Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bullying in general

Today I decided to not post about fashion or anything else, I decided to be a little more serious. For those of you hoping for a post of pure whimsy, please bare with me. We will get back to our regular scheduled program shortly. What I am about to describe, has effected more than just one of us in our lives and deserves to be repeated.

This is not a personal situation but it is about something a friend of mine is facing and I got inspired to blog. She is not goth, doesn't dress in alternative clothing at all, in fact, she dresses rather conservatively but it seems like her wardrobe choices are cause for harassment. Personally, I don't think there is anything wrong with the way she dresses and even if she were to change her style, (which I don't think she should because her clothing does not break any company policies) I think she would still be harassed. Some people are very insecure with themselves and they need to find an outlet for their frustration. Unfortunately, my friend is such an outlet.

I think being involved in a subculture, makes me more acutely aware of these situations, which is why I think she came to me in the first place seeking a friendly ear to vent to. I am sure some of us has faced discrimination/bullying/prejudice at one time or another and this is a topic I think we can all relate to. This is a topic that should not be ignored and should be addressed. 

 I used to work with her in the past and I can speak from experience that she is very a professional, intelligent, and kind hearted person and I am upset that she has to face this kind of treatment, especially from her immediate supervisor. While I don't think it is fair to give clear examples of her problems at the office, here is a wikipedia description of what workplace bullying is. 

"Workplace bullying occurs when an employee experiences a persistent pattern of mistreatment from others in the workplace that causes harm.[1] Workplace bullying can include such tactics as verbal, nonverbal, psychological, physical abuse and humiliation. This type of workplace aggression is particularly difficult because, unlike the typical forms of school bullying, workplace bullies often operate within the established rules and policies of their organization and their society. Bullying in the workplace is in the majority of cases reported as having been perpetrated by someone in authority over the target. However, bullies can also be peers, and on occasion can be subordinates.[2] Recent research (2010) has also investigated the impact of the larger organizational context on bullying as well as the group-level processes that impact on the incidence, and maintenance of bullying behaviour.[3] Bullying can be covert or overt. It may be missed by superiors or known by many throughout the organization. Negative effects are not limited to the targeted individuals, and may lead to a decline in employee morale and a change in organizational culture."


My advice to her was as follows:  If anyone wants to add or comment, please do so

- Considering this person is her boss, document all conversations. Date and time stamp. This will serve a purpose when going to upper management, a potential lawyer or human resources.

- Stand her ground. DO NOT let her boss make her feel bad about herself. NEVER LET ANYONE DETERMINE YOUR SELF WORTH!

- While at times it may feel like the whole world is against you, remember, it is usually a very small, select few individuals that share this idea. 

- Do NOT give an emotional reaction. Her boss is the one with the problem, not her. Her boss has gotten emotional and she is making an ass of herself, let her shoot herself in the foot! While it is OK to get angry, it is better to vent with someone else than to lash out on the bully.

- Ask for a transfer to a different department or quit. This is a toxic environment.

I think the majority of people were bullied at some point in their lives and we need to speak out! Teasing/harassing/physically harming someone based on their appearance, clothing, sexual orientation, etc should not be accepted or considered the social norm, whether it is in a classroom setting, on the street, or in the workplace. Better resources should be in place where this kind of behavior is stopped. Victims are often afraid to speak out in fear of the bully retaliating.

 I would like to compliment my friend for coming out and acknowledging that this type of behavior is NOT acceptable and is taking actions towards it. Ironically enough, it took me several days to write this post and am finally able to publish it today. For those of you don't know (I bet the majority of my readers do know) on this date, 7 years ago, Sophie Lancaster passed away after being in a coma for thirteen days due to head trauma. She was at a park with her boyfriend when they were attacked by a group of teenaged boys. The reason for the attack? The clothing they wore, they were a part of the goth subculture. To this date, the victim's mother, Sylvia Lancaster, who set up the Sophie Lancaster Foundation is working hard with local authorities to help prevent these kind of attacks from happening again.
Source: Facebook, World Goth Day page. http://www.sophielancasterfoundation.com/

I always found solace with fellow goths. I once went to a "normal people club" and it was horrible. A real "meat market" as they call it. I got my rear end grabbed by a stranger. I did not feel comfortable there at all. The common consensus was that I would be leaving the club with one of these gentlemen. When I do go to a goth club, yes, gentlemen and sometimes ladies have made advances towards me but they were respectful. I felt comfortable leaving my drink unattended with people I did not know very well. I always had a positive experience amongst the gothic community and I hope others have felt the same for the most part.  While the elitists sometimes annoy me, they do provide an endless source of entertainment!

Thank you all for reading my rant! Hopefully my friend could find employment elsewhere or resolves this matter without having to quit her job.  I find it sad that she is the one that has to look employment elsewhere while people like that remain in a management position. Here's to hoping Karma does it's trick! Good day Darklings, be safe! xoxox

16 comments:

  1. My last job got a new senior manager who wanted to get rid of the current staff and resorted to bullying to get it done. Some transferred out of the department. I fought, but eventually realized i made a mistake after being skipped for promotions and raises. I'd suggest that your friend find a new job or new department.

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    1. Thank you! That is very true what you said. I am sorry to hear you went through something similar and am happy that you got out!

