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Readers Respond: Have You Been Bullied or Witnessed Bullying at Work?

Responses: 135


Bullying ended on the middle school playground - right? Wrong. Bullying at work is a serious problem that 54 million Americans have experienced. Have you been bullied or witnessed another employee dealing with bullying at work? What happened and how did you respond to the bullying at work? Please share your story about bullying at work. See More Reader Responses. Share Your Bullying Story

Bullied by tutor

I was on my acess to Nursing and midwifery course. I was a mature student. math tutor took an instant dislike to me. Citisized my work, told me i would fail Nursing if I did not pass my maths, which she would not slow down for. Said I was wasting her time. told me she would not slow down for the likes of me. When I had a private word with her she said at least we know where we both stand. I am a very friendly adult. I was there to learn. That was 2010 Yes, she got laid off eventually but it took me many complaints as my letters were being destroyed by someone. I had to have it handed in to the principal by hand. I never got to university. No point now as I'm 50 and wanted to start my career then. What I would love to do is sue that college as I have all correspondance at home. Even when I got my mark of 72% out of 75% she failed me by sending a letter to my home address, where all the tutors said it was a pass. It has affected my career in Nursing. Devastated.
—Guest Diane Degroot

Bullying woman boss

I have been bullied by my boss on and off over the years. I recently decided to make a formal complaint against her. I have been off work with the stress this has caused. On return I have been treated to re-training and constant supervision having been given admin tasks with no access to files. I have now been asked to attend a meeting to talk about my work. When pushed for an explanation of what this was, I was told it was to discuss some errors that were found on my files while I was on sick leave. I have not been told what these are and they were not raised in my 1-1 meetings with my boss. I feel I am being victimised and my boss is trying to make my life so difficult I will leave. Advice please.

Sales Consultant

I have changed my positive attitude to a mere sombre habit. I've developed an extremely bad sleeping habit due to the anxiety build up of having to wake up and go to work again. I started with my company 8 months ago, as a receptionist and within 2months got promoted to the sales position. The previous consultant went out for lunch and just never returned. He had been with the company for only 5 months. All thanks to the habitual bad tempered and emotionally immature Rep of the company. Granted he has been with the company for years and knows how to play the director into this falsehood of him being irreplaceable. I have addressed this issue with him but I find he regards my good manner to be a weakness. He is currently in a comfortable position whereby he encourages the other staff members to be his mouthpiece in insults, thereby covering himself. I have caught on that he thrives to be highly insulting and sarcastic in the first 30mins and last 30mins of the work day. Any advice please.
—Guest Roxanne

Murder at work

I was poisoned 3 times by bullies who were in a drug gang at the hospital because I would not help them steal drugs. it's rough out there.
—Guest guest-4


I have been at my job for just over two years, and have been dealing with this woman who bullies and intimidates most everyone in the department. She gets away with talking on her cell phone all day, not doing much work, pushing her work on to the rest of us...but the worst part is, she has verbally attacked me and other people in the department. She went off on me twice, yelling and calling me names, and I went to the boss. Nothing was done. I complained to HR and they made excuses about her lack of work ethic. Every day I'm on pins and needles, waiting for her next tantrum. Problem is, she and the boss are friends. It's disgusting.
—Guest Sick of It

Treated as Incompetent

I work in a small medical office, with a physician and a receptionist. There's just the three of us, and at first we got along great. However, things quickly changed. The receptionist, AKA "Office Manager", started becoming very "bossy" and passive aggressive. For example, one day, I had too many paperclips at my desk (we use them on charts to attach paperwork that requires review), and I asked her if she wanted any. She said no and to put them in one of the holders in the exam room. After I did so, within 5 minutes, she got up and grabbed them out of the exam room anyway. So, for the bullying behavior, this person treats me as if I'm incompetent by telling patients that I'm making mistakes in their charts, on their lab requisitions, etc, even if it wasn't my mistake or if she has to invent one. She bashes me to some of the patients, and now they think I can't be trusted. The doctor knows this, but because she's been here for a long time, he can't really do anything... Very frustrating.
—Guest littlenursegirl

Cosmetics boss... worst bully

I started working in cosmetics about a year ago at Macy's with what seemed like the best boss in the world. She did her best at showing me the ropes and making sure I got through all of my interviews well, but after working with her for a couple of months she started bullying my hair style, telling coworkers that I didn't have any friends, and going out of her way to make me miserable. I went into a deep depression. While this was happening, I was in the middle of switching schools and didn't know many people. Well, I found out that many people didn't like her, and I befriended a new girl from the counter across from mine. One day I was telling her that my boss was a bully and I later found out that my boss was quietly spying on me from a corner. My boss later convinced my coworkers that I was a backstabber, and stupid girl despite my potential. Later I started to get coached by her manager but in reality was being publicly humiliated in front of others, and she ended up getting promoted.
—Guest miss removed

