Dealing with abuse at work

Hacking employment, improving work, professional development
Clarice
Posts: 260
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Location: California

Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by Clarice » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:39 pm

-
"Theres Mr X with his packed lunch again. How much did you save today, huh?
- Not sure. Would you do the math for me, hon?

-
"I hear theres a sale on bread and milk in Lidl... Mr X have you started queuing yet?"
- Why would I? I have you for that, don't I?

Don't forget to smile with a broad sugary smile. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

Nomad
Posts: 196
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 5:23 pm
Location: UK

Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by Nomad » Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:05 pm

There are a number of approaches and you could ramp up your responses if they don't get the message.
I would not suggest sitting and accepting it.
Initially, I'd point out that packing your lunch you know what is in it and its very healthy yes it's cheap too.
Maybe they don't have the planning ability to pack a lunch and maybe they will have a body that looks like it lives on processed food.
Why is he so worried about your savings, are they worried they will be working into their sixties and never able to retire?
If so, keep in touch, you can send him a food parcel once a week.
Or just say, no - I don't make the packed lunch, your mother gives it to me when I pop round each night...

Freedom_2018
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by Freedom_2018 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:42 pm

My $0.02 to the OP

The fact that someone in your office can openly do this makes me think you don't have the respect of the people there (unless you are juniormost and this is just 'normal' hazing in the company or the bully is an important person in the company)

How come you've put yourself in such a position?

Pls note, I am not trying to blame you but trying to understand the setup as well as ask you to look inward and see if you can identity what you might have done/not done in terms of understanding social cues and formal/informal power structure of your company/employee group.

PS..This coming from someone who was hazed for 9 months in engg college. Acts including severe beatings, stripped naked in public, naked marching, gun to head and asked to jump from 3rd floor amongst the choice activities.

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Dream of Freedom
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Location: Nebraska, US

Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by Dream of Freedom » Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:57 pm

bridgebetween wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:00 am
I will deal with it next week.
I am not planning on being in employment by years end, so I most likely tell him to F off to his face.
Update?

bridgebetween
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Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:44 am

Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by bridgebetween » Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:25 pm

Update is, I started reading Eckhart Tolle, a New Earth.
I am practicing, not reacting with my ego.
I am aiming to quit work in July, in final stages of accumulation, so I will bear this situation until then.
Going to leave quietly.

pukingRainbows
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Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 5:56 pm

Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by pukingRainbows » Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:17 pm

Stoicism for the win! I hope.
Good luck with it and I'm glad you decided not to resort to getting management involved.

RealPerson
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by RealPerson » Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:03 pm

Freedom_2018 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:42 pm
This coming from someone who was hazed for 9 months in engg college. Acts including severe beatings, stripped naked in public, naked marching, gun to head and asked to jump from 3rd floor amongst the choice activities.
This actually happened to you? Was this business as usual in your college?

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Lemur
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by Lemur » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:37 am

Freedom_2018 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:42 pm
My $0.02 to the OP

The fact that someone in your office can openly do this makes me think you don't have the respect of the people there (unless you are juniormost and this is just 'normal' hazing in the company or the bully is an important person in the company)

How come you've put yourself in such a position?

Pls note, I am not trying to blame you but trying to understand the setup as well as ask you to look inward and see if you can identity what you might have done/not done in terms of understanding social cues and formal/informal power structure of your company/employee group.

PS..This coming from someone who was hazed for 9 months in engg college. Acts including severe beatings, stripped naked in public, naked marching, gun to head and asked to jump from 3rd floor amongst the choice activities.
WTH?

Freedom_2018
Posts: 385
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:10 am

Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by Freedom_2018 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:23 am

@ Real Person @ Lemur

Well yes. Certainly when I was there 1989-1993. It used to be even worse in the years before that. I'm sure some variant of nasty behavior is still going on there despite increasing use of technology (CCTV, cellphone photo evidence and overall move in society towards more 'snowflake'/millennial behavior...as in increased sensitivity to bullying etc...not using those terms as a pejorative, just a shortcut description of the change in social norms).

But here is the thing, since this was being done to pretty much everyone in the incoming batch by the seniors, we took it like a rite of passage and I don't think anyone carried any permanent scars from it (think of it like the boot camp in say a movie like Full Metal Jacket). Sometimes an incident would get out of hand and then the police and parents might get involved but there was a lot of pressure from your peer group too to not make too big a deal out of it. One guy lost his eardrum as a slap somehow landed on his ear instead of his face (probably was trying to turn his face away in a reflex reaction)..so he had to be taken to the campus doctor and his dad was a sort of big shot..so there was some investigation etc but finally the kid himself convinced the administration and his dad to drop the whole thing. Today he is a well placed govt techno bureaucrat. I only know of one guy who could not handle it and his dad had to come take him away...but he was a sort of 'weird' guy anyways to start with.

