So you can read my books

Monday, May 26, 2014


I have ...

actually I am currently being bullied by an abrasive lab tech with whom I have to work alone during the weekend.

I need the weekend money, but I could do without the harrassment from an ill-tempered woman.

Sadly, my blood center follows the maxim: The squeaking wheel does not get the grease; it gets replaced.

This has gone on for nearly two years. 

I had the email ready for Human Resources, but I knew the lab is valued more than the Product Management department as the lab brings in thousands of dollars for Lifeshare.

Here is the email (real name withheld):

Dear Director of Human Resources:

35% of adult Americans experience workplace bullying (WBI 2010 U.S. National Survey).

I am concerned that the offensive behavior of Lab Tech, Jane Porter, in Lake Charles may be contributing to a hostile work environment.

I am just a Distribution Tech.  In the scheme of things, I am unimportant.  Jane Porter is a Lab Tech, bringing in revenue to Lifeshare.  She is important to Lifeshare.

For well over a year, she has been rude and offensive to me.  As a Distribution Tech in Lake Charles, I am dependent on Beaumont to meet me. 

Often they are busy with other blood runs.  One instance: I was delayed by the Beaumont courier and wrecks both going to and coming back for a sample. 
I explained the delay.  Jane snatched the sample from my hand and snarled, “Yeah, right!”
She, in effect, called me a liar.  I said nothing.  Months of such behavior have been unpleasant to endure. 

But I am an adult.  I just focused on doing the best job I could.

Some months back I asked why her attitude was so negative with me.  She just smirked.  It was the typical response of a bully.

Today (May 25th), she hung up on me twice. 
Jane called letting me know a Texas hospital had a sample to be picked up.  I followed my supervisor’s orders by contacting the Distribution Tech scheduled to be at the center. 
The Beaumont courier was delayed by already being at another site.  Later Jane called me demanding to know what I had been doing. 

I tried to explain and said I would contact the Distribution Tech handling the affair and would be right on it. 
She snapped, “You said that 2 hours ago!”  And she hung up on me.  Actually it was an hour, but I know to her it might have seemed longer.

Calling my co-worker, I found out the details of the delay.  I called Jane back explaining the delay.  I asked her, “Please do not hang up on me again.”

“Yeah, right!” she laughed and promptly hung up on me.

Obviously, Jane is not going to change her attitude and her behavior with me.  I am an adult.  I can deal with dysfunctional behavior.  After all, I have a Master’s degree in Psychology.

But I know that such behavior can spread to others in her world. 

If it spreads to a blood bank tech at one of our hospitals – one for whom she feels the superiority and scorn she feels towards me, it could endanger a hospital account for Lifeshare.

I would not be conscientious if I did not bring to your attention the possibility that Jane’s attitude might contribute to a hostile work environment with one of our hospitals.

I will continue to give my very best work performance to Lifeshare and strive to work with Jane with as little friction as I can arrange on my part. 
Yet, dysfunctional people do not improve unless treated.  Their symptoms only grow worse.

Thank you for reading this.  Respectfully yours, Roland D. Yeomans


Have you ever been bullied by a co-worker at work? 
How did you handle it?


  1. This is a tough situation, Roland, but you shouldn't have to put up with someone in a job who has less than professional behavior. Have you talked to anyone else at work about this?

  2. You have done your part in documenting the situation. Hopefully this will help you and others in the future to deal with this behaviour in the future.
    I had a bully at work once when I lived in East Texas. I knew that I had a short amount of time to work there, till my wife graduated Nursing School. I documented every event with my supervisors and HR. When I left I made sure to mention everything in the exit interview.

  3. Oh yes, I too have been bullied. Perhaps fortunately as a relatively new employee to the area I didn't know the power this woman held. When she was rude and demanding I told her that her request was third on my list. It had been a long time since someone had not jumped to her bidding. She treated me with respect and courtesy from that day on.
    I hope your petty tyrant can be reined in. I love your letter. Would it be possible to bring her behaviour to HR's attention without your name? I feel sure you aren't her only victim.

  4. I am so sick of bullies! I've had them before in job situations, and some of them can be dealt with by standing up to them with a calm, professional, no-nonsense manner. But yours sounds like a real head case, and nothing short of serious threats from her employers will do much good.

    I don't know if I could give you any advice, except to document every unprofessional incident with her. If other employees have the same complaints, you could encourage them to do the same. If you could get in writing (such as an email) complaints about her behavior from individuals at those hospitals, then that could really do her some damage. Just be careful and protect your back, Roland my dear.

