I am going to be writing from a different point of view than I did before. If I recall correctly, I was maintaining an anecdotal record of how my principal was trying to build a case against me with the help of her assistant principals, Ms. X and Mr. Z. I wrote replies to every unsatisfactory observation and every charge brought against me. As time went on, the charges got worse and so did the behavior of my students. A few of them started to act out in really outrageous ways, some of which I have documented in this blog.
I finally started reading books about scapegoating and bullying in the workplace. I now have a better understanding about what has been happening to me. I got the following information from a book called Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace by Noa Davenport, Ruth Distler Schwartz, and Gail Pursell Elliot.
One of the first people to write about bullying in the workplace was Dr. Heinz Leymann. He investigated what he was told were “difficult” people in the workplace and determined that many of these people were not “difficult” to begin with. What he found was a work structure and culture that created the circumstances that marked these people as difficult. Once identified as difficult, the company created further reasons for terminating them. This Leyman identified as mobbing.
From now on, I will continue to write about my own personal experiences, but I will put them into the context of mobbing and reference the literature as I discover it.
Dr. Leyman identified 45 different mobbing behaviors and grouped them in five different categories, depending on the nature of the behavior. Not all of them will occur in every case. Here they are:
LEYMANN’S TYPOLOGY OF MOBBING
FIRST CATEGORY: IMPACT ON SELF-EXPRESSION AND THE WAY COMMUNICATION HAPPENS.
1.1 Your superior restricts the opportunity for you to express yourself.
1.2 You are interrupted constantly.
1.3 Colleagues/workers restrict your opportunity to express yourself.
1.4 You are yelled at or scolded.
1.5 Your work is constantly criticized.
1.6 There is constant criticism about your private life.
SECOND CATEGORY: Attacks on One’s Social Relations
2.1 People do not speak with you any more.
2.2 You cannot talk to anyone i.e. access to others is denied.
2.3 You are put into a workspace that is isolated from others.
2.4 Colleagues are forbidden to talk with you.
2.5 You are treated as invisible.
THIRD CATEGORY: Attacks on your reputation
3.1 People talk badly behind your back.
3.2 Unfounded rumors are circulated.
3.3 You are ridiculed.
3.4 You are treated as if you are mentally ill.
3.5 You are forced to undergo a psychiatric evaluation/examination.
3.6 A handicap is ridiculed.
3.7 People imitate your gestures, walk, voice to ridicule you.
3.8 Your political or religious beliefs are ridiculed.
3.9 Your private life is ridiculed.
3.10 Your nationality is ridiculed.
3.11 You are forced to do a job that affects your self-esteem
3.12 Your efforts are judged in a wrong and demeaning way.
3.13 Your decisions are always questioned.
3.14 You are called demeaning names.
3.15 Sexual innuendos.
FOURTH CATEGORY: Attacks on the Quality of One’s Professional and Life Situation
4.1 There are no special tasks for you.
4.2 Supervisors take away assignments, so you cannot even invent new tasks to do.
4.3 You are given meaningless jobs to carry out.
4.4 You are given tasks that are below your qualifications.
4.5 You are continuously given new tasks.
4.6 You are given tasks that affect your self-esteem.
4.7 You are given tasks that are way beyond your qualification in order to discredit you.
4.8 Causing general damages that create financial costs to you.
4.9 Damaging your home or workplace.
FIFTH CATEGORY: Direct Attacks on a Person’s Health
5.1 You are forced to do a physically strenuous job.
5.2 Threats of physical violence are made.
5.3 Light violence is used to threaten you.
5.4 Physical abuse.
5.5 Outright sexual harassment.