What to do? Colleagues mocking me at my new job....sad and distressed

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magenta22

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I just got a new job and I'm under training. Unfortunately, I tend make many questions because sometimes I do not understand something, especially since I'm in another country and this job is not on my language of origin, everything is new to me.

There are two new employees with me, under training also, who have teamed up together to mock me each time I make a question (A woman and a man) mind you these are adults.   There was a moment today when they made a LOT of fun of me in front of everybody saying how poorly I'm going to do at this job and giving funny examples.....and even the trainer joined in, which is what I find distressful.  I blushed a lot and remained silent until they finished laughing.   They noticed my discomfort, of course, I was angry afterwards so I did not ask more questions. I remained silent for the rest of the session. That did not went well. What should I have done?  Feeling humilliated I closed up.

Afterwards there was team work game that had to be done (LOL: to create "team spirit") and I got paired the woman who was mocking me (Of course we were both reluctant) but I tried and the first thing she said to the trainer that there was a "barrier" in this team and I agreed.......after doing the exercise she complained to the trainer that I had not given her the instructions properly (It was only a simple crosswords game!) and that was why she did not answered well the crossword (because of me).  :stars: Afterwards I was teamed with a friend of the other man who was mocking me  and he said to his friend, in front of me, that unfortunately he had gotten "the freezer" (meaning me).       
 I was so shocked I did not say anything. The trainer of the team also heard this and did not say anything.  Now nobody wanted to team with me after that.  I felt stupid and isolated. Also foolish, this reminds me of the high schools bullying dramas of adolescents. Mind you I have been here only 2 weeks and today this happened. I'm shocked at the lack of empathy. It triggers me into my NPD family of origin (The mocking and bulling  suffered by my family as a child). Thank God I never suffered at school.

Questions: Is this normal?  I'm I being too sensitive? Am I overreacting?   What is it about me that drew these creatures in?   What do I do now? Should I quit? Should I wait until they fire me? What to do ?
 I cried lots today,  I feel like such an idiot. Triggered because of the past, sure that if had come from a normal family I would not have minded or known how to deal with the situation.  I cannot concentrate and I do not know if I should keep training there. This work place has become stressful for me.......should  go back to it?

Has somebody undergone the same? Please lots of empathy and advise needed.....

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JollyJazz

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Hi magenta22,

I am very sorry to hear about what happened. It sounds so upsetting, the first few weeks at a new job are bad enough without that happening. I think they would being extremely rude and nasty to you, and it is NOT OKAY for people to treat others like that.

My advice is to do something assertive about it. Could you talk to your manager about this? Being treated so rudely at work should not happen in a workplace situation.

Another thing that has helped me is to talk to a therapist about building assertiveness skills. That could be really helpful in these situations.

Best of luck!

P.S. Your English is excellent by the way! I am learning another language and have recently travelled through foreign language speaking countries so I can definitely empathise with how stressful and upsetting this can be.


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magenta22

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Thank you jollyjazz! Actually the language at this new job is not English. I'm not in an English speaking country.
 Thank you for your kind words. I thought it was me being too sensitive, the legacy of coming from an NPD home. 
According to the rules I have to talk to my "trainer" first, who clearly will not be on my side, and then go to management. It will look very bad: 2 weeks here and already in trouble!
To be assertive has always been a challenge to me, in my childhood any semblance of that was crushed before it began. So sad that no matter how much progress I have made I still carry this weaknes / vulnerability.
I do not have access to a Therapist at this time to get advice from. I told a couple of  friends yesterday who were very angry when I told them what happened. They told me to quit.
I dread going back there today...

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Malini

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Bullies are everywhere, even in the workplace and it's so awful to be on the receiving end of these malevolent people, with a mob mentality. I'm really shocked that nobody, and especially the trainer did not step in and nip this in the bud immediately and no, you are not too sensitive, this reeks of mean girls in the playground.

A good trainer will welcome questions, it's their job to make sure you understand if your going to learn and put into practice new skills.

If these are people who you are only in contact with during this training period, you might want to think about what strategies you can use to disarm them, like being more assertive and calling them out in their behaviour, but I understand how sensitive these situations are, especially since you just started and are eager to make a good impression and not be perceived as a troublemaker. Or you can grin and bear it, if you feel the job is worth it until the training course is over and possibly try and build a bond with other people in the group during the breaks so you are less isolated during the training period.

If these are people who you will be in contact with as part of your job, I would consider looking for another place of work, if that is feasible for you. I know that is unfair to you, but sometimes it's not worth our mental and physical health to remain in a situation where we are being mistreated.

