Posted by: Antoinette | 2013/01/08

The bully I work for

Happy New Year &  Welcome Back Cybershrink

I don''t know what you can say to me. I feel very sad and scared at the same time. I have been in my job over 6 years. It was very pressurized but my boss appreciated me and gave me good increases and bonuses. Boss retired. A new person came in his place who is a total bully. At first I tried harder, harder and harder. Then I realised this person will find fault with everything that I do no matter how it is done. Sets impossible goals and sets you up to fail. Is the kind of person whose mantra is cool, calm and collected so they say the most bullying things in this cool, calm and collected voice. Eventually, we are talking many months I took my complaint to the top. Boss bully backed off. Now that boss thinks it has blown over a bit right back on track. I have decided that I must move on. I am not the only member of staff that dislikes and doesn''t trust this individual. And go through normal channels - difficult the person is HR and will block you at your every turn as is seen. Has obviously held a grudge and had it in for me from day one. I don''t expect forgiveness but I now find I am being sarcastic back in a cool, calm and collected voice when spoken down to and told to do ridiculous tasks. I earn a really good salary above average, I earned it through hard work and my attitude. Tells me I do not demonstrate I am doing a good job and a huge issue is that I cannot work overtime when I say I cannot - there is no need. The next day I am berated and told lucky that was not urgent whereas the day before it was super urgent. So, I have to leave. I have decided that my best chance is to be immediately available and I plan to secure a job and then just walk out aka submit a forced resignation letter. I am sad though because I believe in the company, I am happy here, lovely colleagues, great salary. But the job has changed and it is not secure either - it can be easily absorbed. The boss does not delegate well and then accuses you of not doing work. Won''t take calls, SMS''s, E-mails or interruptions, then you are accused of not handling communication well. I feel so intensely angry, dissapointed, bullied, sad and very, very nervous about leaving. No guarantees that any job will be better either. It is a huge risk and I have a dependant that relies on me financially. Single. It is difficult too - new job and then appearing at the CCMA - doesn''t work. I did join the Union about a year ago so in that respect I have some protection. The boss says they want it to work, but I have realised that I will end up a nervous wreck doubting my own ability. I am also confident and assertive and I would like to remain that way. I am popular with my colleagues and feel really sad at leaving. Some of them are also suffering but are stuck in their jobs and some are timid. Boss does not seem to understand about legal procedures either and is a law unto itself.
I guess I am just saying I have to bite the bullet and go and face a new job no matter what it brings? I am afraid that I may take these feelings with me, I am on guard and suspicious. Why do people abuse their power. You would think they would be happy and proud to have a good person in their camp. No, I do not want the boss''s job and we have different qualifications anyway. If I submit a Grievance now or call in the CCMA or Union I will be offered a settlement of 3 months. Cannot live on that and must wait to find a new job. My GP has me on anti-depressants (Cipralex) and Urbanol for when things are really bad.

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Our expert says:
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As you've probably noticed, bullies are often deeply shallow and inadequate people who push people round to try to feel an importance and competence they neither deserve nor achieve.
Sounds like you may need to go back to the top again, making it clear that he improved for a time but is now reverting to his bad old habits, and that apparently HR is utterly useless and doesn't understand that their role is not supposed to be an automatic defence of the senior person complained of.
The sort of situation you describe is sadly common in business - an incompetent boss messing up what other good people can manage better in his absence.
have you discussed this situation with the Union ? As you say, there are other employees also affected by this twerp.
Maybe explore with a good labour lawyer what other options there might be, to get this twit to recognize what the laws require ; maybe ask Dept of Labour for clarification, too - even if you invoke some such actions after you have found a better job.
Counselling might be more genuinely helpful than expensive drugs, which treat Depression, but not unhappiness caused by good external reasons.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Nic | 2013/01/08

You sound just like me Antoinette and I feel so much for you. At least your boss is not bipolar, going through a mid-life crisis or is border-line Alzeimers at 50 yrs old ! (or maybe he is and cannot help his actions or attitued) - I do not mean to offend anyone here and could explain further). I am glad you posted as I have wanted to post to Cybershrink for ages. Good luck to you, you really sound like a good, honest and irreplaceable hardworker (so many people blow so much wind its hard to believe them). Wishing you luck. Let us know xxx

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