Introduction – My Story
It is important for us to be kind to each other, even those who hurt us because God commanded us to forgive, be compassionate and to love each other.
It is not easy to forgive those who hurt us, but the act is important to us especially christians because, forgiveness is beneficial to those who hurt. Yes, you the victim, the assaulted, the oppressed, the rejected.
Forgiveness helps us to release negative energies, to move on with our lives as well as it keeps us in good standing with God. It prevents the root of bitterness from getting deep within our hearts and spreading its veins which will attract many “parasites”. An “eye for an eye” may give you “fleshly/earthly” satisfaction if in the short term but it will never give you a “joyful heart” and put you in a position of favor in God’s eye as God is a God of Love.
Forgiving someone does not mean you have to call the person and try to become chummy-buddies. You can just release your negative emotions towards an individual – take it to the Lord and leave it there at the spiritual alter.
Working with bullies is one of the most negative experiences one can have. Especially if bullying is a part of an organization’s culture where it is passed down through “modelling”, is embraced informally in succession planning as ” the only way to ensure you are in charge”, or where new employees get pulled into the web of that “troubled employee” who has so much influence that makes it so difficult for others resist her/or him. That employee who will make your life uncomfortable sometimes for no clear visible reasons such as envy or those who decide to react because you to not agree or support their behaviour.
You know who I am talking about. Yes you know. That employee who always has the scoop, the upper hand, even on management. The one who will make your work life difficult, a living hell if you don’t do has he/she says; the one who, no matter how badly the person performs, they are retained – a permanent fixture within the organization.
Workplace bullying is a phenomenon that is often ignored. Many individuals have experience harassment/bullying of sorts. Many do not even realise that their negative interactions on the job may be due to this phenomenon. Many employees and employers are ignorant to effects of verbal and emotional abuse as well as bullying tactics.
I know. I was one such ignorant individual. If it wasn’t for my spiritual gift of “hearing” which I did not know I had at the time, things would have turned out quite differently. Within I knew something was wrong and I verbalized and took a stance against the sabotage and unfair treatment, but after a while I got emotionally tired from the stress and tension in my environment. I got sick and literally tired. That was when I was re-introduced to GOD. I got my awakening and realised that God had my back he was there to support me although I was disobedient in not following his teachings. I had forgotten that I had invited him within eleven years prior and he was a part of me.
God showed up to reveal one of the most frequent yet misunderstood phenomenon in the workplace. It a lesson I learnt exist at varied levels, peer to peer and supervisor to subordinate, through direct and indirect relationships. He showed me that not all actions are obvious, and that people will be vicious and nasty to others not only because they think they can or because they have the authority to do so. He showed me that our greatest adversary, our spiritual enemy who “prowls around seeking to kill and destroy” is quite active at our jobs. He told me that “we wrestle not with flesh and blood but principalities and powers” and these powers affect people. Leaders who are humans persons with powers to influence. He showed me that Workplace Bullying exist.
After having probably the longest appraisal meeting in history which was more like a battlefield, I learnt to listen,identify, obey and trust God’s voice. It was an eventful day of not knowing who was talking to me giving me words of comfort to “not be afraid”, the power of words such as “I forgive”; the revelation that my instinct was right. Something was definitely wrong. I wasn’t being paranoid, I wasn’t being difficult, I had a right to stand up, stand against injustice, I had a right to peace of mind in the workplace.
I did not realise how much damage the actions had on me emotionally/psychologically and even physically as my many strange illnesses were incidentally stress related. I wasn’t able to rest well as the day’s incidences kept replaying in my mind like a scratched record. I thought – what evidences do I have against the individual? For most incidences there are no witnesses. It will be their words against mine. What about the possible victimization/backlash if I file a complaint. Will I be ostracized?
I went home happy after the battle. I felt I had a small victory because I used the words “I – Forgive You”! Upon arriving home I heard the voice again. It said “research workplace harassment or bullying.” Well, since obeying “The Voice” gave me the small victory I had at that crucial time, I gladly followed it again. I was then led to the following website:
I read and read then wept.
