An Exclusive Bookclub
For more than a year after Bob had started working at the District Office he had been organizing group lunches and happy hours -- anyone who was interested was invited to attend. He thought this was a great start to change the dysfunctional culture he found in the District Office, but Bob wanted to bring the camaraderie back to the office. He suggested to a variety of people that a manager's book club would be educational and an enjoyable way to discuss management and supervisory issues in a safe and social setting. It seemed to him that there were too many people in the college managing staff when they did not have the background to do so.
A few people encouraged Bob to go ahead and organize such a group, but Bob declined since he had enough on his plate with sitting on committees along with organizing group lunches and happy hours. He didn't want to be the guy who organizes everything.
Soon a District Office Supervisor's Book club was formed with the founding members including the same group of people who excluded him from the happy hour and dinner at the conference in Las Vegas: the Director-who-hates-him, her Assistant Director, and several other colleagues who had attended many of the lunches and happy hours Bob had organized. These are all people Bob worked with regularly.
But, Bob was not invited to join the book club. It was even kept a secret from him and he only found out about it when a friend of his was invited to join and told Bob about it. Bob's friend, demonstrating what true leadership really is, declined the invitation due to the exclusive nature of the club and not wanting to socialize with people who would form an exclusive club on college property.
"The way female bullying is done often differs from male bullying. ... it's often more common for female bullies to form groups to deliberately exclude certain people..."
Bullying is... “Persistent verbal and nonverbal aggression at work, that includes personal attacks, social ostracism, and a multitude of other painful messages and hostile interactions."
Of course the Exclusive Book Club meets just down the hall from Bob's office so he sees everyone gathering for the book club every two weeks. It's a nice periodic reminder of his lack of social standing in the college.
A friend of the bullies said to me in the hall, surprised, "I heard you left the college!"
No, some people just want me to leave...