From the first time I pulled a workplace bullying book off the library shelf, looking for a solution to HOWARD’s behaviour, I’ve disliked categories. Do you know what I mean? Here’s an example of how they read:-
People are more likely to be bullied if they are creative/introverted/shy/popular/hard working/independent etc etc etc.
Fitting personality types into ‘bullied’ and ‘bully’ boxes is a bit of a game; a pretence that we can hold aspects of human nature in neat, identifiable lists. And the bottom line is that it puts the responsibility on the victim, saying “I know you can’t help it, but your personality is partly to blame.”
I never really bought that my identity cards were marked for life; that my personality predestined me to be bullied, whilst other’s personalities might predestine them to bully. Why couldn’t it be as simple as one person not liking another and being in a position to play games with them if they’re working in a subordinate position?
If anything proves my case, it’s my return to work tomorrow following the Bank Holiday. In my new job, I’m still surprised to be invited out socially by a variety of different departments. Colleagues phone me at home to shoot the breeze. They’re not laughing at me now - they’re laughing with me.
They like me just as I am.
So if it was the case that I’m the type to be bullied – where are they? Where are the new HOWARDS? Where are the people so incensed by my creativity/introversion/shyness/popularity/work ethic/independence etc etc etc that they’d do anything to destroy me?
The point is, even if there were people at this new firm who didn’t like me, it’s not the kind of place that allows colleagues to torment each other – even under the pretence of a joke. Staff aren’t floundering under the pressure of hundreds of urgent, yet utterly boring case files, and so praying for a dramatic diversion. There’s no bloodlust of boredom to keep the room happy, as in:-
“Quick! Throw a secretary to the lions!”
So if someone is trying to throw you into the amphitheatre for entertainment, don’t blame yourself for the fact that you’ve been picked. If it wasn’t you, it would be someone else. The important thing is to get out intact.
With any luck, you’ll end up working for a firm where the only entertainment discussed is what people got up to over the Bank Holiday.
- Bullied By The Boss
- Welcome to my blog. My pen name is Eva James. I'm an aspiring writer paying the bills working as a legal secretary. Relentlessly bullied by my former boss, I looked for another job but the recession hit. Feeling trapped, I recorded everything in this blog, which serves as a revealing insight into workplace bullying. WEEK 1 starts the story and, as the weeks progress, you'll note what starts as banter soon spirals out of control. Sadly, it's all true. Whilst along the way I've found alternative employment, my passion for blogging about workplace bullying remains. Trevor Griffiths, legendary theatre, TV and film writer said at the outset, "I like the writing a lot: smart, cool, placed. If you were prepared/able to take your prick of a boss on, you'd marmelise him."