Workcover case managers who do a great deal of damage to injured workers are probably narcissists

There’s nothing better than spending a rainy Sunday arvo pondering why your case manager is evil, and/or why you are being bullied at work…We can’t help but think that so many of the nasty case managers and employers that do a great deal of damage are probably narcissists.  In a great article, sourced by our wonderful supporter and contributor John McPhilbin, this personality defect is summed up wonderfully well. Another anonymous injured worker also shares a very enlightening paper describing bullying in nursing as an organised crime rather than differences or personality clashes…

Workcover case managers who do a great deal of damage to injured workers are probably narcissists

In ancient Greek mythology, a hunter named Narcissus was famous for his handsome looks. And he knew it. Infatuated with himself and derisory towards others, he rejected all those who yearned for his attention. One day, upon seeing his own reflection in a pond, Narcissus fell in love. Happy just to stare all day at the beautiful image in the water, he soon forgot to eat and drink, and eventually died. But his name lives on … in the form of the workplace narcissist…and probably the nasty workcover case manager!

According to Dr Roy Lubit, author of Coping with Toxic Managers, Subordinates and Other Difficult People, the narcissist is a person with a grandiose sense of self-confidence who pursues power at any cost. It’s the person who uses others to get what he (or she) wants, and feels no remorse for the trail of betrayal left behind. Often caused by childhood trauma that resulted in diminished self-esteem, the narcissist makes up for it by being ruthless as an adult.

It can be your boss, a colleague, or an employee, and… yes, it can be your nasty workcover case manager.

But since many narcissists use their charisma to fulfil their obsession for career success, they’re usually found in the upper echelons of the corporate hierarchy.

Often caused by childhood trauma that resulted in diminished self-esteem, the narcissist makes up for it by being ruthless as an adult. 

Professor Keith Campbell, from the University of Georgia, is the author of The Narcissism Epidemic. He told me the main difference between narcissism in bosses compared with narcissism in colleagues is the issue of power.

“In both cases, I would suggest maintaining the best boundaries you can,” he says. “Do not be overly trusting, keep records of interactions, temper your feedback so that the narcissist does not get overly reactive – and find better co-workers at the soonest opportunity. However, this advice is especially relevant with the narcissistic boss.”

Temper. Your. Feedback. Three important words, and they’re important because giving a narcissist feedback can sometimes make the problem worse.
Realising they’ve been caught out, they end up becoming more sinister – only this time they’re careful to stay undercover.

But they rarely stay undercover for long. In a study of over 100 CEOs conducted a few years ago, researchers at Pennsylvania State University found that narcissistic bosses were more likely to engage in risky strategies. Why? Because of their need for visibility. After all, the more daring their vision and strategy, the higher their chances for attention. They desperately want to be noticed – not necessarily adored, but noticed.

You might be that narcissistic CEO. Dr David Thomas, author of Narcissism: Behind the Mask, reckons narcissistic leaders are responsible for the global financial crisis.

If you’re one of them, can you be cured?

Dr Thomas’s research indicates it can’t be done via feel-good seminars and workshops. Other academics posit that therapy is the answer, while some insist there’s no cure at all. A narcissist, they say, is probably a narcissist for life. But, really, if you were a narcissist, you wouldn’t care. That’s the whole point.

This, guys, implies that you evil case manager is -yes – SICK!

In the meantime, the workplace suffers. An analysis by Florida State University concluded, unsurprisingly, that workplaces with narcissistic people have lower levels of job satisfaction and productivity, and greater amounts of stress.

Approximately one per cent of the population can be diagnosed with narcissism, and here’s the curious thing: it’s more prevalent in men than in women. But women are catching up. Psychology professors Jean Twenge and Josh Foster have calculated that growth in narcissism since 2002 has been stronger among the girls than the guys.

For those of you left to endure a workplace narcissist, take heart (so to speak) in a study released earlier this year by psychologists at the University of Michigan. They discovered that narcissists are more prone to health problems, particularly hypertension and heart disease, because they’re always so aggressive.

Now, now, injured workers, don’t go “all soft” on us please, don’t feel sorry for your abusive, evil case manager because she may/has been abused or suffered some childhood trauma, he… Perhaps use this information wisely… and ask your case manager “I am not sure why you behave the way you do, but research clearly shows that people with tendencies and traits like yours have likely suffered neglect or abuse in childhood…Did you? Is there something I can help you with overcoming this “trauma”…” 😉  [Gggrrrraaaaw!]

Fact is many people have suffered some form of childhood trauma and do not “turn out” nasty!

Let’s just call it karma!
[Original Source:]

Research proposal

Also, John McPhilbin has put forward a research proposal as one of his assignment based on the hypothesis that many people who suffered from early insecure attachments end up being most prone to becoming bullies. He believes this would be research worth pursuing in the future, and so do we!


