| Normally, we do our best to ignore artificial news events like “disease-awareness” days. But when it crossed my screen that this is “Freedom From Workplace Bullies Week,” I jumped at the chance to write about the devastating mental and physical harm that a bad boss — or co-worker — can wreak.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve watched three friends suffer through jobs turned bad by bully bosses. It was horrifying and infuriating, to see three virtuous, diligent, intelligent people laid low in ways that struck not just the wallet but the deepest sense of self. Said one:
“It was a feeling that never left, that didn’t lift when I went home for the night or weekend. It was starting to color all of my experiences. And I had real suicidal thoughts for the first time since my junior year in college, 22 years earlier.”
Another started to lose sleep and even hair: “It was awful and threw my entire system out of whack.”
The third entered a state of prolonged panic and anxiety-induced exhaustion. I fantasized about writing a letter to her boss: “Do you understand the pain you are causing, not just to her but to her entire family?”