Is “Winding Someone Up” Bullying?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about pestering and being written up secretly:

If people are constantly told to “wind someone up” to get a reaction is it bullying? It seems like the management are constantly telling other employees to wind someone up. Also, if you were being written up secretly can they do that?

Signed, No Bully

Dear No Bully:

Wind them up means to pester, bother or pick at someone until they break or react. So, yes, that is bullying. If there is someone higher than the level of managers who are telling people to do that, you should look for a way to let that level know.Such advice not only creates a miserable workplace but it also puts the company in a high liability situation. Further, that is the kind of thing that has caused workplace violence in many places. You don’t say why management is advising people to do that, but I can’t think of a reason it would ever be appropriate.

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