No matter what type of job we get, most of us have experienced bully and harassment. The unlucky ones are those who are dealing with it today. The feeling of being bullied and harassed is uncomfortable and unhealthy. Imagine waking up everyday, knowing that no matter how many times you pray, the bully will not stop. At the end of the day, those who are bullied will not have good day. My first workplace bully started when I joined AmeriCorps. I was bullied by the President of the nonprofit organization. Till this day, I have no idea why the bully started. It could be for any reason, such as the following: age, ethnicity, disability, and education level. I will call this President W and it’s a female.
The more W bullied me, the less I slept and ate. Everyday, I would get emails from W and forced me to get the job done faster. She forced me to work on weekends too! She turned out to be a horrible leader, unorganized, greedy, disrespectful, and arrived late for work. In addition, she would miss important meetings and forced the rest of her team to do her job. What’s ironic is that I joined AmeriCorps, to make a difference and help a nonprofit organization improve it’s volunteer infrastructure program. AmeriCorps recruited me to join their team and assigned me to work for W. My AmeriCorps Representatives knew that W was a horrible boss. The two previous AmeriCorps leaders who worked for W in the past too had a horrible experience. I had it the worst because I was a female and W was a woman.
This is how it all started. W fired my first supervisor during my fifth month term, then assignment me to a different supervisor without the permission of my AmeriCorps Representative. My AmeriCorps Representative encouraged me to stay (AmeriCorps is a one year commitment and must serve 1700 hours). The next supervisor was okay, but did not defend me during the days W bullied me. The rest of the coworkers were horrible. They saw W harassing me in front of their eyes and none of them said anything. None of them said anything because they didn’t want to lose their jobs. I started to defend myself, and W didn’t like it. I even started working less because I was close to completing my 1700 hours for AmeriCorps.
My AmeriCorps Representative finally decided to transfer me to their nonprofit organization. It was too late. The damage was already done. I was bullied for 9 months. I had three months left till I completed AmeriCorps. I believe I was transferred because I told my team that I was going to file a lawsuit. At the end of my term, my AmeriCorps Representative made sure that W will never get another AmeriCorps assigned to her nonprofit organization. That’s exactly what I wanted. I wasn’t going to let W continue to bully the next AmeriCorps leader.
I’m not saying that joining AmeriCorps is a horrible idea. I was unlucky and assigned to this ungrateful human being (W). It’s true that I was bullied, but I ended leaving with much more. I strengthened my career skills and successfully recruited 850 volunteers. My advice to you, if you’re dealing with bully or harassment, please take action. Don’t expect things to get better because the system doesn’t work that way. Take action, get out before your health deteriorates.