Work Harassment-Being a Target Doesn't Make You a Victim

What is work harassment?

Sexual, race or cultural harassment is illegal in the United States. There are laws that protect people from being coerced, bullied, or threatened on the job or denied promotion based on these factors. But, what if you are the target of harassment in the work environment and your situation is not covered by the policies of your corporation? Perhaps, for example, you are an experienced employee who has worked at your job for several years and along comes a new manager that decides, for whatever reason, to dismiss you. And, thus he starts a ‘campaign’ to build a case.

I am currently the ‘victim’ of such a manager and this case will be completed in two days following the completion of an investigation for charges of insubordination. Now, mind you, I had already received a letter informing me that I had three charges which resulted in a three day, unpaid suspension just three weeks prior to that with the explanation that the next step would be termination.

Knowing this is hanging over my head, why, pray tell, would I be stupid enough to disobey my manager’s orders and worse, according to her paperwork, “argue and barge into a patient’s room” after she ordered me not to do so? Well, the obvious answer is, “I wouldn’t”, nor did I.


Who is a 'Big, Bad Boss?'

When a manager is, what Marilyn Haight refers to in her book, Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Boss, a ‘Little Dictator’, it creates a working environment that is unproductive for all people involved. On a hospital unit this puts patients at risk because the staff is so worried about making a mistake, being the next target, or focused on doing things to get in favor with management, that patient service and safety is compromised-two standards I take great pride in.

I’m sure we have all worked for unpleasant bosses at one time or another. If this situation has never been your experience then you are very blessed. Unpleasant can mean anything from denying your vacation time, making you work weekends, having unrealistic deadlines to meet, withholding a well deserved and hard earned end-of-the-year bonus, etc.

Unpleasant may also mean: moving you to the basement office-no windows, no ‘air’; keeping the temperature at a chilling level for his comfort only; smoking in his office and having it seep out into the work room; etc. Not comfy, not cozy…but, do-able.

The ‘big, bad bosses’ that I am referring to are not the unpleasant ones previously mentioned, but the true barracudas of the corporate world. They are what I refer to as ‘axe men’-or in my own personal experience, ‘axe-women’. Their purpose is to pave the way to implement their own agenda-their own hand-picked staff-usually someone who is either very inexperienced that they can ‘mold’ into what they want, or someone who is of the same mindset as the manager.


Stop work harassment before it orbits out of control

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Protect yourself from being a target of managerial bullying.
Protect yourself from being a target of managerial bullying.
Protect yourself from being a target of managerial bullying. | Source

How to protect yourself from a managerial attack

It is not an uncommon managerial tactic to ‘clean house’. I was actually forewarned by a co-worker who was a previous employee under this manager at another facility. This was two years ago and when it was announced that the manager had indeed been hired my co-worker went into tearful hysterics ruminating about how everything was going to change and warning staff to watch our backs.

Hindsight is worth so much, is it not? I could have heeded this warning; however, I felt I was not in a position to move to another facility at the time that my B.B.B. (Big, Bad Boss), came on board. It was March and my nephew, whom I am raising, was still in school. To uproot and move to the next city was a possibility, and J was all for it, however, I did not even have an opportunity to apply before the first wave of charges hit me.

This manager was hired in Mid-March and within the first week she had targeted my co-worker, an LPN, with so much pressure that Sandra, (not her real name), had quit. I was next on her list. I was served the first suspension for a series of charges by the end of April. Following my suspension I was expected to return to work in that same environment and function to the best of my capabilities, as if nothing had happened, while knowing that at anytime the next shoe may fall-this one in the name of a ‘termination’.

The next charge, the one naming insubordination, was written on my fifth day back to work. This was following a notice I had sent her, per my instructions from the human resources director, (whom I had been in contact with regarding my concern for the trumped up charges), that I was appealing her allegations. Her immediate reaction was one smelling of retaliation.


Recourse defense from managerial harassment Steps 1 and 2

What recourse does one have when faced with this situation? First of all, understand and try to disengage emotionally. It is easy to take it personally and question your own job performance. I’m not saying that if your mess up NOT to be accountable for your mistake. However, when you are faced with an impossible situation that is clearly motivated by circumstances beyond your control-in this case a manager who has it in for you no matter what you do or how hard you try to make it right, there is little hope that you will be around to even make any positive changes in your performance. Why? It’s because he does not want you around and will not wait for those improvements to occur. In fact, the need for ‘improvement’ is just a smoke screen to distract upper management from the real issue-your ‘B.B.B.’

