Thursday, January 22, 2009

No Whistleblower Protection - Part Five of Workplace Psychological Abuse

Note: Parts 1-4 are found on this blog also.

This continues my series on the experience of being the target of a psychologically abusive co-worker or workplace "bully" from Jan, 2004 until Aug, 2006, the last two and a half years I worked in the Respiratory Care Department at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise Idaho. Saint Alphonsus (often called St Als) is a part of the Trinity Health system, headquartered in Novi, Michigan.



The reaction of management at Saint Alphonsus to my reports of abusive treatment that originated initially from a co-worker, but also from management, was not unusual, when compared to other companies who have retaliated against employees reporting unethical or dangerous actions and/or behavior. In The Whistleblower's Survival Guide: Courage Without Martyrdom, author Tom Devine includes a chapter entitled, "What to Expect: Classic Responses to Whistleblowing." This chapter includes several management responses to employees who blow the whistle on behavior by management that endangers employees or customers. Management at Saint Alphonsus responded to me with several of the tactics described in Devine's book.

One response is to "Gag the Employee." Several times I was accused by managers of violating some non-existent confidentiality agreement. Since I had not signed a confidentiality agreement covering the traumatic experience of being the target of a bully for over two and a half years, there was none to violate. Attempts were made by management to censor reports of, or conversations about, the behavior that resulted in my injuries. Those attempts jeopardized staff and patient safety and therefore were inappropriate and potentially harmful to other employees. Attempts to censor me were also a violation of the Trinity Health Organizational Integrity Program, which on Page 19, second column, under the heading "Open Communication," state: "A multi-directional communication process serves everyone in Trinity Health. Information is available and accessible on a timely basis. Everyone takes responsibility to stay informed, provide feedback, and state opinions. People Communicate openly and directly. Active listening and candid speaking are skills used and valued by all. These practices promote norms of freely exchanging ideas in the interest of finding better ways to accomplish goals and sharing different points of views to arrive at constructive agreement" (Bold emphasis mine). The reality at Saint Alphonsus and Trinity Health is that "open communication" is forbidden and those who practice it will probably be terminated, or, as in my experience, retaliated against by management for reporting the internal problems to the public, This is true even though those internal problems are jeopardizing patient, staff, and customer safety.

Another response mentioned in The Whistleblower's Survival Guide is "Institutionalize Conflict-of-Interest." This undoubtedly is a very serious problem at Saint Alphonsus. One manager, whose job description included trying to prevent law suits, assigned himself to investigate a conflict issue between two employees, one who had threatened a lawsuit and one who had not! Obviously he had a vested interest in finding information to placate the employee who threatened to sue, since his annual performance plan and the size of his next pay raise probably depended on preventing law suits.

I attempted to report the unethical behavior I experienced, some of which came from senior management, to the Bioethics Committee, only to find out that the person who co-chaired the Bioethics Committee was one of the same managers who had asked me to just let the bullying behavior from the abusive co-worker "pass over me," and who also ordered me to not talk about about the bullying and the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to other employees. One of the most important treatments for PTSD is encouraging the patient to talk about the trauma that caused the injury, so the manager's orders were medically inappropriate. Asking the Bioethics Committee to investigate the way I had been treated by management was akin to asking them to investigate their own misconduct! I also send a report to the other co-chairperson of the Bioethics Committee, a surgeon whose patient I have been three times. He never responded.

Another way of retaliating against whistleblowers is to "Prevent the Development of a Written Record." This was another tactic used by management at Saint Alphonsus. A manager from Human Resources promised me three times that he would send a written agreement to me and the bully co-worker stating that we would not have to work together anymore, and if our paths crossed we would agree to treat each other with respect. Since the bully was consistently rude and disrespectful toward me, I welcomed that agreement. It never arrived. The same manager also promised me a written report of his investigation. I never received one, even after repeated requests. At one time, when I was accused of violating some kind of confidentiality agreement, I asked the Respiratory Care Department manager if we could just put this "agreement" in writing in order to have a document, stating exactly what was confidential. He acted very surprised by the request, and didn't object, but it never happened. There was never any written agreement or statement of expectations.

