Life After Office Mobbing – A Fresh Perspective. By Patrick Maina


Patrick Maina

Patrick Maina - Positive Words of Encouragement

Life After Office Mobbing – A Fresh Perspective.

By Patrick Maina

Article Commentary by ABC

HAPPY NEW YEAR!   Here is an excellent idea for your 2009 New Year’s Resolution:  Resolve to channel the energy of your anger against bullies into positive action this year.    Read the four step plan below and learn how you can fulfill your destiny and win the war of life despite lost battles.  Do you have a bigger purpose in life?  Read about this and more in the following article written by Patrick Maina, a reader of this weblog.  Patrick originally wrote this article as a “comment” in response to the article “Revenge, Getting Back at The Bully Boss”.  With Patrick’s permission, I am presenting his “comment” as a feature article to insure that all my readers can easily find his words.  Patrick has a very positive perspective, that I wouldn’t want anyone to miss.      Read “Author’s Bio” at the end of his article to read more about Patrick.

Patrick Maina, on December 31st, 2008 at 9:33 am Said:

Fellow Victims,

Revenge against past bullies will only consume your remaining energy and possibly backfire to hurt you or your family even more. You will learn nothing from revenge – hence you will still be open to future attacks from smarter, wealthier and more powerful mobs or bullies.

That said, don’t suppress or deny your anger. List all the accusations on paper. It’s painful – but list them all. Let the anger grow inside you. Feel it. Let it burn inside you. How could they even dare say what they said? You want to do something, anything to make them pay – right? You feel energized – right? GOOD. Keep reading.

NOW channel all that energy to positive action that will benefit YOU. Yes, that’s right, action that will result in something good for you.

First make a plan:

1. Keep that list of false accusations somewhere you can see it every day. It’s going to be your source of “fire”.

2. Take stock of your positive things and your strengths. Don’t look at negatives – you’ve had enough already. Try and think beyond your career. Are you good at organizing parties (Event management)? did you successfully juggle a job, motherhood, marriage/boyfriend (Time management skills!)? Have you raised children who are on their way to success (leadership / mentoring / counseling skills) etc…

3. What do you really enjoy doing? Is it related to your past job? Most people are extremely adept when it comes to their hobbies. What they don’t know is that others can pay for their skills! Can you bake a pie like no one else? Are you into Art? Can you sing? etc. Losing a job can be an OPPORTUNITY to do what you love!

4. Still prefer employment? Update your CV and make it a daily Job to find a Job. i.e. get up every morning and spend 8 hours looking for a job. Every day. Try freelance and short term assignments in related areas. It doesn’t have to be the job you used to do.

Example: As someone who has been bullied before, I am contemplating doing seminars about the effect of bullying to HR managers. You could team up with a professional speaker and be the “walking case study”.

Remember, what doesn’t destroy you only makes you stronger!

In strategy, a good general can differentiate between a battle and a war. You can lose a battle – and still win the war. Focus on the war (your life) and learn from the lost battle (your lost job).

Historically some of the greatest people on earth were victims of bullying or mobbing. Jesus Christ was mobbed and crucified – and he was God’s son. Moses had to run from Egypt after confronting a bully. Daniel was sexually harassed and thrown into jail on false accusations. Job was bullied and harassed by Satan. Noah was ridiculed and psychologically harassed when he built the ark.. the list is endless!

Yet these “victims” were great people specially chosen by God for a BIGGER PURPOSE IN LIFE. They lost many small battles – but eventually, they won the WAR.

Channel the anger and hate into positive action. They wanted to shatter your confidence – be MORE CONFIDENT THAN EVER! They suggested you are incompetent – be even BETTER at what you do. Never put yourself down.

One day, after you fulfill your destiny, you will look back and realize that despite losing many battles.. you WON the war… and ultimately, that’s what really counts.

