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Office bullies put my son off going to work

Julie Burchill writes very perceptively about workplace bullying (Comment, April 8).

My son is in his late twenties, has been mostly unemployed since leaving school and is on incapacity benefit due to anxiety and depression.

Recently, his state of mind has been improving, but earlier experiences in the workplace have been a major factor preventing him from applying for jobs. He dreads a repetition of them.

In almost all of the short-term, unskilled jobs he took, there was some idiot in charge who thought the best way to treat the new lad was to tell him how stupid he was and make him feel as small as possible.

The anxiety and resentment this caused, against a background of feelings of inadequacy due to educational difficulties, combined with his nervous disposition, have built up a barrier against the prospect of applying for a job.

This culture of machismo and bullying in the workplace is an old problem which may have got worse as a result of the decline in union power, as Julie suggests.

But either way, isn't it time we all grew out of it?

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