The "Bully"tin Board

When you have been wronged, you have two basic choices. You can retreat and
rationalize away your job problems (blaming yourself for what you can't control),
or you can send a message that the treatment you have received is
not acceptable and you refuse to let bullies win (thereby taking control of the situation).

Here is your stage. Belt out your lines. Take the lead and be a star. If you are not
ready for the "big time" yet, consider this board the community "theater" in which
you can practice and prepare for a life of self-confidence, fulfilment and making a
difference in your life and the lives of others.

*Some of the "intro" anecdotes below are from the Nineveh support group, and
designed to inspire people to speak out. Names have been
changed or removed out of respect for Nineveh members.

Stories and photos (jpeg's, please) should be submitted to

Move ahead to:

Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6

Stories and photos (jpeg's, please) should be submitted to


Fall 2003


From "Expendable" in Dallas/Fort Worth.

I am glad I came across this site. I have several 'bullying' story's and will submit one in full soon. This story is the most recent. I am in the finance industry. I was offered a position with another financial institution. The original offer was for an Assistant Vice President. I interviewed with the CEO of the new company, and was offered the position in just under six minutes!

The CEO paraded me around introducing me to every direct report he could find speaking of his offer to all like some kind of new kill. We decided that I would contact him after the weekend and let him know my decision that following Monday. The next day, Friday, the CEO called back and advised he wanted me to meet with his 'Risk Guy', however, he would not be in until Tuesday next week and he would contact me then.

Somewhat strange I thought, but I was employed and it really didn't matter at that time, additionally, giving me more time to let this offer soak in. The 'Risk Guy' called on schedule as the CEO promised(bit impressive someone doing what they say). We met during the noon hour the same day. That afternoon the 'Risk Guy' called back and changed the offer from AVP to Director of that department! Wow, I thought. I can't pass this up. Quite the opportunity I believed. So I accepted.

We discussed my hire date, day I would submit my resignation at my then current employment and so on.

Everything went as planned; I turned in my two week notice and left my job. After all this was completed, I did not begin the new job immediately, the 'Risk Guy' calls and rescinds his offer! Claiming that they were not going to expand as they originally believed. I advised him that I had already quit my job. His reply was maybe they will be understanding. It is amazing how someone can allow themselves to create such havoc and turmoil in another's life and simply move on.


An update from Larry ("Planefix") on the east coast:

"Defense counsel put in another continuance request ( big surprise there, NOT ). The court will likely grant it so my lawyer offered (again) non-binding mediation on the day the trial was to start. My lawyer says the judge who handles the mediation is fair and very scrupulous, even as to refusing attorney phone calls after he takes the case on. Each side has to put up $1550 for his services which covers a 10AM to 5PM continuous mediation session. Course the court has yet to set a new date for the trial (if needed) or said we go as planned. So 10/28 I could still be in Danbury Superior Court but most likely will be in Hartford."


An update from G. Sarris, Aircraft Mechanic:

I just thought I'd let you know that the DOD IG investigation into my caseof reprisal involving the Nebraska Air National Guard remains active. I
still intend to contact you when the final chapter is available.

By the way, I wrote a true, humerous, safety story that was published in a September 2003 Air Force Safety Magazine called "The Combat Edge"(available on line page 25). Unfortunately some of the best parts of it were edited. I'll attach the original unedited version. Feel free to use it. You may even send copies to the Governor and elected officials of the State of Nebraska. They might want to think about me the next time they fly in an aircraft operated by the Nebraska Air National Guard.


Hi. I was on you web site and I was so glad to see that there are people who are trying to improve the life of so many Americans who suffer so much just trying to make a living.

I believe my story hit on a number of issues. I will start by telling you that I have suffered from panic and anxiety disorders since I was a child. I know believe what I have is a social phobia. And you can believe it has made my life a living hell. I am 53 years old now.

Any dream that I had as a young person was foiled because of my panic and anxiety. I wanted to be a pharmacist when I was younger, but I could not go to school because I would shake also when I was put in social situations. As a child I did not know what was wrong with me. But I could not join any activities because my heart would start to pound and I would get the shakes.

I did not tell anyone I had this problem. As a child I had a crossed eye. My mom and dad fought alot. My mom was an alcoholic. My dad left. My sister and I spent two years in a catholic orphanage. There was a girl there named Olympia. I accidentally broke a cross that we kept on our beds. She saw me. Then she blackmailed me by saying if I did not do everything she said she would tell the nun. I was terrified. I was only six years old. Olympia and her sister even tried to drown me by tossing me into the deep water of the pool. And warned me if I said anything they would get me. My childhood was a nightmare.

When my mom sobered up, she came and got us out of the orphanage. I was suppose to stay and get an eye operation. I threw a fit. I believed that if I didn't get out with my sister I would be struck there forever. My mom gave in and took me home.

My eyed stayed crossed until I was in sixth grade. When my mom took us home, she had started a half way house for women, who were alcoholics. In time she bought the house next to us and she then took in men, too. I hated and resented the half way house. I could not invite anybody to stay over because of the house.

So I played with just my cousins. When they joined dancing classes, my mom let me join. I suffered the panic and anxiety everytime I would go to the class. In high school, I made one friend who I am still friends with til today.

Things that people just did cause me panic and anxiety. I got sick at my wedding and all of a sudden I could not see the priest. I could hear him but not see him. When I would go to a doctor he or she would say you are a nervous wreck. I would respond by saying I have bad nerves. That is what I thought it was.

Let me fast forward I went back to a community college in the 80s. In order to be able to sit in a class my doctor had to put me on tranquiallizers. I got a degree in a couple of y ears in accouunting, but I could not get a job because I could not perform in front of people.

I worked part time at the post office as an extra. I could not live off of that money. I applied for a job in an assembly line. I will never forget it. For three days I shook. I had to put a dropper into iodine bottles and I looked like Lucy. The bottles fell over I dropped the droppers. Reality had set in I knew I was so limited in gaining employment. I had to face the truth.

I wrote a letter to the University of PIttsburgh and owned up to my disability. I asked if they would give me a job either in the cleaning department or in the mail department. At the interview, you cannot even imagine how much anxiety was running through my body.

I got a custodial position on October 19, 1987. I worked so hard. During my years their, I was bullied and then harassed and eventurally discriminated against. When you have panic and anxiety you will do almost anything to avoid confrontation. But a couple of times I went to affirmative actions to try and get help with what was being done to me by management in my department. Affirmative action would throw it back to my department and it would get worse.

I could tell you about the times my department made my life a living hell, but it would take forever. So I wil tell you about the lab incident. In 1997, I received a puncture mark when I was picking up the trash in one of the labs. I was filling in for a lady who was off on pregnancy leave. I was so upset when I took off my gloves and seen blood. My department did not investigate the incident. I had to go and get tested for aids and other disease at six weeks , one month, two months and six months. My anxiety was out of control. My doctor had to put me on medication in order for me to be able to go to work. I was extrememy depressed.

I had always donated blood. When I went to give blood I was told that you had to wait for a year after a accident. I wrote to the department that handles safety and environment. Because a week before I got hurt another female custodian got cut open from the garbage. When I wrote to that department my department yelled at me and said don't you ever go out of the department. More anxiety followed.

One year later I went to my doctor and told him to test me so that I could start donating blood again. I was shocked when he told me I had hepatitis antibodies. I had to go on tranquiallizers for years after that one.

Please read an article written in the January 1997 issue of the Pitt Magaizine written by the editor. She writes about how hard I worked. Yet when the article came out no one person in my department commented on the article. MY department resented me yet everywhere I cleaned on campus loved and acknowledged my job performance.

The the beginning of the end came. In Feb. 1999. my department did a re-organization. The paper states the reason was to improve the cleanliness of the university and to more evenly distribute the work load. We got to bid on a new positon. But all we knew was what building we would work in and who would be our supervisor. The first time they tried to implement the re-organization, we were not told who our supervisor would be and they gave me the supervisor who had bullied, yelled and harassed me back in 1992, when I had to go to my department head and tell them I had to be moved because she was making me sick. I missed a week of work in 1992 because of her treatment towards me. I knew they were trying to get me to quit. I filed a grievance and so did others. So they re bid the positions.