Do you like what you just read? Do you agree with the suggestions? Good. Now, don’t start immediately. Treat yourself to a HOLIDAY for the next 3 days – starting tomorrow. Spend time with you and your closest loved ones. Doesn’t have to involve spending. Quality time is what matters. even reading your favorite book or arranging your favorite flowers or playing music… Just forget your troubles and enjoy like never before. Soldiers do this before battle.

Then on 4th Jan., wake up early and start working on your plan for WINNING the war! It will be hard – but as long as you have your list of “accusations” every morning, you will have some fire to channel to positive action in your life.

God Bless!

Author’s bio and more thoughts from Patrick Maina

Patrick Maina is East African, born, raised and educated in Kenya. His interests include reading useful non-fiction books, software enginering, electronics, watching movies with intelligent/unpredictable plots, African theatre, danceable music, dance, media production, travel, nature, hanging out with friends….and so on.

He does not describe himself in terms of his profession. This is deliberate, he explains by writing, “Many people allow their professions to define who they are and their worth in society. This self-labeling is the biggest mistake someone can make. Bullies are aware if this and thats why they easily humiliate people. The bully/mob uses the victim’s career/job as ammunition for his sadistic goals – to crush the victim PERSONALLY.

If you believe *and know* that your job only represents 1% of WHO YOU ARE and what you are WORTH, most of the bully/mob tactics will just “bounce off” you with little or no effect.”

More Thoughts – Patrick writes;

Several times I have been asked to “prove myself” to a new internal customer who doubts my capabilities. Hmmm… Reasons for doubting? Well.. it’s just a gut feeling he/she has that I might not deliver hence he/she is not comfortable with me on the driving seat…

Wow.

Apparently, passing my interview, having a solid track record within the organization, and consistently delivering all my earlier projects on time, within budget and to expected quality levels, does not count to some people.

Cheers!

Patrick.

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14 Responses

  1. Hi, I have found your remarks to be personal to me. I have been bullied close to nine years.. have moved from one location to another in state government.. my bully’s remarks and thoughts have come to me

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  2. again to my my new place of business after 5 years of no torment.. again different people same actions… I have so much anger built inside and I don’t know what to do …I want to fix and make it right try to repair and know the situation is far out of my reach.. new friends come and go. No one to trust .. just keep on managing and running a great intact department… no one to talk to again I am the target.. I car pool with the second in command and even he after 5 years is now is managing all the management staff to be bullies towards me.. how can this happen? Funny I was in church the other day and was thinking of Jesus Christ being bullied as well as I and not that we are the same but did experience bullies.. I have 5 years to retirement and then I will retire and work somewhere else.. I always wanted to work more longer but no longer. The bully has won in this area but I will succeed here or at another location with a different company. I have anxiety and trauma… and I will fight for me the bully will not destroy me, or my life… I will win!

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  3. Hi Patrick, thank you for writing such an inspiring article. You probably recognise that the effects of a severe mobbing attack never truly leave its victims. Thank you for channeling that anger and frustration into something constructive. Yes, mobbing victims must and will win the war. Let us fight on!

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  4. I endured two years of bullying and mobbing at my last place of employment. What was especially hurtful about the abuse was the fact that at the same I was being tormented at work, two close family members (brother and grandmother) were dying-and my supervisor knew about it, yet continued his misconduct. Worst of all, I worked for one of the largest funeral and cemetery providers, an organization that supposedly is all about compassion. Well, they had none for me. I now suffer from PTSD, and have tried to commit suicide twice. I hope that I will win the war, but I doubt it.

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  5. Dear Mary,
    I am so sorry that you were subjected to the abuse of the worst kind of workplace bully that there is. The very worst workplace bullies are the ones who quite literally want to kill you! Your first suicide attempt showed your bully that you are prone to reacting in that way. Knowing this about you, the bullying incident that preceded your second suicide attempt was literally PREMEDITATED ATTEMPTED MURDER! Bullies such as these, are extremely DANGEROUS! You refer to this employer in the past tense, so I am assuming that you either work some place else or are not working at all. The fact that you are alive and no longer working in this extremely dangerous environment, shows that you won this battle. I am perplexed by your comment about “doubting” you will win the war. I am curious to know exactly what you mean by that. Can you elaborate either in another comment? or if you want to keep your response private, email me @ abcbullynomore@aol.com
    It may seem impossible to recover from such horrific circumstances, but being the target of premeditated attempted murder is not something you can easily just forget about. Take it one day at a time and trust your perceptions about these incidents. It’s often hard for others to believe the seriousness of what you have been through. Most normal people would ask, why would someone behave in this way? not understanding psychopaths or sociopaths don’t think like the rest of us. It’s my hope that you receive the support that you need and learn how to – Recognize it, Name it and End workplace bullying and mobbing, in all your future employment experiences. ABC

