Nearon saidI'm currently experiencing this pettiness in the workplace. It's like you may have graduated but high school never ends. These four guys that work in my department always ostracize me and try and belittle me in front of customers. I went to my supervisor and he basically tells he "prove me it" so I'm like what do I do? I try and express to them that they make me feel uncomfortable but they tell me I'm being crazy/paranoid. But they whisper about me behind me back and say hurtful things about the way I dress/how I talk. I seriously dread going to work because of these guys, I feel like I'm in high school all over again dealing with bullies.
A few decades ago, I had to face a similar problem. I shall be daring and mention the name of the company.
In 1962, for one year I worked for A T & T in downtown Minneapolis. There was a tradition in that department of hazing new employees. The guy who was hired before me had become so desperate that he actually invited a tormenter outside for a fight.
The hazing consisted of snide remarks, undo criticism, and hiding equipment that was necessary to work efficiently. All this occurred in direct sight of the management; they did nothing. Since it was in direct sight and not hidden, it would have been useless to report it. I figured that if I quit in less than one year it would not look good on my job record, so I resolved to stick it out for a year which I did even though I hated to go to work every morning. I was able to find another job before quitting.
A T & T had an enviable record for being well-run, but it was not, at least that department was not well-run. They had an obsolete training course which had become irrelevant. Employees eavesdropped on private long-distance conversations. On one occasion, about five guys were eavesdropping on a long-distance conversation when a man and woman were having telephone sex. Once a woman was selling magazine subscriptions using a WATTS line and, because of her odd way of speaking, someone connected a loud speaker to the line so that everyone in the department could hear her conversations.
Well-run companies will not permit hazing or bullying. Probably when hazing and bullying occur, the company also has other problems and is not well-run even if it has a reputation for being well-run.
How to deal with such bullying has to be an individual decision based on many factors. Making suggestions is fine, but we cannot know all the factors which the victim must consider.