Dear ABC. ABC Answers Your Questions.

  1. Linda, on July 6th, 2008 at 2:14 pm Said: Edit Comment

Dear ABC,

Recently I was let go from a per-diem physical therapist assistant position at a nursing home. There where contrived complaints against me like I walk around too much and then I need to speed it up. I was blamed for things that other people did like changing the parameters on a range of motion machine and making more work for other people because i asked them to show me something. I did not recognize the signs and I should have. It leaves me feeling very helpless and not wanting to go out and look for another job because i have the attitude that it is just going to happen again. My boyfriend tells me to buck it up and move on making me feel worse. I noticed that you are a nurse doing home care. Do you think this kind of thing is prevalent in health care? it is terrible, it makes it more difficult to do a good job for the patient because it makes one so paranoid about being attacked verbaly and dragged into the office for the inquisition about supposed shortcomings.Lin


Dear Lin,

Yes, workplace bullying and mobbing is more prevalent in health care and with many of the “helping professions”. Education is another high-risk job category. It is thought that these professions have a higher incidence, because people who choose these professions, are good bait for bullies. “Targets” often have a non-confrontational personality style in which they share a higher than average concern for fairness, justice, and integrity. All of these qualities which bullies detest. Homecare probably has a lower average of bullying and mobbing than other healthcare professions because the majority of the work is done one on one, in individual patient homes, which isn’t as conducive to the dynamics needed, in the building of a bullying and mobbing campaign.

You need to “move on” as your boyfriend suggests but while keeping in mind that your mind also needs time to heal from the emotional abuse you have been sustaining at the hands of your employer. It may seem immature to some, to be upset about the petty complaints your employer lodged against you, but the truth is, trivial fault finding and nit-picking are emotional abuse, and like any abuse, it takes its toll on both your emotional and physical health.

It is true that no matter where you work, or what profession you choose, you’re likely to come across workplace bullying and mobbing. That is a fact of life that every working person needs to know about. We should all know how to recognize it when we see it, then have the courage to name it, “workplace bullying and mobbing”, then together with others, we need to end workplace bullying and mobbing together! ABC

3 Responses

  1. I worked at the same company for well over 20 years before I was mobbed. As a result I think I have a rather unique view of how things have changed over time in corporate America.

    I think there are real fundamental changes going on with how people treat each other now a days in the workplace and beyond. There now seems to be much less respect for co-workers and even the company itself. This also goes for how the company treats its employees.

    I’m a middle aged guy and my bully was a much younger female that appears to have targeted me for the fun of it. She made up, then circulated some disgusting gossip about me. It got so bad I used to have women giving me the most disgusted looks the could summon up, when I would walk down the halls or be out in the parking lot alone. Most but not all of the people involved were younger, so maybe something generational is going on.

    When I reported these incidents to HR I was told to “Let it go if I know what’s good for me..” Fortunately I was leaving as an early retiree anyway, but I did have to live through a pretty intense and large mobbing against me for better than a year. The mobsters put on quite a disgusting show for me. If I had not been able to leave when I did I don’t know what I would have done.

    My wife has a 30 something friend that also works for a large company. She says that gossip at her place is totally out of control and completely disgusting.

    There was always some gossip at my company but it was not as out of control and vicious as it was when I left.

    For me the one thing that makes it hard to get over being mobbed is the loss of innocence of what people are really like. I used to think people were decent and reasonable, but now I know many are vicious and reckless, to the point of actually being dangerous. Being the target of a mobbing is a life changing experience.


  2. –Response from ABC to “mobbed at work”-

    I am so sorry to hear of your experience. I too went through a terrible time with “loss of innocence” as you said. After finding anti-bullying literature on the Internet, I had to read it over and over again to get to the point where I could really believe that people are capable of bullying behavior. Prior to finding out about workplace bullying, I thought it had to be something about ME that was causing all my workplace problems. Thank God I found out the truth before turning all my hurt inward upon myself. Thanks again for your comments. Sincerely ABC


  3. I am sorry to hear of your experience at your health care job. It is tough to “move on” from that kind of abuse. With what happened to me two weeks ago with my ex boss it has been very tough mentally dealing with it all… She got very nasty and threatening.
    I too feel a loss of innocence because I believed that my ex boss was the best person and could be a friend for life. I have always believed that people are good and all of that… I still believe that but now I know that there are exceptions!! I am not the same person after working and being around her but I hope that this makes me a stronger more aware person.


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