Workplace Bullying Can Be Worse than Sexual Harassment

Unfortunately, I can tell you from personal experience, that this is indeed true:

1. Workplace Bullying is not defined clearly the way Sexual Harassment is. There is a law protecting you if you are sexually harassed, but with workplace bullying you’re on your own.

2. There is a course of action you can take with Sexual Harassment, but if you’re bullied at work there is no one you can turn to. HR is not really there for you. If you’ve not been in the company for as many years as the perpetrator, there’s a likelihood that you will be seen as the troublemaker instead. Blowing the whistle will just get you blacklisted and treated worst than ever. I know from experience and someone I know is experiencing this as we speak.

Don’t you just wish all the insidious encounters with your abuser could be recorded and played back by some kind of security camera. This way it doesn’t have to be their word against yours. It would be so much better if they could watch it and decide – let the evidence speak for itself. I’d rather have recorded interactions examined than have to articulate the emotional abuse in words. Often it’s just impossible to explain. How do you explain a look, a gesture, a comment etc. I am sure people out there who have experienced the same can totally relate.

I joked with my friend that she should get a wire taped under her clothes to record how mean her boss is to her behind closed doors and then how nice he is when other people are around. We need some of those high-tech spy cameras that are built into a pen or something.

I wish there was something like that which ‘Living Dilbert’ could use. She’s a brilliant blogger on WordPress if you haven’t heard of her already check out my blogroll. The way ‘Living Dilbert’ copes with her bad boss is amazing. She is actually strong enough to laugh about her current hell and her humour is great therapy for the many people out there who soldier on under bad bosses.

There’s this great article ‘When the Workplace Turns Toxic‘ that I would recommend to the poor souls including my friends, who continue to suffer in their workplace ‘prisons’ due to the bad economy. One of my abuse victim buddies asked me if he was being too sensitive. He has clearly been worn out by the battle. Often these are people with high EQs, who unfortunately end up working under low EQ idiots and my heart goes out to them.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore helps me survive the mid-life crisis
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8 Responses to Workplace Bullying Can Be Worse than Sexual Harassment

  1. While watching the latest news about the BP Oil spill, a frightening thought came to mind: what if we can’t stop the oil? I mean, what happens if after all the measures to cap the pipe fail, (i.e., “Top Hat”, “Small Hat” and “Top Kill”). What then? An accident this problematic is new territory for BP. The 21 inch-wide oil pipeline is nearly a mile down on the ocean floor, accessible only by robots. Add on top of that the extreme pressure at which the oil is flowing out of the pipeline and there you have it: the perfect storm.

    Moreover, scientists also claim that they’ve found an enormous plume of oil floating just under the surface of the ocean measuring approximately 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick. (I’m no math genius, but I bet one of you reading this could figure out just how many barrels of oil that is…)

    There are new estimates that the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico is anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil a day: that’s a far cry from BP’s estimated 5,000 barrels a day. If BP’s estimates are correct, the total amount of oil now in the Gulf would be approximately 150,000 barrels (or 6,300,000 gallons). That’s barely enough to fill 286 swimming pools: sixteen feet, by thirty-two feet, by eight and a half feet deep. That wouldn’t cover an area the size of New York City, let alone an area the size of Delaware. Obviously, the spill is much larger than we are being led to believe. If the leak can’t be stopped, in a year’s time, we’ll have roughly 18,250,000 barrels of oil (or 766,500,000 gallons) in our oceans, killing our marine and animal wildlife. Such a calamity would be environmentally and economically disastrous. I’m not a religious man, but I pray that BP and our government work fast to end this catastrophe.

    http://www.calculateme.com/Volume/Barrels(Petroleum)/ToGallons.htm

    http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2010/05/17/latest-news-from-the-oil-spill-in-the-gulf-of-mexico-is-grim/

    http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/dailyloaf/2010/05/20/scientist-says-oil-spill-is-leaking-100000-barrels-of-oil-a-day-not-bps-estimate-of-5000/

  2. I love this article. It’s very true and I have often wished that the people who heard the abusive words would bear witness. However, they’re afraid to for the very same reasons that victims of bullying often do not report such incidents. They fear being blacklisted like the victim and that by doing so, they would have to suffer professional ramifications.

  3. bookjunkie says:

    So true and sad. I wish there was more awareness about this. It’s the very reason why people feel they have no choice but to quit their jobs and ruin their careers. Usually the bully always has more power and this is just an abuse of power situation….it’s terrible 🙁

  4. RDDGRT says:

    I have been the victim of workplace bullying since last 3 years in Singapore. It all started in my previous company. The management asked me to work for multiple projects which I agreed to hoping that it will help regain their faith in me. But eventually it turned out nothing more than another ploy to get rid off me. For 2.5 years I faced that horrible bullying environment and then finally when that project was over, I got another job (my present one) in Singapore.

    But shockingly, this job turned out even worse. Here many colleagues of mine had good links/relations with my earlier company colleagues. All of them disliked me from day one. Initially I thought that this may be due to their expectations from new employees. But eventually I realized that that their motive was nothing but harassment and revenge. Even the senior management (director, VP) are also involved in this. Daily I face this horrible environment, and I do not know whom to approach for help. Because of this bullying coming from senior management, no one (at my level) dares to help by coming along.

    This present employer of mine is a reputed IT company based out of Singapore. And honestly, like me there are many more victims in this company. I feel more upset when I see them giving in to this bullying culture.

    What should I do ? The HR is completely ineffective because of the senior management.

    Is there any LAW against such targeted bullying in Singapore ?

    How to report this and to whom ? What would be the consequences thereafter ?

    • bookjunkie says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your story. I faced a similar dilemma but your cases sounds even more sinister…I am so sorry that you’re going through this. It’s sad that we feel at a lost and don’t know where to turn to for help. I don’t think there is any bulling law in Singapore. I wish there were. I think it is rampant in this country. I also worry about the consequences. It has really ruined things for me and just regret taking up the job in the first place. Quite soul crushing.

  5. Lost in Singapore says:

    I have been living in Singapore with my son for one and a half year. We moved from our family in our home country to the big adventure. The adventure for me turned into a night mare with a GM that has been bullying me since day1. We are building up a new company and I am doing a good job and things has started to get in place. When he sees that I am cooping he is eventing new routines that makes my work tuff. He takes every opportunity to “stab me in the back” and he influences the other people in the company to treat me bad. I will not like to believe that this is a Singaporean way to treat people coming from another country, but I have never met so many mean people at the same work place before. There are some real kind people, but they are to scared to speak up. I heard from one guy who recently quit his job at this company that he was embarrassed to be a Singaporean when the GM acts this way. It is hard to be dependent on the company as they pay for my apartment and for my sons studies (part of the Expat contract). If this had happened at home I would have quit the job when the bullying started. Have one year left on my contract, but I do not think I will be able to coop. My health is more important to me than a job.

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