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  #81  
Old 24.02.2011, 15:44
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Re: Mobbing in CH

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I think this is an exclusively Swiss term? My intermediate German instructor (Swiss from Basel) and I had a heated discussion about its meaning in class last autumn, as she insisted it only applied to bullying in schools. Having seen "Mobbing" used in the press and on TV applied almost exclusively to the workplace I was having problems understanding her. That being the case, I am not sure if the Germans use "Mobbing" in terms of abuse at the workplace in the same way that the Swiss German do. It is most definitely not an English word, at least not in the same manner as they use it.
I can tell you from Danish there's a similar term ("mobning"), which basically means bullying, esp in the workplace/school. I'm guessing it's similar in other Germanic languages.
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  #82  
Old 24.02.2011, 16:11
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

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I can tell you from Danish there's a similar term ("mobning"), which basically means bullying, esp in the workplace/school. I'm guessing it's similar in other Germanic languages.
It's in Italian as well. There was an article in the Times a while ago about it, explaining why it's commonly considered to be an English word, but isn't really, as "workplace/school bullying" is never described as mobbing. A false friend, linguistically.
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Coming from personal experience, I would never trust HR.

HR works for the company not for you.
This is entirely accurate. However, one of the jobs of HR is to protect the company against idiot managers who think that what little employment protection there is, doesn't apply. People get payoffs because HR have a duty to do all they can to prevent the case going to court, and the company getting bad publicity. Having said that, in my case, I got some extras added to my exit package, which seemed to be based on human decency.
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  #83  
Old 24.02.2011, 16:19
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

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Thanks to everyone for their helpful posts. They're really helpful.

I am experiencing something similar at work right now. It's been going on for 8 months. It started with my direct superior and his boss calling me to a meeting to tell me I'm too slow, not working enough. I took it objectively and tried my best to work better and faster, but it didn't help. So I asked for some clearer indication of what they need/want, but got no answer - verbal or written. Just More, faster, better. 3 months later I get told I'm on a performance improvement plan and if I don't do better my job is gone.
I deliver my projects on time and the project teams are really happy with me and my work. But my bosses still insist I'm not good enough and gave me zero percent for my two main projects in our appraisals, even though I delivered

Weird.

Anyways, thanks for letting me vent

Cheers
FF
I would keep a written track of anything happening. I would also email, after an encounter as you mentioned, and quote their request and I would ask them if that is how they meant it and if you understood correctly. I would post a visible copy of this to their supervisors and to the team you work with who is apparently satisfied with your work (I would mention how many times this has happened before and ask why they need you need to improve your performance and would list your successes). Mobbing often happens when there are no witnesses, behind closed doors. Visibility might decrease the intensity (or, you might get fired).
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  #84  
Old 24.02.2011, 22:06
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

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All of the above is of coursed based on the understanding that you're not an incompetent workshy!
At first I read "impotent workshy" which would have made sense too
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  #85  
Old 25.02.2011, 10:46
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

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Thanks to everyone for their helpful posts. They're really helpful.

I am experiencing something similar at work right now. It's been going on for 8 months. It started with my direct superior and his boss calling me to a meeting to tell me I'm too slow, not working enough. I took it objectively and tried my best to work better and faster, but it didn't help. So I asked for some clearer indication of what they need/want, but got no answer - verbal or written. Just More, faster, better. 3 months later I get told I'm on a performance improvement plan and if I don't do better my job is gone.
I deliver my projects on time and the project teams are really happy with me and my work. But my bosses still insist I'm not good enough and gave me zero percent for my two main projects in our appraisals, even though I delivered

Weird.

Anyways, thanks for letting me vent

Cheers
FF
Sorry to strike a negative note but it is very difficult to win in a situation like this. Your direct superior and his boss can play all the high cards & can also lie about you which is difficult to contradict.

For the sake of your health & enjoyment of life consider looking for another job; within the same company or outside.
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  #86  
Old 25.02.2011, 15:17
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

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You're on your way out . Watch your back, find out your rights and document everything that happens or you will be shafted.
Also start applying for new jobs pronto!

