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Is bullying out of control?


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#1 Saint Billinge

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:21 AM

Two young people close to home have suffered appalling bullying at school. We hear most days of internet bullies spewing degrading comments about others. It also goes on in the workplace and in the home. As I have posted on here, I suffered verbal abuse over ageism in a factory where I used to work, although I weathered it. Sadly, we do hear of people committing suicide. I know of full-time workers looking down on agency staff, to the extent some will try to avoid working with them

 

Is it something that will go on rising? 



#2 Wiltshire Rhino

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:41 AM

There was a bully at my son's school who used his strength and "power" to be king of the yard. One day he hit and kicked my son for no reason and the other kids watched. A couple of months later he tried again but my lad thought "I'm not taking this" and headbutted the bully and fought back. The bully was bigger and stronger than my lad and starting winning the fight but this time everyone else stopped it.

The bully is still bigger and stronger than every other kid at hat school but he no longer has the "power" over the playground.

I have no idea if bullying is more or less than years ago but somehow the "power" of the bullies needs to be stopped.

Edited by Wiltshire Rhino, 23 April 2013 - 08:42 AM.


#3 ckn

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 09:38 AM

I'm not sure that bullies have become more prevalent in society, it's just that they're highlighted more and they have a greater reach.  Before 2000 or so, a kid could get home and escape school bullying, now he has to shut himself off from the internet as well to avoid it.  At school, I was a bit of a late developer so was an obvious target for bullies, that's where I developed my utter intolerance for them and my refusal to ever let them win with me.  I see two problems with school-age bullying, the first problem is the schools who are unwilling to stop it, problem two is the parents who are just as bad.  I remember at school, a senior teacher watching out of his window as a young kid was severely bullied yet he did nothing and that seemed to encourage the bullies to go one step further; I wouldn't be surprised to see that still happening with teachers not wanting to risk themselves dealing with something they could ignore.

 

The difference is though that workplace bullying seems to have become acceptable, and often seems to be encouraged.  I recently did a long contract at a company where they were a major firm with a fairly OK IT department, they did what needed to be done and not much more yet they were a very good company to work for with great morale.  The firm decided it wanted better "IT" so it sacked their IT director and replaced him with a new Global "CIO"* then brought in a regional CIO to manage London, Europe and Asia.  Both of them were narcissistic bullies who went out of their way to bully anyone who didn't suck up to them.  I know one guy who left last May after being bullied to the point he had to leave, he hasn't worked since; unfortunately for him, he was a contractor or he'd have had a bulletproof case at a tribunal.  They made about 20 people redundant, it was bluntly obvious that it was everyone who openly disagreed with them yet it's hard to prove when not long before they'd had their annual appraisals written in a strongly negative way.  The worst I saw was one middle-manager being shouted at and bullied by a peer in the middle of the open plan office after we'd just come out of a meeting where he'd been openly bullied by the two new CIOs, it was nasty agressive stuff, the peer manager was a toady of the new ones and knew he could join in with the bullying because the bullied guy had no-one he could go to for help with HR doing a perfect impression of the three monkeys.  They've now lost almost everyone who can leave and get a job elsewhere, leaving the incompetent and the desperate.

It seems to be that to succeed in London, you have to be either extremely lucky or a narcissistic bully willing to destroy everyone and everything to get that tiny step up.  Good guys just don't win very often.  Bullying seems to have replaced leadership in the management structures of London, and what's worse, it gets openly rewarded as "strong management".  About a decade ago, I would have struggled to name the companies in my fields with a good reputation for staff morale because there were so many of them, now I'd struggle to name more than one or two because there are so few.  The recession has made many people worried about losing their jobs, meaning they'll take more abuse than before without complaint; the market is quite healthy just now in the UK as long as you're the one taking the profits from companies that still report profit increase after profit increase**, yet the feeling in the city as an employee is dire with management still laying it on thick about difficult working conditions keeping pay low if you're below the very senior management grades; this then gives the bullies even more encouragement to do their stuff.

 

* CIO in brackets because very, very few of these CIOs come close to being a real CIO and should still be IT directors

 

** I received my pension statement yesterday and my pension pot grew by 18% last year excluding my payments to it.


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#4 markleeds

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 09:47 AM

It would be interesting to see the true cost of office politics and work place bullying to industry, I can imagine it is much more than workers calling in sick or being a few minutes late.

I have worked at companies where departments pretty much did the work for the perceived popular people as a priority rather than by client priority. It really helped to play 'the game' but got very boring.

Edited by markleeds, 23 April 2013 - 07:51 PM.


#5 Ackroman

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:19 PM

This is a brief outline of my experience which would highlight that bullying is accepted in the workplace (as has been said earlier) and even lauded as good leadership but there is always an opportunity to put these bar stewards in their place.