I bid into Benedum. There are a man and another female on dayligtht with me. Because of the work load they gave me I became very ill with the panic and anxiety. Diane the other female custodian complained to me that she had a larger work load than Howard. I told her I had more work than anyone. For three days I shook and had heart palpitations. On the fourth day I broke down. I told my supervisor I had to leave I was too sick. I had kept asking her to tell Rege I could not do that amount of work. She said his response was you just have to do it. On the third day I did not even get the garbage off of one floor. On the fourth day she said I had to get the recycling off of that floor before I got the regular garbage off of all the floors.. I went to different people on campus that day crying half out of my mind. No one helped me. They told me to go home and take care of myself.

Diane was given 183 rooms to clean.................Howard was given 212 rooms to cleans ....I WAS GIVEN 243 ROOMS TO CLEAN. That was discrimination.

I had to start to see a psychiatrist immediately. I went to the EEOC and filed a complaint. They did a poor investigation. They did not ask Howard or Diane or my supervisor Jane who had what amount of work. It was as simple as that to prove my charge. They said I could file a lawsuit on my own because they could not say that the university had discriminated against me.

I had a difficult time getting an attorney. Finally, I got one. She let the university pick the person that would give a deposition. They picked someone who could not answer the questions my attorney asked. I told my attorney we should have gotten someone from my department who knew how I had been treated over the years. She said the university claims Joyce was the most informed. Wrong. She worked in human resources On top of that my attorney came to the deposition without one piece of my evidence to put into the record. Fortunately, for me I took some with me.

Half way through the depositon, my attorney asked if we could continue it at another time. Mr. Fritz, Pitt's attorney said alright. But that the discovery phase was over. I fired my attorney.

The university had filed a summary of judgment with the court trying to get the rest of the charges against them dismissed. I called Mr. Fritz trying to resolve the case without going to court because my panic and anxiety were bad. What I wanted was for the university to hire someone who would make sure that employees who suffered from any mental disorder were not harassed or discriminated against. Because affirmative action was not helping these employees. I wanted money for back pay, suffering, vacation and penion. He knew I had fired my attorney and he said I will give you $3,000. and a threat saying that when I lost I would owe the university alot of money for the court costs and their legal fees. I was shocked. I said to him you're kidding right? He said no he wasn't. I declined his offer.

I tried to get another attorney. I filed my lawsuit under the Americans With Diability Act. Lawyers do not want to take those kind of cases. They claim they are too hard to prove when they involve a mental disability. A male attorney told me to bring my papers down and he would look at them. I hauled over1300 papers to his office. He looked at maybe five pages and said you don't have a case settle it. He then charged me $200. for that input. I left and decided I would represent myself.

I did the response to their summary of judgment. The judge found in my favor that the case would go to court. I could not get another attorney because I did not trust them anymore.

Pitt offered me $53,000, they would educate their management better on dealing with employees with mental disorders. But they would not give me a job back. I had pleaded with Mr. Fritz telling him that I wasn't even sure I could work again but that I wanted a chance to try. I told him I would be willing to sit in a office and just put stamps on envelopes as long as I could be by myself in order to keep the anxiety in check. The university refused to hire me back. I believed they had ruined my life. It had taken me a lifetime to fit into the work force, and I wanted to try and be productive, again. They kept refusing. Judge Ambrose had a telephone conference with me and Pitt's attorneys. You see by now they had hired an outside attorney, too. Mr. Fritz had not mailed me the revised confidentiality paper. I could not agree to something I had not seen. The judge got hostile to me on the phone. I could not believe it. I refused to settle the matter because they would not give me a chance to work again

The case was turned over to another judge. He sent us to mediation. Pitt claimed my alleged disorders they had no proof of. That was so untrue. I had been ordered by the first judge to hand over all medical and psychiatric records. The judge in the mediation told me that even if I won that Pitt would appeal the decision. What a reality check that was. After all I had been put through to hear that this would not be over. It made me sick.

When I went in front of the second judge he said are you going to proceed to court? I asked for a week to decide. One week later I had decided that I would drop the case because I could not handle a trial let alone an appeal. Pitt's outside attorney showed up that day and before I gave my decision she told the judge that she had a doctor's excuse stating I could not handle a trial because of my mental disorders. When a couple of weeks earlier, she claimed in mediation my alledged disorders. I called her after that and said where did the doctor's excuse come from. She told me from my primary doctor and that it was dated 1992. I couldn't believe it they were using one of many doctor's excuses I had given my department over the years when I had missed work because of the bullying and harassment I was receiving from them.

Oh I forgot an important point. The univeristy had given the court false evidence. They had used our three job descriptions in their summary of judgment telling the court that I had the least amount of work and had Rege another defendant in the case swear an affidavit to this fact. What they did was they used job descriptions that were posted dated to the time of the discrimination. Then they turned them around and said that I had Diane's assignment of 183 rooms. And at the top of their papers were notes saying where Howard was in 2002. And where Diane was assigned in 2002. When in reality Howard had retired in 2000. I asked him if he would give an affidavit but he said he did not want involved. Diane was in a different building yet they claimed she was still in that building. She had bid out of that building in 2000 before Howard had retired. I couldn't believe what the university told the court. They also claimed how well I was treated because the last day before the re organization took place the two areas that I cleaned had given me 2 separate breakfasts and had given me good bye gifts. Pitt's attorney said they had treated me great. But the first judge put in her decision that the parties were given by the areas I cleaned for not the department that had been discriminating against me. The university had committed perjury and tampered with evidence.

On May 8, 2003, I withdrew from the case. I told the judge the unveristy had destroyed my life and my health but that my soul was not for sale. I did not take the cover up money of $53,000 because I would have had to sign a paper stating the univeristy did nothing wrong. And I could not say anything bad about the university. I wanted and needed to be able to keep my freedom of speech. I wanted to be able to make change come to how americans with mental disorders are abused in the work place. At time of my discrimination the university had discriminated against a man with mental retardation. I read he had filed a lawsuit, too. And a African American woman in facilities management had also filed a claim.

I have been on disability since Feb 11, 1999. The terms of my disability, I must see a therapist twice a month and a psychiatrist once a month in order to stay on disability. My doctor had tried me on all kinds of medications. They do not work for me. I am not on any medications. I must pay one half of each visit along with my premiums to keep my medical coverage and pay for medicare. So as you see I am putting out a lot of money for my health care out of the disability money.

I wrote to the national institute of mental health asking them to hold the university accountable for their actions. They give millions and millions to the university for them to research mental disorders and yet behind closed doors destory their lives. The NIMH wrote and told me they could not do anything to help because I am one person.

I went to the disability law project asking for representation. I was told their resources are limited so they couldn't represent me.

I wrote to my governor, two senators. one house of representative, along with my state officials. Most of them just ignored my plea for help. I wrote to the attorney general in Pa. to ask them to hold the university accountable for breaking the laws. I was told I am one person they couldn't help. They claimed there needed to be a pattern. I told them about the other two cases. They told me to get an attorney. When in the letter I told them my whole story.

I wrote to Chancellor Nordenberg. Twice he ignored me. I wrote to a doctor on the board of trustees who is an editor the the American Medical Journal she ignored me. I wrote to the board of trustees and receives nothing. Finally two weeks ago I wrote to the chief justice of the Pa. Supreme Court who recently, became the head of the board of trustees, he also chose to ignore my plea for justice and to hold the university accountable for what they did. Now this week I got a notice that the nine tenants in my building are all being evicted. The owner transferred the management of my apartment building over to another company and they are going to do major renovations. I am so stressed.

I want and need to get my story out to the public. I believe the saying liberty and justice for all is a pure myth. I also believe that justice is determined by money power and political clout. That americanse who suffer from any mental disorders are abused in the work place in the media and in society as a whole. I have no civil rights. Psychiatric records are used against a person when their civil rights are violated and the truth is covered up.

The University receives both federal and state funding and yet is accountable to NO ONE for their actions. That is unbelievable. I have gone to everyone who could help me and got nothing. My life has been destroyed. The media only wants to talk about people with mental disorders when they commit suicide or become violent and go to their place of work and kill people. Well I am an example of many americans who suffer from a mental disorder who has not done either of those things. Becuase of my faith I must continue to try and get the truth uncovered about the great injustice I have had to suffer.