Bullying of nurses  in public hospitals

Another anonymous injured worker has been doing some research on an assignment for her own studies. She came across this very interesting research paper and felt it needed to be shared [Thank you for sharing T ;)]

This paper describes bullying in nursing as organised crime rather than differences or personality clashes.

After reading this article the injured worker wondered whether this was the hospital where she works. I wondered exactly the same, for I too used to work in a large public hospital and I too have been bullied to verge of suicide during my last attempt to return to work.

“Although it doesn’t directly speak about Workcover victims, collaboration, sabotage and lying have been common place in my return to work program“, says the injured worker.

“Sadly other nurses on Workcover have experienced the same harassment or worse. This article is the closest reflection of what nursing is like like Australian public hospitals. A long way from the good intentions of Florence Nightingale”

“Workcover recipients are either victims of corruption or discriminated through their return to work programs“.

“They describe the networks and collaboration as a cult structure. That hits the nail firmly on the head.”


You can also [popup url=’ ‘]view the research paper in a scalable popup window[/popup]


Thank you both, John and T for your fabulous contributions, much appreciated!





24 Responses to “Workcover case managers who do a great deal of damage to injured workers are probably narcissists”

  1. I am so thankful for this blog… Why? Callie Sonter also managed my workers compensation claim. I have to say that it was the most hellish time of my life. In my opinion, this woman has no compassion whatsoever.

    She got me to see one of Allianz’s dodgy doctors — I won’t name the doctor here — any injured worker simply has to Google this doctor’s name to know that she is a an insurance company hired gun. Lucky for me my union was very helpful we managed to have the doctor’s report withdrawn as it wasn’t conducted in accordance with WorkCover guidelines.

    I certainly got the impression that Callie Sonter had a target to achieve (and a bonus to receive) and that’s all that interested her.

    Keep well away from Allianz, they are a disreputable company whose employees cannot be trusted.


  2. This arvo I watched a program called “Psychopaths” on Foxtel and it was about some advancements re diagnosing psychopaths based on Prof Hare’s  diagnostic tool. They also found that there are amazing physical brain differences in psychopaths and now believe that psychopaths are actually born psychopathic rather than “made psychopathic because of childhood trauma and other environment or emotional traumas”. Freaky! They’re incurable according to the latest research…

    workcovervictim3 May 2, 2012 at 5:45 pm
  3. Anyone get a screen print of the tweet from Callie Sonter where she named the address of an injured worker?

    This one!/Calliesonter/status/196092661696970753

    It appears to now have been deleted. Of course it would still exist within Twitter’s system.

    This case manager must be prosecuted and the person whose address was posted (a “Shane” based on other tweets) must be informed of this breach of his privacy.

    • Oh yes, unfortunately for Ms Sonter, someone made a screenshot and forwarded it to us to preserve the evidence of this rather very very intimidating public threat of…VIOLENCE (?).

      We believe this behaviour is most inappropriate!

      For example. there are a lot of “fake accounts” on Twitter, even Julia Gillard has a few fakes and those tweets are extremely deragotary, however we do not see Ms Gillard openly threatening the “faker” with violence or other…?

      See attachment.

      Also published on our insult page

  4. I don’t think I will ever understand why my, or any one’s injury (from a serious accident & not caused by me) means that I/we have to deal with these lying, cheating scumbags. But for now, they are a part of my life. Lucky for me, I have many fantastic friends & family members who make sure they support me in any way needed. If not for my supporters, I wouldn’t have made it this far. I too would have been a ‘unreported workcover victim’ who out of shear desperation, could not take the systematic abuse & bullying for 1 more day.

    The more we share our stories, the more people who read this blog & the more strength we gather – we will become stronger & we will gather the power to stop the bullies Case Managers from hurting another injured worker.

    For those who already have the strength & the power to find the information & stories & discussion papers – keep them coming!

