Grievance Of Bullying

Question:

My company investigated a grievance I raised about bullying by only talking to my bully and people who directly work for him who owe their careers to his goodwill. At no point did they interview me and the other team members at the same level as me.

I am now appealing the grievance in which they denied any bullying took place. I want to make sure of two things: First, that the appeal is heard by somebody different than the original grievance, and second, to learn where I stand regarding the non-comprehensiveness of their investigation. I have something like a 20 page document, but I do not expect you to look at that. I just wanted to clear up these points. Thank you.

Signed,

Bullied But Not Even Interviewed


Answer:

Dear Bullied But Not Even Interviewed:

I hope I understand your question. I tried to edit it so that it made more sense to me than what I first read. I apologize if I have distorted what you meant to say. What I understand is: that you charged you were bullied. Management investigated. However, although others were interviewed, you were not. Now you are appealing the investigation and you want your appeal to be decided by different personnel than those that originally conducted the investigation. Might you succeed in this? Possibly, different people will be assigned to decide your appeal. Possibly, your 20-page document will log a number of instances (with dates, location, context, witnesses, and details) in which you allege that you were bullied. Possibly if your appeal is thorough, you will be interviewed and can make your case. That document and your testimony should state show what was said, body language and your reactions to the acts you say were bullying.

Probably your accusation of being bullied and your appeal will be viewed as rocking the boat. What will you do if the appeal is denied and/or if it is conducted and affirms the earlier decision? Will you be a good loser or will you be sour? Will you charge the system is unfair? Will you gossip about it to friends, family and anyone who will listen? Will you allow this to play and replay in your head and stress your body? Or will you toughen up and respond to bullying with courage and a professional attitude?

Will you do good work in spite of having to work with one or more you feel bullies?

Will you meet with your boss and get her/his advice about how to interact with that individual or those individuals you think bully? Will you think though what of your behaviors might have brought on what you think was bullying? Will you think through how to respond in ways that would stop bullying behavior?

I would be interested in how you answer these questions? I hope they prompt you to a creative, courageous approach to this situation that can’t help but be causing you discomfort. Finally, is it possible for you to see your self as helping shape the kind of workplace where you want to come to work? Is it possible for you to see your self as a champion of adding value to your workplace no matter what is decided? Is it possible for you to apply my signature sentence to your work group: Working together with hands, head and heart takes and makes big WEGOS? Isn’t that really what you want?

William Gorden