Office Mean Girl: Memories of a Workplace Bully

Office Mean Girls: Playing High School Bully On the Job

An Office Mean Girl made my dream job a nightmare, but slowly I learned to flourish anyway.
An Office Mean Girl made my dream job a nightmare, but slowly I learned to flourish anyway. | Source

There She Is

The loud laugh was unmistakable. While shopping in a department store, I heard the voice of my former bully as she rifled through sales racks with her son. Although her back was turned towards me, spotting her took me back to that awful place five years earlier.

The Dream Job ... With One Small Catch

Since I was a child, I yearned to work for a particular Fortune 500 company that is well respected in my community. When I scored a job in their Human Resources (HR) department, I believed it was a dream fulfilled.

Nice Smile, But Watch Those Fangs

I was pretty sure Betty, the Office Mean Girl, had fangs.  Never let the bullies win.
I was pretty sure Betty, the Office Mean Girl, had fangs. Never let the bullies win. | Source

I Was Simply Next In Line -- But For What?

However, HR has bullies, too. What I didn't know when I signed on was that my coworker, "Betty," had a track record of tormenting coworkers whom she found threatening. Worse yet was that she seemed to have management's consent. Betty had chased my predecessor off in less than a year using petty personal attacks and uncooperativeness. I was simply next in line.

Bitter Betty: Bite On This

For some people, being mean comes easy.
For some people, being mean comes easy. | Source

Betty had worked for the company for nearly 30 years, having risen through the ranks from an hourly production employee to the maven of the company's HR computer system. She effectively "owned" that system, making it hers by customizing it so highly that no one else understood all of its intricacies.

There was no user manual, no formal training. There was only Betty, Office Mean Girl (OMG). Within six weeks of joining the company, I sorely regretted the move.

I was hired partially because of my knowledge of other systems, as Betty's system was coming up for bid. This automatically made me a perceived threat — Strike One. Both my predecessor and I were external hires at a company that valued promotion from within. Strike Two.

Betty also frequently commented on the fact that she had achieved so much in spite of having only a high school diploma. It was a touchy issue for her, and no matter how I recognized her contributions it just wasn't enough. My predecessor and I each held graduate degrees. Strike Three, according to Betty.

Making Memories In the Workplace ... Bahahaha

Just a fun game of office politics, right?
Just a fun game of office politics, right? | Source

Welcome To Hell

On my first day of work, neither she nor our manager could find the time to take me around the office and make introductions. I finally did it myself on day two. Betty later couldn't find the time to train me either, even though my job depended on my knowing the system inside out. She cancelled our training sessions at the last minute and was too busy to reschedule. Our manager, hating conflict, permitted this and made excuses for her.

Office Mean Girls: They Bully Because They Can Get Away With It

Behind every Office Mean Girl is a manager looking the other way.
Behind every Office Mean Girl is a manager looking the other way. | Source

Bitterness and Attacks

Making an honest attempt to get to know her, I listened to Betty's family crises and her rants about being passed over because of age discrimination, nepotism, and not giving into sexual harassment. She assassinated the characters of coworkers and executives alike.

Although she was very charming to coworkers' faces, behind their backs Betty described them as unmotivated and incompetent. She called them "pond scum" and "stupid." She and our manager frequently joked that it was "time to drain the pond." No one was immune from her ridicule, even those she considered friends.

Being a new employee, it was hard to know just what to believe. I wondered aloud what names Betty called me when I wasn't around. She chuckled, tilting her head back, as our manager sat there, smug and silent.

You know these mean girls?  You work with them?
You know these mean girls? You work with them? | Source

Struggling To Make It Work

As I struggled to make sense of my ill-defined job and the bully in the next cubicle, I worked late nights, took work home and often cried at night from the stress. I was determined to somehow work through this.

I had wanted this job too long and wasn't going to let someone like Betty defeat me. I struggled with migraines and flare-ups of my Multiple Sclerosis as a consequence.

Betty the Bully was unrelenting in her thinly veiled hostility. As I became more competent in my role, Betty dumped loads of work in my lap.

She sent emails to the rest of the department that pointed out how they weren't using the system correctly, then referred them to me for questions. She routinely pointed out my errors (real and imagined) to superiors and clients, both in public and behind my back. She once even off-handedly accused me of stealing, then laughed it off when I objected.

