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Bullying in the workplace
Old 02-08-2016, 06:43 AM   #1
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Bullying in the workplace

Another reason I'm no longer in the workplace. My BF came home to find himself accused of workplace bullying. He is pretty naive when it comes to these types of things... he thought he was having a meeting with a subordinate that was having issues communicating him but as soon as he described the conversation, I was like, she's already gone to HR and filed a formal complaint.. he called his boss and sure enough she had.

We hadn't hired young workers in years so I'm hoping this isn't a sign of the next generation. I however had a co-worker who ironically wrote a book on workplace bullying who herself was a bully.. funny how that goes.

He's director at a tiny company where he had been handing out assignments but there was one employee that always seemed to have issues (saying the assignments were too confusing or there wasn't enough time to do them) He had been bending over backwards to include her and assist her but finally got frustrated with her constant excuses so tried to address them.

Her accusation amounts to:
1. He didn't ask nice enough about doing an assignment he used the words "I need this done" rather than asking nicely and saying please do this.
2. He cancelled a group meeting (which she took as she was being kicked off the project)
3. He copied their boss on an email exchange after she repeated refused to do an assignment.

When he came home and said she said "I'm not trying to get you fired" .. I'm like oh.. she's trying to get you fired... no one says that to a boss that isn't passive aggressive. From that she got that he was threatening, bullying, and intimidating her.

I would laugh except of course you never know what type of HR person you got. I'm pretty sure she went to HR after they had a chat and she told him he wasn't the boss of her. Could this coworker really be that na´ve about how cross matrixed organizations work? Can you really be a new hire and think a director doesn't have any authority?

Anyone else have experience with this? Is this becoming more common?

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Old 02-08-2016, 07:01 AM   #2
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Welcome to the entitelment generation. It will only get worse.

I had a minority female tech who was heard by fellow techs to boast, that If I gave her a hard time about slacking on the job, she would run out of my office screaming "get your hands off of me".

A half dozen techs tired of her games signed a lettter to HR. HR of course remained silent never even contacted me. Shortly thereafter she got promoted to safety officer. It is new twisted world.

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Old 02-08-2016, 07:22 AM   #3
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'Tis an obverse world; 'victimhood' abounds, what was previously regarded as 'life' becomes suffused with 'micro aggressions', making 'safe spaces' essential, and employees who would, at one time, have been fired on the spot, are coddled and promoted.

(I recall a new hire who asked our boss for a job description, (this in a volatile environment where things changed rapidly), and was told that "Your job is to do what I tell you to do".)

Oddly enough, in an era where more jobs were available, people knew what it meant to be employed - now, it seems, with fewer jobs, people are becoming less and less cognizant of what working entails. China they are now apparently conducting courses for males on "How to be a man", so perhaps it's an evolutionary thing........"Back up into the trees, everyone!"
"Exit, pursued by a bear."

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Old 02-08-2016, 09:02 AM   #4
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Yes, it is really getting crazy. Sounds like the employee is bullying upwards. She apparently does not want to (or is unable to) advance through hard work and competence and is relying on intimidation, mind games, and working the system. Sick.
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Old 02-08-2016, 09:56 AM   #5
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OMG this brought back unpleasant memories of an employee I had some 15 years ago. As apparently here, HR had ME on the defensive because I had criticized this trainee for missing 2 sessions.
I won't go into detail lest I be charged with thread creep, but my good friend is still w*rking and currently having his own political problems. So glad to be out of the rat race.
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:02 PM   #6
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When I bowed out of w*rk, most managers were more afraid of their own HR than the marketplace competition.

Most workplaces I experienced were either adult day cares or Jr High in regard to behavior of the rank and file. I believe the paradigm shift from accountable to entitled occurred during the 90's for some reason. Not to say that the old days were peaches and cream, just that 'feelings' didn't factor in with job performance.

