How to Baffle a Bully. I came acros this post as I got a notification that the author had liked a post of mine or had started following me (I can’t remember which, but either way she found me and I’m allowing myself some procrastination time before doing some serious uni reading).
I left a comment, but thought that I’d actually like to have this on my own blog too, so that other people who stumble across me might also have this story to hand. I’ve copied it word for word, because I don’t think I could improve on what I’d said.
(However any UK English language geeks out there – can you let me know if I can improve on sentence structure? I’m not so great with this :S )
“Even though I knew a lot of this already from my experiences of being bullied, I wish I’d come across something like this post when I started a new job over 2 years ago. There was a woman who’d been there for a long time and felt threatened by me. I believe it was because I was more intelligent than her and the only other woman in the team, although she had a history of always targeting the new people. I learnt the system very quickly and soon knew it better than she did. I was therefore much better at the complicated work and always came up with process improvements.
She always targeted me for the little things I kept forgetting to do (When you have inattentive ADHD, you forget a lot of things!), which was great in a way because it ended up with me getting professional help with it with assistance from work; The anxiety, stress and anger I felt towards her behaviour helped and hindered because it brought out the worst in me and gave me (therefore getting the help I now have) and a chance to show how neutral and honest I am as a person when dealing with difficult circumstances, but also meant that I was always anxious, stressed and angry about her behaviour.
My managers did try to help with the situation by managing when and how we interacted with each other to a certain extent. It did become clear that her attitude towards me was always OTT, and over time it got worse because ironically she was getting very upset at how victimised she was feeling and how I always seemed to “get away with it”. Whatever “it” happened to be at the time. I came very close to making official complaints a few times during my time there, and if I had I would have been backed up by a large amount of evidence and by all of the colleagues on the team, but funnily enough when it got to that point, she’d die down for a while and I’d continue bumbling along hoping that one day we would get to some level of understanding of one another.
I wish that I had made those official complaints at the time, as when I relocated I gave 2 months notice, and the closer it got to my moving date, the more disruptive and nasty she became. Just over a week before I was due to leave, she sent an e-mail to my team leader and his manager about how I’d missed this one little part of some housekeeping. It had been a light workload for the week or so before this e-mail had been sent and I’d been doing all sorts of extra cleaning and tasks that she had seen me doing but didn’t get involved with (preferring instead to chat to her friends). I sent a reply, leaving her out, and copied in the HR dept (who was also aware of our difficult relationship and my ADHD) declaring only the facts with evidence where appropriate and stated that if it wasn’t for my imminent departure, I would have definitely made an official complaint. After I sent this e-mail, I ended up with the impression that she had given herself so much rope and wood, that it wasn’t going to be long until the scaffold was up and she’d be hanging from her own noose.
Anyone reading this – please don’t keep quiet. Please have the courage not only to speak up, but also to make things official. Also, don’t EVER brush potential pieces of evidence under the carpet/into the recycle bin. You never know when you may need it.”