It Got Worse Before It Got Better

My bully increasingly "forgot" to include me on key emails and meeting invitations with clients and left me out of projects and lunches with her small clique. I often did not have the necessary information to do my job and felt ambushed with surprise findings during meetings.

I even overheard her and my manager describing my husband as "ugly" after they had first met him at a social event.

As a ringleader, Betty also recruited several others to her bullying cause. They had previously been mere bystanders but joined her in whispered gossip sessions.

Word usually got back to me, however, via sympathetic coworkers. When I addressed Betty's behaviors with management, my concerns were turned back on me.

Let the Flourishing Begin

Eventually I flourished, with the help of others.
Eventually I flourished, with the help of others. | Source

A Funny Thing Happens

Then, in spite of Betty, I started to succeed, relying on trial and error as well the kindness of other coworkers to learn the system and the company culture. (They weren't the "pond scum" that she claimed.)

Reaching Out To My Predecessor

I also reached out to my predecessor to compare experiences. Betty and our manager had described my predecessor as very headstrong and hard to get along with, so I didn't know what to expect. Meeting with her over lunch, I discovered parallel stories — an office bully and the timid leadership that allowed her to get away with it.

Sure enough, Betty had used the same bullying tactics with my predecessor, except my predecessor did not put up with the behavior for as long as I had. She had bid on a job in another department within a year, leaving behind both Betty and the ineffective management that enabled her.

Neither Cuddly Nor Nice

Mean girls grow may change location but their tactics stay the same.
Mean girls grow may change location but their tactics stay the same. | Source

Reader Poll

Have you worked with an Office Mean Girl like Betty? (If so, tell me about her in the comments section.)

  • No, thankfully
  • Yes
  • Are you kidding?!? I AM the Office Mean Girl!
See results without voting

Seeing Her For What She Was

No longer worried that there was something wrong with me, I finally saw Betty as the insecure, jealous bully that she was — nothing more. She was an adult version of a middle school Mean Girl.

As a result, I became savvier in dealing with her. I learned to either brush off her snide comments or to respond to them directly. I found support from others both inside of the department and out. Even without Betty's help, I developed my own expertise.

I remained business-like but limited my interaction with Betty to only necessary conversation. Out of self-preservation, I stopped engaging her in any chit chat and isolated myself from her negativity. Biding my time, I put up with our manager's excuses and uneven treatment, such as cancelling my vacation requests because Betty wanted to take the same week off.

Moving On And Not Looking Back

Then, when the time was right, I applied for other jobs in the company, competing with outside applicants to interview successfully for a mere lateral transfer to another department. My new job involved the same pay, a longer commute and considerable overnight travel away from my young child.

My manager tried to convince me to stay put by asking what would be the effect of all that travel on my six-year old child. He also dangled the remote possibility of a promotion if I stayed and disparaged the managers in my new department.

Regardless, I left Betty the Bully behind ... as well as her cowardly management enablers. I loved my new job, and there was no looking back.

Then, the Office Mean Girl was gone.
Then, the Office Mean Girl was gone. | Source

Buh Bye! Gone, Betty, Gone

Betty took early retirement during a round of voluntary downsizing shortly thereafter. I was not surprised when I was not invited to her company-sponsored retirement dinner. Finally, after three years of working with her, the Office Mean Girl was gone.

Part Of A Wider Phenomenon

I thrived for several more years in my new role then resigned from the company after becoming safely pension-vested. Throughout my ordeal with Betty, that had become my goal — to survive long enough to be vested in the company pension. Because of my experience with this company-sanctioned bully -- and because later I saw that so many other employees had their own "Bettys"— I lost trust in the organization that first created and then tolerated Betty's hostility for so long.

And Then I Saw Her In The Store

When I saw her in the department store that day, memories of Betty the Bully came back to me like a scab, ripped away to expose a bloody wound of rejection and self-doubt. For the first time in several years, she was only 15 feet away. Should I acknowledge her?

I steeled myself and finished my transaction at the cash register, making sure to speak loudly enough to the cashier so that Betty could hear me. No hiding here. I decided that Betty the Office Mean Girl did not merit even artificial niceties from me. She had already done enough damage. As I turned to leave, I knew I would continue to move on — flourish even — being stronger now and ever resilient.