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  6. I never experienced Mobbing until I joined and worked for a larger company. I’m a Christian, so Patrick’s article is a nice, fresh perspective. There is definitely a spiritual battle going on through Mobbing.

    While the Mobbing, is not currently active for me. I’ve been keeping my head low. Through all this, despite the pain, I have thanked God for the experience, although I don’t know how he is going to use it on or through me. Lately, I have been feeling the pains deeply. This article helps me to see the spiritual perspective on how God might use the experiences I’ve been through. I’m here to serve God and Glorify Him in all that I do.

    I thank God for you and your article.

    Denise

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  7. Thank you so much for this website. I was a victim of workplace bullying/mobbing after working for more than 18 years for a government agency. The sad part about it is that I knew that some of my former coworkers experienced harassment but never filed any former complaints. I encouraged them to do so because no one should be treated that way in the workplace. They were adamant that it would do no good. This is the attitude that I eventually adopted, especially because of the time, money and effort that goes into it and the difficulty in fighting a government agency. It wasn’t until many years later, after transferring to a different office in the same organization that the bullying happened to me, on more than one occasion. I did nothing initially and became known as the one who couldn’t stand up for herself, then the last incident with a supervisor prompted me to finally file a formal complaint with EEOC. Just before I filed my claim, a close family member died and I was devastated. This is also when the mobbing began, during the lowest point of my life. Also, I did not realize that a main instigator was a girl who sat in the cubicle next to me. She told people that I was dumb, slow, stupid, etc. and that I did not know my job. I had 10 years seniority over her however. Everyone stopped talking to me and I was isolated. The stress of the situation and the grief caused me to lose focus and I could not concentrate. I could barely get out of bed in the morning. I eventually quit. My family and friends did not understand it even though they saw how beat down I was, they just figured I should have stayed there and not let them “force me out.” They all see me as being weak. Its been over a year and I am still looking for work. I can only pray that God will restore everything that I have lost and that those people will suffer for what they have done. I have prayed to be released of the bitterness and anger, but it is extremely hard to do. I feel better knowing that I am not alone and that websites like this exist. Thank you again.

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  8. Hi Patrick,
    Great article. I’ve lived in a workplace bullying situation for the past 3 years. The effects have been devastating and permeated every facet of my life. Like u and other commentors mentioned, it was very difficult to articulate what was happening because there is no tangible proof and so much happens before one realizes they are victims. It got so bad that at one point I truly felt that my life was in danger. Unfortunately, the exact reaction that was intended since the “mental instability card could then be played”. The bullying began very early in the process whereby I was left to my own devices while others were being assisted with proper direction. Of course the bullying also affected my psyche, work productivity etc. which resulted in further work deterioration. A classic no-win situation. It’s been tough but articles like yours give me alot of hope. Thank you.

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  9. I know what you have been through. I have been going through it for 13 years. I could not endure and was fired. I am ill and have had several breakdowns.
    I am a nurse and have been through the mill. God bless you all and help you all.

    Like

    • Thank you for your article on bully proofing yourself, as well as the one above.

      I didn’t know what to do with my rage, and was looking for an outlet (I too have had fantasies of shooting myself in the head in front of my boss – after threatening her, and everyone else who bullied me, to show them exactly what they put me through).

      At times, I wonder if it is things I do because it has happened to me on another occasion. I wondered what makes me an easy target. I work hard, am an above average performer and have supported my bosses in achieving their goals.

