Disappointing work colleague

Hello all - haven't been on this site for some time as I forgot about it - hey nothing new I forget about stuff all the time.

Anyhow feeling a little vulnerable at the moment so thought I would seek out some support from people who understand. Briefly I returned to work 4 months ago after a lovely bout of encephalitis in March of last year. At first things were not easy but with fantastic support from my line manager I am gradually getting a handle on the job. I am an administrator for a charity and absolutely love my job. Both my line manager and I know that I cannot operate as efficiently as I did prior to my illness but together we are gradually building up my skill levels with the hope that I can return to something close to my previous abilities.

So far so good, that is until a couple of incidents which occurred recently. The charity is run in the majority by volunteers (which I am also when working directly with clients and not doing my paid job). A newly appointed chairperson of a local branch of the charity called into the office last week and was most vocal toward me in front of my line manager. She was dismissive and out and out rude toward me in front of my line manager. Unfortunately my line manager is deaf and did not hear what she said to me which I at the time just ignored. I was bruised by this event but decided to treat it as a bit of a "glitch" on the part of the person addressing me.

One day later I received a call from a long time work colleague warning me to watch my back as at a meeting this same lady and another couple of members of the area team were complaining about me, although the same line manager had stopped them.

My confidence is low, which I don't think is unreasonable as I do know that I am struggling with my job and my own sense of self pride is precarious. But I do find it very sad that people who work in a charity who purport to care about people can treat one of their own in such a way. My family tell me I am too sensitive and they are probably right, but throughout my life and also prior to my illness I have always believed in the goodness of people. I guess that I am just unlucky to have someone affecting my life at this time in such a way.

Has anyone else experienced this kind of bullying at work which relates to their abilities after a brain injury/illness?


15 Replies

  • Please let's start with you; amazing to have returned to your work life after such a grim life experience. The invisible disability can be a struggle to overcome, you are a most impressive overcoming person. I too have some personal emotional responses more visible to others than they previously were. Sometimes it's better to let it out; the individual causing your difficulties will, I imagine, has behaved in an unreasonable manner to others. What I am trying to put over, not to well, is look after yourself please, step away from this negative individual mentally, don't really be there for them.

    Obviously whilst having to put up with this let your feelings out to us, for, hopefully our online support whist you're having to deal with this, take care of yourself please, not easily done but essential.

  • I believe in what AliCathy says . You , being a lady , shouldn't be getting backstabbing off little minded people . I don't get any bother with anyone , but I've been able to sort that out for many years . (I may be talking about all my life ). I realised that if you ignore them totally having anything at all to do with them if urgent , you will feel better . You take care , and "don't let the get you down ". Just going to get ready to go doctors , cos not only got BI but also heart trouble as well , I've got an appointment at 10.00. x

  • Hi there. I am lucky enough not to have ever had this problem at work. But at school (I have had health problems since I was 12) it was a very different story. Some girls I classed as friends suddenly started to stab me in the back, making rude comments and badmouthing me to others. Unfortunately I didn't have the courage to stand up my myself and became very introverted and shy. It is only now I realize that if I had just been more open about how they treated me it would have stopped. They only did it because they knew they could get away with it. Please please talk to someone about how you are feeling and being treated. If you want to address your concerns to those responsible first and let them know how they made you feel. Noone has any right to make someone else feel like rubbish.

  • If you have any more trouble do speak to your line manager.otherwise just know that you are good at your job and oh yeah a nicer person!

  • Your line manager sounds supportive so that is a good thing. Try not to let it get to you. Well done for your progress.

  • I was bullied relentlessly by a chargehand in a factory I worked in [1968 ... had 18 jobs in one year]; in the end I thumped him, laying him out. I had previously reported him to Personnel [before we all became that Americanism Human Resources] and they had done nothing.

    We were both sacked; the difference being that when they gave me my cards and P45 I was sent down to their second site that operated under the Group name and once there took up that post [the same job and wage].

    Like other things in my life I wasn't proud of that but it is now firmly in the past; I've been at my current post for 20years and enjoy it.