This happened to me and 3 other non natives I know and we all ended up losing our jobs.

Is this one of the big Swiss banks or insurance companies?
Thanks for the heads-up CosmicGirl. I fear also that they want me out. They have been talking about wanting to employ more externals rather than internals. They seem to think it's cheaper .

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Since you are on Performance Appraisal, why dont you ask your Managers to Evaluators how do they define "Faster and Better" in writing and also how do they intend to "Measure" it against your performance.

Get these in writing, NO verbal explainations and bear in mind objectives and performance have to be realistic, measureable and objective. (SMART)

You might not be able to keep your job, unfortunately, but you can do 2 things:

1) Gather evidence that you have been unfairly treated and get compensation.

2) Based on above, they might not sack you.

Its time to get a bit aggressive and assertive and no more "Yes Boss" attitude. Get selfish and look after yourself as first and paramount priority.

And even if you go down, unfortunately, atleast give some crap back to them and stress them out. So maybe one day when you'll look back you will not have any regrets being as Salmon - Swimming against the flow only to get fecked.

Job, you will find another, sooner or later, anyway. Good luck!
Thanks Wasted. That's good advice. Fortunately I've kept track of it all and shown it to HR, councelors, Dr. etc. Others in the team are experiencing similar problems, too. But they haven't kept a written record . Ultimately I think HR is only looking out for their manager buddies, but at least I can throw all of the guideline books (that my bosses are not following!) at them.

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I would keep a written track of anything happening. I would also email, after an encounter as you mentioned, and quote their request and I would ask them if that is how they meant it and if you understood correctly. I would post a visible copy of this to their supervisors and to the team you work with who is apparently satisfied with your work (I would mention how many times this has happened before and ask why they need you need to improve your performance and would list your successes). Mobbing often happens when there are no witnesses, behind closed doors. Visibility might decrease the intensity (or, you might get fired).
Thanks MusicChick. I asked them nicely, face to face, to start out with, but they couldn't elaborate. That's when I started writing it all down and sending a summary of our meetings for them to confirm or amend. No reply.

Anyways. On with the show. I hope I don't lose my job... we really can't afford it at the moment .

Take care and good luck to all those in the same boat!

FF
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  #87  
Old 25.02.2011, 15:49
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

Hi FF,

If it all goes belly up and you have been employed in Switzerland for a year then you will have the unemployment insurance to fall back on that you paid into around 70% of your salary.

Remember also if you worked in the European Union in the last 2 years this can be also be taken into account on your quota for the entitlement to this payment ( also including EEA countries) not sure on the % for this part though.

It is very important if you are made to leave the way it is done on paper etc ( references) reason for leaving as this can cause a problem with getting this insurance payment.

Good Luck
And just remember you are not the first this has happened to and you will certainly not be the last!

Cosmicgirl
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  #88  
Old 26.02.2011, 00:06
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

Dear all
I wish I had checked this out last summer with you guys. It was like Kafka was controlling my life. I think that anyone coming to work here needs to understand this (most non-Swiss colleagues experienced similar things, though were maybe better at dealing with it) and how to respond to it (mobbing sponsors, anyone?)

I worked in a company that was highly 'mobbing aware' but also 'mobbing proficient'. Having always worked in the UK and with mostly international people, I generally experienced a relaxed 'get it sorted' attitude. nothing therefore prepared me for the petty rules, twisting of situations, hierarchical oddness, bare-faced lying and the apparent collusion of HR (a complaint against my manager resulted in HR getting the opinion of my manager before getting mine - strangely, he didn't admit to the mobbing).

I love living here, I love my work, I met some great people and I am grateful for the chance to experience this life. But that was one weird and terrifying experience.

Thanks for letting me share
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  #89  
Old 27.02.2011, 15:41
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

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Hi FF,

If it all goes belly up and you have been employed in Switzerland for a year then you will have the unemployment insurance to fall back on that you paid into around 70% of your salary.