  5. Your letter is very professional and spells out the situation clearly.

    I worked briefly at a job where the owner of the small firm was a bully. There were four guys who directly reported to him. I think that in any other situation (with a different kind of boss) they would have been fine. But they, in turn, tended to bully their direct reports. And then those folks tended to bully those underneath them.

    I called this whole situation the Trickle Down Theory. Whatever sort of behavior happens at the top tends to trickle down. There might be exceptions. (Some of the folks were nicer to their underlings than their bosses were to them... but by and large...) I was really happy to quit that job and move on.

  6. D.G.:
    I have talked about it to my supervisor. Jane periodically storms into his office on my day off and demands he fire me.

    He is, in the best possible way, "a good old boy." He does not like to be told what to do to people in his department.

    Think of him as a younger Burt Reynolds and you can better imagine his response.

    I have sent him the letter I would have sent to HR today.

    It is hard to work effectively with a bully. I sometimes catch her in lies and withholding information from me.

    Cross your fingers. :-)

    Elephant's Child:
    After my two emails yesterday to my supervisor, he emailed me that he would talk to her supervisor -- but he has a supercillious attitude towards everybody outside the lab. In fact, the lab departments of Lifeshare belong to a completely separate entity known as Systems.

    The lab supervisor saw the lion and tiger puppets in Khaki uniforms in the back seat of my car that I use periodically to visit old customers who are in the hospital or their children, and I cheer them up with terrible jokes and worse voice-throwing.

    He visited my best friend when she still had a store and said they were child-molesting aids I used -- he did it in front of her customers.

    He is a judge in the Miss America Pageants here, and at the time her business catered to beauty contestants. She could not afford to offend him. He is a bully, too.

    She couldn't afford to ask him to leave, so she left the store and stayed away until he was gone.

    Sandra called me and hotly told me NEVER to apologize to him when hospital calls necessitated me awakening him. And yes, he had made fun of me for doing so at that time as well.

    So I do not hold out much hope for what my supervisor will accomplish with talking to that man. There were times he came to work years ago on the weekend with alcohol heavy on his breath, and I did not report him. He seemed competent to do his work is the reason why.

    I am now documenting the offenses. My supervisor knows of it. But as I have written, he is a "good old boy" and simply is at a loss as to why Jane Porter is acting that way.

    Also I did, long ago, tell him about what the lab supervisor had said to Sandra in her store in front of customers. He, too, got hot and looked for him in the lab, but he was not there.

    I counseled restraint since the lab is the favored child of the Medical Head of Lifeshare -- and they have already down-sized our department since we are considered low level, easily replacable personnel.

    Last year, Lifeshare was considering eliminating my supervisor's position when they reduced drivers.

    Upon my interview with those deciding, I did say why I should be kept, I instead listed all the things my supervisor had done beyond the call of duty, even so far as risking his life and health by staying at the center through five hurricanes.

    I then showed index cards on what studies said were the qualites of excellent, hard to come by, supervisors and listed how my supervisor fulfilled all of them.

    I said all jobs had dignity but few jobs were noble. What my supervisor and I did were noble jobs, and I was proud to work with him and for Lifeshare.

    We both kept our jobs.

    My supervisor calls it the same thing. I am so sorry you had to suffer a bully's mistreatment. I am happy you are no longer there.

    I imagine you are, too! :-)

  7. I'm sorry to read this, Roland. That 'woman' is indeed the epitome of a bully.

    Your letter was well written and eloquent as one would expect from you.

    No, I have not been bullied at work. I was bullied at home instead. A most unpleasant experience, which has affected me throughout my life.

    I hope some resolve comes from your letter. Because, I am almost certain that you are 'not' her only target of abuse. Shame on her.

  8. Wendy:
    I was bullied at home by my step-father as well, and it is hard to live with I know. And yes, that experience has affected me all my life as well.

    I hate that you had to endure it.

    If you read my next post, you'll find her supervisor has a sneering, superior attitude to all those outside the lab. Trickle down effect as Robin writes. :-(

    Thank you for caring and for being my friend.

  9. Hi again Roland --

    I read your reply to me and also to Elephant's Child, and I have to tell you that if the lab supervisor seriously and publicly accused you of being a child molester, or even implied that you were and in front of witnesses, that is actionable. While not criminal, what he did means he can be sued for defamation of character. For your own sake and to protect yourself, I hope you document that incident thoroughly. Take care.

