The Workplace Victim - page 2
Unfortunately, many of our coworkers and colleagues are self-made victims who have the 'woe is me' outlook on life. According to Phin (2012), there can be no doubt that today's workplace is overrun... Read More
Aug 19, '12"These individuals tend to view themselves as victims of workplaces where coworkers, supervisors, managers, and even patients are out to get them."
Let us not forget the old saying that just because you are paranoid does not mean they are not out to get you. The article appears to suggest that almost all people who view themselves as victims are in fact not victims but rather suffering from some malady that makes them think they are victims.
Well. Sometimes they ARE victims. Not imagined ones but actual ones. I have known of a nurse being a victim of a manager who was not only 'out to get her' but had been heard to tell other co-workers to look for things that she 'might' be doing wrong as she could not find any herself. The result was a laundry list of ' three wrongs' that justified termination in her mind.
Later upon union review of the three things one was found to have not happened at all, another was well within the job description as stated in the company policy book, and the third was so insignificant that it was not even brought up at the union challenge by the employer. The nurse was reinstated, that manager transferred out by the head office, and within a few months was terminated by the company for HER actions.
Remember the victim is sometimes the victim. I feel this article is similar to the theory that those who are raped bring it on themselves by wearing the wrong clothes.Last edit by Zapazol on Aug 19, '12
Aug 19, '12Quote from ZapazolAnyone who has a long string of jobs where she was terminated for no good reason except that "everyone was out to get me" is a problem, not a victim. Someone who was terminated from one position because "the manager was out to get me" may have a legitimate complaint. (May have, not necessarily does have.)"These individuals tend to view themselves as victims of workplaces where coworkers, supervisors, managers, and even patients are out to get them."
Let us not forget the old saying that just because you are paranoid does not mean they are not out to get you. The article appears to almost that all people who view themselves as victims are in not victims but rather suffering from some malady that makes them think they are victims. Well. Sometimes they ARE victims. Not imagined ones but actual ones. I have been a victim of a manager who was not only 'out to get me' but had been heard to tell other co-workers to look for things that I might be doing wrong. The result was a laundry list of 'wrongs' that justified termination in her mind. Later upon union review of the three things one was found to have not happened at all, another was well within my job description as stated in the company policy book, and the third was so insignificant that it was not even brought up at the union challenge by the employer. I was reinstated, that manager transferred out by head office, and within a few months was terminated by the company herself.
Remember the victim is sometimes the victim. I feel this article is similar to the theory that those who are raped bring it on themselves by wearing the wrong clothes.
It is very common in a situation where an employee is just not working out for the manager to ask trusted subordinates to document on the employee. That doesn't mean the employee is being victimized, but it probably means the employee isn't working out in that position, for whatever reason.
In threads where the original poster claims to have been bullied her entire life, to have lost five jobs in a year because "clouds of mean people are following me around" or that she cannot get along with her co-workers because "everyone is jealous of me", the poster is not a victim. The poster is the problem.
Aug 19, '12Having been in management and having to deal with the "victim" employee, here is what has helped in the past. When I have had to talk to an employee about yet another issue, the "victim" often will acknowledge that everyone is out to get them or says things about them. That is the perfect time to ask "If everyone is saying [you fill in the blank] then don't you think it could be at least partly true?" For example, an employee that is rude to other employees or patients. They are in essence forced to self-reflect on what they are doing that could be causing the complaints. Then we work on things that they can do differently to improve the situation and document everything. I have found that those employees are less likely to moan and groan to me after a few times of having to reflect on what is really going on. If they do not improve, then start the process to show them the door. I usually document all talks good or bad that I have with an employee in regard to their performance and have them sign it. That way they can not say that no one ever talked to them about a problem if it ultimately comes to them being let go.
All that being said, I was in management in Customer Service, not nursing. I am a current nursing student. But in my opinion being able to be effective when it comes to dealing with people is a skill that everyone needs. It should be a prerequisite for being in management of any kind. Dealing with a fellow employee that is the needy victim type, I usually ignore the negative talk and walk away. They soon learn that I don't want to hear it.