Second, when faced with a written reprimand refuse to sign it. That’s right. Refuse to sign it. If your boss, or even human resource representative, insist that you sign write on your form ‘this employee has read the disciplinary action and is in disagreement with it. Please read the attached letter from this employee’ or something very similar to this and explain to the H.R. Rep that your letter will be forthcoming in the next day or two telling your side of the story. Be sure to write your letter, include details and names of witnesses, and make sure it is attached. Reference in your letter what you have noted on the disciplinary form. Further, you should insist on checking in two weeks to make sure that your letter did get attached and to verify that the original disciplinary form had not been switched with a copy stating, ‘employee refused to sign’. No matter how much they insist you do have the right not to sign the form.


Work harassment defense: Steps 3 and 4

Third, alert your support system to help you maintain your balance and equilibrium during this time period. This may be a close friend or family members. It is imperative, if suffering from symptoms of anxiety, depression, panic attacks, insomnia, loss of appetite, increased drinking, or other unhealthy coping mechanisms, that you seek treatment from your company EAP, (Employee Assistance Program), for help or talk with your medical doctor or religious leader for additional advice and support.

Fourth, immediately go to your human resource department and meet with a representative. Not all work environments have unions. Most hospitals do not. Most nurses do not belong to unions because unions are not an option. And, in many states, such as North Carolina, it is an ‘at will’ state which means that the employee has little, if any, rights if they are fired; while the employer can fire ‘at will’. This I know from consulting with an attorney and going on-line. So, it is important to have this information before you are in that situation. It is also important to read your employee handbook, have a copy if available to you, and refer to it frequently if you suspect that you are working for a manager who is out to get you; or one that is creating a hostile work environment. Being prepared is a more beneficial place to be than finding out what your rights are after the fact.



Psychological effects of harassment in the work environment

What happened from my rebuttal letter and my visit with the H.R. Director was the beginning of both my appeal process and the end of my service at this hospital. According to my co-worker-the one who had previously worked for her, no one…NO ONE stood up to this woman and complained, wrote letters of protest or met with anyone from human resources. They just tucked their tales between their legs and left, defeated and beaten down.

There was a lot of shame I experienced initially, after receiving the first disciplinary action. I questioned my judgment and skills as an experienced nurse. I questioned my personality and ‘likeability’ with my co-workers, because one of the complaints was that ‘three co-workers had come forward with complaints’ about me. But, I found the strength within me to examine the truth of her allegations and measure her reality with my own.

I suffered panic attacks and nausea each day I returned to the hostile work environment knowing I was a target. But, I kept in communication with my friends and family, who offered support, as well as the H.R. personnel. Communicating that I felt I was returning to a hostile work environment was an important factor for me. It allowed the representative to see that I was not being overly dramatic with my concerns.

In the end, I do not have any control over the outcome. I am one year away from being fully vested in the company to receive my pension. I am one of the most experienced and highest paid nurses on the unit. I feel these are all reasons worth dismissing me. It’s a feather in this manager’s cap to move onto the next employer while bragging about ‘saving the company thousands of dollars’. I’m not stupid. But, I do have control over whether I will fight for what is my right or just go away silently. I choose to fight.


When to seek legal council

Finally, if you feel you have been wrongfully terminated seek legal council. There is usually a free or minimal fee for a thirty minute meeting with an attorney. If he feels there is a case he will move forward. If not, you haven’t lost anything but your time. It’s worth it, isn’t it?



More by this Author


Comments 30 comments

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Reading this made a little sad as I have been there, done that. A team of lady barracudas from Wall Street took over my dept in a major bank years ago, and my direct VP demoted me. I was in line for a great promotion that year. This after winning service excellence awards. Their intention was to clean house. I fought back but found that HR while being very gentle with me, really didn't resolve the issue and were political, and I ended up being blacklisted by senior management. Once one tangles with management, they don't want you. I quit a few months later as my work life became hell and I was making mistakes. I am however happy I left! BTW, about 70 employees quit after I left, and the executives were reassigned elsewhere due to the complaints.

I am sorry you are experiencing this! I hope you can hang on until you retire. Is there a chance you can get a transfer?


annmackiemiller profile image

annmackiemiller 5 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

thanks for sharing your experience Denise. My friend is going through something very similar just now.

best wishes

Annie


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Marie-It is unfortunate when we experience these bumps in the road, such as what you have and what I am now experiencing. It is emotionally draining and disheartening to think there are people in this world whose job of making money override any decency or human compassion. I guess that is what makes us different from the narcissist.

