I recently turned my life around, avoiding wrong influences from my severely abusive partner of several years. I was self-medicating pain and trauma through substance use.
I’m now enjoying a healthy, clear-headed life, making positive choices, in counselling and in close relationships I’d neglected when under my ex-partner’s control.
Back now in my hometown to be closer to my daughter and family, there’s temptation to use (drugs/alcohol) all around me, including being abandoned by a few family members.
But I’ve joined a church and reconnected with other positive family there. I also recently started working for a small company.
However, I’m often scheduled to work with a very negative co-worker who, alongside another co-worker, regularly hints at drug use as the reason for my small frame.
Every positive thing I say or do is critiqued or disregarded and ignored. I often leave work feeling harassed, drained and hopeless.
I’m aware of rumours and gossip about me due to my former choices, but each shift feels like entering a battleground.
Other coworkers have fearfully told me how opinionated and rude the bully was to them their first year. Even the bully's sidekick tearfully recounts what she endured from the bully. Then she snarls that I better respect her.
Do I quit and let the bully win?
The boss may not be aware of the negative morale her toxic employee is causing. I don’t want to cause problems, but the bully needs to be accountable.
Stand Up or Give Up?
Your health and self-confidence matter most. You’ve made remarkable gains through emerging from an abusive and addicted lifestyle.
Now, drawing on the inner strengths you’ve shown, you can’t let this bully get away with continuing this assault on your well-being.
You’re not alone. According to Ontario’s Workers’ Health and Safety Centre, almost half of Canadian workers feel bullied on the job.
In the US, a 2017 National Survey defined workplace bullying as “repeated mistreatment of an employee by one or more employees; abusive conduct that’s: threatening, humiliating, or intimidating, work sabotage, or verbal abuse."
Some 60 million Americans are affected by workplace bullying.
The hard work required for your healing process, proves you clearly have courage and determination.
That’s what gets a bully riled up… because many are cowards, afraid that others will show them up for having lesser skills and inability to attract respect by other means than to shout, demean, threaten and abuse others.
Keep a private home-based record of this bully-team. Document the dates, times and details of each incident that occurs, and whether there were any witnesses to it. Record bullying of others by this person which you’ve seen or been told about.
If the bullying occurs in email, texts, or correspondence, keep a hard copy of the trail of emails and texts and file them in a separate folder.
Set your own limit on what you’ll tolerate and know when you must report the bullying.
It’s crucial that your personal limit on ignoring it or walking away, must come before you feel helpless and ready to self-medicate again.
Seeking help from Human Resources, or your boss is not “making trouble.” If you also document the bully’s effect on business results due to employee discomfort and wasted time, your records reveal that the bully is sabotaging business.
When necessary, march into your boss’ office or HR with your report, and say that you cannot allow yourself and other co-workers to be hassled and tormented by this nasty twosome any longer.
FEEDBACK Regarding the grandmother upset by her toddler grandchild’s poor table manners (Oct.9).
Reader – “My friends who are grandparents laughed at this concern. While a child of two-and-a-half may have the physical capability to act accordingly regarding manners, the terrible two’s is just not the time to shore up your expectations.
“I have three grandchildren and it was expected that a child that young wouldn’t participate in helping, stay seated, or participate in conversation.
“The children were fed before our dinner and given activities to amuse them while we ate. As they grew older, we gave them responsibilities helping with dinner preparation and talked to them about manners. These weren’t perfected until much later.
“Regarding eating out, some children just cannot sit through the process and that’s okay too.
“Grandparents (of toddlers) should let things go, and enjoy the chaos… they will learn, but the expectation that it should happen at your pace will only irritate you.”
Tip of the day:
Tolerating a bully’s behaviour gives permission for the bullying tactics to continue.