Not Just Child’s Play: Bullying & Higher Ed | Not in Our Town

Not Just Child’s Play: Bullying & Higher Ed

By Leah P. Hollis, Ed.D.
Leah Hollis, workplace bullying, bullying in the ivory towerWhat happens to bullies when they grow up and get jobs? Civility doesn’t automatically develop in a bully simply because he or she gets older. Bullying is learned behavior; therefore a bully often needs support and coaching to abandon such bullying tactics.
Thirty-seven percent of American workers will experience bullying at work sometime in their lifetime, according to a study by Namie and Namie detailed in The Bully at Work. In the past year, I conducted a study of more than 175 four-year colleges and universities to ask in-depth questions about workplace bullying in American higher education administration. Sixty-two percent of respondents stated they had been bullied or witnessed bullying in American higher education. This is 58 percent higher than the rate reported by the general workforce. Who knew that higher education is a tougher sector than most to find a civil place to work and fulfilling career?
My study confirmed that 16 percent of higher education professionals had left a job because of a bully. When the cost to replace a staff member is 150 percent of his or her salary (i.e. a $50,000 year job costs $75,000 to replace) the cost in turnover alone is staggering to higher education.
The cost to administration and staff loom particularly large in other ways as well. Bullies reportedly lead the university into court or an audit. Universities that allowed for bullying behavior also found themselves to be the defendant in EEOC complaints. Some universities lost $2-3 million just defending this bullying behavior in court.
Those I interviewed confirmed that bullies coerced staff into breaking the NCAA rules or breaking federal Title IV guidelines for student financial aid. Women, people of color and those from the LGBT community were disproportionately the targets of bullying.
Many higher education administrators who were bullying targets sought counseling, disengaged from the work environment, didn’t trust the Human Resources Department to help them and often left higher education altogether. Targets of workplace bullying suffered hair loss, higher levels of stress, more sick days and less focus on the job. While staff members were busy protecting themselves from the terror of a bully, students lost the benefit of a fully engaged staff.
Bullying is an issue that affects all age groups and stretches across all demographics. Just as bullying and aggression at the K-12 level demoralizes the target, such behavior in the adult population continues and yields similar effects. 
Leah Hollis is a noted scholar and researcher with a doctorate from Boston University as a Martin Luther King Jr. Fellow. As the president of Patricia Berkly LLC, she is a trainer and speaker who presents workshops and keynote lectures on social justice, gender, access, workplace bullying and other healthy workplace issues. She is the author of Bully in the Ivory Tower. Learn more at  


The Virtues Project creates a culture that counteracts bullying: Restorative justice reduces suspensions - For two decades, a no-nonsense, cut-to-the-chase, hard-nosed school principal didn't hesitate to dole out strict punishment when students broke the rules. Then he learned about something called the restorative justice approach. It focuses on getting offenders and victims to talk about their feelings, to address what they were thinking when the incident occurred, and to work together on what could make things "as right as possible."The first time he tried it he saw an immediate positive response. He was also able to identify the causes of the bad behaviour, something that wasn't evident when he simply doled out punishment without asking questions. "It was unbelievable," he said. "The process of taking the time to give students a full opportunity to speak their minds was eye-opening." Suspensions and expulsions don't stop rule-breaking students from breaking rules again and again. "It's not that we've suddenly become lenient," he said of the new approach. "We just recognize we aren't going to be able to punish away the problems." He asks students to recall what they were thinking, reflect on who was affected by their actions, express what they believed had been the hardest part in dealing with the situation, and suggest what needs to be done to make things right."The difference is really giving students that voice," he said. "The students were more open, they were more honest, they were eager to find a solution." The last year, before the principal used restorative justice, he suspended more than 20 students. In the first seven months of the next year only 3. The has been growing around the world for nearly 25 years. The 5 strategies awaken and sustain an environment of genuine peacefulness, safety and trust. If you are serious about engaging and empowering Peace, you may wish to look at the website and get in touch with the founders.

