How to Combat Workplace Mobbing

March 31st, 2010 · 25 Comments

By Gina Simmons, Ph.D.

John got to work a little earlier so he could finish his report at a research institution before the rest of the staff arrived.  As he entered the windowed office he was surprised to see two colleagues leave his work station.  He touched his computer.  It felt warm.  He booted it up and on the screen appeared violent pornography.  John looked up from his desk.  The two colleagues remained silent, staring at their computer screens.  “What the hell!” John exclaimed.

The next day he arrived early again.  This time his computer felt cold.  He entered his password and nothing.  “Damn,” he said.  “They changed my password.”  Over an 18 month period John’s tires were slashed, files from his computer were deleted or changed, a colleague was given credit for his research, memos about meetings were emailed to him with a different time than the rest of the group.  John, a victim of mobbing, eventually left on stress disability with severe symptoms of anxiety.

John’s troubles began when his supervisor started coming to work drunk.  He talk to the supervisor, recommended counseling or AA and offered sympathy.  Mike, the supervisor, enjoyed happy hours with the rest of the staff.  John became the joke of the happy hour fun.   Soon they would all giggle about the latest trick they could play on the boring, do-gooder John.

Depending on how researchers define it, between 18% and 70% of the U.S. workforce has experienced some form of workplace mobbing or bullying.  Some researchers use the terms bullying and mobbing interchangeably and others define the terms differently.  I think mobbing is different from bullying due to differences in the characteristics of the victim and the abuser.  Most of us are familiar with the school yard bully.  This tough guy usually picks on the weak or weird kid and may have a group of thugs who participate with him.  Mobbing victims in the workplace tend to be strong, creative and envied by the perpetrators.  The mobbing behavior targets victims who often have great value to the organization, but pose some threat to the mob boss(es).  With intimidation, threats, exclusion and humiliation, the mob neutralizes the competency of the victim.  Victims develop anxiety, insomnia, poor concentration, gastro-intestinal problems and heart disease.

Mobbing and bullying thrive in a leadership vacuum.  Weak, corrupt, overworked or incompetent management form fertile ground for dysfunctional mobs to grow.  If you think your workplace has a mobbing problem contact us.  If senior management provides training, conflict resolution, discipline and sets a zero tolerance policy for this behavior, the workplace can recover.

If you believe mobbing is happening in your workplace, act quickly.  Many people wait, hoping it will stop, or won’t get any worse.  Unfortunately mobbing usually gets worse over time unless someone intervenes to stop it.  If you see your work group excluding someone, using gossip or jokes to single someone out, say something like, “I don’t think any of us would like to be talked about that way,” or “hey, that’s not cool.  We have to invite everyone.”  Edmund Burke famously said, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Often, all it takes is one individual to stand up for what’s right to stop what Phillip Zimbardo, Ph.D. calls “the Lucifer Effect.”  Dr. Zimbardo offers some great advice on how to resist the social pressure that can make good people do very bad things.

Many victims feel embarrassed talking about the humiliating treatment they receive at work.  Some have told me they fear being seen as petty, or paranoid.  One woman wondered if she was getting paranoid when she began to worry that her tormentors could follow her home and hurt her family.  If you believe you are a victim of mobbing here are a few suggestions to help you stay healthy and fight back:

  • Keep a detailed, dated record of all harassment.  Some, but not all mobbing behavior is illegal.  Detailed records can help you protect yourself and your interests.
  • Talk with family, friends and trusted work colleagues to develop a plan to attack the problem.
  • Report the problem to your H.R. department.
  • Make an appointment with your employee assistance professional.
  • If you suffer from stress symptoms like insomnia and gastro-intestinal complaints see your medical doctor.
  • Get a referral from your M.D. or insurance company for a competent counselor.  This can prevent the development of more serious symptoms and provide another ally in your fight.
  • Practice daily stress management including:  exercise, meditation, healthy eating and social relationships.
  • Avoid forming or joining an opposing mob.  In basketball the retaliatory foul is usually the one that gets called (Thank you Jay Schneider for that observation).  Don’t try to solve a problem by using the same corrupt tactics.  It leaves you even more vulnerable.

If race, age, gender or other title VII protections are at issue, you may have some legal muscle.  Whistleblower laws might apply as well.  However, many mobbing cases fall between the cracks of legal and personnel policy protection.  In that case you can still demand better treatment.  Get help, practice stress management, develop a plan and don’t give up.

