Tactics Of A Workplace Serial Bully Boss. By ABC

Tactics Of A Workplace Serial Bully Boss


Some bully bosses have no shame and make no effort to hide their bullying behaviors. These are the screamers, ranters and ravers. They may have tantrums, throw things, pound on desks and fire subordinates on a whim. Often they remain in their position because there is no one in a higher position in which to take them down. These are the CEOs of both small and large companies or owners of small businesses. A frequent example is a physician’s or a dentist’s practice in which the doctor bullies his receptionists, nurses, billing clerks, and even the cleaning crew. Most people would agree that people who behave this way are “bullies”.

Then there is another type of bully boss which most people would not even perceive as a bully. The “closet” bully boss is actually much more prevalent and more dangerous than the ranter or raver described above. This type of bully boss is very cleaver in their ability to hide their bullying behaviors and to manipulate the perception of bystanders against the “target”. Most bullies possess excellent emotional intelligence. The thing that needs to be kept in mind is that true “psycho bullies” are motivated in ways that normal people do not understand. Bullies use their emotional intelligence to cause conflict intentionally. They are not interested in building positive relationships, only ones they can manipulate. Much of their bullying behavior is premeditated. They do not possess empathy.

Closet bully bosses are often also “serial bullies” who choose one target at a time. One study showed that after successfully eliminating a target, they chose another target within two weeks. These bully bosses are capable of behaving normally towards all other subordinates and will even behave normally towards the target, whenever there are witnesses. This method serves the bully boss well, making it difficult for others to believe a target. Often, only the bully boss and the target know the true nature of the bully.

Simply stated, “targets” are good at their jobs and therefore cannot be taken down based on poor job performance. Therefore bullies rely on character assassination, twisted, half or outright lies, rumors and innuendo to subjugate or eliminate their target. Read my article “proud to be a target” to understand how bullies choose their targets.

At the beginning of a bullying campaign the target may actually feel favored by the bully boss. The bully boss often befriends their target at first. The target begins to trust the bully boss and may share information about their weaknesses that the bully boss then uses against the target. After the bully boss gains useful information about the target, the bully may try a few “pass-by nibbles” (read the article about pass-by nibbles, on this blog) to test the targets reaction. Then a full blown bullying campaign begins.

In my first emotional assault, my bully called me into a meeting with her and a Human Resource Rep to “discuss my needs”, only to reprimand me for “intimidation of subordinates”, a grossly twisted, half truth. My bully boss knows how strongly I feel about treating everyone, especially subordinates, respectfully. Knowing this about me, she knew it would be especially hurtful to accuse me of just that. It upset me horribly and I couldn’t stop crying at my desk for most of that day.

This reprimand happened behind closed doors. I was warned not to discuss it with coworkers. My coworkers didn’t hear my boss’s lies or hear her calling me a liar. They didn’t see her disrespect me as she rolled her eyes and clicked her tongue at my responses. They only knew I was reprimanded so severely I cried all day. Bullies delight in observing the pain and chaos they have caused and marvel at their ability to get away with it. Next comes the “mental health card”.

After the Bully boss’s first emotional assault the target reacts emotionally as I did. The bully boss then manipulates the target’s coworkers into feeling privileged to be in her confidence. The bully then feigning concern for the target tells of half or twisted truths, placing the targets mental health, competence and/or loyalty into question. It is often what the bully doesn’t say that causes the most damage. For example: The bully boss brings coworkers into her privileged confidence. The bully then cites a half or twisted truths about the target or will imply that the target caused the bully some kind of deep hurt. The bully then mimicking deep hurt or confidentiality concerns, refuses to share details, leaving everything to the imagination. It must be remembered that they are “masters of deception” and can easily convince others of the target’s negative attributes and how the target has caused them personal concern or injury of some kind. They can be so convincing, some convince themselves into believing the lies that they themselves have fabricated.

Coworkers feeling privileged to be of assistance to their deeply hurt boss will do anything the bully boss asks. This is called “mobbing”.

A full blown bullying and mobbing campaign could be a very critical period for the target who has no understanding of the “bullying and mobbing phenomenon”. Targets who are typically good performers and well liked by coworkers are stunned by the first emotional assault, which is often the first reprimand in their careers. They become obsessed trying to understand why first their boss, then their coworkers turned against them, when there is no valid reason at all!

Suddenly the target’s world is a different place, for reasons they don’t understand. Most targets have enjoyed decades of appreciated successes on their jobs, only to be left in isolated despair. Most targets are forced out of their positions within two years of a bullying and mobbing campaign. Forced out by being fired, resigning, becoming ill, committing suicide or going postal!

All of this could be avoided if every working person had a knowledge of “workplace bullying and mobbing”. If this is the first time you have heard of it, learn more about it today. Who knows, you might be the serial bullys’ next target. Hopefully, someday, every working person will learn to Recognize it, Name it and End workplace bullying and mobbing together! ABC

233 Responses

  1. Excellent article. This describes my serial boss to an absolute T. Her tactics were the same as those listed above, though to be honest, I never trusted her from the start. I knew she would experience perverse gratification if I cried so I was very careful not to do that in front of her. She knew I was onto her but she was so desperate for that ‘bully-high’ that she sometimes couldn’t even wait for the mobbing to finish before she would literally rush at me with a malignant grin on her face – one time she actually tried to sit on me! Just nuts. I was working with a demon-possessed person. Her so-called supervisor, who depended on her expertise- she’d worked there for years and years– found it amusing. He had some serious ego problems, too. But if someone who was not her ally, (her allies, by the way, behaved like couriers towards Queen Elizabeth and competed to be her confidant) walked into our office, she went into normal mode and pretended that she and I got along well. I found myself increasingly isolated and she cunningly anticipated my every defense, even what I might be thinking to bolster myself up, and attempted to counteract that. None of this was job related either though I’m sure she pretended to others that it was at first to win them over. Later, she dropped that pretense; she and her allies just began to attack me in general, my hobbies and personal goals. I had no idea what mobbing and a serial sociopathic bully was when I came to work in this office. Everywhere else I’d worked, things and people, though not perfect, at least were normal and all my coworkers and bosses stood on their own two feet for the most part. But after about three years in this loonie-bin office and after seeing a counselor and a lawyer, I discovered bullyonline. org and finally found out what it was that I was really enduring.
    I thank God I got away (and that involved a whole different story of abuse and game-playing but no time or space to tell all of it!). And months after I left, she and her secondary bullies would call my home phone and hang up. Judging by the kinds of Spam I get on my computer, I’m sure they’ve been submitting my email address to a number of companies so that I receive newsletters and ads that I’ never signed up for but all pertaining to topics that came up in that office. I’m female and personally, I think she’s a frustrated closet lesbian because she always seemed to target women, one at a time, long-term if possible, which I’ve read somewhere enables a bully to build up a dark familiarity and therefore even more gratifying psychological intimacy with a target . Sometimes she’d get mad at at someone else like a ‘normal’ person might but I realize now that that was just an act, too. Actually, she rewarded people who misbehaved at her behest.
    It still astonishes me that so many people working there failed to see through her. I could at once. So its absolutely true when they say that one reason why a person becomes a target is because they see through the bully’s disguise.


  2. Dear matildagsd,
    Thanks for your insightful comments. After reading hundreds if not thousands of target accounts, I find it amazing how similar target stories are. That’s what makes it a predictable phenomenon case to case. COMMENTS ON THIS WEB SITE ARE WELCOME AND I HOPE OTHERS WRITE TO SHARE THEIR STORIES. LET’S END WORKPLACE BULLYING AND MOBBING TOGETHER! ABC


  3. Thank you so much for this article. Just this past week, my boss, who has been with our organization for about 1 year, just subjected me to this. I had been her biggest supporter. After a meeting with some very high-level people, we all knew the meeting didn’t go very well. Suddenly, and with no warning, my boss attacked me in front of two of our interns, and the person I’m training to assume my current duties. The “rant” went on for about 50 minutes, and I was basically blamed for all the problems that I had tried to alert her to. Also, there were multiple problems because she and her other “high-level” people had not defined a very important part of a new process we were not ready to implement.

    She brought me and one of the interns a rose the next day and said it was a “peace offering”. She gave a very weak apology, but essentially was still blaming me.

    The day after that, she went to my close friend and co-worker to find out if I was upset or not. That indicates to me a guilty conscience. My friend indicated I was upset, and I was called into the Boss’ office and apologized to. I burst into tears, because I’ve always been the “star” employee. I’ve never had this type of thing happen before. I don’t care what she says, I believe this is just an attempt to undermine me, because I have expressed doubts as to what she is trying to implement. I think she’s trying to make me look like I’m the screw-up so she can have a scapegoat in place when her mess blows up in her face.

    I’m currently scheduled to do a rotation through a different group in my organization beginning in a couple of weeks. I’m expected to return to work for her , but don’t feel good about it. Thank you so much for letting me vent here, and helping me to realize I’m not overdramatizing this situation.



  4. Thank you so much for your article. I have been struggling to keep my head above water due to my boss who is manipulative, deceitful, and coniving. And although I have tried to complain, it seems like I am the crazy one. And as I grow ever more fragile, everyone thinks that I am losing it. It has been almost two years and I am taking this article to my boss’ boss. I have had enough and this article describes what is happening to me to the tee.


  5. I am so glad that my articles validate what others are experiencing. The most amazing thing about workplace bullying and mobbing are the striking similarities case to case. I’ve said before that it’s like the bullies all went to the same bullying school to learn how to do it. Now that I know that I’m dealing with a predictable phenomenon, it’s so much easier to deal with. Learn all you can about workplace bullying and mobbing. Knowledge is power. Lets Recognize it, Name it, and End workplace bullying and mobbing together! ABC


  6. Very accurate article. Somehow you have peered inside the toxic mind of a workplace bully, accurately described their strategies, and the perilous effects on upstanding targets. It is fascinating how bullying tactics are very similar among this group of tyrants. I suppose evil is an old profession. Please continue your very important work.


  7. Thank you Kevin for your comments and support. I clicked on your name which brought me to your web site which tells about your company “The People Group”. I am very impressed by your web site, company and articles. For interested readers I copied the short discription from your site below. Readers who want to see Kevin’s site, just click on Kevin’s underlined name which is above his comment dated 5/29/08 above. I highly recommend his site to all my readers.

    Discription of Kevin’s company and experience:

    The People Group was founded by Kevin Kennemer, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kevin has twenty years of valuable people practices experience and was formerly the chief human resource officer of an international energy company that rose from obscurity to #5 on Forbes list of largest privately held companies.

    Thanks again Kevin, and keep up the good work. ABC


  8. Sometime during the last 2 years, I declined a promotion due to the belief that I am not a “people-person” and that I belong more working with information and machines. Since then, my director seems to take every opportunity to attack my integrity and my abilities to do my job correctly. I have been at my job for over 20 years, and his belief that I am “inompetent” flies in the face of every other fact and observation held by my co-workers and my direct supervisor. Now since finding this website, I am wondering if I am the victim of workplace bullying. Are there any legal remedies for such treatment? If it clearly falls into the category of discrimination and is prohibited by federal and state laws, then my options are clear. But what if it doesn’t? There have been witnesses to this treatment, but the main witness is a manager who is a “self-proclaimed bully” in her own words. She makes no bones about being able to bully underlings into a state of terror and to being proud of it. I do not feel safe at my workplace any more and have started to search for another job. At 60, this is in itself, an intimidating situation fo me. I have to work until I am 66, as I am financially unable to retire before then. I love my job, but I hate my workplace. Does this make sense to anyone out there?


  9. Dear Bonnie,

    Your story, just like most everyone’s story who has written to me, is yet another example, of a classic case, of workplace bullying. The hallmarks in your case being; It doesn’t make sense! You’re a mature person who has been at your job for decades. You describe your job, as a job that you love. That everyone, with the exception of the “bully”, in your case your “director”, has a positive perception of your work performance including your coworkers and direct supervisor. You have something to lose. The bully must know how important this job is to you both emotionally and financially.

    In the United States, workplace bullying is not illegal in itself. If it can be proven that the bullying is being perpetrated because of discrimination against an already legally protected class, then the bully is guilty of discrimination against that specific classification. For example; If a bully emotionally mistreats a subordinate because the subordinate is in a racial minority that the bully is prejudiced against, then the bully is guilty of racial discrimination. If the bully emotionally mistreats a subordinate for reasons unrelated to being a legally protected class (is not handicapped, is not homosexual, is not a pregnant women, is not a religious or racial minority etc. etc…) and when the behavior of the bully is not illegal, then there is no legal remedies. Examples being: Calling an African American, retarded employee, “a stupid nigger” would be considered discrimination. Calling this same person a “lazy slob” probably isn’t. It is not illegal to be rude and mean unless you’re rude and mean to a protected class and it can be proven that you are rude and mean because of that designation.

    It is very hard for targets at this stage of the game to get a grip on reality. How, after all these years, can this person, your director, have such a different perspective? It doesn’t make sense as you asked, to both targets and to other people whom the target may confide in. It’s important for you to know that NOTHING at all has really changed at all. You are still the successful, reliable, valuable employee that you have always been. The only change is the perspective of your director, who’s perspective is based on NOTHING valid at all, other than his whim. Know in heart that you did nothing to cause this trouble on your job. In fact, it probably has more to do with all the positive things you do for your employer than not. There is lots of information on this web site as well as dozens of other anti-bullying web sites that explains what motivates bullies to choose specific targets. After reading this material, you’ll begin to feel “proud to be a target” which is the title of an article I wrote on the subject.

    Now that you know about the bullying and mobbing phenomenon, and see the situation from a different perspective, it might be worth it to try to stick it out on the job that you love. Especially if your direct supervisor is supportive and has enough influence to protect you from this bully. If, on the other hand this bully has direct input into your performance evaluations and/or is a constant presence and source of aggravation to you on the job, your only choice may be to find better employment.

    To learn more about anti-bullying efforts and legislation in the United States, click on the Workplace Bullying Institute’s link:


    It’s my hope that someday all working Americans will know enough about workplace bullying and mobbing to be able to Recognize it, and Name it, then, we can End it together! ABC


  10. Thank you very much for this article. I was taken out by a bully boss within the federal government within 5 months of my transfer into the office. He assassinated my character and reputation and even interfered with me getting a job at the FBI after he threatened that he would do so. Needless to say, I did not get the job, because he planted a baseless reprimand in my personnel file very strategically for the FBI agent to see during my background investigation.

    The reprimand was in retaliation of an EEO complaint and my whistle blowing involving an employee’s creating and storing correspondence containing the “N” word on the shared drive. Originally, he crafted a reprimand that accused me of creating the letter and planting it. Fortunate for me, a co-worker intervened and admitted that others had accessed it prior to my employ with the office. He then redrafted the reprimand to include additional false charges and issued it to me 9 days later, with the original date which he refused to change. The mere fact that the correspondence was offensive to me as an African American makes it prohibited in the federal sector. However, I was reprimanded and he protected the creator of the documents, inferring that there was no way that she could have created the documents because she was on bereavement leave, to make me appear unsympathetic due to the recent passing of the employee’s mother and accuse me of creating and planting the document myself to frame her, when the employee had actually created the document a year or so before. He refused to reprimand the employee, but reprimanded me, the only African American in the office. I don’t think his superiors know what he is capable of, but now I have several complaints that are ongoing against this individual. He is psycho, because he believes that me blowing the whistle on another employee was an “ambush”, and he vowed to get even. I guess he did, because after 24 years of employment with the federal government, I am sitting at home. I was constructively discharge by this bully. I believe that the day will come when he is exposed!

    There needs to be a movement in the workplace against this type of abuse of authority. I am working every day on my case and will do my part in the struggles against bullying in the workplace.

    God as my witness, I will fight through the proper channels to regain my reputation and character.


  11. Thank you for the information found on this website. Early this week, I resigned from a director-level position at a mid-size software company after having turned from an unwitting little mobster who had begun to ask questions about the ethics of management behavior, to a full-blown target over the past 8 weeks. Nature of this bully boss is extremely manipulative and sexism was a factor (he is male, I am female). But that was just one of the ways he subtle demeaned and abused. After reading this article, I’m convinced the real issue was his manipulative, bully style.

    HR was not my friend and my bosses boss also did not support me. Not knowing where to turn or who to trust, I spoke to two of my subordinates about my concerns of recent abusive behaviors, which made them uncomfortable and gave the bully an opportunity to get a full-scale mobbing underway.

    On Monday, I was called into a senior executive’s office and with HR present, was advised there were two problems. Problem one was me and my unprofessionalism and lack of confidentiality in speaking with my subordinates, and problem two was alleged abuse by my boss, which I had yet to prove. To address problem one, they asked me to sign a performance development plan that detailed expected professionalism from me to avoid termination. To address problem two, they indicated they didn’t see any problem wtih the behaviors I’d explained and that if I had proof in email form, I could forward that to them for review.

    I said I didn’t feel good about this solution and that there was another option. I could leave. They asked me why I wouldn’t want to resolve this peacefully instead and provide them with evidence for problem two so that they could address is. I said because when one sees themselves heading toward being a victim, one has the choice of staying on that path or getting off. I have no interest in remaining a victim and allowing it to get worse, just so I can prove it is true, particularly in an organization that doesn’t appear alarmed by the indications of poor conduct.

    They asked me to go home and think about it for a day, come back Tuesday to address.

    I went home and wrote them an email that I resign effective today. Within an hour, my access to company email, buildings, and voicemail was cut off.

    Companies can become unwitting little mobsters. This is absolutely my experience, 100%. I am not perfect, it’s true. I did have some professionalism slips in all of this, both in being an unwitting little mobster and in being too honest with too many people about my experiences when they started to go south.

    This article really, really helped me clear in my head why I ended up having to abruptly leave a job I was otherwise successful and satisfied with.

    Thanks, and although I have learned from my bully boss, I vow never to become one.


    • I like this article…especially the answer about choosing not to become the company’s victim. HR tried to tell me that I cannot always “choose” my boss. I beg to differ. She used every one of the tactics mentioned. When will HR learn that a person can “choose” their boss and that if HR does not learn to deal with the bully boss, the company will continue to have a high turnover rate–especially after HR already determined that she needed management training?


  12. After a terrible month with a new boss, I’ve stumbled across your website from a googlesearch. And how thankful I am that I did – you’ve just described his behaviour perfectly! He’s barely intereacted with me at all, but started a meeting (just him and me) by reprimanding me for sending him and HR an email, calling me abrasive, telling me I needed an attitude adjustment, and finishing my telling me I had no social skills! This from a man who walked out of the office without even saying goodbye or letting us know when he was going to be back in again.

    Thank you for this site, I think it’s going to save my sanity.

    —Response From ABC————————————

    Dear Equationgirl,
    Thanks for taking a moment to comment on my blog. Your response gives me hope that this blog is fulfilling the purpose that I pray for, that being; To educate others, especially new targets of workplace bullying and mobbing, about the phenomenon, and to support targets on their journey through this difficult challenge.
    Learning about the phenomenon of workplace bullying and mobbing is an extremely important public health message especially in light of recent studies pointing to workplace abuse as a significant cause of successful adult suicides. The day I learned about workplace bullying and mobbing by coming across Tim Field’s web site “Bullyonline”, is the day my emotional and physical health was saved by the most important information I needed at that time. If I hadn’t come across this information I might have gone out of my mind by now and most certainly would have been bullied out of the job that I love and continue to work at despite the bully. So, read everything you can about the phenomenon of workplace bullying and mobbing and join your state’s BullyBuster group, an affiliate of The Workplace Bullying Institute, to support legislation against it. Lets learn to Recognize it, Name it and End Workplace Bullying and Mobbing Together! ABC-AntiBullyingCrusador


  13. I wish I had read your article prior to resigning from the job that I truly loved. I let my boss, a woman with barely a vocational education and absolutely no managerial background, bully me into resigning back in June. Your article described exactly what she did – fail to manage, but succeed at incredible manipulation. She wouldn’t return my phonecalls or emails during the business day, but would call me after work hours or keep me after company functions to discuss how valuable she was to the company and how I was showing “diminished performance” – although I was outperforming all of my colleagues by huge percentages. I only worked “with” her 7 months, but it was the longest 7 months of my life. The long hours, hard work, extra mile and personal expense was met back at the end of May with a two-page diatribe of everything I was doing wrong. I’ll admit, I burst into tears in her office b/c it was just the two of us and I guess I knew I couldn’t win. I took exactly one week to contact my attorney and formulate my resignation to the corporate office. This woman is a detriment to the healthcare profession and to her employees, who still believe I was attempting to “take her job.” It’s sad that companies allow this type of behavior from individuals who are simply not qualified to even answer a phone! Thank you for your article! I now know that I was not a unique case!


  14. Dear ABrown,
    Oh dear Lord, it grieves me so much every time I read about another nurse, losing their job because of a workplace bully. But maybe this time, not all is lost. It is often the best, most competent nurses, that are taken down by these often incompetent, bully nurse managers. This type of bully, targets the best workers on the job, because their own feelings of incompetence are heightened in comparison to their better performing target.