 Hello, I'm not sure if you all it bullying . I work as a front desk clerk at a hotel. There is an older lady which is very much the oldest one here. I have bee talking to her for awhile until I've heard that she was bad mouthing me around the hotel when I confronted her she admitted to it so until she has been playing games with me. She started changing thins around at the front desk making phone cords longer super glueing the cords to where I can't change them. I do little trays for my guest and she hides the goodies I use, she even sherredded my time card which I thought that was illegal to touch someone's time card. After her shifts she stays behind and talks to a co worker about me saying I have a bad attitude and our scores go down because of me. I brought it up to my managers attention and he has done nothing just tells me it's childish and for us to stop it and do our job. I have done nothing I don't talk to her nor I don't look at her. We had a meeting about all the things but she hasn't change and still up to her old tricks. I don't wanna come to work on the days she working I have really bad anxiety I don't even want to come to work and deal with what she has to do. I just need help I can't quit my job I have two kids and our bills to pay my boyfriend's check barely last us and I can't afford to lose this job. Please help me 

 I think often about what happens to bullies when they grow up,


good info here

My demise as an Employees of a Major company,begain in 2008,when a Newly appointed Director Of Oporation was informed she was not authorized to Delegate responsibilities ot me,as she was other employees.

Soon after,i became the subject of a series of inquires as to why i'm paid the salary  worked so hard for,i became the bunt of Stereo typical refernces as well as Raicially sensitive Comments,afetr months of feeling abused,i spoke to my supervisor,who was also the COO of the Company,he assured me,he would Handle the situation.Beleiving that he would,i felt some releif.

I would soon  find myself being the target of retaliation by the same individual and a few of the other managers,i finally filed a claim  with the MCAD in mach 2012,met with the investergator and the companies legal team to address the issue. I was terminated 8/24/12 and it was covered up By a lay off,

The Emotional and mental abuse i endured during the pireod,has had a major impact on myt person life as well as my social daily activities 

I am struggling every day with the effects the trama has caused. 

I work in education and our HR department are the bully's! It's astounding! 

 i have witnessed my manager and her grandson who happens to be her asst manager bully co-worker(s) untill they cry or want to leave for the rest of the day the mananger blames her employees for her missing personal events due to their mistakes making them feel like the are stupid my questions is what can be done to stop this at my workplace and what are our rights as workers 

my grandson was recenty employ at arribas mexican grill in gilbert az on january 19 2013 i went to pick him up from work so the manager cindy told me she would get him then i here someone talking really bad to someone not knoning this was my grandson so he came out crying really bad and saying his stomach hurt he told me that this manager cindy curseds at him all the time and he could not take it anymore so on january i went in to talk to the gm manager name dan and he told me he understood it was not right what she did mean while i called the hr manager william renand and he told me thats how she is and long as it had something to do with the job she can say what ever she want so i told him i will find out about this hhe should not be over children if she is going to be abuses but she is still their and she only do this to black and mexican

I endure bullying daily at my job. Sometimes I work through screaming, yelling, name calling, tattling, innapropriate comments, etc. At times, I feel like I need to crawl under my desk for shelter. I am constantly the target of malicious gossip and usually the one being screamed at.

I work at a very prestigous hospital and wonder sometimes what the CEO/COO would say if they saw some of the activities that take place in my office. My co-workers are selfish, innapropriate, bullies, and down right unlawful. My boss does not have guts to stand up to it because the yearly office survery would come back saying that the staff did not like her supervisory skills.

I am having such a hard time understanding why I have to continue to go through this day in and day out. Why do I have to "just deal with it". I was called a snot one day, another day I am in a screaming match with two other co-workers. My boss standing by, just allowing it to happen.

What can I do?

I was once the victim of bullying/mobbing at several work places. The more I took, the more they gave. Insult was added to injury and the issue became so confused and misrepresented that the entire work structure was thrown into chaos and I eventually took myself out of it. In the meantime,  I found that listening to self-hypnosis tapes on retaining self-esteem and facing fears helped a lot, but eventually one has to leave such a vicious environment.

