“The Bully at Work”; how many of these apply to all you current/former ASUPD employees?

“The Bully at Work” is a pretty informative book by Dr’s Gary and Ruth Namie. In it, they discuss what workplace bullying is, why it occurs, why bullies pick their targets, and how to deal with bullies at work.

To all the current and former ASU Police employees out there, read some of these excerpts and see if they apply to you; for those admin outside of the department, think about how issues like these are affecting employee productivity and retention:

Bullying at Work

  • Bullying at work is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of a person by one or more workers that takes the form of verbal abuse; conduct or behaviors that are threatening, intimidating, or humiliating; sabotage that prevents the work from getting done; or some combination of the three.  Perpetrators are bullies; those on the receiving end are Targets.
  • It is psychological violence – sublethal and nonphysical – a mix of verbal and strategic assaults to prevent the Target from performing work well.
  • The bully puts her or his personal agenda of controlling another human being above the needs of the employing organization.
  • In 62 percent of cases, when employers are made aware of bullying, they escalate the problem for the Target or simply do nothing. 
  • Workplace bullying is a serious threat to:  (18-19)
    • Freedom from fear and trauma
    • Employee health and safety
    • Civil rights in the workplace
    • Dignity at work
    • Personal self-respect
    • Family cohesion and stability
    • Work team morale and productivity
    • Employment practices liability
    • Retention of skilled employees
    • Employer reputation

Understanding Bullies

    • Bullies can be categorized, but individuals who choose to bully can adopt any tactic at any time to accomplish their goal.   [One of these is] The Constant Critic.
      • Operates behind closed doors so that later she or he can deny what was said or done to you.  Extremely negative.  Nitpicker.  Perfectionist.  Whiner.  Complainer.  Faultfinder.  Liar.  Loved by senior management because of his ability to “get those people to produce.”
      • Constant haranguing about the Target’s “incompetence
      • Demands eye contact when he speaks but deliberately avoids eye contact when the Target speaks
      • Accuses Target of wrongdoing, blames Target for fabricated errors
      • Makes unreasonable demands for work with impossible deadlines, applies disproportionate pressure, expects perfection 
      • Excessively or harshly criticizes Target’s work or abilities 
      • Most bullies work to make themselves well-connected to senior management, executives, or owners.  While Targets focus on prideful work, bullies are busy kissing up to the big bosses. 
      • They have allies – we call them executive sponsors – willing to block punishment for malicious behavior if they are ever exposed.  The big bosses think the bullies can do no wrong.  Targets have a hard time being believed for this reason. 

      Does this sound familiar?!

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5 thoughts on ““The Bully at Work”; how many of these apply to all you current/former ASUPD employees?

  1. PizzaPizza says:

    Bully at work hmmmm I don’t know about you, but one person fits this bill. Here is a clue he delivers pizza, the kind that is about 5 bucks, has short man complex, and rules the DPC with his pizza spear. Give up! Of course not because everyone knows who it is and that’s pathetic. I guess being the most well liked person is his kryptonite or bar of soap! It went from one of the nicest guys who retired to the complete opposite spectrum. Got to love it when they hire or promote people that have no business leading or being in charge of anyone and on top of it they have freaking psychological abnormalities that are listed in an abnormal pysch book, but hey when you get a letter saying you get a raise that has to be put into scientific notation why would you be disgruntled!

  2. QuickCallTempe! says:

    This article successfully outlines the dominant ASUPD management style to a T. They couldn’t spell TEAM if their lives depended on it; fortunately our patrol zone is extremely tame compared to a city. Of course this doesn’t fit everyone there, we have had some real good sergeants, commanders, but they are few and far in between.

    We haven’t had enough real police work to test us, make us depend on each other as a team, and so we have a police department run into the wall by a clique and a bunch of individuals. The average guys/gals just try to stay out of their way and go home, leaving our dysfunctional workplace behind us.

  3. Justanotherdispensible50 says:

    The supervisors here rarely have police work to keep them busy, so they got all the time in the world to stuff your file like a Thanksgiving turkey to make it look like they’re doing something. The comparison to U of A clearly shows we’re doing it wrong. Did you guys know we recently got bumped up to the starting 48K they have been receiving? They don’t have the new badges though, we got those!

    Just like our patrol presence, it’s not about having one, it’s all about appearances. The first time I heard another officer say “Smoke & Mirrors” it stuck with me, sums up the situation perfectly.

  4. ASUPDsmokeNmirrors says:

    If you have a bully at the top of your organization who surrounds himself with like minded people you get what we have at the Arizona State University Police Department. They want to hear everything is OK, that there’s a quick easy solution to every problem. They care about getting paid, showing up late, and leaving early.

    The last thing they want to hear is that there’s a problem, that morale is low, that people they appointed to power positions in the department are abusing that trust and power. In short they don’t give a shit if “just another nobody employee” complains no matter what the complaint is about. If something is affecting “a nobody” who cares?!? Find a replacement and back to business. Apparently it looks like this is getting harder for them to do.

    The dominant voice from the so called leadership at ASUPD is “If you don’t like how things are then leave.” The department had one assistant chief get sexual harassment complaint after complaint, nothing could affect his rise to the top of the organization. He starts having an affair with a married subordinate, breaks up her marriage with children, and continues hitting on everything that moves because he’s untouchable at his level.

    He gets replaced by a guy who makes his sexual conquest agenda look like amateur hour. The new married assistant chief starts trolling at work, starts an affair with a dispatch supervisor, but guess who gets admin leave and demoted to PA when things go south? Not him, the boss who should know better, he gets to continue shopping for ass, while she got demoted and all of a sudden finds a job where he used to work.

    Flash forward to 2012 2013, the same assistant chief has found a new workplace target for amorous adventures, hopefully she doesn’t lose her job to. ASUPD paid outside agency dispatchers overtime for years to cover the last mass loss of department dispatchers due to gross mismanagement.

    It’s hard to believe the subordinate gripes of employees when you’re fucking their boss, one good dispatcher after the next left, some returned once she was gone. Now that there’s a male in charge there should be no chance of that happening. Judging by past events there take precautions anyway because it’s about power.

  5. Thinblueline1 says:

    Our department certainly has it’s fair share of bullies. It’s remarkable considering how small the department is. I have experienced some and heard a ton of stories about others and everyone knows who they do and don’t want to work for. It’s a shame, with the right leadership this would be a great place to work, but I don’t see it changing.

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