No, I cannot transfer to a sister co. or other unit now. I have discussed this with my h.r. rep and it is too far into the process of investigation. IF the investigation shows I was NOT insubordinate then I can do so. I am far from being ready to retire and do not have any intention in staying with this company once my nephew has graduated in two yrs. However, I will be happy to leave after one year when I am fully vested in my pension...that is all I am fighting for. After all...the year I was hired in was the LAST yr the co. offered this perk as a benefit. New employees are not offered pensions. It will be the first nursing job I've had to offer this.

As for mistakes, I fully understand and relate. I walked around on eggshells in fear that I would do something (anything) to upset someone (anyone). It was like being in the Twighlight Zone.

I do realize that there are greater things ahead for me...but, sometimes getting there can be a little painful. Thanks for sharing your experience. My co-worker actually began to cry at breakfast when we were discussing the situation b/c it brought back such awful memories for her. She was severly depressed when it occurred and reports to me that there were at least 9 staff that this woman pushed out of the co. to bring in inexperienced staff.

BTW--I agree with you re: getting caught up with management. This is a reality that I have had to face-unless there was a blatant wrong doing on my managers part Administration will side with her. Any 'false hope' or expectation that I would be granted the 'magic' decision that I am right and she is wrong is a mere set up for myself. It isn't 'sour grapes' or negativity, it is a fact of the corporate world. Upper management hired this woman-it stands to reason they will back her up. Thanks for your comments.

Ann-well, I finally moved off of the '100' mark. Been obviously caught up with other things to be able to even think of writing ANYTHING except appeal letters. Thanks for reading and responding. I'm sorry your friend is experiencing the same thing.


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

Way to hang int here Denise and fight! You are a strong person! I know the feeling of not being wanted and walking on eggshells, very stressful, but the most damage is to your own psyche when you question your own abilities and so forth! I wish you the best


sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago

Denise, I am really sorry about all that is happening to you, but you are a strong woman, hang in there, don't give up and fight till the end. This may not be a fight for a personal cause, for all you know it may help so many others who face such harassment. Best wishes, prayers, love and hugs to you brave lady.


baygirl33 5 years ago

Denise,How familiar this all sounds! My boss was a woman too, but not a corporate axe,just peevish and into control. I guess I was supposed to be more timid.I remember how debilitating it was to go into work after being taken off projects which were handed off to my co-workers. It's amazing how often this cruel behavior happens.And it does affect the entire working environment.What's the matter with people anyway?!Are we so anxious to get ahead that we do anything?How do people like that live with themselves?In your case it sounds deplorable that upper management would make your life miserable so close to retirement and your pension!It's entirely low class and as you saw,word gets out.But it happens and it's not your fault.If it was you'd have had downgrades from other bosses in your history.

But I commend you for fighting.Just steel yourself and know that you are far from alone.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Great hub which will no doubt help others deal with similar situations. My initial impressions while reading this was that your manager had finally picked the wrong person to bully because you are obviously strong enough to stand up to her, assertive in a positive way, highly intelligent and resourceful. I like your refusal to fall into the role of "victim" that she's tried to put you in, and was glad to hear that you filed an appeal and also consulted legal advice.

That being said, I am sad to hear that you are faced with this situation at a time when you are so close to being vested for a pension, a time when your income has finally reached a higher level, and a time when you are helping to raise your nephew on your own and need the income.

You are in my prayers and I hope that the situation gets resolved so you can at least return to the job long enough to become vested in the pension. If not, I pray that you will find a better nursing opportunity in a work environment where your contributions and care are valued.

Thanks for sharing your experience so others may benefit from your great strength and knowledge.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Man oh man can i ever relate to this. When i first started nursing, i worked as an LPN until school started again. I was working in a nursing home. The DON made a statement that she would like to have me as her ADON, better than any RN she knew, well..This got back to the unit where my head nurse was, She was so angry..She made me want to quit nursing. I stuck it out because i knew i wouldn't be there long. Thank's for the needed advice given here. This goes on a lot in the nursing field.

Cheers


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

Hang in there Mom. The truth will prevail!


