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Is this bullying?(6 Posts)
I need some outside perspective on this work issue...
I work in a very small team, my line manager and only other colleague (J) are best friends and do everything outside of work together. I originally got the job over J in June last year, which may be relevant, however J went on to get the next vacancy to arise. I also replaced one of their other good friends (L) - they still call my job 'L's job.
So, everything was fine for a while but since christmas it has been unbearable. L is now unemployed and I have my suspisions that this is behind the behaviour and they are wanting L back (however, there is no position for them until I leave).
Behaviour includes J completely blanking me, despite me saying good morning, snapping at me, not passing on information so I am not always able to do the job to the best of my ability, one word answers if I ask a question but then goes on to be all smiles and laughter with anyone else in the room. I am frequently finding out information only by listening in to their conversation with someone else. It seems so petty written down but it is really affecting me. Yesterday I spent my lunch break in my car crying.
Last month I approached both boss and J singularly and asked if we were all ok and that I had noticed an atmosphere but J denied anything was wrong. My boss was non-commital. I have asked previous colleagues/bosses about our working relationships and they have all said lovely things, which is what I need to here right now.
So, is this bullying? I don't like using that word unnecessarily, but not sure what the right word is.
Google bullying and get a definition and decide from there. My opinion is that they are excluding you which I believe is a form of bullying. Do you have HR you can go and talk to? The line manager shouldn't be hiring their mates rather than the best person for the job. Could you be moved elsewhere in the organisation or is leaving your only option other than putting up with this?
I've been in this situation and could have written this. It is bullying and I know exactly how you feel by saying you sound petty but I promise you don't.
When you are subjected to this for 40 hours a week it is very difficult to deal with.
Keep a record of everything including times and dates of when you've tried to resolve the situation.
Is there anyone you trust in HR that you can explain you are struggling? Behaviour like this rarely gets better and you don't want it to turn into them saying you can't do your job properly.
You have my full sympathies OP, what a horrid situation. Women can be so horrid.
Take control. Do what PP says and write everything down and go to your line manager first. Get HR's definition of bullying and use this word when you bring it up. They will shit their pants and get it sorted. I am very shy and had to do this once. Once you use the word bullying - and have evidence - this becomes a very serious issue for which their are established protocols.
Unfortunately based on past experience I don't have a level of confidence that highlighting to HR will necessarily change their staff behaviour. They could self-justify and kick it into the long grass. Bullying is not illegal in employment law terms.
The only time things happen is when harassment is involved linked to a protected characteristic. That's when the rubber hits the road.
I'm not saying to ignore it, but rather be realistic about how you pick your battles. You may consider moving is a better way if you want progress in your career, because it doesn't sound like you'll get any tangible support from the current regime...
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