 

I had a lot of management and coaching training between 2000 and 2006. It was all about managing difficult people and circumstances and something I have always been good at.

 

Sadly when the ###### hit the fan with the economy all this training proved to be a waste of time. The company ditched the philosophies and the people who used them. The only remaining senior manager left in that firm was a bully who victimised people openly and embarrassed them, who when she became MD, systematically removed her competition and oversaw absolute compliance to her unrealistic KPI's. I couldn't/wouldn't comply and took my cards.

 

She was lauded for her "strong leadership" and consequently surrounded herself with like minded individuals banging the drum to keep everyone in step. 

 

I suppose the moral is that if you suffer at the hands of a bully, once they've stopped listening to intelligent advice and surrounded themselves with "halo" characters, they are at their most vulnerable. At that point I took my one way ticket and set up my own firm in competition. I'm probably more of a thorn in her backside now than when I worked with her.



#6 Saint Billinge

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 05:59 PM

Some in the workplace or in school are misguided in thinking bullying is hilarious. I get on with most people and was always up for some good-hearted banter in my last factory, but the constant verbal abuse by the idiots did have an effect at times. That I got through it is down to my refusal to buckle. Sadly, many people carry the mental scars for years, locked away in a prison without bars. Truly appalling and a blight on society. 



#7 Northern Sol

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 06:33 PM

I don't know it is on the rise. Schools seem to take it far more seriously these days. It may even have declined.



#8 nec

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:55 PM


I don't know it is on the rise. Schools seem to take it far more seriously these days. It may even have declined.

Significantly declined on terms of physical bullying, saying mean stuff on Facebook however...
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#9 Saint Billinge

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 09:07 PM

Significantly declined on terms of physical bullying, saying mean stuff on Facebook however...

 

Perhaps so, but one young lad that I know of went through some appalling physical bullying at school just five months ago, whilst another was forced to move to another school. I do wonder how many incidents go unreported because of the shame and embarrassment? Furthermore, didn't the NHS only recently come under the spotlight for supposedly bullying? 

 

I also know of full-time staff refusing to talk to or work with people on agency, and in itself a form of bullying. 



#10 ckn

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 08:17 AM

I have an idea to help with workplace bullying:  what if groups of like-minded employees grouped together in a mutual self-protection society to help them deal with bullying employers and unfair treatment.  If it caught on, they could lobby the government for official recognition to help them gain a level of parity with employers. Not sure what we could call the thing though, maybe a "union"?  The problem is though that eventually and inevitably they'd be taken over by narcissists who insist on ruining it for everyone.


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#11 Bostik Bailey

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 09:25 AM

I have an idea to help with workplace bullying: what if groups of like-minded employees grouped together in a mutual self-protection society to help them deal with bullying employers and unfair treatment. If it caught on, they could lobby the government for official recognition to help them gain a level of parity with employers. Not sure what we could call the thing though, maybe a "union"? The problem is though that eventually and inevitably they'd be taken over by narcissists who insist on ruining it for everyone.


The thing is that when this union idea becomes successful the bullies will only jump sides to whichever organisation that offers the most power.

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#12 Saint Billinge

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 12:13 PM

I have an idea to help with workplace bullying:  what if groups of like-minded employees grouped together in a mutual self-protection society to help them deal with bullying employers and unfair treatment.  If it caught on, they could lobby the government for official recognition to help them gain a level of parity with employers. Not sure what we could call the thing though, maybe a "union"?  The problem is though that eventually and inevitably they'd be taken over by narcissists who insist on ruining it for everyone.

 

Whilst working in a factory from 2005 to 2011, the verbal and physical bullying was swept under the carpet. As for a union, the company made it plain that they didn't want one, with many lads fearful of joining. As for groups getting together, it was the same old issue of keeping quiete for fear of losing one's job. 



#13 Marauder

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 12:28 PM

I have an idea to help with workplace bullying:  what if groups of like-minded employees grouped together in a mutual self-protection society to help them deal with bullying employers and unfair treatment.  If it caught on, they could lobby the government for official recognition to help them gain a level of parity with employers. Not sure what we could call the thing though, maybe a "union"?  The problem is though that eventually and inevitably they'd be taken over by narcissists who insist on ruining it for everyone.

Could call it a union ;)


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#14 bedlam breakout

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 06:42 PM

as an adult i have never put my self in the sights of bullys, im not hard or tough by any means but being an "unknown quantity" and "unpredictable" always seems to make the bullys give me a wide berth, nearly came to blows with some moto x lads while out with dog last week cos there were a few of em and they were in a gang- i just went round the same path again with my headphones on singing the lyrics to "devil says kill" and none of em said a word, was careful not to look gesture or provoke though, as that is is different- am sure they just thought "whats that weirdo coming round again for?" never be bullied!


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