It happened to me. Not only in elementary and high school.

It happened more than once, and at least five times in my place of employment that I can actively remember.  Perhaps another time is now blocked out of my mind, hopefully for the good.

I am beginning to break my bullying silence. This year is the first time I am sharing my experience openly and honestly.  I was recently interviewed by Melaida Corpuz from I-Listen. Have a look at my podcast here: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:7092065097023434752/?actorCompanyId=68063421.

I was bullied in my places of work by men and women. All supervisors, all in positions of perceived and real authority within the organizations that I served. 

However, today, after changing jobs numerous times and healing as best as I could throughout these terrible experiences, I am now at a point in my life where I can and feel the need to speak up.  I intend to share my story to let anyone reading this know who is being bullied that you are not alone and there is help out there.

From my experiences, I found a couple of common denominators among the group of five.  They were all in the role of executive directors, one changed her position title when she started her new job to Chief Executive Officer – ego?  Certainly!

As I look back on gaining life-lived experience on the issue of bullying, now in the rearview mirror of my career, I see all five individuals as very insecure people who I believe had hurt past experiences that they haven’t resolved, maybe never worked on (o.k. so, I am back to my social service days with this expression).  That doesn’t give them a pass. Perhaps now I have a better understanding and empathy for these mean-spirited individuals. Maybe even a bit of wisdom from the lessons I learned from this journey.

It’s so sad – anyone can be at risk of experiencing bullying in the workplace. I believed their behaviors were dangerous, deceptive, cunning, and destructive, all working in the not-for-profit sector.  Scary right?  I know!  These people had my livelihood and the livelihoods of my colleagues in the palm of their hands and they were happy to share this with me.  

With the number of people experiencing so many mental health issues in our society today, you would think we would be kinder and more understanding because we never know what someone is going through. Sadly, I think we still have a way to go.  After all, we are human beings and to date, our brains have not been programmed with AI (artificial intelligence), to be kinder!

Most of these five individuals that I reported to enjoyed the ‘power’ and the ‘trip’ that went along with it.  Some would encourage what I call “the click-mentality” where a small group of people within the organization would suck -up and kiss the butt of the supervisor and through you under the bus for no good apparent reason (there are NO good reasons for these behaviors – Gossip and very bad, even weird behaviors.

We are viewed as the “do-gooders” in these organizations making our world a better place, right?  I have always said and strongly believe, that people make or break the organizations.”

My friend and colleague Jennifer De Domenico whom I worked with at the Dawson Community Center DBGC back in the early 90s informed me about the Peter Principal.  It’s about people being promoted to their highest level of incompetence and sadly, throughout my career, I have witnessed it time and time again.  I wonder if this is where the bullies started their terrible journeys. However, within my bullying experience, these individuals were well-educated. One was a former lawyer, and one was a Reverend.

In this issue my friend and colleague, Ruthann Weeks, will also shed light on her bullying experience, and our newest Cool Cat, Sarah Birmingham will give us a snapshot of mental health stigmas. Did I mention menopause is recognized throughout the world in October?  Brianna MacLean, another Cool Cat, wrote a great article about menopause and Jesse Schewchuk, the CEO of Modern Muse Media Ltd. is launching the Menopause Mission in Edmonton. Last but certainly not least, my good friend Ingrid Schifer from Schif And The City sheds light on marketing narratives!

Happy Reading and Happy Halloween!

 Pawsitively yours,

Kat Mooney
Founder & Principal Navigator
Pounce Support Services™