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collectingrocks

Bullying in the workplace

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collectingrocks

A question for the workers amongst us...

If you are bullied or intimidated at work by your immediate supervisor/manager:

How do you cope?

Does your place of work have support systems in place to tackle such behaviour?

Have you ever stood up to your perpetrator?

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Ben

Always have an up to date CV - because you never know when you might want to upload it onto Indeed or Jobsite . You will strip the bully of their power as soon as you let go of the concept that your CURRENT job is the be all end all to your existence. 

My advice? Go above and beyond within your role. Then the SECOND your 'superior' steps out of line, you say "HR can keep this months pay for all I care. If you condescend  to me one more time I'm walking off the job" - this'll be sweeter if other potential employers have seen your CV online and are leaving you voicemails (yes, these job sites DO work.)

Always have the deck stacked in your favour. Not just for situations like these, but also for when companies announce cut backs. Don't wait to  be laid off, think ahead. 

 

*Side note, I'm not saying jack your job in. Just give yourself some power by creating the option. 

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collectingrocks

I am too old to jack my job in and there are no jobs in my specialist line of work at my grade - I've checked for a year. 

20 years ago I might have done but much of the job market is ageist. In my line of work, employers want young people at basic grade so they can stay on lower wages. There is also too much at stake for me to walk out, including the reputation I have built up over the years. 

And if I walk out (like others have done), the bully wins and picks his next target

No, I've had enough and I now have some courage to speak up and fight back

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weebo

i would definitely tell someone its not on and should happen 

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michaelt

There definitely is an age bias. The bullying I have been subject to has been done by whispers and innuendo. A colleague will see that I am socially awkward and isolated and will spread lies knowing that I am not in the social loop. Twelve years ago I got passed up for a promotion. I was clearly the most qualified for the job. It was also clear that people on the hiring team were hiding their reasons from me. 

I decided to get another job. I had not succeeded in making any real friends in my current job, though I had been there for years.  I clearly did not have the social skills to combat a rumour campaign. So I got a better job. This was not the first or last time this sort of thing happened to me. But I had the skills to find another job fairly easily.

But on my last job the same thing happened again. I knew who was spreading the lies but was still unable to counter them. But this time, though I had even more developed skills, I had a really hard time finding another job. I looked older and I was truthfully claiming how many years of experience I had. Even when I did very well in an interview, or a number of interviews, I was not getting the job. I usually did well in interviews with technical staff, but poorly in interviews with upper management. I suppose I did not understand the social, emotional, body language, human parts of the process well enough to answer appropriately.

I could not find any therapists who understood my issues. But I did get a job coach who told me to remove everything from my resume that could indicate my age. I started getting significantly more interviews. But I was still not hired and I assume that social awkwardness and/or my age played a part. I finally got an interview which was a phone interview - no body language involved, no visual to give away my age and only technical questions asked.  They called back ten minutes later to offer me the job. As long as they did not realize how old and odd I was, they were willing to hire me.

But for many months the combination of age and AS was a double obstacle that I did not overcome. I just got lucky with an interview that hid who I was.

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Sanctuary

A very interesting post and you are right that both age discrimination and discrimination against those with autism are major problems in the workplace. Age discrimination is almost impossible to prove, especially when it occurs at the point of application or interview as a candidate has no way of proving age was the reason they weren't selected. Difficulties in finding work often mean that older applicants - whatever their previous experience, qualifications and skills - end up in low status, low-skilled, limited prospect jobs which are frequently insecure.

Those older applicants who are more successful in getting good jobs often do so through connections, e.g. friends, former colleagues and sometimes family members who help them get a new position. This is where applicants with ASD (whatever their age) face major difficulties as they tend to lack these sorts of workplace connections - families may offer some sort of support into employment but other links are more difficult to make. As you suggest individuals with ASD are often negatively judged in the workplace so less likely to make these sorts of connections. Employees are judged by managers and co-workers and autistic workers are much more likely to be seen as "not fitting in", "distant", "aloof", "stuck-up", "awkward", "weird" and other negative terms. Work is very much a social arena and while that doesn't mean workers all have to be great friends or be part of networks those who are seen as "one of us" are much more likely to be viewed favourably.

Employers talk a lot about the value of distinctiveness, diversity and inclusiveness but the talk is usually hollow. What is valued most is conformity. They tend to recruit people with whom they feel socially comfortable and employ those with similar backgrounds and personalities to themselves, or at least those similar to the current workforce. Thereby the workplace tends to reproduce itself - the people may alter but the broad personalities and mindsets do not. Fresh ideas are hard to come by and workers from different backgrounds - especially those with ASD - have limited prospects for entry and progress.  

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