Isolation at Work – Strength in Numbers


One of the things I’ve noticed about feeling isolated at work is that it’s very hard to have strength in numbers when the person you are working for is a tyrant. Everyone gets their turn (usually) in the boxing ring or the lions den (whichever analogy you prefer) and everyone takes turns feeling sorry for one another. “Oh I wish he didn’t say that to you”, “She never listens to anyone else’s ideas”. Then when it’s time to go to HR everyone is stumped. “If he/she does this one more time I am going to HR” and you feel like it’s every girl for herself if you go.

I wonder if the situation would be better if perhaps more people complained and were witnesses to the offenses. Sometimes a person is singled out at work and other times it’s just really poor management or a poor manager that is likely causing the problems. There is limited to no oversight or questions asked about their management style and they have a sense of entitlement to do whatever they want.  Often it’s the underlings who get Hyde while the higher ups get Jeckyll and the two rarely cross paths.

Is it better to approach HR with several incidents of offenses or is it better to go it alone? I’m really not sure. All I know is that when the offense seems to only be towards one person, many people say that going to HR is either a waste of time OR will somehow result in repercussions for the victim. I have been told “once you ring that bell it can’t be un-rung” or “ you know he/she really is a retaliator and it might not be in your best interests to get HR involved…I think I would just find another job”.

I just don’t understand how bad managers can continue to be placed in important roles with no oversight. When you have a particularly good team and that team does all of the work then I can see how it would make a manager look productive and gain accolades for the teams work. Good team players will never throw their manager under the bus because at the end of the day it’s not always about credit being received but it’s about how a team is treated and if you make your employees feel like they’re a valuable asset to the team or not.

At the end of the day, hopefully you have a solid team who would stand behind you or at least with you if you were ever faced with a tyrant of a boss.  I think it helps to feel like you’re not alone and also that collectively as a group you are all facing similar circumstances and due for a change.  Strength in numbers.

2 thoughts on “Isolation at Work – Strength in Numbers

  1. It sucks when a person’s manager is almost like a tyrant or worse. It’s important to bring the issues up with HR after you have documented evidence of you giving them a warning. I usually like to go to HR with one incident because if you let the others accumulate, you’ll be asked “why didn’t you ask about this before”. Thanks for sharing these tips.

    Nancy ♥

    1. what has your experience with HR been? Have they been helpful or does it seem like they side with the offender? What actions have been taken after youve spoken with them?

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