This is a segue to my new book: “The Prisoners of Comfort”.
The Bully OnThe Block is too often the non-pharmacist store manager. You must be ever watchful and arm yourself, but first you have to understand the dynamic.
Here is the truth in most cases when the store manager bullies pharmacists. He/she resents the hell out of you because you do not work as hard as he/she does. You do not work as many hours as he/she does. It appears that you are a favored employee and that you are coddled by the middle management. But, the thing that really kills them is that YOU MAKE MORE MONEY THAN THEY DO. Some of these managers downright hate you and that is the seed of the bullying.
What allows you to be bullied is your inexperience and, for most of you, your youth. Also, being a woman makes you a prime target. We all know that female managers are the toughest on women. Add the dynamics from the “truth” paragraph and on-my-gosh, look out.
With male manager bullies there is a very real and distinct sexual component. Put boy and girl together and there is usually a sexual component. Add resentment and the behavior becomes toxic. Always be watchful for harassment. Communicate very clearly to the bully that harassing behavior is not wanted. Document every single thing. Dates. Times. Names. Even quote exactly what was said. If there is unwanted touching, write it down. Be smart. Remember this: E.E.O.C.
Experienced bullies know the game. The can belittle you, isolate you, intimidate you and sabotage you. Some managers will scream at you, but these are idiots and they won’t last. The best (worst) bullies are more subtle. They can purposely leave you out of the communications loop and then reprimand you because your performance is not up to expectations. They can mock you in front of other employees, effectively draining you of confidence and power over your own practicing of pharmacy. The can spread gossip about you. All of these are malicious and, if you could prove it, constitutes very sophisticated harassment.
Young people, especially, just do not have the thick skins of veterans. You can feel anxious and depressed, can’t sleep and are likely to have health issues such as insomnia or distraction. You may worry about your job and generally feel impotent. I’m sure that there have been, at worst, suicides and, at best, people who have quit jobs where they had spent a lot of time and energy into a career with a certain company.
What is bullying? It is when a manager has an ongoing pattern of intimidating or demeaning behavior that can affect an employee’s health and welfare.
It is one thing to have a tough boss, and it is another thing to have a manager who makes you feel sick. Psychologically, physically and emotionally sick.
Even when it is very clear that your manager is a bully, nothing will be done because:
Victims Keep Quiet.
Many pharmacists are embarrassed at being bullied, so they don’t report the persecution to human resources. In addition, many victims feel like they will be punished.
I worked at a drug store where the store manager was the quintessential bully. He was 50-something and very savvy and talented at what he did. He bullied me. He bullied the staff pharmacist. We cringed every time, but we liked our jobs so we were quiet. He also bullied the female staff. There was sexual harassment and he was good at this. So good that he enjoyed frequent sex with three of the girls. The guy was a monster, but we were all institutionalized and we kept quiet. Enter a brand new female employee. She was a woman in her late 30s. She observed what was happening, got the other girls to tell her their stories. She called human resources and lit it up. Within two weeks, the manager was escorted from the store by two members of company security. He carried a box with his personal belongings and was warned to never come in the store again. Do NOT be silent if you are bullied.
Unfortunately, intervention can take time.
If the company does not take action in a timely manner, do not give up. Remind them of the bullying. At this point, send copies of all correspondence to an attorney. If it is clear that the company is hopeless, send your file to the E.E.O.C.
Witnesses are scared to come forward.
It is simple, people who observe bullying are afraid to come forward because they are afraid they will be singled out for punishment, including losing her job.
Savvy manager know how to work the system.
Manipulative managers are kissing the asses of their bosses so they can kick your ass with impunity.
Statistics are that 60% of the bullies are men. Get this: 58% of their targets are women. When a woman is the bully, she picks on other women 80% of the time.
Bullying is more likely to take place in health care, education and manufacturing. That put you in the first group. Bullying is more tolerated in industries that focus on sales goals. Who is that?
A huge complication: 99% of bullies don’t even acknowledge that they bully others.
To exacerbate the situation, a pharmacist who tolerates bullies do not do as well on duties that take mental acuity.
Many of you do not get bonuses anymore because of cost-cutting. The manager resorts to bullying to get results.
The biggest problem is that a bullied pharmacist feels trapped. Because the job is good, they think. Is it really.
“The Prisoners of Comfort”. It is the most important thing I have ever written for pharmacists and deals with the psychology of being institutionalized.
Visit Lulu.com to purchase. Jay Pee