    Don’t feel bad about bursting into tears in front of the bully. I did too, and on more than one occasion. The last time this happened was just after I had denied the validity of unbelievable and outrageous allegations that my bully boss had made against me. I just couldn’t maintain my composure while hearing the HR Rep, who was there to support my bully boss, ask me in a shouting tone if I was calling my bully boss “a liar”. The truth to that question was most certainly “yes!”, but saying so would surely be my end. Being unable to shout back “yes!”, was replaced by my sobbing reply, “I can not answer that question?…sob,sob, sniffle, sniffle… finally continuing.. “answering that question would not be in my own best interest”…total breakdown into tears… This was not a voluntary reaction. It was the best reaction my emotionally shattered mind was capable of at that given time.

    Anti-bullying literature repeatedly advises targets not to cry or to react emotionally to a bully’s tactics. I agree that maintaining your composure is always best when confronted by a bully, and whenever you have the emotional fortitude to do so. It must be remembered however, that bullies are very skilled at knowing precisely how to brutally emotionally abuse their targets. Before a bully begins to abuse their target, there is often a period of time in which the bully gets to know their target, initially seeming to favor someone they later abuse. This is when they learn their target’s weaknesses, their vulnerabilities and how best to push their buttons. It is a very normal reaction to cry, when confronted with the senseless lies and emotional battering of a workplace bully, which is especially confusing before gaining an understanding of what motivated the bully to turn against you. Know this, and don’t beat yourself up more, because of it. The suggestion that those who are physically battered should not cry, is never made, and rightly so, because it is a normal response. What people need to understand, is that it is just as painful to be emotionally battered, and it is just as normal to cry, when pain is inflicted in this way. It only demonstrates further, that workplace bullying and mobbing is a painful experience with devastating, emotional and physical health altering affects.

    Once learning about the phenomenon of workplace bullying and mobbing, and understanding that they did nothing wrong to cause their workplace problems, many targets feel they may be able to handle the bully and return to the job that they love, and really never wanted to leave. I found this to be true in my case, and wonder if it might be true in yours. I once returned to my job one week after abruptly resigning and leaving my job in anger, during an unfair performance evaluation. Fifteen years later, with a different bully, I returned 3 months, after going on a medical leave of absence, that I initially had no intention of returning from. You have been absent from your job for only two months. Just long enough, for your above average performance, to be sorely missed by most everyone, with the likely exception of the bully and her supporteres. Especially with the crisis of the nursing shortage in this country, you’ll surely be welcomed back.

    I even found it possible to continue working with the same work group that I left, under the management of the same bully bosses, in both cases. It soon became easy to not react to these bullys’ tactics, once seeing how well, not reacting really works. Neither of these bullies and your bully for sure, have valid performance issues in which they can fire you for, having always relied on personal insults, petty nitpicking, and exagerated conflicts with coworkers, in which to find fault with, and reprimand you for. In retrospect, it is unlikely that any of your bully boss’s complaints, were related to quality or quantity productivity expectations at all. I feel confident that this is likely the case in your situation, even though you didn’t mention this in your post. Workplace bullying and mobbing is a “phenomenon”, which makes it something that is very predictable, with individual target testimonies, often sharing unbelievably striking similarities, case to case.

    The more you learn about workplace bullying and mobbing, and how you as an individual reacted and why, the easier it will be for you to get through this experience and respond in more advantageous ways. Choosing to return to a hostile workplace is not an easy choice. Make no mistake about it, nothing has changed your bully in the last two months. If you return, the bullying is likely to resume. The difference this time being, your new found knowledge and determination to NOT RREACT, which is very difficult, the first few times. Soon, often after the first time you fail to react to the bully’s tactics, you’ll notice your bully seems let down. Sometimes a bully may even seem a little afraid and cautious around you, being fearful about why, this time, you didn’t seem bothered. Your bully may be worried that you found legal or other support against her. Each time the bully carefully plans a bullying assault, which fails to elicit the expected troubled response from their target, the less motivated the bully becomes to plan their next assault. When a target can no longer be provoked to anger or tears, seems happy and to be living well in general, despite the bully’s best efforts to control, subjugate and eliminate them, it has been my experience, that the bully will eventually back off. Often, the bully will then choose another, easier, target to intentionally emotionally abuse, within two weeks of their final, unsucessful efforts against the current target. This is called a “serial bully boss”, when the bully boss can’t control their compulsion to repeat this pattern, of abusing the authority of their position, to intentionally control, subjugate and to eventually destroy and eliminate, the very best on their staff, whose mere presence, poses a threat that the bully cannot allow to continue. The threat that others, by the bases of comparison, will see the incompetence of the bully.

    A target who the bully has backed off from, can then continue in their position like this indefinitely, for as long as there are no valid quality or quantity productivity issues and no real interpersonal problems with coworkers. However once chosen as a target, one will always be a target in the eyes of the bully, even one who has seemingly back off. A target should never let their guard down and will always be in the bully’s sight. The bully will take any real performance issues, should they occur, and use it against the target at the first opportunity available.

    Fortunately, middle management nursing jobs in my area don’t seem very stable. Most middle managers only remain in their positions for a few years, either climbing the ladder further, or finding outside opportunities. I outlived my first bully when she climbed the ladder further, leaving subordinates to take her place. I expect to outlive my current bully as well, who is expected to announce her retirement any day now.

    May we succeed by NOT REACTING, and by outliving our workplace bullies, while learning to recognize it, name it, and end work place bullying and mobbing together! ABC


  15. My daughter and i were both working at a daycare here in jackson georgia where both the owner and his cousin director are both bullies.Shes a sociopath and I do belive he is also.They were heating their workers out of their money including myself by going back into the time clock and changing our time worked.Then they turn around and they turn what we really work to the tax dept.I was told I made too much money last year.The owner use to put cash in with my daughters checks as a bribe.he sleeps with some of his younger workers.He pays their rent and buys them things.The director lied to a man that sold us rainbow vacc about a co worker.She told this man over the phone that this co worker didn’t work at the daycare and she never excisted.We think she may have been trying to keep my daughter from getting a job.My daughter was bullied so bad by this director and this owner she quit last summer from there.
    When we didn’t have hot water one time she tried to blame it on me.I was fired recently because she fail to send the housekeeper to the store on monday to get supplies.I was fired over milk.My co worker were fired the same day we both were denied our unemployeement.
    I was taken advantage of in many ways by this woman with no heart.When my co workers step dad had died and her mom call the director would not transfer the calls to her.I had my cell phone on me at break and gave her the message.This story has so much more.


  16. I have had the unfortunate experience to go from one bully employer to another. I am a physician and joined a group practice after leaving my residency. I saw the office manager (who is married to the boss) tear down one employee after another. Most people who would not be bullied left within 12 months. After 5 years of intermittent bullying I left for a more professional atmosphere. I was told I would regrete leaving. Unfortunately I have. The office I currently work in is owned by two women who are both bullies. One in particular started bullying a nurse who was hired by the other partner. The staff made the nurses life hell. I was the only one who stood up for her. Now the same partner is doing the same thing to me. I just can’t believe her behavior. She has said in front of me that the new nurse should not me trained by me because she wants her to learn how to do things the right way! It is completely embarrassing. I am a good physician and well liked by my patients. She also starts taking over management of patients without consulting me. She fails to return her pages and the answering service calls me with the phone calls on my day off. The nurse practioners have told me they do this to every new doctor who enters their practice and each one only lasts about 2 years at most. The problem is that I now need a good reference from a job and I dought that either one would supply one. I feel completely helpless.


  17. Dear ABrown and Beth.. I’m so sorry to hear about your experiences. This article describes my boss to a tee. Unfortunately, I didn’t see his monster traits 3 years ago when I took this job. Back then, he was very communicative, open and buddy-buddy. I have many of the same problems you do- competent, kind, intelligent, professional… all of which intimidate my boss. Perhaps it’s comforting to know that despite our hard knocks, at least we’re beginning to understand the signs of these anti-social psychopaths better.

    I’m beginning to get better at managing my bully boss. One, I don’t avoid him. I think there’s some wisdom and personal strength to be had in staying in front of the bully’s face. It sucks some of their power away. They want to make you huddle into the corner and cry. This action lets them know you’re not afraid of them. That said, it is sometimes very hard to do, especially if your boss embarrasses or criticizes you often. They lie, abstract and confuse because they’re trying to bring you down to their sad, depressed level. They are not happy and, misery loves company. Two, use the fact that your bully boss is so self-absorbed into their own world that, they’re not paying attention to yours. They only see you at work. Whatever else you let know about your person is entirely up to you. Bullies use isolation as their prime weopon against targets. Use it back on them. Isolate them from your friends and family. Don’t let them get any further into your personal life. If you need to isolate your personal life from your entire office, then do so. Three, realize there’s not a whole lot your can do to change the situation. Probably the best course of action is to start looking for another job. Now, some would say it’s best to stand and confront your bully. Not when the bully is your manager. You’re confrontation is not going to change them and, will insight their desire to take revenge on you. I love my current job today. I can’t stand the boss or the company. I’ve discovered that the bully mentality spans upward to several levels above my manager. Bad sign – time to go. There’s other good reasons for leaving the job. Consider what effects bullying is having on your physical health and emotional well-being. Consider too, what bullying is doing to your professional career. Many of my vendors and collegues are starting to notice a drop in my productivity and, increase irritability in me. Because they are caring people, they ask me why. I owe it to myself and them, NOT to remain in the company of my bully bossing organization.


  18. I am not alone. My manager is a work place bully. She was, up to a year ago the asst. Manager and managed to push out our manager of 20 years. Ya, she is that good. In the past month, I leave the office crying on average twice a week, and I am not the only one, she is going at the current Asst. Manager. Problem? I made the mistake of going to the Asst. Manager who then went running to the manager, my belief was in hopes to have her in good graces, at least for a bit. Unfortunate as I was hoping between myself, the office supervisor and her, the asst. manager, we both could take her down. Last week she took me in her office, closed door of course, to berate me “for” my employee’s she said. I was told I can’t multi task, that I am an angry person etc etc, this went on for over an hour as I sat there crying. Yes, she did seem to enjoy it. then this morning I receive a 3 page e-mail, minutes from last weeks meeting. She told me, again in 3 pages with a font of “8” of how aweful an employee I am. I have been doing my job for 30 years and NEVER received such a report in my life time. I was just blown away. Then I came across this web site and finally I feel amoungst friends. I so don’t want to go into work tomorrow and I did tell my husband I feel as if I am going to be fired, actually I told him that before I received this e-mail. NOW he believes me. We are collecting my e-mails, which for the past 1 1/2 years I have been saving. Alot of which she put down on the 3 pages are refuted by what she e-mailed me in the past 18 months. I plan on leaving, but am going to use up my vacation coming up in 3 weeks, which is for 2 weeks time. Then, due to my fybromyalgia, yes I admited to her I have, I will be taking sick time to use my sick hours then giving my resignation. I can not take the abuse any longer and its unfortunate since we are short handed due to 4 ppl leaving since her realm. Maybe I should contact them? hmmm Thank you for being here.


  19. Renee, on November 25th, 2008 at 3:02 pm Said: Edit Comment

    My former boss was an absoulute power mad lunatic! She was a HRG and was given way too much power and control by the HRM who only worked 3 days a week. My boss had no one to make her accountable and those above her just let her run amuck and do whatever she pleased and make decisons to fire people or reprimand employees on a lark.

    She would ask me questions and ask me to lunch and I wish I would have known then what I know know because she was just pretending to be nice so she could find out anything about me she could. The problem is there is nothing too much to find out and since I dressed professionally and came to work on time and did not miss time from work. I must have driven her bonkers. One time she asked me why I did not walk on my lunch hour and I told her I exercised in the evening to avoid the sun and thereafter she kept referring to my medical condiiton. What the heck, I did not have a medical condition I just don’t want the hot sun beating down on me and tanning my skin.

    I only lasted there 3 months before she called me into office and closed the door and started to berate me for sitting at my desk after 5 saying I violated the FSLA and yet I was making up missed time that week from these in house neck massages we had. She told me I had to make up any time missed.

    Anyway, she wanted to reprimand me and I refused to sign it. I was nice about it and I just told her I had never been in trouble my whole life and that I was not going to sign it and that I would quit first. Granted I probably shouldn’t have said that but at 46 I was just not going to take her crazy behavior and I was so unhappy and miserable there I planned on leaving anyway but since I had not been there that long I was trying to buy time so it wouldn’t look to bad on my resume.

    I need to add that the HRM had just went out of leave when the HRG, my boss, started to show her absoulte true colors. I knew then it was only a matter of time before she offed me.

    She kept saying well I am all alone again in the department (mind you, I was sitting right next to her) and she kept saying if I got it done by myself last time (the HRM took leave) I can get it done this time. It was like she wanted to push me out so she could be the hero. Granted, I was an assistant but still hired to help her so she would not be alone.

    She had fired two other women just recently and yet the company let her stomp around and do whatever she pleased. I could see that she was just setting me up to get rid of me.

    She called one of the employees into her office one day and told her – her clothes were too casual and her shirts too wrinkled and that was just a bit of the things she would do and yet the HRM’s sister worked there and she dressed in casual t-shirts every day and her clothes were neatly pressed and no one said anything to her. It was like the good old boy’s club in skirts. The HRG only picked on the ladies she felt she could get away with it.

    She had me sign I-9 forms without orginial employee documenation or actually completing the form with the employee present and when I told her I was uncomfortable with that she told me it was not of my concern and you know I just was at a loss with how she functioned or what she was thinking.

    She once came over to my ask and asked me how I felt about guns and when I told her it was a personal choice she said she was thinking of getting one. I told her I had taken a gun class before but that I did not own a gun and the next day she emailed me and asked me I had bought a gun to work. wth? I told her I did not own a gun and yet she was just searching to find a reason to reprimand me. I would never bring a weapon to work!

    I don’t even know how she got the job she has. She is just dreadful to people that were not in her framework of other managers that thought she was so wonderful.

    I am basically or was basically a pretty naive person and I never had anyone dislike me or try to get rid of me but I wish I would have been more informed then. I would have kept copies of the emails and documented her behavior.

    In concusion, as it turned out I stepped up and came into the work the next morning and she called me into her office with one of her friends present (another manager) and asked me to resign and she was smiling the whole time. I just smiled back and said sure. At that time she said I worked too slow but that I did not think I had a problem and I would not let her help me. Good Grief, I never said that. I was just sick of her and her manipulation and she was one of those people who could talk with her ears pinned back. Anything I said to defend myself she would find minimize and twist.

    It has been about 5 months ince I resigned or really was fired and I still am not working which is daunting, and I had to cut into a retirement fund to last this long without employment.

    All the signs were there during my interview with her for the HR position but I overlooked them and took the job for all the wrong reasons. She kept telling me during the interview that I did not need a degree to do the job and then she asks me an employment law question at the end of the interview.

    She told me once she had to get rid of the receptionist because she was too pretty and all the paramedics were hanging out at the front desk. The receptionist had worked there 5 years and yet she was just another victim of the HRG.

    I can only fathom that she is a person who had an unhappy childhood or something and that her job make her feel important or valued and that in the process she just keeps mowing others down.

    I don’t wish ill will on anyone but I hope some day a person with moxy will see through her and that she will be on the opposite end of her carnivorous behavior


  20. I hear it soooo much, yes the target needs to quit. Well I am not going to quit until I get ready to and to all the bullying bosses out there and to all the states that will not make workplace bullying illegal you are #@*&^%#$^&&*%. Bullying is another slave type of action and *%^*^%^&%^*(&(_))+%#@#$$^^&*)(()))+)(_&*()()&*)_)(_

    Edited by ABC.
    Name calling and prejudicial statements are behaviors of a bully and therefore are not allowed on this weblog. All legitimate commentary, in keeping with common decency, will be published. Thank you.


  21. Well here it is Saturday morning and I am awake at 7 A.M. searching the web about bully bosses. The sad thing is that after six months of verbal abuse, putting me down in front of others, attacking me in the lunchroom (while I was eating lunch) etc., I went to the CEO. Having known worked with the CEO for almost 10 years, after trying everything I could with my boss, in desperation I went to his boss. All was well, overall, for about 8 months. But cuts in federal and state funding to our small agency have increased stress levels, and guess what- yesterday the bully boss verbally attacked me in the lunchroom, the week before that in the front office. Very sadly, the CEO was standing outside the door when he attacked me in the lunchroom and waited until it was over and then came in and said “you seeemed embarrassed.” So evidently I no longer have support from him. I was not embarrassed I was mad. I have a daughter going to college soon, and this agency is the only game in town. I feel so stuck. But part of me just does not care anymore, I almost feel at times homelessness or bankruptcy would be preferable to this unhealthy environment. If it was just me, but I can’t do that to my children.
    treading water


  22. Dear Treading Water,
    I am so sorry that you are thinking about work so early on a Saturday morning. How unfair is that? Not to mention the abuse that is causing you to think about such dreadful subjects so early.

    The response that the CEO gave you, after witnessing your most recent bullying attack is a sign that the political atmosphere has changed at your workplace. It sounds like you realize this already from what you wrote. Heads are soon to roll as staffing is cut back to more financially acceptable levels. How does a boss get rid of staff he can’t pay for but who are good employees, without being hated by everyone who remains there? I would be honest about the company’s reduced budget and the administrative plan including the necessity of layoffs, but a bully wouldn’t. Circumstances like these are perfect opportunities for bullies to bully. Bullies enjoy hurting people and watching their reaction. Now, because of the need to downsize, he feels perfectly justified behaving like a bully as a means to get rid of under-producers although those who are let go, are usually NOT the real under producers at all, but the best there is and therefore, the biggest threat to the bully boss who is usually an under-producer. Even the CEO suddenly sees nothing wrong with this bully’s behavior. This is a red flag that trouble is ahead.

    So next, they make people look bad on their jobs. Your bully boss will take every little tiny thing you do and will blow it up all out of proportion making it sound like you are a real mess up to all the bystanders who have no idea what he is yelling at you about. Then everyone thinks the bully did a good thing by getting rid of you and the bully had fun doing it and didn’t even get into trouble on top of it. Places that are downsizing are bully heaven for sure. I am sorry to say that if your position is NOW thought to be unessential, your prognosis for staying there is poor. Although there are pretty good signs that your job may be ending soon, that doesn’t mean that life as you know it for both you and your child is also ending and it’s VERY IMPORTANT that you realize that. You are a valuable employee, otherwise you wouldn’t be a target right now.

    There are two things that you are saying that two other single Moms wrote in comments on this blog, that I think are significant to our understanding of the affects of workplace bullying. I’ve never read about these two things about bullied single Moms before, except right here on my own blog.

    The first thing that strikes me is single Moms are seeing bullying a little bit differently than workers without children to support. I think this may work against you getting through this unless you make a special effort to keep your thinking clear.

    When people are bullied, most people take it as something personal the bully has against them alone. All three single Moms however, referred to the bullying experience as something that was happening jointly against both themselves AND their dependent children. Moms being Moms, (I was never a mom but still have one who is 81 years old) all seemed more concerned about the impact on their children than on themselves.

    The second thing about single Moms is that each one of them couldn’t see a way out. Each one wrote as though there are absolutely no other work opportunities available in the whole entire world except the one that is making them miserable and they are about to lose. One single mom actually already lost her job when she wrote.

    A person’s level of need for their job is identified in anti-bullying literature as a factor which makes you at higher risk for bullying. The greater your need, as well as gratitude and higher level of productivity, the greater your risk for bullying and mobbing. I wonder if these single moms were targeted because they were open about how important their salary is to them. They may have even mentioned a fear of losing their job and a fear of finding a new job.

    It’s important that you REMEMBER, this is not about you! nor about your child! This is not really personal at all accept in a good way. Bullies hate how good you are. They hate how dedicated you are to your family and your job. Bullies feel horrible about themselves by comparison, every time they look at you or someone mentions something good about you. Read my article “Proud to be a Target” also on this Weblog for more info on that.

    Now that you know that bullying is about what is GOOD about you and is NOT about what is BAD about you, you should realize your potential for better employment.

    Keep your mind clear of your bully’s lies and know the truth about your performance remains the same regardless of a bully’s words. You, God and dozens of frightened coworkers also know the truth but are afraid to say anything, not God of course, but the frightened coworkers. God is not afraid of bullies of course, he is who made us all with free will in which to choose our behaviors and it is He who will judge us in either this life or the next for those behaviors we choose. So, there is no need to spend time thinking about revenge. That is God’s job.

    Moms are so good at boosting the self esteem of their children. Well take a look at your self mom and realize what a wonderfully dedicated person you are to both your family and your employer. Know the truth of your value as a person and go out there and find the position of your dreams! Because if you don’t, your bully will kill you. I mean that literally. Don’t let that happen, please… ABC
    PS; When you finally land that job of your dreams, don’t act so grateful!!


  23. I appreciate your reply. Yes, I am grateful! But that is me. And that enjoyement of life is such a necessary part of who I am.

    Today it is 3 A.M. and while he has not attacked me yesterday, he is stirring things up and using another male collegue to poke at me.

