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need answers ASAP - bullying or not?

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
Here's the story. There was a situation I had at work in which a co-worker (employee A) found a BLOG of mine, which happened to have my personal thoughts regarding work (employee B in particular). Employee A brought this information into work and showed person B. Also, person A left a copy of this BLOG entry on my desk for me to find in the morning.

I went to management and reported the issue. Management talked to the two employees at fault, and told them to stop. So basically, a slap on the hand.

Before this incident, a while ago, this contractor (person B) brought chopsticks into work, and used to click them together all the flippin' time. He found out from a friend that I found it rude and annoying, so he increased how often he created this distraction.

Now that he has more of a reason to be angry with me, this habit has started to carry through via other employees (as if person B has asked others to follow his lead). So now not only do I have the occassional chop stick session, but others loudly click their pens, slam things down, or just do things that create unacceptable noise (according to me) so often that I can't concentrate. The only part I enjoy about going to work nowadays is leaving. I don't feel comfotable and I don't feel respected by fellow employees.

I have gone to my immediate manager and our director regarding the problem. My immediate manager claims he can't do nothing about the noise, and my director claims he will get to it. To make my case more critical, could I could consider this as an act of bullying?
post #2 of 39
That is the problem with putting out such thoughts on a BLOG, even if you think of it as your private writing spot, they don't stay private very long. Next time, perhaps you can keep a personal journal that is off the internet in order for this to not happen. I think if it were me, I would swallow my pride and go to the employee you had unkind remarks to say about, and apologize. Otherwise your job is going to turn into more of a nightmare than it already is. Although it is unfortunate that one has to go and run tales to another, it does happen especially in a work environment where pettiness and jealousy usually rears its ugly head.
post #3 of 39
I agree with Mary Anne. Welcome to TCS, btw.
post #4 of 39
I think it is bullying.
post #5 of 39
Thread Starter 
Let me say that, the unkind remarks (so to speak) were that the person was not doing their own work. This person is not at a level to be delegating work to others. So I was "blowing the whistle" as they say, out loud. The two involved with the BLOG incident were given the smack on the hand treatment. They were the wrongdoers, not me. I was simply displaying that I knew of the wrongdoing going on.
post #6 of 39
Thread Starter 
Anyone else care to share their opinion? It would really help!
post #7 of 39
I think they're acting like 12 year olds. I would keep on your managers about this. I can't imagine allowing that sort of childish behavior in a professional environment.
post #8 of 39
i think the majority is bulling. They are making it a place where you arent comfterble and that is not right. but the blog was on the internet, and could be read by anyone, fair game you could say. i agree hissy, apologise and ask for the other employees to stop.
post #9 of 39
didnt this happen also to someone else on tcs??
anyway i know that this has happened to some people in australia who i knew, and they got all the "crap" from their classmates ect because of the blog..
i think buying a pretty book and filling your thoughts in there is alot better than the blog.
post #10 of 39
Do you have a HR department where you work? If so, a visit to them for ideas may be in the works if your manager or his/her boss dosen't take you seriously.
post #11 of 39
Be nice to your tormentors -- it WILL work ! !

It will take a while, but it is a much better solution than letting them know they are getting to you (which is what they want), but showing them that you have put the incident behind you and are no longer effected by it will cause the "bullying" to cease.

Make "light" of the transgressions of others, like if you do something wrong, smilingly comment that perhaps revenge can be had by the person wronged and that he (she) may click their chopsticks at you five times, and if that isn't enough punishment, they can click their pens.

Determine who the leader of the "loyal opposition" is and zero in on her/him and do something nice for that person a few times each week, and in winning that one over, your battle is half-won.

Bring in a "treat" for your co-workers, a pan of pineapple upside-down cake, or something else you have prepared and let everyone know it is for general consumption.

I worked in an office environment for most of my career before retiring, and I DO know what is involved in Office Politics, and if you get them mad at you and refuse to bend, you are dead meat on a stick.

post #12 of 39
In my opinion, your co-workers are acting very immature, but you also should not have put how you felt in writing for others to read. You should have known it would upset the person if somehow they found out about it. Wouldn't it make you mad if you found out about something that someone wrote about you? We all think things (in our head) about co-workers when they p_ss us off, but you put it in writing. You should not have done that (unless you really didn't care if they found out about it) because of the fact that most people will get either mad (or hurt feelings) if they find out what you wrote. If I were in your position I would apologize for what I did and ask to start fresh with the person. If you don't want to do that (or aren't comfortable doing that) you should probably start looking for another job. The reason I think this way is because your co-workers are not going to start being nice to you again just because the boss tells them to "play nice." I once read a very good article that said any office that has more than one employee is going to have "office politics". If you have two employees there are bound to be times when they don't agree on how something should be done (even if you have a good marriage you don't always agree with your spouse on things 100% of the time). In an office with three or more employees you will always have people taking sides and "ganging up" on the person they think is wrong. The person you wrote the comment about might be the biggest jerk there is, but people will take the other persons side only because they feel that if someone wrote about them they would feel the same way.
post #13 of 39
Originally Posted by hissy
That is the problem with putting out such thoughts on a BLOG, even if you think of it as your private writing spot, they don't stay private very long. Next time, perhaps you can keep a personal journal that is off the internet in order for this to not happen. I think if it were me, I would swallow my pride and go to the employee you had unkind remarks to say about, and apologize. Otherwise your job is going to turn into more of a nightmare than it already is. Although it is unfortunate that one has to go and run tales to another, it does happen especially in a work environment where pettiness and jealousy usually rears its ugly head.
Although you have been made a target at your office, I have to agree completely with hissy. By posting on an easily-found blog, you've set yourself up as the office rat. There are other ways to deal with wrong doing. I think you have some major pride-swallowing and relationship mending to do if you hope to survive in this office.
post #14 of 39
keep (an offline ) journal and note down all the incidents of bullying.