Remember, the monkey-tribe heirarchy and mentality still exists today, even though we have the Internet and the space station.  Which by the way, were invented by people more evolved than the human apes you're working with, even if they reap the benefits from it. And if you want to understand how that kind of primitive mentality still underlies our social and working oragnizations today, just watch several National Geographic documentaries on primates.  Take away our opposable thumbs and conversational details and stubborn belief in 'logic'; and  you'll see how aggressive bullying paid off in those early years, how alphas behaved toward threatening or less aggressive monkeys in their own tribes, how those not considered suitable for proper conformity to the tribe were shunned or finally forced to flee for their own safety.  We should no longer need those hierarchies but our civilzations were formed from those very foundations of primal behavior. Unfortunately, the deeper people are into their everyday lives and work routines, the harder it is for them to identify with that original way of socializing.  We can't see the forest for the trees. 

  If you still have the energy or self-indignation to fight what's being done to you at that hospital, however, you could enlist the help of a private investigator and get some 'wireless', in order to record and thus prove the bullying you are enduring.  You need to also speak to a lawyer about bullying.  The legaility surrounding interactions on the job may surprise you.

Otherwise, get out before you end up with a lingering case of post-traumatic stress syndrome. Bullying behavior can be compared to a long line of wrong-doings, with one end representing piggy-tail pulling and the other end, genocide.  At what point along that line will each one of us decide that enough is enough and stop it in its tracks.  Unless we're willing to face the truth of where bullying really comes from and why it is so prevalent (still) in our nature, we'll flounder about asking ourselves why, why, why.

Dear Meg, I too was a target of workplace bullying. I endured it for 8 years for two reasons: one, I was in my 50's and though I kept applying for jobs, wasn't getting hired. Two, I kept hoping that by remaining professional my supervisor and co-workers, all bullies, would stop their behavior. I was promoted to work under another supervisor, though I remained physically in the same cube, and the bullying behavior escalated! Even the Director got in on it by not stopping the behavior and believing the bullies rather than the target(s). Even HR disallowed what was happening by calling it a "personality class" and told me to just "be nice". I too was screamed at, accused falsely, and if I stood up for myself, accused of "having an attitude" and being the problem in the unit. Ultimately, I went out on extended FMLA on dr's orders (for the second time!) and when all my time ran out, I was terminated. I'm sorry you are in this situation and encourage you to get out if you can find another job. Bullies bully - because they can and because they get away with it. The book, "The Bully at Work" by Dr. Gary and Dr. Ruth Namie might be helpful, but I was already WAY past the recognition stage. Also, read "The Sociopath Next Door", by Martha Stout. That book will explain about people that will target you just because they can. As a result of my experiences I am creating a non-profit to help others. I already have a facebook page: and am creating a web site that will have the same name. I couldn't do anything to stop what happened to me, but maybe I can help someone else. If you do decide to go "over the head" of your bully, be prepared to not be believed. Have another job lined up and LEAVE!! Tell them as you give your notice. See if you can do a written exit interview and be honest. And most importantly: get counseling!! My situation - with a Department of Social Services!! Best Wishes!!

I work in the office of a small car dealership basically in the woods of Mass. I have been here basically 5yrs and have seen nothing but people bashing eachother and talking behind everyone else's back. From what I am experiencing is that I am the black sheep. I get paid crap money to bust my behind while all my co-workers usually sit around the majority of the day and gossip. It's horrible and I wish I could get out. I approached my manager about it and she told me that "She can't make everyone happy". Therefore, I now work outside in the trailer. Entering ONLY into the office when need be to make copies in fear of them talking about me in code (like the do everyone else in the place). I have never been more disgusted working at a place but like one of the other people who had posted on here, they need the money and it's stable. So suffer the mental anguish and still it out for a lil under $400 a week or quit and then have nothing? It's so unprofessional, unethical and just wrong. Not to mention I have the owner of the company who used to come into the office to scream and spit his head off (gross). Nothing like being outcasted! Whatever happened to going to work to make money, make a living and make something of yourself?


