My boss and I were having our one one one.  During the meeting, I reported our team leader as being a Workplace Bully.  I told my boss that I had contacted our employer offered "workplace assist" website and they recommended I take an internet course on how to deal with workplace bullies.  It is completely annonimous and I never told them my name, or anybodies name, and did NOT contact HR. 

My boss got very upset.  He did not act very upset but I could hear his voice shaking after I told him.  I contacted the website over six months ago and needed to do this to determine if my view was a valid one.  I just needed some advice on how to deal with it.  He told me I should have come to him.  I wasnt ready to go to him about this until now.  I have been working with the team leader for five years and couldnt take it any longer.

I work for a major, major company.  They are huge on diversity and respect for all.  I requested a promotion about two months ago and at the time I was told "it was not an unreasonable request" but I have not heard anything since then.  Do you think I have ruined my chances for the promotion now?  Or would they go ahead and give me the promotion so that they will not appear to have withheld the promotion because I blew the whistle?


fredique's picture

Were you having O3's with your boss' boss? I assumed, that your direct supervisor is the team leader and he reports to your "boss".

In any case It does not look like you made anything particularly wrong - you just wanted advice on how to deal with this issue.

I believe it would have been easier, if you have given feedback to your boss about particular wrong behaviors, which you have observed (and which could also be confirmed by others, who witnessed it). This would put your boss in a more comfortable situation, in this case he was perhaps unaware of what's going on (and I believe nobody wants to learn about internal team problems from a company website or an ombudsman).
At this point, I would wait out till your next O3 and explain your boss why you have not told him that before and what were your concerns; This should unload a lot of the anger, if there is any, against you.

TNoxtort's picture

This is hard to say, but I've noticed at my big, big company, higher bosses seem very concerned about anything that reflect badly on their department and thus their reputation. So he's concerned that by you signing up for this course, and them tracing it back to his department. I'm learning the hard way to be very careful with any negative information to a boss, especially the higher they are. For example, I gave a presentation on my project and how another department was trying to push it way to past, potentially breaking laws, and how I needed their support to push back. It was interpreted as the other department wants to do great things, and I might potentially make our department look bad.

Two years ago, my boss was bullying me a lot. I got a book called Bullies to Buddies by Izzy Kalman. It is meant for kids, but it is very good for adults and I would recommend it. His basic point is that bullies bully to get a reaction, so you should react less. He is actually against antibullying movements in schools and such, because he says we will run into bullies our entire life, and need to learn how to handle them.

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

I am spending the holiday weekend with my family. When I return, I will reply.

There are several things at work here that bear some illumination.


fawn001's picture

Just as an update, I had my mid-year review yesterday and the "Workplace Bully" issue was never brought up.  I was told my performance was fine and on target (that was no surprise since we have regular one on ones).  I did have to ask about the promotion again and was told he had to recommend it.  I was very disappointed and my boss could tell in my voice. 

The Team Leader I reported has been giving me the stink eye ever since I reported her and it has hurt our relationship.  But it was already bad to begin with so no big loss there.

cim44's picture
Training Badge

Good for you to have the courage to report the bully.  Hope you are doing well.

One question re the promotion - are you saying that you'd asked your boss for one, and he'd not done anything about it?

Anyhow, I really hope you are able to get out from under this boss.  Without knowing your specifics its hard to suggest anything but what I want to say is that if you know objectively that you are known and respected above your boss, depending on how well you know your boss's boss I'd go to that person, tell them what has happened and what you would like to happen (eg. try to work out a transfer over the next few months, etc.).

Not that you'd want to bring this up as a negotiating point, but you do have a bit of cover in that you have already specifically pointed out the bullying to your direct manager and it seems that nothing was done about it.