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25 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Gang Stalking :: Tag you’re it! « Interactivemary // Oct 8, 2010 at 11:52 pm

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  • 2 amy // Dec 30, 2010 at 3:50 am

    I have been the target of whistleblowing mobbing. I told on my boss to HR…really just asking for help with a situation and since then, I have been tormented with fear, scare tactics, bosses changing calendar appts. and making it look like I am totally disregarding authority, and so many more things. I have been looking for help, but have not found much. I have researched and know that I have been living in fear…and with all the symptoms of PTSD. I have since been trying very hard to heal myself, but even during sleep, I am tormented by the fear that they are trying to instill in me. I have been looking for jobs, but this is a very specialized business and it would be hard to look without my bosses finding out and sabotaging it. Do you have any suggestions?

  • 3 Dr. Gina // Dec 31, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Amy, I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling PTSD symptoms. I have a few suggestions. Look for a psychologist or counselor who specializes in stress/anxiety/PTSD. You can find one through your health insurance carrier or from the American Psychological Association website ( It’s important to try to separate the worry you feel about what they might do, from the real things they have done. Worry about what might happen is a waste of our imagination and drains us of energy. Plus we start seeing everything as a threat even when things do not pose a threat. The therapist can help you come up with creative ways to help you sleep peacefully, (very important for endurance) cope with this job, and/or look for another job. I’m concerned about your comment that you think your bosses might try to sabotage you finding another job. How likely is that? If they find you threatening, they may want you to leave and therefore support you finding another job, or at least not bother to sabotage your efforts. Do you have any allies, friends, or supporters in your workplace? It’s important to talk with others and get their advice and support. When we feel fear we don’t always use the best judgment. Do you have family and friends outside of your workplace to provide you with encouragement and support? Try to make your life outside of work soothing to your spirit. Exercise, engage in hobbies, attend to friendships. That will help strengthen you during this time. I hope this helps. Let me know how you’re doing.

  • 4 Susan // Feb 11, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I went to HR and was threatened.

    There was a mass exodus before and after I left. Lots of grievances, EEO complaints, lawsuits. The agency wheeled and dealed to save face, rather than remedy the real problem of those in mgt positions who shouldn’t be.

    I was there for 11 years, and one day left at the end of the day never to return. To this day I have nightmares, depression, anxiety, and agorophobia.

  • 5 Jackie // Apr 23, 2011 at 4:09 am

    I’m a victim of stalking and horizontal and upward mobbing at work and home. I believe it started in 2008 but didn’t feel the full effect until 2009. In my presence, people honk their car horn and set off their car alarm, play irritating music that can be heard pretty loud, drop things to startle me, play mosquito tones behind my back when I’m walking and do other annoying things. My family has been a blessing so If you have family you can count on, get their help, and take one day at a time. I don’t know if it will ever end but I believe the stalkers and harassers will be punished in this life or the next. Stay strong, listen to self help tapes, get an iPod or something similar, and think peace, harmony, and happiness to all before you go to sleep, when you wake up, and whenever you feel anxiety coming on.

  • 6 Anonymous // May 26, 2011 at 6:37 am

    I am going thru this now…I feellike I will die if I do not quit, so I am giving 2 weeks notice next week. I work hard & efficiently in a small company, all catty, crazy, dysfunctional women. All the “normals” quit…I am normal, so I am quitting!

  • 7 Rebecca Croom // May 26, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    I am a victim of mobbing @ this time ,have went to union,EEO,
    HR,employee assistance program.things are getting worst would
    likesome sugestions.Also saw private psycologist.

  • 8 DrGina // May 27, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Thanks to Susan, Jackie, Anon and Rebecca for your comments. Sometimes when we go through difficult times it can feel as if everyone is against us and we have nowhere to go. This feeling causes anxiety that can make us feel trapped with no options. It’s helpful to contact people outside of our network to get advice and brainstorm ideas for coping with our predicament. When we get support and ideas from others we can choose a better option. It’s important to not let fear rule your life. Instead take steps to try to make things better.
    Best wishes to you all!