Stay strong everyone if you're going through this! I hope it gets better. :/

I work for a 911 Center and I go through the same thing (they ignore their radios and phones to talk about the latest drama and who’s sleeping with who and what dispatcher is doing a good job/bad job that they need to step in and mess up) and I hear them talk about me all the time on the floor. They have even got the Boss against me and on their side and my Supervisor is in on it to and will be nice to my face and talk about me behind my back, discuss my employment history of disciplinary actions and write ups with others on my shift (that should not be-but I can’t say anything due to it will be ignored by the Coordinator). They are trying to get me fired and all because they don't like my Optimistic Personality. They have just about taking my joy of my job from me.  Keep your head up I keep telling myself and I pray that God will take care of it all. Best of Luck...... Also searching for another place of employment  





Over Stressed and Bullied Dispatcher,




is exactly what happened to my husband working in Louisville, KY for Sam Swope Auto Group. Yes, I name names. I name names because these companies, the bullies and those who HARBOR them need to be exposed for who and what they are. I am raising awareness -- not just to say that this problem exists but for people to take ACTION and do something about it. . I am in the process of starting a foundation which will do several things:  (1) it will provide assistance with those suffering from anxiety, depression and PTSD-type symptoms; (2) We will provide workshops and corporate summits for companies who are proactively looking to educate their employees and provide a zero-tolerance policy towards bullying, making it a firing offense.   (2) It will "out" the companies who refuse to care for their employees, who are allowing and condoning this type of behavior.  If you are a company and you are allowing, condoning, covering up and HARBORING bullies in your workplace? You should be very concerned because there are going to be consequences by the time the Global Community is finished. This isn't JUST about a court of law, it's about the court of public opinion which is becoming downright intolerant of intolerance. If you're a car dealership and you are harrassing, bullying and have racist and discriminatory practices, people are going to know about you and you will lose business. We will place our stamp of approval "Bully-Free Workplace" on the doors of your competitors. There will be a well-ranked website that lists companies caught in the "Bully Zone" and refusing to change -- so that potential, QUALITY employees will know to run in the opposite direction and savvy consumers who care about where their money goes and what it supports will NOT shop with you. This is all coming. There are plenty of informational sites out there talking about bullying and also some laws that have been passed. But people, our power lies in our purchasing power AND word of mouth. I have yet to see anything actionable being put out there... nothing for the Global Community to take power into their own hands and turn these companies into financial deserts -- serving up some well-deserved social justice for these businesses ruining the lives of those they employ.

I have just recently launched a change(dot)org petition with regard to this (you can find the link on my website)... it's a start. I also have a website  CorporateRacism(dot)com where you can contact me if you'd like to get on board with this endeavor. It will help you get your own life back and empower you to do something about your own situation. If you need help, PLEASE contact me on my website by leaving me a message.

Wishing the very best to EACH of you!!


Please send me more information
I am 57 years old and am working directly under a controller who is a bully. she withholds information and controls my every move. she has been accuses of this by others and actually ran off the lady I replaced. I am sick just thinking about going to work today. this woman needs to be stopped. she is demeaning and browbeating with every vial word that comes out of her mouth. She collects and displays witches in her office and is very proud of the label. She makes comments about my coworkers in a different department making remarks about their sexual preference. This is a manger who handles human resource . I need support to fight this.

Please send information about your website.
Thank you

In May 2007, I witnesss a school aide verbal abusing and neglecting a special education student who attempted to hut themselve due to the abuse and neglect.  I reported in accordance with the law.  Two weeks later, my nightmare started, I was falsely accussed of this act that I reported.  There was no investigation or report.  I have spent the last six year fighting this injustice for myself and the student.  You can read my full story on  Click on teacher stories box, click on teacher stories and my Norbert Leute.  Please read and look at the names I've written to who basically said they don't have a problem with a child being abused in public schools.  Also, I found out I have no protection under no labor laws because I worked as a substitute teacher.  That means your kids are not truely save in school.  Moreover, I have no portection under constitution because of who I am.  I have no right to due process, access to documentation, or any civil liberities.  This all happen because I did the right thing in accordance with the law.