Flying Under the Radar: Most Bullies Bully Because They Can

© 2013 FlourishAnyway

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Comments 63 comments

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA Author

fpherj48 - The woman I wrote about was absolute poison and even though it's now been more than 10 years since I first met her, I'd still refuse to cross the street to save her from choking. She was so evil. I've seen her twice since her retirement, once in a shopping mall (as in the article described) and another time in the waiting area of a local business provider. I ignored her both times; she is dead to me. Mean people don't deserve the respect of recognition.

fpherj48 4 weeks ago

FA.....Oh the office "sweetheart." Long behind me now, I can still recall the chaos & nonsense that went on too often from 9 to 5. There came a time when I had to realize we were lucky to only have 2 bullies rather than 6 or 7!

What is it that these annoying people are looking for when they come to work each day specifically looking to create havoc? We really have to wonder and learn to handle it without bringing ourselves down to their level.

Isn't it an inevitable guarantee? Think about it. No matter who we are, where we work or what our job is.....There is always that "bully" in the mix! I've never seen it fail. You were wise and I applaud your tenacity. Great hub!....Paula

Anon 4 weeks ago

Yeah good idea because I had to tell with a bully and managed to get that person to back off. That way we have common ground.

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA Author

Anon - If she trusts you, try having an open and honest conversation with her over coffee (outside of the workplace) where you present the behaviors you see in others, in her, and the impacts that you personally see in how she comes across as a manager (her effectiveness, authority, credibility) and as a human being (describe "nervous" behaviors like cracking her knuckles, avoiding eye contact, etc.). Emphasize that this comes from a place of concern and you want to help. At the same time, however, realize that she needs to take ownership of the issue and its solution. It obviously pre-dates this job. Listen above all else and ask if there ways you can help. Ask if she has talked with HR or management about the bullying. You might also read the following book then suggest it yourself if you think it's as worthy as I believe it is: "Dealing with People You Can't Stand: How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst." She might also consider seeking counseling from the Employee Assistance Program. Your empathy and willingness to help are laudable. I wish more people were as kind as you and willing to get involved.

Anon 4 weeks ago

I think I do, it's not that easy,a and it is affecting her work and ability to be seen as a strong manager. it's just she gives an aura of been afraid. Like last week I came back from a meeting and she asked me would I do a complex task as another girl done the last 3 and if she asked her to do another one she would beat her. She was genuinely afraid, I would say no. I said yes of course, she then went thanks and mentioned again the other girl would beat her. All she had to say was the other girl done the last 3, I will give you this one and we will help you if you needed it. Another time she was called a weakling on front of another manager and some of the team because she physically was unable to carry some files from offsite, again she struggled to stand up for herself. I am fully sure her management peers also spotted this but use it their advantage.

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA Author

Anon - You should find a way to report this bullying behavior before it gets further out of hand. Bullying ruins lives. It's obviously interfering with her job and making her upset.

Anon 4 weeks ago

I have seen several females bully my smaller weaker manager. Its awlful as she is afraid of them and afraid to stand up for herself. One manager in particular is constantly throwing work at her, she would look over and go x is at her desk, she'll do it, giving her no choice. Once we were at a meeting and a new process came up and she went that is x's responsibility. X just sat there looking around nervously. The same manager was having a group general chit chat, x stood up and asked what they were talking about the other manager was closest to her just scrunched her face up and asked the person to repeat what they said. To avoid humiliation I told my manager. A few days later the other manager was in conversation with another manager and girl on low fat food. After a while x stood up to join in and mentioned about low fat yogurt. As she spoke one manager just turned around and went back to work. The one that ignored her earlier just went mmmmmmmmm turned around and got back to work too. Thankfully the other girl did talk to her. One lady worked on another team that went to the same school as her and I noticed the girl was never friendly to my manager, would be like talk to other girls in the team not her. Eventually the girl left and my manager told me she went to the same school as her. she told me , she was afraid of her in school, she would always keep out of her way, if they were in the same class she would sit up near the front where the girl couldn't pick on her. I asked how did she feel with her working there. She said that she was afraid of her still. What is upsetting is this lady in all instances is afraid, afraid of her bullies and afraid to stand up for herself.

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 7 months ago from USA Author

Deborah - I love your comment! Have a great day!

Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 7 months ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

Great article. This is exactly why I work for myself. Every day is employee appreciation day.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 10 months ago from USA Author

Poetryman6969 - There are some real venomous, malicious people in the workplace (they've gotta make a living, too), and I feel sorry for the folks who are their customers, coworkers, and supervisors. Shame on those who didn't screen them more carefully before hiring. I'm all for more rigorous selection.