  • 9 Morolayo // Nov 25, 2011 at 8:00 am

    I was a victim of workplace mobbing. I went to my boss, and the mob retaliated by getting him fired. When a new boss entered, the mob increased their harrassing behavior and individuals, like a secretary named Megan who wouldn’t participate in the harassment ran away from the department. The harrassers were all signigificantly less productive, significantly less attractive, signicantly less educated and making significantly less money. They spent 95 percent of their work days trying to figure out how to sabatoge my work space and my projects. They even followed me home and followed my son to his school and started getting my kindergartener harrassed at school. The new manager, insecure about his own knowledge of the job, since he was new, allowed the perpetrators to continue, and fabricated poor performance reviews for myself. When I went to HR, they put me on a poor performance plan to have me eliminated from the Fortune 30 company. I recognized what they were doing and took medical leave, and have been paid my salary without going to work for 17 months (STD & LTD) combined. Because they were concerned about lawsuits, because they know what they did, they sent private investigators to try to get copies of my current resume so they could prove that they were hiring employees as capable as I was. The company also hacked into my personal yahoo and gmail emails to find out what companies I was interviewing with. Mobbing is difficult business. They even put someone on a plane next to me when I was traveling for a job interview to pretend he had the same work situation with his employees to gather information to protect them from a lawsuit since they were all aware of exactly what was going on. HR works for the company, not for you, always remember that.

  • 10 Morolayo // Dec 2, 2011 at 10:51 am

    They also sent private investigators to probe and ask questions to cover for the invasion of privacy that the employees had violated to pretend that the company didn’t break the law to obtain personal information about me. Mobbing is a sick business. I moved 1700 miles away and they still won’t leave me alone.

  • 11 Morolayo // Dec 2, 2011 at 11:16 am

    This is how I’m combatting it:

    Record all conversations that you have with your employer and their investigators.

    Keep a detailed log of when they approach you and what is said: I’ve been approached in a McDonalds, at a church, in a library, at a professional luncheon, on an airplane flight, I’ve had individuals represent themselves as recruiters and hiring managers. They are breaking the law, just like News of the World. Also, back up your emails and your hard drives. There are companies that have moral standards and follow the law. Know that God will not allow you to work for those that represent themselves as moral and citizens that are not, you will work in a HEALTHY work environment, leave the sick environment.

  • 12 Kelly // Feb 6, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    I have also become a victim of mobbing. My boss hired this girl, soon afterward I noticed that she was receiving 30 calls a day from hubby and sons. Went to the boss and because she was friends with his wife, discounted it and said “its not your job to monitor her work, you are not her supervisor”. Needless to say 5 years down the road she got him fired, set him up and got him fired. She comes across at work to be fragile, she gets intimidated by strong personalities, she is quiet and so soft spoken you cannot hear her talk on the phone from 2 ft. away. She constantly “gas lights” me. I don’t get phone calls, she interferes in my work then says “so and so told me to do it”, she conveniently leaves me off the email list of important items going on, she cries at the drop of a hat if she thinks you are going to confront her about something. By crying the bosses steer clear of her and then come back and say my personality is just too strong and I intimidate her – when she is really throwing me under the bus constantly. Management just can’t see it – I am always “picking on her”, “being rude”, “short with her”. Its all in the way she “gas lights” me. She sets me up for a reaction and then when it comes, she cries, etc. Mobbing is not a couple of people – it can be just one with a lifetime of practice in getting what they want and playing “I am the wounded bird here”. It is sickening when you have years of experience and good references under your belt and this person has the power to “set you off”, it makes you look like the bad guy, like you are incompetent and picking on the wounded bird. Unbelievable.

  • 13 DrGina // Mar 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Kelly this sounds like a problem of personalities, assumptions and interpretations of behavior that type you as a bad guy and the woman as a victim. This isn’t mobbing, because it appears to be you against this woman. We have a saying in anger management, “if you feel like a victim, you act like an abuser.” It may be she triggers your anger and frustration. When you try to get support your anger becomes the topic of discussion, not your problem. It’s frustrating when people don’t listen to our issues. You might find it helpful to take an anger or conflict management class that has a communication skills section. This can improve your conflict resolution and problem solving skills with this very challenging situation. With renewed skills you might find you can change the perception people have of you and your work, no matter what this woman says or does.