When my attorneys acquired a copy of my personnel record it was interesting to note that nowhere in the record is there any information about this two-and-a-half year ordeal of being the target of a workplace bully. There is no mention of the PTSD injury, and no mention of having to consistently work in a toxic environment and under extremely hostile conditions. There is no record of more than a dozen meetings with members of management to try to resolve the problem. There is no record of the multiple attempts I made to try to resolve the problem; of offering to participate in a professionally mediated conflict resolution process with the bully; of offering to use indirect communication via a mediator; of repeatedly going out of my way to make sure patient care was not being compromised by the abusive and impaired co-worker; of trying unsuccessfully to defuse the situation by voluntarily stepping out of my supervisory position and letting someone else supervise instead; of offering to change shifts and permanently quit supervising; of taking the initiative to seek assistance and counsel from an Employee Assistance Program counselor; and also of going to professionals outside of Saint Alphonsus at my own expense to try to resolve the problem. The absence of any information in my personnel record about these extraordinary efforts I made is an powerful example of how silence can be evil, and contribute to harm and injury. It's also interesting to note that when I left the employment of Saint Alphonsus and Trinity Health after 30 years of exemplary service, (exemplary service that was confirmed on Sept.24, 2008, by a member of senior management who said that I had an "outstanding" record), I didn't receive one written or spoken word of thanks or appreciation for my years of service from my immediate supervisor, the Respiratory Care Department Manager.

The fourth of Mr. Devine's list of retaliations used against me by Saint Als is "Rewrite the Issues." To quote the author; "One of the most subtle bureaucratic gambits is to trivialize, grossly exaggerate, or otherwise distort the whistleblower's allegations - and then discredit the employee by rejecting the validity of the resulting "red herring." Both the department manager and the manager from human resources kept trying to distort the issue and claim that it was something other than what it really was. I was reporting deliberate behavior from a co-worker, directed at me because she did not approve of my political and religious beliefs, behavior that was compromising patient care, and causing serious and potentially disabling injury to me. Management kept trying to pretend that this conflict was a personal one, that I was trying to develop or renew a friendship with someone who did not want to be friends. Although I requested that our work schedules be changed so we didn't have to work together any more and our schedules would not overlap, and I had signed letters from an attorney and a counselor requesting that action, management refused to look at the letters and kept falsely accusing me of trying to increase my contact with the abusive co-worker.

Even the punitive psychiatric admission I was subjected to by management at St. Alphonsus for blowing the whistle on their abusive treatment of employees is not that rare a way of businesses retaliating against whistleblowers, as the following quotes confirm. "Even generating an involuntary psychiatric admission or requiring a psychiatric evaluation as a way of retaliating against a whistleblower or discrediting his report is not unusual. When in 1978, Peter James Atherton, nuclear engineer and inspector for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, reported that the electrical cables needed to shut down the Maine Yankee nuclear power plant in case of emergency were all located in the same cable tray, therefore making them all vulnerable to destruction in case of fire, he was handcuffed and sent to St. Elizabeth's Hospital for three days of involuntary psychiatric confinement and after being released was fired!" (From Whistleblowers: Broken Lives and Organizational Power, by C. Fred Alford, Pub. 2001 by Cornell Univ. Press, pages 22 and 23).

Here are accounts of two other whistleblowers who also experienced the "punitive psychiatric" retaliation. "Randy Taylor, Chief of Military Police at the Bermuda Naval Air Station, exposed the cover-up of post-Tailhook sexual attacks and misuse of the base as a taxpayer-financed resort (known as "Club Fed") for powerful politicians and military officials. The Navy responded by ordering him to undergo a psychiatric examination, which he passed" (Devine, Page 30). "Within days of protesting payments to reserve troops for not reporting to weekend training assignments, Air Force Sergeant Joseph Taliaferro found himself confined to a mental ward, wearing slippers with Happy Faces on them" (Devine, Page 31). If you are employed by either Saint Alphonsus or Trinity Health you will want to be aware of what happens to their employees when they report unethical behavior by management. You can find out by reading Part Four of my series on Workplace Psychological Abuse.