    The interesting thing is that we are desperately short of personnel in my position, and losing me would be a blow to the staffing at the agency. Living in a rural area, there are not many with the qualifications needed living here or willing to drive here, so he (my boss) is really shooting himself in the foot. A

    dear friend/mentor thought that the CEO may have been rather strangely providing me support, and that I misunderstood his statement. I do not misunderstand that he allowed it to happen. Was he afraid of rocking the boat? Not wanting to admit this fellow he hand-picked is so good at terrorizing his female employees that turnover has been very large since he came? I don’t know. Don’t really care any longer.

    I believe that I can survive here for a few more months, so my daughter can graduate, before I move on. I do feel mad that I feel forced to move on before I want to, I had hoped to spend two more years here while she finished a nearby community college. My leaving this area changes so many things for her, me, even my newly adult son who is still needing me for emotional support sometimes.

    I did talk to my boss later, and said that this was back to square one with his behavior and he has backed up a bit. But he is just an explosion waiting to happen, any time, any (public) where.

    I will quit moaning and began to plan my escape. Thank you. Brooks

    I am in my mid-fifties, and feel lucky that my sense of who I am is firmly established, and that his behavior and words are way off base. He cannot demean my performance because I am one of the best performers he has. And he knows it.

    But truly you are right, I need to leave. The good news is that my daughter is graduating in May, and therefore I can seriously job search and not worry about her having to change schools, something I promised her she would not have to do. Perhaps now that I see a glimmer of hope in the horizon, I can become unstuck and move on with my life.


  24. This article is very helpful. I am dealing with a “closet bully” boss right now at my new job, and it’s very stressful. I am her assistant, so we manage the same people, who are all very talented and dedicated professionals. And I’m sorry to say, but my boss not only treats me with an amazing disrespect, but others too, which really pains me to see it. Our team is all foreign-born, including me, except for the boss. At first, I thought perhaps that was the reason for her intimidating, constantly attacking behavior, but then I noticed that she treats almost everyone like that who is lower in rank, (just a little more of her “special attention” for us, her department).
    My boss’s tactic toward me is to make me feel like I am absolutely incompetent and not capable understanding simple things by bashing on me for the smallest errors, because overall there is nothing else for her to yell at me for – I do a pretty good job, as everyone else tell me, even being in the position for less than 2 months. It could be from pushing a wrong button on the computer to not generating a report on the day we usually do not generate it on, or not printing something in the timely manner, although it would absolutely not make a difference if it is printed 20 min later… But the most that gets to me, is how she talks to me: ” is there any reason you didn’t (did) do this?” “is there a better way i can explain to you for you to understand this” Now, imagine these words with a great deal of attitude and a look that says “you are a complete idiot”. I am a very patient person, but I gotta say, I’m getting really really sick of this treatment.

    But another issue is that some of the team members, who have been there for 22 years, 19 years, and 11 years, told me in confidence that the department goes into an anxiety attack as soon as she walks into the room. One of the members calls in sick (as my boss told me that she likes to do for no reason), because she is just so depressed and stressed out, she just cannot get herself going, although she loves the job. Another member told me that the boss has already run out two people who were in my position prior to me. All of these things I find absolutely unfair and need to be addressed.
    I was also amazed to see how timid, nice, and polite she becomes when she talks with her superior, I mean, 100% difference! So, the way I see it, it will be very hard to make a case and resolve this issue. But I just don’t think it can go on like this anymore, no-one deserves to have panick attacks because of this woman, not me, not the team! So, I talked to her superior, who happened to think I do a great job, and told him that I need help with dealing with my boss’s managing tactics, because I am starting to have a hard time with it. His idea was to bring all three of us into the meeting tomorrow, so here I am, doing my “homework” before this dreadful meeting, in hopes for it to come out if not successfully, then at least not worse than it is now…

    Any advice?



  25. This article hit home! I have been trying to articulate the bully boss in my life and this does that exactly.


  26. Thank you,. It did exactly the same thing for me. The same thing happened to me when I went to HR. I was so shocked I couldn’t even talk.

    I am going to do everything in my power to help pass the anti-bully law.


  27. wow, what a relief it is to read this, I have been very worried about my boss’s tactics and how I am starting to feel under constant threat from her manipulative lies ever since I spoke up in a meeting. I am trying to work out how to try and return workplace issues to the truth and avoid these bully manipulation games that she play’s. This has helped provide some insight so I can show up tommorrow, do my job and not get caught up in her control games. Good luck everyone with your next working day, I’ll be back to post a comment when I find another helpfull hint on surviving the bully that I can add to the already posted wise words – do not react. cheers


  28. “There is no question that the prophecies of our time are in process of fulfillment as we witness one scandal after another eroding the very foundation of society.”
    Thank you for exposing this hidden thing of darkness… and and for shining light on the intentions of the heart


  29. Hi, I have been dealing with a serial/closet/crazy lady bully for about 4 years. I do not know how I have stood it, but my health is not good and I am awfully demoralized. When I started I was the star employee for a long time and she was constantly telling me how much she appreciated me blah blah blah, but I failed to really notice how she bullied the other staff…in fact she tried to get me in on it. It was uncomfortable as I have been easy pickin for bullies all my life. I’m a nice quiet person… At some point along the way I was no longer the shining star. She is also a control freak beyond belief, completely irrational and refuses to let us do anything. It is a small business, she does alot of work, but refuses to allow any of us to do the ordering, not even work the till(it is an organic grocery store if you can believe it!), or things like that. All the people that have worked there in my 4 years have been intelligent, well educated capable and very nice people. The turn over has been very very high and she constantly complains about how she can’t get decent staff- with us in the room!
    She will complain that she has to do everything, but when we try to do things ourselves she freaks out because it is not done ‘right’. She rarely gives clear instructions so we sometimes have to wing it and of course the results are disastrous. We become clumsy, afraid to do anything without asking first, and our work suffers as we become more and more stressed. Then there will be days when she is very nice and agreeable! She also has done a good job of isolating the staff from each other, saying terrible things about the other staff, lying etc to make us all suspicious of each other. We have clued in on that, but it is still very hurtful to find out what she says about me.
    She yells and screams over minor things, slams doors, swears, belittles us constantly over little things, we can never do anything right and there is no rhyme or reason to anything. It is very chaotic and stressful. We all tip toe around like scared children holding our breath.
    As one with much experience with bullies…you CANNOT change them, nor is it your job to. One wonderful coworker did stand up to the boss and tried talking to her in a calm matter, but the boss freaked out and fired her. One can have empathy for them and how they ended up like this, but no excuses! I thought if I worked hard enough and went above and beyond the call of duty I would make her happy, but it does not matter, she will find fault. I have been scared to leave because it is a small community and fear what she would say about me as she character assassinates the staff that do leave. And I feel stupid like I can do nothing right and am almost afraid of what a ‘normal’ work environment would be like. Jobs are scarce too! But seriously, if you can, leave!


  30. I just started a job which a bully boss, and I feel so defeated. I’ve worked in consulting for 5 years, but I just graduated from college in December (I put myself through school, I’m 28). I can do no right with this woman. I just started March 18, 2009, here’s just an example of what I am dealing with:

    So my mid-probationary period review (which is one month early, and not required) went like this, it started off with sugar coated insults, that I have the “potential to be a very good health and safety professional,” I show “traits of excellent leadership if I can overcome some short comings.” (She emphasized the bolded words) She said that because I’m so confident she often expects things I’m not capable of, not knowledgeable about, or otherwise can’t do because I’m a recent graduate with “no experience.” I am “obviously charismatic” and can get the things I want by “my batting my eyelashes,” however, when that doesn’t work, I am “incapable of dealing with it.” There have been “numerous complaints” against me “from others, reports of behaviors that are serious, concerning red flags.” I have been so used to using my “charms” to get what I want, however that “won’t work here at the University” because not all of my dealings will be with men.

    When I asked for examples of the complaints, she couldn’t tell me. She doesn’t want me to retaliate against those who reported it.
    When she did give an example of an “concern,” I was told that I didn’t have a defense. I said “You’ve misunderstood., please let me explain (or defend myself against the accusations)” Her reply wasn’t for me to clarify, it was she was going to investigate on her own. I was given no opportunity to even make a statement.

    When she criticized how I handled certain situations with her, specifically an email I wrote to her stating I had not received a template that she claimed to have sent me, she said I personally attacked her. When I said, no I didn’t, and tried to explain, I was told it was all excuses. And she will not accept excuses.

    Then she said if I am ever confused, I am to email her (keep in mind the personal attacks she mentioned previously were emails that she took out of context), her phone is always with her. When I stated that there have been emails and I have not heard back, she responded that she has too much on her plate, “far more important” than me, and I am to follow-up with her and remind her of these things.

    And when I tried not to cry, and could feel my eyes burning, she smiled. She was happy.

    I’ve heard from MANY others that she is an awful manager, but is soooo sweet to everyone else (and was so sweet to me in my interviews) that it seems inconceivable that she would treat me this way. And I’m at wits end what to do, because I need money! (School loans are killer).


  31. Dear Aheathenapparently and to all my readers, See my new article “Tactics, A Bully Boss’s First Brutal Tactic”, which was originally written in response to your comments. I am so sorry for the troubles that you are enduring, but on positive note, your comments brought a new article idea to fruition. Thanks again, ABC


    • RECENT COMMENTS to the article “TACTICS OF A WORKPLACE SERIAL BULLY BOSS” submitted by readers who accessed this article through the web site badbossology.com

      User: SteelMagnolia
      Date: 6/3/2009 4:39:00 AM

      My boss had a smile like an alligator, with many sharp pointed teeth. People either loved or hated him, there was no middle ground. His bullying was what I called “hit and run.” He’d say something that sounded innocent on the surface, then walk away just as I realized I’d been put down. The worst was when a colleague on maternity leave brought her baby in. As I was holding the baby, making all the usual delighted noises, my boss said sarcastically “You should have another baby!” He knew I could not have more children. I never forgave him for that.

      User: Nuriel
      Date: 7/1/2009 2:15:00 PM

      My boss chooses her victims well. She is always smiling, but she has a wicked tongue. She is so slick, you have to be astute to know when she is inflicting pain. She told us when she arrived that she had heard that we were dysfunctional, but decided to come any way to try to “fix us.” Some of us know that it is just a matter of time before she “outslicks herself.”

      User: brothers keeper
      Date: 7/2/2009 12:00:00 AM

      Gawd,,,,,i had the worst of the worst bully boss, reminded me of jekyl and hyde..I hate even thinking of the things she did and said about me, the worst thing she told me when i was worried about my bro..who since past away…she Stood there in front of people..and said R U your brothers keeper??? I was warned about her, that she likes power and control and does not like others who know their job and are good at what they do..she likes the control but doesn’t do the work…which is true…..she appears nice when others are around so it was hard to prove as the board members believed her, she does the talk thing over and over again, oooh she had her sister to support her, who was an employee, they shredded information and back up from files and turned around and said my files lacked information etc, it was rough, I cannot believe adults act like tihs and yet they want our youth to behave….since then i have been terminated and got a settlement, which i was forced to take due to financial strain, i wanted to sue them big time…now my company has undeducated people doing my work and the manager doing nothing but travel…they will have their day………


  32. After reading your article I understand now that I had a bully boss working for me for nearly 3 years. Early on something seemed wrong. Another (trusted)employee of mine mentioned that this bully boss would make inapproprated comments – racial, or just rude, and when I confronted the bully she would always deny it. I also noticed there was never a witness to any of her suspected wrong doings. I saw two good employees brought to the breaking point, due to what the bully noted as poor performance, I had noticed that originally she buddied up very closerly to these two individuals, and then things went very sour. This person would also make underhanded remarks about me to my boss, which I flatly called her on. (FYI my boss couldn’t stand her. Because of his years of experience her knew there was something wrong with her from the beginning). After the second person quit, I saw the same buddy buddy stuff going on with the third person, and then a couple months later the tides started to turn. I honestly had prayed that God would let there be a witness to one of the bully’s wrong doings, and it finally happened. I wrote her up, called her on it, she denied it, and I terminated her employment. A colletcive sigh of relief could almost be heard after she was escorted out, and I made the announcement. The second ‘target’ had told me (after she quit) that even though I had said my door was always open and no matter wha was going on they could always talk to me in confidence, she said the bully said I ddn’t mean it and that she would get fired if she approached me! The poor woman almost had a nervous breakdown, and I never knew. Very sick people these bully bosses.


  33. I wrote to you in February about treading water. Sadly I made the mistake of staying at this organization, and now it is June, and I am just now looking for jobs, after many more intermittent bullying incidents. Sadly I made the mistake of continuing to hope that this CEO would see the light, and what a sad mistake that was. I believe that he knows what this bully boss does, and simply does not want to look bad to his board for hand-picking the man, and is more interested in looking good and not having to train someone else that promoting a healthy work environment. But I have finally found the light and have some interviews lined up. It is almost like going into a self-induced fog that allows you to continue even when you know it is unhealthy. My doctor finally said “why don’t you just leave there?” I guess I needed to hear it from someone else. My peers know and worked hard to stand up for me, to keep me here. Isn’t that interesting. They are great peers, some of them really went out on a limb advocating for me, including confronting the bully in the team meeting, but alas, it was unsuccessful. It wlll be hard to leave such great peers. But, life need not be this unhappy.


  34. I work at a place where bullies don’t have to be discrete. They are tolerated because our senior management is too apathetic to do anything about it. We lost an extremely valuable employee because a program manager who couldn’t handle working with a woman who had more education than he routinely insulted her and and talked to her like she was a child. The program manager’s boss knew about it but made excuses for the program manager. The woman is a star at her new employer.

    I earned the privilege of being a target by naively mentioning at a code review that 2 pages of a program that my (at that time future) boss wrote could be replaced by 4 lines. The silver lining in the cloud is that I’m getting in shape for hiking because I’ve taken a lot of VERY long walks to cool down recently. I’m dealing with it by giving up. I know that our senior management is too lazy to fire anyone, so I don’t try. No matter what I do, I’ll get slammed anyway, so why bother.


  35. “Mobbing” – so that’s what it’s called – I thought it was “I’m losing my mind…”. Now that I know what bullying and mobbing combined can do (literally drive me nuts) I actually don’t feel so bad for allowing myself to become the target (like I had any control over that). But now, thinking I was well out of it (resigned slightly before it went so far that my doctor had me admitted into one of those rooms with the nice soft walls) I recovered, a little wiser and much less trusting. I now find myself in a smaller organisation where the bully owns the company… so taking it further is not an option. I have the journal and log of events – but all that does is help me vent when it all gets too much. It is all done behind closed doors and with feigned concern for my “performance” / “health” / “insert reason of choice”.

    Currently deciding whether to jump earlier rather than later – I’m not going thru it again, but it’s a timing thing, given the current economy. But it doesn’t help with that nauseating feeling of hurt that I am doing a good job, working well and making budget, but enduring sly, sneaky assaults always at my weakest moments – when I’m super busy, with tight deadlines and critical targets – ziiinnggg. Then instead of focussing on my work or family or even myself – I spend hours/days worrying away at it and spinning my wheels and feeling absolutely miserable. Needless to say – that’s how THIS weekend will be spent.


  36. why is boss bullying allowed to continue there must be a way to make it stop without the bullied having to give up there jobs. i do know that the bullier cannot be changed by anyone but we can change ourselves. i am just not to sure how to do that .since we must respect the boss. changing myself may mean i have to speak up and defend myself, although with my boss you never get the chance. can there be some kind of legal action. a lawyer involvement or a union charging the managment. i am just grasping at straws i am sure but it does get to be more than a person can handle i am at the end of my rope but i will not quit my job. instead id like to see her go.


  37. I wrote back in Feb. and now it is June and I am leaving for another job. The bullying got so much worse and I began to have trouble sleeping, anxiety problems, etc. If I could give others advice I encourage if you report directly to a bully, begin looking for another place or department to work in now. Do not wait, brush off the resume and begin. I may take a while and if you are targeted chances are things will only get worse. I found myself interviewing the prospective employer (carefully) but looking at them as closely as they were looking at me. And ruled out a couple of places I might not have a couple of years ago, really quickly.


  38. I am originally from a state that is heavily dependent on the automotive industry,after being laid off for 4 months I was hired by the manufacturing company I work for 700 miles away from home. They put me up in a hotel for 30 days on a trial basis. after 30 days were up I started looking for a home in this state,everything was fine,the owner came out every morning and was very pleasant.
    After I permanently relocated here is when the bullying started!!! I was accused several times a day of wasting his money and being unproductive after months of this the attacks escalated to insults, mocking, his favorite insult was the slang word for the female reproductive organ ( the P word)!!!! . after almost a year of this, I was losing weight, losing sleep and losing my mind!!!.
    I may have unknowingly called him to task( this is before I found your site and realized exactly what was happening) I went in and said to him ” if I’m not making you any money why do you keep me here???” and guess what, he had no answer!!!! now the attacks have stopped since he gets NO reaction from me(something I learned thanks to ABC’s website!!)I now realize that I am good at what I do, if I were not he would fire me. so anyone who is being bullied at work keep your head up and press on, there is hope!! my boss is the owner of the company, there is nobody above him but by following what I learned on this site I was able to stop the bullying!!! thank you for enlightening me ABC, you truly are a an answered prayer.


  39. when are we going to see bully as abuse in America? Us targets do not need to let them make us mental or Postal. Fight with all you have. This is unreal. Adults get by with it so children do it. I asked for my job so that I can earn an income not to stand by and watch someone bully me. I am not going to quit work, I have a right to be there. I hate the fact that the government or congress has not made a no bullying law for Adults as well as children. I give my boss hell the best way that I can without getting fired because I am not afraid of her. I wish I could tell her off without getting terminated. She a stupid Bitch and if any bullying boss is reading this you are too.


  40. i found your website last week, ABC, and have read every article through several times since then.

    i have a bully boss; a senior pastor! he fits the description of the serial bully exactly. He’s new, I’ve been there a long time and am well-liked. He’s disliked and has managed to drive away people who have been members for 50 years. I’ve been on leave for the past several months after reaching a crisis point with panic attacks, overall anxiety, insomnia and depression.

    This week I’m going back and feel empowered after identifying the problem, naming it, acknowledging i am the victim of a bully and that it’s not my fault, and having some strategies for coping. THANK YOU for your help, even when you don’t know me. My next challenge is to get off all the drugs i’ve needed to cope. Any ideas with that?

    God bless all of you for sharing your stories!


  41. Dear Madagascar,
    Thank you for the compliments. It’s uplifting to my soul to know that my blog is accomplishing it’s goals. I am so happy for you that you now feel emotionally strong enough to stop the medications that helped you cope. Knowledge of course is a better, more healthy way to cope with things that we previously had no experience with. As a Registered Nurse, I must advise you however, that your body has become accustomed to the drugs in your system. Suddenly stopping them, may be deleterious to you physically. An example being that a former colleague suddenly had a grandmal seizure after stopping the use of Elavil, generically known as Amitriptylin, a commonly used antidepressant medication. It is important to slowly wean yourself off of these kinds of medications. You should seek the advice of the prescribing physician regarding a dose reduction schedule. I wish you well and will keep you in my prayers. ABC


  42. After 3 + years of part time work for a bully/PA/unstable/negative boss, I quit in July.

    The anxiety attacks and verbal abuse of me, and under the breath mocking of everyone who left our office, was too much. One confrontation in year 2 was useless and I paid dearly for ‘calling her out’ believe me. Her rants, crying when I asked for a week’s vacation, silent treatments..calline me a b*tch …I could go on and on.

    I am so much happier now without this toxic person in my life.


  43. Oh, you hit the nail on the head! You know my boss! But, are you saying that I have two years of hell ahead of me to before I get kicked out? So what is the answer? IS there an answer? (And “calling her out” doesn’t work — now she is accusing ME of being a bully!) OMG! Please give me a thread of hope……


  44. Thank you for your website. I was a very successful and well-loved principal of a middle school. A new boss (a principal from within our district was hired) came on board and she began harrassing and bullying me. I was accused of being unethical, but the reasons were “confidential” and she wouldn’t tell me why. She said I was many things, but never would be specific and claimed these were again “confidential” and would never give me specifcs. She accused me of false/inaccurate things. I was put on a performance plan without specific performance objectives or measure- which does not meet the Colorado legal statutes. I went to her boss, but he wouldn’t help me. Mid-year I was excused from my position and then later I was told I wasn’t excused after I had a new job and filed a lawsuit. The lawsuit is a 14th admendment Due Process and Constructive Discharge Suit. I’ve been offered a low-ball settlement, and of course, a non-disparagement & confidentiality agreement. The toll on my life has been tremendous. Workplace bullying is awful, and America should look to Canada and some of the things that are being done legally to stop this. The financial implications alone (to corporations and people) are incredible. We need to publicize bullying to get this problem to stop. Imagine- how can we get kids to stop bullying in schools when the upper level administrators are bullying their own employees? Crazy, huh? I hope by bringing my situation to a case to bring workplace bullying out of the closet. Any help getting my message out would be appreciated.


  45. I,ve worked for many different organisations & nationalities and unfortunately there was always a bully of some kind.The bully boss is the worst though and it,s a pity that some of us human beings are so backward in their treating of work – life is hard enough having to spent most of it in a factory or office.
    To be honest i don,t mind bosses who “rant & rave” – they,re the harmless ones or the ones who have to learn to control there emotions.The deadly bosses are the SILENT or SMILING or IGNORING ones – they are devious, clever, uneducated and a detriment to business efficiency & innovation.