How can anyone compensate me for the hell I have been forced to live. in?????????????

Do you know of anyone who would be willing to try and help me to get my story out to the public????????

After my mom sobered up, she spent the rest of her life helping other alcoholics. We drove to California one time to pick up a man with a drinking problem. We drove to Texas one time to pick up a drinker. My mom was a remarkable woman, with the good that she did once she had conquered her illness. I resented it while I was growing up and never really apprecieated the great person she was until she passed away on February 26, 1997. But she taught my sister and me that people help people. Isn't it strange that when all of this happened to me I really believed that my elected officials would want to help me. I may be 53 years old, but I sure was naive. Please help to get out the truth about americans with mental disorders being abused in the work place.

Well thank you for your time. I wish you all the best in your work. I loved the letter that you wrote to the president. I don't know what is ahead for me. My mom lived by the saying one day at a time. Today I find myself trying to live one minute at a time. I would not wish what I am living on another human being. I am anxious, depressed and very dishearted.



From Summer 2003


July 2003: From "Nikita"

Dear Elyse:


Please identify me as "Nikita from South Dakota"

I was really touched by your story and I can definitely relate. Although I wasn't at my job nearly as long as you, I can see that what happened was really unfortunate.

Just a suggestion: Include stories or excerpts from other people's submissions of workplace bullying incidents on your website and in your book.

(Note from Editor: Excellent suggestion! The goal of my documentary and book is to tell as many stories from as many different people as possible. As they always say, strength in numbers!)

I really hope you can publish this book soon and make a movie! In South Dakota, nothing is being done about the problem to date. Many of us have written letters to state, local and national legislators. But I will never give up!

(Note from Editor: The problem is as bad, if not worse, in California, the Chicago area and New York from personal experience. I hope the people in these cities will learn from South Dakota's most resilient!)

I will tell you a little bit about me. For 1.5 years, I worked for a large insurance company in the state of SD. During that time, I was the target of a workplace bully. But it took time for this to sink in. Despite the fact that people told me that it was a man's world in my department and that they felt sorry for me because of who I had for a boss, I decided to keep on trucking. I was hired to do the job of two computer support specialists. They never hired a second person in the end because I was efficient and they did not care that I was overworked and exhausted within a short amount of time. But I let that go. What upset me most was the behaviors of this middle-level manager in our department. While I was in the middle of phone calls with customers, he would come and start screaming at me through my headphones. I had to politely put my customer on hold. After a few instances of this, I asked him nicely but firmly to talk to me when I'm not on the phone. This guy also did not respect my privacy. He came into my cubicle and started making personal remarks about me. I'm sure everyone around could hear him! I went home so humiliated. Yet, the customers were pleased with my efforts and I did receive 3 raises within my 1.5 years there. I had to try to look on the bright side.

(Readers...take note of of any and all personal remarks...and check your local sexual harrassment and other related laws. I have received remarks about my physicality from a married female boss and a male boss over 60)

I finally asked him if we could have a private meeting. Each time we met, he blew me off and had to reschedule. After three occurrences, I finally put my foot down and said that this needed taking care of ASAP. During the meeting, he told me that I wasn't right for the job, that I was obviously unhappy, etc..... What did he know about happiness? Obviously I was a bit stressed supporting 300 + internal computer users and doing cross-call coverage for other sites and insurance agents traveling on the road. I loved the job and hated the work environment. So, I told him this because I believed that it needed to be told. He then told me that I was a good customer service person but that I lacked problem-solving skills. This was entirely untrue since I had no training whatsoever in my job. I attended classes, asked questions of my peers and always tried to solve problems and ask questions myself to the best of my ability.

It was obvious that it wasn't my job performance that was to blame. Then he went on to ask if I had Jesus in my life. I do have Jesus in my life. But I did not tell him. Why? Because what he was doing was illegal to begin with. You cannot force religion upon a person in the workplace. This person really was a poor people person and I came to the conclusion that he was jealous of me because a lot of people talked highly of me and said I had a great personality.

(Note to readers: Any remarks about religion or race should never be tolerated. The last PR boss I had made anti-semetic remarks in front of me and my former secretary. Both of us are Jewish, bullied at this place of business and agreed we should have spoken up.)

The end..........Well, I saved my money and gave my two-weeks notice back in January of 2003. It was one of my New Year's Resolutions to leave that toxic work environment. Luckily, I was able to take a job where I could put my people skills to good use. I had tried after 6 months there to seek advice and help from HR. One lady tried to do something, but her boss said that "some people just don't fit into companies." I did ask him a pointed question: "What about diversity in the workplace? " He had nothing to say. But he was one of those managers who took two-hour lunch breaks with the 3 managers in my department. It was always impossible to resolve problems in that place. I felt that I did the right thing by contacting them and the person who was bullying me. However, it seemed that I was punished in my position and that things were not going to get better unless I left......

Your information on your site is enlightening. I don't really have money. But is there something else I can do? Let me know and I'll let you know if there are others who are willing to share their stories with you. I had a friend in the same company who had worked there for 10 or more years and she was a great computer programmer. Recently, they told her she had 30 days to find a new position within the company or that she would be let go. After taking a programming position in another department, she was let go anyway. There was no good reason for how they treated her and many others.

(Note from Editor: Interesting coincidence. I had a co-worker who was "promoted" from assistant to full-staffer. I was denied a promotion because the boss said I was "too process oriented and not results oriented enough"--file under "stupid remarks"--Anyhow, the envy did not last long, as it came out she was moved to allow another assistant to move to that desk. She was gone in about a month. So much for the grass greener on the other was astroturf after all!)

I hope this information will wake up some people in our state and in our nation. This bullying thing almost resulted in serious health problems for myself and almost ended my marriage. My husband felt so helpless! He wanted to do something. I was coming home in tears many days! I started thinking that maybe I should leave him. Now we are doing great.

Best of luck in your book and movie. I would even be willing to act or play a part. If not, I'll be glad to provide you with more information about what I have been through and what a few others in this large insurance company have been through.

Nikita: August 2003 Update

Hi, Elyse. I'm going to add some more details to a story that I gave you about what I went through while working for a large insurance firm for 1.5 years. Feel free to edit it at your convenience. I think the details might explain more of what went on while I was being bullied during that time. Thanks again and I wish you the best in getting the book published and making a movie. It's wonderful that someone like you can take a stand!!!!!! Like one of my favorite 80s songs by Twisted Sister, "We're not gonna take it!

Terror in Tech Support

It all began back in the summer of 2001. I had taken the morning off from my temporary job so that I could interview for a job as a Help Desk Analyst. There I was, in the center of the room with three stern-looking managers. I was nervous. My heart was pounding, I felt myself sweat and I was preparing mentally for any questions they might be thinking of asking me during the interview. The assistant manager of technical support looked at my resume with a smirk on his face and decided to comment: "A year or two here and a year or two there. Can you explain yourself?" I wanted to say: "If it bothers you, then why are you interviewing me in the first place?" I took a deep breath and a moment to organize my thoughts before I made a reply. Then, I looked him squarely in the eyes: "I am currently going to school and taking classes. Sometimes the schedules do not mesh well. Do you know what I mean? Also, doesn't it take time to find one's way? I have worked hard at every single job I've held and that is good enough for me." He had nothing to say in response.

Surprisingly, none of the technical support managers asked any job-related questions. "We are looking for someone with good customer service skills. They need to take care of our customers. The last person, some young girl, really did not do a good job. All she did was route the calls to someone else..." Later, I would learn that the person who had my job previously was another one of the managers in the area (it was a man, not a young girl). They also informed me that they were hiring two help-desk analysts. The second person would help me to handle the call coverage. "We are going to be doing some cross-call coverage between Des Moines and Chicago." At least that was one thing that they told me the truth about in the interview. However, I became the "two" people that they were going to hire for the position of Help Desk Analyst.

What really shocked me some time later was the private meeting that I had that day with this scary looking man who was the manager of the entire technical support department. He actually had the nerve to ask me why I did not have any children since I was married! I thought back then that this question was illegal. Why did I not act on it?

