Recently I spotted this real life case of workplace bullying of a Singaporean being shared on the EDMW forums and just wanted to help share his story as well.
So what’s going on?
The Full Story as taken from EDMW Forums
*I’ve removed all confidential company information and the names of people involved in this blog post
I worked as a Sales Executive in my ex-company, a research and information service provider for the financial and professional services markets. I hold a regular salary paying job for me to support my family and to make ends meet. I’m the sole bread winner as my wife had left her job to take care of my 1 year old daughter.
My ex-company had a organizational restructure last month and a new regional sales director was employed to fill this position. His name is AXXX and I report to him directly. He was raised up in the UK and studies there as well. He came to Singapore to work 3 years ago. had been working in Singapore for the past 3 years.
After he joined the organisation, many things began to change.
- AXXXwas rude to people, arrogant and like to use vulgarism in the office which is not appropriate and very unprofessional.
- He also like to talk down to subordinates .
- Began to implement office politics and micro-managent which I wont go into details.
Since AXXX joined on mid-March, I relate a few incidents of bullying which were directed at me. I had to endure them all these while suffering in silence and for fear of losing my much-needed job.
- The first incident occurred about when AXXX took my wallet which was on my desk. He screened through my wallet and took out my IC to inspect it. When he saw the photo displayed in my IC, he began to laugh very loudly in front of other colleagues. I felt very insulted because what he did was insensitive, unsympathetic and immature.
- The second bullying incident happened when my ex-colleague brought her 4 year old daughter to the office and Amit made a remark to everyone saying “Ask your daughter to come tomorrow as she can make better sales calls than Jerard.” This disparaging remark belittled me and my ability in making sales calls. As a sales director, he should motivate the sales staff by encouragement and set a good leadership example, not the opposite by saying such a remark.
- I was also subjected to excessive monitoring as I was forced to sit beside Amit without any clear say of my sitting arrangement. He was able to see my computer screen and could monitor every action and movement which I make. Last week, he sent me a private email stating “less reading… more talking”. Being supervised until so closely, there was a tremendous amount of pressure on me mentally because of the lack of trust from Amit and as a subordinate, I had no privacy to do my work.
The worst bullying incident happened when our sales team went for a department lunch last friday, 19th April 2013. We had Italian food buffet at one of the nearby shop-house restaurant. We ate pizzas and other Italian food during the lunch.
When we returned back to the office, I was shocked to receive an email from AXXX which was sent to the entire sales team and this email showed a picture of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. I felt so humiliated as that email was very unprofessional and downright degratory.
AXXX’s boss, RXXXX who was the new Regional Director of Asia-Pacific (joined only 2 weeks ago) then send out another email with a group picture of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the email stated “This is what an argument looked like in the Lee household“. He abused his power as a senior management by backing up AXXX’s earlier picture of me as a teenage mutant ninja turtle. I felt terribly upset at his childish and immature behaviour.
His picture implied that my household are all ninja turtles which I was indignant and insulted because my family should not be dragged into the picture at all. He did not show any basic respect to my family by labelling them as ninja turtles and this clearly humiliated and denigrated my family. As the Regional Director of the Singapore office, His behaviour is totally unacceptable to me.
Later in the afternoon, AXXX sent another email address to my other colleague which I was copied in the email. This was a separate email and had no connection to the previous email of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
In that email, I was being referred to as a turtle. I was very embarrassed when I saw the email because to be addressed as a turtle is very degrading and humiliating for me.
Through all these bullying incidents, it was a really tough and difficult decision for me to stay in my job as I have to consider to safe keep my job or to to suffer more the bullying incidents which will torment me mentally and take a toll on my health. I came to a decision to tender my resignation on Tuesday, 23 April 2013 and that was my last day.
I had a sale in the morning the particular day, and that sale was given to another colleague without any proper reason or justification from Amit. I was denied the reason for knowing why it was so and this sale might make a difference in the amount of commission i earned.
Foreign talents who have the privilege of coming over to Singapore to work are paid well, often treated with respect and dignity from the government and people alike. Our government took pains to organize integration activities to help them settle in, to promote ‘bonding’ with the locals, to make them feel at home. Most of them are even allowed to bring their family members over so as to ease their mind such that they can take care of them as well as to have companionship in a foreign land.
As a local Singaporean, I really feel very helpless because I have been bullied in my homeland by my bosses who are Foreign Talents working in Singapore. All along, I had treated them with respect and dignity and I have never done anything wrong to offend my bosses to become a target of workplace bullying. Despite this, I will stand up to fight for my rights and create awareness in Singapore. I will go all the way to make sure that justice is served and the bullies to face the consequences of their actions.
Update 26/4 1.10pm
i’m undergoing professional medical treatment now to recover from the traumatic experienced occured due to the bullying.
I am devastated to hear that group HR in UK is unable to uphold my grievance on bullying. I have since then made an appeal.
The author has written in to MOM, the HR, STOMP, SPH, The Online Citizen, TR EMERITUS and so far only Wan Bao and The Real Singapore has published his story/looked into the matter.
So..your thoughts on this case?