Very few people in Connecticut are familiar with the terms “Work Place Bully and Mobbing” although according to the Workplace Bullying Institute’s - Zogby survey on workplace bullying, this problem is of epidemic proportions affecting 49% of workers nationally.

Workplace bullying is defined by the Workplace Bullying Institute as repeated, health-harming mistreatment in the form of verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, and humiliation.

This is a silent epidemic in that 49% of workers still deny observing this phenomenon in their workplaces. Work place bullying is often done covertly, behind closed doors, most frequently by serial bullies who chose one target at a time. The bully often employs the help of the "target's" coworkers, which is called "mobbing". Gossip and rumors of half or twisted truths about the target, are one of the primary tactics used by bullies to manipulate coworkers into participating in the abuse as well as isolating the target. What's so strange about this phenomenon is that targets are usually better than average employees who are cooperative and start off popular with coworkers. The target is devastated by the abuse and isolation that she/he doesn't understand nor know how to stop because there is no reason for the abuse! Bullies usually have personality disorders or other physical or emotional mental disorders that rob them of their empathy and compels them to behave in this way. The motivation is usually to get rid of someone who's good performance is a threat to their own feelings of inadequacy or to control and subjugate their target. Once chosen as a target there is a 77% chance that the target will quit, be fired, or commit suicide within 2 years. After elimination of the "target", the bully is compelled to choose a new target within 2 days to 2 weeks.

Short newspaper and magazine articles printed in the United States fail to drive home the complexity and seriousness of this abuse of power, which is similar to the abuse of power in sexual harassment cases. This abuse often leads to depression, anxiety and complex posttraumatic stress disorder as well as dozens of stress related physical health problems. Many targets become disabled for life. The number of people and hours involved in a bullying/mobbing campaign is our largest, hidden, expense in business today.

As the word gets out about this phenomenon, workers who have been targeted by workplace bullying and mobbing are starting to speak up. In Connecticut the first anti-bullying support group, “Connecticut Bully busters” held their third meeting on August 29th. Meetings are facilitated by Professor Katherine Hermes, our state’s coordinator for the Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute, in Bellingham, WA. Meetings are held monthly, at Central Connecticut State University.

Connecticut is the 12th state since 2003 to introduce a version of the “The Anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill for Connecticut, 2007. This bill died in Judiciary Committee and was never voted on to move to the Senate floor. Despite this set back, advocates of the movement continue to hope that Connecticut will be the first state to pass this legislation.

To learn more about Bullybusters, or to follow the progress and how to support this important bill, go to this Internet link: http://www.bullybusters.org/advocacy/legis-ct.html.
The link to the world’s largest, most informative website, founded by the late Tim Field, a revered pioneer in the fight against work pace bullying is: http://www.bullyonline.org/index.htm.

A link about the phenomenon from by own perspective can be found at: http://360.yahoo.com/antibullyingcrusador

Learn about work place bullying today. Once our nation's work force can recognize it, then name it what it is."Work Place Bullying and Mobbing", Then we can end it, together! Who knows, you might be the serial bully's next target!

Author's Bio: 

I am a Registered Nurse who has worked at the same home care agency, in a small US city, for 28 years. First as a visiting Nurse, then as an Intake nurse, after becoming ill with Multiple Sclerosis in the early 1980s.

An Intake Nurse is a nurse who takes all calls coming into the agency, from patients or their family members seeking help, or from our more regular callers, health care professionals from Hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and physician's offices who call daily in the capacity of their jobs, to make home care arrangements for their patients.

I have become well known in the home care community as a trusted, reliable resource. Working at a desk, communicating with callers by phone, followed by computer documentation is the perfect job for me. now that my illness limits my ability to manage usual nursing jobs.

Then the job that I came to love, became complicated by a "work place bully", who made me her "target" after I provided support to the "target" before me. The previous target was successfully eliminated after sustaining an emotional injury requiring in-patient psyciatric care. She has been disabled and unable to work ever since. Not knowing about the phenomenon of work place bullying and mobbing, I didn't believe my coworker when she confided in me. I told our bully boss that this coworker was planning to sue the agency after which the bully escalated the emotional abuse, resulting in my coworkers hospitalization.

Shortly after, my boss began nitpickiing and making accusations that I was intimidating subordinates. She exagerated small errors I made, leading coworkers to believe my illness was affecting my competence. She made an L.P.N. in charge of me without justification while being the R.N. in the office,I continue to be legally responsible for cosigning this L.P.N.'s work! I became more isolated as my bully boss no longer gave me special assignments and coworkers became increasingly disrespectful believing her lies of incompetence. As my coworkers reported every minor error, She rewarded them with the special assignments that were previously mine. My coworkers involvement in the abuse is called "mobbing".

I became devastated by the emotional abuse and disrespect of my boss, then my coworkers which I didn't understand, especially as our regular callers and the visiting nurses who receive my referral documentation, continued to compliment my work daily.

Then I came across information on the Internet about the phenomenon of work place bullying and mobbing. The discription in the literature was exactly what I was experiencing. I haven't stopped reading, writing and talking about what I've learned ever since. My knowledge has changed my perspective entirely, and now I want the rest of the working world to know what I have learned.