At the end of the day (while I was still at work), I received a call from the human resources department at the large insurance company I interviewed with earlier that day. This lady acted like she was happy to hear my voice and proceeded to give me a job offer. I asked her a few questions, which would help me in making a decision: "Is there any training provided?" Her response was rather vague: "Yes, there is training for the position." I let her know that I needed time to think about it and that I would call her back in the morning. In my mind, I wondered why she was offering me the job so quickly. Later on, I would learn that they were in a hurry to fill a position which had been open numerous times in the past few years.

During my first day at work, a PC technician took some time to introduce me to the others. She also showed me around the building, where I learned where the different departments were located. In the afternoon, we sat in my cubicle and prepared my desk for work. She took a few calls and I listened in on them. After a while, I took some calls and she told me that I would do fine. "Just let me know if you need anything. We are here to help." That really made me feel good. But what made me feel even better was the fact that I would be helping people!

I seemed to make friends quickly. It did not surprise me that most of my customers became my best friends. "Thank you so much for your help. It's good to know that we finally have someone who cares and who will take care of us!" I did not always have the answer. But I worked hard to learn more. Outside of taking classes at a local technical school, I studied about computer-related issues on the internet and asked questions of my colleagues. What quickly became apparent was that this assistant manager in technical support made his workers nervous. He was always around screaming and yelling at people. I hardly ever had a chance to ask anyone for help. I also got involved in some unexpected surprise meetings.

One day, the PC technician next to me and myself got called into a meeting with both managers. We were accused of not doing anything about a problem with the internet. So, we explained ourselves to the best of our abilities. "If you have checked the logs, you would see that we are working on the issue. We have been in contact with the representatives in Chicago about the problem. And I'm going to call them today if they don't call back." "That's right. We have been communicating openly the entire time about this issue. But you keep on telling us to figure it out ourselves!" The managers finally let us go back to our desks. The guy next to me gave me the thumbs up and he made a phone call to Chicago. I thanked him for his support. "Boy, they made me so nervous!" "Me, too." We were not lying about anything. But our managers were unwilling to take the blame for doing nothing themselves after being told about it! And they were unwilling to treat us with a shred of dignity for all of our efforts.

I made another good friend in the Commissions department and she wanted to know if their department could get some software reinstalled. I let her know that I would have to check with the managers. The assistant tech support manager told me to order the updated software and to "knock myself out" trying to figure out what I was doing. At first, I thought it was a funny joke. But as time went on, my manager found out about it. He was upset with the assistant manager for not telling me how the process worked. "It isn't her fault. You know that I should have been told about this. In the future, please let her know what to expect. The person in commissions knows that she is supposed to fill out a purchase requisition and that you are supposed to approve it or run it by me." The email was not addressed to me. But it was sent with the header of FYI, like many of my managers' messages were.

Communication was a constant problem within the technical support department. Despite the fact that I strived to prioritize calls, to resolve issues myself when possible and that I kept others informed of what was going on, nothing was ever good enough. I also felt like I was running a race that kept on speeding up. The call volumes increased dramatically and even the PC and Mainframe technicians were struggling to keep up. I did bring my concerns to my manager. He merely waved me away and said, "You are taking care of the customers. You are doing fine. Thank you." I could never get any constructive criticism from him. And I really needed it in order to do my job better. Later on, I learned that he did not care to interact with people face-to-face. After my first six months of employment, I received my review and a raise. Here was my communications from a manager who did not care if I sank or swum........

At the end of the day during another hectic week, I received a phone call from Chicago. My manager was upset because he could not dial in to the internet. He did not ask for my help. Instead, he asked a rather strange question: "Could you please go get one of the boys to help me?" I did not know what he meant. But I politely put him on hold and asked this young female PC Support tech to help out. After she had hung up, she looked like someone had really pissed her off. However, she did appear to be angry with me. "I'm really sorry. I should have told you about him. He doesn't like female employees. But know you know. He wanted "one of the boys." It's not your fault. My first week here, he made me cry. I was in his office fixing his computer and he came in and screamed at me. I ran out of the room and cried in the bathroom for over an hour!" I reassured her and told her that I would keep what she said in mind the next time. I really felt badly for her. However, I did not realize that I was to receive the worst treatment as time went on.

On another occasion, I was in the middle of assisting a customer with a computer-related problem when I heard a loud voice in front of me. It was the assistant manager of technical support. "I really need to talk to you now!........." And on and on he ranted. I asked the customer politely if I could place them on a brief hold. I found out that I had made a small mistake. But this manager really blew it out of proportion! I had merely found a different way to make more space for customer emails in Outlook. Instead of commenting on my learning how to do something on my own, he criticised me in front of everyone and rather loudly as well. "We don't create personal folders here. That could result in disaster!" So, I asked him to explain what could happen and he just rambled on about server problems and stuff like that. Then, I asked him politely not to interrupt me in the middle of a phone call. "Could you please send me an email message or talk to me when I'm done with a phone call? I'd really appreciate it." After several more of these interruptions, I think he got the point.

One morning I was greeted with a rather nasty email and a false accusation from the assistant manager in technical support. In the message, he accused me of making the Vice President in our New Business department crawl underneath his desk to check his network wire. The part that irritated me was that his message stated that "we don't treat managers and higher ups in this manner in our company." What about the people who do their work underneath them? Why are they not important? But what angered me more was that this whole accusation was false. The previous day, the VP called me and told me that he could not get connected to the internet or get to his email. I merely asked him to tilt his tower (backside facing him) towards himself and to locate the blue/white wire. We were looking for a flashing light. As he could not spot one, I asked him to disconnect and reconnect the phone wire to the tower. It took less than 2 minutes and he thanked me profusely for my help. So, I tried to explain this in my reply to the assistant manager in tech support. He stormed over to my desk, undid my monitor cable and started screaming at me! I could not believe that he would act in such an unprofessional manner. "I'm really sorry, but I thought I did my job in helping him. I didn't have to make him wait for me to get to his desk and he never left his chair or crawled underneath his desk. Why are you distorting the facts?" Later on that day, I visited the VP who told me that he was really sorry about what happened. "You did a great job helping me yesterday. I told him that he was wrong for treating you that way! And, yes, he was not telling you the truth in that email. We all deserve respect here." I paid the assistant manager in tech support a visit the next day and calmly told him what the VP told me. He just glared at me.

It was nice to have some visitors from the Chicago site. They came to help us with network security on the mainframe system. Guess who received a flood of calls? I did! I asked a lot of questions and was never afraid to learn more about what changes our system was undergoing. One morning, a programmer came to my desk and told me that she could not log into the network. I told her that I would give the message to an administrator. Immediately after she left, I called my friend in accounting who was responsible for helping us with logon problems. They did not give me the permissions to do this. So, I had no choice but to call for help. She told me that she would take care of the problem. A few hours later, the assistant tech support manager (we'll refer to him as the ATS, although he really is an ASS!) stormed into my office. "Why did you make this person wait for three hours? She could not do any work!" I calmly explained the situation and then the young female PC technician tried to deny it. I could hardly believe that she was sticking by the bully! She was not even there when I made the call! I realize that we all make mistakes, but I won't take credit for the ones that I did not make! But I also realize that mistakes are a part of learning. But the ATS treated me like I was a criminal if I even made one mistake!!!!!

There were several instances in which I was given short-notice on projects and no explanations were given. "I have to go to Chicago for the next few days. Could you have these reports done by the end of today?" There was only a half hour left of work! I didn't mind staying an hour late. But he was not willing to answer questions, despite his statement "ask me questions if you need to." So, I had some problems with the MS Access Database. I decided to print out the results and look at them. Then, I showed them to the ATS. He just laughed and said, "It doesn't look right, does it?" I agreed by nodding my head. So, I asked him if he had any suggestions and let him know what I had already tried. He responded with an angry look and left for the day. I decided not to let it get me down. I searched the help database for some more suggestions. In addition, I tried a few other tricks that I had learned while taking some MS Office classes at school. I knew that I could figure it out! Eventually, I had the report done. I made a copy for him, placed one in my file drawer and saved the original on disk. It was time to go home!