For the past 2 years now I have suffered intimidation, bullying, threats and harassment from the Facility Manager on my job. I have been an employee at Davita one of Memphis TN largest Dialysis companies since 2007. This horrible environment have finally broken me down in more ways than I could have ever imagined. I have provided documentation to the Human Resources Director (only to be told that it was too lengthy to read) of every situation that has taken place , requested numerous meetings with mediation (that never took place), I have e-mailed the Regional operations Director (only to be told that he doesn’t meet with Patient Care Technicians), contacted the compliance hotline (who doesn’t handle those types of matters) , and people services who referred me back to human resources who have yet to respond to any of the documentation or incidents that were reported. The chain of command has been followed to the very last link. Most recently I've reached out for help from the EEOC who referred me to the Department of Labor, who then referred me to Tennessee Workforce Development who all told me that there are no laws in TN to help protect those like me who have been made to continuously suffer on the job. Finally I was advised by the state labor office that matters of this nature would have to be handled by the TN court system. I am lost and at this point and don't know what to do or where to go. I pray that someone is able to help, advise or refer me soon. I have become extremely depressed, fearful and tired. Honestly feeling that maybe I should have said nothing at all. I am a living witness that bullying goes so much further than the playgrounds and school cafeteria, it is alive and well in the workplace. In my quest for peace with this situation I realized that harassment should not be limited to age, race, gender or sexual nature. Because when someone such as myself does not fall under the "covered umbrella" of services provided by the agencies listed above and the many law offices that don't handle this type of case one can't help but feel helpless, undervalued, and without a lifeline. It has become very clear to me that those on the job resources that are in place to help the associates have one main rule you as an employee should NEVER go against the "corporate grain" because things can and most likely turn very quickly against you. and believe me having no where to turn for HELP is the worst feeling in the world. Thanks in advance for your consideration.

I have been through 6 years of bullying at my last job. I finally walked into the boss's office, told him exactly what I thought of him, and walked out. Although I was poor and jobless for a few months, it was WORTH IT!! What makes you depressed is the feeling of powerlessness... like you can't say anything. No job is worth giving up your self worth. Just tell them to F off, fill out your exit interview paperwork and be brutally honest, and get yourself to a better place that appreciates you. There is always someone who will give you a good job reference - if you are truly doing a good job. My regional manager gave me a glowing job recommendation... much to my surprise. Turns out he hated the company too! You have more friends than you realize. They are just stuck in the same position as you.

 I work for a large medical practice with several clinics.  The physicians and staff are all employees of that corporation.  The clinic I work in was once owned by the physician who is now an employee along with his original staff.  I am the only one who started out with the corporation.  I was sent there to replace one of the original workers.  I have since realized that the physician is running a shell business within the clinic under a different LLC and paying wages to the other 3 workers without the knowledge of the owners.  They handle all of his personal/family business including investments, banking, personal travel, personal insurance, shopping, home repairs, shopping, and most other tasks on a personal level.  All 3 do this work while on the company clock.  They even leave the office frequently for 1 to 2 hours taking care of his business and sometimes for more time then that without clocking out.  The other workers frequently eat their lunch on the clock while not working in the break room and then clock out for an additional 1 to 1 and 1/2 hour.  None of these workers is salaried.  

They did not have a choice in me being assigned to their office.  The physician told me that one of the workers was my boss, which is not true.  My boss is a corporate employee and I have talked to her about the other woman saying she is my supervisor.  I was told this was not true.  The physician has stated he is not an employee of the company at times and then slipped up and said he was.  I know for a fact he is a salaried employee.

The first 3 months of my working were fine and I was consistently being told what a great job I was doing until they realized I was not going along with their under the table operations.  From that time on I have been called into 3 meetings with the physician and told to "stay under the radar" and not to say anything to the corporate office about what I hear or observe in the clinic.  I was also told that another woman who worked there talked too much and was fired.  I took it as a passive threat.  Since then I have been screamed at, insulted both indirectly and directly, threatened by a coworker multiple times, and even was told by another coworker they might come out to my house uninvited.  The coworker who screams and shouts at me on a daily basis also throws things at me, slams filed down on my desk, jerks things out of my hands, pushes me out of the way, and intentionally blocks me from being able to use equipment required on my job.  She insults me in front of patients, tells them I am incompetent and that I don't know what I'm doing.  She told two patients in my presence that I would be gone soon and now they won't deal with me in the office.  The woman who says she is my supervisor witnessed this coworker screaming and yelling at me twice.  She also witnessed the coworker rushing at me, stopping within an inch of my hear whispering threats.  That woman told her to "back off" loudly and she stopped.  The physician called me into a meeting yesterday first thing at work right after I signed in and made me aware that he would not tolerate me talking to anyone about these matters outside of those in the office.  One of my complaints is that this physician asks me to perform ridiculous tasks that our clinic should not do.  For example, he tasked me with watering the grass outside near the sidewalk because he says he wants it to always be green.  The building owners are responsible for the landscape, not us.  He had me go buy him a water hose on my own personal time, gave me an 20.00 bill, and expected that to be enough.  I was then told I would need to water the grass every Friday.  Two weeks ago he tasked me with cutting a sapling tree down in the wooded area off the parking lot and told me to bring my own saw to do it.  His reason was he did not like looking at it.  In the meeting, he said nothing was inappropriate about those assignments and he feels it is part of the job.  He made it clear he expects me to do it.

