View Full Version : Personal grievance or bullying, harrasment in the work place

30-07-2011, 02:14 PM
Has any one ben through this on either side of the conflict?
Any suggestions on sites to read, info to process
or just plain help on do's, donts and any other things that may help.

I know its pretty vague, but i just need some guidance on this please....


30-07-2011, 02:25 PM
Maybe this'll help

30-07-2011, 03:28 PM
And this

31-07-2011, 01:16 AM
My last job involved providing IT support to a bank(which ironically was the singapore branch of a big NZ bank).

The entire project was a fiasco from the start. We were thrown in at the deep end of the pool, were understaffed and expected to provide first level support for many systems which we did not have information on. The managers we were supposed to liaise with were often not in the office and uncontactable, and our manager was useless(he didnt know any of the systems, nor had any contact details for someone who did, and we could clearly see him playing games on his laptop all day). In my time there he literally did nothing but tell us not to ask him any questions because he didnt know the answers, he ended up getting transferred to another project(big loss), and the project manager refused to appoint a temporary replacement for the next 1.5 months. Our team leader, an experienced IT support engineer, also got blood poisoining a week after i joined, so we were left to our own devices for most part.

The moment our manager was transferred away, the engineer team leader became the highest ranking person in the office whom was there on a regular basis. He let this get to his head...pretty much immediately. He became incredibly rude and aggressive to anyone who was not at least of equal rank or higher. Basically, he talked and acted like a gangster, unless there was a manager present, at which point he became incredibly polite and addressed them as "Sir". When no manager was present, he would often sit in the office, eating snacks, while making sarcastic comments about how we were useless and his team was so hard working and deserved a pay raise.

This didnt end when the project manager assigned another manager to us(whom was some random guy we had never seen and had no idea what was going on, but at least he was willing to learn). The engineer guy was polite to the manager for the first few days...until he started testing the limits on what he could or could not do. Within two weeks he reverted back to his usual self, sitting in the office complaining loudly about how useless we were, right infront of our new manager whom seem scared and unwilling to do anything. Behind his back, he filed frequent reports about the new manager to the project manager, complaining about how useless he was(we knew about this because he kept bragging about the emails to us).

Eventually after the engineer guy sent me one too many abusive emails(the kind in full caps and swear words), i sent the project manager a email giving him my one month's notice. Our manager took me aside and said that he (The project manager) wanted to know the reasons for my resignation, so i sent him copies of the emails and a full description of what had been going on.

Over the next few days i saw an amazing change occur. The engineer guy, was actually quiet instead of constantly abusing us. Our manager told us that the project manager was coming down next week to have a meeting with us to discuss the issues i had highlighted. I figured, wow, thats great, its high time he did something about this.

Next week comes and goes. Engineer guy eventually reverts back to his usual self. Somehow he had managed to talk his way out of the whole thing. I dont really care, because its not my problem anymore and i have no interest in trying to improve anything with the clueless management here.

The whole story really should be used as a case study of how badly management can screw things up.

In short if you are getting harassed at the work place, and your manager is unwilling to do anything, quit after finding a replacement job. A manager whom is unwilling to stop something affecting work at the workplace is incompetent, as that is one of the primary roles of a manager, to ensure that everything goes smoothly and deadlines are met.

31-07-2011, 07:17 AM
Reality is, not much can be done about it.

I've seen how "bullying" is dealt with. And it's never well.

You can complain, you can ignore it, but if people are targeting you there's really no civil way to escape it other than quitting and getting a new job.
If the managers/supervisors are involved or mates with those involved, I will tell you now, absolutely nothing will happen, and complaining usually only enrages the bully and will make it worse.

Best advice: if you know some Black Powers\gangsters\scary-looking-guys (Metla? :p), ask them to have a chat with the bullies.

31-07-2011, 09:19 AM
True Cato, had to go through the same in my previous job. Our whole shift had to go to mediation and tell our story. the guy wasnt a manager just and angry worker with problems. he wasnt fired but settled down a lot after it was dealt with by the manager hr etc. not an easy time.
I would say document everything times, dates, what happened in case you have to go to a little room on one side of a table and tell your story

Brian B
31-07-2011, 10:56 AM
If you, or the victim, are a member of your Union (NZEI?), contact your local union rep or call the head office. As a member of the Service and Food Workers Union, I have attended a course dealing with problems on the job.

Part of that course was about the widespread problem of workplace bullying and this was one site highly recommended.

Tell your workmates about the bullying especially if it is coming from above i.e management. Often you/they may find that they are not be the only one being bullied. Record everything that happens and try to have a witness to any of the bullying taking place.

A great book on this subject by a NZer is "Workplace Bullying - The Costly Business Secret" by Andrea W. Needham. Check your local library for a copy.

Here are some of the points made in this book.
1. Bullying flourishes in the absence of real and effective leadership.
2. Bullys often use positional power to mask personal character flaws.
3. Bullying tends to be an accumulation of small incidents and trivial criticisms. The target may not realise they are being bullied for weeks or even months.
4. Bullys go out of their way to ensure unwarranted, persistent and unrelenting harm to individuals for their own self-gratification.
5. Bullys often target independent, skilled and bright people who refuse to be subservient or controlled by the bully.
6. Bullys often 'court' a target to gain control. They start as a good colleague by assisting and praising a target, before systematically taking them down.

Above all, do not just put up with bullying as it has no place in the workplace environment.

31-07-2011, 12:02 PM
Above all, do not just put up with bullying as it has no place in the workplace environment.

+ 1 to that !!

I guess being my own boss makes me a bit lucky now. I went through a load of verbal abuse from a boss in my younger days, put up with it for 3 years cause I loved the job, but one day after a load of abuse I just threw everything down, grabbed my lunch and walked off the job never to return. He couldnt understand why I was leaving and tried ringing me for weeks asking me to come back.

Another job I did (not in New Zealand), I had to sign a "Loyalty Contract", long story short, the woman who run the place had some stupid ideas about doing some proceedures. I commented to a work mate about how some things were being done one day and the next day I was hauled into this womans office and fired - reason given was that I was not being loyal to the company by commenting on how some things were done. Her words were "This is not a democracy, it is my way or no way". I was glad to be out of there and on a plane home a few weeks later. (Only job I was ever fired from and last time I worked for someone else!)

Its such a shame to see bullying/abuse in the workplace, it really affects your confidence and makes you not want to do a job that you would otherwise enjoy.

bettle, if you're a victim, I wish you good luck, Question, sorry to hear your story, hope you're in a better place now.

31-07-2011, 12:53 PM
If they wanna get rid of you they'll do it without crossing the line.

They'll give you useless not impt work to do ... and they will always say it's never good enough. Then when you quit. They don't alloc. your piece of work to other people. It's just left on the bottom of a drawer.

Or they do a restructure if you are a temp or fixed term employee and get all people to reapply and the job is readvertised and you may just find that you might no be successful or that you may just resign and get the union to give you a few weeks in pay.

31-07-2011, 01:12 PM
See if you can find some dirt on the bully, like is he rooting around, talking to the opposition, dodgy with money, doing drugs ,coming to work hungover, looking at porn on work computer, sending abusive emails, late for work, using company stuff for private use, asking suppliers and contractors for special gifts even if its a box of piss.

31-07-2011, 01:37 PM
Hire a Hitman ... problem solved :D