Have you ever had to deal with an office bully? Have you encountered someone in the office who tried to make your life a living hell? Someone who for no reason choose to sabotage everything you try to do?
No one could have convinced me that office bully existed until I experienced one for myself. It happened a few years ago while working at this financial institution as a junior staff accountant.
During my time there I was asked a few times to fill in for the receptionist since they were short staffed. I gladly said yes I would when, it wasn’t tax time; I was a tax accountant. The supervisor of the admin staff was very excited as she needed all the help she could get.
Soon it became a daily occurrence. It was now affecting my work, and I spoke to my manager and he agreed so I told the admin supervisor that I could no longer help out. I went about my daily duties but suddenly things started happening that were strange.
I would reserve a conference room to have meeting with my clients and on the day of my meetings the conference room would be occupied by someone else. Other times my meetings would be cancelled without my knowledge and no one could explain why. I would order my sandwiches for my clients, and they would disappear and no one could tell me where and what happened to them.
After this happen a few times, I called the admin supervisor and was informed that she was the one who was making the changes. She even explained that she took the sandwiches since they were expensive and should not have been ordered for the clients, even though, my boss gave me the permission to order them. I wasn’t happy, but I let it go after our discussion. Being shy and reserved, I took it as just one of those things that happened.
Things started to get from bad to worse. The copy machine I usually used was locked and required a pass word. I was directed to one on the third floor. We were on the seventh floor. I later realized that everyone had access to the machine on the third floor except me.
Every request I made had to be via email and normal conversations were no longer allowed. The emails I received were often filled with insults and she would refer me to someone else whom she thought would be better able to help since I wasn’t able to follow or comprehend simple instructions.
I felt insulted and humiliated. I tried to convince myself it was all in my head. I soon realize that she was complaining to my boss about my attitude and reported me as, not being willing to follow instructions.
My boss encouraged me not to repeat the information that was conveyed to him, but that I should remain neutral and continue working hard. He thought I was a great worker.
After months of cancelled conference room and meetings without my knowledge, unscheduled request to fill in for other duties and rude emails all day I had enough.
I went to her office fuming. I realized there was a crowd around her computer with all the other staffers from her group standing around her. When they saw me coming, they all ran from the office. I was a woman on a mission. I confronted her like I have never done before. She was shocked and refused to respond even, but I did make my point.
It took my boss, the director of our department and a few others to get me to calm down. I was embarrassed that I allowed her to get me so angry. I was always in control, and now I gave someone else my power. I had to apologize to the directors, my boss and the admin supervisor for my behavior. Since that day, her treatment towards me changed for the better and things return to normal.
I could book any conference room I wanted, and if she needed to use it, she would call to ask permission to make changes. I felt good about myself that at last I was standing up for myself and this office bully. Later, the other staff came to apologize for their part and praised me for confronting her since they knew it was wrong but was afraid to stop it since she was their boss. They too were being bullied.
I have since then left that job, went off to grad school and have moved on, but I no longer tolerate disrespect and abuse from anyone. I am more confident and self-assured. I can now stand up for myself and refuse to let anyone including office bullies scare me. I am a woman on a mission to remain confident.
When confronted with situations like these do not forget to remember that you must:-
Take responsibility for your actions.
Even though, it felt good confronting this woman I felt really bad afterwards. You must think before you act. There is a right and a wrong way to get things resolved. No one can make you behave the way you do not want to. You are responsible for your actions and no one else.
Take action to resolve the problems
I did things a bit different and shouldn’t have, but get your supervisors to help or someone above the person acting out. Never take matters into your hands but do make every effort to have this person discontinue their behavior.
Face your fears
It is very easy to become fearful of the other person due to their position but remember if you do not face your fears and take action they will not stop. You must be prepared to accept the consequences of the decision you make.
Do not become negative
It would have been very easy for me to become negative and resort to the negativity that was floating around the office, but I refused to do so. Resist negativity and stay neutral and positive.
Do not resort to self-blame
At first I resorted to blaming myself for being thin-skinned but soon realize that it wasn’t me. Do not accept abuse from anyone under any circumstances. Never forget to believe in yourself, do not accept the negative things people say or do to you.
No matter what the situation is you must always try to remain happy. Never let anyone or any situation rob you of your joy.
Have you ever encountered a bad coworker or someone who made your life miserable on the job? Please share with us so we all can be reassured that we aren’t the only ones.
Rose Costas is a big believer in the power of facing your challenges head on and then boldly wear your scars to show others that they too can be triumphant. She is an accountant by profession with a new found passion for blogging and a future Author and best seller. You can join her on twitter, FB, or connect with her at www.positiveattitudesforlife.com