Another method used by management to retaliate against a whistleblower, and one I also experienced at Saint Alphonsus, is to direct the focus of attention on the person who reported the problem rather than on the problem itself. In his book, The Whistleblower's Survival Guide, Tom Devine writes; "The first commandment of retaliation is to make the whistleblower, instead of his or her message, the issue: obfuscate the dissent by attacking the sources' motives, credibility, professional competence, or virtually anything else that will work to cloud the issue. The point of this tactic is to direct the spotlight at the whistleblower, instead of the alleged misconduct" (Page 28).

This happened to me more than once. I was reporting to management behavior by a co-worker that was directed at me because she did not approve of my political and religious beliefs, behavior that was jeopardizing patient care and causing injury to myself. To this day, January 24, 2009, I've never received a response addressing those three serious issues. Instead I was targeted with a variety of false accusations from the co-worker, accusations repeated by the same members of management who refused to address the real problem. Those accusations bordered on the ridiculous. They included trying to communicate with her about work-related problems (even though our respective job descriptions mandated communication between us). I was even accused of waiting to walk her to her car after work! Note the accusation is not "walking her to her car" since that didn't happen, but only "waiting" or wanting to do that. Of course that accusation, like her other accusations, was false. At least once a week I went to the medical library after work to do some reading. I frequently took the bus to and from work, so when I left my department after work, it was usually alone to go to a destination that none of my co-workers were going to. I never saw any other members of the Respiratory Care Department including the abusive co-worker, at either the medical library, the bus stop, or on the bus.

Those who lived through the 1960s and the Cold War era remember that many people lived in fear of the Soviet Union. The USSR was referred to as the "evil empire," and we were told that Communism was the biggest threat to our country and the world. Citizens of the Soviet Union lived in a totalitarian country where they were under constant supervision, in perpetual fear of the government, and had no freedoms. It's almost unbelievable how much times have changed. The Soviet Union no longer exists and the numerous countries which used to make up the USSR all gained their freedom at the same time without firing a shot. Now we're the ones working under a form of constant totalitarian-like supervision, facing accusations from employers, like the thought police at Saint Alphonsus who think they have the right to accuse people, not of misbehaving, but of simply wanting to do something they shouldn't do, and have never done.

Mark Ames in his book "Going Postal" reports on how far this kind of abuse by management can go, when he tells the account of a post office employee in San Diego who was the target of excessive harassment by management. The harassment included, "telling him by written memo that he was to go to the bathroom on his own time and not on the post office's time and having a supervisor stand outside of his house during his lunch break, watching him through his kitchen window, clocking him when he ate lunch at home with his wife" (Page 75). I doubt that Saint Alphonsus and Trinity Health have gone to such extremes, but in light of this Orwellian accusation against me which was an attempt to assess, condemn, and regulate my thoughts, it's definitely the direction they are headed. Ames also points out in his book that the average American workplace is "more Soviet than what the Soviets ever created," (Page 107) and "Even American slaves generally weren't fenced in and guarded by security" (Page 107).
Of course directing the spotlight at the whistleblower, rather than at the problem reported by the whistleblower, contributed to the "punitive psychiatric admission" I was subjected to which I wrote about in Part Four.