My point is that this whole modernity/over sensitivity business is not the norm, at least historically. I am not condoning what happened previously but I think a lot has to do with the environment you grow up in and what you see around you. In my experience I find a lot of the Western kids to be quite spoilt and namby pamby but that is because we have different life experiences and hence points of reference. Can't judge people for life experiences that they have or not had (again apologize for using that description but it is a shortcut)

On the other hand, humans have a great ability to be in dysfunctional situations and still come out of it mostly OK. I think we have now moved to a world especially in the west where everyone is considered to be a fragile crystal ball...hence producing very fragile people emotionally while having very high self esteem. I wonder if this is responsible for a lot of the PTSD we see in our soldiers as compared to what I saw in India.

Freedom_2018
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by Freedom_2018 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:29 am

@OP

Given that you are going to be leaving soon, your course of action seems wise.

However there will always be bullies in life and at some point you will have to deal with them. Bullies can come in the form of peers, family members, employers and even spouses/bf/gf.

So in the long run, there is no running away. We have to eventually face what we fear. Better to be someone who can out-bully the bully and then choose not to do it rather than always being their victim.

Ultimately humans (the crude ones like the one's who would be bullys etc) only understand strength (be it physical, economic or other). Good luck.

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Stahlmann
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by Stahlmann » Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:40 am

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:45 am
If it continues beyond that, I have plenty of creative ways to fuck with someone.
what are those?

I'm intented in getting ready to defend in case I'd be involved in any stupid game.

the fact that the office is political even on the bottom of food chain really woke me up in cold sweats few times already.

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Bankai
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by Bankai » Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:00 pm

Alternatively, since you are there only for another couple of months, you can spend this time levelling up your assertiveness. You have your FU money, time to say FU to that guy. As has been mentioned before, situations like this one have a nasty habit of coming back to you in the form of flashbacks, even years/decades later. What ifs, should-haves, would-haves. Better deal with it now, through confrontation, that regret for years that you've not stood for yourself. Unless you have total control over your emotions and thoughts, then you can truly not care and be fine.

chenda
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by chenda » Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:34 pm

Bankai wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:00 pm
As has been mentioned before, situations like this one have a nasty habit of coming back to you in the form of flashbacks, even years/decades later. What ifs, should-haves, would-haves. Better deal with it now, through confrontation, that regret for years that you've not stood for yourself.
+1000. About 7 years ago I walked out of a job because of the appalling behaviour of a manager, who I'll call Paul, because that was his name. That was all good yet I still regret not making a formal complaint about him. Someone else in that office had been off with stress and I am sure Paul was engaged in a campaign of bullying and harrassment of this person. I could have got him into serious trouble and possibly ended his career early. Trust me, he would have deserved it.

A few years later I googled him and he had been given a glowing write up in some crappy industry publication called something like 'Car Hire Monthly' (imagine their Christmas parties) with his fat face grinning on the front page. I left some comments on this article telling the truth about Paul but they were removed on the grounds they were libellious. I later found he has now retired to Spain.

And the thing is, it was only much later I regretted to exposing him, and still do regret it. The OP's situation sounds much less serious but you don't know what else is going on. It could be the tip of an iceberg. Sorry for the rant but I this sort of thing upsets and angers me.

Jason
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by Jason » Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:57 pm

I respect the OP's decision. We are all different. But we accept things sometimes because we have a deep narrative that we have conditioned ourselves to accept. And quite frankly, taking shit from assholes at work is not something, I believe, one should acclimate themselves to. And I agree with Bankai, until you step up, these types of things tend to repeat.

pukingRainbows
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by pukingRainbows » Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:01 pm

Agreed.
I like the idea that after that 6 months or whatever, you really have nothing to lose and whole lot to gain from figuring out how you can assert yourself in these types of situation. (Which will definitely happen again in the future)

I have really irritating neighbors at my workplace and for a long time it grated on me. I eventually began to think of it as partner work in martial arts. These people were opportunities for me to hone my own skills and explore different avenues of responses. They still do bother me but there's also a curious detachment that lets me enjoy it as well.

In regards to hazing, I think it's a psychological reality that people value things according to the effort it took to attain them. Hence hazing and the strong loyalty to fraternities etc. It's the difference between working hard for a year to buy a bike, or just having it given to you. In the former case, its possession is much more valued. Makes sense to me.

Campitor
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by Campitor » Wed May 01, 2019 6:05 am

The most effective tool for stopping nonconstructive social comments, in my own experience, is to laugh when they are spoken and just shake your head and walk away. Negative comments are tools to gain psychological mastery over others and signaling and establishing dominance within a peer group. Deprive the comments of power and you eliminate the driving force behind them. It's actually pretty effective in my experience. Being a stoic helps with this. In my case I would genuinely laugh whenever a coworker tried to tease me or make disparaging remarks; I find it funny because I believe barbs are the defense of the mentally weak and subconsciously insecure; I don't include friendly teasing in this category.

