Unfortunately, I can tell you from personal experience, that this is indeed true:
1. Workplace Bullying is not defined clearly the way Sexual Harassment is. There is a law protecting you if you are sexually harassed, but with workplace bullying you’re on your own.
2. There is a course of action you can take with Sexual Harassment, but if you’re bullied at work there is no one you can turn to. HR is not really there for you. If you’ve not been in the company for as many years as the perpetrator, there’s a likelihood that you will be seen as the troublemaker instead. Blowing the whistle will just get you blacklisted and treated worst than ever. I know from experience and someone I know is experiencing this as we speak.
Don’t you just wish all the insidious encounters with your abuser could be recorded and played back by some kind of security camera. This way it doesn’t have to be their word against yours. It would be so much better if they could watch it and decide – let the evidence speak for itself. I’d rather have recorded interactions examined than have to articulate the emotional abuse in words. Often it’s just impossible to explain. How do you explain a look, a gesture, a comment etc. I am sure people out there who have experienced the same can totally relate.
I joked with my friend that she should get a wire taped under her clothes to record how mean her boss is to her behind closed doors and then how nice he is when other people are around. We need some of those high-tech spy cameras that are built into a pen or something.
I wish there was something like that which ‘Living Dilbert’ could use. She’s a brilliant blogger on WordPress if you haven’t heard of her already check out my blogroll. The way ‘Living Dilbert’ copes with her bad boss is amazing. She is actually strong enough to laugh about her current hell and her humour is great therapy for the many people out there who soldier on under bad bosses.
There’s this great article ‘When the Workplace Turns Toxic‘ that I would recommend to the poor souls including my friends, who continue to suffer in their workplace ‘prisons’ due to the bad economy. One of my abuse victim buddies asked me if he was being too sensitive. He has clearly been worn out by the battle. Often these are people with high EQs, who unfortunately end up working under low EQ idiots and my heart goes out to them.