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Bullying has been fore focus over the last couple of months and it has become paramount that it still happens in our adult professions not just in children playground.




gerund or present participle: bullying

use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force them to do something.

Why is an important topic in pharmacy?

Why now and what can be done by speaking up about it?

Well it all stems from taking that first step and realising it is not ok to be treated in such a way especially if there are no grounds for it. You could be the hardest working employee yet you could be at the centre of a bully. Now you would ask me why that would be. If you hard working and achieving results then how can that lead to bullying? Well it can happen for many reasons and the main one that comes to play is that the line manager may feel threatened and want to put you back down to reality.

How do I know this so well? Because I am referring to myself. I have faced work place bullying and yes I was shocked it was even happening to me. You go to work to make a difference, to serve your customers to the best of your ability, ensure your store is excelling in their targets and obviously the end result is to start going up that career ladder that you have been working so hard for.

At no point in my career as a manager was capability or conduct ever questioned. Capability and conduct are to key elements in the employee handbook as to why your performance would be questioned. Each year I evolved and was put on course after course for my development to a higher management position, I was traveling 100miles a day and this year became more unique, I found out I was expecting my first child. Pregnancy at no point affected my work or standards, I not only managed my own 100 hr store but managed relief pharmacists as well as traveled to store checking compliance on safer care and increasing store PSI. So you could say my conduct and capability was far higher than an expected store manager. So I hear you ask, how did this turn into bullying?

It turned into bullying when two area managers worked together to “get rid of me”, they saw the traction that I was making and were trying to get me to knock back the levels and put me back into place if you will. I voice this loud and clear now because I have seen it happen before.

The details I cannot reveal due to legal reasons but I can honestly wish this is something I would not wish upon anyone.

I ask myself were the scars worth it? If you asked me that question 12 months ago then I would have said no. I had family members and colleagues say to me I would look back at this and grow and learn from it. Now 16 months later yes I have grown from it. I have had many women get in touch saying my story inspired them to take action, which makes me so happy. I urge you to call BS because it isn’t worth it. The stress, large work load, no recognition is not worth it. Own your unique skill set and be true to you.

Bullying needs to be addressed in the corporate world as it gets dismissed; the size of the corporation instills fear and stops people from speaking up and telling the truth. As pharmacists we have a duty of candour to tell the truth, if we can’t do that then I’m sorry you’re in the wrong profession.

More needs to be done and it is something I want to get into further and work with pharmacist support and PDA to try and get some figure to back up the concerns we are seeing.

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