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 10 months ago

I have seen some modern day Nazis in at least two places I have worked. And by Nazi I don't mean disagreeable opinions or hoarding resources. I mean people who stated out loud that certain races were unacceptable to them. In at least one place the petty manger and his neo-nutzi henchmen also made it known that during the hiring process they gave extra credit to women with certain physical attributes.

The stunning thing about these individuals is that they made sexist and racist opinions known publicly.

I sometimes wonder what would happen if there were undercover HR personnel who ran around companies pretending to part of the unit just long enough to make sure the minor bosses and sub-level supervisors weren't running some kind of bizarre fiefdom.

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 17 months ago from USA Author

Susie - Thanks for reading and for your kind words. In the end, I think the mean people get what they deserve.

colorfulone profile image

colorfulone 17 months ago from Minnesota

I have never had to face a bully in a workplace, thankfully. But, I have had to deal with some of these buttheads. You sound like a wonderful person Flourish, and one smart cookie too. - Up votes!

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 18 months ago from USA Author

Suzanne - She was a horrible person and probably still is. I was most disappointed in the senior leadership that allowed it to occur. That woman in your workplace will someday find herself on the losing end. They eventually do.

Suzanne Day profile image

Suzanne Day 18 months ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

"Betty" sounds like a thoroughly nasty piece of work. It was especially mean of her to make comments about your husband, really shows what a piece of sh*t personality she was. I have had one mean girl tell my boss that I slept with a guy from the office. I hadn't. I was retrenched the next day even though I hadn't done anything at all (not even kissed him). This was a girl who had been bullying me since high school. I am lying in wait for that day to get even with her, it's not going to be pretty! Voted useful and up. x

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 19 months ago from USA Author

Savvy - Betty is someone else's problem now. Executives often feel personally invested in those they hire so I'd wonder if that fair haired fella in your office wasn't some executive's relative or personal project. Oftentimes, it only comes out later why people protect these bullies. After doing a little digging on how he got to where he was and what problems he had with others previously, I'd immediately correct any wrong information and most especially look for allies. Figure out whether you seek to have him change or leave (or just don't care). He probably has enemies in the office that are facing the same problem.

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savvydating 19 months ago

Unfortunately, every office I've worked in has mean girls. They are the most hellish women and I seriously feel sorry for their children and husbands---not to mention all of us co-workers. You hit the nail on the head---it all stems from insecurity. Well, I'm glad you finally figured out what to do about evil Betty. I am currently dealing with someone who is passive-aggressive. If things don't go his way.... it ain't pretty. Yet, this person is perceived as "the darling "of the office. Oh brother! I came here to get some tips, besides the one's I've got up my sleeve. Ha! Voting Up & useful.

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 24 months ago from USA Author

techygran - I don't blame you for making a good choice for yourself. You've got to protect yourself, whatever that involves. Sometimes it's simply leaving. Thanks for voting, pinning and sharing. Have a great week.

techygran profile image

techygran 24 months ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

FlourishAnyways, this is another one of your fascinating, totally relate-able hubs! Brilliant! I observed a lot of in-fighting and power-struggles in various jobs, but generally quit if I felt like I was in a situation that would result in some sort of health issue if I continued. Cowardly, yes, but it did save my sanity. I have encountered 'mean girls' in other situations outside the regular workplace, such as at church. Yes, isn't that sad? We are a toxic race of beings. I'm happy that there is now a "No Asshole Rule" functioning in some corners somewhere. Yay! Voted this hub up, useful, awesome, pinned and shared!

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA Author

Lilleyth - You've got that right! My sentiments precisely. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Lilleyth profile image

Lilleyth 2 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

Oh yes. Apparently Betty still thinks she is in high school. Reminds me why I choose to be my own boss.

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA Author

Shyron - Don't ever let the bad girls (or guys) win! Glad you're a tough one in the end, too! Thanks for voting and sharing!

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Yes Flourish, I have had many a bully try to take me down or out. The best way to deal with them is stay as far away as possible and avoid all none job related interaction.

Glad you survived and flourished anyway.

Voted up, UAI and shared.