after a week or so take your journal to your boss of hr and show them and tell them that treating a fellow employee like this is not accpetable. also let them know the effect this is having on your productivity.

as sad as this is some people just dont click, and it may be better for you to consider switchig jobs or asking to be transffered.

even if this issue was to be resolved you will still have to face these people and will not be able to work effectivly as a team with them.
post #15 of 39
My other question, since you are brand new here.....Does your username have anything to do with the company you work for? If so, see how easy you have made it for others to search you out online?
post #16 of 39
Thread Starter 
There are a lot of comments regarding how I should apologize for talking bad about the bully on my BLOG. Let me explain what happened here. My BLOG was stating how the bully was delagating work to employees when he wasn't in the position to do so. He was delegating the simplest of tasks, and my BLOG consisted more of statements like "I can't believe...". The bully has experience in his profession, which is why my BLOG was more based on shock than anything. Either way, this raised a red flag at work, in which case, this delegation of minor tasks was asked to stop.

So it's not like my BLOG was insulting the guy or calling him names. I just want to get this straight.
post #17 of 39
I hate office politics. I am in the same boat as you are with some people not doing their job correctly or downright wrong in some instances that make more work for me. It is not fair and it is wrong. When I have talked to them about it they have complained about me to thier supervisors and to mine. I have documented everything. I wanted to have proof if they continue to complain about me and I have told my boss what is going on and showed him the proof. However I still have to be professional and work with these people so I am nice with them. It kills me sometimes but we all have to get along. My advice to you would be to be nice to them. They have to respond or they are the ones to look unprofessional. It is hard but can be done. As for the noise can you get head phones that block out background noise? Maybe you can request some from HR.

I have to remember that it is not just office politics when dealing with people. If I complain I better be right and expect repercussion. I will be messing with their security. It is their livlihood that we are dealing with and of course they will be mad and they will try to protect themselves.

Good luck. Sometime I find I just have to grin and bear it and try to be the better person.
post #18 of 39
Thread Starter 
No, my username has nothing to do with the company I work for. The person who found my BLOG happened to be a good friend of mine late last year, and then we fell apart ever since the bully came back to work with us. So if the person who located the BLOG entry never did what they did, the bully would have never known I wrote something about him.
post #19 of 39
But the point is that you commented on this employee at all in a public place, where your feelings about his actions were there for anyone to read. Obviously, you thought you were being anonymous, or you would have gone right to the employee's face and made these same comments about his delegating of work when he has no right to. By making your feelings public knowledge in a blog that was sought out and found, you have earmarked yourself with your co-workers.
post #20 of 39
Thread Starter 
I'm not mean to anyone at work. I come to work to work, not to get involved in the politics or gossip or anything like that. I come to work to do my work, I involve or ask for help whenever necessary. When the bully or accomplices has questions for me, I answer them without being snotty about it. I'm always professional and maintain my composure, regardless as to whether or not I dislike the person/people involved.
post #21 of 39
First of all, surely you are not still using this infamous blog anymore, right? If you still want to have an online journal, then may I suggest moving your old blog to a site with privacy controls?

Such as: www.livejournal.com
I have my own journal there and really love it. I can write whatever I want and can control who sees it so that anyone with an internet connection can't read my private thoughts.

With LiveJournal you can set the each post to be viewed publicly (everyone can see it), viewed by friends only (only people on your friends list can see the entry), or private (only YOU can view the entry).

You obviously do need to use something else than what you have for your journal since the ex-friend co-worker knows your screenname and site location. It would be wise to use a completely different screenname when finding a new journal location.

Now second of all, the annoying co-workers. I think I would have to say something to the ex-friend co-worker who blabbed to the others about your blog. It was def. not cool, and they should know that you are not going to let them manipulate you and cause this drama for you.

As for the other, loud co-workers.... you already spoke to your boss about the problem. (S)he should make some effort to make them quit because you are an employee and you have the right to a sutable work enviroment. If they continue with this childish behavior, then say something to them! You have a right to! You spoke with your boss, and that didn't stop them.... you shouldn't have to put up with it. Just be firm, but not mean.

