Today we are sharing a piece from an author who wishes to remain anonymous. The piece is entitled, 'Unkindness and Cruelty in the Workplace Prevails Beyond Evidence'.
Over to our author:
I started off with my Corporate journey as a writer after my son’s death. I'd had a few interviews where I hadn't been successful in being offered the job, this was mostly due to the 2 year gap in my CV (birth and child care). I thanked God for helping me find a job finally.
My marriage has been troublesome from the start and I had to face the double burden of moving ahead in my career and living with an unkind, argumentative, conservative husband with poor or no EQ.
After working for a couple of companies, slowly I started becoming aware of the demon called bullying wherein people do not hesitate to pull you down and impact your confidence by leveraging your personal problems.
The real blow and shock I had finally was when in one of the top organisations, I was made the target by bullies just because my name started appearing everywhere in the campus: branding activities, training, workshops, blogs, coaching etc. My success was causing jealousy and unkindness towards me, the bullies did everything collectively to influence my teammates, product owners, architects ( who were once proud initially) to deny my access to information and the co-operation that was needed to do my writing work. Finally, it reached a stage where the bullies influenced the local stakeholders, (though my VP from Germany was kind and knew my capabilities and humble nature), to issue a PIP (Performance Improvement Plan) for me.
One of the HR team members was influenced by the bullies to conclude my performance report as negative. I had to simply drive back home after being forced to resign. If I were to assess the situation objectively, I had done enough to pass through the PIP – it was so unjust as I did not deserve a PIP in the first place.
What affected me most, and haunts me even now even after moving away from the organisation, is that now I am respected in another organisation, those bullies from my previous workplace are employing the same tactics in similar situations so that they are not questioned at any time. They are getting away with bullying and making it seem that the targets are the problem.
Ways they chose to make me feel low and unworthy:
I list it out only to make others in a similar situation feel comfortable to know that they are not alone and that everything has a solution:
My organisation was supportive but somehow due to local pressure and considering my wellbeing, they had to close the chapter. But it was hard on me as I was separated from my husband and living alone. It was so hard and eventually I decided to get back together with my husband – a decision for which I am paying heavily now, both personally and professionally.
In my current organisation, senior leaders are objective and supportive enough. Yet, I believe that a handful of bullies guided by bullies in the previous workplace are challenging me by corrupting my document versions, influencing people attending my sessions not to show up, so that the session gets cancelled eventually.
In my case changing the company has not provided a perfect solution as the bullies from my previous employment have continued their inhuman strategies even after I left by corrupting the minds of those who are supposed to work with me. I am thankful that at least this small organisation has leaders who have stood by me in an objective manner, but I understand it is hard even for them against bullies who do so much to try and blacken my name continuously.
The bullies are constantly trying to isolate and kill my confidence and creativity, ensuring that people don't work with me or collaborate with me, even though I am no longer in that organisation - it's so hard to know where to turn or what to do. The situation saddens me as all I did was work hard and do well in my job, perhaps this is why people don't like to shine in the workplace.
My dearest father, who is no more, taught me well and his empowering thoughts and education are with me always. It makes me ask myself:
I think we can all accept that we need others at work so that we can achieve good results but when we are gearing up for fruitful collaboration, bullies always seem to find ways to manipulate people to think and behave like them: isolating us, choosing not to collaborate and quietening our voices.
I believe that global support and a movement against bullies that has clear definitions and stories will help organisations and employees to stay aware and empowered.
I understand one thing: bullying individuals are weak and operate with emotions like jealousy, ego, power game etc., they often work in an unkind and subtle way, posing as supporters but actually being smiling assassins - they often are higher up in an organisation, or are friends with those who are higher up, and this gives them an upper hand.
My belief is that every individual in every organisation needs some coaching around being objective and kind so as not to succumb to negative factors that are brought into workplaces by bullies. It is not an easy issue to address but it has to happen so that organisations and individuals can flourish.
Thank you so much to our author for sharing this emotive piece.
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