Bullying: what comeback might I have?

Discussion in 'Professionally Qualified, RAMC and QARANC' started by frmarcus, Oct 13, 2003.

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  1. Any kind advice here would be very helpful.

    I'm approaching the end of my SSC and have applied for an extension, with the appropriate bosses' support. Nearly two years' ago, after several months' bullying from a senior (major - I'm a captain), and having warned my Dept what was happening earlier, I had a breakdown and was off work for several months. I think I have the appropriate medical documentation to testify to this - and the bully has a certain reputation, bullying a colleague when I went off sick (I was posted then from the Y-List). Since then, I've been on medication and had a relapse - but I've been back at work and well for a year. But because I'm downgraded, my Department is intimating that they won't extend me, seemingly 'cos of my medical status (but maybe my fac just doesn't fit...?)

    Whilst I understand that it's appropriate to be 'fit' at extension time, this situation feels very unfair and may be regarded as constructive dismissal: my Dept is undoubtedly culpable for my condition; they did nothing apparent when I complained, and left the man to continue his bullying when I went sick and was then posted. This then caused further - documented - trouble for another. It feels quite wrong effectively to 'sack' me for a condition that was created by my employer - the Army.

    I never sought formal redress for my situation: I wasn't well enough and just wanted to 'move on.' But, having tried to do the decent thing in not kicking a stink up, I find that my inaction (I used the informal means at my disposal to make this man's behaviour known...) may backfire.

    I have now intimated to my Dept that I consider the situation at least morally tantamount to constructive dismissal: no reply yet. If I have any positive course of action that might persuade my Dept to approve my extension application (rather than, say, facing some sort of enquiry), I'd be glad to know.

    Many thanks indeed!
     
  2. dont know the number.....but there is a confidential helpline especially for this sort of thing.....try phoning your nearest Army careers office for the number or it may be in soldier mag.
     
  3. There s a group of people who take this mater very very seriously and will willingly help.

    In 1972 ago a crack commando unit were sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune.
    If you have a problem... If no one else can help... and if you can find them - Maybe you can hire

    The A - Team
    [​IMG]
     
  4. go down the equal opportunities avenue within your unit. this should be your first port of call and they are duty bound to investigate your case.
     
  5. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    Have a look here: http://www.bullyonline.org/ I can almost guarantee you will find a deadly accurate description of your tormentor there, and see why bullies do what they do.

    In my experience there is still a prehistoric attitude towards bullying within the military, although there are also some enlightened commanders. There is often disbelief by senior officers that someone they know/went to Sandhurst with/worked on a ward with/drink in the Mess with is capable of bullying. There is also the fact that when bullies are finally exposed their superiors often feel foolish because they are in a double bind - if they knew what was happening why didn't they take action; if they didn't, why not?

    Expect some people to cut you dead, some to accuse you of trying to ruin the bully's career, some to try and dismiss it as some sort of weakness on your part, and the bully to try and charm everyone else and threaten you. You can remind them that if the bully is innocent he has nothing to fear from any investigation, and that he, not you, is responsible for his actions.

    Document everything, and don't be afraid to seek advice outwith the military. I've done quite a bit of work with bullying - I'd be happy to help in confidence if I can - just PM me.
     
  6. I've heard everything now. A Captain in the Army being bullied. The phrase 'Big Girls Blouse' comes to mind.
     
  7. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    Gunny has just proved the point made in Para 2, line 1 of my post.
     
  8. I try my best to please. Leaders of men, being bullied. Like I said, I've heard it all now.
     
  9. ViroBono et al: Many thanks for the kind advice. Gunny - well: I just hope you're treated with decency and respect in your military career, just as we're called to do as officers to our charges: soldiers. I find it hard to see why you can't see that an officer can bully another. If we're as hard as nails - well, yes: maybe that makes us immune to bullying. But insofar as we as officers are vulnerable, we share the vulnerability of our soldiers, and that makes us like them: we identify with them. Since when did 'leadership' mean less vulnerability? Insight, intelligence... service -service to lead: none of these qualities makes us invulnerable to abuse from our colleagues.

    ViroBono: Thanks for the offer: I might well be in touch with you in due course for advice. With thanks and besy wishes,
     
  10. If you were bullied because your fellow offoicers found out you are a bit 'boy george' then you should deserve everything you get. I don't care if it's legal, your not normal. And, you should be not let lose on normal people.

    Your first post proves the lack of moral fibre that your type bring to the table.

    EU crap gone mad. Why dont we let convicted kiddy fiddlers in next? They too have rights.
     
  11. frmarcus, my experience of bullies - I'm ex guards, is very simple. Most of them are actually quite inadequate, insecure in their own position/rank and look for weaker or perceived weaker members of the team. Their position of authority, they believe, renders them immune to any redress.

    The unfortunate thing is that, although the army is attempting to stamp out this sort of behaviour, it will always exist as it does in civilian life. However, it is up to individuals to report any form of bullying, be it physical or verbal up the chain of command and see it through to the end. That way the bullies will see that there is not much chance of them getting away with it.

    Good luck and make sure you see it through
     
  12. Porridge_gun

    Porridge_gun LE Good Egg (charities)

    I must have been quite oblivious to bullying and have never seen any major incidents.

    A guy in training complained of Bullying to the Permenant staff.
    Yes he was given a hard time, yes he was beasted regularly, yes he got a good shoeing in the block etc etc....

    All this happened because he wasn't progressing with the rest of us and was constantly letting the troop down. He was subsequently back squaded to the term below before crying off and going home, it just took a while before reality to hit him and accept that he more chance of platting snot than he did of becoming a soldier.

    If situations arise such as the above then I find that to be a tolerable level of bullying. Afterall surely one of the purposes of training is to weed out the usuitable and push your character to the limit.

    My 2p worth
     
  13. there should be absolutely NO tolerance of bullying of ANY kind, if soldiers fail to progress than that is the fault of the instructor, who should be tolerant, patient and understanding. If he fails to progress then he should be discharged and not given a good SHOEing. Bullies I find make some of the worst soldiers, and can be the cause of low morale etc etc.

    Discipline yes.... Bullying NO!!!!
     
  14. I agree with Muckster, there is no place for bullying in todays Army. I would like to add one thing though, not everyone who claims to have been bullied, actually has been. I have seen a few examples where bullying has been used as an excuse to cover individual's inadequacies and has had the unfortunate side effect of putting a slur on an individual's good name. The bottom line is, when claims of bullying arise, investigate properly and take no sides until there is concrete evidence either way.