  46. I was just released for the third time due to a covert workplace bully (2 were supervisors, one was a co-worker). I have decided the only way to survive is to work at home. Over the three job losses, I’ve lost my career, a phd degree, my home, and most of my earning capacity. I’m ill with several autoimmune disorders as well, certainly brought on by the stress of repeated bullying.

    Striving to change workplace laws is the one way I can make sense of all that I have lost.


  47. I just started another job and the boss is totally up my ass every hour because he is trying to teach me the operation of the plant and how it works, because “I obviously know nothing” and yet he hired me three weeks ago and said “you are my first choice because of your experience”!! The other guys(2) say he’ll only get worse,you will see. I need the job and would like the guy too chill out but he’s an arrogant prick who is always right! 5 more weeks and I’m in the union they say, and then I can confront him.But apparently that’s been done before(my co-worker went to the plant manager) and he was ok for a week,then back to analville!! What to do??


  48. You have no idea how much this post helped me express and explain how my boss and my best friend boss works. It is an amazing comfort to know that we are not alone. I am bringing this as a print out to my counsellor and I gave a hand out to my parents are well. Thank you very, very much. If a boss wants good workers they need to stop damaging and manipulating the situation in order for them to positively work effectively and not take it out on the staff.


  49. I was just fired by a Bully last week. Until I found this website I didn’t realize this was so common. My boss fits this profile perfectly. I have worked for this company for over 10 years and always had great evals until the new boss/bully came on less than 2 years ago. I had never been written up until she accused me of saying things I didn’t say. Then finally last week fired me for reasons that are not true. HR will not do anything about her. Several people have quit or been fired and I can only hope that the upper managers figure her out soon.
    My next obstacle is to try to get unemployment. Any advise out there?


  50. Thank you for this article and these posts! I worked for a family business for 8 years, and then the owner passed away, leaving their son in charge. We merged with another company, and I have a new boss, but the “adult child” is still a co-owner. I’m under a microscope every second of every work day. I can’t evan have the “appearance” of an error, or he is immediately calling or e-mailing my new boss. He’s said I am totally incompetant, a jackass, he doesn’t like how I dress, what my hair looks like, or the sound of my voice. I have 2 degrees, 30 years in the business, have done a great job for the company, and yet I feel absolutely beaten down day in and day out. There’s such a sense of unreality dealing with him; absolutely acceptable actions are twisted into something else completely, and there’s never any resolution because he has to win. It this was a marriage, he’d be classified as an abuser, but because it’s the workplace, he gets away with it. He dislikes women, (Hated his mother, his sisters, and his grandmother, all of whom worked at the business, until we merged.) and thinks they’re beineath him – in his terms, they are “Peons”. He hates “weak people” – his quote, and I have epilepsy. (Controlled – no seizures in 8 years, but he knows about it) I have never had such hatred for anyone in my life, and Ithen hate seeinf that in myself.! Management here caters to him because he is a co-owner. I don’t know what to do. Every day is an exercise in humiliation with him – he is absolutely gleeful if he actually finds something to point to. My boss just tells me to make damn sure I don’t ever make a mistake with him, so I’m living on pins and needles; double checking and triple checking the tiniest thing. I even quit taking my medication for the seizures because they can make you drowsy, and make it harder to focus. But it’s all a losing battle, and I’m stuck here becasue of the medical insurance. I need a voodoo doll, or a good assassin!


  51. I had my first bullying with a physician in the practice I work in. This female physician got miffed when on a busy day I didn’t pay 100% attention to a situation which was not important to me at that time. After dealing with the situation she returned to my office an proceeded to rip into me a degrade me in front of a company rep, another phsician and medical assistant. When I stood up to leave she blocked my path which would have resulted in physical contact causing me to stop and told “I better remember who I work for”. After seeing RED I left the office in a rage. Later that afternoon I was called in the office to meet with 2 other physicians who informed me that she is accusing me of physically threatening her (I stand 6’2 she is 5′ ) because I stood up and told her she could not talk to me like that. She later joined the meeting where I was expected to express that it was not my intention to physically threaten her which is true, but was informed if this happens in the future she will sue me for assalt and sue the practice. See she is not a partner in the practice. I’m so mad I can spit but came to work today and worked as if nothing happened. I don’t know how long I can kkep up the charade.


  52. Well, how fortunate for me that I have become the target of my serial bullying boss. I went from excellent employee to having something against my boss in less than a month. She tried to break me down in an impromtu meeting in her office, but I simply would not give her this satisfaction. I have seen her do this to other co-workers and it is surprising how she gets away with it. All of this article describes her behavior. I will continue to do my job, and be good at it. I just can’t believe how well you nailed it.


  53. well, i couldn’t take it and i finally resigned, ABC. i would never have believed the power of the bully boss if I hadn’t lived through it.

    When I finally went to our HR team for help, they basically created a case against me & presented it in front of the 10 people on that team. They were going to put me on an “improvement plan” so that I would work better with my bully boss. That was the final straw for me and I resigned. There was no making him happy because he didn’t want to be happy. He thrived on the conflict that he created, and I’m glad to finally have understood that. I am 51 years old and was in that position, successful at it, for 13 years. Not the way I ever thought I would leave. I am still suffering anxiety effects and pray they will go away soon.

    Still, I am grateful for your site and your advice, ABC. It will help someone else be able to cope better, and it did let me know I wasn’t alone in dealing with it. Thanks and best wishes.


  54. Dear Madagascar,
    I am so sorry you had to resign! You really had no other reasonable options. Only 20% of targets are able to keep their jobs past 2 years once targeted by a bully boss! I am losing my battle with my bully too, despite everything I have learned about the phenomenon. Knowledge is power and helps most targets cope, but a way to untangle the web these bullies weave, continues to elude me. Be glad to be out of the insanity! ABC


  55. I didn’t feel like I had any other option, because the personal cost of staying was too great. Thank you ABC!


  56. I’d like to share my thoughts about this. But first, I commend the writer of the original article. A person of extreme intellect and wisdom to be sure!

    Now, let me get down to it:

    I’m now on my second bully boss in a row. The first happened when I was promoted and sent across the country. The 25 year boss there was visibly bullying one of the middle managers. When that manager had a nervous breakdown and went on sick leave, he loaded his gun and pointed at me next.

    Prior to his bullying me, he favored me.

    The bullying became so intolerable, I felt suicidal. Deeply depressed is an understatement. My confidence gone.

    It took 2 years to get over it.

    Now, the pattern has begun again. A long time senior manager of my new company is absolutely psychopathic in his behavior. I’m starting to feel like I did before the last emotional blow-out.

    Again, at the beginning, it was all praise (I am the highest producer per capita in the country), but now when we have closed door meetings, his agenda is all thought out beforehand and he blindsides me rapid-fire, keeping me off-balance and despondant. The emotional violence is incapacitating.

    I’m planning on taking a couple sick days and reflect. I’m thinking I should gather alot of evidence during that time, and ask for a last minute meeting with him and another senior manager and present my case and ask him to assure this violence stop now/immediately. Problem is, all the senior managers are long time colleagues.

    Otherwise, I was thinking of launching a legal action to compel it to stop.

    I get paid handsomely and love every other facet of my job.

    But, I can’t go through it again.


  57. I have one just like that this man has NO tact at all, and screams at me in a parking lot, in front of anyone driving by, or some one going in or out of the building.
    He has done this 2x to me. And he is nasty, The man under him, who is now second in command, is at the building where I work, and he does tell half truths.And lies just like My boss who runs the enitire dept.
    I find I cannot say a word to either one of them. The big boss who is in charge of the entire dept has meetings behind my back with the rest of my co workers, with out my knowledge, and talk about me behind my back.
    I have learned NOT to trust a one of them. And now the man who is 2nd in command, I refuse to even sit in the same room with him, when we go on breaks or anything else. One thing people also must remember is to pray for these people they are totally lost, and have no clue how to act.


  58. […] ******** Tactics Of A Workplace Serial Bully Boss (source: Tactics Of A Workplace Serial Bully Boss. By ABC s Weblog) ************************************************** ******* (source: WikiAnswers – How do you know […]


  59. The CEO seems to be getting a bad rap. The CEO is implicated in only about 4% of the time.


  60. I once work for a Socialpath bully, she was a nasty woman. 1 month ago going over Monthly, Quartly and yearly sales figures, we all had a sales performance bonus coming to us, the numbers do not lie, the margins do not lie, either does the accountant. My Boss tries to spin the figures, accussed me and 2 other sales staff that we cooked the books. Impossible to the 3rd kind, she also accussed us sealing 70K, again impossible, we have no access to bank accounts. This behaviour we all put up with for 4 years, every day was a new catastrophe. 6 Accountants worked there and where fired or just quit.

    After being told we didn’t deserve the bouses and we were dishonest, again impossible. I should have recorded it for u-tube, just brutal. We all went out for a drink, and self emplyeement made sence, and it began. 3 sales staff, the accountant, 2 admin staff open our own business. Our motto is respect.

    We decided to fire the witch, this would be the best way. Bullies do not like people laughing, so we laughed, and screaming started, and we laughed more, this witch was jumping up and down call everyone names and tring to belittle everyone first attacking the accountant. He fired her, then I fired her, then we all fired her.

    Walked out, life is to short for terror.

    I now enjoy my days personally taking almost all of her business away.

    Set yourself free.. You have the power.


  61. I work with a bullying boss with a small company. When I first started, my boss acted like I was doing a good job — until I realize that none of the company’s policies are formally written down and are according to the whims of his boss. This makes the job very difficult because it’s hard to determine what the policies actually are. I still did what I thought I was supposed to be doing with my job with little or no direction from my boss. I do a performance evalution and get told that “I’m not meeting their standards” and “have a hard time with my job” because I keep asking questions about aspects of my job, which again, are rapidly changing. They cite ‘the economy’ as reasons for the changes — I call that a lack of proper planning and execution.

    Plus, I address my boss’ inappopriate comments and behavior and my boss flips out about it. At one point, he touched a nerve with one of his comments, I very calmly tell him that I didn’t appreciate it and that he was making me angry, His comment, btw, is considered a form of workplace harassment (i.e. implying that someone has a medical condition, etc.).

    Not only that, but he also feels that my ‘attendance’ (where I missed only 3 days) is an issue as well — two of those days were due to ice/snow on the roads and one was a valid illness.

    Yet, my boss still wants to act like he’s my friend and everything’s buddy-buddy, which I know is not true. Thankfully, most of my co-workers see through him but they too are getting harassed and bullied.


  62. how do you recover from this, ABC? I read the posts from people who’ve left and gotten over it (although some do take a long time) and those who’ve managed to laugh and start their own business. I feel stuck emotionally.

    Four months after quitting and I’m still having anxiety attacks, still taking the anti-depressant, still taking sleeping pills. My thoughts still dwell on what I “should’ve done or said.”

    Confronting the bully didn’t help – it just escalated his attacks.

    How does one move on & heal?

    And how are you doing in your own situation?


    • Very good question! Coincidentally I too am exactly where you are, also leaving my job 4 months ago and also “emotionally stuck”. I finally lost my job at the hands of my serial bully boss, my last day on the job was Thanksgiving day. I had a horrible time with my bully boss for months prior to finally leaving my job and since leaving my job feel utterly lost! Being a nurse, I logically concluded that I needed psychiatric treatment to help with my recovery, but after being evaluated by 3 different psychiatrists I feel totally betrayed by that profession. NONE of them ever heard of workplace bullying and none of them seemed willing to take a few moments to look at my website or any other source of information on the subject. All three concluded that I was mentally ill, not emotionally injured, each labeling me with a different diagnosis. I never fully researched recovery after leaving a job to bullying, feeling confident that my knowledge of the subject would prevent me from losing my job. How wrong I was! The only thing I have to offer at this point is one more lesson learned. That being, that no matter how much you know about the phenomenon of workplace bullying and mobbing, it is almost impossible to make it stop and keep your job. I am now researching recovery after job loss and when I come up with anything of value I’ll write an article. So keep coming back for new posts. Although I haven’t added new content to the site recently, being emotionally stuck as you said,. leaving me at a loss for words, the passage of time in it’s self, is slowly improving my outlook. Good luck with your recovery and keep us posted especially if you come across anything especially helpful.
      Thanks for asking, ABC


      • hey ABC, i’ve continued to think about you and about this topic. when i first came across it and you said when bullying started you might as well begin looking for a new job, i thought perhaps a person could also succeed at fighting it. i thought i was a strong person and thought i could do that – but i was wrong. i’m now thinking your advice is right on. leave while you can. it’s easier to get another job while you are still employed.

        HOWEVER, i’m now at 1 year after leaving my position. I’m taking 5HTP (a supplement) that provides what you need for your body to make its own seratonin. I stopped taking an anti-depressant about 6 months ago and I’m really doing fine. a little sorry i’m not working and i’ve applied for 2 jobs and didn’t get either one. i feel like i’ve mentally come “unstuck” and am able to stop thoughts about my bully boss when they pop up. The 5HTP was recommended by Dr. Daniel Amen (trying to remember if I’ve mentioned this here before or not – if so, sorry for repeating) for helping people who feel “stuck” in thoughts – past (grudges, traumas, etc) or present (argumentative, inflexible) or future (unreasonably dwelling on what-if’s) and I really do think it’s helped me. So I’ll mention it here in case it helps anyone else. You can google Dr. Amen or 5HTP and read people’s comments about it.

        Perhaps time has helped me, perhaps the 5HTP – regardless I’m feeling whole again. And a bit wiser.

        Best wishes to all of you with a bully boss – i know how traumatic it is and pray you can get through or get out of it.


      • AB Anti-bullying crusader,
        I,too, have experienced serial bullying from my boss. She has driven off at least 2 people at my work site and continues to try to intimidate others, and now, I’m her target. Trouble is, the top boss thinks she can do no wrong. The organization has so many parts of dysfunction and the top boss just plain doesn’t care. The main crews, of which I am a part of, are the backbone of the organization. Yet, when the overwhelming amount of work does not get done (because, it is a realistically impossible load for anyone to carry and complete, and we all know it, including the bully boss), the backbone crews get the blame, the onus is always on us, and we constantly have to live with the threat that any day we could be fired. The work stress is unbelievable. It has caused several employees to develop serious stress-related illnesses and they either no longer can work at all, or they have quit There have been lawsuits against this place and against individuals who have held positions of power there, all to no avail. I have wanted to quit for a long time, but the dismal economy prevents me from leaving. I hope that your experience turns out better. And I hope that eventually you can come out ahead. Places like these don’t deserve to exist. They are a bane of the American workplace. I sure wish there was a way to report these assholes to the Labor Board and get somewhere, but if we can’t afford litigation against them, they know they have us trapped and are getting away with treating their employees like shit and will continue as long as labor laws are not in our favor. and abuses against us are hard to prove. Good luck to you all, who read this post and also suffer from bully bosses.


  63. my boss is currently bullying me. i work in a nursery so its a pretty bitchy environment but she twists everything i do into a negative. Two co-workers who i also work witth have taken to bullying me and getting me into trouble for aleged bitching and slagging another co-workeer off when i have done nothing. now i am being punished for it by moving me to different rooms. she twists things i say and uses personal family issues to worm her way inside my head and make me think im not “well” enough to work. i sometimes feel like quiting but dont want to give them the satisfaction. what should i do???


    • Document all incidents of bullying. If you can privately
      video tape or record the bullying this might be helpful down the road should you be terminated or have to quit. Update your resume and post it on job sites. Try and move on before the end comes because surley the end is coming. Don’t take it personally. The boss is insecure. Keep your private life private. If the boss sees you as financially desperate, then he/she will eat you like prey. Pray before,during and after work for guidance on how to handle each situation and each encounter. Plan your next move.


    • i’ve experienced this exact same thing in my kindy centre! my boss is answerable to an owner that lives inter-state and only reads the finance statements! therefore there is no where to go or no one to turn too. my boss switches from being your best friend to attacking you personally and accusing you of made up breaches of policy! she belittles you then tells you to keep all interactions confidential….before gossiping to staff in the lunch room.
      she rewards staff with cash bonuses and better rosters if they gossip about each other to her.
      she has ultimate power over all of us as there are no other child care jobs going in our small town. even parents are scared to complain against her in fear of losing their place at the centre.
      she even yells at us if we are seen talking to the union rep!
      she can twist any words and change any policy to suit her needs…..what chance do we have against this type of bullying if there is no-one to turn too and so little physical evidence


      • Good! You have a union rep! Sure wish I did! Number One tactic: DON’T let her see you talking to the union rep! Slip an unseen note, email (from your own computer or cell phone (NOT one issued by the boss, if they give you one), or text to the union rep and meet with him/her OUTSIDE of the work place! Document EVERYTHING the boss has said or done to you. Make it accurate and truthful. No personal opinions. No exaggerations. No bias. Make it factual only. Good luck to you!


    • If the economy were better, I’d say, just quit. I doesn’t matter whether you’re giving anyone the satisfaction. Your happiness is more important. The place doesn’t deserve you. Screw her! However, since we don’t have an abundance of jobs to choose from, I’d say, do the best you can on the job, but keep looking for a better job. If you have family and/or friends to help you through the tough times emotionally, lean on them. I wish you the best.


    • Ass Kicker Link above is GREAT! I recommend this site highly! I love it when I come across fresh, diverse advice. It seems as though the word is finally getting out there in regards to dealing with the phenomenon of workplace bullying and mobbing. I am finding new websites and articles with different perspectives and approaches almost every time I check out the search engines on the topic. So keep reading to get you through, as knowledge is truly power as they say. We may not be able to stop the workplace bullies in our lives but we can broaden our perspectives even if our only choice is to consider entirely different careers options or moving to a different area to land the job of our dreams! Keep the comments, links and advice coming. The content readers have been adding to this web site, left in “comments”, is content which adds tremendous value to everyone who stumbles by in search of help. So thanks to everyone for sharing and for the caring, moral support you have given me personally! Sincerely ABC


  64. My ex-husband was a serial bully. He used to say to me “so and so is now our weakest link” and the campaign to eliminate said weakest link would begin until they left. I spent a lot of time protecting the targets. It never got better and eventually I became his target. The divorce was a nightmare. But you are completely on target.


  65. I have been the target for over a year now. Started when my current boss was promoted over the boss I had. His first target was our boss – who he got rid of during the layoffs. Within a week, I was his new target.

    Thought it was better after I took him into Human Resources, but it seems he’s just been collecting data and making sure he is surrounded with people he’s hand-picked (who are like him).

    So now it’s started again. Now after a year of seeming to buddy up with me (to get me to open up so he could get ammo), he is now attacking me again. He takes me someplace private and basically screamed at me until I was a crying mess. When I tried to ask “how I might fix the problem I supposedly had with getting along with him” I was told I was completely the problem and perhaps I should find another job or get “help” for my problems.

    I’m a mess tonight. I like my job, liked the other people in the office. I have a wonderful personal life. But this man has me such a mess right now I don’t know how I’m suppose to function at work tomorrow. And the last thing I feel right now is that I want to make him look good by doing a good job.

    How does one fight this? Or is it hopeless….


  66. Sapphire,

    The first thing you have to do is get yourself safe. You cannot begin the route to recovery whilst you are still being effectively attacked. So whether it be a holiday, sick days or whether you plain quit the first step on the road has to be to take yourself out of harms way.

    Then you have to begin the long road to recovery and the next step is perhaps the really difficult one – which is to convince yourself, deep, deep down in the depths of your psyche, that you aren’t the guilty one. He was.

    But first, you have to get yourself somewhere he can’t hurt you. Somewhere safe, which you have control over.

    I hope you can think of somewhere.

    Best wishes



  67. I have the privilege of working with a Bi-polar Compliance Officer who fits the perfect description to a T! The man acts like he’s the middle of a psychosis when he has his fans stuck in your flesh… makes it for a wonderful day in the office… NOT! IF anyone thinks that a CEO can be a bully, and they can be… then haven’t met this guy at our Behavioral Health Agency in AZ. What a peach!

    – AW


  68. Hi I am being bullied by my area manager , I am so stresses idont know what to do or who to go to for help .I cant really pin point what it is that she is doing but she makes me uncomfortable and I am constantely waiting for something to expload .My co worker and myself used to enjoy going to work , work was our second home ,the people their are our family ,we have worked there together for the past 13 yrs and this is the first time we feel stressed to go to work not knowing what is going to happen.we fee lshe wants to get rid of us as we have been there for too long, infact this is what I am hearing from other managers.how can Istop this.


    • You have several options:

      1. Fight
      2. Quit
      3. Find another job ASAP
      4. Do nothing and hope

      However, in my experience you’ll be ‘managed out’ sooner rather than later. If you plan to fight then it can be a hard & lonely battle. You’ll need to document everything that happens between yourself and your manager this means dates, emails, meetings, interactions. If you are objective you will see a pattern emerging of nitpicking, fabrication and distorted facts.

      If you go down the legal path and report to HR or management they may not listen and comment that it may be a ‘personality conflict’. Lawyers will charge by the hour and so it is in their benefit that the process is drawn out. Also it is quite difficult to prove and unfortunately the more painful the personal suffering the higher the ‘potential’ compensation i.e. sickness, depression or PTSD. The company will also try to drag out the process until your savings run out.

