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Wow, this is an enlightening post. When I think of bullying, I think of kids in jr. high and high school. I guess I've been lucky not to have experienced bullying in the workplace. I imagine it would be a nightmare.

I have encountered sexual harrassment, though, way back in 1990 when I was working for a large Texas savings bank that was eventually bought by Bank of America. I worked in the corporate office with several hundred other employees, so I was a little fish in an ocean. A man in a high level position started hanging out by my cubicle and then started giving me things as gifts, like books, which I always gave back. When he started following me through the parking lot to my car every evening, things got weird, and I eventually went to H.R. with a sexual harrassment complaint.

This whole time, over a period of a few months, I got so stressed that I'd throw up in the mornings before I had to leave the house for work. I couldn't sleep. I was a newlywed and I didn't tell my husband about it for a long time because I feared that he would think it was my fault -- that I was flirting with the guy and causing it. (When I did finally tell him, his reaction was what I'd feared.)

In the end, H.R. handled the situation by making the guy move his office to a new location so he would be way across the building from me. I was so relieved until I found out where he was moved. Ironically, his new office was located just a couple of doors down from the ladies room.(!) I always had to pass by him. The stress continued so I decided to leave the bank a few weeks later. I hated to leave a job that I enjoyed but I felt I had no choice.

I'm glad to hear about the possible anti-bullying legislation. Like sexual harrassment, it sounds like it needs to be addressed on a legislative level. Thanks for bringing up this very worthy topic!

July 1, 2008 - 2:57pm


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