Bullying Awareness Week – November 12-17
This week November 12-17 in Canada and November 13-17 is celebrated in the United Kingdom as Bullying Awareness week.
Now you may be wondering what the above story about love and forgiveness has to do with workplace harassment/bullying. Well based on its impact on performance, valuing individuals and benefit to relationships, love , forgiveness and all the “fruits of the spirit” spoken about in Galatians chapter 5 of the bible. Forgiveness is a tool used to handle this important topic that is a point of discussion for many individuals this week . Workplace harassment/bullying affects victims to the core and matters of the heart is a serious matter.
You see, any working environment void of love, forgiveness, hope and acts of kindness, respect, fairness etc is an unhealthy working environment and since the workplace is where employees spend most of their time it is only fair to discuss this Health & Safety issue that has been swept under the table by many organizations and individuals.
Be ye not dismayed though my friend. Often times when we experience unfortunate events it is to test our faith and to make us stronger individuals once healing has begun.
Harassment/bullying is just another test that the enemy throws at us. How we handle it is important. God does not want us to be a coward. God want’s us to be an Eagle. However use wisdom in your decision-making my friend then take the right action as “God did not give you a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind”.
2 Timothy 1:7
Workplace harassment/bullying, is a cultural issue in many organizations and is not usually a point of interest for many including Human Resources as the perpetrators are usually those in positions of power. Those individuals who are usually our leaders, our supervisors, the business owner or those who are held in high esteem by their peers and are informal leaders in cliques who are quite influential within the workplace.
I have written below some information about the topic and put in the mix some of my own experiences. Parts of my story. More can be found in my “Jerk Boss Series” . I hope the information shared will help and empower my readers who are affected by this issue. I also encourage you to speak to God about all your concerns including issues such as this and he will guide you accordingly.
This week November 12-17 in Canada and November 13-17 is celebrated in the United Kingdom as Bullying Awareness week.
Several countries recognize this as an event at different times during the work or school calendar and use the opportunity to to bring awareness to this recurring problem in communities, schools and within the working environments.
Bullies are everywhere.
Within our communities we have our Dons or Gang members who intimidate, rape, extort, drive fear into residents through threats, use of force and weapons to batter and physically assault their targets.
We also have our relatives and siblings within the home who may coerce, manipulate, pressure those who are less assertive, less vocal who may be of a smaller physique or has weaker physical strength.
At school at varying levels of the education system bullies are found. Last week many citizens on our little island were shocked, appalled to say the least, when a seven year old boy was bullied by his peers and sodomized with an object in the school’s bathroom. Now, where on earth did a group of seven year year old’s get the idea that it was okay to do such a thing? Weren’t they concerned about possible consequences/punishment for hurting one’s peers? Click here to see article Seven Year Old Assaulted.
Last and by no way the least, after spending three years in kindergarten; six years in primary school learning the golden rule; five to seven years in high school learning about the work environment and getting the necessary foundation for tertiary studies; three to four years at college or university where we learn psychology, organizational behavior, career guidance, attributes and attitude of the professional or skilled worker, leadership and supervisory management and after making numerous applications for job postings we finally land the job we have been dreaming about all our lives. We have now become that nurse, doctor, lawyer, teacher, administrator, engineer, chef, construction worker, police, soldier or even the politician you are now faced with workplace bullying.
Acts of Workplace Bullying/Harassment
You are an asset to your organization, you are a star. You may also be that individual that does not follow the crowd as you do not like to group think. You use the golden rule. You prefer to use your own creativity to achieve results. You may be that introvert who rather his own company or that extrovert that is liked for what he can bring to the organization, the connections, the skills, that big client who brings the largest account to the business, or that member who “everyone” likes because you are affable.
Your skin color is a different shade from most of your colleagues, or you are the minority of a particular gender or nationality within your environment. You have a lisp, or stutter, you remind someone of their mother or father who by the way “they” hate, no act of yours “they” will ever appreciate. No matter how hard you try to be seen or unseen, there will always be someone who is always peeved, because of you. Yes YOU!
