Workplace bullying is not something to be taken lightly. Men from many different workplace environments have experienced abuse in some way, shape, or form, including the trucking industry.
Truck driver Abe shared his story of mistreatment from his dispatcher when he reported to the company that he was a danger to the road at the level of fatigue he had. Abe’s selflessness led him to share his video of the incident with as many people as possible in order to let other truck drivers, truckers in training, and non truck drivers see what can happen when it comes to being honest. Unfortunately honesty doesn’t always work in a tough situation such as his. “If you’re a non truck driver this definitely affects you… you experience the dangers that are brought to you because truck drivers are pushed beyond their limits,” Abe said.
Abe says that he had completed his 10 hour break to sleep after the allotted 11 hours on the road in a 14 hour window. He was instructed to drive 20 miles down the road to leave his empty trailer and then immediately take another 10 hours break. Abe says that he was wide awake after so much rest and could not take a sleep break that soon after his first break. He then contacted his dispatcher to report the extent of his fatigue, that he was falling asleep behind the wheel, and admitted he was a danger to everyone else on the road in his condition. The dispatcher responded to Abe with disrespect and threatened the state of Abe’s job. “One small mistake could change somebody’s life…I care about the lives of others who are out there on the road and I care about my own life.” Abe said.
Trucker Abe is not the only man to report workplace bullying. A recent project conducted by Sue O’Donnell gives readers an inside look at how negatively the extent of this abuse affects men. O’Donnell conducted interviews with men from various outlets of experience and work environments from men who work in the education field to those who work in construction.
Abuse is an ugly thing no matter how it is given nor does it matter what the setting is. O’Donnell’s project proved that abuse in the workplace results not only in self esteem problems but also health problems. The men that she questioned reported that the bullying they received included behaviors and insults that were offensive and unwarranted. A lot of this behavior was given by those in authority, and the men felt that these authoritative figures abused their position. These men said that the bullying affected more than their personal humiliation. Those in authority withheld resources and the men who were treated unfairly felt that their positions were limited and that they could move up.
Some of the health consequences included headaches, a lack of energy, weight fluctuation and even stomach issues. Negative changes in relationships along with isolation were also reported, along with monetary and reputation difficulties. One of the men from the project said, “I became testy with people including my loved ones.”
Many of these men left their jobs because of the negative work environment and felt as if they were not receiving any help from those they told.Thankfully, truck driver Abe did receive support from his company manager the following day. The manager told Abe he would not be treated disrespectfully and that it should not have happened in the first place.
As Abe said, workplace abuse happens very often but not many people see it nor are they aware of it. If we make it known, the chances of preventing workplace bullying will decrease.