Serial Bullies… Women Who Make Life Hell At Work (More Proof Career Women Suck)

Reader Response to “Don’t Marry Career Women” – Serial Bullies… Women Who Make Life Hell At Work (More Proof Career Women Suck)

Serial Bullies… Women Who Make Life Hell At Work (More Proof Career Women Suck)
Regular Contributor

Serial bullies …Women who make life hell at work

Think bullying only happens in the playground? Nuh-uh. The workplace she-bully is alive, well and raising hell. By Sarah Marinos

Sally*, 27, manages a women’s clothing store in Melbourne — with military discipline. Her staff don’t stay long. She screams at her all-female workforce, ridicules them and expects them to work through their lunch hour or stay late to attend meetings where she usually criticises their work.

If Sally isn’t criticising, she’s giving a worker the silent treatment. She sweeps into the store and says hello to everyone but her victim. The victim is left out of shop gossip and Sally might even begin a vicious rumour about them.

“One of my previous staff members was such a lazy cow. I constantly had to tell her how to do her job. Eventually I took her out the back of the store and let her have it,” says Sally.

“I said that if she wanted to succeed in life she had to be smarter. I also told her she was too fat. She was a size 16, for god’s sake. I’m sure she put off customers when they came into the store. Who wants to be served by someone wearing a potato sack? I know what I said sounds harsh, but I was telling her for her own good.”

Last year, Sally slapped a 17-year-old Saturday girl who dared to answer back when Sally accused her of taking five minutes extra for her lunch.

“I know she was five minutes late because every time staff leave the store they have to ask me first and I note down the time,” says Sally. “I told her she’d have to stay back after work and she said no. I saw red. Her smug little 17-year-old know-it-all face pissed me right off, so I slapped her. She looked pretty shocked and left the following week.

“There was nobody around when I slapped her, so if she complained it would be my word against hers, and I’ve been with the company for eight years. Who are the bosses going to believe? Me, who runs one of the company’s most profitable stores, or some 17-year-old airhead?”

Bullying: the hidden torment

Sadly, Sally’s staff aren’t the only victims. New research has found that 70 percent of Australians are being bullied in the workplace, or have been bullied in the past. And don’t think it’s just about the young male apprentice who gets his head flushed down the toilet. Bullying happens in all industries, at all levels and it’s not an all-male affair. Women are just as likely as men to bully at work. Studies by Job Watch, an employment legal advisory service in Melbourne, has found the retail, health and hospitality industries are riddled with she-bullies like Sally. In the past year, the organisation received more than 1000 complaints of workplace bullying — two-thirds of the calls came from women victims aged between 25 and 34 — and many of those were victims of a she-bully.

“There are a lot of women suffering in silence at the hands of other women,” says Zana Bytheway, executive director of Job Watch. “In some cases, bullying happens because people love the sense of power it gives them. It’s about ego. In other cases, I think bullying happens because people are under so much pressure. They have to do more in less time and with less staff. Productivity, profits, pressure. It’s a potent mix.

“We spend the bulk of our time at work and work plays a huge part in how we see ourselves and how we value ourselves. I’ve seen women give up their careers, develop stress and anxiety problems, lose their confidence, lose their relationship and even become suicidal because they are bullied by another woman at work. It’s a very serious, sinister and under-estimated problem.”

Amanda*, 35, is a senior manager in a small company in Adelaide. She’s been in her current job for just over three years and has been bullied for most of that time by another senior manager, a woman 10 years older than her.

“She’s always been volatile and aggressive, but when I won an award for my work, she spat at me and said ‘That’s outrageous’,” recalls Amanda. “Then she began a whispering campaign. She suggested to my superiors and colleagues that I wasn’t capable of doing my job. Behind my back she grabbed every opportunity to run me down. She deliberately failed to pass on information I needed to do my job so I looked like an idiot at meetings; I wouldn’t have a clue what everyone was talking about.

Amanda would tremble whenever she received an e-mail or phone call from her she-bully. The bully played with her nerves by alternating between nice and nasty. Amanda drove to work never knowing what to expect next.

“It was like domestic violence. One day she screamed and told me how hopeless I was. The next day she talked to me in a cutesy voice and asked for my help,” says Amanda. This year, Amanda saw a psychologist because the bullying pushed her to breaking point. “I thought I was going to crack. I was physically and emotionally exhausted.

“My psychologist helped me develop skills to cope with her. Now when she rages, I don’t react. Because she doesn’t get a reaction, it’s not as much fun for her. I’ve also stood up for myself more. I’ve told her I’m aware of the things she says behind my back and I’ve told my bosses what’s been going on. They haven’t done anything to stop her, though, and I did think about leaving my job but why should I go? Then she wins.”

So, what’s the appeal?

New research has also found that there’s not just one kind of workplace bully. According to Keryl Egan, a Sydney-based clinical psychologist, bullies fall into three main categories: accidental, destructive and serial. The accidental bully is aggressive, intelligent, confident and successful and expects a lot of the people working around them. They don’t listen to others, always feel they’re right and, when the pressure is on, they lose their temper — but have no idea how their behaviour hurts the people around them. In other words, their bullying is not premeditated. “The destructive bully is narcissistic. They see any competition or threat as a serious assault and they go into a rage,” says Egan. “They feel entitled to positions of power.” So they bully because they can.

