Dear Rhonda & Dr. Cheri: When your boss is your bully
Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
What about work place bullies?
I was fired 12 days before Christmas. My bully-boss successfully made me sick with nerves and caused my blood pressure to go up when he fired me. I was out on a workers comp pending case. My family will never forget the pain he caused us. I haven't worked since then due to all of this.
My bully-boss told me I couldn't wear the hats I'd been wearing to work for almost four years with no problem. He said it was company policy, although it wasn't in writing.
HR said there's not a policy regarding hats. All of a sudden, my bully-boss said I could wear hats, but only for a few days a week. I asked why it was okay now and he snapped, "I'm in control."
Later, at the last minute, he put me on a fully staffed schedule to pressure me to work, when he knew my daughter was ill and I couldn't work. He threatened to fire me for "job abandonment" if I didn't show up. He was mad that I put my daughter first and he's a father!
After that, he accused me of not working on days that I have proof I did indeed work.
I documented everything this bully did to treat me like crap and ruin me (I can't even write all that he did to bully me). It seems he set me up to terminate and bully me.
For some reason the universe and my God had me keep all the evidence. For more than four years I loved my job 98 percent of the time, then he ruined it and caused me to fear.
He, in the beginning, said my reputation precedes me, that upper management had nothing but glowing reports about me. He asked why I thought I do so well and I told him because I love my job.
I've been looking for an organization like yours to bring light to adult corporate bullying.
Bullied by my boss
Dear Bullied by your Boss,
First, we are sorry that you have had to experience an abusive bully-boss. However, we congratulate you on doing one of the best things needed to protect yourself in this situation: Document, document, document!
Bullying is the same for adults as it is for kids, in the sense that envy is the biggest reason a gentle and good soul as you will be tormented, punished, and ultimately thrown out or thrown under a bus.
We have cautions for you and 50 percent of workers out there, the number of workers bullied on a daily basis according to Employment Law Alliance:
If you were vulnerable to bullying as a youth, your chances of being bullied as an adult are over 75 percent.
It's a false assumption to think that all supervisors know how to manage people. Those who have had every conceivable management training possible still don't "get it" many times. They will be controlling and try to get you to recoil.
Don't confront a bully-boss-that's what they dream of in order to claim your insubordination. Instead be happy, confident, continue shining and expect nothing good from him/ her. This may infuriate your boss. So what?
Gong to HR may not be the solution for you-unfortunately, they might look at your confrontations as a legal problem.
Get professional help from a therapist and counsel from a lawyer.
Ask yourself if it's worth it to work with a bully-boss. Get another job before your bully-boss harms you anymore.
Thank you for discussing a very real and common problem for adults.
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri
Monthly free discussion group
Following our first discussion group in December on "Suicide, Self-harm, Bullying and the Holidays," our foundation is starting a monthly discussion group on the third Wednesday of each month beginning Jan. 20 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Prescott Public Library, 215 E. Goodwin St. The topic will be "Bullying: Everybody's Problem." This is for all members of our community. For more info, please call Rhonda Orr at 928-515-9996
Rhonda Orr is the president and founder of the Prescott-based Rhonda's STOP BULLYING Foundation for Girls.
Dr. Cheri L. McDonald, PhD, LMFT, is a crime-victim specialist. Send your anonymous questions to Rhonda@rhondastopbullying.org or by mail to The Daily Courier 1958 Commerce Center Circle, Prescott, AZ 86301.