During the Great American Truck Show in Dallas this August, I had the honor to meet a woman, Beverly Peterson, who dedicates much of her life to defending people in the workplace who are and have suffered the effects of bullying. Some think this isn’t a serious epidemic going on and will say, ” just tell them off”, or “if you don’t like it quit”, or “report them to their superiors” ( What happens if even the superiors are covering up to protect the company?).
Ahhh….if it was only just that easy all the time. It’s easy to judge, until you or a loved one are in that position. Oh, how we will then seem to change our non empathetic and very apathetic tune when the circumstances hit home.
Some circumstances for a specific job sometimes don’t allow leaving, quitting, or escaping, and the victims become seriously abused, either mentally or even physically.
Here’s one example of Bullying within the Trucking Industry :
A woman truck driver trainee on a truck can be in a very vulnerable position with a trainer. Alone, away from home and desperately trying to learn and gather enough of the required miles by law (to be eligible to apply for another job as miles of experience is a requirement) The trainee can feel trapped, afraid, threatened,intimidated, fearful to tell anyone of the abuse that is going on…even to tell someone in their company for fear of losing their job, and worried they will never get another driving opportunity somewhere else! Who do they tell? What do they do? They’ve heard the stories about others who have reported the abuse/harassment to HR and have been fired for it! They just paid 6000 dollars at a CDL truck driving school, what should they do now? Is there somewhere to turn?
The trucking industry has had a series of allegations by drivers, many of them women, who have expressed and eventually reported that these types of abuses have taken place in their life.
Listen closely to these 2 very short videos, as Ellen Voie of Women in Trucking and Ronald Fletcher, a teacher at a community college in Texas, share with Beverly, their comments to questions asked to them regarding this controversial topic. ( Listen closely at the questions being asked)
Remember: Many women are afraid “to tell others in the company” so because of that, “there is no record” of a report.
Here is a Radio Show That Allen did back on June 17th of 2009- Bullying in the WorkPlace Part One-
The follow up show is here: Hostile Training and Work Environments within Trucking 6/23/2009
Shame on any of us who turn our backs on our fellow man just because it hasn’t happened to us!
We reap what we sow………..be careful who you judge.