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Feeling bullied at work.

(16 Posts)
whozit Sat 22-Nov-14 01:18:34

I don't want to go into detail because it would take me an age to write everything that has happened out... But basically I have started work after finishing my degree and having DS. It's just a supermarket job, I have worked there 3 weeks and am probation for 12.
One colleague in particular is really rude and nasty to me. She never helps me, constantly makes snide remarks to me, today she humiliated me in front of a customer over a simple mistake and actually hit me with a magazine (on the shoulder, I'm not bruised or anything but it did sting a bit!). She is about 50 and I'm 24, although I look about 16 still...
I feel like if a young person said this to me it would be seen as worse, manager have heard the way she talks to me and just kind of roll their eyes and walk away.
I don't want to lose my job so don't really feel comfortable complaining about Her while I'm on probation but just wondering what the best action would be?
I am documenting it and sending to myself via email. Should I leave it till I am fully employed or just leave now?

Sandthorn Sat 22-Nov-14 10:58:05

That sounds like textbook bullying. You should have access to your employer's bullying and harassment (sometimes known as dignity at work or similar) policy. It probably gives a list of behaviours that count as bullying, which might help to reassure you that you don't have to put up with that kind of treatment. It'll also tell you what the procedures are to deal with it.

I really wouldn't advise ignoring it. It's obviously getting to you, and it doesn't take long for something like that to wear you down. Alnd if she's being horrible to your face, she might also be making trouble behind your back, might even try to sabotage your probation... Better to get it out in the open and put the onus onto the manager to nip it in the bud.

You might want to consider joining a union. I know it's an extra expense, but a small one, generally proportionate to your pay packet. Whether or not your employer recognises them for collective bargaining, they can offer you support in this kind of situation: helping you use the employer's procedures and policies to your advantage, and providing independent moral support in any grievance or disciplinary hearings. I think USDAW represent shop workers, but you could also find out your options from the TUC.

Finally, forget "just a supermarket job". You're only 24, you've already got a degree and a child, and you're straight back out there demonstrating your work ethic, building your people skills and so on. You're probably going to be working into your late 60s: That's a lot of time to build any career you want, and the experience you're building now will help you get there.

whozit Sun 23-Nov-14 00:50:27

I've looked in my employee handbook and definitely sounds like it's something they shouldn't allow to continue. My concern is that she is clearly an important member of their team who has worked for them a long time and I'm not. As I'm on probation they can still sack me without reason?
Today I asked for her help overriding a mistake I made on the till and she said in front of a customer 'If you keep doing this I'm going to have to kill you.' Obviously she's not going to kill me but it made me feel crap, It's my third week working there, I feel as though I should be able to make mistakes without it being made to look like a problem. She also continuously threw pieces of rubbish into the bottom end of my till, where I can't reach to tidy and clean. Finally, as I left she was in the canteen talking to my supervisor, the manager of the entire store was also there as was a few other team members. I said bye and my team member asked if I was in tomorrow, I said yes and the bullying lady shouted 'Oh don't bother!' I asked what not to bother with, she said 'Coming in tomorrow!' I left without asking for an explanation as I was embarrassed and just wanted to leave. I am presuming she means don;t bother 'cause you're useless!
This is the kind of thing that happens every time we are on shift together. I really feel like just leaving and finding another, I was offered 2 jobs at the same time for shop based jobs and picked this as it was the best hours for me, but now I feel really crap and wishing I had chosen the other job!
I will have a look into unions, thankyou for the advice!
Thank-you for the confidence boost! I was really looking forward to getting back to work and quite happy to work in a supermarket 'cause I love talking to people. It's just a shame this woman is bring me down and making me feel as though I'm useless.

Patrickstarisabadbellend Sun 23-Nov-14 01:04:01

Burst into tears. She will shit herself.

I find this with older staff who have worked at my place for years too. They are bullies and act like they win the place. It's pathetic really.

Patrickstarisabadbellend Sun 23-Nov-14 01:04:11


Patrickstarisabadbellend Sun 23-Nov-14 01:06:08

If I was a customer I would complain to head office.

I hate bullies with a passion!

whozit Sun 23-Nov-14 01:13:02

I'm not quite at crying point yet... I'm sure I'll get there eventually though!!
I do feel as though if it were someone a bit younger saying it, it wouldn't be brushed off with eye rolling from other staff!

HeeHiles Sun 23-Nov-14 01:13:06

Start making notes everytime she says anything, let her see you, take a notebook out of your pocket look at your watch and write down what she says, don't engage, don't respond, then talk it through with the person you report to or HR. Sorry you are having to put up with this but she is nothing but a cowardly bully, do not fear her, stand up to her, personally I would have told her to fuck off but that's me! Good luck.

iamthenewgirl Sun 23-Nov-14 09:27:58

Agree with the others.

Mind you, she probably doesn't even realise what she is doing and the effect it is having on you. Sometimes older women at work can be right old bags...

TinyWishes Sun 23-Nov-14 22:05:18

My friend had a similar experience like this and she made up an email address (a name but a fake one) and emailed head office as a 'customer' who 'saw' it.

The old bint was taken into a disciplinary meeting and had a telling off and was put on different shifts to my friend.

Alternatively, tell me where you work and who is being a cow and i will email head office for you. Hate bullies!!! X

PiratePanda Sun 23-Nov-14 22:11:01

Wow. Next time she says anything nasty, especially as she is doing it publicly, try "I find what you just said to me completely unacceptable. I would like you to stop, and I'm only going to ask once."

Then take it straight to management if she does anything like that again.

PiratePanda Sun 23-Nov-14 22:12:57

"My friend had a similar experience like this and she made up an email address (a name but a fake one) and emailed head office as a 'customer' who 'saw' it."

That's a sacking offence. Don't do that.

GnomeDePlume Sun 23-Nov-14 22:37:53

Keep a record and report it. It wont make it worse and it quite likely will make it better.

Quite often you find that the habitual bullies bully up as well as down. You might find that someone is more than happy to have a reason to make it disciplinary. Managers dont like being made to look at things like this (hence the canteen incident not being noted). If you arent complaining then there isnt a problem. Let the managers follow their policies by bringing to their attention a breach.

kiwimumof2boys Mon 24-Nov-14 00:15:25

Honestly, she sound like a bitter and jealous old bag.
She is jealous that you are obviously younger, prettier and better qualified then her, and that you will eventually get a better career job, while she will be stuck in the supermarket for the rest of her working life, doing work someone a lot younger than her can do. She is resentful of this, and taking it out on someone like you gives her 'power' because she knows she will never have it in any other way.

Sorry - not meaning to insult anyone here who works in a supermarket at all.

OP - I would document everything and maybe talk to your supervisor. Unfortunately, I bet old bag will get defensive and say she's 'only joking' but others need to be made aware. Sorry you are going through this, just remember you are just beginning your career.
Let us know how you get on. Good luck.

redautumnleaves Mon 24-Nov-14 00:22:28

Don't let it continue. You need to nip it in the bud now before it gets worse. She sounds like a bully through and through.
You must approach your line manager and describe what has happened. State facts and say how it made you feel. Don't attribute motivation or try to analyse why she is behaving how she is. Just report it now so that it is on record.
You have a right to work in a supportive environment. While you are on probation you are there to learn and settle in, not be hit by a magazine! Unacceptable.
Good luck.

redautumnleaves Mon 24-Nov-14 00:23:14

Even if she says it is just a joke, your feelings about it need to be heard.

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