The Consultant's Desk

The Consultant's Desk
Poring over the details on your behalf

Thursday, October 26, 2017

More Workplace Abuse Resources

It's with great dismay that a particular page needs to be closed. The reason for the reluctance is because the content is so useful (and I need the laptop resources). The site is called "When An Abuser Goes to Work" and is authored by Patricia G. Barnes, J.D. Patricia also focuses on age discrimination at Age Discrimination in Employment. Unlike Chai Feldblum, Patricia has not been an EEOC Commissioner. But she has been a judge and is a lawyer. Their advocacy is Title VII related but on specific aspects of enforcement of rights for particular constituents.

When you visit her LinkedIn profile, you'll notice that Chai has a strong leaning toward supporting gay and lesbian rights. She is a contributor to a book title on religion and same-sex marriage. She also keeps her followers up to date on the outcome of EEOC age discrimination cases (that were not under her purview).

Patricia has written on a wide swath of Title VII issues, in addition to workplace abuses. Yes, it is entirely possible to visit her blog to learn what she's published. But I'd like to preserve at least some of those titles here (until I can move them to my website's Library) where we'll have a quick reference to her insights on the subjects.

Pat Barnes' list of aggressive behaviors in the workplace is not only enlightening, it's what's been considered offensive and abusive over time. Failing to respond to phone calls and messages is the classic. Recruiters (both retained and staffing industry) use the excuse that they're too busy. Too busy to get someone (a motivated worker) employed? No one comes up with a spoken excuse for interrupting. However, the underlying message is what the person has to say isn't important. The other unspoken message is the one doing the interrupting is entitled to do so; they are privileged.

There are times when an interruption is a kind gesture. The train of thought is meandering or drifting into whining. The speaker needs to get refocused. Sometimes they may be exhibiting distress and needs to regather their thoughts. Many times, unfortunately, none of those reasons are the case. There was no kindness intended. The one doing the interrupting is simply showing they have very little regard for the one who was speaking.

There are a lot of behaviors that demonstrate abuse in the workplace. Perhaps taking in what these two authors have to say on the subject will help make us more aware and more inclined to discourage the behavior.

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