SINGAPORE - When Jerry informed his boss Sally (not their real names) of his intention to transfer to another department in the company, he was promptly told that he was not good enough for the new position.
During a lengthy talk with Sally, Jerry said he was told - in a "motherly tone" - that he would never make it in the job because he lacked certain skills, and would not be able to live up to the standards of the superiors there.
"(Sally) will tell you that you are no good in your work. She crushes your confidence," said Jerry, 34.
"I never once felt that she was trying to retain me. Instead, I felt her aim was to make me feel small about myself and my work," he added.
What Jerry went through was office bullying, which is not uncommon in today's workplace and is often tolerated, said human-resource (HR) experts.
Said Mr Josh Goh, assistant director of corporate services at HR consultancy The GMP Group: "Workplace bullying is the inclination of individuals or groups to use persistent hostile and unreasonable behaviour against a colleague.
"It encompasses verbal, non-verbal, psychological and physical abuse, and humiliation tactics."
Jerry said a similar fate befell a colleague, who had been working in the department for around three years, when she asked for a transfer.