Thursday, November 14, 2013

New Series: What Is Bullying?

In order to get a grasp of what recovery looks like, tastes like, and feels like, it is important to get a grasp of what workplace abuse aka bullying aka psychological harassment aka small "h" harassment (versus big "H" harassment, the kind covered by humans rights legislation) is.  What it does.  How it operates.

What factors cause it to thrive in the workplace.

I've already described my first run in with workplace bullying in a series this summer which ran from roughly late May to sometime in July.  With side trips interspersed here and there along the way to more pleasant locations to relieve the stress.

Writing about this topic is hard.  Living it has been excruciating.  Writing about it while in the process of recovering from it is ... interesting.  Difficult.

It brings back the uncertainty, the emotional upheaval I went through.  So why would I want to revisit these places by writing about them?

Why indeed?

Because I feel that it is necessary.

We, the abused in the workplace, are the voiceless, the faceless, the powerless.

I had no voice.  All voice I had was taken away from me by the incessant gossip rampant in the workplace.

I had no power.  Again, all the power belonged to those who were abusing me.

Why?

I've often asked myself that question.  During ... and after.

Why?  Why did people believe lies?  Why couldn't management, HR and the union see the illogic in the situation?  Why was I forced to sign away all my legal rights in a local donut shop with only a union official present?

Why?

Why?  Because no one in authority i.e. management, HR or the union had the slightest idea of what the phenomenon of bullying was all about.  No one was researching it.  No one had formal, or even informal training, on what was happening.  Yet, ironically, there are tons of resources on the net which could have been accessed.  In this day and age, bullying is becoming more and more evident.  There are agencies which run workshops for employers to open their eyes as to what bullying is - and how to deal with it.  Yet, no one in my workplace was interested.

I had, and still continue to research it on the internet.  But no one believed me.  No one was willing to listen.  No one was willing to sit down at the keyboard and type keywords into a search engine.

It was like I was living in a void.  In isolation.  In denial.  Denial not by me, but denial by those around me. Those who could have - and should have - protected me from the horror of what I was experiencing every day of my working life.

I knew what was happening to me.  I had research, reams of papers printed off the net, to prove it.  But.No.One.Would.Listen.  No.One.Would.Believe.That.I.Knew.What.I.Was.Talking.About.

It was all pushed aside as opinions, assumptions, perceptions.  Never as fact.

One person even went so far as to dismiss my research on the net by saying dismissively that "you can make the net say anything you want."

To be honest, you can.  If you take only one article, one source, that justifies your position.  But I had multiple sources that all said the same, or similar things.  I always wondered if that person had gone to college or university and written research papers.  If she had, she would have known that you need multiple sources to back up your position.  And I had them.

I implored one person to listen to an archived radio broadcast on bullying, but she pushed it aside saying that she wouldn't get the same thing out of it that I did.

That may be true enough.  She is not going to feel the impact because she is not going through what I was going through.  She was a bystander.  An influential bystander being management, but a bystander nonetheless.

So I am going to start laying the foundation by culling from all the papers I've printed off on what bullying is.

Why?  Because to me it is important to give not only myself, but also the thousands of others who are going through workplace abuse or have already gone through it a voice.

Note:  Because of the heavy duty nature of the subject matter, this blog may be on the irregular side posting only once or twice a week.  Or I may intersperse the dialogue with pleasanter, lighter topics such as trips ... or pictures.  Whatever.  I thank each one of you who has stood by me and reads this blog.  

Blessings.

1 comment:

  1. I think you're so brave! And there's great wisdom is pursuing the facts and compiling the documentation - not only will it help you help others but I think I will affirm you and your own convictions.

    Blessings as you continue this journey!

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