The context of the longer historical report I wrote and distributed after leaving St. Alphonsus was concern for the health and safety of people at Saint Alphonsus and in the community. I established that theme in the first paragraph of the report and re-emphasized, repeated, or reinforced it on the average of once a page for the duration of the report. Management claimed, in the report, that I had threatened to harm myself or others. To do that they had to rip what I wrote out of context and of course, the only reason for doing that is to intentionally misrepresent what I wrote. The concern that I reported was never addressed. The effect of directing the attention toward the whistleblower rather than the problem s/he reported, is not only to create stress and uncertainty for the whistleblower, but to also undermines his or her credibility.

One knowledgeable whistleblower writes: "They will sacrifice the individual" before admitting they made a mistake. "The image of the organization is so important that they'll destroy your life and career first" (Devine, Page 34).

In light of the Zogby Poll (See Part Three) it's probable that the bullying and whistleblower retaliation I experienced at the hands of Saint Alphonsus and Trinity Health is also a problem at other health care facilities, as well as at other businesses and corporations. Workplace psychological abuse is, according to the polls, at epidemic levels in the United States. I'm telling the account of what happened to me, because it's necessary for people who have experienced it to talk, write, and communicate about their experiences and thereby raise awareness, before anything will be done to address this public health menace. My experience took place at a Trinity Health facility, St Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, in Boise, Idaho, so that's what I'm writing about. In spite of their record, Trinity Health and St Alphonsus, as "Christian" health care providers, are in a position where they could grab this problem by the horns and quickly get it under control. With a little work and minimal expense they could establish a policy that specifically prohibits bullying, and provides a means of addressing the problem. There are excellent examples available in the literature on the topic. They could mandate professionally mediated conflict resolution processes to resolve conflicts before anyone is injured. They could educate the staff, especially managers and supervisors, on bullying or workplace psychological abuse. They could demonstrate accountability toward those who have been injured, and do it simply by following and enforcing their own existing Standards of Conduct (Trinity Health) which say "Treat others with honesty, respect, and dignity," and "Communicate with others in a clear, open, and honest manner." The Standards of Conduct also say; "Most importantly, you're responsible for speaking up about behavior or actions that may be inconsistent with the Standards of Conduct." That's exactly what St. Alphonsus retaliated against me for doing! The St Alphonsus Customer Service Standards include "Treat each person and co-worker as you would want to be treated," "Treat each person as if he or she is the most important person in our facility," and "Listen thoughtfully and empathetically to others and respond appropriately and politely."

The cost of these efforts would be probably far less than the annual cost of replacing employees who are bullied and injured on the job, many who, after leaving, either take legal action against their employer, or at the very least spread the message that Saint Alphonsus and Trinity Health are not safe and healthy places of employment. Steps taken by St Als and Trinity Health to address this problem would display leadership and advanced healing in a currently neglected area of human health. It would also be an example of progressive caring management, not just to the medical field, but to all business. Unfortunately this has not yet happened.

I certainly agree and identify with the following comment from another whistleblower. "Suffering through whistleblower retaliation teaches you a lot about your own strengths and weaknesses, about what really matters in life, about who your friends are, and about what human beings are capable of doing to each other in even the most civilized settings. It is a life-altering experience" (Devine. Page 44). One of the facts confirmed by my experience is that currently there is NO whistleblower protection available at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, or from Trinity Health. We know there are safety and health hazards caused by the bullying and psychological abuse, but this lack of whistleblower protection represents an additional safety hazard to patients, visitors, and staff at those facilities, as well as to the communities served by those institutions.

Leonard Nolt

Coming next -
Part Six - Workplace Psychological Abuse, or Bullying: A Definition.
to be followed by
Part Seven - Is Psychological Abuse or Bullying Really that Harmful?






12 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a great web log. I spend hours on the net reading blogs, about tons of various subjects. I have to first of all give praise to whoever created your theme and second of all to you for writing what i can only describe as an fabulous article. I honestly believe there is a skill to writing articles that only very few posses and honestly you got it. The combining of demonstrative and upper-class content is by all odds super rare with the astronomic amount of blogs on the cyberspace.

Anonymous said...

great job.....

