In my previous article, I spoke about institutional bullying. This form of bullying takes place in the work place and is when bullying becomes "entrenched and accepted as part of the culture. People are moved, permanent roles replaced by short term contracts or with people with less training, workloads increased, schedules change, roles change, career progression paths are blocked or terminated, all without consultation. Employees have no alternative but to accept this culture."
As I look back on my career, I saw most of these situations occur. At least three of my co-workers, as well as myself, experienced one or all of the above mentioned practices. The decisions didn't seem to be based on what was good for those we served but what was good for business. The decisions came from those folks who were considered "the good ole folks" with no regard for the amount of stress, emotional distress, and work entailed to fill new roles or deal with new changes. We were told what to do and there didn't appear to be much in the way of consulting.
I have witnessed the next type of bullying often. Client bullying is when an employee is bullied by those they serve or help. For instance, teachers bullied by pupils and their parents, nurses bullied by patients and relatives, social workers by clients, and shop/finance institutions by customers. These clients claim that their service needs to be of better quality. What really irritates me is when people do their ranting and complaining in public to the employee. They can be abusive, derogatory, and/or physically violent. This can also happen in reverse.
Tawni is a retired Linton-Stockton Elementary School teacher. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.