Too many companies have a legendary bully.
Bullies who are central within a firm have often had time to build up an aura of haranguing folklore and fairytale to be enjoyed by the people who don’t work directly for them. You know what I’m talking about, right? The bully’s exploits are re-hashed in amused whispers. They provide an element of humour to a dull working day. And when the current target of their bullying walks out or complains, the whole firm ends up rallying around the bully with indulgent sympathy.
Sadly, it doesn’t stop there.
It’s all too tempting for people to then believe currying favour with a legendary bully reflects well on themselves. They’ll say:-
“I worked with them when so and so was off – and they loved working with me. In fact, they asked if I could work with them more often”.
I guess we all know people like this too. They’re happy to be involved in the drama – and happier still that a short term period of working well with a well known bully endorses their own self esteem.
When you think about it, this egocentric bias is unbelievably harmful. It can put us in harm’s way. We tell ourselves that in the same circumstances, it wouldn’t happen to us. We’d be the exception to the rule. They’d love working with us. It also places all the blame on the targets of bullying. They obviously weren’t good enough. If that person were more like us - they’d have worked out just fine.
Too easily, the bully becomes an occupational stress test – by which strength of character within a firm is measured. In the world at large, however, it’s the opposite. It’s your ability to resist the dramatic pull of such ‘legends’ that really says volumes about who you are.
Don’t forget it.
- 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."