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Hostile Work Environment Definition

10 Signs You Are Bullied and Abused at Work

Are You Bullied At Your Workplace?

Did you know that experts estimate more than one in three U.S. workers have been mistreated severely enough at work that their health has been damaged? That’s 54 million people! This is according to a 2007 Zogby International survey.

Many employees privately complain that their company won’t stop bullying bosses or retrain them to treat employees with respect. It may be easier to ignore the problem of abusive supervisors, but in the end the company will lose money from its passive approach to this workplace problem.

Companies that do not address the problem of workplace bullies do pay a price. Such companies suffer higher employee turnover, higher absenteeism, and more frequent workers compensation claims. Furthermore, a severe bully boss will damage a company’s ability to recruit new people and its reputation in the community. Word does get around about who likes their job and who does not, and why.

Many people are painfully aware that they are being bullied by their boss at work. Others, however, do not understand what is happening to them. These people feel confused, scared, and don’t know where to turn for help with their undiagnosed problem. If you think you might be in this latter group, here are ten signs that you are being bullied and abused at work. Read through them and see if you recognize your own work situation in these descriptions.

You Are Being Bullied and Abused At Work If:

  • You are physically sick the night before the start of every workweek
  • You have a history of positive appraisals and solid work performance, but if feels like your boss or co-worker never stops criticizing your work and you personally
  • Your boss or co-worker yells at you, insults you, or otherwise humiliates you in front of other people at work
  • You are accused of making errors when you did not
  • A manager or supervisor continually brings up past mistakes as a type of club to hit you with — not in a constructive manner to help you improve
  • Someone at work quietly tells gossipy lies about you or your job performance
  • You boss freezes you out of his or her “circle” by moving your desk, not including you on meetings or even social lunches
  • On your days off work you feel exhausted and lifeless, or you spend time away from work obsessing about work
  • Your boss tries to make you fail, by not reviewing or signing off on your work, shuffling your schedule or calling meetings when he or she knows you have a conflict
  • When you succeed at work despite your boss, he or she takes the credit for your success (but always blames you for the failures)
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  1. debramaryperez says:

    The above descriptions is what I was going through at work, and just by reading them, it causes my heart to beat rapidly. I walked out of my job recently as I was going to be reprimanded for stating the if my co-worker can do a better job, then maybe she should do it. The co-worker in question are buddies with the boss, and when I return a file to the co-worker for corrections, I am told that this is f****** bs and everything else that I say, it’s bs. At meetings I get laughed at for trying to do what is expected of me, being falsly accused of things that I have not done. I understand that saying, going postal because I was that close, or it makes a person feel worthless that a person feels that they are better off ending their life.

  2. rice polly says:

    I am a flat rate paid automotive technition.(I only get paid after a vehicle is repaired.)I was presented with a repair order on a vehicle (About 3 weeks ago)with a tire light on.When I asked if I was going to get paid to look at it,my shop manager cussed me out like you would not believe. With GD’S…MF’S… etc. 5 minutes later he came to my work station and told me to “SHUT UP” and not to talk to one of my fellow co-workers about what he had just heard and was wondering what was going on..Going off on me again,with more cussing,bringing up the fact that I want paid for every thing I do , and if a tool comes out of my box I want paid.he told me to never talk to him again,and that I never diagnosis anything.He even told me to go home.(I refused to leave because I had other work to do.)When I think of this (Which is almost 24/7)My heart starts thumping,I get nervous,(Start shaking and quivering)depressed,and feel very sad,I get headache’s, I can’t sleep.(I have went from about 7 hours a night to only 4 or 5).When I wake up ,it’s the first thing that enters my mind,even if it’s in the middle of the night.( If that happens ,I had might as well get up, because there’s no way That I can go back to sleep.)I can’t consentrate on my job and what i’m doing.I worry after EVERY vehicle that I work on,worrying if I had missed anything.(Because of loss of contsenration)I have even had dreams of vehicles that I worked on that day.)and I also believe that all of this has caused me to develop a nevous disorder. what can be done?

  3. Oh my goodness! 9 out of 10 I responded with a resounding “That’s me!” I have come to DREAD Mondays. Basically, as soon as I leave work on Friday I start stressing over Monday. I had a perfectly nice 2 years there until 3 months ago. Then one bleak day it all came crashing down. All over me. I still don’t completely know why. Other supervisors don’t know why, co-workers don’t know why, THE ADMINISTRATOR doesn’t know exactly why (it’s one of those “grease that squeaky wheel so it will go away” scenarios). I have been ostricized, ignored, and blamed for what? I don’t know. All, and I mean all, other employees have been instructed that they are not to speak to me. I’ve been moved from my office space to the back room so this particular supervisor doesn’t have to look at me. I’ve been instructed by the super of the area I’m now in that I cannot go anywhere near the area I had worked in for 2 years. I was told the last day of work prior to Christmas weekend that my former super wanted me terminated by the end of the day and had tenaciously spent the majority of the day trying to get that accomplished. I have done nothing to this person. Until 3 months ago I considered the individual to be a friend. A fairly good friend. I made myself available at all times and performed any and all assignments that this person “was too busy for” or did not have the aptitude to complete. I trained newcomers, per request, on policies and procedures, I was the liason between departments, and I went above and beyond, albeit happily, to keep things running smoothly and all parties happy. I really enjoyed my job. I didn’t even really get bugged when the credit for my work was regularly taken by another. I was happy that he/she was pleased enough with my work to -want- to take credit. I just liked to do what I was doing. After 2 years somebody higher-up, and only on-site a few times a year, noticed the responsibility shift of work and questioned my super about it. From that day forward, my life has become a waking nightmare. I didn’t ask for the additional responsibilities and I was not aware the work I was performing for this person was in any way against protocol. Not one individual in almost 2 years, either in a supervisory or non-supervisory position, EVER questioned or commented on my work in anyway other than with approval. Now this person is trying to terminate me for doing my best for the department!?! Per request!?!…and was damn pleased when I did!?! For 3 months now, I’ve gone to work each day awaiting my fate. I can’t eat, I don’t sleep, I’ve started smoking again (after quitting for almost 2 years), My stress level is crazy. I’m jumpy, exhausted, terrified, and feel like I may come to tears every time this person comes out of their office because I know he/she has invented another “incident” and is coming to attack. When I finally go home at the end of the day, I stress over how I don’t want to bring the negativity home; so I try to downplay the hurt and confusion. (My spouse knows better and tries to help with easing my worry.) I’m in constant flux re whether the bills will get paid next month, as I don’t know if I’ll have a job next week, or tomorrow. But you know what? I’m still going to keep the brightest face I can, and perform whatever job function they’ve come up with for that day, to the best of my abilities. And wait.
    Goodness! I thank you kind readers for letting me vent. I really needed to get that out to SOMEBODY that could relate to my predicament. Also, my apologies for going on and on. This is a terrific site and I’d like to thank Curt for the sense of hope and empowerment he projects. Knowledge is a wonderful thing. The best to one and all.


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