My problem is... is that I'm not sure if I'm being bullied at work or if I'm just stubborn and/or over sensitive.
I work for a surgeon as a receptionist, so I guess you could say he and his wife are my main bosses. I have no problem with them whatsoever. They are kind, wonderful people and have always been so supportive of my choices and my uni studies.
The problem is my supervisor / co-receptionist whom I work under. We get along quite well as friends but when it comes to work, I feel like she's increasingly picking on me for really stupid things.
At first I could put it down to the fact that it was my first real job, that I'm young, naive and don't have a lot of experience in the field of dealing with patients and the medical world in general. In fact, never dealt with other people until I had this job. So for the first three months I could genuinely accept all my errors and wrongdoings as things I had genuinely done wrong because I was still learning.
Now that I'm more comfortable in what I do, I'm starting to feel like I'm being picked at for really petty things are there are so many things I'm not quite sure about whether it is bullying or if I'm being over sensitive about it.
I'm just going to make a quick list of some basic scenarios that happen most frequently (as in every day or every couple of days).
- She will ask me to do something, then change her mind and say she'll do it, then have a go at me because I didn't do the thing she asked me to do.
- She will interrupt me when I'm on the phone to patients and constantly chatter away in my ear and make it hard for me to hear what they're saying.
- If I am serving a patient, making an appointment for them, booking in a procedure etc, she will just take over at random and undermine everything I have said as though I am incompetent or not as good and helpful as her. I feel confident in what I do is right because she's taught me to do things a certain way, but it still doesn't stop her taking over and taking all the credit for things I've done to help people.
- She is always asking me to do things but never giving clear indications of how she wants it done, and of course no matter how many questions I ask her about how it's done, I've always done it wrong and she has to re-do it, only to find it was kind of already done right in the first place, but it will still be my fault.
She basically implied that I should be able to read her mind. I am not kidding. There was also a couple of minor, trivial things she forgot to do today, and when asked about them by the boss, she said it was my fault and that she would fire me. This was intended as a joke but the fact that she said it in front of patients and didn't admit to taking the blame for it really hurt. There have been other occasions where she's done something similar like this. She would joke about me getting the sack for not printing a report or throw a pen at me if I hadn't had the chance to tell her something that I didn't believe was important at the time. Many times today I've fought back and said to her 'Just tell me how you want it done so I can get it right.' or 'I don't think you can blame me for this because I genuinely didn't do it' and when I say things like this she fights back harder and starts picking at me for even more things. I sometimes think she tries to make it hard for me, as though she's testing me, but truth be told I don't think I can walk in there tomorrow and take any more of her rubbish.
It's come to the point where I work all day in fear of doing something wrong and having her pick at me, and naturally my self confidence in my job has plummeted and so I'm making minor mistakes that she's blowing out of proportion to make me feel worse.
Honestly I don't know if half of these things are proper bullying. I don't know what do to and I don't know what to say to her that can mean I can stand up for myself, but also means she won't fight back twice as hard. I want to be able to ask her to just be more reasonable and clear about what she wants from me but whenever I do she ignores me.
Any help would be amazing. Please feel free to share similar stories, or even if you could put my mind at ease and tell me to suck it up, that would be great too!
You all seem like such lovely people on here :)