MANAGERS AND PENGUINS
I used to work for a bully: images of the penguin from Batman and Baron Greenback of Danger Mouse come to mind – however he was just as repulsive as baron greenback is, using his job to bully and boss others around: always making unrealistic demands, sending out e-mail commands at unsocial hours (like 4am and 11pm) and whilst on “sick leave”. He provided a poor unhealthy working condition, he communicated badly, he did not follow up requests or promises, but expected the world on a plate from me. The biggest irony is all of this occurred whilst working for the third sector– i am not at liberty to indicate the name of the organisation as that may compromise my employment status.
an incompetent bully
Many of the online websites state when you google-in “how to work for a jerk”, is “put up and shut up” or “apply for another job whilst trying to do all you can to head off the demands”
The reality is that the same bullies will try to malign your employment prospects with bad references when you attempt to leave. So you have to find other people willing to write a competent reference for you, and you have to avoid those employers that insist on a line manager’s reference. When looking at bullies in the workplace there are two types: the competent bully and the incompetent bully. The bully also tends to be very deferential, weasel-like to those above them in the hierarchy and rude to those below them. The thing with bullying is that each time the bully feels that he/she has “gotten away with it” the intensity of the bullying increases each time. So it has to be challenged as early as possible. Also the challenge should not be left to the victim or the “target” alone but also their colleagues. Bullies tend to use the same tactic with all people they encounter except those who pay them. The “head in the sand” approach does not work. But when it comes the point where you are in a situation where you are under fire without cause, you soon find yourself with no choice but to fight/take legal action or whatever to take down the bully before he/she wears you down psychologically/emotionally/ physically and you are unable to do the job that they pay you to do. Then you are further victimised for “lack of performance”. Of the two bullies, the incompetent bully is the easier to handle as they will score own goals whilst under pressure. The competent bully, tends to play it smooth on the outside, giving an air of grace and control, and even jocularity, yet they are near psychopathic on the inside, looking for opportunities to take advantage and having little self control when berating others. It requires more self control and discipline to challenge the competent bully for they are more likely to have done their homework before they embark upon their abusive tirades – but they too can be caught by their egotism and their arrogance. Employees have to make sure that they know the rules of employment law, their workplace employment rules and be willing to follow the rules to the letter: employment tribunals rule on the basis of first procedural justice, second natural justice. Employers also comply with bullies: some bullies are very good at convincing their employers that they are worth far more to them than their victims . Hence this reinforces the “rightness” of the bully. Whatever happens do not give in to workplace bullying, and do not run away when it happens to you – some bullies are actually eventually grateful once they have been apprehended. This link has an in-depth view of the bully and his/her psychological motivations: http://www.bullyonline.org/workbully/bully.htm Don’t give up!
the competent bully