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Unread 01-09-2017, 05:08 PM   #1
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Default Bullying at work and fear it happened again

Hello,
I would like to have your opinion about something that's literally killing me. I have worked from October to May last year at a job with such awful people that I thought I was in a nightmare. They quickly scapegoated me. I think one woman felt threatened as I was talking with some guys in the office, each time I would see this guy to help me with reports for my boss she will turn straight to me without saying a word and will just stare until I left. As there were dramas in a job I did just before this one (still with women), I have chosen to just ignore her and hope that she will stop. One day I was in the elevator with her and the same guy told me "remember I won't be here tomorrow hopefully it can wait till Monday", so I wish him a happy weekend. She turned and faced me and said "you've just arrived and you are already on great terms with G, if I were you I would be careful, you are not the only one after him", I just replied "sorry, what you mean?", and then she started laughing and I laughed with her. From that moment I felt very uncomfortable, like a feeling in my belly but I wanted to keep the job and my boss was very nice, maybe too nice and this as well was the problem.

Slowly after this the situation started to degrade, I would tried to participate in group conversation with some people and they would just pretend they didn't hear or will reply dryly. One of them was asking me question about something and almost yelled at me, one of her colleagues had to ask her to calm down.

I just felt horrible there and did not understand what was happening to me, and I was in a really bad cycle in my life which didn't help, my ex and I had just broken up our 10 year relationship and I had just moved to a new place...

Anyway I will put an end to this awful story when a woman at the office who started to be on my case as well by making stupid remarks on my work and I stayed calm and put her in her place. She did a lot of small provocative stuff to get on me and finally I sent her an email telling her to consult me or my boss before modifying anything. From there she walked straight to my desk and insulted me with lots of awful words and asked me to shut up. I smiled like to say how stupid can you be, and she pushed the screen of my computer to me and it just fell on the desk but I was very shocked and shaking. I quickly called my boss who was on holidays to tell him what happened and that I wanted to quit.
He was like get some rest and come back tomorrow please, I need you.
Then I left, called the HR and my temp agency to tell them what happened, they looked supportive at the beginning but quickly ask me to come back. My temp agency told me that my boss liked me and wanted me to stay and as I still did not want they threatened to not pay me the compensation if I did not finish the contract.
I went back two days later, feeling really crappy and before that the HR asked me for a meeting and she said everybody said it was a simple argument and that I misinterpreted the woman's actions. I could not believe that. I was stunned and angry.

I finished my contract and during 2 more weeks I had to drag myself there. My boss talked to the girl and she answered that it is the way she is and that she has a strong character like all Mediterranean people (she is Moroccan). They did not take any disciplinary actions, nothing and the others clearly supported her or didn't take position.

What was even more horrible, is that 2 weeks after I lost my grandmother and we were very close.

I am not very close from the rest of my family apart one of my sister. It was as if I had an awakening and saw them for whom they really are.

Anyway my post is mainly to ask you what you would have done in my case? I still feel angry and hurt when I think about these people even though I am trying to put that behind me, I still feel disgusted that they were able to get away with it and just took pleasure hurting me.

I have never been confronted to that before and it was very painful. I don't wish that to anybody.

Please any advice to not let this happen again.
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Unread 01-10-2017, 02:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: Bullying at work and fear it happened again

To make it simple, it is all about Control. They are doing their best to control you. Finish the contract and get out of there.
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Unread 01-10-2017, 02:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Bullying at work and fear it happened again

Thank you for the answer? That's what I did, I quit. Now I am learning about boundaries and communication. I don't work now, and will try to get ready for anything in the future.
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Unread 01-10-2017, 03:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Bullying at work and fear it happened again

I don't have any advice for you, just know that we're with you and I wish you good luck with the rest of your life.. you probably did the best thing by quitting that environment
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Unread 01-10-2017, 03:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Bullying at work and fear it happened again

I'm sorry this happened to you. Was the woman who shouted on you (the Moroccan one) is the same as the first woman who told you "you aren't the only one after him" in the elevator and who was staring at you when you asked someone else's help, or these were different women and the incidents weren't related? In any case, if I were you, probably I wouldn't quit, just to stand for myself. Maybe I would quit later if the job was not satisfying to me, but not because of someone else who didn't want me to be there. I understand you are different and not confrontational, I'm not neither, and I tend to be in the shadow, but if I feel someones is belittling me and show me no respect, then they have to confront me at all levels, starting with a polite and logical discussion. I haven't had any confrontation regarding work, because I've had only one position, and I largely work alone, but I don't care what anyone else's character is and if that how they are. We all don't like some people, but we must exert self-control, at least most of the time. I think you need to stand to yourself, as no one, neither your boss no the HR can stand on your behalf. These people are afraid of their reputation and they don't want to appear biased or (as probably in your case) racist. Good luck in your next job.
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Unread 01-11-2017, 12:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Bullying at work and fear it happened again

Thank you for the hugs and advice.
No, it was another one. I have the impression that they were talking behind my back and that they feel stronger when attacking me, maybe because they felt I was scared of confrontations and did not know how to stand for myself. I thought by being nice and doing my job it would be enough.

I left because it was the best thing to do, I started to have spots on my face and usually my skin is quite clear, I had difficulty sleeping and I am not the type to talk about my problems so I was scared of the consequences for my health. I think they did not deserve me as well. They had no compassion. A lot of weak people there.

Since this happened I did lots of research and I have a few ideas why it happened that way. Sure they were rude and awful but I didn't know about boundaries and how to assert myselt and as the expression said "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger", and it's true in my case.
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Unread 01-11-2017, 09:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: Bullying at work and fear it happened again

I'm sorry you had the experience of a company policy that promotes this. These employees almost have to go along or they become a target. We have this fight or flight built into our brain when working you can do neither and seems to tire you out. I think Your country has workplace bulling laws. The USA has nothing there is a good website called The Workplace Bullying insitute that has some good ways to get over this. Good luck
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Unread 01-12-2017, 04:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: Bullying at work and fear it happened again

Thank you very much eyesclosed, I will have a look.
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