As time went on, things got worse. We were sent in groups to some so-called "respect in the workplace" training. I decided to pair up with the ATS to learn more about him. Maybe there was something I was missing when I interacted with him at work. He opened up to me somewhat and told me that his childhood wasn't so happy. I told him that I was sorry to hear about that. He went on further and told me that his father constantly criticized him. "I know a lot of people like that. I'm sorry to hear that." I tried to listen and to reassure him that I understood him. As we went on, he told me that some people just were not "cut out" for certain jobs. He asked me why I was bothering to stay in my position. I could hardly believe my ears! In my first year, I had received no training, took classes at a technical school on my own, learned by asking questions, researched the internet and received two raises!

After my six month review came to my attention in the form of a written report, I asked my manager if he could help me or make some suggestions. He waved me away once again. "You can always ask the ATS or my other manager." I realized that he did not want to coach me and he was not really interested in my progress. However, after the "respect in the workplace" training, he made it clear that he was going to coach me. But he did it in a strange way. One day I was doing call-backs and he came into my cubicle area and just sat down. He stared at me and made no comments. When I got to a stopping point, I asked him if there was something he wanted to talk about. He just stormed out of the area. I did not know what brought on that reaction.

My friend Basia and I were outside of the breakroom one morning. We had just started our break and were interrupted by the sounds of a hysterical secretary. "Oh, Nikita! Please help me! I cannot get to the pictures I want for a project. Could you please finish your break later on?" I felt obliged and let Basia know that I would see her later on. We discovered that the secretary was missing some files. I did not know where they were located on the network. The ATS made sure that I did not know where to find information several times. But I did not allow that to stop me. I went upstairs and tracked down that young, female PC technician (we will refer to her as Mer). Mer showed me where they were on the network. She called the secretary and put her on speakerphone mode. My manager started yelling at me. "Didn't you fix her problem yet? She asked me a few minutes ago for help. I told her to call you." I explained to him that we were working on fixing the problem. A few moments later, he glared at me and turned to Mer. "Thank you for fixing that problem, Mer." I felt like my efforts were wasted. He did not even acknowledge the fact that Mer and I as a team worked to solve a problem!

Did I ever talk to human resources? Yes. After the first six months of working there, I talked to a woman who seemed to take my concerns seriously. I will refer to her as Lily. Lily told me a lot of information in private: "There has been such high turnover in that department for the past several years. We would really like to know what is going on." I told her that there was a guy who had my job before me and that he was now a manager. People had told me that he was never at his desk to take the help desk calls. I didn't really believe it until I heard the same thing from several people, including Lily. "Yes, you are really a breath of fresh air. It's nice to have someone who had good people skills and who can solve quite a few computer problems. You are doing a great job. I'm so sorry to see you so unhappy." When I told her about the ATS, she made a few remarks. "He does come off that way. I've told him that he needs to understand that there are four different personality types. We emphasize that in our respect in the workplace training sessions. He is hard to figure out." She had encouraged me to set up a meeting with the ATS and talk to him. After the meeting with the ATS, I told her what had gone on. "There are many times when he should have called me into an office and closed the door. He yelled at me and criticised me in front of everyone!" She eventually talked to her manager, the VP of Human Resources. That was the problem. He backed the managers in my department and denied that they were doing anything wrong! He stated that "some people just do not fit into these types of companies." I told him firmly that they should be careful of discrimination in the workplace and that diversity is something to value, not stamp out!

Does extra work hurt anyone? It depends on your work environment. I really had nothing against Rob. He was the previous help desk analyst and I'm sure he was glad to be a manager now. For the first four months, I was taking care of printer hardware and printer software problems. This was in addition the myriad of other types of calls that I took: forwarded messages from the ATS to help people who sent messages to him, internal customers who could not log into the network, agents travelling on the road who were trying to login to the network, etc..... One day, I got back to my desk after working with a customer on a printer that needed some work. I decided that we needed approval before making the service call. However, I was interrupted by my manager. "Where have you been?" I explained to him that I had to leave my desk to take a look at a printer hardware issue. And then I asked him if I could place the call for a service technician to come and fix it. He consented to my request. However, the conversation, which took place in the open in front of my peers, was not over. "Why are you doing this? Rob is supposed to take these calls?" I responded calmly, but evenly to his questions. "No one ever told me any different. The PC technicians told me to take care of these calls." The other manager (not the ATS) explained the issue to me and told me that Rob would take care of the calls in the future. He apologized for the four months that I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I really did feel like that!

After one and half years of working in tech support, I was burned out. I loved my job. Why? I felt a fire burn within me as I desired to learn more about computers. I loved to help others, too. The friends that I had in other departments were the best friends a person could ask for. However, they felt helpless. What could they do about it? They were sorry to see me go. I was even making enough money to pay the bills. But what about all of the mornings when my stomache hurt before I even got to work? What about all of the screaming I had to listen to from the ATS and my manager? What about my coming home hurt, angry and frustrated almost every evening? I even threatened to divorce my husband because I couldn't handle the stress anymore. I made a record number of doctor visits because my health declined. I didn't want to go. But one night I felt like there were knives stabbing my chest and my stomach. I called the nurse and she told me to go the ER. So, I found out after more episodes that I was developing an ulcer from the stress. I also had problems with letting the stress go. Sometimes I would just sleep on the weekends. I did not even have energy to go out and have fun with friends and relatives. Something was happening to me. I was really scared.

My doctor told me to plan out my finances and look for another job. She said that my story was so common. Many of her other patients were suffering from health problems due to job stress. So, I took a few months to cut back on spending. Did I really need another pair of Tommy Jeans? I even consolidated my college loans. With some discipline, I put money into my savings account each pay period. After 1.7 years in this high-stress place, I gave my two-weeks notice. Luckily, I had a job lined up. And guess what? I'm treated with respect. My efforts as a teacher are greatly appreciated. I still have my ups and downs, but now I have energy left to enjoy life. What about those doctor visits? I only had to see the doctor once this past year due to a sinus infection. Life is great!

"Life is too short" by Nikita-summer 2003

Day after day, my life passes me by.
I want to stop to enjoy it, but I have to fly.
I must take more classes just to keep up,
Otherwise they will say: "She is not up to snuff."
Why do they dictate my life, for it is mine to live.
I wish, instead, that I had the energy to love and to give.
Am I the only one who feels this way,
That life is for enjoying, too, I pray?
One day they might awake to the light,
And find out that there is more to life than being a boss and picking a fight.
Will God on his judgment day,
Look at you and I and say:
"To the fires you go forever,
because you did not play their game.
Why were you so just and so tame?
Why didn't you break up their families?
Why did you allow them to survive your reign?"
No, I know that God is just and that He cares about us all.
He will not tolerate this forever, the evil will fall.
But why should I dwell on those who do not care,
Life is too short, I think I'll help others and be fair.

July 2003: From "Tennessee"

The boss I would like to tell you about is the principal of a small school in Tennessee. She has done almost everything detailed written about bad bosses in magazines, books, and your website. The examples listed below represent only a small fraction of what could be written about her. First of all, she goes beyond meanness. She is a bully. There are numerous occasions in which she has either yelled at, or without tact, corrected a teacher or student for the slightest faux pas, usually in front of other teachers and students. It appears as if she gets a sociopathic thrill out of belittling people in public. One of her teachers once became so ill that she was admitted to the hospital after she reported to the emergency room. When this teacher called the principal to report that she could not make it in until released from the hospital, the principal instructed the teacher to arrange for someone to take over her in-house duties. The principal refused to do this; the teacher had to call her colleagues from her hospital room to arrange replacements for trivial matters (busy duty, taking notes during faculty meetings, etc.). This principal is also extremely lazy. She delegates her duties out to a few teachers so much that those teachers do not have time to even teach. She does this so that she can devote more time to the infinitely more important task of talking on the phone (about an upcoming prom, her
son's soccer games, etc.).

