Published on June 15th, 2011 by Alan L Sklover
Question: I have a sadist manager who is taking revenge against me for a petty complaint I made against him. Should I report this to higher authorities?
What should be my approach in regards to what to tell, what not to tell, and how to gain sympathy from superiors.
He is torturing me a lot, so much my health has run down. Please help.
(City Unspecified), India
Answer: Dear Nitin:
I’m sorry to hear what is happening to you. Since I don’t know any specifics of your matter, I can only suggest certain general guidelines for you to consider:
1. Yes, you should report this to higher authorities because that, if anything, is the only thing that makes bullies stop bullying. If there’s one rule for dealing with bullies, it is that they are encouraged to do more bullying if people are fearful, and discouraged if people have courage to report them. You need to find out if a certain procedure is required by your employer for reporting such things, and if so, follow it. Unless it is forbidden, I suggest you send a copy to the highest person in Human Resources and the highest person in your bully-boss’s division.
2. Your report should be written, and sent by email, but should not include anger, disrespect or threats. You need to write up what happened, and send it by email. If other means of submission are required, then follow those rules, but also send it by email, because this way receipt can’t be denied. Avoid any words of anger, disrespect or threats of any kind; they will diminish your credibility, and make it unlikely you will gain the sympathy of superiors.
3. If your employer has written policies against (a) hostility, and (b) retaliation, mention that what is happening to you violates them both in your report. Most employers these days have written policies against hostility and retaliation. If yours does, mention those policies, and that what is happening to you is a profound breach of them. Though not usually in writing, most employers have a policy of separating victims from their alleged victimizers until, at least, the investigation is complete.
4. Your report should include specifics about what happened, dates and times, witnesses, and even the medical problems it is causing. We often say that “specificity leads to credibility.” Try to include specifics of what happened, when it happened, where it happened, who might have witnessed what happened, and its effects on your health – in detail.
5. Request “The Four I’s”: Immediate Intervention, Investigation and Insulation from further Harm. Make sure your report sets down these “Four I’s” requests. Unfortunately, people who report bully bosses are often so emotional that they forget to do so, and so they don’t receive them. It’s important you don’t forget. Consider, too, requesting a paid leave of absence to regain your health and emotional well-being.
If you’d like to obtain a Model Letter for Reporting Hostility that you can adapt to your own use, simply [click here].
Nitin, your health must come first. Attend to that, and attend to this second. But don’t ignore either, for your sake and the sake of your loves ones.
I truly hope this helps you, gives you a plan of action, and encourages you to stand up for yourself against this Bully Boss.
My Very Best,
© 2011 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.