He also advised me that the other coworker who yells at me all the time had been informing him of my cell phone conversations with HR.  All of my personal conversations are done outside the office at lunch or in my car or outside and not within their hearing.  I told him this is speculation, and my personal conversations on my cellphone are none of his business.  I asked him why the employees were monitoring me.  One day I was so upset I was crying because of the constant yelling and I went into the bathroom for relief.  The other worker came in, actually unlocked the door, and demanded that I quit crying.  She apologized, but later in the day said she only did that to get me out.  I told the physician that I couldn't even go to the restroom without being monitored.  He stated that it was normal for someone to come into the bathroom to see why I was crying like that.

In this meeting he asked me why don't I quit.  I told him I need the money and he said he doesn't want me there if I just need money.  He said he wants it to work out but I have to stop talking to anyone at corporate.  The supervisor woman who is not the supervisor according to the business stated she did not witness the shouting and behavior of the other employee.  In fact, she said there was no shouting and the other employee never rushed me or threatened me and she  did not tell her to back off.

Honestly, I've had enough and I am actively persuing another job.  I think there is something dishonest and illegal going on or these people would not be going to this much trouble to protect whatever it is from being found out.  If he had the power to fire me, he would have.  My supervisor/manager has told me they have never reported anything to her about my performance and he also stated this; but if he reports anything false, he knows I would most likely let them know what is going on with his shell corporation, cheating the corporation of employee pay, and using corporate work time for personal gain.

I want to know what to do.  We don't have bullying laws here in Georgia.  I am certain that what he is doing would not be allowed by the company, but if it is something criminal, I don't want to put myself in jeopardy of harm.  The situation is scary.  I'm thinking of just taking another job even if it isn't ideal and then letting the corporate owners know what is happening there.  They have had conflicts with this physician in the past regarding corporate policy and practice.  He told me once he regrets selling them his practice and that he is not making enough money with his production percentage.  I know that is because he refuses to see patient's 5 days a week and he gives too many discounts, even not charging his many friends, relatives, and acquaintances he sees frequently.  So many company violations go on that I can't list them all including employees giving themselves injectable medications for free.  We don't get any free treatment as part of our benefits because of an insurance liability problem, or at least that is what the corporate folks told me.

I want to tell all of this to HR and the owners but I'm afraid it would backfire on me.  I can't quit without another job to go to.  I feel that this is affecting my health and my psyche.  My hair has started falling out, my immune disorder is acting up, and I find myself questioning my own capabilities.  I am more emotional then I've ever been in my entire life and the stress is overwhelming.  We don't have an EAP program, but I am persuing counseling through my own insurance that is not through the company.  I hope to get a diagnosis that this is related to psychological abuse at work.  I am keeping a log of all of these indicents.  In Georgia the law allows recording conversations a person is party to wihout informing the other person. 

In some ways I would like to vindicate myself but in others I just want to get out and leave this all behind me.  I don't want this to cost me my reputation.


I have read the articles.. the responses. All I can write is an expression with a heavy heart.

Recently,... was hired this past week for a job. after brief training. I was given a shift. the job I had.

Was a commision job- given the worst shift. Performed. Made money for the company.

After the first day. the person that trained me.. was shocked  that I did so well.

Mentioned she was not making monies on her shift. had to borrow monies from a co-worker.

 the very next day.. the night mare began. critisim .. attacks on my performance.

In her defense,.. I had some issues  regarding paperwork.

Whatever was the case,.. the issues were fixable.

was there a total of  6 days. performed beyond there expectations.

Clear to me.. this was an act of jealously. for i was making monies.

