So then...

About Me

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."

Monday, 18 July 2011

WEEK 178 Fake Fur

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll probably have picked up on the fact that I’ve little time for ‘experts’ who haven’t had real experience of workplace bullying. Statisticians and academics may mean well, but they often end up blinding us with untested theory or irrelevant statistics.

But at least theory and statistics are harmless. Poor advice, on the other hand, could cost someone their career.

Recently, a new and confident generation of corporate strategists are throwing their hat into the workplace bullying ‘expert’ ring. What worries me is that I’ve yet to read an article by one of these ‘experts’ which does anything other than pander to the fashionable ‘ethics’ of the corporate world – regardless of how risky their suggestions might be.

Bursting with confidence, the strategist is convinced they HAVE the answer. Their ideas WILL eliminate workplace bullying.

WOW! I went through it for years, studied it for years, worked with employment lawyers for years and I don’t claim to have the answer.

So what is it?

The strategists then offer a paragraph or two of generic, one size fits all suggestions, such as having a ‘roundtable’ meeting to expose the bully to their boss. Their articles are filled with buzzwords and management speak. Recently one corporate strategist confidently recommended a forensic audit once the bullying is made public. Really? A forensic audit? Can you see your average UK small business allowing the office junior to confront a bullying manager, upon which the small business sets about an immediate forensic audit?


What happens, I want to ask them, when the company’s financial survival depends on the profits brought in by the bully? What happens when the internal damage a bully does is offset by their external commercial success? What about bystander apathy? What about the companies whose very culture encourages boasts about their CEO/Management bullies who plough through staff and makes lives miserable? What about when people are too scared of the consequences to challenge the status quo?

What’s missing from these corporate strategists and self proclaimed experts is that they’ve never lost their job because of bullying and they’ve obviously never sat down with anyone who has and listened.

Let me say it again so the strategists in the back can hear me. Workplace bullying is situational. You cannot eliminate workplace bullying because it’s human nature. All you can do is be honest, lay out the various resources to those who are going through it and hope they get themselves out of it as quickly as possible.

These new experts don’t care about those being bullied. Such articles are written to impress the corporate world and nothing more. They’re what my Nan would have called “all fur coat and no knickers”.

And in the new wave of corporate ‘ethics’ - it’s going to be fake fur.

Best wishes


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