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA Author

Jo - My former employer implemented a workplace violence policy and they tucked bullying in, congratulating themselves for being so compliant and forward thinking (because bullying is not against the law, unfortunately). In reality, if it's not based on some equal employment opportunity factor like race, national origin, etc., you are often left to your own devices to navigate the problem if you have poor management like I did. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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tobusiness 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Flourish, a lot of people will be able to relate to this. Bullying, unfortunately, still happens far too frequently despite most places implementing a workplace bullying policy. Bullying can have long lasting consequences as you've shown, this is an important share, excellent hub.

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA Author

Rebecca - I'm glad you've never had to deal with this. I never imagined I would!

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA Author

Inspired Heart - Yes, bullying even happens in HR (perhaps especially in HR, not sure). I appreciate your reading.

Inspired Heart profile image

Inspired Heart 2 years ago from Jamaica

Thanks for a great hub, FlourishAnyway. The personal experiences you shared really placed a "face" on bullying in the workplace.

rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Well expressed! It's too bad we have to put up with these types. I have had pretty good luck with not having a bully coworker. But I have sure had some bullish bosses!

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA Author

Faith, Betty's type is all around us -- people who are miserable and unsure about themselves inside, so they aim to make others' lives miserable, too. I'm sure Betty's habits are continuing in her retirement in other environments outside the workplace -- church, social groups, family. Thanks for voting, tweeting, sharing, and commenting.

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

I am so glad you flourished anyway, Fourish, despite the "Office Mean Girl" ...this is a sad reality here. Those "Bettys" are really sad souls. Love that one photo there!

Voted up +++, tweeting, pinning and sharing

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA Author

ologsinquito - Thanks for pinning! Have a terrific day!

ologsinquito profile image

ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

This is going on one of my bully boards, because I know it has the potential to help so many others.

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA Author

Crafty - Good! No one should have to put up with a bully. Positive thoughts sent your way.

CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 2 years ago

Hi Flourish! I'm just getting back here from the last time I commented to you. The problem seems to have subsided. It appeared to be a one-time thing. I'm still not sure why. But I will certainly email you if it happens again. Thank you for your support my friend!

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FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA Author

Sorry to learn of that. Email me the details. I'm interested in knowing more if you want to share it.

CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 2 years ago

Normally, I would ignore it. But they did something damaging off of HP. I'm not quite sure why they chose me. That was stupid on their part as I have private investigator training! I know who they are, but I don't understand their relationship to me. They have quite a following. Maybe they feel threatened? I don't know why that would be the case at all. I'm not in competition with anyone.

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA Author

Crafty - It makes no sense that they would bully you but people do have their own agendas, wacy as they may be. Just keep on being your talented, engaging, fabulous self and ignore the haters. You're awesome Crafty Girl, awesome to your Craft core. Let the stuff roll off like water off a duck's back.

CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 2 years ago

Flourish, I know what you mean. I had my share of Bettys when I worked in a large firm.

I'm glad I came across this article because I think I have a bully off of HP, but I think it's connected to HP. It's not someone I know or who I have ever dealt with on here. I don't know if it was a one-time attack or if they are out to cause a problem for me. They are a published writer. We don't even write about the same topics, so it really makes no sense to me at all.

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA Author

Rohan - Thank you for reading and commenting. I am sorry you have had a si liar experience. Bad people like this are everywhere. Don't let them poison your joy for life.

rohanfelix profile image

rohanfelix 3 years ago from Chennai, India

A very meaningful article that I can relate to personally.

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FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA Author

Thanks, LKMore01! I'm a firm believer that sooner or later, we all are going to get what we have coming to us. (Let's just hope it's good.) I wasn't going to get in the way of "Betty's" karma, but I hope she is ready for it. I certainly wasn't the only one she mistreated. Thanks for reading and commenting!

LKMore01 profile image

LKMore01 3 years ago

It's stories and situations like this that inspire me to be an entrepreneur! People are awful. I can't imagine putting up with that kind of manipulation every single day. However, the terrifying people you have worked with make your HUBS wonderfully refreshing and entertaining, Flourish!

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA Author

Rajan - Bullies are indeed everywhere -- from the playground to the boardroom and the next cubicle over, from in-person to on-line. I agree with you that inside they are frightened children who were probably bullied themselves at one time. We are each someone's child, parent, spouse, friend. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Bullies are everywhere and suffer from insecurity and inferiority complex and to mask this they turn hostile. When they have the support of the management then it's like hell for the one who is at their receiving end. You did well not to get cowed down and leave the organisation.