  10. I'm so sorry you're having to go through this, Roland.

    Yes, I was bullied at work. It was a very, very bad situation. The bully was brilliant at her job, but horribly insecure. She thought I wanted her position (I'd rather have slashed my wrists). Our boss, who was aware of what was going on, punished said bully by transferring some of her responsibilities to me. This exacerbated the situation, of course, making her even more insecure and the situation near-untendable. Eventually the opportunity arose to move to another department. If that hadn't happened, I would have had to quit, because it was clear management wasn't equipped to deal with the situation. She remains to this day the only individual who has ever been able to make me cry.

    VR Barkowski

  11. Wendy sent me. That's an excellent letter. I worked for a doctor who was a bully. When another doctor behaved in such a way with a telephone that he permanently damaged a nurse's hearing, the doctor for whom I worked said that if she reported it she would never work again.


  12. Helena:
    That act was a few years ago, and now my best friend is dying of cancer. She doesn't need me to drag her into something like this.

    I am now carefully documenting everything now. Thanks for caring. Today's visit with the surgeon has given me something else to worry about now! It never stops.

    We are all vulnerable to certain personality types -- they differ with the individual. But those predators know the buttons to push on us.

    I hate that she made you cry. There was a TV show, SPENSER FOR HIRE, and a series of books it was based on: we need to hire Hawk to be our diplomat!

    Glad to see you here. Sadly, most of the doctors I have met here in Lake Charles are bullies or dysfunctional in some fashion. They have no one directly over them, and the power corrupts them.

    I can only hope those two doctors sooner or later stepped over the line in ways that punished them. :-(

    Come back, hear?

  13. Hi Roland .. that was terrible to read .. but so much worse to experience ... causing stress and thus generally not helping health-wise. I sincerely hope something can be done .. it seems unnecessary ...

    Sadly the worst I had was when my mother was in the Nursing Centre and I was banned on visiting her due to an incident that at the end of the day was trivial and that I had, as such, nothing to do with ... the police were called ... it was exceedingly unpleasant ... but the Deputy Manager left fairly soon afterwards and the police were very kind ..

    The trouble was the staff were in fear of their jobs .. so they distanced themselves .. I just had to deal with it - thankfully I had support ...

    I'm just sorry for you ... it's so worrying dealing with it in your situation - even with your degree and knowledge .. it drives us down .. and you definitely don't need that right now ..

    With many thoughts ... Hilary

  14. Hilary:
    Seeing as how another biopsy has been done -- this time on my ear, I really do not a dysfunctional, ill-tempered woman to deal with on the weekends. :-(

    I am so sorry to hear about your terrible ordeal at your mother's Nursing Centre. While my mother was dying, the hospital security was called to walk me to their offices to take away a Swiss Army knife I wore on a small sheath on my belt (to break down the cardboard boxes arriving at my store.) They terrified my mother coming in a trio.

    It was years before the 9-11 incident, and the doctors and staff apologized later for an over-reaction on the part of security.

    I state all this to let you know I know just a little bit of the anguish and bitterness you must have felt at the time.

    Mankind is not very kind. :-(

  15. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time at work. I was bullied this year at a volunteer job I do for my daughter's school. The former coordinator refused to train me correctly, and when I found someone else to help me, she was outraged that I didn't call her. After that it seemed everything I did was an affront to her. She threatened me in front of the whole school, lied about me, made my life miserable.

    I documented everything she did, made a list, and sent it to the principal and the pastor of the school. It took almost the whole year, but finally, once she realized how much trouble she was in, and that I was going to sue her for defamation of character, slander and libel, she resigned from her position.

    There was no winning in this situation, she made not only my life, but other volunteer mothers' a living hell, but knowing I was in the right kept me going. I knew I would eventually be found in the clear.

    Keep documentation, as much and in any form you can. Tape her telephone conversations. Take screen shots of any inappropriate emails or orders. Keep time stamps on everything. Someday it will all come in handy.

    I wish you the best of luck Roland. Jane Porter will get hers I'm sure.

  16. Anne:
    I remember reading on your blog about your torment with that woman. Documentation seems to be the key. Yet, if management is unwilling to see the problem it certainly doesn't help.

    My friend and supervisor took the calls from Jane Porter this weekend which helped immensely.

    I am glad that woman has left your world.

    Now, I have cancer surgery to look forward to on my ear. I will have Van Gogh's ear for music it seems. :-)