All the signs of bullying were present. telling me i was horrible at my job.

not grasping my paperwork. yet i made monies for the company.

I proposed the suqguestion to come in on my day off,.. work with her.

On all the issues that were of concerned.

That my position was any and all concerns,.. were fixable

I placed a call to the owners assistant who hired me.

He has yet to return my call.

Today,.. i am looking for a new job.

What can one do? yet hope for the best. 

I have been bullied at work for the last 3 years. I refuse to give in because I am coming up on my full retirement in 4 years including this year. One of the people bullying me used to be my lunch buddy for 7 years. Then, I was forced to share the office space that she used to have alone. She resented me being there from the beginning. She told me that there was not cabinet space or drawer space for me because it was all full. She began to not speak to me. I never challenged her about the cabinet space or drawer space, etc. I just worked within a small place which held my computer. I repeatedly tried to please her, speak kindly to her...I repeatedly apologized that I had to be there and asked her if there was anything I could do to make things work better. She wouldn't talk to me, except when she was making cutting remarks and bossing me around. She began excluding me from lunch plans, etc. She was deliberately trying to hurt my feelings. I put up with it all year. I finally had to write her out of my life and accept the fact that I am her friend and she is not mine. I am not the first person she has bullied and I won't be the last. I feel much better not groveling at her feet and trying to make things up to her. I was being manipulated. It is wrong for this to be allowed in the workplace. Bullies don't change apart from a miracle from God.

Sadly, I tooka job with seemingly reputable company in 2013!!! The first weekwent without a hitch! Then week number two started and my next cubicle neighbor came back from vacation (female)!  The remarks and harassment started then-" what is this dark cloud" Where is the sunshine? She had her daughter at 13, because she does not look to be in her 40's!!! then the next thing I knew. I vented to a supposed lunch buddy, who turned around and told this young lady everything we talked about!! After that week, my life at work has been a living nightmare!! The enitre company two floors of people all leer at me, make remarks, laugh, intimidate, follow me to the bathroom, to lunch, to eavesdrop on my private calls!! And it goes on and on and on!  I thought at first she was just a hater and would get over it, but I realized that she is a bully and will always remain one even in Corporate America! The entire organization supports her attitude and says I have one because I am now quiet and keep to myself because I realize that I can trust no one!

One day in late July, I asked my bosses if I was doing a good job!! They both seemed okay with me...I thought It was the right time to speak to them about what happened, when I mentioned that the lunch buddy stabbed me in the back and as a result the entire office is harassing me, they seemed to take it in with surprise! So now everyone comes in and is quite because they think I am recording everything in the office on my I-phone!!!

It continues daily,,,the remarks, the laughter, the mocking, even from two of the other team members in my department, one of whom just returned frm maternity leave!! She got in on it too!!  They recently hired a new person, she got in on it too!!! So I have come to the conclusion, they are trying to make me leave the job!! I cried one day at my desk, but tried to play it off by saying my contact broke in my eye! It did from all the tearing and rubbing from the shedding of my tears!

My husband tells me they are going to drive me to the insane asylum. He says I give them too much credit and the time of day! I can't sleep, nor eat, and my social skills are in question now! I attend church on Sunday, but i don't know whom to speak to at church to get some of these feelings of rejection and inadequacy out of my mind! They follow me home because it is a small city, where everyone knows someone, and I know no one because we relocted there for a better life for our son! Go Figure!!!!!

I am called daily, crazy, oh, they video taped me in my car having lunch and talking to my husband on the phone on 8/28/13 and they think they have something esle to gossip about!

I am contacting a lawyer to find out what can be done! I am 46years old and I cannot afford to change jobs all the time at my age now!!!! I am determined not to give into this siutation, but we are all going to suffer together until I get a resolution that is in favor of my peace of mind!!!!

Be Blessed all!! If you are young-find another place where they appreciate you!!!

This is the second place I have been bullied!! The first place I left because the boss was the it is the employees around us, not my i am going to give it a shot!!!!


