Case 034 - Global Communications Company
I work for a global communications company. I have suffered bullying at work for approximately two years on and off by different bosses (solicitors). This bullying took the form of constant nit picking, character assassination, performance issues without performance guidelines, threats of poor performance procedure and denials and comparisons with other colleagues. I have suffered numerous attempts at destroying my confidence. (You start to believe that you are at fault, no good and not up to the job and that maybe there is some credibility in what they are saying.)
I am now in the middle of a grievance (second stage grievance) at work and have been off work with stress for six months because I cannot go back to my job. It has taken six months for the grievance to be raised to second stage with managers and Human Resources dragging their feet.
I am now in the situation that I cannot go back to the office where I used to work because I am fearful, I cannot face the thought of returning to my old job in the same office with the same manager who has contributed to the bullying. My sick pay will be going down to half pay very soon and I have been looking for other jobs outside of the company I am currently employed with. However, I have been offered jobs already but they do not pay nowhere near the salary I am currently receiving.
This situation has not only affected me, it has affected my Husband and the rest of my family. I know how they have worried and how many times they have had to listen to numerous playbacks of bullying situations that occurred in the office where I worked.
I feel that I have been pushed out of my job by insidious motives and I am sure that it amounts to unfair constructive dismissal. I am tired of dealing with this situation and I just want to get on with my life and move on - for my health's sake - even if it comes down to accepting a lower salary at the end of the day. However, if there is no satisfactory outcome to this situation I will apply to a tribunal.
One important thing I have managed to do is save many of my one to one notes and I have also kept many records of my own notes of incidents and occurrences (my one to ones were conducted by two managers who accused me of many performance issues over time and my responses were not put into the one to ones). The one to ones (not really one to ones!) also lasted two to three hours on average - can you imagine what this amount of time means to a business in lost productivity! In one set of notes (taken by my office manager's secretary) my office manager threatened me with the poor performance procedure and in a subsequent meeting (again in her own notes) denied ever saying this (even now she is not aware that she has proven herself in her own records to be a liar). I can only stress the importance of keeping notes and a diary of day to day occurrences - even when they seem trivial because they all add up to the total picture.
I hope my case history lets others who are in a similar situation know that they are not alone - don't give in and keep fighting. I was informed in writing by my office manager after my first stage grievance that there was no evidence to substantiate the claims I was making - she was supposed to be impartial but was always prejudiced against me. I replied in writing that I felt she had not handled my grievance properly (she treated my grievance like a Court hearing), she had not remained impartial and that I had no alternative but to raise my grievance further.
More importantly, I know it is hard but try to remain positive and don't sink because if you do the bully has won yet again!