In my thirty years as a strata lawyer I’ve seen bullying in strata a few times but there is nothing like being in the firing line to focus one’s attention on the topic.
I’ll call my bully Anne because that’s her real name. Anne is on the committee but is too busy to come to meetings or read her emails or take my calls to discuss our relationship or her particular demands. However, that doesn’t stop Anne from having highly developed opinions about my performance and me.
When she calls she yells and swears and threatens me with the sack. When she emails she does it excessively, up to ten emails at a time, and she uses capitals and exclamation marks. She sets impossible deadlines that set me up for failure and has a nasty mocking tone in her voice that tends to trivialise my work and makes me feel a lesser being.
After taking my last call from Anne, I went home physically affected by our exchange and I felt for the younger people in the strata industry, the less seasoned, the less articulate and educated and those more vulnerable than me.
I’m not going to take this conduct anymore. I’m not going to work in fear of losing my job because the person I’m dealing with has a problem. I choose to believe most people are inherently reasonable and the committee and the owners corporation will come to see Anne’s conduct for what it is; the manifestation of her issues and not a reflection of mine.
The Federal Government provides protection for bullying in the workplace. Owners of strata management companies have a duty of care to their employees and it’s time those of us who are leaders in this industry started to call people out on this behaviour.
So there Anne!!!!!!
To see how Block Strata is transforming strata management services visit www.blockstrata.com.au and say ‘NO’ to bullying.