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Workplace bullying

  1. Nov 26, 2014 #1
    How common is this at your workplace? Do you think it's less common in engineering/science jobs than other places? How did you handle it if you observed such?
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014
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  3. Nov 26, 2014 #2

    Bystander

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    If you make distinctions between physical intimidation/abuse as "bullying," and mental/personal intimidation/abuse as "politics," it's less common in engineering and science; if you don't wish to make the distinction, it's not. That said, people with scientific and engineering backgrounds may be less inclined to take such behaviors personally.
     
  4. Nov 26, 2014 #3
    How does one deal with it? Wouldn't the best strategy be just becoming extremely confrontational, and start abusing the person back? Or complain to the supervisor? That's what I would do.

    Though I'm not working yet, still a student, but I became curious on this after I read studies that claimed a large part of the working population are being bullied. Amazing that educated people in their 30s and 40s fail to grow up and develop morals and become bullies. Seems like a good beating is what is deserved as far as I am concerned.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014
  5. Nov 26, 2014 #4

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    Perfect, this gives me a several options: 1) take it in a "politically correct" position of moral outrage that you would even think of exhibiting behavior you to which you object; 2) regard it as very artful irony; 3) speculate that you aren't perfectly familiar with the English language and culture, and have stated your reactions to bullying in a way that can be misunderstood; 4) realize that you're younger than I am, and have yet to learn that you can't control other peoples' thoughts/attitudes/behaviors, and that it's not really worth your time to even try doing so.

    I'll take it that 2) and/or 4) are the case, and say I've enjoyed the exchange of ideas so far.
     
  6. Nov 26, 2014 #5

    Nugatory

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    Which studies? Tell us what your source is and you'll get much better and more directly relevant responses.
     
  7. Nov 26, 2014 #6
    This one, for instance http://www.theguardian.com/money/us-money-blog/2014/jun/26/workplace-bullying-rise-research-shows
    Bystander: I assume you understood I was talking about bullies deserving a beating, not the victims, right?

    If so, you are confusing violence with bullying. Bullying has nothing to do with violence in itself, it's about picking on other people for amusement. I personally think a bully getting beaten is the most fitting punishment, sort of a defeat on ones own terms in a sense.

    And do you honestly think a person who draws enjoyment out of abusing individuals who are unable to assert themselves should be ignored because "you can't control how other people act"? Of course you can, especially if you are in a position of authority.
     
  8. Nov 26, 2014 #7

    Doug Huffman

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    Modus ponendo ponens; bullying.

    I was a senior technician/engineer, on the cusp of management level, when we were required to admit unqualified degreed personnel including females to our practice. There is a silver lining in every little cloud. That was in about 1990, in 1993 the facility was declared excess and closed in 1995 and I retired at 47 y.o. Y'all are welcome to the world that you made.
     
  9. Nov 26, 2014 #8
    Common, very common. A friend of mine has a small body size and have to work with all Mr. Biceps. As the only foreigner in a US company working on work visa, the fact that physical intimidation always exists is needless to say. He's not always fairly treated and has to complete heavy workloads before heading home late at night everyday.
    I think all of big guys in the US should be engayed before released into society.
     
  10. Nov 26, 2014 #9

    Ryan_m_b

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    I don't know about being more or less common. One thing I have noticed though is that in academia there are far less rigorous procedures for dealing with this kind of thing, especially if you are a PhD student. When I've had jobs in companies (non-science) there have been very clear policies on workplace harassment. Procedures for complaints were efficient and HR took issues very seriously.

    Conversely I've known female PhD students to be sexually harassed by their supervisors and other students who have been verbally abused by their supervisor and have no real support network.
     
  11. Nov 26, 2014 #10

    Ryan_m_b

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    What does this mean? I don't see any relevance to bullying and I'm suspicious of your seemingly gratuitous qualification that some personnel were female.
     
  12. Nov 26, 2014 #11

    StatGuy2000

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    I'm a biostatistician working in the pharma/biotech/health care field for over a decade now and I have never personally encountered bullying or abuse in my workplace at all, either directed toward myself or others. On the other hand, I've known people who have worked in different fields tell me of their experiences of being harassed or constantly yelled at or berated by their supervisors or co-workers.

    Curiously, the people I've known who have experienced such abuse/bullying worked in either the art/design field (as graphic designers) or in the HR field (I know one person who worked at an HR consulting firm specializing in conducting background checks for prospective employees). Given the limited sample size, I can't conclude that bullying is more endemic in these fields, however.
     
  13. Nov 26, 2014 #12

    russ_watters

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    It must be a field-specific thing. I was shocked that the percentage was so high in the Guardian link and have never experienced any. Though I question whether some people may be using too loose a definition, particularly when it comes to bullying from a boss.
     
  14. Nov 26, 2014 #13
    I side with those who think it's a good sign that those students or employees are going to have a good promotion.
     
  15. Nov 26, 2014 #14

    Ryan_m_b

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    So in your mind if someone is groped or has frequent, frightening sexual suggestions/advances against them it's ok because hypothetically the person doing it could be influential when it comes to future career prospects?
     
  16. Nov 26, 2014 #15

    Doug Huffman

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    I took it to mean that the victims will be rewarded with promotion.
     
  17. Nov 26, 2014 #16
    Maybe the problematic elements in this thread speaks for itself.
     
  18. Nov 26, 2014 #17
    Is it really such a scandal that women were allowed to work in your department?

    What? Why is that a good sign?
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014
  19. Nov 26, 2014 #18
    Elaborating on my previous post, this thread should probably in itself indicate that STEM-fields are just as lacking in tolerance and progressiveness as anywhere else. If not worse in some aspects. I see a lot of articles about sexual harassment... :c
     
  20. Nov 26, 2014 #19

    lisab

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    It all starts when humans have to interact with other humans...;).

    Yes I've seen bullying at my workplace -- NOT the physical type you see in kids, though.

    We just got rid of just such a problem at my work, in fact. A long-time employee retired. I won't go into boring details of her MO, but having seen how the department worked before she left compared to after is really remarkable. Everyone walked on eggshells around her before, it was tense as hell! It took months before some people would relax enough to talk (and laugh) about her "antics".

    She was married to a high mucky-muck in the organization -- believe me, now I know why good companies don't allow this.
     
  21. Nov 26, 2014 #20
    Victims tend to be young or small girls, I think most women think the way I do too.
     
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