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FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA Author

theraggededge - It is important not to let the mean people win. They love to push and push, but inside I think they are frightened, unhappy children. It doesn't mean we need to carry their baggage though.

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theraggededge 3 years ago from Wales

So glad you didn't let her push you around. What an unhappy person she must have been underneath that horrible exterior. Toxic.

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FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA Author

Yes, you are right, moonlake. It's sad you encountered them trying to do volunteer work. The "Highway 8" women even sounds like a gang of thugs, rather than do-gooding moms. Any time there is a group of people, there's always someone who sees it as a chance to gain power over others. Thanks for the votes, comment and read. Have a great weekend.

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moonlake 3 years ago from America

There always seems to be a bully no matter where you are or what you are doing. I hate volunteer work for just that reason never liked PTA always a bully there. When our kids were growing up the highway 8 women were our bullies they took over the school and no one else had any say......Voted up on your interesting hub.

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FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA Author

Thank you, Demetry, for the read and comment. Management sets the tone, either positively or negatively by allowing and even modeling such bullying behavior. Interestingly, my manager was regularly bullied by the department director, a "superstar." There was a broad pattern of this behavior in the organization.

Demetry profile image

Demetry 3 years ago from Australia

I enjoyed reading this, well told. It's unfortunate there are enabler managers that let this sort of damaging behavior carry on. Their inaction, along with the bully's actions, would lead to the loss of many good people.

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FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA Author

Thank you, Alecia, for the read and your comment. I'm glad you never had to deal with Office Mean Girls!

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 3 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

It's sad to think bullies are still around after school. But it's true, some people exist at work solely to make life miserable for everyone else. I haven't had a personal experience but I have seen some people suffer at the hands of someone else. You did an excellent job of sharing your story and I'm glad you were able to stand up to her.

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FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA Author

@tammyswallow - Your compliment means a lot, especially since I am so new at this. Those Bettys seem to get a special pleasure out of hurting others, but I'd like to think there is cosmic justice. To keep from wringing her neck, I always used to tell myself "don't get in the way of someone's karma."

@klidstone1970 - While you're in the thick of it, it is hard to imagine that other options exist. I'm happy you found a way out of that toxic environment before she made you sick and bitter. Be well and flourish in your new role, girl!

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klidstone1970 3 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

Good Lord, this sounds familiar. I worked for many years with someone like this until I finally had enough and just flat out quit. I have a better job, with WAY more responsibility, but it doesn't nearly cause me half as much stress. Good riddance to my "Betty."

tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 3 years ago from North Carolina

I too dealt with a Betty at work at one point. It seems like they are almost always women and they don't have enough work to do so they torment others for entertainment. You have some really great hubs. You are an awesome contributor to Hubpages!

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FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA Author

Yes, the enablers, the lieutenants! I think you are absolutely right. Thanks for the read, ologsinquito.

ologsinquito profile image

ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

I've encountered similar types in my lifetime. It's the cowardly enablers and the co-bullies that let this stuff get out of hand. I've learned that the best way to deal with these types is to get out of their orbit.

Welcome to Hub Pages. I hope you enjoy it here.

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FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA Author

Thank you for your comments, PegCole17! They do seem to "know where the bodies are buried," so to speak. Karma will kick in at some point.

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PegCole17 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

What a great tale and so well told! I've known my share of Betty's in the corporate world. Isn't it amazing how they seem to have an entourage of those who rally around them for support? I often wonder if these "mean girls" have pictures of executives in compromising situations that enables them to keep their jobs. That would explain their longevity.

For your sake, I'm glad you persevered and eventually moved into another role. Despite the extra long commute, it was the best solution and sometimes only way to battle these drama makers.

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FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA Author

Thank you so much for your feedback, innerspin! Looks like she wanted you to help carry her baggage, so to speak!

innerspin profile image

innerspin 3 years ago from uk

This brought back memories of an old boss. She could be supportive at times, but would cut you down with harsh and hurtful comments in the next breath. She was like that with everybody. I learned to grow a thick skin. It does help when you know it's not personal, though it's still difficult. Voted up and interesting.

LisaMarie724 profile image

LisaMarie724 3 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

Good for you! I'm sure a lot of us women have at least one or two "Betty" stories, thanks for sharing yours!

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