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Boss is a bully - Oregon

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  • Boss is a bully - Oregon

    My boss has a way of showing you the carrot and then bringing out the stick. In Octorber I had a review with him and was told that I would be getting a raise and promoted to the Customer Service lead (department of 2 people). Two weeks later, he called me in with a reprimand & written warning that since I'd been late to work (once in April and once in June- total of 10 minutes) I wasn't of the right caliber to be made lead. Needless to say, the lead person at that time switched departments, a trainee was brought in and I've been acting as the leader/trainer albeit w/o the title or the raise. Now a second trainee has been brought in early Janurary, that I am responsible for training during the afternoons. Still no title. It is very demanding work, customer service entails taking phone calls, answering the emails, assisting companies and customers with finding the right applications, entering orders, tracking freight, and writing the sales analysis reports for 3 managers, the tasks have increased greatly from when I began one year ago. However, my boss is super critical, and insists that I am never getting enough done. He calls me into his office and tells me that if I want to be treated as an adult then I need to prove myself by getting all of the work done that he has given to me. He asks me why I thought that I could decide not to do some of the tasks hes given to me, and threatens to pull the raise I got 5 months ago retroactively if I don't get everything done.
    The first week of January when the new person started, he brought me into his office to tell me I'd been doing a good job and that I needed to work on my goals at the company for the next year. He told me that I'd be getting a modest raise, and that if I wanted to earn more then I'd have to take on more responsibilities. The next week, I reprimanded because I was given a task to retype the file folder labels in July, and literally haven't had the time to do it. He does not want us to work over time and he has me scheduled to train the new person on my computer during the afternoons. They haven't set up a separate work station because he plans on letting the other person (brought in in October) go once the newbie is trained (and then take that computer station), this has effectively cut my work time back 5 - 7 hours per week.
    Last week, I was sick with a cold, and was late twice. On Wednesday, I had lost my voice and had to go home at noon. He called me into his office before I left, and told me that the company supported me and my family if I was sick and had to take time off. However, he said, the company also knows that sometimes people have drug and alcohol abuse problems and that is why they are late in the mornings. I just looked at him, shocked. He repeated himself, and said that my lateness in the mornings was a character problem and that I have issues that I need to resolve. Then he repeated that theory of is about drugs and alcohol. I still didn't say a thing. He asked me , "haven't you ever heard of people with these problems? Yes or no" "I've heard of that" I said. Then he went on to say that the company offers support for any problems the employees might have.
    I feel that this is harrassment, but I am not sure, this is only my second real job (prior to the last job and this I was a homemaker & before that a student with retail jobs). Does this type of bullying qualify as harrassment or am I just too sensitive? Either way, I've had enough, this is no longer a job that I would apply for. I am polishing up my resume, but in the meantime, I have to stick it out. I'd appreciate any feedback that you may have for me. Thank you.
    Last edited by standtall; 01-19-2006, 09:38 PM. Reason: review to make sure company name isn't given out

  • #2
    I don't think you're being too sensitive, but at the same time this does not qualify as illegal harassment.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      workplace bullying should be law in all states!

      Currently in the midst of being bullied by my boss at work, which I began documenting in June 2005 (he was promoted into our office May 2005), I have trying to get along with this guy through his multiple attacks of bullying. Good news, there is 2 Oregon House Bills (HB 2610 and 2639) in review with the Legislative Assembly for "unlawful employment practice of workplace bullying. Allows employee to bring civil actions alleging workplace bullying." Research the web on the bullying topic...it's plentiful. I have all sorts of info in this area that clearly shows this is taking place. Along with my own ongoing documentation I'm going in PREPARED with as much info I can gather to support my position. I have no intention of confronting or including my "boss bully" in my initial meeting with upper management. Already suffereing the mental and physical effects of this situation, I will not be subject to his intimidation while presenting my side. I'm also taking a co-worker that was previously bullied by the same person, but equally important as a witness to support my side in this meeting. Still a touchy subject and often not addressed correctly, I don't intend to let this guy railroad me out of the company with this behavior. He has recently started a "paper trail" as part of the progression in forcing me out. BULLY BE ****ED!

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      • #4
        Bullying in the workplace

        I have been with my recent company for a little over a year now. When I started I noticed that my manager was not well respected by peers and often described as a jerk and a liar. I put such comments behind me and dedicated my time in making it a productive work environment, and was called on to take additional responsibilities and received positive recognition from the bosses as a result. Recently, my manager has taken on a new project with outside consulting resources and I have noticed an extreme change in his behavior towards me. Not including me in critical meetings, giving directions to my direct reports without conferring with me and rejecting my ideas. The same pattern on behavior that my peers had described to me earlier. Within the past year, his turnover within his direct reports has been well over 50%. Last week I was called into the office of his superior with him and was told that they are concerned about the long hours that I have been working and would like me to take a few days off and rest. I was pleased that they recognized that. However, they went on to say that one of my direct reports is afraid to talk to me and that one my peers reported that I had snapped at him. I was immediately taken aback and became confused as to what is the intent of their action. When I inquired as to why this was not brought to me and discussed in order to present my view of what transpired, they became very agitated. I then requested a followup meeting upon my return. I am very upset and suspicious and need advice on how best to handle this situation. I found great information in Dr. Gary Namie's book, "The Bully at Work".

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        • #5
          That's a very nice story, patlmb, in response to the original post of JANUARY. Is there a question in there?
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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          • #6
            Watch Your Back! Trust No One - Even HR! Bully Boss Can Easily Win!