“Why me” you ask? the bully does not care about my creed or my class, whether you are known or unknown or if you live on a hill, a bully picks a target and aims as he wills.
He does not care about “the Lords will” or your mother. He will purposefully aggravate you and become quite a bother. He is stronger than you whether by size or his position. He uses some sly tricks as ammunition. Against his target, the unsuspected, one he hates as he wills, the one who he provokes or corrects as a thrill.
Some brazen, some covert, some reasons made clear, some rather unknown, but the bully will make known who sits up high on the throne. A bully is one who always aim very high and may even demand his own pie in the sky.
He will send you in circles like a dog chasing his tail or move you like a pawn in his very own chess game. You may do his work assignments as a foot servant should do, then he laugh, and corrects and take credit too. He’ll belittle, badger, intimidate and before you know it you will start to feel hate. He’ll nitpick, micromanage, verbally abuse, put his hand up your skirt, harass, then you will become muse.
Pondering how to handle the group that slander, jeer, mock and taunt, back stab, tell lies, create mischief and says its your fault. You decide to grin and bear it, as this too shall pass, it is just a time of testing, leaving is last resort.
One week, turns a month then a year then three years and you say change will come, one day oh- one day. You think i’ll report it as a grievance then, oh why bother the person in charge is the bully’s mentor or his “brother “. Anyway, the grievance policy is too vague it does not address harassment or bullying just gender discrimination, sexual misconduct and some minor short term offences.
Bullying is usually long term, is done at will,and is often a very subtle way to target and kill. An individual in the workplace, especially since there is no law approved, that covers general health and safety practices that employers can use.
The Staff Orders of 2004 can be interpreted as one please, as a matter of fact reporters are labeled “informers” for which there is only one need. “All informer fi dead!” In this country it is a serious thing, as one can lose their life at the drop of a pin.
No one wants to be victimized or even know the price they will have to pay when they have to “atone for their sins” on that great “judgement day” . When is that – you may ask? Only that time of year, when you do your appraisal then you see and you hear. All the things you do or never did, for the first time in the year or about that dress code – the style of your hair. Everything you have to defend, tit for tat or better yet get frustrated and resign at the drop of a hat.
One thing I know, bullies have great power. Some drive the living fear within and thinks that they are your mother. With such great authority they roam, command, they rant they rave; if they could they would demand a medal of honor for their work on heritage day!
Many are proud of their leadership style, which does not build loyalty, add value, empower or engage staff in a positive manner; but instead cause ,staff turnover , dis-empowerment, frustration, stress and tension. Some victims may react and end up with suspension. All this happens because someone or a group, misuse their perceived power and becomes a real brute.
A bully turn leader oh what a misnomer. Empower yourself this awareness week 2017 November!
An important point of discussion, false or fact? Workplace Bullying/Harassment has a great negative impact . On workers and the work environment. It is a health and safety issue. Jamaica must take heed and develop a policy against workplace bullying as it is certainly in need.
Take a stance! No Jerk Bosses allowed! Let us all aim to become better leaders by treating people how we would want to be treated. After all Jamaica is known worldwide for the greatest hit song ONE LOVE!
BE KIND TO EACH OTHER
Scriptural References: James 5:16, Luke 6:35-36, Ephesians :32, Collosians 3-12-13, Galatians 5
Written By Champion for Chronicles of a Drama Queen Blog – Jerk Boss Series 2017
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I have created a Facebook support group and a page on the topic please click here if you are interested in joining follow or make a request to join. We can start a discussion around the topic
Group : Jamaicans Against Workplace Harassment
Research on Workplace Bullying/Harassment
I am presently conducting a research on Workplace Bullying and so far the responses have been quite interesting. It would be fantastic though to receive the opinions of more men as well as private sector workers to capture their views.
I would like to collate and share the information with you by this Saturday or before if I receive an additional 50 participants. Please click here to do the survey and share your knowledge on workplace bullying. Thank you
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For more stories on the “The Jerk Boss Series” please click the links below