We’re Not Children Anymore; Let’s Stop Childish Bullying in the Workplace
It’s a sad fact that there is such thing as workplace bullying and what I find even sadder is that the people who fall victim to this immature act are the ones labelled as ‘less attractive’ employees. Sorry, I didn’t realise we were all so childish.
We’re brought up not to discriminate against people because of their race, gender or disability so why do some of us discriminate against ‘ugly’ employees? A study carried out my Michigan State University professors suggests that unattractive employees are often subjected to hurtful comments or being made fun of. To carry out a study of this nature, 140 employees were asked how they felt they were treated at work and then a group of participants judged how attractive the employees were based on photographs of them. Those deemed ‘unattractive’ were the ones who happened to be treated far harsher in the workplace.
These poor people are more likely to be given menial tasks or asked to do all those horrible niggly jobs no one else wants to do. ‘Ugly’ people are also less likely to be promoted. I think this is full-on discrimination. Since when did every company become Abercrombie and Fitch, ensuring its employees looked a certain way and weighed a certain weight before allowing them on the shop floor?
Officials at the Workplace Bullying Institute estimate that 35 percent of the US employees have been subjected to bullying whilst at work. The bullying of ‘ugly’ employees isn’t just based on appearances as those with ugly insides are also more likely to experience workplace discrimination. You’re ugly on the inside. Oh, do grow up or you won’t get to use the finger paints this afternoon.It’s horrible to think that people who were most probably bullied at school are being bullied at work because of how they look, but the fact is it happens. Workplace bullying is a real thing like any type of bullying you can’t keep it to yourself.
I felt I didn’t fit in at my last job, sharing an enormous open plan office with 3,000 other people whose eyes burnt into me when I went to get a coffee. I spoke to my line manager about how I was asked to do the more insignificant jobs, could hear people talking about me and how the woman who sat behind me tried to make my life a living hell and he responded with “don’t give them the ammunition”. And that’s all that was done about it. By “give them ammunition”, he must have meant rolling my sleeves up slightly and exposing a bit of my tattoo or the time I wore a Monster Munch t-shirt. I didn’t provoke anyone and I definitely wouldn’t consider myself to be ‘ugly on the inside’. I guess (according to this study) I’m an ugly employee. Either that, or people don’t like Monster Munch.