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

I bet we ALL can Relate. It's totally so unfair Denise. Your last paragraph, sums it up, you are one year away from being fully vested for the company pension...and they are looking to cut expenses. As your daughter said "Hang in There" ...and hopefully the Bitch Manager will get hers...And if a Good Lawyer is needed, hire one, it's worth the expense. Good Hub on a Timely subject.


the clean life profile image

the clean life 5 years ago from New Jersey Shore

Well Denise, now I fully understand the story. I think what you said about most experienced and Highest paid nurse just about covers the reason that the BBB wants you out, and what you said about one more feather in her hat. I don't and will never understand why bosses do these things to someone like yourself that is an asset to the company and it seems like the people that worked the hardest and know the most get the flack and get treated so badly. I can relate to this through my own experiences at my present job. There are many days I feel sick driving into work knowing that our President will be miserable, mean, ignorant, cold, and just a nasty person that I have to deal with the rest of the day. It is aweful for anyone to have to work in an environment such as this. All I have to hear all day is Life sucks and then you die. How in the world can someone be up and happy listening to that all day.

I really feel so bad for you Denise and I hope everything comes out in your favor tomorrow. We will all be praying for you and stay strong, and no matter what the outcome is, keep your head high and be proud of yourself and what you do for other people. We all Love you and we are always here when ever you need us.

Marky


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Denise, I forgot to tell you to hang in there. You will prevail. Companies who want to get rid of older workers for that old mighty dollar can be beaten, fight for your rights, as i know you will. Bless you my friend.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Kath-thank you for the words of cheer. I sure appreciate it. Yes, one really starts to question one's abilities!

Sofs-gee, thanks for reading and commenting. You are so right. I have already heard from the former employee of this person who is so thrilled to know that someone has stood up to this 'bully'.

Baygirl--I agree-I have no idea how this woman lives with herself!! Thanks for reading and sharing your experience.

Thanks, Gail. I am hoping that my meeting will work. If not, it is the best I had. Then, onto the attorney...I appreciate your prayers - will gratefully take them, thank you.

Ruby--I cannot believe YOU'VE experienced this also. I agree--it happens much to much in this field. What is that all about??? Thank you so much for sharing and good for you for sticking it out.

Cara--Thanks hon. Hugs to you. Will let you know how it goes. Good skyping with you tonight as always. :)

bMalin-thanks for your encouragement. I am so hoping for a positive outcome w/o needing legal help. :)

Marky--you are such a sweetheart. XXOO to you! Thanks for the prayers and encouragement. I am nervous but have a WONDERFUL support team that includes family and all of you. Thank goodness for Hubpages and the Hubbers in my life right now!

Ruby--Thanks a bunch. Great big hugs to you!


CASE1WORKER profile image

CASE1WORKER 5 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

what can i say that has not been said by others- good luck but they are after saving money and you are an easy target- just remember that one day the BBB will also be an easy target and be forced to leave


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

Valuable manual of experience-- wow thanks for sharing it Hope I never need to use it LOL Frank


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

I have not experienced that in a work environment, but by substituting a few situations, words, and persons, it sounds so much like my first marriage, that I'm almost sitting here with my mouth hanging open. The hidden agenda, the selfish motive, the willingness to try to create fake issues and manipulate physical and emotional influences and effects were all there.

I was one who kept trying to keep from rocking the boat (due to the price I was emphatically threatened I'd pay otherwise - the literal loss of my children) so I didn't give him any real cause for taking action. So he created the final "showdown" - - and, I can add, did manage to brainwash and take my children, in a failed effort to get rid of me while getting me to sign over all my worldly possessions to the children, including those I'd invested in our life style and those I was in line to inherit - and he was very immediately planning to have me committed thereafter - the next day.

I was so drained by the actions he instigated that I hardly resisted, but he goofed by calling my brother to announce this plan for the next day (hoping to align an ally in my own family as he had done all over his family where we lived, far from mine) But, for whatever reasons of his own, my brother stepped in to make sure I signed nothing and took charge of my fate as much as still possible. He may have been trying to avoid future confrontations with my ex, but it did save me at the time. He had me come to Texas for a few days (from Indiana where all this had happened) - and it was during those days that the ex managed to brainwash the kids, still thinking to be able to implement his master plan.

I was not a victim, once I recognized my own self-direction and found that I had not only stored up a lot of strength and personal grit (especially in writing and other creative & practical outlets) but I was actually able to shift gears and get up and climb into my own driver's seat. Speaking of that, I had to learn to drive at age 40, go back to work after 18 years of virtual isolation being fully separated from my own family and friends by his control and much more to be overcome.