In my opinion, I think it is harassment.
post #22 of 39
Thread Starter 
I started making my posts "protected" so that only people who I allow subscribe to my BLOG are the only one's who can see my entries.
post #23 of 39
Thread Starter 
People are retarded. Recently there was a situation where the two people mentioned in this thread were getting on my back regarding notifying them of some changes I made. I told them that I communicated to their manager that these changes would take place, and he said he'd communicate it to them. The manager communicated that the changes would be made, but he never really outlined what would change. So they were a little bent out of shape about that. That's understandable. I told them, that maybe if I didn't feel conflict between us, it'd be easier to talk with them directly regarding the changes instead of having to go through their manager. So guess what happens today? One of them reads the e-mail. A few minutes later... *click click, click click, click click* and it goes on for about two or three minutes. OK, so now this person is mad at me b/c I brought the problem to light? They might as well have replied to the e-mail and said F-U! The second person gets it... is pretty quiet just about all day... then waits until about 20 minutes until I'm about to leave to start going nuts with his pen. He even had someone walking by tag-teaming with him against me. I mean, it sounds funny when I talk about it, but when my blood pressure and stress level is increasing at work, it's not that funny. It's funny b/c I can't believe people will go to this level and go out of their way just to make someone else's life miserable. To make a long story short, I sent a quick e-mail to the leader of HR, and hopefully I will conversate with that person tomorrow.
post #24 of 39
I don't really have an opinion about your work situation, but since this is a cat site would love to hear about your cats. How many do you have?
post #25 of 39
Personally, I think its bullying, but its kind of like being back in preschool to keep tattling. I think you should just show that its not getting to you. They are doing it to get to it. Why stoop to their level? Just ignore it. Do you believe everything you wrote and is it true? If it is, then whats the point? You shouldnt be ashamed for what you think and say. And so these people are being jerks and childish. Was posting on a BLOG the best thing to do? No. Should Employee A have shown it to employee B, absolutely not. We call that stirring the pot. Some people live for discord. Don't give them the satisfaction. I wouldnt go as far to bake them a cake or out of my way of politeness, because that just looks like you are sucking up. But I would just say "Good Morning/Good Afternoon, A,B,C and D How are ya'll?" And when they start clicking, cringe inward, and ignore it. Eventually, they should get bored with the brainless torture and move on.
Good Luck.
post #26 of 39
I agree with Diane....don't be overly polite or nice to them. Don't bring in food. Don't go talk to them. But don't go to HR or management again.

Something similar happened to me a number of years ago. I was teasing a woman I worked with and said no, I don't won't do your work today, cause you're wearing red. Then I took the work from her and we both laughed. Unfortunately, a friend of hers heard this, didn't hear the laughter, and just freaked. She arranged it with the rest of the office to wear red 2 days later. She didn't tell most of them why... just to wear red. When the manager saw everyone wearing red, he did some digging and found out why. When I came in, he called me into his office and blasted me for allowing my personal opinion to tainte the office. I called the woman in, we discussed it, and he understood I was teasing. (The woman understood it from the beginning) He offered to send me home, but I refused. I worked like it didn't bother me. And I had everyone but the b*tch that arranged it, come up to me to apologize. It was forgotten a few days later.

If they can't bother you, they'll eventually grow bored.
post #27 of 39
You have unfortunately been marked by your coworkers. You clearly don't believe you did anything wrong, and that this supposed friend betrayed you for some reason or the other. But the damage has been done and you need to just put it aside and apologize to the office. Either that or put in for a transfer. If there is something going wrong you should have gone through proper channels to report it not put it out in a blog on the Internet- It sounds to me like the folks you are working with are not going to be very forgiving and will keep up the harassment until you quit.
post #28 of 39
Thread Starter 
I should not be the one to quit. I will not apologize or bring in food or etc. I'm not going to kiss butt to people who don't show an ounce of respect towards me. I have a meeting arranged with the HR lead tomorrow. I finally broke down and I figure that hopefully (with an ounce of luck) HR will side with me against this noise pollution matter. Wish me luck! I'll need tons of it!

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback!

I'll try and keep you updated (if you care to know what happens).
post #29 of 39
I am glad that you've contacted HR - most often they know the personalities involved better than you think they do. And if you think they have a misconception - state that you disagree (calmly of course!) and state why. No emotioanl outburst, if you are prone to that, no flagarant accusations. The facts will speak for themselves.

Whiout know your exact office dynamics, it is hard to offer much advice that may b e productive - becauase in one set of certain people, it would work - the other - it would be terribly wrong.

Keep us updated!
post #30 of 39
I am so angry that these people have to put you through these childish games day after day, its getting very old. Well I know you probably know how I feel, or maybe u dont. But I hope everything works its self out at work, I thought you graduated highschool 6 yrs ago. Good luck tomorrow and remember I am here for you no matter what happens and I support you in any desicions you make. love ME and the Kitties
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