  • 14 Marie // Mar 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    I was mobbed while teaching in a small town. At the beginning of the 2011-12 school year, I transfered from one grade to the another. Not long after that, my nightmare began. For the first month or two, I ate lunch with several other female teachers of the same grade level everyday. One of whom had always been considered “the favorite” of the students in that grade and felt incredibly threatened when I became the new “favorite.” This teacher even told me one day that “she felt intimidated by me” because I have over twenty years experience, have been voted “Teacher of the Year” at several schools (including that one), and have been nominated for other awards such as Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. I also have a Master’s Degree and, at the time, taught as an adjunct instructor at the local community college.
    One day I thought I noticed that I was getting the cold shoulder treatment from her, and a few days later, I noticed that the other women had joined in. They began to eat lunch in a different place and ignored me when I asked them why they had changed where they were eating. I began to notice that at grade group meetings, they would roll their eyes if I contributed anything. After school, they would whisper in a tight little group in the hallway. If I walked by, they suddenly got quiet.
    Not long after that, a former colleague called to ask if I was ok because she had heard that I had suffered a nervous breakdown at school and had to be taken away in an ambulance. I was shocked and wondered where this rumor had originated. I tracked it down and found out that the rumor originated from the female teachers with whom I now worked. When I questioned them about the rumor, they responded by telling me I was causing too much drama there and that if I continued to do so, I would get “my ass whipped.”
    When I reported this physical threat to our School Resource Officer, I was called to the Principal’s office and nearly fired. A few days later, I complained about what happened to HR and school board members, and that’s when the worst of the mobbing began. Even though I have never been reprimanded for anything ever in over twenty years of teaching, I was suddenly in trouble for writing lesson plans that “lacked specificity,” insubordination, and worst of all, I was accused of sexual harassment. The lesson plans were the same ones I had used since the beginning of the year. Why was there suddenly an issue with them? What was I asked to do that I didn’t? And how they got one of my best friends there to say that I had sexually harassed him is beyond me. With absolutely no evidence, my school principal turned it over to HR to be investigated. Everyone at school knew about it. Rumors were flying, and nearly everyone stopped talking to me, although most of them were mad because the former favorite teacher had told them that I had said something about terrible about them. When my blood pressure skyrocketed, my back became excruciatingly painful, my hands began to tremble uncontrollably at the thought of having to go to work, I used my sick leave and saw my doctor and a lawyer.
    I wrote a whistleblower letter to the superintendent of schools and his attorney about the bullying I was enduring asking that the HR director instruct my boss and coworkers to stop. Nothing happened, and when it got worse, I resigned. Luckily, I was able to find another job in another town. Also, the rumors cost me the job I had as an adjunct instructor. And because the bullying and mobbing continued even after I wrote the letter, I am suing my former place of employment.
    Although I’m in a better place and have done something about my situation, I suffer from insomnia and when I do sleep, I have awful nightmares about those six weeks of Hell in my life.
    Under the freedom of information act, I requested and received every document relating to my situation. What I cannot believe is that everything I said has been verified by my mobbers. They wrote it all down – not as a confession, or in defense of themselves. All of their statements sound arrogant and justified.
    I wonder how many other victims of mobbing actually have the incidents documented not only by themselves, but by the mobbers as well.
    Is that typical behavior? To me, it seems stupid for them to have done that.
    And finally, how are schools ever to stop bullying among the students, when they can’t stop it among the teachers and administrators?

  • 15 DrGina // Mar 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Marie, it sounds like you were able to get out of your terrible workplace and find a safe place to land in a relatively short period of time. I don’t know of other cases of mobbing with such good evidence like yours. It sounds like that will serve you well in your lawsuit. Lawsuits like your often trigger a resurgence of the terrible feelings you had in the workplace, as you relive the experience in depositions. Hopefully you are working with a psychotherapist to help you reduce stress and the insomnia you suffer from. Best wishes to you in your next chapter.

  • 16 Deb // Apr 1, 2012 at 3:50 am

    I was laid off from my job and went to a temp agency since most of the orthopedic companies out here hire that way and landed a job. I work doing QC and my supervisor has a reputation of being mean. I was training for the job and the girl training me made snide remarks, rolled her eyes and talked bad about me behind my back. It made me nervous and at 56yrs old and in a different type of business then what I was use to, kept me from learning at the rate they expected. For awhile the supervisor which is female, started in with her yelling at me, bad mouthing me behind my back and telling some people not to be nice to me. She’s a few years younger but looks much older than I do. I was told she doesn’t like anyone prettier than her. Oh great. I can’t sleep (plus I’m 3rd shift) I’m not eating right and went to the Dr and I’m so low on vitamins they are giving me prescription ones to get me healthy again. I need this job for another year. Being a temp makes it difficult especially working with full timers making 3 times the money. They are in good with the supervisor and several of us temps are being mobbed daily. Its embarrassing, humiliating and down right hard to live with. Any suggestions?

