Workplace Bullying - David's Shop


Date: Nov 12, 2019

This week (11th November to 19th November) is anti-bullying week. One of the most reported types of bullying is the bullying that can happen in the workplace.

This can happen in both paid and voluntary working environments, and can take many forms. One of Avalon’s own customers, David (name changed for anonymity) wanted to share his story of encountering workplace bullying.

One of David’s goals as part of his Avalon Support package, was to find a meaningful work position where he could add value to an organisation he liked and respected.

David managed to find a voluntary position in a local charitable organisation’s shop, and was excited to get stuck in and help to provide great service to the shoppers coming in.

David was supported to his job by his Avalon support team, and during an early shift, it was observed that a fellow volunteer was being rude and on occasion quite nasty to David, saying hurtful things and manipulating his behaviour.

Fortunately for David, his support worker spotted the incidents, and managed to create a safe space between David and the other volunteer. Despite this protective space, David found that the other volunteer continued his behaviour, and found ways to act inappropriately towards him whenever there was a window of opportunity.

When the support worker intervened again, this volunteer became verbally abusive, and the support worker reported the behaviour to the shop manager. It came to light that David wasn’t the first to have been treated so poorly, and because of David and his support worker's testimony, the manager rightfully decided to dismiss the bully on the spot.

Bullying is never okay, and must be reported and dealt with. Sometimes it can be daunting to tell someone what you are going through. It’s hard when you feel intimidated to speak up. But there is always someone who can help you, whether that is a colleague, support worker, friend, family member or a member of the authorities.

David experienced something nobody should have to endure, but was able to resolve his situation by telling his story. He has continued to work in the shop since the departure of the bully, and is now an integral part of the team; he loves his job and feels supported by those around him.

So if you see or experience bullying in your workplace, speak up and stamp it out.


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