I did it with aplomb, and though I tried to restore my always good relationship with my two children, it was two years before my daughter felt the pinch of his domination and my son had gone on to college and his own life - and is still estranged, 39 years later. These BBBs and BBSs (spouses) can actually wreck much havoc, no matter the recourses we find to keep ourselves intact.

Later I found myself in many ways, including work and a wonderful long marriage to a dear man. I can count many blessings, but through it all, I realized the the most - perhaps the only - vital & valuable one is to be one's own self - fully and well.

I just hope your work related one turns out well. You sound like the kind of nurse every person would be blessed and delighted to have in the event of needing one.

Shame on that BBB!!! I'd almost say really ugly things about her, but I did learn from my experience that being my best self means being effective and who I am, and empty ugly words express neither of those parts of myself!

Hugs, Denise. And remember - "they can't keep a good woman down!" - and one with YOUR qualifications - - - no way!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Case1worker-I do keep that in mind. Revenge has its own glory. Part of this woman's dirty pattern is that she 'stockpiles' offenses and than layes them out on one form. This way you are double or triple taken off guard. So, in this case she gave me the second disciplinary action (first one was a series of three resulting in my being suspended for three days w/o pay), and then left for her vacation. I am going to take delight that upon her return she discovers she did not get her way in EXACTLY the way she expected.

Frank-I'm hoping you never have to exper. this. :)

Nellieanna-it appears that your first husband was what my current manager is: a narcissist, in the pathological use of the word. It is frightening. I'm sorry that you had to endure such vicious cruelty and you are the stronger woman for it. Finding oneself is the gem within the pain-the lotus. Good for you. The brainwashing of the children is part of the narcissist's characteristics. Thank you for your comments and sharing your experience.

Yes, it did turn out well. I ended up meeting my D.O.N. and after much discussion she decided not to follow through with the termination. It totally took my daughters by surprise for they were ready with long distance hugs and kindness.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Aha! Denise! Perhaps she saw the light or received her own comeuppance from her "bosses". I'm so happy for you!! It's wonderful when good folks finish ahead! Hugs.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Nellieanna--No, not just yet she hasn't. She handed off the termination papers on a Friday and then headed for the beach the next day for a week's vacation. She has yet to come into the office and get the info. In the meantime, upper mngt took that week to interview me and other people for the investigation.

As for her getting her own -- I think what has happened is my insistence with the multiple charges (I had been suspended just 3 wks before from a series of charges)has hoisted red flags onto her management ship and they will be watching to see if she starts writing others up when I am gone.

Funny thing, she accused me of creating a hostile working environment which was pure projection b/c as soon as I was off the unit the chaos on the unit continued. Obviously, I was not the problem. She is a very sick woman. Thanks for revisiting and commenting. Have a wonderful w/e oh woman of many talents. :)


the clean life profile image

the clean life 5 years ago from New Jersey Shore

Congrats once again Denise. This is a great thing.:) and proud of you for standing up to those involved. I knew it would work out for you. You are a great person and should have great things come you way!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Obviously she is a sick person who shouldn't have authority over others. Good that she was unable to sell her vendetta against you to the management!

Thank you for the kind words, too!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Marky-Thanks for reading and commenting--more than that, thanks for the ongoing support and positive thoughts. :)

Nellieanna-isn't that the truth! I know from talking with my co-workers that there is a large number now who do not trust her and who are happy for me, yet sad to see I am no longer working on that unit. Thanks for your comments.


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 5 years ago from Canada

Hey Denise! I'm so happy that you had a "happy ending" to this nightmare of a tale. I relate completely with you. One of the Directors I report to has been reprimanded by the HR Director because I refused to comply with a change in my contract (I approached the HR Director for assistance). Since then, this one particular Director is cold and is making my work day hellish. From nickle and diming time, to micromanaging my work to asking how and what I do each minute. I'm only accountable for 14% to her, but she thinks that I'm 100% accountable to her. I'm counting the days when the axe falls.... or until I find a better environment.

It's unfortunately that bullying happens, regardless of what our ages are. You've provided solid advice and I suggest that anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation to follow what you suggest.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Beth-thanks for sharing your experience. It certainly does not make having to go to work any easier, does it? Yes, I'm very glad that I was not terminated. That is a relief-now I am trying to find a position that is not equally stressful. I hope you're able to find your way out of working under that director soon! Take care.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada

Denise, I am sorry you have been going through this. It sounds like (from a previous comment) that you are looking for a new job? Good for you!