  • 17 Jody // May 7, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    I’m struggling to fend off mobbing right now. I love my job, I’ve been here over 16 years and I was here first before any of my mobbers. I find the idea that I should have to resign absolutely repugnant, even as I await a pending determination from my new Dept Director or HR on “what are (they) going to about (me) now”.
    Yep, my mobbers have made another ridiculous claim about me, so maybe this will be the one that gets me fired.
    I only just recently learned what this is called — what’s been happening to me — and I’m relieved to know it has not been my imagination and I did not suddenly become incompetent overnight. I’m reading everything I can get my hands on about it and I’m saving all the information & all my documentation for an attorney in the event I get the axe.
    I can’t make up my mind though ….. should I notify HR of what I’ve learned/identified as what’s really going on? Or would that handicap me because then HR will have been alerted as to what they needed to thwart me on? Last time I survived one of the mob attacks (at the time I called it a witch hunt) it was because I was able to out-document them — I gave them a binder full of my documentation to prove the claims against me then were unfounded. I ‘won’ but was admonished for “over-documenting”
    I want to keep fighting but I’m getting so worn down.

  • 18 mike // Dec 16, 2012 at 1:29 am

    I’ve been the target of workplace bullying and mobbing, for as long as I’ve been in my job, around 14 years. The boss is a serial two headed snake bully type. His boss is also a bully. I’ve been reading all the books on it, and sadly it seems that most people who are targeted don’t usually fair to well. Retaliation is a real problem making it difficult to seek help. Lately, out of my inability to tolerate it, I’ve been beginning to speak up about it. That’s when you really become a target. I’ve been praying a lot about it. It gives me a lot of fear, makes me feel insecure. The proceeds of mobbing is slow genocide. Like we need a sacrificial lamb to appease the Gods. It’s the ultimate stressor. Very difficult to stop once its begun. I feel I’ve been hanging in their by a thread. Mobbing is emotional violence used to drive someone from the workplace. Some say, the best thing, is to walk away for health reasons. When the core dynamic of a place is evil, it’s a hard problem to fix. Still not sure what to do. I just hang in their one day at a time. I haven’t gone to human resources yet. I’m a bit afraid of that. I don’t have a lot of faith in the system. It’s difficult being the target. One time, one whole side of the room would start making sport of me when I came in in the morning for fun. The manager would let it go on. I think that he actually made me the target by bad mouthing me, and dis-respecting me in front of staff. He let them know, that this kind of behavior towards me was ok. I also had a co-worker who was verbally abusive towards me for a long time. Again because of retaliation, I didn’t complain. It’s so hard to prove. And everybody lies once it starts. It’s really sad this goes on.

  • 19 Dave // Feb 15, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    I went to work for the government about 15 years ago. I gave up my private business to do so, as I thought that would be a wonderful Job. I was very naive. It seems like I was targeted the first year. And I agree once it starts, it never really goes away. It is like they say, if it goes on in the first place, it’s likely part of the core dynamic of the place. It’s very hard to talk about it. Mobbing is a shaming process and psychologically breaks you down. I don’t think I really even was aware of what was happening for many years, until I started reading books on the subject, and begin to piece together, what had happened, and what is still going on. Sadly was its happened, their is a stigma attached to it. So it really does a lot of damage to your mental, emotional, health and well being as we’ll as your career. The worst part of it, is the fear and the anger. Your being wronged, you know it, they know it, but what can you do. It leaves you feeling rejected socially, and punished always, or scapegoated, when likely, the whole reason you being targeted is, that your competent, good person, that does good work. So they want to turn that around on you, the overfull bullies will generate an artificial reality where you look like the bad one. Not is there not only no appreciation for your work, you’ll likely be continually undermined and sabatoged regardless if what you do. It should be illegal. The manager would spread rumours about me to his bosses and to staff to isolate me. I would be humiliated in front if the staff. The staff also got the message they could treat me this way with no consequence. At one time I would go to work, when I got their, one whole side of the room would start making sport of me. I couldn’t complain, because the manager would just blame it on me. After a time of this, everyone just begins to see you as abhorrent. It’s kind of hard to do anything. I’m still their, still getting decent reviews, but it really makes it hard to work at a place when this happens. I pray a lot, for those who pray. I pray daily. And I’ve turned to faith which I feel helps. That’s the biggest helper for me. My heart goes out to anyone who has ever been subjected to this. It’s hard to identify with if you haven’t. Bullying and mobbing condoned is a terrible and awful thing. It empowers the wrong people unjustly, and victimises good and competent people undiservidly so in many ways. I tried bringing it to the attention of management. But this usually backfires, they then see you as a threat to the organisation, a trouble maker, and usually will undermine your career further to get rid of you. Sadly, in the end, many places have no concern for the individual. And if you bring it to their attention, you may just be hated for it. It’s a scary situation to try to work in this type of structure, and very bad for your mental well being. I,m not sure if my entry here helps anyone, it was helpful for me to read others. I pray for myself and all people subjected to this evil. May we all persevere in our lives, and find better horizons.

