quality. As to how you tackle this problem - how about a group letter to head office telling them their site manager isnt interested in the quality of the company products. (but dont put your name on it) I hope you can sort out this problem as no-one should be made to feel like this at work. Best wishes and good luck.
@mzbubblie (3839)
• United States
21 Jan 07
I'm so sorry you have to go through that and I can only imagine what you are going through. If your company has a union or some sort, try that. If not, Try going through your chain of command. It can be really tricky and sometimes come down to who you know. I work in a large corporation where climbing the corp. ladder and kissing behind or trying to get the next in trouble is hectic. I see it everyday at my job, however, If a manager disrespect me, I will make sure I handle it as procedure, and make sure I have my behind covered. People can be so evil now a days. Hopefully, you can use this to help..good luck to you
2 people like this
@Wanderlaugh (1623)
• Australia
21 Jan 07
Cowardice is a wonderful thing, it's so easy. Let me guess: they're part of the furniture, been there for years, and never cop much flak themselves. Good 'ol fixtures. Usually useless in the workplace, and a liability to everything in sight, but they keep dropping in. Seen a few. Suggestion: in QA you can do a report on repeat failures of quality, and do it so nobody is singled out, someone just happens to come top of the list in a regular review. Fact is that some jobs are more trouble than they're worth. So are some people. The alternative is to get another job, but you might get some payback in the process.
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
21 Jan 07
I will tell you what I tell my daughter. I tell everyone this, as our work place is like a Jr high school! I do not care what others are saying about me. It does not make it tue and as long as it is not something that I will be fired or jailed for, It can do me no harm. Yes there will be a few people that will believe what they say but it still is not true and God knows the truth. Bullies are usually trying to make up for there own lack of conveidence by making others look bad, they feel they look better, but most people feel it is wrong to bully others so they (not you )are the ones looking foolish. Look at it this way; if they are talking about you they are leaving someone else alone and you are actually doing a good deed!
22 Jan 07
I thank you for your comment, but I don't think you read my post properly. I am not concerned with what they say about me behind my back. What I am concerned with, is the way they treat and talk to me to my face.
@plantit1 (298)
• United States
21 Jan 07
I can relate to this. The way I handle these kind of people is kill them with kindness. I like my job and most of the coworkers and my hours and the work I do so Im not going to let some boss drive me away. I get a happy attitude and let them see the smile on my face. They will usually back off then. The only real boss I have is God and myself. These bullies are really scared little kids in grown up bodies. And God is the only power I know. So dont let them intimidate you. Put a big smile on and be nice to them and see what happens.
@sigma77 (5385)
• United States
21 Jan 07
This is a good answer. Ask them for suggestions as to how they might fix the problem after you have pointed it out. The more relaxed and in control you can feel, the better. Bullies have no power except that which you allow them to have over you.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Jan 07
You definately need to report them, that is very unprofession and affecting you. You can go over their heads to report them. Does your company have a hotline that you can call to report someone? There is no one on this earth who should be treated like that. You should go talk to the site manager's supervisor. Also make sure you keep records of everything that goes on. Note the date, time and situation. This way you have something to present and also have for your records.
1 person likes this
21 Jan 07
I think your suggestion of keeping some sort of work diary is a good one. As I have a lot of paper work to do I could fill it in quite easily without raising any suspicion as to what I was doing. Just to answer your question, the site manager is the highest possition at our site, he does not have a supervisor. The next in line would be one of the company directors.
@adamk911 (54)
• United States
21 Jan 07
In this case I would make there lives miserable. You are the person they need to make sure the food gets out.
1 person likes this
21 Jan 07
I thank you for answering but your comments are not helpful, if anything they would get me into more trouble, this is the boss of the company you are talking about.
• India
21 Jan 07
You need to sit down with them and tell them that you do not appreciate thier behaviour.Also,talk to your immediate boss if talking to these guys does not help.No matter what you cant let people take you for granted.
1 person likes this
21 Jan 07
I'd like to know how you get the top managers to sit down with you so that you can tell them that you do not appreciate their behaviour. I don't know what it's like where you live, but if I tried that here then I can guarantee I would be out the door for insubordination.
@Lydia1901 (16353)
• United States
24 Jan 07
Well, I am sorry to hear that you are going through that. I think you should talk to them about it and tell them how bad the make you feel. I do not think you should be depress and unhappy all the time because of them.
1 person likes this
@pusiket (1758)
• Philippines
22 Jan 07
Just don't mind them. Mind your work and how to make your self better and get promoted.
@multisubj (451)
• India
22 Jan 07
The suggestions given here are good. I wish to add: 1. If we are particular about place of work, we have to develop alternative skills which are in good demand. 2. When the bullying reaches an unbearable stage, even without adequate proof we have to report to the superiors and if the top management hurts you instead of the bulliers, you may have adequate "reserve money till you get better job". Savings and Skills are the keys.
@maru_047in (1007)
• India
22 Jan 07
I think what ever u are doing is right if it is right u have to give it right and if it is wrong then it is wrong and it is after all quality if any thing is wrong then u ll b caught it need much of the thinking before giving the decision and those who hate u dont worry but the people will praise and think about u when they get a good quality so u continue to do the good work and dont worry about others if u r right and think it is right then go for that let what ever think about u anything.
@tholitz (1127)
• Philippines
22 Jan 07
hey same job here and I can relate to your situation (they always say that production and QC don't have a good relationship, because they stand on different side). Anyway I think you should stick to your decision not to leave, if you know that you're right in rejecting their items (make sure that you always have the proof to show them), then just explain to them why. If they still argue and contest your decision, then thats the time that you seek the decision or approval of a Higher Official (maybe the President). It's a common practice among production people especially those with High Position to belittle (and contest) the decision of QC Inspector (it is also happening here with us), but just as I already mention if you got the proof, then always stand up for your decision. Cheer up, you've got to be brave and strong, thats one quality of a Inspector.
1 person likes this