My workplace bullying book will be on Amazon in about 6 weeks.
The experts loved it, save for a query about whether the section on where we stand legally is necessary.
I gave it some thought, but it’s written on my own personal experience – and my experience tells me this section is fundamental.
When you’re targeted by a workplace bully, it’s the start of a long and painful psychological journey. You try to identify why it’s happening. You wonder whether it’s your fault. You try being nicer or standing up for yourself. As time goes by, maybe you realise you’re not getting anywhere. Things are getting harder. And at some point, you tell yourself you can’t take any more.
You bravely escalate the matter to HR. Then you wait. You fret a bit about what will happen. Will HR help? Will they speak to the bully? Time passes, and you realise HR have done nothing. Or perhaps you’ve been counter-accused of being oversensitive.
All the while the bullying continues, but now your bully really has it in for you because you complained to HR about them.
Then things really go wrong. You lose your job or you’re forced to walk out. Things are desperate. You never wanted it to come to this – but you must to do something. You find a firm of solicitors, because your bully shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.
And then your solicitor tells you how you haven’t really got a leg to stand on. You haven’t got enough evidence and what little you have is time barred or doesn’t show discrimination on protected grounds. The legal fees are enormous and at best they may be able to get you a month’s pay. You realise your former firm has won.
As I said, workplace bullying is the start of a long and painful psychological journey. At first, we’re passive and inward looking. At the end, we’re angry and outward looking. And this angry, outward looking point is every bit as painful as the start. We know who is responsible for our injury and we search for justice. Our anger empowers us after months or years of being trodden on and abused. And when the law lets you down, there’s nothing but anger left. It's all consuming.
So that’s why I’ve included the law in the book. It’s so you know what to expect and you can make choices accordingly. Sure, not everyone will need the legal help, but the book is for anyone who is going through workplace bullying – from the first time it happens to how to approach things if you’re taking your firm to a Tribunal.
It’s all part of the long and painful journey started by that one bully in work.
I’m trying to put you a step ahead, however far along the road you are.