The teachers who end up doing her job for her become her "pets"; she reserves from them her harsh invectives and defends them when it is not warranted (until the pet teacher disagrees with her about something - that teacher then instantaneously becomes "one of the bad guys"). One very good non-tenured teacher was recently let go because she focused only on her teaching and not on kowtowing to the principal, despite the fact that the teacher is a single mother. She has no concern over safety issues. One of her "pets" recently engaged in behavior that resulted in an angry husband showing up at the school for a hostile confrontation (during schoolhours, nonetheless). Fortunately, the situation did not end in violence. However, throughout the incident, the principal refused to intervene, taking the stance that it was a private matter (regardless of the fact that fellow teachers and several students were in the building and could have been affected). The principal was so fond of this particular "pet", fawning over him and hanging on his every word, that there were rumors that he and the principal were romantically involved.

Meetings that required staying past the normal time off were often called with little notice. If someone had something scheduled after work, she would say that the meeting was mandatory (unless, of course, one of her "pets" had something scheduled). The meetings were usually over something trivial; she just wanted to flex her managerial muscle.
It was obvious to everyone that the principal had some serious personality and mental issues, but occasionally we wondered about her grip on reality. One of the teachers reportedly witnessed her sitting in her office one day staring at her blank computer screen. She was not on the phone; the computer was not booting-up; she was not asleep. She was just staring at the blank computer screen for several minutes. Everyone witnessed this behavior in a different context whenever they asked her a simple question. Before answering, the principal would often just stare at the person, often for several seconds. These questions were never mind-numbing quests for profound insights; still they intellectually paralyzed her for a few moments before she could recover enough to answer. Additionally, she would often say or do something and then completely deny that
she said or did what many people witnessed. We never knew if she was lying (which she frequently did), or if she truly had some kind of memory disturbance.

There are many examples of her cold-heartedness. Whenever she did not rehire a teacher for the next school year, she would hire their replacement early and require the "let go" employee to train their replacement (without compensation to the latter). The "let go" employee is deemed not good enough to work for her, yet good enough to train someone to do the very job they're not good enough to do (if you can't follow the logic, don't worry - the teachers couldn't either). Sheonce told a teacher who was clinically depressed (!!) that medication was not needed because "everybody gets depressed from time to time", and that the person "should just snap out of it". The principal then told several of this teacher's co-workers to avoid him because she thought he was unstable.

If the principal ever scored over 80 on an I.Q. test, it would have been a good day for her. She once received a letter from one of the school's 13 year-olds with a few grammatical errors in it (the errors were age- and education-appropriate). At the bottom of the letter, she wrote "Please proofread you work" (obviously, she didn't proofread her own little four-word retort). During a recent in-service she couldn't get someone else to do for her, she found some overhead transparencies about brain-based learning. Instead of leading a discussion, she projected the transparencies on the wall and simply read them. Whenever she came to the word "neuron" (which was often), she would read "neutron". It was very difficult to control our laughter. The word "ask" was always pronounced "ast". The words "thank you", "good job", "you're appreciated", etc. were not even part of her vocabulary.

The principal also acted like a prima donna. When a local juvenile judge would not return her phone call within three days, she complained to the county commission. The principal wanted the judge to come and speak at a teacher's in-service (so that the stupid, lazy heifer of a principal wouldn't have to come up with something to do). The judge had gone to a week-long conference, and was still at the conference three days later when the complaint was made. An unwritten rule of the job was that everyone had to be made aware of the principal's luxury car, and visit her ornately-decorated 5115 sq ft home so that she could be admired for her possessions. The principal intentionally tried to create an atmosphere of mistrust amongst the teachers. She recruited one of her "pets" to go to the teachers, gauge what the teachers thought of the principal, and report her findings. Whenever a teacher did not obey one of the many stupid edicts the principal sent down, the pet would run to the principal and report it. The disobedient teacher would then a mouthful from the principal. Other times, the principal sent her pet to other teachers to "encourage" them to change their hairstyles or manner of dress (the pet would say things like "your hair looks funny" or "I don't like that shirt on you").Needless to say, this principal has had a huge turn-over rate (6 secretaries in 6 years, huge turn-over of non-pet teachers). However, because she spends so much time brown-nosing the school board members (and is distantly related to one of them), nothing will likely be done to correct her abuses.


From riajoy3 ( a punishment does not fit a non-existant crime:


June 2003

Please share with anyone who may be of service.

I am serious and not afraid to get dirty, I been down and aint goin down, well we all go down some times, no own deserves to be treated bad because someone else hurts inside.
I'll write the story of Umass Amherst for you as it unfolds, I'll even tell you mine if you want, I am in the middle of an anti bullying campaign that I started pretty much at the start of my start yet I am also at the top of the hit list for the management for sexual harassment for being too friendly with staff and students alike. I'm mom to all a very loving touchy feelynon-aggressive, yet aggressive when need be mom. The kids love me and the staff know when to stay away and when to call. the bosses like to try to harass and don't like the tables being neatly turned without knowing when or how, so they are working hard to get me, rumors of how the sexual harassment class is focusing of endearments such as honey, dear sweetie and the like which are often heard from my mouth give me ideas of what up, there's also been mention of hugging, another of my traits, these have never before come up after a round of sexual harassment 'classes' before. I'm what I have always termed a bullies bully, I go after bullies. They fascinate me I just love to watch them pop, But I hate the way so many refuse to believe that an adult can be bullied. I am sick and tired of the suits in my Universities attempting to circumvent the union process by 'meeting at the table' and still trying to talk to me as a underling, and not realize that that in and of it self is also a form of bullying. I know one thing for sure I have only one real supporter--a woman just new to attempting to standing up. She still lives with her husband and may any day spout new bruises, that's the open support I have and as I already said the campus is on alert to get me in some way. I'm not sure my group will join in, but one can never really be sure here in this environment. I NEED HELP. PLEASE

August 2003

So I've become a chief steward and started learning more and gotten stronger, yet the union is weaker and management has become stronger. My chapter chair, the person above me in the union has been very ill so he was suspend for being out allot, the other man above me is going to retire in the early retirement. I am the last bit of union, the strongest part of the union for a long time, the membership was starting to get excited and management was starting to run a little scared at the mention of my name....WAS. Now I am the prime target just a few short months ago I was in trouble for being too nice all the time now I'm being threatened with being fired for being too angry, for frightening people with my anger. I have been accused of attacking several people so far and suspended for one day, once for getting upset that a fire alarm was set off without any prior knowledge, we have never even been drilled which is a violation of the fire safety prevention codes, yet I still was held, wrong and suspended without pay. Now I am smoking after having quit for seven months I am shaking almost non stop, frightened constantly, my unit members are being harassed so much and the way we are being spoken to is unbelievable. One of my own union people
has even told me to stop putting in grievances, another is asking me to slow down, management is stronger than ever, it's like I'm back at school and the yard bully just got the teacher to chastise me and I'm being watched while the bully stands behind her making faces.

What I can't believe is that I am 40 years old and still dealing with theses small minded childish foolish idiots. When does the rest of the world get told to grow up. On the 9 of July I actually had someone put their hands on me, push me down a hall and up a stairway, they wrote a letter about me I got the suspension, went on vacation, then she came into the
bathroom I was cleaning today all smiles and hellos talking to me like we're best buds. I'm still traumatized and still haven't been able to write to her boss about the incident yet I think this was a set up to see how I'd react. I had to act all business like, in a I gave her the directions she requested, did not volunteer any info and did not encourage further conversation. I had just started to relax a little, was listening to my cd player and singing, after she left I thought I was gonna fall apart, but I'll be dammed if I'll let them win. It's not just me there's so many other people involved, a whole campus of workers just being pushed around for the fun of a few sad little jerks with sad little lives. We don't mind working
we just mind working like mindless robots. These are hard workers, give them a chance and they would work themselves silly, why management has to degrade us and belittle us while we do it is totally beyond me. Me, they are after me because when my managers first met me they realized I was very intelligent and wanted me to become a manager, but I had already been harassed by my supervisor for no reason except because she wanted to control me. I go to work to work not to be controlled, tell me what needs to be done I'll do it but she wanted me to go up and down the stairs all day I went up the stairs did what needed to be done and worked my way down, redundancies are not my strong suit. There like circles, why go in a circle when a straight line gets the job done faster, then I can spend time with the kids. I just love the students, That's who I work for not the bosses the students. Well now I have to write letters to my union about my union not helping and making things worse, I have to write to the union above my union and the union above that union, I really know how to make friends in high places. But like I said it's not just about me there's a whole campus out there and I keep getting calls about others who are being harassed, ganged up on, going out on injuries and not getting any money or compensation, then having to cash in their life insurance policies just to survive . It's so hard to believe in this day and age in this country we have such a problem with bullies and there seems to be so little we can do.

