Work irks part 2 (hopefully rolling)


Well it seems if you have Unison involved and HR, then you’re already very invested in this.

I guess my point is that it pays to think about effort vs reward. You are putting a hell of a lot of effort into something that probably won’t happen, for the possibility of a slightly improved work life that you could get at most places as standard.


Another desk move. Possibly the worst yet, to my left, a man who snorts once a minute, to my right, man on mobile phone making personal calls regularly, in front, man who talks about himself constantly, sometimes in the third person. Behind, annoying idiot and person who sings all the time.

I am in open plan HELL.


something smells really bad and i think it’s my shoes


There’s 3 people in our office currently on a conference call with another one of our offices. One of them is on his mobile at one end of the office, while the other 2 are on speakerphone a few banks of desks away. Everytime the guy on his own speaks it echoes and causes a feedback loop.

They’ve been at it for half an hour and it hasn’t occurred to move into the empty conference room together.



oh to work in the media in the 90’s


Wait a minute, so basically nobody is allowed to complain if someone at work is making their life a living hell, without it impacting their employability? This is news to me.


I know the obvious solution is get another job and believe me I’m fully aware I’m in a shit job (only took it because I was so desperate for some quick money - basically so I can afford to travel further from home and apply for better jobs elsewhere - was not at all selective in my job search) but this is a lot easier said than done. And frankly I’m so bogged down by anxiety I’m just not in the mood right now - all my free time is devoted to forgetting about how horrible my line manager is.


Well, trying to, big irony being that I’m spending my break time slagging her off on the internet right now


Thanks. Since this morning things have gone from not much more than today’s meeting with a recruiter to two recruiters putting me forward for roles (that pay £5k more than my last job) and one of them saying she can get me freelance work for a week or two in the meantime as well. Fingers well and truly crossed.


I’ll just give you another example

She was carrying a big, heavy box of files and just chucked it on the floor very near me. Fucking HELL that made me jump! It was really unpleasant, scary and horrible. And then she stormed off in a huff. Came back and just aggressively chucked another file on a table next to me.

Right, I’m actually really terrified at the thought of going back to work now. I was going to settle with ‘merely’ a sociopath and leave it at that, but I think this person might actually be a psychopath.


Do you think that maybe the fact it was a big, heavy box meant she needed to put it down as quickly as possible and therefore location and care with which she put it down might not have been her top priority? Do you think you might be at the point where you construe everything she does to be against you? Maybe take a step back from it all.


Yeah, I have considered that. I have considered that maybe I’ve brainwashed myself into a narrative that I’m being bullied, and that maybe I’m skewing everything a bit because of past events, so maybe I don’t have a strong case and I’ll just have to put up with more weeks of misery.

I think the problem is that different people have different thresholds for what constitutes bullying. As @ghostpony above said - ‘constant nagging and unfair treatment’ - I was going to question if that’s actually widely considered bullying? Or just standard managerial practice?


Some (a lot) of managers are just shit, and have no regard for the actual important managing of people part. It’s shit. What do other people say about this person, generally?


I wasn’t trying to say that it’s not all true, just that sometimes it’s easy to misinterpret actions, in the same way when you fancy someone it can be easy to misread signs of affection.


One other person who now works in another department also said they found her very rude, and I also recall a moment at the end of the day after everyone left where she said ‘right, I’m going to tell this person off tomorrow for not doing their job properly!’

I understand obviously you’re not going to get on with everyone and I can cope with that, but I feel like I’m actually under attack sometimes when this person criticises me for not doing something properly (or when there simply wasn’t enough time to do it and it was beyond my or anyone else’s control), I actually get that fight-or-flight anxiety where I feel like I have to defend and explain myself - and I’m not given space to explain myself, the whole management style is that it’s your fault your fault your fault - get cross with that person until they improve. Again - maybe that’s why I’m not thinking rationally about this because I’m not in a rational state of mind when it happens, so maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it isn’t bullying in some people’s opinions, so maybe I shouldn’t bother trying to do something about it, and just let it eat me.

Now I’m paranoid that she’s reported me for my defensive behaviour from yesterday (got some strange vibes from her manager), and (now) that maybe it’s all in my head and so (1) there’s nothing I can do and (2) that I’ve just made things a lot worse by retaliating and being rude back. (3) I’m possibly just an entitled idealistic prick for demanding to be treated with respect and like an adult - that’s not how the real horrible illiberal world of work outside home/school/uni etc. works so how dare I?!

I’m not sure I can cope actually, this is awful. I’m getting that feeling where your throat dries up and you don’t want to eat anything - because all of a sudden maybe everything I’ve thought is just distorted and it’s not bullying, and that maybe I’m the bully for taking it so personally.


I reckon this comment is going to be tag-teamed with lots of likes in an attempt to portray me in a negative light, so I’ll just explain - the box was thrown at the floor - it was unprofessional, I’ve never witnessed anyone else who works there do that before - there was no need. I’m sorry but I’m not going mad - it was threatening, menacing behaviour and I felt very intimidated and frightened.


For what it’s worth I don’t think the entirely well-meaning interjections you’ve received today were particularly well-advised. They might be right, but that’s not the point.

From what you’ve said over the last few weeks I’m convinced you are being bullied. And I’m also convinced that it’s having an effect on your mental well-being. It really doesn’t matter if you’ve actually miscontrued something innocent as something malicious; bullies thrive on sowing doubt and uncertainty in their victim’s minds.

Going through the union and HR seems totally sensible and reasonable to me, and @ghosthalo’s advice seems sound. You need to be separated from this person. Ideally that should be done in as undramatic a way as possible, and that seems to be the path you’re on. You need to concentrate on keeping yourself on the straight and narrow, and focus on the goal, which is for you to go somewhere else and do a job you feel happy in. You deserve that and you will achieve it.

Good luck.


It was done in a violent temper and I’m convinced it was done deliberately to frighten me after I defended myself yesterday, so that I never EVER do that again.

And I know that’s just an interpretation but that doesn’t mean it must be wrong.


A little story to maybe give you some cheer.

In the job before my current one I was systematically bullied by my line manager. This led to me becoming very depressed and then serially absent and in the end led to my constructive dismissal (I didn’t pursue it, but that’s what it was). I was fortunate in that the organisation had a welfare officer who I ended up spending a lot of time with for obvious reasons. On the day when I finally decided to resign I went to see him. As we drafted my resignation letter together I mentioned the word bullying. He told me that since I’d used the word he had to either act or get me to sign a letter saying that I wanted to take no action. I chose the latter (for a clean break), but as I did so he told me “there are other ways to deal with this than formal complaints.”

She left under a big cloud a few months later is all I know…


And now a third recruit has just phoned me wanting to put me forward for a job that pays £7k more than my last one. I think that perhaps I need to have more self confidence and believe that I am worth it. If the recruiter thinks I am, then I have to go with them on it.