Anonymous said...

you made comments about columbine ect in your emails to staff..everybody was scared...people still talk about it....

Leonard Nolt said...

I'd like to respond to the anonymous person who made the most recent comment to Part 5 of Workplace Psychological Abuse, my report of bullying at St. Alphonsus.

Some of your information is inaccurate. The e-mails I sent to about 400 co-workers did not mention Columbine. I did mention it in a much more detailed report sent by regular mail to about 60 co-workers, most of them members of the Respiratory Care Department where the abuse took place.

You wrote that comment as if I had done something wrong. Why? If I was writing a report about the dangers of nuclear power, I would mention Chernobyl, Three-Mile Island, and the nuclear disaster at Fukushima in Japan. If I was writing a detailed report about the dangers of nuclear weapons, sooner of later I would mention Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If I was writing about the dangers of sleeping or living in a mice-infected environment I would have to mention the hantavirus.

Likewise when writing about bullying in schools and/or the workplace one must mention Columbine, Virginia Tech, and the multiple incidents of people "going postal" in the workplace. The one thing that all of those school/workplace massacres had in common, and the only thing they had in common, was that, in each instance, the person or persons responsible for the massacres had been the target of chronic bullying and harassment, if in schools from other students and/or administration, if in the workplace from co-workers and/or management.

Keep in mind that I had reported this problem of bullying to management, including senior management, many times before, with no relevant response. One of my obligations as a health care professional, is to warn others of dangers that exist. Not reporting the bullying would be like intentionally not reporting a contagious disease, a rabid animal near a grade school, or someone with HIV going around having unprotected sex with unsuspecting partners.

If I tell my grandson, "Zachary, don't run out into the road without looking, or you might be hit by a car," am I threatening to run over him with a car? Of course not. I'm warning him of a danger that exist.


The same is true of my report to co-workers at St. Alphonsus. But it's clear that to this day management has no intention of addressing the problem of bullying in the workplace there. An employee told me a couple months ago that, "It's worst than ever."

I suggest you read Part Seven of the Workplace Psychological Abuse series on my blog which I recently added. It's documentation about bullying leading to violence.

I'd read all the books mentioned in Part Seven while still working at St. Alphonsus, some of them more than once, so I was very knowledgable about bullying and the dangers of bullying. By the time I left I'd been diagnosed with and under treatment for PTSD and GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) as a result of the bullying. Even though a St. Alphonsus professional made the first diagnosis of PTSD, St. Alphonsus never offered me any treatment for the injury nor any protection from additional injury.

As for being scared, maybe you should be scared. It's clear management still refuses to address the bullying problem at St. Alphonsus.

You mentioned, "people still talk about it." That's very interesting to me, because I would love to talk about it with anyone, but everyone refuses to talk with me about it. How do you figure that? Thanks for your comment. Stay safe.

LeonardNolt@AOL.com

Anonymous said...

I do agree with you Leonard.But you have to understand,there are things you cannot say anymore.In public, such as at airports, schools.And in this case, a hospital.To make refences and make comments about columbine.

Anonymous said...

thanks Leonard,keep up the good work....

Leonard Nolt said...