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  2. I never thought about it but I was bullied at my last place of employment. I just thought of them (family owned store) as crazy people. Me and the sales manager teamed up together and laughed at the things they said and did behind their backs. But yelling "You're a f***ing retard" on an hourly basis throwing things and screaming incoherently does get to you after awhile. I finally got out of there. There's so much a person can take

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    1. Holy crap! I am happy to hear that you got out of there. What a toxic environment to work in! Thanks for sharing your experience

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  3. I find this so incredibly sad. I've worked places with bullying, but luckily not been at the receiving end to often. Perhaps because I was bullied as a child and have learned to just not take that shit anymore. On the one hand I would like to say to your friend that one should never let the bully win, and she should never give up, but sometimes it’s just not worth the fight. If the job isn’t very special to her, and she thinks she can find something equal or better somewhere else. Just changing jobs might be the easiest. If she does decide to leave, I would tell her to write a letter to her managers manager or to HR to let them know exactly why she is leaving. That way things just might get a little better for the next person who gets employed. If she doesn’t need the reference, she might also consider telling her manager just exactly what she thinks of her behavior. Just do it in a factual and constructive manner. No need to lower herself to the bully’s level.

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    1. That is very good advice. Thank you. I also find this very sad too.

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  4. I think all your advice is excellent! I've been very fortunate not to have been in such a job environment, and I hope I am never in that position, but as you say, ALL bullying, wherever it takes place and whatever kind it is, needs to be stood up to and stopped. I hope your friend finds a fantastic new job with great people, and DUMPS that bitchy boss with great fanfare!

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    1. LOL thank you. I am sure there will be fanfare when she does leave or gets transferred to a new department.!

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  5. I'm so utterly sorry for your friend!! I think your advices are very good. She should not accept this. The problem is that it is her supervisor that is the bully and that's even more sever because she is dependent on her.
    I have been bullied at work more than once. Feel like something must be wrong with me both times it's has been the boss.. The first one were favourizing some of my coworkers and obviously tried to make fool of myself several times, I think she tried to compete with me. My second was a male boss very full of prestige, if I did my job the way I liked, it was wrong, I had to do exactly as he wanted eventhough I was almost 40 and had a rigid curiculum and experience, again the fear of competing. When I turned to his supervisor about this, the solution was to put me aside and give me shit jobs, tasks that I'm don't have experience for and is over educated for. The bad thing is that the company let this happen even though I know lots of coworkers think this is so wrong, I hate their pitying looks.
    What is it her boss thinks your friend is better then her in? Is it the clothing, how she looks or is it her skills? Tell your friend that to hold her head high and keep doing her job professionally than she will unarme the bully and the bully becomes the ridicilous one.
    I have my hopes to get another professional job soon.

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    1. Awww thank you, that is very sweet of you. I am so sorry you had to go through that. Hopefully, you are in a job that you love doing with a wonderful boss. *hugs*

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  6. Super advice. I've been bullied in the workplace by a manager (a man, who suggested when I raised issues with HR that it was all down to my difficult emotional female temperament). I really can't add to what you've advised her - but the key thing for me was to act as professional and detached as humanly possible in the workplace. I asked for help from my senior management, and my immediate manager brought a grievance for unprofessional conduct against me, which he fought for 6 months, taking it to 2 appeals even after it was thrown out following a full investigation - key to which was the fact I'd documented all of my conversations with my manager, and in my formal annual appraisal. It was a horrendous time. I got through it by eventually confiding in the people closest to me who were wonderful.

    It is so difficult to keep that emotional lid on. My saving grace was that I passionately adored my job, and that I had good support elsewhere in the organisation. Still, it ruined my love for the place and I left earlier this year to take a sabbatical after staying on a further 18 months following the investigation.

    You've been a great friend already. I felt so ashamed that I was having these problems, and being able to confide in someone and talk about it was central to my getting through it. I wish your friend all the best, and if she eventually chooses to walk away she is NOT being weak, she's making the right decision to protect her own self.

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    1. Holy crap! What a horrible ordeal you went through. Thank you for sharing this and you should be proud that you stood up for yourself and you really shouldn't feel ashamed at all. I hope things work out for you. Good luck

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  7. Now, that's an amazing post, so well written and so true!

    I couldn't agree more, your friend - and all the people who are bullied must stand up for themselves and their rights and take action against whoever is bullying them. I must say, that although I've never been bullied at work, I find it simply disgusting: Alright, there may be a dress code, or some general, unsaid policies, but the way you look or dress does not affect your work capabilities, therefore it is none on your college's or boss's business...as long as you're not outrageously out of place, of course, but I'm sure you get what I mean. ^^

    I'm a bit like your friend, I seem to be such an outlet for others to as well, but most of the time I can actually just dust it off my shoulder; I know it's not because the way I am or I look, but the way they are or they look or more precisely, the way they feel about themselves...I hope our friend will get outta there soon though, bullying in a disgusting thing...:S

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    1. Thank you very much, I hope for the same thing too :)

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  8. Hello, my name is Javed. I am a Pakistani goth and bullying has been a real problem seeing as how I am two visible minorities in one LOL. I am also bi so I guess I am three minorities in one :) Any advice for a young Pakistani, bi-goth?

    Thank you. Love ur blog.

    Javed

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    1. Hello there Javed. I am glad to hear you enjoy reading my blog! My advice to you is to never forget who you are. It is NOT you who has the problem, they do. In my personal experience and I don't know if this applies to you but while it may at times feel that the whole world is against you, it really isn't. It usually is a select few individuals who do things like that. If you are being bullied at school, speak out! Go see a teacher or principal. When you do, be as polite and as courteous as you can. If that teacher doesn't help you, keep speaking out until someone does! Bullying is not acceptable. I hope everything works out for you

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