Poor Ann Curry. She was not only publicly fired from her cohost position on the Today show, but she then had to sit there and weep about it to Matt Lauer -- who probably couldn't wait to see her go. But apparently that was far from the first time the show had humiliated her. Behind the scenes, Ann was reportedly dealing with a "boys' club" that relentlessly bullied her, made fun of her, and conspired to get her fired in something her haters called "Operation Bambi." If you've ever been bullied at work by your coworkers or superiors, you'll totally empathize with what Ann went through.
Ann had spent decades working her way up the newsroom ladder, but when she finally reached the pinnacle, hosting alongside Lauer, ratings began to slip. Reportedly producers, especially Executive Producer Jim Bell, thought that Ann didn't have "chemistry" with Matt. But Ann was also reportedly hassled in many other excruciating ways, according to author Brian Stelter in his book Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV.
After once wearing a bright yellow dress, staffers reportedly dubbed her "Big Bird." Producer Bell reportedly had a reel made of Ann's on-air flubs, and once called staffers into an office to poke fun of her. Bell denies the allegations.
Another time, Ann's things were stuffed inside a coat closet, as if she'd already been fired. Ann reportedly complained to friends that she was being "professionally tortured." The fact that Ann's planned ouster was given a name like "Operation Bambi," as if the producers were at war, shows you how relentless and determined they were.
Ugh, I tell you, we talk a lot about relationships and what to do when things start getting rough -- but office relationships can be even more trouble. You don't have the option of screaming at your coworker or boss or running out of the room when he or she gets to be too much to deal with. At least, not if you want to keep your job. You also often don't have the option to pick up and leave -- not in this economy, not if you have yourself and others to feed, not if you want to keep your health insurance.
And too many companies routinely overlook this sort of office bullying. If you complain about it, it's YOU who is seen as the troublemaker.
But Ann is getting the last laugh, because even now that she's been gone for almost a year, the ratings have continued to tank, and everyone is blaming it on Matt Lauer. Karma!
Plus, Ann still does interviews at Today, and now no one can say the ratings fall is due to her. So ... there ya go. Bullies never prosper.
Have you ever been bullied at work?
Image via David Shankbone/Flickr