Ugliest boss on planet: I worked for her

I had the unhealthy experience to work for a bully boss who played obvious favorites and seemed to take pleasure in getting people fired. Her bullying was so bad, it forced me to take fmla to deal with the depression and stress she had piled upon me. Upon returning, I infomed the HR boss and her boss what I had been diagnosed with (even though they said you don't have to. I say plausable deniablity ) And, it just got worse from there. Boss continued to use phrases and statement like lazy, "that call was crap," even raised her voice when I said yes mam to her questions. "Dont't call me mam just because you are mad at me!" I had gone to HR just that day to talk about how she was talking to me and how I didn't know if I wanted to report to the boss due to fear of retaliation. My area manager saw me in HR and brought it to my boss's attention that same day. Was denied when asked if I could be moved off of her team, even thought there was space, and was fired two days later for saying, under my breath, "I hate coachings."
—Guest mad as a hatter


I've worked about 1 year at my job and one of my co-workers asked me my age and if I was married and since then doesn't hesitate to inform people of my marital status whenever I am talking to any co-worker of the opposite sex or my boss. I believe most everyone already knows I'm married so it normally wouldn't bother me except it's sometimes brought up awkwardly like from across the room. Also this person has tried to get me into trouble before and I don't think this person deserves a right to my private life. I'm not a confrontational person but I did say something when I first noticed it and it interrupted one of my conversations but is still going on and it annoys me. Should I just let it go? (If it's really bothersome, ask her to stop again and tell her that you really don't want to involve the supervisor but that you will if you have to.)
—Guest bothered

Share your bully story

I'm in housekeeping, and a nurse does exaggerated "retarded" imitations of my speech and walk when I'm around her. Nurses witness it, and do nothing. I avoid her as much as I can. If you're in housekeeping, you're nothing. HR paints you as the trouble-maker when you ask for help. This woman is a deacon at her church, and holds bible study groups at the hospital. What an example she sets.
—Guest janet

The Bullying Female Boss

Possibly the worst experience I have had in my 18 years of work experience is to have experienced a female boss who is a bully. I am a Trinidadian and there are many female bosses in the corporate environment. The past four years has been filled with abuse, not just of myself, but other coworkers who strive to survive in the environment by sinking each other. I recently resigned but I would like to meet with other Trinis who have experienced bullying and abuse so that we can lobby for legislation regarding this issue. I stood up to this woman before, repectfully, when she verbally abused me. But having suffered a panic attack and symtoms from a recent and terrible screaming at me over the phone, I had enough. No job is worth the abuse. But incredibly, she even intimidated the HR officer for having advised me on what to do and how to resign. Abusers typically target their victims and when the victim escapes they try to target anyone who helps you. I call her the abuser! She is very manipulative.
—Guest Lisa Di

Mother Daughter Duo

I have had a terrible time at work. Ever since I had broken off the friendship with my boss's daughter, they have both come against me. I have had documents ripped, things stolen, requests for time off torn out of the book, and have been accused of non-work related things that were embarassing in a work meeting. I brought it to the attention of HR and they listened but nothing was done. Everyone attested to these harassing things that I've had to deal with as well as their own problems with the duo. I emailed HR back asking for when to expect the changes that had been promised and they responded to my email without giving notice to my inquiry.
—Guest brittney

Bad Boss

I made a mistake with my boss. I apologised. I had no idea my boss had a grudge against me. She began a rather nasty campaign against me. She got people to harass me at work, not all at once, but over time. She publicly humiliated me three times she got someone to wee on my lawn. She really got nasty; she pretended that she had forgiven me when she hadn't. When I bought a nice xmas present for my mum, she criticised it, but I just ignored what she said because my mum had just lost a son and I was being nice for her. I stayed too but all the harassment was starting to really affect me. If my boss couldn't forgive me, then she should have sacked me. I was genuinly sorry. I hope people learn from my mistake. If your boss has a nasty, vindictive side then just leave. My boss knew I don't have much confidence in myself. That's why she was so nasty.
—Guest Beccy

Bullied at work

Have a supervisor who has told lies to management to get me into trouble which ended with a mediator being called in. But, when the chips were down in the meeting, all he did was apologise for his mistakes. Since then, he has told the rest of my team that I have been complaining about them behind their backs and now I am the outcas. One day they are fine with me then the next I get ignored and avoided. (I would talk with your team members and let them know what is going on. Read: Dealing with Bullies: http://humanresources.about.com/od/difficultpeople/qt/work_bully.htm)
—Guest Tony

Bullied at work, too

Yes, bullied by a new graduate nurse who would pick over my work and report me to the supervisor. The funny thing is, I did the right thing, she had no idea what she was talking about! Left the job when it wouldn't stop and no help from the supervisor.
—Guest been there

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Have You Been Bullied or Witnessed Bullying at Work?

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