How Ally went up against workplace bullying

Ally worked at a hotel from 2014-2018. Read her workplace bullying story in her words:

I was the Director of Sales, overseeing revenue for the property and creating relationships with clients and new accounts. Everything was fine when I began the job and even when we had gotten a new general manager later in 2014. About a year later in 2015, I noticed some changes, not only by our general manager’s (my boss') attitude towards tasks, but how other employees started to see her actions. Bullying began by calling me names and picking on my weight (looking too skinny). After the name calling and picking on appearance, she began to focus on my personal life, making comments regarding my relationship with my sister and even  about my home. As a general manager, you would have access to employees' addresses, but I would have never actually shown a photo of my home or where I live. As accounts were growing and we were booking more business, there was more of a workload, and I was slowly beginning to become burned out. I had asked for help, even from front desk associates who did step up, but if they made an error, my boss (the general manager) would come back to me and make me fix the mistakes. I eventually just took the work upon myself, taking work home with me at night and on weekends. My boss also attacked me during meetings, purposely humiliating me about how sales goals were not going to be met, even though the team and I made our goals and more every quarter the year before. At first, I brushed off all the name calling and comments about my personal life because I knew my husband and I needed the money and I was happy with what I was doing.

In the middle of 2017, my sales team member took another opportunity, and I was tasked with hiring an employee to join me. I knew of a good friend who graduated with a hotel degree and gave her the opportunity. She accepted. I was excited for her until things went even further south.

By the beginning of 2018, I couldn’t handle the verbal and mental abuse anymore. I felt as though these actions were consuming my life and I suffered from extreme chronic stress, not only trying to juggle the workload of three people but also trying to figure her out and always having to be on the defense day after day. I had chronic digestion issues, headaches weekly, and anxiety and felt trapped.

Most people asked why I didn’t do anything or say anything to upper management. If I did, she would retaliate and find a way to fire me. She did this before. At this point in February of 2018, my husband and I had decided I needed to leave as my health had become a priority. Luckily, I did have another career lined up as my passion for nutrition and fitness took me to new opportunities. I had been a fitness instructor and used my talents and hobbies to pursue a career.

I always checked in with my friend who was still working there in sales, only to find out my boss had fired her in mid-2018 because she wanted her favorite employee to take that position. Upon leaving, I mentioned these issues to upper management who had a chat with my boss. That seemed to work for a little until she went back to her usual ways. I had even attempted to go to corporate directly and was basically brushed off. Nobody at the property will say anything for fear of losing their job, but I fear those hard-working employees will continue to be victims of bullying.

My advice to those going through a similar situation: check in with yourself. Look around you. What hobbies do you love? What makes you happy? Who do you know who could help you potentially get out of your current situation and move on into another job where you know you would be ok? I was able to heal for 4-5 months and I’m finally feeling better. Give yourself time to heal. Take up a little work to keep an income but also have enough time to rest. You owe this to yourself.



Share your workplace bullying story. Email to [email protected] in one page along with an optional photo:
Where did you work and what did you do?
How did the bullying begin? What tactics were used?
How did you feel?
How did it escalate?
How did your employer react (or not react)?
What was the impact on you?
What was the impact on the organization?
Why do you want workplace bullying legislation to pass?
What advice do you have for others going through bullying at work?

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