I find the word series here ironic as my postings, musings, recovery, etc. have led me to focus on exploring the various types of bullying I experienced in the workplace: the first of which was serial. Or rather, a series of people being bullied one after the other by one co-worker.
Beginning a new post is always difficult for me. My eyes stare at a blank page on the computer screen. My mind has an idea of what I want to say in the body of the post. But how to get started? How to begin the topic?
So, I decided to look up the word "serial" on the net to get a definition. Instead, I actually found resources on the net specifically about serial bullying in the workplace by Tim Fields who started Bullyonline: one of the best resources I've found on workplace bullying. In particular, two articles gained my attention which comprehensively describe aspects of serial bullying. Articles which all too accurately described what I experienced in that workplace but had not realized were part and parcel of the phenomenon called serial bullying. Unfortunately, these resources were not available to me at the time I was going through the bullying experience. Although these resources may have been accessible via the net. However, my mind processes things slowly and until this morning when I went to start this blog posting on serial bullying and how it affected me in the workplace, I never thought to key in that particular search term.
This highlights some of the difficulties a person who is being targeted for bullying in the workplace experiences while they are going through it. Lack of awareness of what they're experiencing. Lack of support. And lack of people who have been through workplace bullying to guide us through the experience. If others have been bullied in that particular workplace, they are probably long gone by the time you are experiencing it. Also, many people who have been bullied in the workplace don't talk about it - ever. Sometimes even to those closest to them.
We are led to believe that what happened to us is all our fault. That somehow we caused these people - or this person - in the workplace to have something against us. That we are the instigator of the problem. Because of that, when we do leave no matter how we get out or what condition we're in when we get out, we tend to stay in seclusion and lick our wounds in private.
We don't want others to know. Heck! We don't even want to admit the truth of the horrendous experience to others. If we could live in a world of denial, we would.
If I could live in a world of denial, perhaps I would too. However, with all the damage done. with all the affects I've struggled with for the past three plus years - and still continue to struggle with - I don't have that luxury.
Which is probably why I seem to be the exception to the rule. Why I strongly feel that it is important to get workplace bullying out of the "closet" and into the open.
It is real.
It is very damaging. Sometimes to the point of death by suicide.
It is preventable IF those in positions of authority will acknowledge it, research it and implement policies and procedures to identify bullying in the workplace and to deal with it.
It is not the victim's i.e. target's fault. The target/victim is not responsible for those who have selected them. And there is nothing the target can do to stop the bullying.
... if I knew then what I know now ....
Back to Tim Fields: the first significant resources I found this morning is an introduction to serial bullying; the second describes the serial bully's attitudes towards life and work.
Both are excellent resources for someone who is being bullied. and who thinks that maybe they're in the clutches of a serial bully. They are also great resources for those who have a friend or relative who is being bullied - or may be being bullied - in the workplace and for those in management and HR positions within the company.
If I did nothing else but post the links to these two articles - which I have, I would feel that my purpose is done for today.
So today I do something I haven't done before. I stop here and ask you, the reader, to link onto those two resources and read what Tim Fields has written. Familiarize yourself with what serial bullying is. How it works. The reasons why the serial bully succeeds.
Keep in mind as you read that Tim Fields' scenario is talking about one serial bully in the workplace while I have discerned two possibly three in my workplace.
... if I knew then what I've found out today reading Tim Fields' articles, I would print them off my computer and put them on the desk of my manager(s), HR and the union president. I would also forward hard copies via mail, to those in higher positions within the corporation.
Read ... and weep.