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."

Friday, 20 September 2013

Second Extract from Janice Harper's Mobbed! A Survival Guide to Adult Bullying and Mobbing

Second excerpt, from Part II, How to Stop (or At Least Survive) Mobbing:
Of all the many things you can and should do to survive a mobbing, there are three things you can do which will be damned hard, but will do more than anything else to help you to survive.  These three things are: control your thinking; control your emotions; and grow up.  Now before you start sending me hate mail, listen up.  There is a reason you need to grow up: mobbing is a devastating attack on your identity and humanity, and because it is so devastating, it will rapidly reduce you to tears.  It will take you back to an emotional state of childhood when the bullies were picking on you.  It will make you want your mother.  It will leave you feeling powerless.  And now more than ever, you need power.  So you need to calm the child within you, and muster up the grownup that you are.
There’s another reason you need to grow up.  You are at war.  It’s time to be a man, even if you’re a woman.  This is a test of what you’re made of.
And there’s a third reason you need to grow up.  Most of what we complain about at work is really pointless.  Most of the grave injustices and abuses we suffer are really better off ignored—or stored in a file of our minds labeled “useful information.”
Now I know that sounds flippant and insensitive, but let me tell you—as someone who lost way, way more than I ever thought possible to lose—when I look back on what I was so upset about at work, I snicker.  I snicker because had I simply ignored the small injustices, I never would have endured the great ones.  If I had laughed off the bad behaviors, I never would have suffered the atrocities.  And had I left my ego at home when I went to work, it never would have had it slaughtered by the people I worked with and trusted.
It doesn’t mean I deserved it.  It doesn’t mean they were right to do it.  And it doesn’t mean it is okay by any means.  What it means is that I walked straight into a den of alpha wolves and offered up my jugular, when I should have just kept my mouth shut and observed them.
In short, mobbing forced me to grow up in ways I never would have understood before or during my mobbing.  But now that I am past it, I can provide a more objective take on what leads to mobbing.  And what I’ve learned is that in so many cases, mobbing turns into a wildfire of torment because the person who has been targeted has let their mind run in an endless loop of wrongs they think need to be righted, cannot control their emotional wounds and rage, and they have put their egos ahead of their interests—which is completely disempowering.
That doesn’t mean they aren’t good people—many targets have a high sense of ethics and their complaints do have merit.  (Unlike some anti-bullying experts, however, I’m not going to tell you all targets are good and all targets have superior ethics—rotten no good scoundrels with the ethics of a lobbyist can and do get mobbed.  And so do decent, hard-working ethical people.  Anyone can be mobbed.)
Maturity requires learning how to control how and what we think, and how and what we feel.  It also means weighing our options not based on idealism, but on reality.  And the reality is that pursuing justice is usually a lonely pursuit, and one that offers little reward.  We need justice in our world, and we need idealists.  But don’t make put your career on the line for your ideals (nor sell out your ideals for your career).  There are other ways to fight for fairness.  But when it comes to the injustice in our own worlds, far too many mobbing targets find themselves blinded and buried in their pursuit for justice.  And once blinded and buried, we cannot effectively achieve any meaningful victory over injustice.
What almost all any mobbing target wants is really not a lot.  Mobbing targets want the abuse to stop.  They want to work.  And they want an apology.  That’s all.  But as simple and reasonable as those three things are, they are not going to come once a mobbing commences.  So what mobbing targets must do is protect themselves.  
There are three ways in which you must protect yourself from mobbing.  You must protect yourself emotionally, socially and professionally.  By doing so, and by learning to control your thinking and your emotions and by acting from a place of maturity, rather than neediness, you’ll go far toward managing the mob.  So listen up and toughen up, because in the next three chapters I’m going to tell you what you need to do if you’re going to survive the mob.


Anonymous said...

Interesting read. It isn't 'Adult Bullying' though. It is a primitive throwback to our reptilian past and should be treated as unwanted behaviour. We all know that being intimidated leads to isolation and that very few 'survive' the attacks. But businesses (and departments) with an intimidatory, non-inclusive culture have also tended to struggle in difficult times simply because they could not get the best out of their employees. One volunteer is worth 10 slaves, after all. This is why Google et al make it public that they look after their workers so well. They are showing off how 'fit' they are as a company to their shareholders. It is fundamentally the role of HR to look outside the box, at how their company is performing, to increase awareness of intimidation as a sign of a vulnerable business, to provide support to employees, and install a fair means of reporting incidents and I would urge anyone reading this in that capacity to become an 'evangelist' on this matter.

Jane said...

When I read this I knew that you have truly suffered being mobbed. Everything you say is true. Now that I have lived through the many stages and still one year after being walked out the door for sending a harassment and bullying complaint from my lawyer against top people with the support of other top people only to be betrayed by them, I still suffer the physical, emotional and mental effects. Panic attacks, heart palpations, crying jags and the constant search in my head to find some sense in it all. I must say that I was fortunate to have some other staff support me. If everyone had turned against me, I don't know how I could have handled it.

I am just not sure I could have escaped the abuse even if I had tried to as you suggest. I think you are right to suggest laughing it off and trying to avoid it but in the end I think that the bullies would just ramp it up and change their approach until they are successful. I think we would both agree that many join in because they have been lied to and don't even realize that they are being played by the bullies. Janice Harper has this theory nailed down solid and she is right.

In my case it was a Board of Directors and as a staff person I had no choice but to say nothing. The 'corrupt' ones could say whatever they wanted and I would have never even known. Directors who I got along with great suddenly stopped interacting with me and I didn't know why. So there was no laughing anything off or finding a way to counter the attack. I have been looking for work outside of the industry I was working in.

I am thinking that your boss would have just kept up the abuse until you couldn't take it anymore. I hope you don't mind me saying that. At least you shouldn't think that you could have stopped it.

For me the ones who really did damage were those who kept saying they were going to help but they were meaningless words. Their mixes signals actually made me more sick than the abuse. I believe there is an old saying that goes something like, "In the end it is not the words of your enemies that hurt you but the silence of your friends."

I am finally starting to come out of the bad stuff and get back to living. It has been about 3 years.

Thank you so much for this tremendous blog.

Bottom Swirl