      If you think that you can beat this manager then try and stay. However, it’s probably easier to apply for work and get out as soon as you can before any further damage physically, emotionally or mentally is done.

      Speak to your doctor, your friends or family don’t suffer in silence .Try to learn as much as you can from this site or other sites on bullying in the workplace.

      See it as a learning experience but try to get out as soon as you can. It’s not worth it, it’s similiar to being in a relationship where the other party doesn’t like you anymore.


  69. I was a target from my Director! I was given an embellished decision making leave which would have been impossible to follow. I chose to quit and am now excited about finding a new place of employement.

    However, I really want to let the corporation know that she had it in for me and how I felt degraded by her. I thought that I might have a better reponse if I send my complaint to the corporate HR vs the hospital HR. I believe she will try and make it out that I was a disgruntled employee. Do you have any advice?
    Thanks, Cindy


  70. When you have a person like Jeff Ursino, as a member of the board of trustee in Pajaro Valley Unified School District, you compromise that district. Google his name so you can understand what a bully he was towards my family and pray for the children of PVUSD. He is not the best choice for the kids and the only reason he is getting this post is because no one opposed him, so now they are stuck with him. He is heartless, fired me 12 days before Christmas, via UPS and for no good reason, breaking California labor codes and more, while I was ill and with a workers comp case pending, goodluck to all he makes choices for . All I was trying to do was be there for my daughter but he didnt care, oh and I was ill, he had the doctors note stating I would not be back until the 16th and he fired me on the 13th, but I didnt know until the 15th, what a guy…This really saids a lot about the way he treats people and what is important, once a bully always a bully, especially when you bully as an adult and enjoy doing it.And yet the bank never fired him but my tax dollars bailed them out, where is the justice??
    And Jeff Ursino is definetly not your superman PVUSD, you are trying to save the schools and their budget. Ask Jeff what his “choices” cost and good luck and my prayers to the children that he will be making choices for…hope he doenst bully the rest of the trustees to get his way.Remind him that there are rules, laws, policy and procedures in life and they are there for a reason, not to be ignore by someone who is out to get someone no matter what it cost them or others.
    Just pray that he has found a heart and some kindness and that he doesnt go on another power trip. Hopefully he will follow the rules and laws and not bully anyone as he did me. I sent him an email asking him why he did this and he has yet to reply and being the weak man he is, hiding behind whatever he can, I will not hear from him.There is something wrong and just plain mean about firing someone for no good reason and 12 days before Christmas. He states parents need to be involved and that is all I was trying to do, not just for my daughter but for those whos parents didnt have a car, I would offer rides to those who needed it.The way he was elected needs to change. Now he isnt campaigning , so he doesnt even have to work for this post. So how much did he raise, who is endorsing him,what did he do with the money he raised? He wanted people to join him for a night of food, fun and fellowship? Has he asked God to forgive him for the way he treated me? And how important will your childs needs be to him or is it all about power? Did Jeff think that he could treat someone like this and that he would get away with it? That this would just stay in some closet and if he didnt think about it it would go away. Well there is a good reason why the good Lord had me hang on to all my evidence. If you are running for some public office, check your closet first.Has he learned to be fair and equal? Who decided he was the best choice for PVUSD,him? What a joke.He had all the tools to do his job correctly and just decided not to, good luck to all who have to deal with him, my prayers to his wife and kids and PVUSD.

    Regarding the following statement
    “Jeff Ursino believes parents should play a more active role in Pajaro Valley schools, and with one son entering Aptos Junior High and another kindergarten at Rio del Mar Elementary, he’s making his move.”
    Yet he fired me for putting my daughters needs first. I had told him that my daughter had been followed home one day and that I needed to be there for her after school and on weekends. We even filed a police report. I told him how many sex offenders lived within 1/2 a mile of my house, but he just didn’t care. My hours were changed from 5p.m. to 3 p.m., by the previous manager, although Jeff tried to take credit for that. One of Jeffs ideas was for me to bring my daughter to work and put her in the back room to watch videos, wow. But that was never approved by his boss, not to mention the liability to the employer. Before you vote, understand that while I was out ill,due to stress, anxiety and blood pressure issue, due to Jeff bullying me and threating me with “job abandoment” yet I had doctors notes not to go to work but he wrote me up for not going to work, Jeff never called to see how I was doing, but when he fired me via UPS, in that envelope he included my doctors note which was faxed into him the day prior. He claims that he called me to see if I was coming in , yet the faxed in doctors note clearly stated that I would be out untill the 16th. He fired me on the 13th. And I still have all of these papers and letter from Jeff Ursino. Tax payers need to know who they are voting for. How does Jeff feel about bullying in the school system? Or the work place?
    Subject: before you vote? Fired by Jeff Ursino, a manager with no heart and he wants to make choices for the children of PVSD
    Before you vote for Jeff Ursino ask yourself if the choices he made when he fired a working mother, via UPS, while at home ill…due to stress brought on by the way he treated this mother..was that the best choice for all parties concerned? Jeff could have made alot better choices but he made the choice to be unprofessional and didn’t bother following policy and procedure> Why?
    Here is a letter from a concerned customer
    March 25, 2006 Dear Ms. Deloney,
    I would like to take a moment and thank you for responding to my comments regarding Damari and the manager. I am sure that you are a very busy and important person and I appreciate your time. Damari is truly missed at the bank, since her unfair termination by the manger, the atmosphere at the bank is boring to say the least. Damari added life and laughter and she enjoyed serving the customers. I feel deeply, that the manager made a huge mistake in dismissing her while she was ill. What kind of a manager would dismiss an employee while they are ill?
    As I say this, I now have further concerns about another teller name Andrea. I was in the bank and was told that she has injured her knee and will be out of work for about six weeks. I’m sure that Andrea has a doctors note as Damari did, I hope that the manager doesn’t make the same mistake and decides to terminate her and mail her a letter before she returns as he did Damari when he terminated her instead of waiting for her to get well and return to work. Although I would understand if he were let her go as she spends most of her time at work doing her homework , reading and she isn’t available everyday. Andrea will move on, on her own to become a teacher, this is what she goes to school for two days a week. By her going to school, I feel this puts a strain on the staff. I understand that the rest of the tellers along with Kathleen are now having to work six days a week and Kathleen is running a window: she doesn’t have the charm or customer service skills which Damari offered the bank.
    We go into the bank often and we rarely see that manager. I feel that it would be in the best interest of the bank to find a permanent manager as soon as possible, one whom appreciates competent employees as Damari. Frankly, I don’t understand how a temporary manager was given the authority to dismiss an employee such as Damari with her wonderful skills , talents and dedication to her job. Therefore my concerns are now for Andrea whom doesn’t compare with the kind of service Damari offered your customers. As I stated before, the other tellers spend too much time speaking to customers about personal things and shopping on the computer instead of banking conversations. I frequently witness them reading and eating while at their windows: this is very unprofessional.
    I feel it would be in the best interest to Citibank to launch a complete investigation on the manager, as you stated would be done and seriously consider removing him from Carmel. In my opinion since he arrived the atmosphere is tense and if I can sense it I am sure that other customers do. This manager has taken all the personal touch and charm out of the bank and I feel the employees fear for their jobs: no one should have to work under those conditions. Keeping this manager at this or any branch is sure to destroy you business. Again, thank you for your letter and taking the time to look into this situation.
    Sincerely, Clifford Bagwell

    Can the school district afford to have such a heartless man making choices for the children?
    I have a 13 page letter I wrote to Jeff Ursino, pleading my case but he just couldn’t meet me in the middle. He fired me while I was at home ill. Why couldn’t he wait for me to return to work? He had the doctors note which stated I would be out until the 16th, so why not wait, follow the rules, policy and procedure? As a manager he didn’t do his job right and cost his employer alot of trouble. Any good manager would known that there are labor laws which must be followed but Jeff Ursino made the choice to ignor them. Jeff is not the best choice for the children.
    I was the only spanish speaking teller at the branch. Was it the best choice for the customers which depended on my spanish to do their banking? Was that the best choice he could make?

    When Jeff fired me, 12 days before christmas and in the process broke Califofrnia labor laws and also didn’t follow the banks firing policy or procedure and all this caused my daughter and family alot of heartache, was it the best choice he could make. Was it fair for my daughter to feel guilty that her mom had lost her job all because she was wanting to continue to care for her daughter, was that the best choice for my daughter. Imagine how she felt and how sad. She worried about the holidays coming up and now mom lost her job just because Jeff didn’t care about her needs or life style. I have every letter and notes from that awful choice he made. I don’t feel he is qualified to be making choices for any child that isn’t his. I feel the public has a right to know how uncaring and heartless he and his actions were to my daughter and my family. I have a letter where Jeff states he was calling me to see if I was coming into work, yet with my letter of termination he includes that very note which was faxed into the bank the day before by my doctor,but he made the heartless choice to fire me while I was at home ill. What kind of a person fires an employee while they are at home ill, with a doctors note? With a pending workers comp case. A heartless and uncaring man. His choice changed our lives forever. Why didn’t he follow the firing procudures? I have eveyone of my reviews by the bank and over 50 letters from customers which enjoyed my work at the bank. So if as a manager Jeff decided not to follow policy and procedure of the company and or the labor code of California, what qualifies him to make choices which could affect the children of Pajaro Valley School? Does Jeff have education on Childhood deveolpment? As a tax payer in California, our residence have a right to know what he did to my family if he is going to be making choices on behalf of your children
    It is my opinion that Jeff Ursino is not the best choice for the children

    I think it is strange that Jeff thinks he is the best choice for the chiildren after what he did to my daughter and the lack of concern for her needs. Was it the right choice for her, for him to fire me the way he did and that my daughter felt that it was her fault that I was fired? Was it the right choice for my daughter to see me upset over what he had done? What qualifies him to say that he is the best choice for any child? Did he go back to school and learn more about what our childrens’ needs and how important it is for our teenagers to have their parents around? Jeff wanted me to bring my daughter to work and put her in the back room to atch videos, is that the best choice for a child? What if the bank had been robbed and what about the liabilty to the bank? Did he get that approved? No…Was it right for Jeff to try and have me break my word to my daughter?
    and then there was this power trip..
    Damari commented on this story on CBS News.
    I was told once by Jeff Ursino, a manager of a bank, that I no longer was allowed to wear hats, which I had been wearing for the prior four years, with no problems from anyone else. He claimed it was part of dress code policy, but corporate said that it was his own rule. He made me stop wearing them and a few weeks later, he decided that I could wear them but only twice a week. So was he just on a POWER kick??He had us read the dress code policy which stated nothing against hats, but he wanted me to know that he was the new boss and he made the rules as they suited him. So why take the hats away, if indeed it was a corporate policy and or why then tell me I can wear them and go against “corporate” never did make sense to me, just a power trip. What do you think? He later fired me for something even stupider than that, another power play I guess??

    In Pajaro Valley’s Area 7, La Selva Beach and Rio del Mar, Jeff Ursino is running. He lists his occupation as a business manager and parent.As a business manager he failed to follow policy and procedure, costing the bank a lawsuit and as a parent he didn’t care about my daughters needs and safety. The voters have a right to know that his choices aren’t good choices. Jeff claims to be the best choice for the children, how did he decide this? Just because no one is running against him doesn’t mean he shold get the post, he needs to be voted in by the parents of PVUSD.
    Just pray that he has found a heart and some kindness and that he doesnt go on another power trip. Hopefully he will follow the rules and laws and not bully anyone as he did me. I sent him an email asking him why he did this and he has yet to reply and being the weak man he is, hiding behind whatever he can, I will not hear from him.There is something wrong and just plain mean about firing someone for no good reason and 12 days before Christmas. He states parents need to be involved and that is all I was trying to do, not just for my daughter but for those whos parents didnt have a car, I would offer rides to those who needed it.The way he was elected needs to change. Now he isnt campaigning , so he doesnt even have to work for this post. So how much did he raise, who is endorsing him,what did he do with the money he raised? He wanted people to join him for a night of food, fun and fellowship? Has he asked God to forgive him for the way he treated me? And how important will your childs needs be to him or is it all about power? Did Jeff think that he could treat someone like this and that he would get away with it? That this would just stay in some closet and if he didnt think about it it would go away. Well there is a good reason why the good Lord had me hang on to all my evidence. If you are running for some public office, check your closet first.Has he learned to be fair and equal? Who decided he was the best choice for PVUSD,him? What a joke.He had all the tools to do his job correctly and just decided not to, good luck to all who have to deal with him, my prayers to his wife and kids and PVUSD.

    Dear Senator Barbara Boxer, Re: Response by the U.S. Department of Labor

    I agree that I mentioned to Ronan that the bank had violated the Family and
    Medical Leave Act, but I don’t believe that I said , I was fired for taking
    FMLA. I have never felt that I was fired for that reason. FMLA was never
    brought up to me by the bank, FMLA was brought up to me by Met Life after
    papers were filed for STD. In fact, Met Life had told me not to fill out the
    papers for FMLA just STD and LTD.
    In, October 2005 I was told that the bank was going to start opening on
    Saturday, I explained to the manager that this would be stressful and a
    financial burden for my family and I. I explained that my husband worked
    Saturdays and my daughters was involved in sports, on the volleyball team and
    that I was team mom. I explained to him that I feared leaving my daughter
    alone because I had been raped at her age and molested earlier in life. I
    explained that earlier that year my daughter had been followed home and that
    is why I was cutting my hours back from 5 to 3. A police report was filed
    with Seaside PD. I also explained to the bank how many child molesters there
    our within  ½ mile of my house, and I explained that my daughter had
    tryouts on Nov. 5, 2005 in Salinas and my husband was already scheduled to
    work. Although the manager had two other tellers scheduled for that day he
    would not allow me to change weekends. On Nov. 7 and 8, my blood pressure was
    up and the doctor told me to take the rest of day off on the 7th and the 8th.
    Although I did not wish to work Saturdays to care for my daughter , the
    manager had asked me to go home and talk to my family, which I did. The
    manager also suggested that I bring my daughter to work and have her go in
    the back room and watch videos. The manger asked me to meet him half way and
    at least work one. After talking to my family I asked if I could work on the
    3rd Saturday of every month along with my 5 days a week scheduled, my husband
    agreed to take the 3rd Saturday of each month off to tend to my daughters
    needs. Two days or so after I discussed this with the manager he calls me
    just as I am getting off of work and said “:sorry it will have to be 2
    Saturdays a month. Yet a teller with less seniority and not as good as I was
    asked for Tuesdays and Thursdays off and it was granted. I was only asking
    for one day off a month she was asking for 8 days off a month and she
    requested this about 3 weeks after my request.
    On the first Saturday that I was schedule they already had 2 other tellers
    and the managers boss had spoken to me on my cell phone while I was at the
    doctors office with my daughter waiting to see the doctor. I told her that my
    daughter had tryouts and that I was driving her there as long has she wasn’t
    to ill to tryout. My daughters ended up having bronchitis . During our
    conversation I had said I wouldn’t be in and the manager had also been told
    along with the supervisor but I was threaten with a write up if I didn’t go
    in. Why was the manager flexible with Andrea schedule and not mine. Why was
    it ok for her to do her homework at the counter, leave about $10,000.00 out
    and never get written up?
    The manager wrote me up, 5 days later, he could have written me up on the
    7th, 8th, 9th, but didn’t , he wrote me up after getting my letter and
    calling me to find out if the letter was just for him, which it was. The
    following Saturday that I was scheduled was the 19th, and on the 17th I had
    gone to the doctors, after work, my blood pressure was up again and the
    doctor put me out of work for the 18th, 19th,and 20th. The state that in
    early November, 2005, that I didn’t show up to work during the week, this is
    a LIE and I had always called in. The only time that I personally didn’t call
    in was on12/12/05 because my doctor had called in for me due to my blood
    pressure and also faxed in a note. Andrea had her mother call in for her and
    she didn’t get fired but my doctor calls in for me and I get fired, why? The
    bank did not decide to terminate me in November, Jeff Ursino decided to
    terminate me because I ask that I be contacted via email to protect me
    health. If the bank had decided to fire me then were was my final check and
    exit interview and why fire me in the middle of a workers comp pending case?
    California codes were not follow by Jeff Ursino . When I requested my file
    there was no notes that I record had been reviewed or that HR gave Jeff
    Ursino permission to fire me, why? I was given a medical note not to work on
    Dec. 6th and then it was extended on Dec. 12 -16th. the bank states or the
    letter from US Dept. Of Labor that I sent in my note at the same time that I
    was being sent the termination letter, yet another lie.
    Kathleen had been faxed the disability note on the 12th of Dec. Jeff Ursino
    decided to fire me on 12/13/05, sometime after 1:45 pm, after reading my
    email. At that point the manager suggested to HR that I be terminated
    immediately, although he acknowledges receiving my email. I f the termination
    letter was being sent out at the same time I was sending my note in were was
    my final paycheck? The bank rescinded the termination because I did not
    qualify for unemployment and State disability due to a program the bank
    carries. But had I not gone thru these steps they would not have rescinded
    their decision. They rescinded , in my opinion because they realized that
    Jeff Ursino had made some errors, they ignored that I was ill and they
    realized that he fired me during an open workers comp case. In fact, Chrys ,
    of HR ,called Carla at Travelers Insurance for workers comp on the 14th of
    Dec. 2005 to see how the case was going, at that point she was told that it
    would probably be denied, but she never mention to workers comp that I had
    been terminated via UPS the day before. I did not apply for workers comp at
    the end of my Short Term Disability Leave Plan, the workers comp case was
    started 11/22/05, or so.
    Again just more lies by the bank, Jeff Ursino and Kathleen .
    The bank continues to give false statements. Please don’t stop helping us
    they are not telling the truth. You have returned my binder to me, thank you
    , but the proof is all in there, now what do I do? The bank did not behave in
    good faith, not fair and equal treatment of all employees. They would tell
    clients that I left to work for my husband or that I was on vacation,
    anything but the truth.I still have all paper work to back what I have


  71. I think my supervisor is a closet bully. She is obessed with getting me fired by trying to find out things about my personal life, spread rumors about me, and picking on every little thing that I do. She has isolated me from my coworkers. They have ganged up on me with her by encouraging her behavior. I am getting more depressed and they are using that as the excuse that I won’t be able to prove anything that they do because of my mental disorder. I don’t know what to do. I feel like I should confront her, but I don’t have any evidence. I don’t want to lose my job and I don’t want to make things worse. I am getting really depressed to the point where I just want to disappear.


  72. Dear Alice,
    I am so sorry that you are going through this terrible time on your job. Unfortunately, once a closet serial bully boss involves coworkers, (this is called mobbing), it is usually too late to turn things around for the better. I would only advise “confrontation” if you are not really certain, this is truly a REAL bullying campaign, and you need to find out through “confrontation” or the more friendly approach of simply asking them the nature of the problem. By REAL bullying campaign, I mean initiated by a bully boss with a level of psychopathy, who is literally out to destroy you, not someone who is just arrogant and rude. Real bullies NEVER apologize, and are impossible to reason with, because they have no intention to resolve issues with their targets.

    So, only confront if you need to find out. Otherwise, it’s just another opportunity for further abuse.

    Once certain you are being bullied, find another job as quickly as possible! No job is worth it!

    Best of luck in finding the job of your dreams! ABC


    • Thanks for you reply ABC. Next time she harasses me, I think I will confront her. The only problem with me is that I hate confrontations. I get tongue tied and always end up apologizing for “my behavior.” I think that is a symptom of PSTD due to the harassing and bullying. Yeah, my coworkers have joined in with the mobbing. Making faces, mocking me, and spreading rumors. They report to the closet bully boss anything that she can use to force me out or to have me fired. Or so that she can further harass me more and make me mentally insane. I really wish someone could help me.


  73. For over a year now my supervisor has been bullying me,he has been accusing me of breaking things,ignores me,tells lie’s about me,always watching me work and making horrible comments about me to other people and lastweek when i was at the shop i bumped in to him and he started taking pictures of me on his mobile phone,

    I have reported this to the head of the company and they have got HR involved,i sat down with them for two hours and gave them at least twenty pages of complaints with times and dates,

    Its been three weeks now since my meeting and nothing has happened,ive not heard a thing back from HR.

    Im just looking for some advice,should i seek legal action?


    • Your options are to:

      1. Wait & see
      2. Quit
      3. Prepare for battle
      4. Apply for alternative jobs

      They are planning their next move and running through their legal options. I suggest you apply for alternative work immediately.

      In parallel, read up on local employment law and put together your case. Make sure you have documented everything, dates, copies of emails, pictures also look into hiring an attorney. You have to make sure you know your legal rights as attorneys only act as primarily a legal executor and depending on how good they are, can offer advice. You can find more information here:


      In any subsequent meetings with the company ensure you bring in a ‘witness’ for moral and documentary support.

      Suggest you take a day or two off to review your situation (can use ‘stress’ as a rationale). If you go down the legal route prepare for a drawn out battle which could be very challenging financially & emotionally. The risk is that it could be a long lonely battle and with the law; unfortunately,the more suffering you can prove the higher the compensation i.e. trauma, stress, ptsd, depression.

