When it comes to bullying in the workplace, it is a very thin line between an aggressive boss or colleague and a bullying boss. How can you tell if you are being bullied? Here are some of Bullying in the Workplace signs to watch out for:
- Humiliation in front clients
- Lewd behavior (like getting the finger)
- Verbal abuse, this can be insults concerning your race, gender, sexual orientation or religion or even the way you look
- Physical abuse or threats of physical abuse
- Damage to computers, vehicles, clothes or equipment so that you cannot get tasks done on time
- Threats coming through email, text messages or faxes.
Do not ignore Bullying in the Workplace. Bullies usually keep on harassing their victims until they are forced to stop or are fired. Do not bully back. You can get fired for bullying, even if you feel that you were provoked.
Adult bullying victims do not get the media coverage that child bully victims do. They also may find less sympathy to their plight because they are adults. They may be bluntly told by friends and family members to “tough it out” or “just quit.”
No worker should have to put up with bullying. Fortunately, there are many things workers can do to protect themselves from bullying in the workplace. We advise you to make records of everything you receive that you feel is bullying in the workplace, you can also report what doesn’t make you comfortable to your bully’s bosses, supervisors or the HR department.
How to record incidents of Bullying in the Workplace?
Making a careful record of each bullying incident gives you ways to fight your bully at work. Keep a safe file of every incident away from the workplace if possible in case your bully finds it at work and destroys it. Each record should include:
- Names of any co-workers that saw the incident or who were in the room when the incident occurred
- Exactly what the bully did. tell the truth and don’t discuss what you may think happened, the way they looked at you doesn’t count as bullying.
- Your immediate response to your bully. Even if you did nothing, it is worth mentioning.
Each online incident should be dated and copied. Copy and paste emails, faxes, text messages, voice mails and even comments on your blog or webpage from your bully.
Tell his/her superiors
Find out who your bully’s direct manager is. This should be a person who has the power to hire and fire employees. In large companies, this would be the human resource manager. In smaller businesses, this would be the business owner. Bring a hard copy of your file for the superior to look at. Do not tell your bully that you are meeting with his or her superior – no matter how tempting it is. If there is no one above your bully that can fire him, you need to figure out what organization holds your bully’s credentials. For example, if a doctor is your bully, then write to the medicine bar association where he/she is registered. Do not expect that the situation will be resolved immediately. You will be doubted, asked over and over again and called to several meetings.