      You have a lot of good tips on how to deal with bullies – I wonder if you can refer me to any good articles on how to make yourself less of a target?

      thanks.
      Of course I would never do this – after reading your articles, I feel I have

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  10. There is a book called The Bully at Work by Dr. ary Namie he also has a website, it helped me a great deal when I was going through all of this

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  11. My job performance has consistently exceeded my company’s standards. I have been in the top 10 performer list every year I worked there despite being in treatment for clinical depression. It inexplicably became worse last year and a medication change caused unpleasant physical symptioms while going from one medicine to the other. Unprecedented amounts of overtime for the first five months of the year added to my misery and delayed my transition to the optimal dose. I have always been scared to tell my employer about this illness. They did a false employment evaluation at midyear stating lacks integrity and commitment after I told management in a private meeting that the company’s understaffing and long hours would undermine their position as a desirable employer, create turnover, and impair service to customers. When I told the evaluators I would no longer work one hour past my written annual commitment, both became red with rage and stomped out of the room.

    At that point, I truly wanted to quit on the spot but could not. A relative back home nearly died. I was advised I could still be called home for a funeral but in two months they made a partial recovery. I went thru the motions of daily life but did not have the mental energy I needed for jobhunting.

    This is how I coped-removed 75% of my belongings from the building, e-mailed my education files home, cleaned up e-mail boxes. I did ask 2 medical doctors for a medical excuse to limit my hrs for other medical conditions not clinical depression but did not succeed. I joined a free Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Group to learn and practice stress management.

    My employers then deployed subtle bullying tactics:

    1. one owner whistled at me like a dog in the company parking lot before going to an event to honor a customer when I could not instantly remember the names of the customer’s three children-different genders, close in age, all starting with the same letter. He did this in front of another employee. After this incident, I avoided speaking to him in any private setting if I could help it and stuck to phone calls and e-mail to get work done. As a result, I avoided working on this customer’s account-all required work had already been done for the year.
    2. Another owner would come into my office, assign me work and then offer to withdraw it-it was probably too stressful to handle. This same owner was assigned to me as a mentor in a leadership program at the beginning of the year. At that time he told me I did not have what it takes to succeed in the company and advised me to leave. He was required to mentor me per company policy, did not want to do it and had exactly 2 very negative meetings as part of the program.
    3. I was assigned to write articles to promote company in publications with set deadlines. Articles were turned in on time but owners and marketing director did not edit them, publish them, or offer any reason for this action. Apparently they were afraid they would garner me publicity to use in finding another job.
    4. all 5 evaluators on midyear review said I violated company dress code but could not explain why or cite examples. I stated everything I wore was on an interoffice list of published attire but they said I had to do better than the stated guidelines. I had to retain an independent business clothing consultant at my own expense who said list was too vague and did not say what employer wanted. I switched to a jacket and skirt/pants 4 days per week and khakis/fitted shirt one day per week until I left.
    5. Attempted to meet with company office manager confidentially to say that working conditions were unbearable. When I told office manager I was in psychotherapy, she said she did not see how any good would come from it, said I was a negative influence in the workplace and that I should just find another job.

    Terminated Oct this year with two and 1/2 months’ regular pay and full benefits thru end of year. In meeting, two owners told me to forget working in the industry and to start my own business- would never again succeed as an employee. I was ordered to vacate premises on same day-not too difficult since i never wanted to see anyone there ever again.

    I have reason to believe employer paid the severance package to avoid a lawsuit as I belonged to 3 EEOC target groups-female, 50, and medical issue.

    At any rate this package freed me from a terrible nightmare causing PTSD symptoms of insomnia, weight gain, depression, decreased activity. The 1st two days I was in shock but spent the time cleaning my home nonstop. If yiou are terminated, get busy. Do something-anything.

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  12. Continuation:

    I went on a full-time job hunt, interviewed at many companies, and start work in a new job this month. I have visited the EEOC office and was advised that were some issues justifying an EEOC complaint. I don’t plan to do it – do not want the stress of litigation and do not think it will change the employer one bit.

