Gill’s Story

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“Bullying may be characterised as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.” ACAS

The bullying for me began with a meeting I was called to by a person in a very high position of power and authority within the public sector. I was told to bring a particular person who had a great deal of control and influence over my career. When I arrived, there was another public sector worker who had planned to make changes to the organization I was responsible for. I had disagreed with these changes and provided sound reasons based on objective data. At the meeting, I was threatened with legal action regarding a letter I was accused of writing. There was no letter at the meeting and when I asked what I had supposedly written, the bully could not tell me. I was therefore unable to defend myself as I had no idea what was being referred to. However because of the position this person held, he was believed and my reputation and professionalism and therefore my career and career progress were immediately harmed. Further actions were then taken by another senior public sector worker to undermine my position and career prospects further.

Tim Field, a victim of bullying, states in his book ‘Bully In Sight’ that bullying occurs when one person, typically (but not necessarily) in a position of power, authority, trust, responsibility, management etc, feels threatened by another person, usually (but not always) a subordinate who is displaying qualities of ability, popularity, knowledge, skill, strength and determination, tenacity, success etc. If necessary, the bully abuses his position of power, or calls on those with power to achieve these ends.

Because of the evidence I provided showing that the planned changes by the public sector worker did not make sense she got her superior to use his power to humiliate, threaten and injure me. I dared to show that I had knowledge, determination and tenacity to defend my organisation. After they had ‘injured’ me by seriously harming my reputation and bringing into doubt my professionalism and judgement, their plans finally were passed.

Tim Fields states “You have foolishly dared to disagree with the bully (and) have had the temerity to point out the foolhardiness, impracticability, short sightedness and inequableness of management’s plans for change and will now be subjected to (bullying) behaviours.

For me, Tim Fields has explained clearly the reasons why senior public sector workers decided to subject me to bullying behaviours. This resulted in me having to resign from the job that I had loved for 25 years because I could no longer face going into work where my reputation and professionalism had been seriously tarnished and the people who were responsible for supporting me not only turned their back on me but actually supported the bullying behaviour by ignoring all the evidence I tried to show them.

Tim Fields states, the abuse is usually a manager and when the abuse is revealed the employer, personnel and legal system express disbelief, horror and denial that such a horrific act could be taking place in their midst.

Does any of this sound similar to you? Perhaps your experience is different. Does your employer keep adding more and more to your workload? Are you shouted at consistently in front of colleagues? Have you been undermined and humiliated? Has bullying affected your family and relationships. Has it affected you financially? Do you dread going into work each day? Do you try to evade certain people or situations? Please tell us your story – we are listening.

Support the campaign to introduce legislation to protect workers against workplace bullying in the UK

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