Sociopathic bully at work
I never thought I would ask someone publicly to give me advice, as I tend work through problems independently or with the help of a doctor. I really appreciate any advice right now as I am losing my mind and must quit work Sunday.
I have suffered from depression and anxiety with some form of psychotic features since I was 18, but I try to make the most of my life by becoming well educated, persuing my passion for science, hiking, travelling and spending time with friends.
Recently I started a new job in a different field and have been experiencing bullying from a staff member who has now taken over my role as manager for a little shop for which I signed a contract for. Don't get me wrong this is not the first time I have been bullied, many years ago I was severely bullied in primary school and this person stalked me throughout high school. I have approached my boss who intially said she spoke to him about his behaviour, but now seems a bit charmed by this young male manager. I have been rostered on for more than 5 days at a time without a day off in between. Furthermore my boss picks on me now to the point that I cried during my break and became silent and received medical attention from a mental health crisis team recently. There is no one in the small business I can talk to apart from my partner.
I need some advice how to approach my boss and the other manager and explain to them that their behaviour is not acceptable. I'm frightened of going back to work to the point I become catatonic and exhausted, but I know I have to stand up for myself. I'm not taking my case to Workcover or Fair work as I've only been there 2 weeks.
It baffles me why this still happens in the workplace, when I've never experience this in professional jobs in government and university.
Re: Sociopathic bully at work
Sorry to hear this is happening for you. I actually wrote a piece for RO a year or so ago (I'll have to find it) on the topic of this kind of bullying because I've been there too. I would say in the first instance don't feel as though you can't tell your boss again, despite whether or not they seem to be getting along with that person more now. It's still their job to manage the workflow, communications and behaviour in the workplace and you have a right to feel safe and supported in that environment. If it's still not getting any better, your HR Department would be a good option. You don't have to stand for it
Re: Sociopathic bully at work
Hi Monicle, welcome to the Reach Out forums! It takes a lot of courage to speak out and ask for help, and I hope you are able to resolve the issue without having to resign.
You're right, the fact that bullying still exists in the workplace is ridiculous. It sucks that the anti-bullying message hasn't gotten through to some people, or they don't realise their behaviour is harmful.
DarwinLoz has made a good point, your boss is still obliged to provide a workplace safe from bullying, despite their relationship with the instigator. It is difficult in a small business when there are problems, since you have fewer people to ask for help. Is it possible to avoid this male manager during your shifts until the issues are sorted out?
Reach Out have some general information about workplace bullying which may provide some assistance:
as well as your legal rights: http://au.reachout.com/Factsheets/B/Bullying-and-the-law
You mentioned some ongoing depression and anxiety, do you have a regular counsellor or mental health professional? I would recommend talking to them to help clear your head and manage the stress this is causing you. They might also be able to facilitate or attend a meeting with your boss to provide some support and act as a mediator.
Most importantly make sure you take care of yourself first. Continue hiking, reading, being with friends and other activities that makes you feel happy and safe. Don't let your job take over your whole life! I know that is much easier said than done, but try to leave the work problems behind when you clock off.