Thursday, February 4, 2010

How Do You Outsmart The Bully @ Work?

The workplace is for work. Period.
But for some folks, it is a war zone.
What do you do if your place of work becomes an unpleasant space of emotional bullying.
How do you deal with an aggressive, nasty, menacing and terrorising manager.
A friend's nephew, a recent graduate, is contemplating leaving his first ever job after just 5 months. The team leader at the place where he works, a middle age woman of a different race, is bullying the crap out of him like you would not believe.
My opinion was sought as to how to deal with the issue. And it occurred to me that I have not had any real experience with that sort of thing. My take was for the young man to ignore the abhorrent behaviour of the sadist and carry on with his work. But it appears the guy is not able to tolerate the problematic lady any longer.
To be frank, I really don't know of a better way to handle such a problem.
Perhaps, some of us are blessed with a thick skin so much so that we do not even notice all the crap going on around us.
Has anybody got any experiences to share concerning workplace bullying.


Enkay said...

Is there a superior officer he could take his case to?

he might want to have this issue handle officially. Fortunately, I have no experience in this area.

Myne Whitman said...

He should call her out or report to higher authority. He should be sure though that he's not the one at fault. All the best to him, I hope the office has a good procedure to handling bullying and violence in the workplace.

posekyere said...

I suspect that the lady in question will argue that the young man is incompetent.
However you look at it, the young man has little chance against somebody who has been around for a long time.
Besides how do you generally prove that somebody is bullying you?

posekyere said...

Yes, MW.
Bullying is essentially a contestation between two people. It is a test of wills.
My take is he should refuse to take in the bully's tactics. Ignoring her will eventually make her realise that she is wasting her time.

Tye said...

Poor guy. though i have no experience with this, I suggest:
1. Ignoring, like you said. the best answer to a fool is silence; he keeps his dignity, and eventually frustrates the bully. If this fails...

2. Lash back: In the most civil way possible but with an equally infuriating force; depending on how this goes the bullying may stop or he may get fired

3. If the latter result of point 2 occurs then no biggie; point 3 is resignation. Sometimes, God just finds the meanest way to speak to you (sometimes in the form of a big, mean bully); maybe, he's just not meant to work there.

I seriously think point 2 may be the best and easiest option though.

Best of luck

posekyere said...

Great and detailed piece, TBA.
Will share you wisdom with the guy.
Thanks a ton.

Anonymous said...

A knee-capping

Anonymous said...

I think that he should find another job. This type of behavior is allowed in this company and this woman know that she can get away with it; therefore, she will continue with this behavior. I work at the United Nations and Im being bullied by my boss and I cannot do anything about it because I have to feed my family , and this type of behavior is accepted on the grounds of the United Nations. WWe need to have a law against bullying and make it a crime and then these cowards like Nasser Sh Shammount, UNOPS will leave people alone.

posekyere said...

One would think a multicultural organisation like the UN will have a reliable conflict resolution mechanism in place. That you are not finding any way out of your current predicament is an indictment on the effectiveness of the UN's systems, processes and procedures.

I hope you outlast this bully eventually.