  • 20 Jess // Mar 3, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    People- I am also a target of mobbing and bullying at my job. I know what you are you going through. Many many people are suffering. But in silence. And this is the problem. You cannot post your grief on a website and hope to find relief. Its not going to happen. I do understand how extraordinarly important it is to make known your situation. So I’m not saying that you shouldn’t share here. What I am saying is this- EVERYONE who has posted or will post their story or frustrations here needs to write to make their story known to the RIGHT people. Lawmakers. People who have the power to DO something about it. THESE are the people to whom you should be communicating your stories before you tell them to anyone else or share them on any other website. Go to and click on your state. A link to your state legislatures are there. Go ahead. Pick one legislature and write to them what you posted here. Get it? Because nothing is gonna get done by JUST airing your grievances on websites. I’ve seen it over and over again and I am just so absolutely sure that bullying and mobbing would be illegal by now if you all spent as much time writing to your legislatures as you do posting about your emotions and how truly horrible it is. Tell someone who REALLY cares. Tell your legislatures.

  • 21 Maria // May 15, 2013 at 5:34 am

    Thank you Ami, susan, Jackie, Anonymous, Rebecca, Morolayo, Kelly, Marie, Debb, Jody, Mike, Dave, Jess and Dr. Gina. thank you for sharing your experiences. I am a nuese and currently sustaining mobbing attacks. I went to HR and things are worst. I have stopped working for about 4 weeks and just recently filed for work com for stress which is “delayed,” as they say. Meaning that it is not approved yet. I do not know how is this going to go.. but they sent me to a psych consult which I am waiting for. My story is just the same as yours. Anyway… I have two questions: I woild like to know of a good lawyer to evaluate the possibility of a lawsuit. and, Jess, can you direct me on how to do your suggestion of “writing to our legislators?” I am an immigrant and I do not know much of politics…I would like to grow from this experience… I would like to write to my legislature. I live in Ornge County, California… I hope you read me and reply soon to me… as well Marie with the name of the lawyer (hoping is located in Orange county). Dave, My heart is with you… and I find faith and pray to be very helpful as well… actually is what is holding me so far. GOD BLESS YOU ALL… I wich, I could communicate with you to exchange thoughts, feelings and help…

  • 22 Jess // Jun 16, 2013 at 3:49 pm


    Find your legislatures using these links:

    Find a lawyer using this link:

    And I would never recommend going to HR with complaints. They are exactly who make mobbing possible, along with the person who pays them. HR workers are the first people who ought to be investigated when mobbing becomes illegal. They cover up facts, investigate unobjectively or not at all, relabel harassment as “personality clash.” There are some ethical HR workers out there, but sadly they are usually outnumbered by sadistic unethical HR coworkers. This is why most people find that harassment escalates after informing HR. Often without even requesting or investigating for facts or details from all parties involved or bystanders, HR staff tell management that they (HR) won’t see a situation the way the worker reports it. This gives management the green light to continue harassment. There are some quality normal HR workers out there, but I wouldn’t take my chances if I were you. If you do decide to go to HR, try your best to emotionally and socially prepare for a subsequent escalation of harassment and disrespect.