I have my MS degree in chemistry, and work as a lab instrument specialist with very low salary in a chemistry lab in one university in VA for exact 10 years.    I am a victim for workplace harassment for more than 5 years!       My boss, a "so-called" professor, is a big horrible bully!  (People can't believe that high-educated  research professor could be a bully!  The truth is  YES! ).  He never trained me to use the analytical instruments, instead, he warned me not to touch these equipment, even saying: "if you touch it, I will kill you!"    
At first couple of years, he treated me as his private secretary, I did all trivial things, such as copying paper, mailing, cleaning the labs, loading samples for him to run from home (--That's fine, I did them without any complaints.)     After I have kids in all these years, he treated me worse and worse, jsut like his slave!   He yelled and shouted to me whenever he wanted, humilitated and insulted me in front of students.  I tolerated all these, because I am a working mother.  I need the university health insurance for my whole family!  ( I started to look for jobs many years ago, but the job-market was so bad, and small chemistry labs didn't have good insurance for my whole family.)    Well,  I lost my self-confident, always self-blame,   I couldn't sleep well, scared to go to work every morning, dare not to talk to him, even for any research-related questions... 

He really has the anger-management problem: he is unhappy, and mad everyday, he loses his temper any minute...   Anyway, he keeps blaming me and accusing me falsely,  even sending threaten email with all capital letters...  Finally, I couldn't stand it any more!  I talked to HR, and requested to be transferred!  

I don't know my future yest,  I wonder if HR could handle this case fairly, should I hire a attonery to sue this bully  if I lose my job? 

 Such a horrible nightmare!  well, the consequence is:  I am so disappointed for the whole research field, and lost my trust on the high-educated people.   I am so regretted that I chose the chemist as my career -- chemists only do the bench work or lab technician work, being treated as slaves!    
I will definitely not let my three smart kids choose science, such as chemistry / bio-chemistry / biology as their careers in future!   


 I have been at my job for 9 years.  From day one I was consistently harassed and demeaned by this person.  Either I didn't run register fast enough, didn't do freight fast enough...constantly monitoring everything everyone did.  She is not a manager, she was a meat/produce clerk who is now just a clerk who does produce.  She never says anything nice, always critical to everyone.  Several times she has had people in tears.  Everytime there is drama she is right in the middle of it, edging people on to attack others.  Management has been aware for years of her behavior, if we say anything to them we are told "don't say anything"  "don't upset her"...what about her upsetting us..evidently she is allowed.  At one point the district manager did tell her and it stopped for about a month.  He got another job, so guess what?  She is back at her normal bullying antics.  I got to the point where I asked twice if I could be transferred to another store but no answers.   On Sept 3, 2013 I finally stood up for myself when she started screaming at me about a notebook....really? A notebook.  Since I stood up to her I am now being told I could lose my job.  So being bullied for years and standing up for myself is wrong?  I have been so upset and stress for days now..don't know what to do.

 Get a lawyer. Since your employer is not doing anything about it, they have adopted her ways. The problem isn't so much of the girl, it's management that's allowing it to happen. Does your place of work have a code of conduct? I'm sure it does. Document everything and turn it in to your supervisor and make sure you have copies for yourself to develop a paper trail. Date, time, and location. Witnesses help too. You can also contact the EEOC. If your company has a counseling program set up, seek help to vent as well as it will be documented. No one should work under those conditions. Harassment is against the law. Credibility means a lot too. Write a comparison report explaining yours and hers. When you lay her track record out and compare it to yours, you'll make her look like the person is. You HAVE to take this outside the job. It's beyond them at this point. Nine years?! Come on. I hate bullies. And I congratulate for your endurance. Good luck.

 If you are represented by a union, you should document your grievance in writing and demand that your union represent you.  Failure to carry your grievance forward against a manager is "failure to represent."  Most unions have no idea how to confront work place bullying, so I am not telling you this will solve all of your problems.  However, being proactive will help you feel stronger and will allow you to heal more quickly from this toxic trauma.  If you are not represented by a union, you should report any signs, symptoms, and need for therapy to your doctor.  Ask your doctor to help you file a workers' compensation claim.  This is workplace induced trauma.  The more you document this, the stronger you will personally feel in having confronted it and stood up for yourself.  Also, once you file a work comp claim, if they fire you, that is unlawful retaliation in most states.  I am a lawyer in Washington state, but cannot speak to the laws in other jurisdictions.

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