However, the most worrying workplace bully is the serial, or psychopathic, bully — and it seems women are particularly effective at this kind of behaviour. They intentionally hurt colleagues and revel in the pain they cause. “The psychopathic bully is very good at showing one face to the boss and another face to the people below them,” explains Egan. Her research says it can take two years for a psychopathic workplace bully to be exposed.

“They isolate their target so that person doesn’t have a support network. They manipulate the victim’s workload and working conditions and make unrealistic demands and unpredictable decisions. One minute they praise, and the next minute they criticise. They isolate or ignore their victim and the bullying is systematic and relentless. They have a complete lack of empathy.”

Egan says most people become psychopathic bullies because of a damaged childhood. They’ve usually been bullied themselves by uncaring parents or been emotionally neglected. They’re incapable of having compassion for anyone else because they didn’t receive love and care themselves.

Sally says whenever she’s been generous in life people have taken advantage of her. “Sometimes I feel bad when I see the girls at work in tears. I see how they look at me when I arrive at work — they’re afraid — but if they’re afraid of me, they’re not going to take advantage of me. Being soft doesn’t get you anywhere.”
*Names have been changed.

Message Edited by Happy_Bullet on 10-24-200603:26 AM

Men have standards. Women will be compared. DEAL WITH IT.

10-24-2006 03:08 AM

Re: Serial Bullies …Women Who Make Life Hell At Work
Regular Contributor
Nothing new here of course.

Women are merely substituting their husbands for employers and work colleagues.

Female bullying in schools is well documented in books like “Queen Bees And Wannabes” and very little is done about it (thankyou feminists), so why wouldn’t it continue into the workplace?

Men are the abusive ones my arse.

Men have standards. Women will be compared. DEAL WITH IT.

10-24-2006 03:12 AM

Re: Serial Bullies… Women Who Make Life Hell At Work (More Proof Career Women Suck)
Regular Contributor

There’s an article in the Daily Mail today called:

Record numbers of women being bullied at work by men.

In the article we find:

“Helen Green, 36, was tormented by a gang of four women in the ‘department from hell”

Gang of four women???


“Lyn Witheridge, chief executive of the anti-workplace bullying charity, The Andrea Adams Trust, said bullying is a major problem for men too. Investigations into bullying regularly reveal that women are most likely to suffer, but this is largely because men do not dare speak out. She said: “More women will complain about bullying which is why statistics show that they are the biggest victims. Men just don’t dare say anything.”


“Other examples include a woman saying to another woman: ‘What sort of perfume are you wearing? It smells cheap to me.”

And yet the title of the article soley blames MEN as the bullies!!! Any one want to bet that the author (Becky Barrow) is a feminist twisting the truth to maximise female victimhood?

10-24-2006 12:15 PM

Re: Serial Bullies… Women Who Make Life Hell At Work (More Proof Career Women Suck)

It all depends on your definition of bullying, doesn’t it? I have seen many a time male bosses just being scared of giving any criticism to their female workers whose working standards were as low as the Dead Sea. Who wants to face a possibilty of legal action for constructive criticism, ehh, sorry, – bullying? Yeah.

To say that a female worker is unproductive or a bad team player or whatever is too often just asking for trouble. To say nothing about the “women are victims” national brainwashing machine working at full swing…

10-25-2006 02:46 AM

Re: Serial Bullies… Women Who Make Life Hell At Work (More Proof Career Women Suck)
Regular Contributor

May I remind everyone that this is an article in CLEO!! It’s 87.5% B.S. and that only because they don’t have the brains to be completely full of it!!

NOTE TO ALL, managers are useless! if one should bother you during the course of your day simply reply: I’m so glad the privet sector has found a rock for your incompetence to hide under, as should life had required you to do something practical to earn your keep I just know id be funding subsistence on my tax dollar. but since your here now I’ve decided I need a lift so lets take this debate in front of everybody so we can calmly discuss all the ways in which I’m better than you.

Workplace bullies curl up in the spot light like a paper cup in a bomb fire, especially the women.  If you want to expose her in a fun way try the “ways the useless tart will screw up again today betting board” have about five of her failures listed and place odds next to them. When the boss asks what’s going on say well I need the extra money and don’t mind betting on a sure thing. Then follow with hey I’ve just realized you don’t mind losing money on her every week, want to place a wager?? Make sure you gather sufficient evidence so that when the boss questions you, you can explain in full detail, i.e. if it’s verbal abuse bring in a tape recorder. Office gossip can be nasty but I’m sure you creative people can think of something.

10-25-2006 10:17 AM

Re: Serial Bullies… Women Who Make Life Hell At Work (More Proof Career Women Suck)
Regular Contributor
She bullies are usually women who are afraid that other women will take their position. We all know the majority of women suffer from lack of creativity and male know how. So their victims are other females.

How companies stay in business hiring females, I will never know!!!

Women have been proving for the last 30 years that men have been right for the last 30 centuries!

10-25-2006 08:48 PM

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