      It is a difficult situation and only you can make the best decision. However, it looks like the writings on the wall and so suggest you look for work immediately while you think through your options.


    • andy,

      Forget HR – they aren’t interested in protecting the workers, only the “good name” of the company. The most HR will do for you is to attempt to “mediate” or “resolve the conflict harmoneously” – and to do so they will bring in the usual weasely HR suggestions that ” there were faults on both sides”. I once represented a colleague who. like you, had dates, times and witnesses – and all the HR man did was pressure the witnesses into altering their statements, or encourage them to interpret what they thought they had seen rather than stick to the facts of what they had actually seen, As a result the strength of the testimony was diluted, the bully was actually praised by HR for being calm in the face of such problems and my colleague was vilified, stymied and eventually had her very sanity questioned.

      HR protects the bosses, not the workers.

      So yes, take legal action. If thats three weeks then they should by now have at least let you know that an investigation is proceeding and what the next steps are. That they haven’t suggests that they are hoping that if they go slow on it over the holiday season then by the new year, everything will have either resolved itself or at least will have less immediacy. Either way, they are hoping that they won’t have to take action.

      If this bully is taking photographs of you, that suggests that he/she is considering some sort of retaliatory action themselves. Maybe they’ve been leaked the info ?

      I’d suggest getting legal representation in place, and as soon as possible. Remember, no less a persons than Dr Robert Oppenheimer was driven out of public service because he was slow to set up a suitable defensive team, and he relied on common sense from the very men who were out to nail him.

      Good luck, chum

      Dave the Taxi


  74. I was amazed to read so many similar experiences to mine. My bully boss takes the cake for phycological bullying. She is an expert!!! It has been several years of torture with her. I love my job but it is really starting to affect my health. I’m going to have to make a decision soon…. But I won’t go down without a fight! Almost the entire department feels this way. She has even been investigated by corporate but seemed to talk her way out. Very smart about covering up her tactics. I guess the best thing to do is document without emotion and confront management. H.R. Is like the kiss of death. They don’t care about employees, only company loyalty. Well….wish me luck! Thanks to everyone for sharing all of your experiences. I don’t feel so alone anymore.


  75. […] Tactics Of A Workplace Serial Bully Boss […]


  76. I am currently witnessing bullying from our boss to another co-worker and the crap I am witnessing is so disturbing that I have decided to start looking elsewhere as I am currently on his good side and I definitely see what he is capable of if the tables turned on me and I know if you stay in the grass where snakes dwell, you are bound to get bit at some point. Point being, if he will do it to her, he would do it to any of us. TRUST IS GONE and I am looking elsewhere because once he gets rid of her, I could very well be the next target since he seems to favor me at this point but tries to pin me against her but I refuse to fall for that because I put ethics above all when it comes to the workplace.


    • Wow, I wish I had done that for my coworkers. I used to just put on headphones to make her disappear. Now the tables are turned and it’s me that is being closet bullied and no one is stepping up to bat for me. Karma I guess. Cheers to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  77. As the British would say, you are “spot on” in your assessment of your situation. Find the job of your dreams elsewhere, but in the mean time, don’t let the bully know your feelings, nor discuss them with coworkers until your new position is secured, and your resignation has been rendered. Best of Luck, ABC


  78. Great site.. great tips.


  79. Yep I feel all your pain! Working as an architectural draftsman for 3 months for less pay and what I noticed from my bully is that he becomes hostile when the time for me to get paid is coming up. 1. He would praise me that I did a good job from the first job,, 2. He would ask for changes but would not consider the amount of time and what those changes would entail, 3. The show of frustration stance if you tell him that you might miss the dead line, 4. The comparison tactic with how his previous workers did the job for him, 5. The indirect approach of saying that I’m not doing my job right and I re-invent the wheel. 6. The passive aggressive approach that another worker is waiting in line for my job. This has been going on every month. However, once I did everything my way after telling me “just get it done!” and meet the dead line, It would go back to tactic 1 then would progress onwards as a cycle just before pay day comes around again. Mind you, i already adjusted the frequency of payment from 2 weeks to a month justto help out this small practice. His example, if you take your car to the shop to get something fixed and came back with a check engine light on, you would ask yourself if the mechanic did his job right. I replied, you have to be specific, to what part of the car did you get fixed. I said for example you took the car to the shops to get your brakes fixed and it came back with a check engine light on. He then stopped me and added yes your check engine break light came on! I said what does the check engine light have to do with the breaks though? Not a mechanic so I wouldn’t know.


  80. I also have a Bully Boss. I haved worked 14 years in a Prison as a female officer and have never seen anything like this before! My SGT rants and raves and even took his phone and smashed it against his desk again and again, screaming “I HATE MY @#$ STAFF! I HATE MY %^&* STAFF!” I was 5 feet from him when he did this. We all have to share an open office and he is always on the computer looking up The Drudge Report and pushing his political views on all of us. He even likes to show us sites of weaponry and what certain guns can do to a person. He makes incredibly scary statements, “Like, I just feel like getting a #$%^ gun and killing everyone today!” He then calls his mistress and tells her what a loser his Staff is…mostly me. His mistress of course works there, too and loves to spread gossip. Did I mention that he knows a certain kind of music is one I can’t stand so he plays it loud on the radio and leaves me alone many times so he can go out and smoke with all his friends. When they leave I turn the radio off. The regular Officers in there all go over to each others homes and drink together. I’m not being mobbed because I stand up for myself but it could get really ugly one day! It’s the Safest part of the prison to work in, so I don’t want to bid somewhere else but something’s got to give.


  81. So sorry to hear how many people are being abused and bullied by their bosses. I too am a victim in my bosses range..at least for this minute. I work in a Healthcare facility Kitchen and ever since our new Owners took over..Ill call them..Trident..for the Devils pitchfork…it has been a nightmare for us all. Ive worked there 17 years as a little peon but being loyal and too scared to move on..but two years ago this company took over and brought in the money making ideas. Our Dietary Manager reminds you over Gordon Ramsey..I kid you not. Totally obnoxious to gentle employees throughout the building! Many Many people have quit because of his Loud Rude Annoying manner. And then like a serial bully he acts all service oriented and pretend normal when he finally gets over his posturing. It makes me sick to think of him now. Truthfully I feel I have Post-traumatic Stress disorder which has now turned into the Stockholm Syndrome and I tell everyone that.

    He makes you feel like hes concerned and then he back stabs you by playing scheduling games. If you complain he will play even more games ..more hours..less hours..whatever he can make up. But of course all in the name of “the census is low” We used to work 40 hours a week now..32 is full time and we are lucky to get that. The company is all about teamwork but its a total joke. They promote the Upside down pyramid as an example of how they care for their customers..with the bosses at the bottom. Again Ive corrected that by telling family its so the money can funnel down to the fat cats easier. No Lie.

    So I guess in keeping with the company this man must fit in just perfectly. He makes them money and they dont care what he does to get it.

    He must have ADHD because he rarely can work through a single position on the job without having to run off someplace else. He never writes anything down, just makes it up in his head and calls in to talk to cooks. He never has meetings with his dept we just fill in the papers of meetings we didnt have. He hired people on their terms and then bumps those with seniority all around. Then when his new pets start screwing up the rest of us pay for it.
    He covers for his pets by saying they called him when in truth it was No Call No Show for that day..but they all squirm out of it.

    Our schedule is a nightmare. He changes the hours of our shifts whenever he feels like it and then expects you to just sit back and take it. Yet others he leaves on a single position. I believe it is because they stood up to him and told him they werent working nights.

    He doesnt believe in giving some people normal shifts. Which we used to have..he would rather give you split shifts and expect you to drive back and forth to get your hours in. I was just put on a triple split shift and am hoping I can stand up to him about that. He allowed his new employees to just leave mid shift so now instead of telling them they need to stay and work he has retaliated by cutting the shift for two hours between. Im sure the new ones could care less but I dont feel its right to make me whom stays and does work…do that. Hes just so cowardly that he wont tell them so he just uses the schedule and census as an excuse and still look like a good guy to them.

    He is such a Bipolar bully he wouldnt confront them for being constantly late but instead thought to brilliantly change the hours to a bit earlier to see if that helped. It doesnt and hes an idiot.

    He uses people so badly but in a mental manipulative way…he is truly a master at playing his game. He is a serial bully in many ways and covers by letting everyone know he is just doing it for the company and then acts hurt that people would think he was being mean. It truly is disgusting.

    I feel like there is no way out for me.I am not smart enough to fight him at his own game. I am too emotional and afraid of moving on to do anything else. At times I would almost rather be dead than go back there. He has ruined so many moments of my personal life and so many others that work there too. We pray that he will get promoted or move on soon but we think the company has finally found a place they can keep him contained and not have to deal with him.


  82. It was not a direct experience but I witnessed it – as I was the target’s girl friend and I used to think the boss was a good and wise man, he was very intellectual, and has a love of books…I used to admire him and regard him as trustworthy- until I found out he’s a down right liar, mastering in exaggeration and hinting and suggesting, and has a love to twist things completely around. I found out the truth after he mentioned to me the other day a friend of my boyfriend, whom I know, came to the office and complained for an aggressive behaviour during a night out. I was shocked, as I was there and I didn’t think the so called ‘aggressive behaviour’ was so serious, and the friend was that upset that time, I was concerned and felt weird that why hasn’t the friend mentioned anything to my boyfriend? They have been very good friends for a long time – and if this case was true – why hasn’t the boss spoke to my boyfriend? The boss asked me not to tell him and let them resolve the problem themselves. I felt very uncomfortable with the suggestion and in the end, I decided even though I should break my promise I must tell my boyfriend, because if this really was the case then my boyfriend should be aware of his actions.

    It turned out to be a complete different story. My boyfriend was shocked of the news as well, as earlier the day he had apologized to his friend properly and his friend was just laughing over it. Both of us went to speak with the friend, and found out actually, the friend had never made a complaint. It was the boss all along who waved him in the office and spoke to him, and actually making it sounded much more serious than it was, twas the truth of the ‘aggressive behaviour’ complaint. Worst was he was spreading rumours – and he likes to invite fellow office members and residents for ‘tea’ – and offering ‘wider’ ‘opportunities’ and ‘options’ if one was close to him.

    I noticed another few things of this boss as well, He has a tendency to speak whatever you wanted to hear most regardless of the true situation, and enjoys using very fancy old English words, without really saying anything but only tossing the question. I’ve read his emails to my boyfriend as well – very suggestive or hinting much more than what was said, and accompanying with accusations every single time in his emails and denouncing his works – where as an ex volunteer I only knew too well he was always trying to raise ideas, do the hard work and spend a long time in the office – when the boss was no where to be seen.

    He bullies my boyfriend when they’re alone – hinting he’s a thief, saying he was the one who spread rumours, making fun of his disability, and he has the worst personality. I knew my boyfriend well, he isn’t the most easy going person, bold and blunt and sharp, but he’s always hard working and honest.

    Perhaps in someway every single time I saw him in distress, but patiently dealing with the emails he received I grew very angry and upset. In the end I decided not to remain silent and decided there was no point in hiding the situation from friends and co-workers, as this would only give chance for more misunderstandings and mis-guide. I explained what had happened, and I encouraged him to do so. He was much happier now, mind you the case did not change – he was not loved by the main office, he finally quit the horrible place and found another to do his job, but his friends and some of the co workers understands him and believe him. I think, for him and me, it was a relieve, because we knew we weren’t the horrible character the boss had tried to imprint us on, and there was someone who believed us.

    I don’t know did I make the right decision, but I was only too angry because I knew he was using the silence and social habit of people to turn us against each other, and this is the least i think, to protect him and myself, and to not have the alone in war feeling anymore.

    Good luck everyone, as we look at our mugs and read ‘keep calm and carry on’, life is much more than horrible bosses and work place.


  83. I like to read…


  84. CAN U SAY, ” E E O C “???? I DID…. Its On Like Donkey Kong. My Serial Bully Boss Is My Ex-Boyfriend. He Uses His Work Place Seek Out His Victims..Oh, He Had The Other’s, Make Me Feel Like I Was Crazy..Until, I Touched A Nerve. Its Called The E E O C. Every State Has On Office And They Were Established Just For People Like Us.

    Go Online Fill Out The Questionaire. Go There Immediatley And Speak To An Agent To File A Claim.Fax It Or Mail It In. I Went And You Have 180 Days To File A Claim. Then Within 14 Days The EEOC Swarms The Bastards And We Sue Or Receive A Right To Sue Notice From The EEOC. Google It.. I Did.. Pricks l Like These? Im Not Gonna Tolerate Anymore. I Will Sue. Bottom Line.


  85. The worst part is other people knowing and doing nothing to stop it. My bully bosses could easily have stepped in and stopped it with 2 sentences. It was like hazing – why shouldn’t I have to go through it? I still don’t understand the pleasure she got out of it. An angry, deeply disturbed, lonely woman who pretended to be functional.

    A true bottomfeeder.

    Hope you don’t mind I linked to your brilliant article.



  86. Its so easy to fix these situations all you need to do is tape like the guy who worked for Bunnings. In these situations dishonest companys lie and try to cover things up. This company tried to make the victim the one to blame, But recorded evidence is what made the difference as to a bunch of dishonest managers and a dishonest company. Perhaps others who go thru the same can copy Bunnings Bullying In The Workplace.


  87. Thankyou so much ABC for this forrum it will help those in need. Bullying at work needs to be stopped.


  88. I am also a target of a serial bully and my experience sounds so exactly like what you describe. I’m sad that it has affected others’ mental health so badly. My goal with this is to do everything I can not to take it personally, figuring that that is how I win. She wants to bother me and make me react, but I don’t. I continue to smile, be cheerful and pretend that I’m oblivious to what she is doing.

    I am oddly lucky in a particular respect in this situation. My ‘weakness’ that my bully boss tried to used against me is character assassination about being a social outcast because I am solitary by nature. She used this to completely isolate me from coworkers (who had been friends before I was made office pariah) and then claims that I want this because I’m so bad with people. Though that isn’t true, my painful childhood as a ‘loner’ and outcast does give me more resilience to isolation than others might have.

    I have done a few things that made me an atypical target, which others might benefit from as well. First, I’m lucky because I earned her boss as an ally – not by complaining, but by not complaining. I continued to deliver solid work and resisted all opportunities to bitch and cry. So, when she said I had poor interpersonal skills, it didn’t ring true nor did it seem relevant. This made my boss push down on me all the harder, which made her seem unreasonable while I seemed calm. So, when she tried to get me fired, it actually almost got her fired.

    Every day, I focus on the positive. I don’t try to win her favour. Instead I take pleasure in sending positive cheerful emails with copious exclamation marks (thanks!) asking for work, following up, etc. She doesn’t respond to these, or responds coolly. I keep these for my records. Then I focus on making allies – not with coworkers who also report to her, but people she either reports to, or others at a comparable level of seniority to her – her coworkers. My goal: never tell people she’s lying about me, prove through my actions that she is.

    So that would be my advice to people going through this. As hard as it is, resist letting it get inside you. The more you can stand behind yourself and your own behaviour, the more others will too.


  89. Wow my boss totally fits this description except he is stupid. I mean stupid in the sense that he doesn’t have a clue about how to do his job or to Check my work. I am female and an engineer. I do great work in a timely manner. My boss is a natural resources grad. The work we do for the state of Montana is very technical and he doesn’t want to learn because he got by his whole life on the good ole boy system. He has a team of 8 people and 4 of them are cowboys like him. They go to lunch together come and go as they please. The rest of us do most of the work. We are called in to his office individually and yelled at to do more and mistakes don’t matter. We have to have more numbers for the legislators. So we look good. It’s like a circus. He won’t approve training for the 4 of us he doesn’t like. He won’t even talk to us. I throw up most Sunday’s because I hate my job so much. I am looking for other jobs but the have phds applying. I guess I will just buy a horse and sucumb to his abuse. One more thing he was fired from his last state job for stealing guns. Welcome to Montana.


  90. I am constantly looking up information on this subject. I have been isolated from every aspect of involvement. I have gone into protect mode and keep a work journal at home. I copy every piece of email communication that I receive and send. I log every step I take at work. I have always been a good employee, have never had any issues with any employer I’ve ever had, and now I am in a situation that I am looking for other work, have no self esteem left. Problem with that, I am 2 years out from my degree and there isn’t anything out there that pays as well as this without a degree.

    There are 3 of us that she targets. She takes turns with us. I guess she gets board with one of us and moves on to the next. I am excluded from production meetings, which are attended instead by someone who is my subordinate, she verifies everything I tell her with this person, putting him in the middle, then expects me to know what is discussed in the production meetings. When she can’t find some minute thing that I may have done wrong, she pulls stuff that I did a year ago in our supposed one on ones that are me sitting there for 30 minutes being told what an incompetent I am. Last week she pulled up a mistake made 2 years ago and wanted me to explain it. She wasn’t even here two years ago. It gets more intense when one of the other managers tell her what a good job I do.

    When I’ve tried to take these things to her boss, I’m told it’s a personality conflict, and that I need to fix it. That I’m the one with the problem. I need to open the communication. When I try to do that, she tells me she’s the supervisor she’ll decide what happens and when. Then they go to her that I talked to them, and the bullying escalates for awhile. I’ve pretty much accepted that nothing is going to change, that I must deal with it, protect myself through documentation and hold on till I get my degree done and try to avoid having any one on one interaction that puts me alone with her behind closed doors.


    • ((((lori)))) i feel for you. the crazy man i worked for nearly broke me, and it sounds like your boss is worse. i thought i could outlast my crazy boss, that i was strong enough to make it, but i wasn’t. I ended up leaving a job i loved and i’ve now been unemployed for 2 years. on the good side, i’m no longer depressed or taking anti-depressants, and i think i’ve mostly healed from my experience. i do think a lot about the whole situation and wonder if i could’ve done anything differently.

      I wish i had some great advice for you, but my experience tells me that you should really start looking for something else. It’s good you’re documenting everything. just seems like in the bureaucratic world, people back the boss. no matter that he had a ton of problems with every other employee and lots of the people in our church (he was a senior pastor) – it didn’t matter. he was the boss and the personnel committee backed him. I hate to not be more optimistic, but i think my experience is not that uncommon.

      whatever you do, keep your health. if you’re developing symptoms of bad stress, your health is more important than any job. hugs!


    • that’s the position I am in now… behind closed doors. the last time that happened to me there was my bass and three of his goonies. two male two female. Both females to the left and right of me and the the two males in front and behind me… like a giant x and me in the middle. now I also avoid the boss’s office. i don’t go to meetings at all. since then my boss has tried to get all buddy buddy with me But i just down trust him any more. And the district level told me that he had to stand behind his store manager. And I can’t seem to find another job either… Some other things that happen are…. he will go behind me and pull signs off items and then with the signs in his hand ask me why I didn’t sign the item… and his goonies are standing there laughing. Or with tags,, I can’t even have a day off when tags come out because his goonies are the ones that he has put up the tags and they throw half away. but I am responsible for their actions.


    • I posted earlier about how this article and the comments are so similar to what I am going through, but I feel your particular situation is the most similar to mine. Like yours, our sup takes turns with with each of the 3 that she targets.

      I would be interested in knowing how else you have handled this situation. SL7@post.com

      All the best to you.


    • I suggest to get out of this job, for your health. I was in a very similar situation for a few yrs, escalating the last 2 years. Get out. DONT go to HR, or the superior again, ever. I did–it will only get worse from there. In my situation, especially once I went to HR, it became a systematic removal, a “de-hire”. Everything is taken from you except your basic responsibilities. You will be stripped of everything and slowly, psychologically and emotionally pushed out. Please. Get out, get out, get out. Start looking for a job, brush up your resume and save yourself. If you can’t wait that long, do everything you can to GET fired. I’m dead serious. Get fired, because then you may have a chance at unemployment if you need it. I didn’t do that, and am now in financial crisis, but gdamn I’m free. Please consider my advice.


  91. Thank you for your courage in writting this..This is happening at a college I am attending. The sad and disturbing thing is that it’s a nursing program .And I was wondering what kind of nurses they are sending out to help patients…YICKES! Very sad!~ It reminds me of the Penn St. thing that is going on..People know it, help keep it going and NO ONE SAYS ANYTHING!!! They just leave…It saddens me deeply that human beings can be so cruel.


    • Actually, in my research on this subject, I’m running across a pattern of harassment and mobbing taking place in the fields of nursing and education. It is very sad indeed. Corporations and companies are not interested in the individual’s welfare and well-being. They are interested in their bottom-line, and that is to save their ass from potential litigation, bad press, or just the “ickyness” of conflict. It’s poor leadership, absolutely, but it goes deeper. It’s political. There are entities out there, even and especially in the world of psychology that are butting heads with “targets” because they are anti-litigation. Corporate-thinking, dangerous wrong-thinking and naivety, maybe even personal agenda are all factors in the battle against bullying. It’s amazing how deeply painful and deeply corrupt this issue is. So many people have suffered. It is a crime against humanity, and the American workplace. I wish I knew the answer, but I wish you well in your battle, and please take care of yourself. You are NOT alone!!!