If it isn't feasible, and you love the job, then you'll perhaps have other channels once you're on the job, HR, etc.

You're not in trouble, these people are acting in an abusive manner and have picked on you as they may have picked on someone completely different.

It's difficult to counter these behaviours if a company doesn't have clear guidelines with respect to bullying and hasn't put in place a procedure for employees to follow, something you may want to check up on.

So sorry you're going through this, a new job should be fun and exciting and not like this at all.


"How do you do it?" said night
"How do you wake and shine?"
"I keep it simple." said light
"One day at a time" - Lemn Sissay

'I think it's important to realise that you can miss something, but not want it back' Paul Coelho

'We accept the love we think we deserve' Stephen Chbosky

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Nerdgirl

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Hey magenta22, the first month in any job is tough as you don't know many people and trying to better adjust in the new routine. Having said that this attitude is not acceptable and your manager is the best person to discuss the issue. I wish you all the best.. 

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magenta22

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Thank you Malini for your support, indeed bullies are everywhere, even in the workplace, but this is the first time I'm alone in such situation.  :(

I went today and it was better people were less toxic than yesterday but very rude: For example somebody sneezed I said bless you (is kind of a reflex of mine to say it) and they don't say anything....other person says "bless you" and then they say "Thank you" to the other person, just not to me. Passive aggressive stuff and such.   
Today I did not react, just ignored them and one of the ringleaders , the male and the other woman were kind of puzzled, afterwars they began trying to talk to me and I did very superficially. The other employees asked me how I was feeling today (WTH?!) I said just fine as if nothing had happened. I do not understand their herd mentality....they abuse and then they ask how do you feel?!

As for the trainer, today she avoided meeting my gaze and never looked at me directly in the eyes, like I'm  not there (weird).
Unfortunately these group of people will be with me after training.......and management will logically decide to get rid of me than the others (I'm the troublemaker in their eyes, since it will be my word against theirs). Also it will cost less to get rid of me.

I'm still stunned that some people never grow up and still keep the 80's  highschool bully mentality  :roll:. I have met teenagers more mature than people that triple their age. So I think they will probably fire me anyway.
As for loving the job, I'm training I do not know if I will love it or not.
I'm middle aged and too old for this stuff really, if I they don't fire me and this keeps up I will resign and find something else.

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magenta22

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Thanks Nerdgirl,
If the situation continues or becomes more toxic yes I will talk to the manager.
Unfortunately the manager knows the trainer well, they are colleagues so is probably the same than talking to the trainer.

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clara

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Toxic workplaces exist everywhere and in many cases the toxicity comes from the top.  Even people who would normally be decent and fine to work start to rage if the boss is given to raging behavior.  I saw it happen in my workplace and it was pretty shocking.  Some people seem to have a need to go along with the "herd" regardless of right or wrong--they'd rather be "with the group" than outside of it.  This probably starts in childhood and becomes a pattern of behavior.  It gets triggered when they end up in situations that replicate childhood situations.

I hate to say it, but I also think the only solution is to find another job.  It's maddening to find that you have to be the one to suffer for the behavior of others, but often there's no way out of a no-win situation other than to walk away.  If it's any comfort, I have a suspicion that you could actually be anyone--they're not particularly targeting you as an individual, but are acting on the need to target someone, anyone, and you fell into their line of fire.  If you leave, most likely the next person will get the exact same treatment.   This happened with a job I left because I was tired of being scapegoated for other people's mistakes.  After I left, I ran into a former co-worker who actually apologized to me about what happened. She said the person who took my job got the exact same treatment, and now it was obvious where the problem actually lay! 
« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 08:42:30 AM by Spring Butterfly »

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MidnightOwl

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Magenta22 - I'm really sorry to hear things aren't going well, that just is a bummer all around. I'm sensitive to that kind of teasing/being cruel in general and would never talk about someone that way in the workplace or AT all. So annoying how many people think it's ok.

Nonetheless, the closer our minds are to reality the better...so I have to acknowledge that this is super common stuff. Generally I'd say this place probably isn't the best for you and perhaps seek out a more supportive environment. There's no guarantee that there won't be bullies at a new place but you can choose to say no until you find the right work place. I've seen friends do this and it worked out well for them eventually.

One lesson I recently got at my workplace is that some people give as good as they get AND some people expect this to be the case. This isn't my style at all, but I've seen joking/mocking go on at my work and a new hire is very good at joking/mocking right back and laughing it off. It's pretty good really, I mean I don't know how long that is a solution for but it seems to work for her. Again I've never done this but it's something I've noted seems to work.