In the case when comments are especially harmful professionally (someone disparaging your skills within your chosen career), the only means of shaking them off is being very competent at your job. It's hard to call someone an idiot who executes spectacularly and dominates in their skill set. I have direct personal experience in this specific regard and I can attest that being great at what you do and using those skills to help your peers will shut down that negative comment stream.

In the end, if none of the above works, it's best to just vote with your feet and find another job. When swimming with sharks sometimes the best option is to get out of the water. And if you don't like that analogy how about a quote from Marcus Aurelius:

The cucumber is bitter? Then throw it out. There are brambles in your path? Then go around them. That’s all you need to know. Nothing more. Don’t demand to know why such things exist. Anyone who understands the world will laugh at you, just as a carpenter would if you seemed shocked at finding sawdust in his workshop, or a shoemaker at scraps of leather left over from his work.

thrifty++
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by thrifty++ » Wed May 01, 2019 2:25 pm

This is a tricky one. Its tricky because on the face of it the abuse is not at the particular extreme end of the scale. Its therefore quite nuanced as to how to deal with it and not so clear cut. Its possible in this type of scenario he may not be fully aware of the inappropriateness of his behavior and may not realise just how much it is stressing you out. In any event what he is doing is not ok and he sounds like a dick and is socially unaware and immature at the least.

I think its important to remember that YOU have done nothing wrong and that HE has.

I think you have a few options open to you:

1. Avoiding him as much as possible. I think this is a good one given the lower end of the scale of the abuse. But only if this is feasible. I don't know how feasible this is. ie do you have to sit near him do you have to eat lunch at the same time etc. If you can avoid without too much trouble that is probably what I would do. And you might find that he just forgets after a while.

2. Engaging in banter in response. This can be a risky but rewarding strategy. Its just hard to know whether it will work. I once had a CEO who would make humiliating and insulting remarks about me to try and make a joke in front of other people to humiliate me. Eventually I started to do the same to him and dish it back. Luckily this worked out very well and we started to get on really well as it was mutual banter and I didn't mind him making such comments about me if I dished it back. And he took it well. The risk with this strategy though is it will be much harder for you to complain or raise offence at his conduct in the future if you do this.

3. Call him out. For example you could tell him you are sick of him making scathing comments about your spending habits. And look him straight in the face when you say it and say nothing else. This is quite confronting. But probably a good chance of effectiveness. You might get a initial ooooooo in response just from the sounds of the maturity level. This would be uncomfortable but it might work and you would have more grounds to raise matters with management if he continues after you say this to him. If he had any doubt about the extent to which his conduct bothered you that would very much be gone after this.

4. You could raise the issue with management. But you might want to say that you don't want them to do anything formal about it other than to speak to him about your concerns and then report back to you after doing that as to how he received it. This is so as to not overly escalate the matter. It doesn't seem sufficient to warrant more than that. Remember YOU have done nothing wrong. YOU are in the right. So stand on your moral high ground and back yourself. I don't necessarily agree with some of the comments on here about not doing this. I don't think its probably the most ideal option. But it may be the one you need to do if this carries on for some time and you cant either manage to ignore it or execute any other options. Otherwise you might end up doing something worse or stress yourself out too much.

I think the last thing you should do is tell him to fuck off or some other such dramatic action as the blame then shifts from him to you. At that stage YOU would be the one seen as being in the wrong. And you would have no moral high ground to stand on and back yourself. Even though you might be so close to FI and leaving your job it doesn't seem like a good way to end things, by reducing your options. The problem could be if you don't do anything else about it and it continues to carry on you might end up exploding and doing something like this,

bridgebetween
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by bridgebetween » Wed May 08, 2019 3:45 pm

Am I being too sensitive?
I am a 50 year old man in a corporate role, ready to FIRE, and this is really getting to me.

My manager talks to me like this;

"here we go go again... "

"i thought I told you... "

"you are doing it again... "

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Thu May 09, 2019 8:41 am

bridgebetween wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 3:45 pm
Are you FI yet? Because if you are, that is license to push back. If you could find another job I would push back even if you were not FI.

I do not think you would be on the receiving end of this type of treatment unless you have signaled in the past that you are ripe for abuse.

I thought the purpose of “FU money” was just that. License to say FU. Have you thought about the various ways in which “FU” can be communicated, whether using the exact words or no? I would be relishing the opportunity. “At the risk of being crude,” I have devised about 50 ways to tell certain players in the corporate arena to (grabs crotch) “schedule this.”

Frita
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Re: Dealing with abuse at work

Post by Frita » Thu May 09, 2019 10:09 am

bridgebetween wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 3:45 pm
Am I being too sensitive?
I am a 50 year old man in a corporate role, ready to FIRE, and this is really getting to me.

My manager talks to me like this;

"here we go go again... "

"i thought I told you... "

"you are doing it again... "
That is totally unacceptable. Perhaps there is is something about our age group (Conditioned to accept poor treatment?) and/or being able/ready to FIRE (Fears?). Or is it that middle-aged workers are simply vulnerable in today’s workplace? For me, I ‘d say it’s a combination.

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