  92. […] you that he has years of manager experience of running successful departments. He manages in a bullying fashion, which with his total lack of experience makes sense why he feels he needs to bully to keep […]


  93. I handed in my notice at work today after years of being what I now realise is bullying by my boss. It finally hit me when 2 weeks ago at work he humiliated me in front of everybody when I said I felt cold.He replied by asking me if I had a coat and to wear it ???? I said its not very professional to sit in a Gp office with a coat and scalf on what kind of impression does that give to patients??? He replied with……well if you would like me to buy you a warm jumper then I will go to Tesco and get one for you……erm excuse me!!! I do not get my clothes from Tesco!!!
    On a serious note my general health is suffering and sometimes you need to call it a day .


    • I quit my job and my bully boss! Life is too short to allow someone to demean you as a person and to get others to do it as well. Before I quit, I told him he was a BULLY Boss and he seemed shocked! I guess these kind of people NEVER see it from another’s angle. Almost makes me feel sorry for his narrowmindedness…NOT!


  94. Great post….so accurate. I feel that this article was spot on. I am experiencing most of the same things here in the article and here in some of the comments. I have been told to journal events and that is what I have started doing. It is so unfortunate that this occurs and that we are forced to have to do this when all we really want to do is go to work, make a living and enjoy what we can out of life. Thank you for your comments, it is an isolating feeling to go through this until you read that others are experiencing similar.


  95. I was recently hired in March, and by May the bullying began. I resigned 2 weeks ago, and sent a copy of the resignation letter to HR via email for my file. My boss was so outraged, that she had me escorted off the property and treated me like a criminal the following day. They paid out my 2 weeks as an employee in good standing. I couldn’t take the games between my boss and my director. I often wondered why they hired me in the first place. There is a high turnover and the department is now 100% white females in a state that is approximately 50% white, 50% Hispanic. The final retaliation, was towards my resignation letter. They couldn’t just stop with the fact that they won their game in getting rid of me. I am now serving as a whistleblower and building a case against them. Now that I am not an employee, it is more empowering. I kept documentation and copied all email activities.


  96. This is so on target with my director. I stood up to her the other day and was punished by being left out of meetings and made to feel totally inadaquate. This is an ongoing thing for the last three years. Seems that no one cares as long as they are not the one being bullied. I am at the point that I am concerned about my mental health. I am feeling very sad and don’t know what to do. Seems this person has no heart. If I lose my job I am screwed. I have a mortgage and bills and I think I would just end my life if I lose my job over this person.


  97. I am in the same position as the person who wrote this blog. I don’t want to go into work to fight a battle everyday. I once enjoyed my job and the patrons appreciate the work I and my colleagues do. I want to leave my job because of the constant bullying but I mainly don’t want to let my boss win. I trained my boss and now I am being bullied by her. It’s comforting but sad to know that there are as many people experiencing bullying in the workplace.


    • If you find another job elsewhere and leave. He/she will only think they won. Keep documentation and proof of every incident. Once you are not employed turn in the documentation to HR and request and investigation. The worst thing that can happen is that your documentation will help other victims in the long run. Once a pattern is recorded, then HR and leadership can do something about it.


  98. Thank God I was finally let go from a job where my bully boss made mine and others’ lives miserable. I was fired in Ootober 2001. I filed for unemployment 2 days later. Here it is near the end of December and because my former employer (of course orchestrted by the bully boss), failed to report my earnings to the uemployment office, my case there became “under investigation” due totheir neglience. As you can imagine, I am l running out of mo9ney to live on.I had to call my state senator’s office to get the emplyer to report my earnings. At least, thanks to the senator’s staff, I now have adirect line to the investigator. Altjhough I still have to wait for the investigation to continue, ung-fortunately, this bully boss still contols my life as far as my ability to support myself. AS a result, I will be late in paying my rent and utilities, be drastically restriv-cted to driving my car due to hu-igh gas prices, and may need to apply for food stamps. Unfortunately, there are no laws she has violated and she has continued to control a greatdeal of my life BEYOND MY JOB TERMINATION. You can only imagine how angry I am! My only consolation is that I have faith in God who will eventualy make her pay for her evil acts toward me and others. I strongly believe in what you reap, you will sow. I am also hoping that this crusade against bullying bosses wil grow into a strong movemernt and, hopefully, some strong legislation against bosses who bully. Pwrhaps a renewed and astrengthened union movement may result out of this Occupy Wall Street movement. In any case, we need to continue the fight becaue se the powers that be want to take every right away from uspy wALL STREET MOVEMENT. iN ANY CASE, WE NEED TO CONTINUE THE FIGHT BECAUSE THE POWERS THAT BE WANT TO TAKE EVERY RIGHT WE HAVE AWAY



  99. I am a victim of bullying & mobbing


  100. I feel a lot of this article speaks to what I am going through. Especially the parts about the supervisor befriending you but then turning on you. Currently I am on long term disability because of my workplace unable to accommodate a mental illness I have. I am a hard worker, always had good employee evaluations etc and get along well with others. However my current supervisor seems to have targeted me for whatever reason especially since the need for accommodations came to light. This person has written up terrible lies (a day by day written commentary) about me in my employee file, – exaggeratons about my behavior, events that never happened and talking about verbal comments I have said that are untrue. These are seen to be inappropriate by my union and we have tried to grieve it. The upper level management is siding with supervisor and don’t believe that they are required to look into the matter nor remove this false information about me. This is causing me severe distress, I’m afraid my reputation will never be the same because of this, and may never be able to go back to work. I am a single parent and fear for the future. My illness alone has been difficult enough but with the added bullying/harassment by my supervisor, I feel close to not wanting to go on.


  101. I was recently axed by one of these. I have encountered two in my life on the workforce. Jealousy seems to be at the target in both cases and in both cases, there were people who believed I should get awards just as my final ax struck. It was my stupidity for thinking if I just did my job and did it well, he would leave me alone. They aren’t remotely interested in work performance, they are interested in bringing you down. Until HR Directors wise up on bully bosses, a lot of good workers are going to suffer a lot of fowl treatment and consequently, a lot of businesses will fall apart. Businesses need to make sure they hire people who are well versed in this area because it is out there and it is far more damaging then your average bully. There’s definitely a personality disorder with this type of person. Anyone who takes pride in deliberatley hurting another person has severe emotional issues and should not be in charge of employees.


  102. my boss is making my life a misery and doing it in such an underhand manner, everytime i have annual leave she is putting pressure on my staff to ‘dig up dirt’on me or the service that i am ultimately responsible for. she is dropping small lies into conversations to create a wave of response that she can then use to manipulate the situation with the director and falsely inform him of my faults. i have no outright proof and its mostly hearsay so she is being extremely smart.
    i am getting a huge amount of pressure from upstairs to find a new job as relations aren’t good as reported by the evil one even though i have an impeccable record, no dsciplines excelelnt attendance etc.. and she actually promoted to her second in command . I was once privvy to all her wrong doings and know she is abusing every system possible and have raised some red flags with the MD but truthfully she has some sort of hold on him and its a nightmare, my health isnt as yet suffering and i dont want to leave


  103. I feel like my life may be headed in this direction. i have been debating with myself whether i should do something about it now or wait til it gets worse. i absolutely love my job. i am a nurse and one of the doctors i work with is a complete psycho. i cannot tell if he is bipolar or what, but all you have to do is catch him at the wrong moment for him to snap at you in a way that makes you want to piss yourself. 5 minutes later he is nice to you like nothing happened. he has made a couple of the other nurses cry…very sweet nurses. i cannot go to the office manager because she is his wife. i’ve had him snap and talk to me in a horrible way a few times before but last night was the first time he literally made me feel like a weak minded stupid, hated person. i asked him a completely non-stressful question when it was very slow at work and he went off! for a whole 5 minutes he talked to me like he hated me and like i was the worlds biggest dumbass..i didnt even do anything wrong! (of course none of the other nurses were around). no one has ever scared me as much as him. he is very quiet and seems like a nice guy at first…but as soon as this COMPLETELY unpredictable mood comes around for no reason at all, he turns into a nut job. he literally talks like a psychopathic killer. ive never had anyone talk to me like they absolutely hate my existence, and then 5 minutes later give me a cheesy smile and be in a great mood. these moods are so rare though, that i dont know if i should do anything about it. but they are so bad and unpredictable i dont know if i can handle my nerves being on edge through out the work day.


  104. Life is too short to take crap from anyone! Don’t worry about getting fired, because you are going to be (or quit) whether you fight or not. Trust me, you will feel be better, and you will get another job. Its is just a place to get money anyway. Take your skill to where it’s appreciated.


  105. MY Story……

    Let me first say that nearly everything that has been said has happened to me. started out as pure lies , expanded to falsification of documentation, and finished with being screamed at and physical assault.

    I worked as a software developer and at irregular intervals I had “reviews” for the first two years I was the blue eyed boy couldn’t do anything wrong. My work was excellent, everybody liked me etc etc etc. Then out of the blue nobody liked me I’d offended the majority of colleagues and my work was terrible.

    I wasn’t informed what I’d done , no examples of poor work could be found but I just had to believe it was true because they said so. This went on for 4.5 years. Or so they thought.

    After the first negative review. I started overpaying my mortgage because I could see what was coming. Its vitally important to to have as little debt as possible because ultimately you HAVE TO LEAVE. Have a plan.

    EVERY time I had a meeting, one – one, or group I took my phone with me and recorded every single word he said and thank heavens I did. On a number of occasions I asked the employee rep to attend the one- one meetings with me and generally she was useless. Often denying things that had been said shortly after or trying to play down the halfwit comments that leaped from his mouth.

    A bullies weakness is the their confidence in “knowing” that no one will take them on. They can do and say whatever they want and that is your strength. Just sit back and record it.

    Ultimately, after 4.5 years, I went to see a solicitor and ended up with a good payoff. The guy is still in charge and he always will be because the people who should stop this are too weak it takes strength to stand up to bullies. So as soon as it happens to you. GET A PLAN and acknowledge that your moving on. and then get every scrap of evidence you would need for a tribunal or court case.

    Threaten them with going public let them know you have recordings of them not only bullying you but slagging off important customers and you’ll get a result. Don’t be a victim.


    • Hi John, I was reading your comment and agree with your advice. I am currently a victim of bullying from my boss, and have started writing a journal every day. Thank you so much!


  106. I just want to say thank you for everybodys comments, it has helped me to realise what’s going on in my work place. I will be discussing it with my colleagues tomorrow, as they too are victims of my bully boss.


  107. I wish this had been written 10 years ago! I had been in a job for about 4 years, always worked hard and got good reviews, got along well with my bosses and coworkers. During that time I had maybe 3 direct supervisors with no issues. At one point, that last one moved to a new position and they hired someone from outside. Her job title was office manager but she had past IT experience and was apparently eager to put it to good use which resulted in some clashing between us from the beginning.

    She employed many of the tactics listed in the article and comments. For the first time ever I didn’t get a raise, being told I wasn’t meeting expectations and that I was refusing to do some things – which was an outright lie. She sang nothing but praise to me to the partners, which made it downright impossible for me to complain about her as all they could say was “you’re kidding, she loves your work, just try to get along with her better”. One of my best friends there got the head partners ear once and tried to tell him of the issues and he was completely stonewalled.

    Some people saw right through her but many did not. While they may not have liked her they didn’t deal with her enough to care and so much of her attention was focused on me anyway.

    She was careful to befriend our HR person. At one point I asked the HR person to see my personal file and was pushed off for days until my boss had padded it with more of her false documentation. (as the network admin I could see her adding documents to the network about me). I then sat down with HR and disputed most of what she had written – not that anything came of that.

    Things got so bad I went to talk to one of the people I had previously worked beneath. When I was doing Y2K updates I had found some “teen pix” on his machine and turned him in. They actually told him what happened so he knew it was me. So you can imagine how desperate I was for help if I went to him for it!

    I lasted 14 months with her and most of that time was spent looking for another job. My greatest joy was going to her (after she told me I’d never get what I wanted salary wise – and what I asked for was way below industry standards) and telling her not only did I get a job for 15K more than I asked for, it was 10K more than she was making at the time. (that job I went to was miserable for different reasons but I stuck it out because no way was I going back!).

    When I finally gave my notice, the head partner asked me if there was anything he could do that would change my mind. ANYTHING!!!! All I asked for (keep in mind I just scored a 15K raise) was that I not work under her. That’s IT. Please give me another supervisor, I’m not saying she goes or I go, just let me report to someone else. But he is stubborn and believed in her abilities and said that would cause too many problems, so off I went.

    My best friend made sure the other partners knew why I was leaving and one by one they pulled me into their offices to apologize – but they sure couldn’t help me.

    Last I knew she was still there. She ended up hiring a friend of hers to replace me at twice my salary. They tore the entire network out and replaced it with what they wanted to do in the first place and for the first time in many years they had downtime during their critical workflow months.

    Not long after she started her bullying, I had to work on her machine and she had left an email exchange between her and her husband on the machine. I typically take great pains to minimize email and documents when working on someones machine as being discrete is part of the job. But curiosity got the better of me and I skimmed it. In reading it, it seemed her husband was quite the bully in their r/s and she was very submissive to him. It made me feel as though she can’t feel in charge at home, she she went overboard at work.

    She was probably a couple of years older than me. We are dealing with someone at a job right now who is having some serious issues. She is in her late-20s and after reading this, I almost think she is traveling down that same path. At least it’s a part time job and I do most of my work from home.

    Do you ever feel like you attract these whackos somehow?????


  108. I had two extreme bosses in a row, in two different states. I felt i had an exodus…only to land in another odd situation. The first thing i told myself was “What were the odds?”. The older I get, the more i realize that the odds of getting an aggressive type boss are quite higher than I expected. I’m on my third boss in an office environment and I noticed a pattern with certain types of bosses. I had one boss that was extreme as described in many other descriptions ( yelled, shouted, slammed hands the desk).. treated everyone like stepping stones…..but he was honest…he was perfectionist….and he actually did good work of his own. The other boss I had didn’t do any of the shouting, but she was an undercover aggressor who fabricated and manipulated scenarios….her own work was lousy. She was not honest or ethical. She used many of the low tactics described in all the descriptions above. She manipulated the work environment. I have a new job now with a new boss. It took me a while to learn how this pattern starts. I had to observe the new boss to understand it better. Here is the pattern I found with these bosses…even though they are all different:

    1) They are all under some eminent pressure from their own superiors.

    2) They have recently received some sort of negative feedback from their own superiors/peers. If you have done good work… it is to no advantage when your boss is getting hammered by their superiors/peers. So they have a tendency to put more pressure on you to get the results they are lacking. They will criticize just about anything at that point.

    3) These bosses have insecurities especially if you are exceptionally talented, smart, or very young. Youth alone can be intimidating. There is a perception that one must spend many years “earning” respect. But the reality is, you should have respect for your work and the work should be enough to speak for itself. So they often entertain the idea by slowing you down with manual or tedious tasks to level the playing field… because that is what they had to endure in the 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s before many of the technological advances. There may be an insecurity if there is large age difference between you and your immediate boss. Values and perceptions may clash.

    4) They are scared that you are more capable, smarter, or fear that they are lacking the capability to manage you. They will make extra effort to be “manager” because of that fear or insecurity. I have worked extra hours beyond my shift to be “caught-up” or to have a clean desk despite the heavy load…in order to operate with more ease the next day. The next day, I would get bombarded with newly assigned miscellaneous, made-up busy tasks, senseless projects that are designed to tire or occupy. There is another perception of “sharing the pain”. If your boss has a messy desk, so should you… otherwise, your boss will “share” the pain….whether it is on purpose or not. The insecurity also leads to managers being disagreeable for trivial details in work. For example “column width” and “color” on a spreadsheet.

    5) Helping your supervisors can backfire on you if done too painlessly. I didnt want my supervisors overloaded or feeling overwhelmed with their work. Especially when they were pulling their own hair out. I often helped each one of these bosses during the despair. Unfortunately, I learned it is not always the best thing to help too well. At least, dont help too efficiently. I had made this mistake even though i had the best intent. They start feeling stupid…insecure, etc etc… A few times they get red in the face…..thats not good!! Later on, they may criticize the work regardless. I had one supervisor that stopped asking for help out of pride…she didnt want me to fix the problem knowing it would only take me minutes ..when it took everyone else including herself hours or days. The insecure boss would be happier if you manually sweat blood and tears in your effort to help…than if you helped too elegantly.


  109. I worked with a sales person called Israel Attar many years ago, he not only was a poor performer, he bullied staff and was full of Bull S**t too.

    Lying came second nature to him. Soooooo glad we got rid of him.

    Did I forget he took all the credit for everyone elses work, snooped through peoples drawers and emails and had no management skills at all?

    He would call the boss behind people’s backs, not be in the office for days on end, would leave early and not tell anyone.

    It took a while for the department to see through him but he was so dis-honest, he tripped himself up.


  110. I have a question if your still answering them.
    A year or so back I had a problem with bullying via the boss and myself. I had a meeting which she thought she was going to score on me signing my last writeup before they fire me…. Which was a bunch of made of stuff. I stood my ground and stood up for myself and didn’t sign it. All was good…. up until the other day another friend of his or someone in the company was hired and now I have been moved to the back of the back, outta the workplace, but not fired.

    I imagine that the bosses above him know what’s going on as other “people in the office’s” friends are now being hired in positions that are not made employable to anyone else but their friends.

    Any suggestions what I can do? Just ignore it all? What happens when that friend of their’s who is under me starts trying to get the power to tell me what to do.


    • If you have a mobile phone that can record the abuse – DO IT! Check the rules of your company first. If the manager has a manager, share the recording with her/him!


  111. My boss is bullying me all time I’m not happy and shick of my life can I do any thik about it or get sum help!!!!


  112. ok enough of these stories i to have been through hell and back lets find
    out away to get them back no more no more lets ban together and do something about it now i

    will have every news station at my job no lawyers not even attorney generals office will help because he is well known. but when i present the truth and the proof how many lawyers do you think will be calling me?


  113. We used to be the best of friends, me and my manager, when we were peers. At Boeing, we worked well together for years, then he became me boss. I was completely blindsided by his bully behavior and the mobbing that began immediately when I became a member of his group. The bullying became so severe, it was all I could do to go to work each day to face the ostracism and emotional violence by the entire group of 18 people. In past assignments, I consistently won awards for my accomplishments and loyalty, was always well liked and appreciated by both my customers and suppliers.

    After just a few months of the bullying, I broke! I had a nervous breakdown and had to be hospitalized. That was simply fuel for the pyre the manager had built around the stake on which he had tied me. He attempted to fire me for poor performance due to this absence. He said I was incompetent. And, when I refused to engage in his critical and accusatory questions, he became physically and verbally violent – I was stunned he would behave as such in a prestigious company and think he could get away with it.

    Reporting this incident to our Human Resources department was a waste of time. Their purpose is not to protect the employee – it is to protect the company from a law suit. I didn’t know at the time, but I should have gone to the Employee Equal Opportunity representative to report the inappropriate behavior.

    As the abuse continued my health deteriorated – there is just so much stress a person can endure without physical consequences. My attendance was also poor as a result of being in such a hostile work environment. When I would so much as hear his voice or see his face, I would experience a panic attack. When he would ferret me out for a one-on-one, I would shake uncontrollably. He seemed to enjoy my reaction – it seemed to fuel his sociopathic and narcissistic behavior to have a victim over whom he had emotional control.

    Though I reported and documented his behavior to his manager there seemed to be no recompense or consequence for his behavior and it continued until one day, I decided to record one of our one-on-one meetings on my mobile iPhone. I sent the results to his manager – finally, I had proof of his violence towards me. His manager was appalled.

    A few months later, a “reorganization” was announced. True to the past, Boeing will create a new position for bad managers giving them a new but smaller crew of people to supervise. As the bad manager begins to fail, which they will ultimately do since their true skills are management by intimidation, their employees will be reassigned elsewhere until the manager manages no one. At that point the bad manager is laid-off and their assignment cancelled.

    I am at last happy today to go to work. My fellow employees no longer have a person to listen to their tattle tails in the form of this horrible manager. They are beginning to see my value rather than listening to the former manager’s negativity about me. I am still suffering from the emotional attacks and character assassinations, but I have and will continue to prevail. I am a survivor!


    • Hard to imagine that there isn’t more slander or defamation suits won against these narcissistic bosses and the companies they represent. Hadn’t thought about EEO and most here seem to be correct that HR is a worthless approach. Your story is very familiar and we’re glad to hear that it ended well for you.


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  115. Seems to be some common thinking on approaching the H.R. dept about your issues. I personally think that’s bad advice but I am surprised more people aren’t filing Wrongful discharge suits against former employers and have to think if they were and those suits were successful, employers would have more a vested interest in policing their management. I’ve read there’s an increase in narcissistic managers in the workplace and have to think that
    increase is related to an increase in violence in the work place as well.

    One common thread of these people is their charismatic charm and the thing I’d really like to know is do they know when they ‘re being this phony POS or are they so bi-polar that they don’t even know and therefore might pass polygraph because Jekyll never really knew what Hyde had done and vise-verse.

    Pretty good info on psychopath bosses:

    7 Tips for dealing with bully bosses:

    In closing, it would appear that if a person wants to keep their job in the midst of a boss like this, they need to out-mindf*ck their boss.


