Author Topic: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss  (Read 4047 times)

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Offline Baron Scicluna

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52-year-old editor for a University of Virginia magazine committed suicide at the end of July, claiming his boss kept bullying and harassing him:

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/MindMoodResourceCenter/editors-suicide-draws-attention-workplace-bullying/story?id=11421810&page=2

The poor guy, who did suffer from clinical depression, made 18 complaints to higher-ups in the final two weeks before he killed himself. Other workers also complained, yet the boss remained on the job. The boss sent an e-mail after the suicide to the staff, which essentially confirms he is a douche:

"As Kevin struggled through these issues, particularly in the last year, his work suffered and his demeanor, to my mind, was often unacceptable for the workplace. We feuded over this often, and the majority of the VQR staff sided with Kevin.

"Kevin in particular had a history of disagreeing with his bosses, and now that I was the boss I should expect to be hated," Genoways wrote.

Instead of just writing a concilatory message, the asshole tries to defend himself. Um, asshole, if the majority of the staff is siding with the employee over you, maybe you need to reexamine your attitude.

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Offline Stitch

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2010, 06:40:43 AM »
Bosses don't have to be liked, but if everyone hates you, you might want to take a hint.


Offline Moderator1

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2010, 07:02:41 AM »
Today Show had another employee on this a.m. and he ripped the boss. Hard. If what the guy says is true, the boss needs to be out of there on a rail.
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Offline slappy4428

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2010, 07:14:00 AM »
Today Show had another employee on this a.m. and he ripped the boss. Hard. If what the guy says is true, the boss needs to be out of there on a rail.


Think the family lawyered up to make this guy pay?

Offline wicked

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2010, 07:30:37 AM »
Workplace bullying in this business is a lot more common than people think, especially with the passive-aggressive nature of most newsrooms I've worked in.

Offline writingump

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2010, 07:43:10 AM »
I've worked for guys like this, and while thoughts of suicide never entered my mind, their persona does take a toll on you. They can't take it but they relish in dishing it out -- and often. Without naming names, the last managing editor I had at my last newspaper lived by vendetta. Sorry to hear of this guy's passing and I hope he's now in a better place.   

Offline JayFarrar

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2010, 07:51:28 AM »
VQR is a quality publication. One of the very best out there, if you like the long-form.

The editor, who killed himself, was the one that took VQR to the mountaintop, or, at the very least, kept it there.

This is some terrible news.
Impossible you say? Nothing is impossible when you work for the circus.

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Online HandsomeHarley

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2010, 09:10:12 AM »
Been there.

Didn't do that.
My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son of a bitch.

can you help me remember how to smile ... make it somehow all seem worthwhile ... how on earth did I get so jaded ... life's mystery seems so faded

Offline Tarheel316

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2010, 09:23:20 AM »
What a fucking asshole ... glad I don't work for him.
Just give Frank Gore the damn ball!

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2010, 09:43:54 AM »
I think many of us have known bosses who would consider someone's suicide a badge of honor.

Offline txsportsscribe

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2010, 09:45:41 AM »
Bosses don't have to be liked, but if everyone hates you, you might want to take a hint.

my ex-publisher never took the hint. not at least until they showed him the door.

Offline Diego Marquez

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2010, 10:35:04 AM »
We had a suicide in one of my former shops, and it changed my boss' attitude. Then, after a while, their attitude changed back to the one we had all grown to know and despise.
Sorry for the editor, the family and the co-workers.

Offline Baron Scicluna

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2010, 11:02:58 AM »
I won't pretend to know all about depression and stuff like that, but to me, if a boss was driving me to that extreme, I would more likely be in jail for punching the asshole out instead of killing myself.
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Offline brandonsneed

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2010, 11:52:25 AM »
God, this situation sounds all kinds of awful. Feel nothing but pain for the guy and his family. And can do nothing but wonder about the boss. How and why do people become like that?

So sad.
Hey.