  • 23 Steve // Jun 22, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    I finally decided to go human resources to report some of the bullying mobbing behaviors. They wrote it down, and questioned a few people. Not the people I suggested who could collaborate some of it. They see things in terms of liability. And if an employee does this, the employee is seen as the problem . Don’t expect support from staff. Likely they’ll move away from you, or feel estranged. In our state, the healthy workplace bill didn’t pass. There is no incentive for employers to have healthy workplace policies. To them it’s just more paperwork, and potential liability. They did not acknowledge anything I said as being factual. If you step forward, you are the one with an issue and will be scrutinized. Don’t expect your employer to fess up or see anything your way, or others to support you. When it comes to trouble people run. I noticed what seemed to be some minor temporary improvements. But the whole ordeal caused a lot of anxiety, and didn’t really change anything. Actually it hurt me a great deal, and likely compromised my position. I was told I should move on from this. Largely I think because its a problem most places don’t have policies for, or countermeasures in place to correct the problem. Likely, the person opening his mouth is seen as the problem. Be careful in how you proceed if your in this situation. Best if luck to all. I hope we can all overcome these problems which confront us in life.

  • 24 Sarah // Jun 27, 2014 at 4:33 am

    Hi there reading all the stories is so touching and I have been thinking I was the only one receiving this kind of treatment.they sometimes say opening up is first step toward healing and hope they are right cause with me its been for a while and unfortunately I cannot leave my Job yet cause am not educated that I can have a decent job yet.iam being bullied every day when I’m at work or when I go to work cause a majority of the people I work with use a bus so they have enough time to torment me anytime they want to my crime is that iam a flat chested woman and slim so am being made fun of because of the size of my breast and being slim same body of Bonang Matheba and God made me beautfuull maybe to console me for not making me more feminine cause its how they refer to me they try by all means to make me feel there’s something rong with me sometimes want to defend myself but I cannot cause its a crowd and am still trying to figure it out how do you fight a crowd alone without ending up getting humilliated cause being bullied is enough humilliation on its own.Aproaching the management in my view will make things worse and its really getting to me cause I now have all the signs they have mention when you a victim of bullism.Sometimes its difficult to go to the meetings cause they won’t be listening to the minutes but looking at me and giggle but I try drag myself and go,sometimes its difficult again to come to work but I drag myself dress up nicely and go and what its very challenging in all this is that I don’t have to do anything to them to annoy them but showing up triggers it walking the way that I do triggers it they always have rong assumptions about me that I walk the way I do seeking attention,dress the way I do seeking attention and its a very confusing situation cause there’s nothing you can do to persuade them to like you if they acting this way cause they hate try be nice with them it get worse you even ignore them they don’t give up and they stare in all that do want to know what the conversation was about between me and the supervisor I make my way to the shop they will follow me to check what am I buying what am I chating about with the cashier who’s the boyfriend cause am not a woman but a man cause am flat chested.but all in all hank God that am an ardent reader from a tender age,read a lot to occupy my mind with good stuff trying to erase all the negative stuff my mind is exposed to everyday I read any book I could lay my hands on especial those ones written by T.d Jakes,Miles Munroe,Joyce Meyer and many others who are good at turning a dark day to a bright day,,,to all the victims thanks a lot for writting in now I know am not alone and all the best and through it all a giant will come out of you cause sometimes from something bad something good is likely to come out thanks again for reading.

  • 25 Anonymous // Jul 25, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Hi there – I am also the victim of mobbing. I am a Software Consultant and self-employed. It started with one of my co-worker who I thought is a good friend but later turned out to be a psychopath. We are in the same profession and do independent consulting. He was jealous and started spreading very bad rumors to other co-workers. I also believe that he took pictures in the bar we all went and not sure what kind of bad numerous he was spreading. He has network of people throughout the country as I do but he spoiled my reputation and no matter where ever I go they will find out and somehow get in touch with my current supervisor or boss and make them believe that I am bad guy, tell things about me that will make any person angry. It can be racial or other. This has been going on for last four years. They contacted my previous clients who liked my work and spread these rumors and now they don’t even speak to me or consider me for contract work they have. I am an immigrant and these people or spreading the word to my co-workers from my native country so that I will become an outcast in our community social circle. These guys basically warned me that I will be thrown out of job and joking that I will become a meat cutter. My family does not believe all this when I told them and referring me to Psychologist and take medications. But I educated myself about these things and still believe in myself, not caring what they say and move forward. Only thing I wonder is why they still keep me as a contractor and pay me good money ( I know I do good job and have expertise in the area I work) and still harass me indirectly through emails and conversation. I think they want me to suffer mentally and that is the reason they keep me. I can also reply to their emails indirectly criticizing them but choose not to so. Because I read that the bullies are like pig in the mud and you don’t want fight pigs and get muddy. My advice is be strong and you are there for your family not for these pigs. What ever they say through in a trash box that you created separately in your mind.

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