Thanks for your comment, "Anonymous." You wrote that there are "things you can't say anymore." However if we can't talk about those tragedies, how do we prevent them from happening? Some states are experiencing a significant increase in cases of whooping cough. How do we reverse that trend without talking about the fact that whooping cough can be a fatal illness, especially to infants? Bullying is a safety issue. Most employer standards for employees include the requirement that safety issues be reported. I reported it many times to management, but when management refused to do anything about the problem, and even told me I would be fired if I continued to report the problem, then it was time to report it to employees and to the public since all of them were/are jeopardized by the bullying at Als. Censorship threatens people. I think it's indicative that you can't use your name when discussing a safety issue at St. Alphonsus because if you did you would probably lose your job (I'm assuming you work there). I don't work there anymore so maybe I have a greater obligation to report safety issues there, but I'm still being threatened by St. Alphonsus on a regular bases. And all because in April of 2004 I went to management to report chronic misbehavior by a co-worker that was jeopardizing patient care. Later it was documented (By St. Alphonsus) that her chronic misbehavior was also causing serious injury to another employee. But management still refused to do anything about it. What's the next step for a responsible and concerned employee to take? Just pretend it doesn't matter? When I was working there between 2004 and 2006 and becoming gradually disabled by the chronic bullying and harassment, I learned of half a dozen other people who were having the same problem, or who had recently left St. Alphonsus for the same problem. I only knew about 200 people who worked there and most of them superficially. If Als had app. 3,000 employees and 7 out of every 200 are being bullied on the job there that makes it a very big problem with possibly a hundred or more people being bullied and injured on the job by co-workers and/or management. That makes it very serious. So I ask you again. What does one do? Just pretend it doesn't matter, while someone loses their health, job, income, possibly even home and a family? What do you suggest??

Leslie Kelley-Koch said...

I have come to know, the employee handbook is nothing more than a facade; a tool to impress the new hire, and a device to weed out potential trouble- makers.Through policy the corporation appears as though they are genuinely concerned about good ethical behavior and employee rights; However, the reality is, the corporation and it's agents (managers) are focused on the hierarchy agendas;furthermore, the reporting employee who "plays by the rules", submitting their concerns, through the proper channels,(as the handbook encourages us to do)discovers instead of a change for the good, via mediation and subsequent solution they are defamed, harassed, under surveillance, retaliated against,falsely accused and/or finally, wrongfully terminated. High power vs. low power prevails. The applicable rule in handbook policy will be changed (as the loophole within the handbook provides),the Employee Handbook is seemingly a tool, used to weed out the employee, who may become a problem for the company,consequently,the terminated troublemaker then becomes an example; a warning to others who would try to stand up for their rights. Human Resources is no more than management's guns and the EEOC,although righteous in theory,appear powerless in reality. LKK

Leonard Nolt said...

Greetings;

Well I guess "Anonymous" is not going to provide an answer to my question concerning what to do about dangers like bullying in the workplace and the harm they can cause, if we are not allowed to talk about it. Perhaps he or she is researching the topic and will respond later.

Thank you for your comment, Leslie.

Workplace psychological abuse is at the stage now that child abuse and wife abuse was a few decades ago. It's under cover and largely unrecognized by the public. People who report it are laughed at, not taken seriously, ordered to be quiet, or retaliated against for reporting it. I experienced all four of those responses from management at Saint Alphonsus. I see no solution except to continue to publicize the problem, as people did with child and wife abuse years ago. Now those two forms of abuse are taken seriously, at least some of the time. They are also illegal. The same needs to happen with bullying in the workplace.

If there is a God (as I, a Christian, believe) and if God sometimes allows "things" to happen to people, that is experiences that are harmful and destructive (which I believe may also happen); what it the proper response for a Christian who is handed such an ordeal? I have no idea why I was the person selected by the bully as her target, except for the apparent reason that she did not approve of my political and religious beliefs.

But I have tried to consistently see this as an opportunity to do some good with the experience. There is one thing that is for certain, however. Under no circumstances would it be God's will that I keep the experience to myself. A caring, responsible, Christian response must include reporting what happened to others, if for no other reason, to raise awareness so they can take steps to protect themselves if faced with a similar hostile workplace experience. It's very sad however that from Saint Alphonsus, an organization which claims to be Christian, I have yet to receive a response that is even remotely close to a "Christian" response.

Recently I re-read the two reports that I wrote and sent to hundreds of other employees at Saint Alphonsus in late 2006 just after being forced from the workplace there. The short one was about two pages long and long one was 51 pages. I haven't changed a letter or a punctuation mark in them. They were accurate then and they are accurate now.