Remember also if you worked in the European Union in the last 2 years this can be also be taken into account on your quota for the entitlement to this payment ( also including EEA countries) not sure on the % for this part though.

It is very important if you are made to leave the way it is done on paper etc ( references) reason for leaving as this can cause a problem with getting this insurance payment.

Good Luck
And just remember you are not the first this has happened to and you will certainly not be the last!

Cosmicgirl
Thanks for the support and tips, Cosmic girl - I'd forgotten about insurance! Fortunately I've been here for almost 4 years so it should cover me.

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Dear all
I wish I had checked this out last summer with you guys. It was like Kafka was controlling my life. I think that anyone coming to work here needs to understand this (most non-Swiss colleagues experienced similar things, though were maybe better at dealing with it) and how to respond to it (mobbing sponsors, anyone?)

I worked in a company that was highly 'mobbing aware' but also 'mobbing proficient'. Having always worked in the UK and with mostly international people, I generally experienced a relaxed 'get it sorted' attitude. nothing therefore prepared me for the petty rules, twisting of situations, hierarchical oddness, bare-faced lying and the apparent collusion of HR (a complaint against my manager resulted in HR getting the opinion of my manager before getting mine - strangely, he didn't admit to the mobbing).

I love living here, I love my work, I met some great people and I am grateful for the chance to experience this life. But that was one weird and terrifying experience.

Thanks for letting me share
It seems a big part of life here, huh? Though Swiss employees are not exempt! A member of my team (Swiss guy) went through it for a whole year before he bailed just recently. But the main offender is not Swiss

It's indeed amazing how managers all gather together to protect eachothers' backsides. Fortunately HR doesn't seem to be doing that at my place... Though it's clear they don't want it to be known that mobbing happens in *their* company. I suspect the only reason they're not coming down hard on me is because they know damn well I have clean, hard evidence. Sigh.

Soldier on!

FF
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  #90  
Old 27.02.2011, 18:09
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

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...
It seems a big part of life here, huh? Though Swiss employees are not exempt! A member of my team (Swiss guy) went through it for a whole year before he bailed just recently. But the main offender is not Swiss
...
That was the same for me. The offender was the same nationality as me. He had me, along with two Germans, in his sights. He's since left and now works for an insurance company.
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  #91  
Old 27.02.2011, 19:01
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

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Thanks for the support and tips, Cosmic girl - I'd forgotten about insurance! Fortunately I've been here for almost 4 years so it should cover me.



It seems a big part of life here, huh? Though Swiss employees are not exempt! A member of my team (Swiss guy) went through it for a whole year before he bailed just recently. But the main offender is not Swiss

It's indeed amazing how managers all gather together to protect eachothers' backsides. Fortunately HR doesn't seem to be doing that at my place... Though it's clear they don't want it to be known that mobbing happens in *their* company. I suspect the only reason they're not coming down hard on me is because they know damn well I have clean, hard evidence. Sigh.

Soldier on!

FF
I would still be carefull regarding HR if I were you however much it might appear they are on your side. They tried to carve me up to cover their and my bosses arse.

As others have said they are working for the company which is treating you this way.

Watch out what you tell HR and box clever so they can twist things in their favour!

Hope you manage to sort things out , as this kind of thing leaves a pretty nasty taste in ones mouth!.........YUK!

Last edited by Cosmicgirl; 27.02.2011 at 19:02. Reason: correction
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  #92  
Old 02.03.2011, 10:03
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

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I would still be carefull regarding HR if I were you however much it might appear they are on your side. They tried to carve me up to cover their and my bosses arse.

As others have said they are working for the company which is treating you this way.

Watch out what you tell HR and box clever so they can twist things in their favour!