Offline Rusty Shackleford

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2010, 12:03:06 PM »
This sounds horrible. As someone who has dealt with depression and asshole bosses, this really strikes a chord with me.
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Offline Double J

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2010, 12:45:17 PM »
Ditto. RIP, Kevin.
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Online HandsomeHarley

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2010, 02:35:21 PM »
I won't pretend to know all about depression and stuff like that, but to me, if a boss was driving me to that extreme, I would more likely be in jail for punching the asshole out instead of killing myself.

The boss is lucky the guy didn't take his ass down with him.
My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son of a bitch.

can you help me remember how to smile ... make it somehow all seem worthwhile ... how on earth did I get so jaded ... life's mystery seems so faded

Offline Tarheel316

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2010, 02:56:52 PM »
You got that right Harley.
Just give Frank Gore the damn ball!

Offline slappy4428

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2010, 04:24:16 PM »
I won't pretend to know all about depression and stuff like that, but to me, if a boss was driving me to that extreme, I would more likely be in jail for punching the asshole out instead of killing myself.
Bosses don't have to be liked, but if everyone hates you, you might want to take a hint.

my ex-publisher never took the hint. not at least until they showed him the door.


Worked with an EE so evil that I found myself praying his pacemaker had stopped working during the night and my optic nerve twitching like a guitar string.
They demoted him from publisher and EE to just EE -- he should have seen the handwriting on the wall. When he was fired, we had a party.
A few years later, he worked at another small paper in Michigan. And one of our former sports guys worked there too. The sports guy had been pushed over the edge by the asshole editor and wound up going after him with scissors. Didn't really get him, but the guy wound up with 30 days in the county jail -- served on weekends from 11:59 p.m. Friday to 12:01 a.m. Monday.
He didn't have a jury trial of his peers; none of us would have ever convicted him... a few months later, the EE was fired from his second job.

Offline wannabeu

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2010, 05:59:02 PM »
I won't pretend to know all about depression and stuff like that, but to me, if a boss was driving me to that extreme, I would more likely be in jail for punching the asshole out instead of killing myself.

The boss is lucky the guy didn't take his ass down with him.

If someone drove me to that level, that SOB would be a dead dog before I commit suicide. 

Offline Totally Krossed Out

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2010, 07:27:07 PM »
I'm sure the boss is a huge asshole, but I feel it's unfair to blame him for the suicide. And I feel it's irresponsible journalism to imply he played a part in it. There are a lot of horrible bosses in the world, and most people don't go as far as to kill themselves.

It's horrible what happened and I feel absolutely terrible for the victim and his family, but if anybody is to blame for this it's the school. If there were 18 complaints in two weeks, the school should have done something to at least separate the two.

Offline Baron Scicluna

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2010, 07:36:46 PM »
I'm sure the boss is a huge asshole, but I feel it's unfair to blame him for the suicide. And I feel it's irresponsible journalism to imply he played a part in it. There are a lot of horrible bosses in the world, and most people don't go as far as to kill themselves.

It's horrible what happened and I feel absolutely terrible for the victim and his family, but if anybody is to blame for this it's the school. If there were 18 complaints in two weeks, the school should have done something to at least separate the two.

Yes, the school should have done something, especially with 18 complaints in two weeks. And yes, the guy obviously had depression issues.

But it's perfectly fair to blame the boss for this. The guy left his place of work and shot himself after the negative feedback kept piling up. If the guy was a good boss, odds are, the editor would still be alive today.
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Offline Bristol Whipped

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2010, 08:21:11 PM »
It's a bad sign when one of your employees -- reportedly a longtime friend of yours -- commits suicide, you're blamed, and then your lawyer comes across as being more sympathetic to your friend than you are.
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Offline podunk press

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2010, 08:25:09 PM »
Makes me thankful for my boss. Wow.

It's amazing how one person can ruin a newsroom, though.

Offline britwrit

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Re: U. of Va. magazine editor commits suicide, blames bullying boss
« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2010, 05:12:15 AM »
Just a thought. An employer is legally required to provide a physically safe environment in which to work, no? At some point, if there is a "mentally unsafe" environment caused by bullying, should OSHA take a lead in tackling this?

I know that opens up a huge of worms but it's worth considering...