What worked for me is to focus on my work, doing a good job and expecting ZERO from my bosses and coworkers. This has worked to an extent. I've been in my position for 3.5 years. That being said I'm not inspired to invest in my workplace nor stick around (I'm actually quitting soon and moving to a different city). But it's allowed me to survive a fairly toxic workplace for longer then I would have if I was invested and caring. Again not great for anyone involved but I feel like I've done a really good job with my actual work...less so with workplace moral.

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magenta22

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Thank you Clara, indeed toxic workplaces exist everywhere. :stars:
I have talked to my trainer and she also called the manager. They gave me the option of: 1)quit without any penalty or 2)stay and face the bully with the help of HR.....but the problem is that my trainer says she did not notice nothing abnormal, so I have no proof.

The bully has at least 3 other friends and the trainer loves him, also I would have to work with these people for a long period of time (at least a year).
I have decided to quit, I'm too old to have to teach other adults how to behave at the office and life is too short to suffer abuse, I already endured enough abuse in childhood.

I took the time to read about bullying on the Internet and it seems I got the "critical bully", I read that once the bully "chooses you" as the target the attacks will escalate, not diminish. The bully and his circle/herd will actively work to ruin your reputation, isolate you, sabotage your advancement, etc. The future in this place does not look good.
I also read about the negative long terms effects over the health of the person bullied can lead to hypertension, insomnia, depression, etc.   No way I'm going to let my health take a dive like that!

Thank you MidnightOwl, 
I'm sensitive to teasing when the objective is being cruel in general, I cannot conceive people who do this to make another person feel bad and to make theselves feel superior or whatever high they get from this. :wacko:
 As for giving as good as receiving this is not my stile either, I'm a very live and let live person, perhaps too passive.

The only thing I dread is going back to give my resignation letter, I do not know what reason for quitting I should put in: "personal reasons" ?
I feel so ashamed but also relieved now that I have made my mind to leave.
Thanks for the support :)

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DaisyGirl77

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Re: What to do? Colleagues mocking me at my new job....sad and distressed
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2017, 10:04:10 PM »
You don't need to give a reason for quitting.  That's none of their business.  Just state that you're giving them 2 weeks' notice from the date of your letter (so add that X date is your last day of work there in the letter somewhere), & thank them for the opportunity to work in their company, & sign off on it.  Then count the days until your standard 2 weeks' notice is up to skedaddle outta there. :)
I lived with my dad's uPD mom for 3.5 years.  This is my story:  http://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php?topic=59780.0  (TW for abuse descriptions.)

"You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep others warm." - Anonymous

NC with uNM since December 2016.  VLC with uPDF.

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footprint

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Re: What to do? Colleagues mocking me at my new job....sad and distressed
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2017, 02:04:48 AM »
I read your post with much sadness, magenta.  Like you, I was bullied within the confines of my family.  I was then bullied in middle school, although I fared better in high school.  I read an article a year or two ago about a psychology study in which they found that children who were bullied at home were more likely to be bullied in school and in the world.  It's really unfair that this pattern exists, and makes me all the more appalled at parents who mistreat their children in this way.

I guess that you quitting the job is the best option.  It seems like the way to go, based on the poor leadership at your workplace.  Why would you want to work in a place like that, probably better to get out early.  I of course wish that there were some way you could prove that these people are bad eggs, or get back at them but I'm not sure it would be easy, nor would it be worth your time/energy.  I do believe in karma and think that nasty people like that are deeply unhappy and insecure, that's why they bully. 

I hope that you are able to exit this situation smoothly and enter a more loving environment soon.

Big hugs,
footprint

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magenta22

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Re: What to do? Colleagues mocking me at my new job....sad and distressed
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2017, 11:07:20 AM »
Thanks DaisyGirl77, in my case it was necessary to give a reason for the "files"( RH knew very well why I was quitting). I do not know what kind of intrigues they have within their ranks (probably the trainer that "did not notice what was going on", a total lie, probably did not want to give explanations about her siding with the bullies, etc.) anyway it convinced me this company it not good and I said I quited because of private reasons.   

Thank you Footprint, so sad that you were bullied by your family also. To have our family inflict this is terrible, the people who are supposed to be there for us. :'(

 I already left the company, RH let me go immediately as I requested without any time delay or penalty (I think they were aware I was telling the truth and did not want to have trouble). Maybe it is cowardly of my part not to face this and stay but in my case this bullying triggered me back into to my childhood abuse, something I'm working to avoid, perhaps I would have been less of a mark had I had a normal childhood. I agree that this place has poor leadership skills and I do not wish to work in such a place.