Thursday, August 03, 2006

Mean People are Made to Pay!

Earlier I blogged about workplace bullying and mobbing (Mean People Suck!), a prevalent system of mistreatment that amounts to psychological abuse. This mistreatment can include exclusion from workplace information and resource networks, humiliation, gossip and rumoring (which has destroyed personal, as well as professional, relationships), threats and intimidation. It can be caused by one person acting alone or by a group, or mob. Bullying and mobbing steal productivity, cause rampant turnover and create a relatively dismal work environment. In the extreme, bullying is a precursor to workplace violence.

Still, companies see it happening and do very little of any substance to make it stop. Some attempts are half-hearted, leading to more entrenched behavior. Now, companies who don’t effectively settle these claims in their HR departments are settling them in the court systems.

The British courts have just awarded a former female employee of Deutsche Bank $1.5 million in what is the largest award ever for workplace bullying. She claimed that she was subjected to "offensive, abusive, intimidating, denigrating, bullying, humiliating, patronizing, infantile and insulting words and behavior" – that she was ignored and excluded, her authority undermined and, as a result, found herself increasingly stressed-out, to the point of illness. Beyond catty, the Deutsche Bank "Gang of Four" (four other female staffers) moved quickly from the petty and catty to derisive, relentless personal and professional commentary and attacks on her competence and humanity. They didn't stop, even when she had been admitted to the hospital on a suicide watch.

Maybe we’ll start getting point: Mean people really do suck…and now they’re being made to really pay.

Read "Mean People Suck" or the article on YahooNews!