Aug 19, '12Quote from ZapazolThere are true victims, and then there are the self-proclaimed victims who employ the victim mentality in every aspect of their professional and personal lives. This article is focusing on the people who have chosen to adopt the role of the workplace victim rather than assume any personal responsibility. The difference between real victims and the self-proclaimed ones is like night and day.Remember the victim is sometimes the victim. I feel this article is similar to the theory that those who are raped bring it on themselves by wearing the wrong clothes.
Aug 19, '12I will say there are some carreers that breed abusive situations for the employee. I've been involved in them and while the responsible human assesses what s/he could have done to correct it, sometimes people are just out to control another person. Sometimes subordinates want to control the superiors. ANd in service oriented occupations, this type of abuse can run rampant. I've been in multiple venues like this (not as a nurse, but in a previous career) where nothing you did was right. Where people had secret meetings to try and force the organization to make life miserable for the employee. I've watched lies be started and situations twisted beyond recognition, while the poor employee is left wondering if it really is them.
After three situations like this (one involved major long term narcotics affecting the mind of one of the nay sayers) I walked and won't ever work in that career again. It's also forced me to recognize, I cannot control other people, however, I CAN insure that I cross all my Ts and dot my Is. It's not a victim mentality, at that point. It's survival of the fittest and I have survived. Do I have weaknesses? Sure. But I regard my current situation as one of constant learning. And if the attitude is one that says "there's always room to improve" then there really is no victim, unless it is a situation of workplace abuse.
Have I been written up before? Sure. I've messed up a few times. That has gone in my record. I thank management for bringing it to my attention so that I can work on it. I figure, my response to discipline is what will determine my future with a company. Not the fact that I needed an occasional disciplinary action.
I guess all this is just to say, yes, there are situations that are completely out of control of the victim. There are even careers that breed this abuse, but in a healthy environment, criticism should never be taken personally. Criticism is meant to better the company. And if you can improve through that bettering, it's worth listening to the critique.
Aug 19, '12This thread is quiet interesting. Until recently, I had not been a "victim," but found myself in an untenable position.
I have been successful in my jobs prior to my last job as a nurse. I take responsibility for my actions and don't make excuses. I am burnt to a crisp and will probably never work in a field I was passionate about. My co-workers know my caliber of work and watched in horror as the events that led to my quitting unfolded. My FMLA rights were violated, my basic rights violated (attempting to deny my lunch break - making sure that I lost my differential in the process). I did have a bad day, got ambushed (was told a meeting was about one thing only to find out it was totally different). I was in the process of transferring to another unit and that was derailed.
The unit I resigned from (I had worked in this system for 15 years) has seen 5 RNs resign in under 2 years - no one had jobs lined up but could no longer tolerate working for this manager. The unit is small, maximum of 15 people full & part time. I had stellar reviews.
I am sad to say that a co-worker has taken my place as "the whipping girl." She has tried unsuccessfully to transfer out (manager has bad mouthed an excellent nurse).
I am happy to say, though, that my blood pressure is now normal. I am able to take care of my back (we had heavy call schedule) appropriately and have had only 1 flare up of back problems. Even though I am now lugging SCUBA equipment, my back remains good!
Are there "victims" who are truly their own worst enemy - for sure. Then again, some of us have truly been victimized - 5 people in 1 unit can't be wrong. Hope the "higher ups" have taken note of the turnover rate.Last edit by AlabamaBelle on Aug 20, '12 : Reason: grammatical errors
Aug 20, '12The minute one is willing to see oneself as a victim, that is the minute they have surrendered their own power completely.
This does not mean a person has not suffered circumstances in which nobody would question that they have been victimized. It has more to do with how the person goes forward from there. I would not see someone who has left a position due to unscrupulous management practices as a victim, but rather as taking charge of their own destiny.
I would see someone who feels the need to do this with five jobs in two years as someone who is in need of serious self evaluation.
Jan 2, '13An update from original post:
Two other nurses left the former unit from which I resigned. I know one transferred out after working the required six months. I'm not sure about the other nurse. Both had been with the hospital system less than a year. I have no hope that for those left behind, anything will change.
One of my friends is continuing to try and transfer out, but roadblocks abound. Our HR department is pathetic, to say the very least. I tried to speak with the AVP over this area. She refused to speak with me.
I am happily unemployed. I stay home with my youngest (she has some special needs) daughter. She is so loving having me home. The fact I didn't work a holiday was magical for her.
I miss nursing some days.