There are only two things I would do differently if I had to do it over today. I would include the name of the bully which I did not include then, in part to protect her from negative feedback. However most workplace bullies are serial bullies. When they succeed in getting one person fired or forced to resign, they start in on someone else. Bullies in the workplace should be named, in part because they do so much permanent damage to a person's health. They should be named for the same reason that someone who is HIV + and going around having unprotected sex with unsuspecting partners should be named. It's the only way to protect the public.

The other think I would try to do differently is instead of sending the reports to 450 people, I would send them to 4,000 people, and keep sending until Saint Alphonsus took the problem seriously or until everyone knew how management there participates in bullying and injuring their employees.

However my response to this problem has always been and always will be a peaceful, civilized response. (continued in next comment)

Leonard Nolt said...

(Continued from previous comment)

When I first reported the bullying to the Respiratory Therapy Department manager in April of 2004, I simply told him that the bully and I were having a communication problem. I requested a mediated resolution process. I didn't give the manager all the details of her behavior toward me because I was afraid she would be immediately terminated if I did, and I wasn't trying to get her fired, only trying to get the problem resolved.

Every subsequent time I reported the problem I suggested resolutions that would have been mutually beneficial to everyone involved including the bully and St. Alphonsus. The bully's job description and mine mandated communication between us, so blocking communication as she did was unacceptable and jeopardized patient care.

However the department manager either refused or was unable to do anything to stop the harassment. It's my impression that he refused to do so. He was visibly uncomfortable when discussing the problem, a reaction also noted by the EAP counselor, and seemed to not know what to do. After the first couple times I reported the problem, when I returned again to request that something be done, his eyes would glaze over and I would have to start at the beginning as if he had not heard the problem before or had forgotten all about it.

After a while I gave up expecting any help from him and decided to report the problem to human resources If you read my reports, you know that from then, everything got much worst, since the employee relations manager from HR eventually joined the bully in harassing me.

But for the record I always sought a solution that would be mutually beneficial to everyone involved, and never tried to retaliate against the bully, who never ceased her bullying.

As I continue to report my experiences of being the target of a bully for 2 years and 8 months at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, I will continue to do it in a peaceful, Christian, non-vindictive manner. I feel that I have forgiven those who harmed me and are still harassing me (as indicated by a threatening letter I received from Als just a few days ago, this one again accusing me of doing something I didn't do, much like the bully did). Forgiveness is a process. It does not mean that one pretends that nothing wrong ever happened, or that one does not continue to address and report the abuse. A person can forgive and still request, expect, and even demand justice, but not revenge.

I did receive one apology in 2008 from the vice-president in charge of missions and human resources. However that apology was not backed up with any actions to give it credibility. The phony psych record and my falsified personnel record have not been discarded or corrected. So now that apology seems very insincere.

Neither the bully nor the department manager who permitted the bullying has apologized for their atrocious and destructive behavior toward me. They probably won't apologize, since both received significant promotions after I left Als, the bully from night shift staff therapist to day shift supervisor and the manager from managing a single department to head of several departments.

If you work at Saint Alphonsus my advice is to stay alert. Treat everyone with respect and kindness. If you become the target of a bully, don't report it beyond the department level. From my experience you will get no help from HR and upper level management, and will only be more severely injured. Start looking for a new job and a new employer.

If you would like to communicate with me about this problem of bullying at St. Alphonsus or any other workplace my e-mail address is LeonardNolt@AOL.com. I'm willing to talk to anyone. Unlike management at St. Alphonsus, who repeatedly tried to censor me and my experience there, I have nothing to hide.

Take care and stay safe.

Leonard Nolt

Anonymous said...

A workplace as big as a hospital should consider providing employees a classes on managing aggressive behavior(MAB). Its a great course with great tools a person can use in a workplace.It can also extend to resolve conflicts between employees ect.Also what about a customer concern line employees can call with issues.

Anonymous said...

Or( MOAB) training...Which can help companies deal with internal and external problem in the workplace....