    No mocking here.

  • Some people just have to have someone to snipe away at. Management should deal with them but often haven't got the guts. Please document dates times and brief details just to protect yourself. It's evidence it really happened and that you were upset enough to make notes.

    She's targeting you because you are vulnerable. Make sure your line manager knows of the problem. Hope all goes well, but I would never endure misery at the hands of a bully again, I'd rather be happier with less money and good workmates. Life's too short to have someone stabbing you in the back making life miserable.

  • Like everyone has says, this person isn't worth the angst. Either treat her with the contempt she deserves, or, if you have to deal with her, just say something like 'I am sorry, but I won't be spoken to like that' and walk away.

    As i said to someone else recently, think of her naked and on the toilet - that takes away any power over you, it brings her down to the same level as the rest of us!

    Good luck, make sure your line manager knows about these problems to keep supporting you.

  • Hello Clare, jules here - are you around ?

    I felt really hurt at some stuff that happened to me whilst trying my best to work. Things are better now, different, but better. I coped by reminding myself that, yes, there are lots of unkind people - but there are many more that will go that extra mile for you if they know you need it.

    It sounds like you have worked hard to 'get back' - be strong inside and true to yourself.

    Best of luck to you mate



  • Hi Jules

    Have already written a reply to you but lost the lot by pressing some adverse key on my keyboard.......

    Thank you so much for your supportive words- this is a wonderful site, such lovely people.

    Just to let you know I am strong and have got a gameplan and will keep you posted. So glad stuff has turned around for you at your work.

    Take care and will speak soon - got to get some sleep as more work in the morning.

    Hopefully be in touch soon.

    Take care Clare x

  • Hi Clare, so depressing in this day and age to hear of bullying in the workplace. I've only been intimidated at work on one occasion, and as the individual concerned was leaving, I let her appalling behaviour go without reporting it. As others have said, these people iftrn have big personal problems, not that this should excuse their behaviour, but you can see why they're like they are. I have one suggestion to make. Please put in writing your thoughts (to your line manager), each time she behvesinappropriately towards you. You can mark it 'for information only/no action required' with the header 'Private andConfidential'. This will provide a date line of incidents and may give some protection at a later date if she continues her harrassment. It really is strange that someone working for a caring charity thinks it's ok to behave like that. Good luck and well done for getting bavk to your job. x

  • clare this is what it is bullying at work and its against the law.

    your employee handbook should tell you you how to place a complaint about bullying.

    not just that, you can also make a complaint about her lack of professionalism.

    go on clare......sock it to the old bag x

  • Will do - thanks hun Clare x

  • I am sensitive and even more so since my TBI, and I not saying you are not wrong for feeling this way, this woman is a bully, and a shame your boss is deaf. My mum is deaf and misses a lot of my sister "stirring the pot' shall we say at family gatherings, and my mum sits oblivious, Sorr I am going off on a tangent. She obviously has no idea of people management or understanding of you. It is good you have your colleagues watching out for you, but I know that uneasy feeling when a person behaves in this way.

    Keep strong and as others say best to keep your distance . If this person has an issue with you, HR should be present, and if you are ever called into a meeting/chat with this person, take another member of staff with you. Equality and diversity act 2010 is in place for such adjustments. have you chatted too your manager who is deaf about the content of the meeting? Be armed be forewarned 🙂.

    Keep us posted and well done for getting back to work, don't let this slug of a person knock how far you have come , and back at work. Wonder how she would cope eh,! 😏 Xx

  • Hello all you lovely supportive people.

    Good News. I spoke with my manager regarding this lady and within a few days the lady turned up at work and her approach and attitude was totally different. Not exactly over friendly but respectful and she spoke with me showing a marked difference in her approach to me. No apology from her, which would have been nice, but I will settle for basic common courtesy - so a result. Hopefully no further problems on the horizon.

    I do still feel a little sad that this has happened but I have decided to focus on the positive attributes that people have and remind myself we are all different, some being stronger and others weaker.

    Thank you all


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