Human Resources/workplace bully

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Question
hi..at work, we have a new supervisor. previous to that, he was ok and thought of as a good guy. about 2 days after being made a supervisor, it became clear he is nothing but a bully. he is probably twice my size or more; i am 6 feet, about 180 lbs. the other day i got called into his office. he was reaming me out for something that happened at least a year ago, which was basically slander against me by a co worker. i ended up calling a lawyer, and the woman apologize to me all over the place, so its done and over with. second thing..i had been told in the past by 3 different people that another co worker is lazy and, while working on a holiday, sits and watches tv. 3 people said this, so i had no problem just telling other people what i had been told about him. this was not done with malice. it was done for simple communication purposes. on the 18th of this month i worked with this guy and found out he is not at all lazy; so much for the myth. so supervisor is up in my face; his nose probably less then 2 inches from mine. two other supervisors and a union rep were present. so he starts talking very very loud and i guess this was to intimidate me, which it did not. my plan is to write this up and take it to an HR specialist. my question is, what kinds of things can an HR specialist do about it, and what would likely happen to this bully supervisor? i dont know why he picked me to bully, but i think he made a mistake by doing this to the wrong person. also, do you have some insite on what i should do or not do after HR knows what he did. thanks so much!

Answer
James:
If what you wrote is an accurate portrayal of the situation, this is a case of two wrongs don't make a right.
While I cannot condone the behavior of the supervisor ( You said he's new and probably needs some training) Spreading rumors is equally reprehensible.  You also indicated that false rumors have been spread about you.  Doesn't feel very good when the shoe is on the other foot, does it?
You need to take responsibility for your behavior, not everyone elses.  You should clear the air with the supervisor by apologizing for the rumor spreading and just put the whole situation behind you.
If the negative behavior of the supervisor continues, that is a differenc situation and should be dealt with going forward.
Let me know how you make out.
Jim

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Jim Dromsky

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I can answer questions relating to Management/Executive recruitment, retention and development. How to's relating to Organizational Development, Training, Succession planning, Management assessment and when to go outside instead of promoting from within. Additionally, questions on performance based compensation incentives, employment law, harassment, etc.

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James Dromsky is Founder and CEO of Orion Consulting, Inc. During his twenty-five year career he has conducted and managed Executive Search and Human Resources consulting engagements in the Consumer Products, Electronics/Computer, Financial Services, Information Services, Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Transportation and DOD related industries. Prior to founding Orion Consulting, Inc., Mr. Dromsky functioned as Engagement Manager and Consultant for regional and national Search and Consulting Firms. He has successfully completed Search assignments for positions including President, General Manager, Vice President Operations, Vice President Finance/CFO, Vice President Marketing/Sales, Vice President Manufacturing, Vice President Engineering, Vice President R&D, Vice President Human Resources as well as Managerial, Supervisory and Professional Direct Contributor positions in all functional areas. As President of Orion Consulting for the past 23 years, Mr. Dromsky is directly involved in and responsible for all Search and Consulting engagements. These engagements have ranged on the Search side from a single top management assignment for a start-up firm to a 75 hire multi-year reconstruction of a major appliance manufacturing concern. The Consulting engagements have ranged in scope from individual assignments such as a targeted salary survey; development and implementation of database applications for a H.R. Information System in the consulting industry; design and growth of a software development team for the information services arena to the conceptualization and installation of a complete corporate Human Resources function. Mr. Dromsky received his education in Biology and Chemistry from Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey. In addition, he has taken graduate course work at the same university in the area of Business and Marketing. Mr. Dromsky served in the U.S. Navy, which included a tour of duty in Southeast Asia.

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Mr. Dromsky received his education in Biology and Chemistry from Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey. In addition, he has taken graduate course work at the same university in the area of Business and Marketing. Mr. Dromsky served in the U.S. Navy, which included a tour of duty in Southeast Asia.

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