  116. Love this thread. Keep it up. Have a “flip flop” manager who one day says things should be done one way, and the next another. The good thing is that I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a full masectomy last year. She (yes she) went from bullying me to the whole team. Plus they had ridiculous high staff turnover whilst I was away as no one else could do my job reliably. Even though she has a “lawyer” for a husband, she can’t win as she can’t keep track of her own lies. I let her think she is winning whilst the evidence is accumulating. Either she will be sorted or their will be a big payout for my children.


  117. This is really scary how many of us have been in this situation. My entire department is experiencing this and it is becoming clear to me t that the best option will be to leave. This person has everyone scared , fearing being fired daily but it does not appear that anyone cares how awful we are treated. So many of us have gone to Human Resources and asked for help yet are ignored. Tonight I witnessed one of his totally ridiculous unfounded assaults on a coworker and know it is just a matter of time until I get mine.
    I will begin a serious purisuit of a job search this weekend.
    Thank you all for writing at least we know we are not alone


  118. This is terrible news. I can’t believe how many people are going thru this and there are absolutely no laws in the United States to protect workers from this type of psychological assault. We now have a director and assistant director who are causing our employees to become fearful, demoralized and antisocial. We have two offices and in one office, the employees hardly say a word to each other. We used to be so close or at least respectful to one another, now everyone is suspicious because spying on your fellow employees is rewarded with promotions and other benefits. People are being harrassed and nitpicked for everything. The environment is so hostile now. These supervisors are out of control, and I am leaving because they have especially targeted me recently. I am single, no kids and no mortgages, so I will probably be able to find another job and move on, hopefully. I feel sorry for those who have to stay in this mess.


  119. Please be aware that Serial Bullies are NOT always ‘bosses’. A Serial Bully can be any member of staff that exhibits the given behaviours. In some organisations, even the boss can be the target of a Serial Bully. Neither do they need high emotional intelligence. In fact their emotional intelligence might be exceptionally low.


    • Dear Anon,
      You are quite right on both counts! I have been blogging about the “work place bullying/mobbing phenomenon”, under the pseudonym “ABC” since 2004, this website being my forth. Having also read, commented, and contributed to many other websites, news articles, and support groups, throughout these past several years, I am very much aware, that –

      Not all “adult bullies” are bosses, and not all of them, have good “emotional intelligence”. Some “adult bullies”, don’t even work, but use “bullying and mobbing” behaviors just the same, in other roles.

      Bottom line, although there are many different types of bullies, the article you commented on, titled “Tactics of a Work Place Serial Bully Boss” was about just that, the most dangerous type there is, and likely the largest hidden threat, that working people face, each day.

      Thank you for your comment, ABC


      • It has been 7 years now and finally I am at the breaking point. The serial Bully is also the Controller and Manager. No HR dept to go to, no one above! No EAP programmes at work. He thrives on Controll. If you question something he has done, he will make your life hell for a long time afterwards. No communication in the work place, all the ‘silent treatment”. He enjoys confronting in front of a crowd, gives him power. Before I started he abused a worker so bad her husband came to confront him and ended up with a restraining order against the husband! Shuts the door on them when they are just behind them. Deliberately is “nice” to everyone but yourself. Sits with his back to everyone in his office at the computer, workers knock at his door for acknowledgement but he often deliberately ignores them. IT is all his way or the high way. Thankfully I have found this site and find it a relief I am not the only one being abused . Why is this not made so much aware to the world as other types of bullying? These Bullies should be brought forward and made known. They will keep getting away with it if this is not made a constant problem. Maybe we should get “Ellen” involved!


  120. Ditto above.

    Once you realize your boss is abusive, for whatever reasons, might as well just keep moving…no sense in wasting your efforts you won’t get anywhere. It almost always ends badly.

    Personally I resigned before the village political appointee could do more harm, not that enough wasn’t already done. Cut your losses early with these types, don’t try to tough it out. Your work will not be recognized nor rewarded — these types will take all the credit and spin everything as if they are “Mother Theresa” and you are “Medusa”.
    I lasted 4 years, I waited way too long, and tried every trick in the book, nothing worked.

    They turn the tables quite easily, they are masters of deception. Lies/propaganda of course, but that’s their stock-in-trade. The only way you “win” and it won’t be “monetary” is to refuse to play their game, refuse the abuse.

    Document, document, document as poster said above, everything, then expect to get fired or be forced to resign. It’s better if you can prove a pattern with your documentation of the abuse, and that you made attempts to correct it by following chain-of-command to the top, then if you resign you may stand a snowballs chance in hell of getting unemployment.

    You must prove intolerable working conditions, harassment, fraud, discrimination, you must have solid evidence of this before quitting (witnesses, emails, etc.).

    Then, if you are in a protected group, proceed with an EEOC. If you aren’t in a protected group, write up a nice exit interview to keep on file with all your documentation.

    Because trust me, these types NEVER give a good reference when you quit, so expect that too, and don’t let that fear hold you back from acting on your own morals, values and convictions.

    Don’t hide the abuse, you are only enabling them. No different than an abusive personal relationship, call it like you see it, don’t whitewash any of it and be free of it, and never look back or second-guess yourself. Listen to your gut, it’s telling you in order to survive the treachery and abuse, you need to “hunt” someplace else!

    And if I ever go back to the “formal” workplace, and ever have another interview, I will tell the interviewer the truth about my resignation, I would preface it with “in my opinion” I was working for an incompetent bully boss and upper-management failed to acknowledge my concerns and/or make any attempt to correct the situation.

    If the interviewer freezes & can’t handle the truth and then scurries the interview like a cockroach, then you can damn well bet you wouldn’t want to work for them either.

    Vent off 🙂


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  123. This sounds exactly like a situation I am in right now. The only difference is this is a co-worker who has managed to make my new boss believe all of her lies. She has been with our company about a year and he has been with our company for less than a year. I love my job and don’t want to be forced out because of her. I think she is mentally ill, but know one believes me. She is out right mean to me when no one is around and flat out lies about things I say and do. I don’t understand how someone could look at my work history and evaluations and believe her. I need help. I cry all of the time.


    • I saw this in my last job, which I was forced out of (the target of a undiagnosed Aspergers workplace bully and senior manager). The place, a European Weather Centre, had (still has?) several kinds of heavily dysfunctional people in charge and a nice but non-functional HR. My first thought was if your co-worker had “Munchausen At Work” or MAW but it doesn’t tie in all that well. Mental illness in its various forms is a definite possibility – the Weather Centre also had a compulsive liar who caused no end of grief (she’s still there). Unless your management or HR have pretty switched-on people, and I think that’s rare, my advice is to get out of there. And I know what that entails, but propose you do it anyway. The usual recommendation to find another job first, if you can, stands. You “can’t fix crazy” – psychopathy, narcissists, Munchausens – there’s no fix and co-workers will usually do anything rather than face the truth that such people are operating in their company. If they acknowldge it, their bosses will do nothing. Best of luck to you, I hope you find a way out of this.


  124. excellent account of what is happening to me, advised turnover is a result of my leadership skills yet all staff that have left are saying I am the best boss they ever had and are all putting in writing. Said should never have been put in the job (have been in this job 7 years and continually promoted) said I don’t have the intelligence. Said could not manage him up.
    Resigned could not take any more no notice. Going to mediation. I guess he will deny. Anyone with this experience.


    • “Anyone with this experience?”

      Most every target of a work place serial bully boss, knows exactly what you mean. The problem is, it’s nearly impossible to get others to see it and believe it too! Resignation is the best way to rid your self of the insanity. However, keep in mind that good performers often experience work place bullying again in future jobs. Keep doing a good job where ever you work, but keep a low profile. Remember, targets are chosen for abuse by bullies who are jealous of the target’s abilities. Just as bullies try to hide their bullying and inadequacies, targets should try to keep their successes to themselves. Best of luck in your future employment and don’t let the bullies get you down, ABC


  125. Never knew how prevalent that this serial bullying actually is and how closely my situation matches many of the above scenarios. My boss may have bitten a bit more off he can consume. Thank you for this blog.


  126. That is very attention-grabbing, You’re an excessively skilled blogger.
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    • I was the target of an aggressive bullying boss for six months. It caused me to re-evaluate my future, which had included at least one more year of working for my employer, as I am 65 and had been in the business for 42 years. After reporting it all to HR, including the taking away of my largest and most profitable account for no apparent reason, arbitrarily affecting my income, I told HR I did not know how much longer I could work for this person. This move backfired on the bully boss- the company agreed to supplement my income for six months to make up for the income, charging the branch profit number with the additional monthly payout – on top of paying another salesperson the profit income on the account that the bully took from me- DOUBLE WHAMMY!

      Having a “stupidvisor” who was capricious and arbitrary with every move she made with me, she lost the most dedicated and the top producing sales person under her roof. Two months later, with two weeks’ notice I left her high and dry trying to fill the most challenging account base and geography in her office.

      I know she must be looking for a new target, and has her “mob” in full motion.

      Document it all, report it all, and if you are serious make sure you stay in weekly, if not daily contact with HR. This is their problem- don’t be shy, get them on your side, because initially they are not on your side- they work for the company, not you. If you are the real deal, the real target of a bully and truthful about what is happening, HR will have to look at the situation. If they do not, be prepared to take it to the next level (VP’s, etc), as companies are very concerned about real situations and do not want to expose themselves to a potential large lawsuit from a you. Have your facts in order, even recordings, if you are really serious.


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  128. I was suggested this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my problem.
    You are incredible! Thanks!


  129. They are everywhere- they don’t care about you or your performance. I left an industry after 42 years because of 6 months of a bully boss. I was the top performer at my sales branch for 2013- not even a thank you after my resignation. Don’t expect HR to do anything- I lodged a rather detailed accounting of the bully boss and the lies and that this person would find someone else in my absence to bully into submission.

    Thanks for your site. Keep up the great work.


  130. wow this is exactly describing my former DM at True religion she forced out my previous store manager and then did the same thing to me after she found someone to run the store that didnt question her inadequacies as a DM.


    • Yup, it is in their nature. Their day will come when they run out of candidates to fill positions as the word gets around, or the company determines that they are actually inadequate- a sure sign that someone has “reached their level of incompetency”- The Peter Principle…..


  131. I also had a number of contacts with HR, including an initial personal 1 hr meeting regarding this persons tactics. Even a conference call from the boss’s office to HR, where the boss was a cordial as anyone could ever be. HR is interested in only thing…… that you do not sue the company. They know you are going to leave. When you are in the right, and I was the second person to resign after this bully took over, so the odds were in my favor, HR will give you anything, within reason, when you leave. Do not leave anything on the table…… including your real reason for resigning.


  132. I am crying because this is exactly what has happened to me and even though I absolutely cannot afford to be without a paycheck, even though stronger friends/colleagues outside my department has told me to stay strong and not get sucked in emotionally, I’ve decided I have to put in my resignation because the mob bullying has entered my psyche and is completely destroying my belief in myself after spending over a decade in this company. I feel so betrayed and naive at the same time. I worry that I won’t be able to function in my next job. All this and deep down, I know I did my job well but still, I am shaken and my emotions are all twisted up in knots.


  133. Dear Hanging by a Thread,
    I feel your pain, your words expressed the feeling of being betrayed by work place bullies, in a way that only those who actually experienced it can. You are very wise in your decision to leave your job. You can only recover from an abusive situation by first leaving it. You know you did your job well and therefore are capable of doing a good job else where. I would distance myself from your former workplace and co-workers, to avoid refueling an emotional fire you put out by leaving. Cry your eyes out privately to get it out of your system, then look forward, for new opportunities and ideas. Do not discuss this problem with potential future employers, instead, tell them how well you truly performed on your job. You know the truth, don’t let the lies of the past rob you of your future self confidence. After all, confidence in your self, is something that you already earned and proved to yourself. Your experience is horrible to go through for sure. Believe it or not, the emotional pain will eventually fade with the passage of time, making room in your mind to consider what you learned, and how you matured into a stronger person through the trial of this experience.

    May God Bless you in your future pursuits, ABC-AntiBullyingCrusador


    • I agree completely. I suggest you do a list of what you did well – it may well be very tough emotionally to start with – in which case also ask your real friends to help you with it. You’ll have proof and examples of what you did well – that’s the positivity you bring with you to any new employment, what your new employer will want to hear about and what will help you to move onwards.


  134. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and
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    • Thank you for the compliment! But, I really didn’t make any decisions on my own, nor even choose the words I wrote. Most everything on this web site was inspired by God, through His Holy Spirit! All praise goes to Him.

      I started writing about “workplace bullying and mobbing” way back in 2004, when no one in the United States knew the meaning of these terms. After doing an Internet search on the terms “intimidation at work”, I finally found a web site, written in the United Kingdom, which described my experience so precisely, it changed my whole perspective of this persistant, seemingly unsolvable problem, that I was having with my boss, that just didn’t make sense. Once Learning the proper full term of my experience, “The Phenomenon of workplace bullying and mobbing”, terms that both I, as well as everyone I asked, had ever heard of before, brought me to the sources of information I needed to understand my problem. After reading that targets of workplace bullying and mobbing, who have no understanding of the problem, often consider, attempt, or successfully commit suicide, I suddenly felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to start writing, and used a free platform available through my Yahoo account.

      Free platforms are really free, unless you choose advanced options that you are charged for. All the free platforms I used were great in that they manage the technology, such as changing my words into code, and making my web site more available through search engines etc.. They are often available through the website, of your Internet connection provider.

      The problem with free platforms, are the ones I initially chose, discontinued their free platforms. This WordPress blog, is actually my fourth web site, but seems like it will be around for awhile. You also cannot advertise, to make money on free platforms. Any ads you see on my web site are put there by WordPress, for their profit, not mine.

      So, you see, I have no real expertize, or special qualifications in writing or blogging at all, I just find myself in the midst of doing God’s will. You’ll need to look else where for the worldly experts, or you may try praying on it, like I did. If it’s God’s will for you to use the Internet for His purpose, you’ll suddenly find yourself in the midst of doing just that, using the best platform, the right words, as well as all the other details, which will fall into place, according to His purpose. The path so easy and clear, you hardly notice the path at all, until you’ve arrived.

      God Bless you, in all your efforts and His, ABC-AntiBullyingCrusador


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    • Adult bullying IS very complicated especially when the bully involves others, which is called mobbing. The bully deceives so many people using so many lies it’s unbelievable even to me. When I first learned about the work place bullying and mobbing phenomenon, I read everything I could, sometimes rereading articles, in order to get the level of understanding I needed, to beat the problem, only to learn that most of the time, it can’t be beat! Hard lesson to learn for sure. If you’re a target, that’s the most important thing to know. Without telling anyone at your work place, it’s best to just find another job else where, or a position in the same company, in which you have no contact with the bully. Bullies rarely give up until their target is eliminated from the work group. Thank you for your comment, it’s spot on! ABC


      • A great blog, thank you. It is spot on and I am so much happier now I have left my job and am now realising what it did to me, my health and my colleagues still facing it. I should have done it much earlier.


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  147. Thanks for finally talking about >Tactics Of A Workplace Serial Bully Boss.
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  150. Howdy! I understand this is somewhat off-topic however I needed to ask.
    Does building a well-established blog like yours take
    a massive amount work? I’m brand new to blogging however I
    do write in my journal every day. I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my
    experience and views online. Please let me know if you have any kind of suggestions or tips for
    new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!


    • Dear Readers and commenters,

      See quote below, from the reader’s comment above.

      “have you any kind of suggestions or tips for
      new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!”

      I have received this, and similar comments dozens of times recently. I’ve answered the question at least twice, before the sudden increase in the asking of the question, led me to question the true motive of the asking. By clicking on these commenter back links, it was easy to see, that most off topic comments or questions are a means of getting a free link on this website, directing readers to their commercial, off topic website. Too bad they weren’t really interested in the answer to the question which is very profound and important for their Souls.

      In my prayers, but not on this web site any longer, ABC


  151. It’s hard to find well-informed people in this
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    • Dear Anonymous,
      Workplace bullying and mobbing is one of those topics that only those who truly experienced it first hand, can truly believe it is something that REALLY HAPPENS and NOT to just the sniffling cry babies on board, BUT to the BEST workers on staff! It’s hard to believe unless you’ve actually been there and studied it thoroughly. Thanks for your comment. ABC


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  176. This is an example of an email from my manager. Please tell me what you think.


    It has been brought to my attention that the same nurses continue to feel that they are given or end up with the most assignments every time they work. I have asked (someone’s name) to create a spreadsheet for you to track your numbers. This is something that I will be glad to look at, at the end of each month and discuss concerns as needed. However, tracking your numbers will be your responsibility. This is not mandatory.

    The following information will be available on the spreadsheet for you to log:

    Number of patients at the beginning of shift
    Number of discharges
    Number of admits/transfers
    Number of patients at the end of the shift

    Please remember there are 4 new nurses who should been given the lesser assignment at this time.

    Please let me know if you have any questions.


    • Dear JLyn
      Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, but unless I am missing something here, it doesn’t seem like a bullying situation that you are describing. However, after I carefully reread your manager’s email, I did notice some nursing management problems that I wouldn’t mind commenting on. Tracking numbers of patients a nurse cares for, admits and discharges daily does not reveal the actual amount of physical work that any single nurse does daily because of the varying care needs of each individual patient as well as the varying support needs of your new nurses. Making the use of this tracking tool non-mandatory, makes it completely useless. How can you determine if nurse A does more care, admissions and discharges, if nurse B doesn’t participate. It’s occuring to me, that your manager maybe bullying, if she is intelligent enough to understand how useless her tool really is.
      ABC – AntiBullyingCrusador


  177. Very excellent analysis
    I think need to read all new employers to avoid mental conflicts.


  178. Holy crap this was dead on from what I have been going through. I have been at my job for ten years. Everyone liked me including all my bosess and they loved the way I worked. I never had a complain in all the years I worked. Than one of my co workers husband came in and started to bully a co worker. The same way you wrote about but no one seen it. That person quit because no one believed her. Now his after me and i am stuck in the same situation where no one sees it because he acts so nice in front of people. He has the bosses ear. So whenever I won’t do what he want he complains and I get things put against me. I wish you had what todo about all this. He shouldn’t get away with this but to find the proof he does this is very hard


  179. WOW, experiencing it right now. Thanks for the knowledge.


  180. […] Tactics Of A Workplace Serial Bully Boss. By ABC […]


  181. This is exactly what happened to me.. And you’re right. Its the ‘mobbing’ that hurts and confuses the most..I just couldn’t understand how colleagues id supported so strongly could suddenly ‘turn’. I had no option but to leave. Which has killed any chance of getting a job again because the ‘toxin’ has spread.. I still shudder to think what stories are being told about me.. People are so fickle..even the ones youve known for years.. Your article is spot on..no one believes you.. They think its you eho are ‘disturbed’ or ‘obsessing’.. Does the penny finally drop for those people?.. Do they ever get found out?


  182. Wow this article describes me to a t LOL. I use all these techniques but I use them to Target lackluster employees. After I’ve tried working with them and can’t get any success motivating them I start bullying them. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but it’s satisfying when someone who doesn’t like to work is in anguish. Eventually they burn out and quit, which is my ultimate goal. I guess I’m just a psychopathic bully LOL.


  183. Psychopathy is a disorder that varies in its level of severity. You may have heard of the “spectrum of autism” for example. The fact that you are first motivated to bully someone because you “can’t get any success motivating them”, is better than bottom of the barrel psychopaths who bully, just for their own satisfaction. I do find your description of bullying someone “in anguish” “as satisfying”, very troubling however. Thinking like most normally caring people, I wonder why you just don’t fire employees who don’t meet your expectations. Why drag it out until your bullying causes someone in anguish to quit? Or choose suicide instead! Could it be a “bully’s satisfaction”?


  184. […] Most targets are forced out of their positions within two years of a bullying and mobbing campaign. Forced out by being fired, resigning, becoming ill, committing suicide or going postal!  All of this could be avoided if every working person had a knowledge of “workplace bullying and mobbing”. ~ ABC-AntiBullyingCrusador’s […]


  185. […] De fleste mål blir tvunget ut av sine stillinger innen to år etter mobbing og mobbing. Tvinges ut ved å bli sparket, bedt om å bli syk, begå selvmord eller gå post! Alt dette kunne unngås dersom hver arbeidstaker hadde kunnskap om “mobbing på arbeidsplassen”.~ ABC-AntiBullyingCrusador’s […]


  186. I am a material handler 1 @ Bobcat/ Dosan Bismarck North Dakota , I am African American male who often when I am in the job feels oppressed and descriminatwd against because of being different.I want to do a good job and move to the elders department, but there is much opposition. Everybody is telling me I’m paranoid but I have a strong sense of when there are coworkers who are watching to see when there’s fail. I want to hold a job and go to Bismarck state college and get a associates of arts and science but I’m scared this job will not last long enough for me to achieve that goal. p. Please pray for my strength in the lord.


  187. Excellent customer service. We stopped for
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  188. Vor dem Lesen dieses Artikels hatte ich eine ganz andere Perspektive auf plastische Chirurgie. Vielen Dank! prp


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