I went through a very similar case of bullying at my last teaching job, and could have used your article then. I actually just froze and did not know what to do. Like you, I suffered at night, and it really got to me. I am glad to be gone from there, but it still bothers me, some, a year later.

I am glad you wrote this. It takes courage to do what you did, and also to write about. It happens more than we think, and people will be helped by your hub. Take care!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks, Prairieprincess, for your encouraging comments. I will say that I agree-it happens more than we can imagine. Unfortunately, bullies bet on people keeping quiet and feelings of shame associated with the attack is often a contributing factor.

I just was in conversation with someone this morning who mentioned that I have good coping skills to handle this...my secret is that I have a good support system and utilize this in these situations to validate for me what I cannot feel at the time: that I am a good employee and this is an attack.

Yes, I am looking and hopefully will remain in this health care system in order to hold onto my pension. After four long years of separation between me and my family in Michigan, and the hardships I've endured with teh various patients, managers and doctors, I am hoping it is not all for naught.

I'm so sorry to learn that you also experienced this trauma. It can be lifelong and arise again in a similar traumatic experience as P.T.S.D.-post traumatic stress syndrome. It is awful and just plain cruel how some bosses treat their staff.

Thanks for reading-take care.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 5 years ago from North Carolina

Denise,

That is a sad story, but oh so common. The same thing happened to me in sorts ( a little worse, I discovered embezzlement)and I am fighting it by law. South Carolina is a "fire at will" state which means an employer can dismiss you at any time for any reason. If you happen to be terminated or you aren't being treated fairly, you can contact your local Economic Opportunity Commission and they will step in, review the situation and provide you and your employer with free mediation. If you are wrongfully terminated, they will investigate that as well, but you must be terminated for something out of your control such as retaliation, discrimination, or harrassement. The EOC will then determine the findings of your case and give you a letter you can take to an attorney stating you have a real case. Otherwise, a lawyer may not even talk to you.

It is always important when things go south at work to 1. keep a detailed journal of all correspondance, requests, deadlines, times you were late (or your boss was late) and examples of your work. You will not be able to remember details later.

2. Invest in a voice recorder (you can get one cheap) or a digital camera. Ebay sells tiny cameras for $10.00 that are disquised as a button in your shirt. You can record all things including threats and responses.

3. Don't let people bully you. Once a boss like this smells fear they think you will be an easy target.

I am so sorry this happened to you and I think by publishing this you will help many others. The statute of limitations on such a case is about 180 days. I would suggest you still talk to the EOC to see if you have any rights. Best of luck and hang in there.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Tammy-first opportunity I've had to respond. Thanks for reading and adding your own experience here. I think your points are wise and would probably make a great hub.

The follow up here: She was fired. It happened about four weeks ago. I heard it through friends who still work there. Good riddance, but the damage was already done in many ways.

I have a new job that I like, but it is on a midnight shift and one hour drive away, unlike the day shift/5 minute drive around the block. I have no thoughts of returning there -- felt run out of dodge and unsupported by other nursing administers. Apparantly, it isn't uncommon, since I heard from many people who experienced a similar thing.

Thanks so much for your comments and consolation. I appreciate them both. Hope you are enjoying your writing here.


nick boston profile image

nick boston 4 years ago

I think this hub is something that supports those who have been into such similar situation. One has to speak out for the abused. Thanks for bringing this out. An eye opener for everyone concerned. I just wish those who are harassing their co-workers will come across reading this hub. It could make them reflect if they still have the soft part in their heart.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks Nick. Unfortunately, most people who bully do not reflect or, if they do, they are unable to see their behavior as harassment. Usually they attribute any conflict to the other person. In this particular experience it was NOT a co-worker but the manager herself, who did the bullying. That makes the situation a bit more precarious.

The addendum to this story is that I was found innocent of all charges of insubordination, however, I ended up being given 30 days to find another job due to the ongoing conflict. It was an ongoing pressure to meet the deadline and a bit of a miracle since there were only 1 other hospital that offered the pension to employees. I managed to secure a position three days before the deadline an hour's drive away and on a midnight shift. It was not the 'ideal' however, I am happy to report that as of the end of June of this year I have finally been fully vested in my pension program and am working in a much more supportive working environment.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate your feedback.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working