The first article I have linked below discusses the pandemic of bullying within the law firm. Even though it speaks about relationships between partners and junior staff members, we all know the trickle down effect that this takes on staff members. This isn’t just whining because “somebody was mean to me at work today” (insert pouty face here). The Forbes article linked below reported that “45% of individuals targeted by bullies at work suffer stress-related health problems.”
Obvious signs of bullying could be getting yelled at by your boss in front of your co-workers or clients, or being made to run back and forth playing fetch with your boss, while your co-workers remain seated around a conference table and glance away uncomfortably, to avoid meeting your eyes.
The not so obvious signs that you are being bullied, may surprise you. Have you ever gotten physically sick before or during work, but knew that you did not have a virus? We used to call that “anxiety vomit,” and it can kill a bitch. How about this one that Forbes lists: “Falsely accusing you of errors is another common tactic.” I know every paralegal in America has experienced this little phenomenon!
Another good question to ask yourself is: Do you spend your time off work recovering from work? Do you stare lifelessly at the television, or ever try to read something and find yourself unable to concentrate? Do your friends or family members complain about your obsession about your job? My God, Forbes just keeps hitting these out of the park! It is almost as though the author is writing from INSIDE THE LAW FIRM! The call is coming from the inside!!
What does Forbes say is another sign that you are being bullied at work? If you have an impossible schedule, with lots of last-minute tasks! Paralegals, are you reading this right now?!?! Bueller? The internet is absolutely full of personal stories from paralegals who have been bullied in the law office, including an entire worksheet over on Paralegal Pie for what bullying is and how to cope. If I had been smart enough to do my research about this field ten years ago, I could have saved myself a lot of heartache.
The saddest part of all is when the old-time staffers start to emulate their boss. Et tu, Brute? My personal experience with the subject is that there is no fixing this, and your only solution is to take your skills and talent, along with what is left of your humanity, and head out for new opportunities. The firm management is not going to fix your problem. You think the big bad wolf is going to turn into a little lap dog because of you? You’re dreaming!
Employees just shouldn’t have to get the crap kicked out of them every day in the pursuit of being able to almost pay all of their bills. Yet it happens. Over and over again, all over the world. I wish I could make it stop. I wish I could give jobs to all these good people who get abused at work.