January 2003

From P. Dion...although still struggling to find the right job and nice people, Dion still has a sense of humor. Check out this fun link Dion submitted for the 10 worst companies!


by Kati Rose (*her story follows this poem)

I'm living to die on the inside
I'm dying to live on the outside
In my plight, I have known
There's no home like hell
There's no hell like home

No longer am I the same person
I'm branded, silenced, and sequestered
On the outside I was honest
I didn't cheat, I didn't lie
On the inside they embezzle my pride
I have to surrender my soul to survive

My scars are from death row's hand
All my dreams and hopes have vanished
Why must I breathe, I'm dead inside
As days of persecution stretch into years
Injustice becomes hopeless to tolerate
Conspiracy of silence sentenced me here

I humble myself only to exist
Frail walls shelter me from life's storms
Why do I attempt to escape
I'm beaten and sentenced to die
Being indicted now I wish
My imprudent heart would cease to try

I don't know how to live on the outside
There I have nothing to call my own
A felon derived from inequities
Immobilized and convicted for others' crimes
Incarcerated inside silenced walls
I serve a sentence-------LIFETIME

Kati Rose's story, as told by her mother, Jayne

At the age of seventeen, Kati tried to get a community college investigated for we saw as a wide-spread cheating ring. An investigation was impossible. She is now twenty-seven and her life has been hell since. Due to the fact that she could never get jobs except for low paying non of which she could make a living on we felt she was being blacklisted by this college. We are now seeing things differently and believe it could be the students badmouthing about her to employers. Everywhere she has worked, we can make a connection to another employee/employees/their acquaintances associated with the college. Her two worst incidents on jobs have occurred this year. She worked for a department store as a cashier where she was harassed by other employees. She moved on to another job, where she was sent by a temp company, temp-to-hire, to work for a doctor for $8 an hour. The doctor accused her of deleting files from a computer program which he invented, and later apologized to her saying it was a bug in the program. She told him she could not work under those circumstances and agreed to stay a week until someone else could replace her. On her third day of this week she was threatened by a lady who works for him, a former cleaning lady, to drop a subject if she wanted a good reference form her and the doctor. My daughter left at lunch and didn't go back. This was Wednesday. On Friday, the temp company called and said the doctor had called them and he was very angry. He said if my daughter made anymore accusations about him or if she called any former employees or his employee again he would call the police on her. The employee in question was a woman my daughter thought she could trust. Scared to death, she waited that night thinking the police would come. The next morning the temp company called and said he had
called back and he was not angry anymore and he just wanted to drop it.
At the end of two conversations, we learned that the lady was telling her things on the doctor and then going back and telling the doctor my daughter was calling and harassing her. My daughter did not make any accusations against this man, other than she was leaving because he was rude to her and she couldn't deal with it and this statement was made at a lunch table in the hospital.

She is now having a hard time finding a job, and some strange things are happening. She is signed up with several temp companies, none call. She had interviews with two dentist, both who at first seem to like her giving her the impression she was going to get the job, but then their attitudes changing suddenly. Our local country club called and wanted to know is she still was interested in bartending for them. She went to the club, the supervisor there told her it would be a combination of bartending and waitress, and once again it seemed as if the lady really liked her. In the conversation the lady told her she had a daughter about her age and my daughter made the statement she didn't look old enough to have a daughter her age. The lady said "You don't have to flatter me, you've got the job." She was supposed to call and let her know what it would pay but she never called. When my daughter got in contact with her she said a lot of people who had worked there before was wanting to come back and she was trying to find out if she could hire one more and to give her a couple of days. She never called again.

Anyway this is a sample of her workplace bullying. Laws don't protect her and she cannot survive this way. She is devastated and doesn't want to go on this way.

Update/June 2002

Kati got harassed again yesterday. She signed up to take a class at the community college and went for orientation. The manager's husband from the store where she was slapped on the hand at was there with three girls. They were suppose to be leaving but when they saw her they started to look, talk, and laugh. Af first she didn't know who it was but he came up to her and asked if he knew her from somewhere and she said where he said Steinmark. Then he asked if she wanted him to tell Margaret (a floor manager) hi for her. She told him she didn't care what he told her. He said Oh, so you don't want me to tell her hi and she said again she didn't care what he told he. He then asked if she had a bad experience at _________. She told him she thought he knew exactly what happened at ________ and she did not want to talk about it to him or anyone else. He continued to say things and she kept saying she was not going to talk about it. He then called her a white bitch while walking away and waving to her like she was a child. We always thought the lady sent in to slap Kati was sent by this Margaret or the lead person there. While she worked there I watched through the window and saw one girl standing behind Kati at the cash register and hold her hands up and shake her butt and Margaret was looking straight at her. Kati decided to take the class on the internet to try to keep away from them. She has been slapped once and they got by with her so I am sure if he hit her he would get by too. They are always in groups, witnesses for them, and she is always alone. Then these companies when I get involved and try to speak up for her to have a witness they will tell me it does not have anything to do with me it is between them and her, yet the other side can have others to speak up for them ..It won't do any good but I did write the _________ company last night and told them they were still harassing her, It amazes me that no one can see that something is going on destructive because these people won't leave her alone. She has been gone from the store six months, she left the job because she was being harassed and they still harass her. After our letters to ________ after she was slapped and this manager was mentioned in the letter it seems as if _______ would wonder why they bother to come up to her that way. I just don't get it. (12/02-employer name eliminated upon request.)

August 2003

Katie is still the same. She has not been able to get a job in over a year (not since the doctor). She has been attending community college taking medical classes. She has ran into more bad situations. I think I told you she was taking some classes back at the college where her trouble began. Another incident of cheating came up there. One of the students taking a medical billing class was working for the teacher's husband who is a doctor. It was time for finals and the test was to consist of extra work of medical coding to be done at home. On the morning when the teacher handed out this assignment (portion of the final test) she also passed out a paper for each student to sign that stated they would not give nor receive any help on any parts of the final test and anyone who did so would fail. On the morning of the final test that was taken in the classroom a lady taking the class asked Katie if she would help her on the home assignment. Katie told her they had signed those papers and she couldn't. The lady seemed to accept this but then the girl working for the teacher's husband and another girl came over and started telling her answers saying the teacher did not care if they helped each other? Katie called the teacher at home and asked her if she had misunderstood what they had signed and the teacher said no, it meant exactly what it had said. She then told the teacher the names of the girls and what they had done. Then the teacher said she was more concerned with the one getting the information than the one giving?? Katie reminded her the paper they signed said give or receive and asked what was the difference. She said she would check into it but we don't know what if anything was done. Something else happened earlier in the class. One of the guy students, who afterwards left the class, stayed over and was asking her some questions. After he walked away she looked over at another student and said he was dumb as a post and asked how much more obnoxious could he get.

Over the summer she took a medical law class at another community college in another town. She has also taken a few more classes there and she is making extremely high grades. The teachers teach toward the test and she knows what to study for. She was feeling really good about the college up until her last class, "medical law". The teacher she had for this class did something we thought was wrong. They had taken a chapter test consisting of 10 questions and afterwards the teacher told the class anyone who had made 80 or below could take the test over. On other occasions she had given students points for wrong answers.. On another occasion a student was absent when a chapter test was given. This test with a chapter test taken the week before was going to be averaged together as one grade. When the student came back to class she told her if she was satisfied with the first grade test on the previous chapter she did not have to take this chapter test???
Katie stayed after class and told the teacher she thought it was unfair letting the students who made 80 or below take the test over and the ones who made above were not allowed to. The point she was trying to make to the teacher was students who made low could easily now make 100. She told her when tests were being allowed to be taken over the offer should go to everyone. The teacher got angry and told her to leave her room Katie told her that she would just quit her class because it wasn't doing her any good anyway. This was near the end of the class with only one test on two chapters and the final test remaining.

