Mobbing is a nerve-wrecking type of harassment which is normally initiated by a manager towards an employee. I have experienced mobbing myself for almost two years without knowing what it was called until I read about it in a magazine. If you are the subject of mobbing, remember that it is a form of harassment and that there are laws against harassment and ways of protecting yourself. Just inform yourself and don't let them do it to you just because they are managers and can do it.
Here's what I experienced as mobbing and maybe some of you have faced it too:
- my manager gave me a company phone and called me for stupid reasons at any hour of any day. I was supposed to answer the phone anytime, even if at the toilet and I was clearly told to otherwise I faced great stress and angry words and attitude;
- I was constantly called at home on the company phone early in the morning, long before I was supposed to come to work (like at 6.45 am) or late in the afternoon (like at 9 pm on Sunday) for all sorts of reasons: to be asked about someone's photo, to be reminded about something I hadn't forgotten in the first place, to get some angry suggestion - whatever silly reason was a good reason to be called during my free week-end time or family;
- I was asked to prepare a complex report 10 minutes before I was supposed to leave for home. The report was always urgent and it always happened while my husband was waiting hungry in the car outside to take me home. The report took normally 1-1.5 hours to prepare and it was ALWAYS urgent. My manager always remembered about it at the end of the day and never in the morning when it would have given me time to prepare it efficiently;
- My manager forgot things in the office and constantly called me to bring them. One time she was supposed to go for the annual medical check up (which she did one year late even if the rules for the other employees were very strict), forgot the medical book I had given her the day before in the office and called me to drive all the way to the office which was 30 minutes drive from my house and then to the doctor's office where she waited angrily for me and then back to the office to start work and be on time for a scheduled meeting she knew we had;
- My manager randomly sent us SMSs in the morning asking for various stuff to be brought to her just to check if we keep our phones always close to us and see the message;
- We had a weekly brainwash meeting where we sat in a circle discussing Stephen Covey's 7 Habits book. We were supposed to read one chapter every week (which was OK), but during the brainwash meeting we were supposed to come with examples from our real lives, examples which were always used against us;
- We were asked to listen around the company for people complaining, to spy and come to her with the "vital" information. None of us actually went that low to do it. We always avoided this;
- The morning "Hello"did NOT exist. She always entered the room angrily, threw the laptop bag on the table and prepared for work avoiding to talk to us during the next minutes. All our good mood was gone (had we had any) and we hoped the floor would break making us disappear;
- We had regular face to face individual meetings where we were told in a nice and calm voice how incompetent and useless we were. All this while looking straight to our faces. The words mentioned were really used and they shocked you so much you didn't know how to react;
- The volume of work was always more than a human could handle. I had no time to eat, went to the toilet normally only once during 9-10 hours of work;
- I was told to my face that overtime is required of me to set an example. Of course not paid. We were supposed to do overtime just for the other departments to see us and do it too. Sometimes I stayed in the office for one hour more even if I had finished my work, just for her to be happy and give me one quiet day;
- We were never given all the office supplies we needed. When we asked for a post it for example, angry shouting was heard telling us that we should split one post it notebook between two people; we were supposed to print all contracts double sided on an old and slow ink printer that needed each page to be inserted individually; each contract had 10 pages and was supposed to be printed in 3 copies; all the 6 girls in the office were supposed to use the printer above mentioned while she had a fast laser one she rarely used;
- When we went to her with an important matter, she didn't reply looking all busy and serious and letting you stand in front of her desk like stupid and leaving you to talk to yourself like she didn't hear you. She didn't even look at you or tell you to please come back a bit later. She was not to be interrupted. At the same time when we discussed certain matters in the office, she always interrupted our conversations to tell us something angrily and remind us that we do only mistakes, nothing good; so, surprise, surprise, her hearing was more than fine :);
- She asked someone in the factory to stick some red tape on the carpet in front of her desk like in a bank shouting like crazy if anyone stepped over it. Some of the engineers coming to talk to her didn't know the rule and they got the great opportunity of hearing her shout for 10 minutes like crazy. She was always working on confidential stuff and nobody could approach her desk at less than a meter.
This is what I remember now almost 3 years after those black days. I left it all behind, but it led me to the doctor and to the cat scan with half of my body stiff because of the stress. Don't let it happen to you. Mobbing is harassment. Please act against it!
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