            I can't begin to say how much empathy I feel for ANYONE that suffers through workplace bullying, especially if you're under attack by the BOSS! After dealing with my torment for a solid year and after what I felt was a well prepared report, including detailed documentation...I ultimately was terminated with weeks of finally addressing this issue with upper management. My efforts to unveil this bullying boss, who seriously had me as his target and many co-workers knew it, totally back fired in the end and I now believe led to my termination. I was not only shocked but devasted by the fact the other 2 managers ended up siding with the bully boss, which made me look like a liar and perhaps vindictive. I spent months researching workplace bullying and specifically boss related bullying. Before I went to address anything I pretty much became an expert on the subject...or so I thought. I knew before going in many things can happen and even though the bullying can be blatant, it does NOT necessarily mean you will be the victor. In fact, my case would be a perfect example where it apparently was more threatening to the company to keep me as an employee then address this bully boss.

            I was a responsible, hard-working, and loyal 3 year employee that received glowing reviews and compliments until the last year when this narsissitic male was promoted from the field. Much to my misfortune, he took an immediate dislike to me which I attribute to my popularity with co-workers and customers. He felt threatened by my very existence and instead of even trying to work or get along with me, he continually pulled various bullying maneuvers. I was excluded from meetings, general office conversations, not provided pertinent information for various reports with deadlines, constantly monitored in every aspect of my job, humiliated in front of others, called unkind names, accused of actions I didn't remotely do (like blowing up on co-workers), and a vast laundry list of other things that are simply mind-boggling. I did everything in my power to accommodate this boss while he came behind me sabotaging different things along the way. It was amazing how he could manipulate situations and the other managers into believing a complete lie.

            I felt so confident that my honesty, loyalty, and integrity would surely prevail over this snake in the grass boss! After all, this guy was violating policies, playing with numbers to "look better" and many other shady and/or dishonest actions that most would be handed a pink slip and escorted out in a heartbeat. Even HR didn't come to my rescue or address my issue directly with me. It was bringing HR into this awful scenario that led to the rapid end for me. Suddenly I was getting warnings, then written up, called in and talked to, scolded for not knowing Excel proficiently enough (apparently I had a severe memory loss in that area towards the end...or that was their excuse when I was terminated). There was no doubt the bullying took it's mental health toll on me....as I suddenly started to suffer anxiety & panic attacks with an extremely elevated stress level on a daily basis. I was always on guard and completely consumed with a fear of sorts as I knew full well this boss was literally railroading me right on out of the company.

            I realized when those 3 managers (fondly referred to as the 3 Stooges) called me in that fateful day (and I knew I was getting fired before walking in) that I truly was a threat to all 3 of them for what I knew. They all were doing there part in doctoring numbers and such...that it definitely was better for THEM if I was gone...before I possibly had the opportunity to blow the whistle on the entire office (and honestly, that would have been my next move). Turned out HR didn't want to hear it...in fact in my bullying research I clearly read that an employee needs to be very cautious when approaching HR on this sensitive issue. HR is there for the company really...not the employee, even though we continually hear they are with all the labor laws and things. Well, TRUST ME...they are protecting the companies back side, they don't want lawsuits, so often they will side with management...and out the door goes the lower employee...boom, boom, boom!

            I ended up with a semi-decent severance package and they didn't even attempt fighting me on unemployment benefits. That told me alot too...and it did feel like I was bought off in a sense. I realize I could have opted not to take the above, but rather file a lawsuit for harrassment and perhaps wrongful termination. Thing is, in Oregon, wrongful termination does NOT hold much water at all. An employer can fire you for whatever reason they want...and I mean any reason. Therefore, you must have a very strong harrassment suit to get anywhere...and then you must be prepared for a long battle that can take years. Who has the money to proceed with something like that? If you're up against a company with deep pockets...you're basically screwed! Not to mention the long drawn out ordeal keeps the effects of what bullying really does to a person fresh and ongoing. As angry as I was....as unfair and as cheated as I was...in the end it was worth the battle and I concluded that moving on was really in my best interest.

            If I was faced with this again...or if I could go back and replay my situation over....THERE IS NO DOUBT........SEEK LEGAL HELP, FIND AN ATTORNEY, DO NOT GO TO HR, AND FOLLOW THE ADVICE GIVEN FROM AN ATTORNEY EXPERIENCED IN THIS AREA. The Wage & Labor Bureau can be helpful in giving you direction as well. An employee will have a much better chance if legally represented then trying to address the issue in hopes of ultimately getting long with the boss...or even reprimanded for that matter. The bully has to be stopped cold...otherwise these master manipulators will see that you get your walking papers as quickly as possible. Forget about dragging in co-workers too...that has it's pros and cons...and basically most people just want to mind their own business and fear retaliation should they go along with someone who's being bullied.

            It's a lonely existence when you're the target of a bully...and even though this SOB got me...I'm better off to be gone and now persuing my own ambition and dream. This won't happen for everyone...but for me...it's been a bittersweet ending! Don't sit back and tolerate the bullying....just be darn careful where you go with it........as it likely will be the difference between beating the bully or getting fired!! You must out smart the fox before he gets you in the hole! GOOD LUCK MY FRIENDS, nobody deserves the treatment a bully boss can dish out....NOBODY! So you must nip it in the bud -- and FAST (like yesterday)!

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            • #7
              Hey, bulliedbyboss, you think anybody is gonna read that diatribe? If I wanted to read a novel, I'd read Tom Clancy.
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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              • #8
                Okay, that's enough for this girl.
                The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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