The teacher called her that night on the phone but we had not gotten home. I had met her in that town and we had gone to some stores. The teacher sent an e-mail which Katie read a couple of days later. She said she had had a couple of weeks of stress and told her she did not want her to withdraw from the class. She called on Saturday and talked to Katie on the phone. She told her then it was from stress and she did apologize and was then acting as if she could understand the unfairness much unlike the night in the classroom. She told Katie she had checked and no one had retaken the test so there wasn't a problem At the end of the conversation she told Katie she would see her Tuesday night and said "We are just going to forget about this, right?"

Out of all the community colleges Katie has attended there is one thing I will never understand. The biggest majority of her teachers are not qualified teachers and it seems that anyone would assume when you go to a college you would have teachers that are qualified. I read an article on the Internet where the FBI had investigated teachers for cheating. Someone should investigate these schools to see exactly what is going inside them. Katie gets no financial aid when taking these classes and we have to hand out hard-earned mones ($200 or more for each class) and don't have qualified teachers. In these classes the teachers stand up and read the book like you would read to a child at bedtime. By the time the chapters are read the class is over.

From P. Dion (updated 2/11/02)-

"I want everone to know I've experinced the worst bullying and even physical abuse at (national hair salon chain) on and off for 10 years. The reason I put up with this was for a paycheck & insurance:


I have documented all these incidents and gave them to the supervisor because it was the manager of the store that was doing this. I was transfered and the abuse folowed me to the other stores."

"Thinking out of the box."'s another buzzword concept. Looks good on paper and is bound to be tossed on the garbage heap after the "promoter" gets promoted.

Before I got bashed around on the job, I was one of these idiots who actually thought those concepts meant something. With most management teams, these ideas don't mean s---. I really am cynical now about these people and their grandiose schemes.

It's really a shame too. There are some brilliant ideas, which correctly applied would greatly increase efficiency and ultimately profits. Everyone would benefit. However, it takes a willingness to change and confront your own mistakes. It would be a rare manager who would be willing to do this.

Anyhow, "Jeff" is correct. Keep giving them what they indicate, they want, and don't pay much attention to buzzwords and buzz concepts.

As a final thought, wouldn't it be nice to tell one of these grandiose imagers that thinking out of the box would require pulling one's head out of a posterior orifice?

Handling Discrimination in the IT Workplace-- (from, submitted to me by David Burke)

"I would like to get some advice from others who may be going through the same situation I am. I am currently 19 and will be turning 20 in 1 week. I have held my current job, as Systems-Network Administrator, for almost a year now in very good standing according to my direct boss, the IT Manager. I have five years industry experience and a few certifications, yet I am more then qualified for my current position according to previous employers (and my work history/experience). It has recently come to my attention that our IT Director is trying to either find a way to get rid of me or transfer me into a miserable job position, all because of my age. My Boss explained to me he thinks it has to do with a bit of jealousy. Everyone I work with is over the age of 30 and the IT director is in his mid 40's.Either your too old, or your too young, or it's racial issues, sexual preference, and sometimes it can even be religion. Despite the fact that it's the 21st century discrimination still exists and many of us have had to face it in our careers. For most, it basically amounts to a career roadblock, while for others, it can also turn into an extremely humiliating and terrible experience. What options exist for those who experience it in any of the many forms it can take in the workplace?

"The IT Director has never approached me about any of this and treats me fine to my face, but seems to talk bad about me around my Boss, though my boss does his best to defend me. I have had no work problems (documented or not) and have a clean HR record. It's to the point I can't trust anyone at work anymore. Everywhere I work, people like me but as soon as they learn my age they automatically hate me, become jealous, or try to find ways to get rid of me. I have learned to deal with this problem as I figured it went with the territory. However, I also have a new baby daughter and a wife to support. I can't lose my job, especially in this economy. Needless to say I am polishing up the resume and starting to look for a new job, but can anyone offer any sound advice, or legal actions which I can take if I do get fired, or even suggest employers in the industry that are friendly to my age bracket?"


I am in the middle a serious situation at my workplace.

I walked into a war zone! My manager terminated the person before me for the same reasons he/she is going after me. The only thing I did wrong is accept a position there! I have suffered bulling from my manager (direct and in total control) in the form of:

    • Rumor spreading, allegations regarding the competency, professionalism, private sexual lives other employees of this organization. Not to be identified as only one individual. Mostly upper level management.
    • Bullying and harassing verbally and emotionally
    • Misuse of implied power as a manager, which has caused a breach in the agreement of the mutual trust I am supposed to have with management as offered to me when I accepted this position.
    • Subjected to "outbursts" and unprofessional comments
    • Being denied necessary training for me so as to fulfill my responsibilities.
    • Inconsistent training, or "Hit and Miss" training. After nine months, I have still yet to receive complete training that directly pertains to my position.
    • Attempts to undermine me and my position and my status, worth, value and potential.
    • Being shouted at, humiliated and threatened, often in front of others.
    • Duties and deadlines, which are changed at short notice - or no notice - and without being informed until it's too late
    • Finding that everything I say and do is twisted, distorted and misrepresented
    • Being subjected to disciplinary procedures for trivial or fabricated reasons and without proper investigation, his/her behavior has created a hostile work environment by creating an environment that is conducive to taking sides.
    • "Play the game or get burned" attitude. If you did not view situations as he/she views them, he/she would treat you differently and unfairly. The term differently is described by anything to ignoring this person, making their job harder, blatantly withholding pertinent information to the positions responsibilities, deliberately misleading other employees and team members in regards to the employee he/she felt had slighted he/she and finally eliminating that person from what would normally have been called team activities.

I do not believe I am the only victim of these actions. If you wanted to keep out of it or to stay away from the excessive pressure, or worse, the fear of actually loosing your job, you would humor him/her and him/her whims by ignoring them or changing the subject so that you might stay out of "harm's way". His/her views were consistently forced on me on a daily basis. He/she had issues with most persons in and out of our department.

My initial employment date was in May. I was contracted from March to May in October. I received the highest raise available with our company (7%) and no review other than "You're doing well." But the minute that I no longer tolerated these situations, my life became hell. This person went straight to HR with unsubstantiated allegations. Before, they held a "disciplinary" meeting with me. I let them know I had never had any "formal" notification of any of these allegations from my manager and that this only came about (on the exact day) I when have been forced to speak with Upper management (not HR) about these situations this person continually created. I then formally wrote a 16-page letter stating many different occurrences over an eight-month time frame. At that point it stopped the "disciplinary" meeting before I was called in. Last Friday, I had been called to HR, and they said that they did in fact validate all of my allegations by interviewing over 16 witnesses.

I literally had a breakdown at work that day I could not take anymore. He/She excluded me from normal team activities and then verbally abused me where the entire office could hear...he/she never even telling me there was a problem. Just changed their attitude for the worse. I have never been so scared in all my life. I was so upset I literally could not catch my breath. I went through the stages of taking it out at home and caught myself! Thank Goodness! But when I sat down and realized the root of the problem, I knew if I opened my mouth, I might loose my job. That is exactly what he/she is trying to do. This is the oddest situation I have ever seen!

Once I read the wonderful site, it made me realize I had done nothing wrong and I cannot control this situation. But I can handle it the best way - and if there are any suggestions out there let me know!


"Guess what?? I got the transfer!!! I was offered the position today and accepted! The bully manager did not congratulate me in any way or appear happy for me at all. She only mumbled something like well you've been unhappy for a long time so we can release you Dec. 31st (matter of factly - cold). What do you make of her reaction? It looks like we were onto at least one of the two scenerios -- that she wanted me to move on.

I am happy about the new position, and glad to be getting away from the bullies. This is a relief and I'm not scared any more of them. The thought of what they would have continued to do me had I not left is not a pleasant feeling. I am only disappointed and feel a little sad that what could have been a great job could not have lasted longer because of them. On the other hand, they were setting me up and sabatoging me so what choice did I really have?"


Return to Speaker's Corner | Return to Front Page | Forward to More "Bully"tin Board Stories