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Old 02-08-2016, 12:09 PM   #7
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I had one of those problem children back in the day. She quit before I got her plan together. Ha ha she laughed when I let her go after she gave me notice. Sure you can go, no problem here. I wanted that woman gone yesterday. Didn't hurt that me letting her go early also meant not eligible for rehire:sly:.
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:29 PM   #8
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Had several in my career. Found out quickly that if you wanted to fire them, HR would make it your full time job. Fortunately, Mega was big enough that I transferred them off onto someone else who was desperate for headcount, just like they'd been transferred to me. Eventually, there was a downturn, layoffs happened and most of them were flushed.
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Old 02-08-2016, 01:18 PM   #9
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Emails can often be misunderstood and I had made a comment to a younger female employee, ending the comment with " <gr> " (for grin).
"So have a great weekend <gr>"

She freaked out, started crying because she thought it meant I was 'growling' at her.

Entitled generation? Oh yeah!

Just read a report about how 80% of millennials feel that just having graduated college gives them all the skills they need for the job.

SIL is tearing her hair out with these kids. Now they're all demanding TWO computer screens...not because they need them, but "because they're cool"
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Old 02-08-2016, 01:20 PM   #10
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When I worked for the "ancient" manufacturing company, when we had a problem salaried employee, he got a transfer to our mine in Minot, ND.
......."Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face." -- philosopher Mike Tyson.
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Old 02-08-2016, 01:21 PM   #11
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I feel sympathy for my honey because this company is owned by the head of sales, his wife is VP of PR and he is director of Marketing.. that's it then they have about 40 staff that have just job functions, no titles and no supervisors. So moving this person around isn't really feasible and worse yet they all work out of a large home, so your never more than 20 feet from them. In a big company, it would be very easy to mitigate...this seems impossible without one of them eventually leaving.
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Old 02-08-2016, 01:42 PM   #12
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I think this is one of the reasons many companies are so happy to hire veterans these days. Spending some time in the military makes people understand about accountability.
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Old 02-08-2016, 01:43 PM   #13
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I was in the high tech industry way back when flint was the cutting edge of cutting technology, and up until I retired in 2010 I never saw any more expectations from college or high school graduates working for me or with me over my 33 year career.
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Old 02-08-2016, 02:28 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
I think this is one of the reasons many companies are so happy to hire veterans these days. Spending some time in the military makes people understand about accountability.
I worked in law enforcement and a similar culture exists there, at least most places. Very low tolerance for drama queens of either gender or laziness. Now, it would take a while to get rid one of them since it all had to be documented to the nth degree but they would do it.
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
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Old 02-08-2016, 02:38 PM   #15
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My sister, who is 52 and works as a college instructor, has many stories about students who come to her and want a better grade without having done the work. They seem to think it is enough to show up.

"The mountains are calling, and I must go." John Muir
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Old 02-09-2016, 03:17 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by karen1972 View Post
Could this coworker really be that na´ve about how cross matrixed organizations work?
Cross-matrix "management" doesn't work. That's the point. It benefits management in that they get a more flexible workforce, but it greatly complicates the administration of a fair and efficient workplace. Cross-functional organizations are fine, helping groups of people from different parts of the organization to come together as needed to more seamlessly accomplish their own respective jobs within the chain of production. By contrast, cross-functional "management" is a dodge. If the cross-functional groups are to administer themselves, then they must necessarily be brought into the formal management structure.

I see the situation you described as your BF being effectively tricked into wrongdoing by management abrogating their responsibilities and prompting him to do their dirty work, so that they could remain insulated from the accountability that national and international standards for management require management (specifically) perform.

Originally Posted by karen1972 View Post
Can you really be a new hire and think a director doesn't have any authority?
Evidently, BF doesn't have the authority, since if he did there wouldn't be an issue. Again, it's a trick management has played on senior staff - the illusion of power. When I audited companies, I would cite them for failing to have management, specifically, take responsibility for the direction of work.

We used to be a small company. Every third employee was a director. Title inflation is a regular thing in small companies. I was never a director, never had anyone reporting to me, but had more power within the small company than I ever cared to have. The reality of power in a small company is often quite different than what the titles indicate, and even quite different from what the organization chart says.

Incidentally, the "director" who used to sit next to me at the small company, is now a "supervisor" in the large company that ate our small company.

Regardless, despite the power I once had, I endeavored to never project work assignments onto co-workers. That's their managers' responsibility, not mine, and more importantly, not my place.

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