Hope you manage to sort things out , as this kind of thing leaves a pretty nasty taste in ones mouth!.........YUK!
*Sigh* Cosmic girl, you're so right, it seems. HR has taken their side and seems to be doing exactly what you said: Twist it all around

I figure the only thing I can do is perform like a monkey until I find something else

I have a doctor's appointment, but I'm not sure I should trust the company doctor either! I'm afraid they'll then turn it around like I'm not fit for the job or something!

Thanks again for the advice and support!
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  #93  
Old 02.03.2011, 10:35
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

Maybe the RAV can advise you on where to get good advice?

There are employment laws and there are probably young lawyers running cheap advice centers, it is just difficult to find them.
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Old 02.03.2011, 10:49
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

Is your company big enough to have an Arbeitnehmervertretung (ANV)? This is essentially an employee-run organisation to protect the rights of the employees. Not a union as such, but run more at the individual company level.
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Old 02.03.2011, 14:02
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

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Maybe the RAV can advise you on where to get good advice?

There are employment laws and there are probably young lawyers running cheap advice centers, it is just difficult to find them.
Thanks, that's a good point. I could try, but I'm so drained of energy. Why is it such a battle to get a little fairness?

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Is your company big enough to have an Arbeitnehmervertretung (ANV)? This is essentially an employee-run organisation to protect the rights of the employees. Not a union as such, but run more at the individual company level.
Yes, it's one of the bigger companies, you could say... I haven't heard of any ANV organization here, but thanks for the tip. I guess I should check these options out, but it's really affecting my health and family. I just want to give up and get out ASAP.

Thanks for the support, guys,

FF
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  #96  
Old 02.03.2011, 14:25
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

About "it's really affecting my health and family. I just want to give up and get out ASAP."

Best approach; you, your health & your family should come first in your priorities
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Old 03.03.2011, 19:57
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

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About "it's really affecting my health and family. I just want to give up and get out ASAP."

Best approach; you, your health & your family should come first in your priorities
I agree 100% and am doing exactly that.

It's a shame - Company values and all that preach integrity and all that, but it's all a facade
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  #98  
Old 03.03.2011, 22:21
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

So sorry to hear how it's going for you. Why is human nature so weak not to assist? ie why is it that no one wants to be 'the odd one out' to help someone else? why does everyone retreat so as not to stand out? I hope that when I'm in HR I won't let people down who are being victimised!
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  #99  
Old 03.03.2011, 23:13
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

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I’ve followed events of the thread below by litespeed, and recently, a radio discussion on this subject. I thought I would start a new thread re: MOBBING.
http://www.englishforum.ch/employment/308-i-think-i-am-about-lose-my-job.html


I have known a number of unlucky friends who have found themselves in similar situations or worse – jobless! IMO this “method” of bullying seems to have been known, used and ‘gotten away with’, for sometime here in CH. I think that people working in CH, or wanting to, should at least be aware of it. Slowly mobbing and its effects are now being recognised.


Litespeed was brave enough to fight back and get what he was entitled to. There are maybe others out there who are in a similar situation and unsure what to do.



What is Mobbing?
The term used "mobbing" comes from the word mob. Its semantic field includes both abuse and attack, and it relates to situations where people at work are systematically or regularly placed under severe psychological strain through negative treatment or negative forms of communication over a longer period of time.



Are there are any other people who have had similar experiences - whilst working in CH? Why not share your thoughts/experiences that may help someone else?



More info:
http://www.respect.ethz.ch/faq/mobbing/index_EN
oh yes, indeed! I am a woman working in IT and often find myself working as the only female in the IT department. I am very good at what I do - I have worked for some of the best known corporations in the world.

This illicits a lot of envy in some Swiss people, who, let's face it, can often have their options limited.

I have been demoted and replaced by the manager's friend who only had 1 year's experience, and somehow they all thought this was normal.

I have a lot more to add to this story but if someone wants to hear my experience with the court system, please IM me and I will be pleased to share.

Let's just say that the large banks (some of them) are not always very fair to their minority employees.
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Old 03.03.2011, 23:15
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

There is also some insurance you can take out to cover the cost of some legal fees.
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