    Two questions-

    1. Does the severance package appear to be made with the intent of avoid a lawsuit? Nothing was signed by either party but all payments were made on time and benefits paid per law.
    2. I am truly blessed to come out of this ordeal with no financial damages whatsoever. Went from severance back to new job-no loss of income. What can I do to advocate for people silently suffering from mental illness in the workplace? I have no idea how to do this but feel obligated to help others.

    I have contributed more to society thru federal payroll and income taxes, local sales and property taxes and countless hours of volunteerism-than what many able-bodied people might attempt. Depression is really not any more different than diabetes-it is a complex chemical imbalance that can be managed.

    It is time to stop stigmatizing those with mental illness-there but for the grace of God go you.

    Like

  13. Having read many of the posts on this topic I somehow feel a bit better. My personal story is not too dissimiliar to the others on this post. I was systematically bullied by my female manager (about the same age as me) and three other colleagues – 2 women and one weak spineless male. From reading other articles I can now see that my manager is either a pyschopath or sociopath. She did delight in orchestrating the departure of another colleague. She made him her hobby horse. She even went so far as to make it her business to speak to another company that her/our employer dealt with to ensure he was not employed by them either. I think that is really over stepping the mark. It seems work place bullying has a common thread – isolate a person in the team (me), even better if that person has a personal problem (for me it was the stress of finishing of my degree coupled with a relationship problem) because this will ensure the “target” will be so consumed by their other problems in life that they will not be able to think clearly enough to know how to handle the work place bullying. I remember one day sitting at my desk crying uncontrollably – I really wanted to die. I couldn’t understand what I had done that deserved this treatment. My manager could not find fault with my work (in fact I used to help her with her work and dictate emails for her to write), By the way, one article I highly recommend readers take a look at is “It’s official: Your bullying boss really is an idiot”. This really outlines the personality traits of bullies. My manager struggled in her job and eventually had to take a leave of absence to attend to her own personal “issues”. Upon her return to the office, after 6 months, I think she was driven to make me her hobby horse as means to give herself a sense of purpose, authority and demonstrate to others that she still has “power” over others – power in her mind was very important. Little did people really know about how sad her own personal life was – except perhaps me as she had confided personal events to me. She had an unhappy and destructive marriage and I think the only way for her to cope was to take her frustrations out on others. It was this “trust” that we had with each other that was violated and destroyed when she returned to work. She systematically chooses a target and is relentless with her pursuit to ensure the outcome and impact to that persons’ life and career, and unbeknowns to her pyschological damage she inflicts along the way, is achieved. She is just like a dog with a bone. I just wonder how many peoples lives and careers she has effected. She has certainly effected mine as I, like other readers, would like revenge. I have been unemployed for over a year and while there is a loss of income, the bullying and mobbing experience has left a strong feeling of resentment and anger. I didn’t do anything wrong. I can only hope that with the passing of time these feelings will subside and I will find my feet again. I used to think this sort of behaviour was limited to children. It is sad to learn first hand that these “big children”, our managers, our colleagues are acting out their own personal issues and trying to reflect harm to others. It is really a reflection of them – not the bully. I now realise that bullying is more about the perpetrator or predator than the target. It is this thought that gives me some solace – but it doesn’t wipe the slate clean and mean I can just brush it off like the event never occurred. I hope one day I get a job and I can be a manager and demonstrate that a good manager may be results driven but will know how to get the best out of their employees – to have empathy, to have sympathy, to listen and truly understand others, to help others be the best they can be at their job and help them progress in their career and their personal life. Work may be about earning money to pay the bills, feed the family – but when we spend so much time there wouldn’t it make sense to be happy first in what we are doing – then productivity would automatically follow. I wish. I really wish and hope that I and others out there can move past the experience and not let it be something that is a roadblock for the rest of our lives. If we allow that – then the bully has achieved more than what they originally set out to achieve – and we wouldn’t want that to be the case.

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