  5. Callie  colli boofhead may an elephant fart in your genral direction which rock do hide under

  6. Hi, I have been seriously ill treated and relentlessly bullied by Xchanging case manager Susan Doran. I nearly committed suicide from what she did to me and had to have emergency psychiatric treatment. I even have IME reports that have documented the degree of bullying and harassment, and my treating psychologist has also witnessed several of those behaviours (telephone and emails). She was put on [intervention] notice several times via my lawyers and worksafe was also put notice, however Susan Doran kept breaching those orders for well over one year, with no respect whatsoever for my well-being. I begged her to please not to contact me directly as I kept having nervous breakdowns when she did. She pushed me on the very edge of suicide, I came extremely close. I am a very seriously injured nurse and a kind person. I also suffer from 2ndry depression and her bullying and harassment caused me severe PTSD to the point where I still get startled shitless when I hear the phone ring. When I was suicidal (and she knew) she told me she would do everything to stop my psych counseling, she also said I did not need to see a psychiatrist as I could talk to her. She also told me many times that she was not interested in my physical deterioration (i.e. my surgery had broken down) and forced me to attend psych IME when certified totally unfit to assess” if I could engage in rehab and RTW”. She harassed me to do volunteer work when I had a completely dislocated joint and needed urgent surgery . I am still very sick because of all of this and have since been certified unfit from a psych view (for years) alone ( as well as from a purely physical point of view.)  I have nightmares everyday and cannot comprehend why she treated me like dirt when I am a good honest person and genuinely injured.

    Injured worker April 29, 2012 at 5:40 pm
    • I am genuinely shocked by this behaviour.

      May I commend you for staying strong and not allowing this bully to drive you to suicide — though it seems that she nearly did.

      Who is responsible here, And who should be held responsible? It would seem that the case manager — Susan Doran — would be personally responsible, but also, her employer Xchanging, is responsible.

      There is simply no way that Xchanging (team leaders, other case managers, medical review teams etc) would not have known about the behaviour of Ms Doran. Because they knew, and because they took no action to stop the bullying and abhorrent behaviour of their employee, they should also be held criminally liable.

      I congratulate you for having the courage to document all of the activities of Doran and Xchanging — you now have all of the evidence you need to progress this further. I congratulate you for coming forward and speaking up about this despicable behaviour.

      It is time to strip Xchanging of its agency agreement in Victoria, and if indeed it can be proven that Sonter is responsible for the abuse of the person at that Cronulla address then Allianz should be stripped of its agency arrangement in NSW.

      Bullying people and bullying organisations must be held to account.

    • This is where Brodie’s Law would come in very handy.  Individual case managers and their employers could be prosecuted – with hefty fines and the potential for prison sentences in extreme cases.

      There appears to be a real jungle mentality happening amongst case managers.  A large fine and prison sentence would send a message to all case managers and their employers, I am sure.  The real test, however, will be the fact that many of these nasty people hide behind rules and regulations.  In many ways they can argue ‘I am simply following the rules’.

      My advice, record every conversation and every threat.

      John Mc

      John McPhilbin April 29, 2012 at 7:25 pm
  7. This appears to be the REAL twitter account from an Allianz NSW case manager (see article)


    Very very scary “sleep with 1 eye open” — is that a threat? Hope it’s not to an injured worker, but I believe it is!!!!

    In case the twitter is deleted, here is a snapshot attached


    • CallieSonter may just be the perfect candidate to try out Brodie’s Law.

      John McPhilbin April 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm
    • Whoever lives at that address should immediately contact the NSW Police Force and make a complaint about this. That Twitter messages would certainly appear to be a threat made by an Allianz employee against someone residing at that address.

      This is shocking behaviour but it comes as no surprise.

      If indeed it is Callie Sonter, or one of her immediate family (like her “son” that was threatening this website — A WorkCover Victims Diary — just yesterday) then there are grounds for the immediate termination of Sonter’s employment.

      Allianz and WorkCover NSW must now immediately examine claimaint records to ascertain if there has ever been a workers compensation claim made by anyone from “2/1 roker street, Cronulla”, and if there has been, then Allianz needs to pay a price for this case manager’s breach of the privacy of the individual concerned.

      Someone ought to write to the poor reseidents of that address to inform them of what someone in a position of power — apparently an Allianz employee — has done.

  8. What the F*uck?



  9. Remember what Erin Brockovich told me just a few weeks ago in person: “she is shocked that what I have experienced, (and still am experiencing) at the hands of my workcover insurance company [Xchanging]. Erin and I  strongly believe that there is a systemic pattern of misconduct and abuse, which seems to be the “norm” here and that this is unacceptable…”

    She says there is no need to be afraid and to fear workcover insurance companies and case managers. You are the power! And together we can make the insurance companies very afraid of us!

    The fact is that many, if not all workcover insurance companies and their case managers treat us like criminals and in fact by doing so are negligent to the point of putting our very lives at risk. As is made very clear through our blog and its interaction with injured workers, the biggest issue is that YOU are not alone, which ultimately means that a pattern has been established by workcover insurance companies. In the interest of saving big money, insurance companies and their employees turn a blind eye to the treatment of injured people whose care is entrusted in them.

    All the while many horrible case managers [and therefore workcover insurance companies] continue to do irreparable damage to you [the injured worker] with no regard for your safety, not to mention to the quality of your life.

    Erin and I ( URGE you to share your stories and experiences! Many of you have suffered equal and possibly even worse atrocities at the hands of workcover insurance companies.

    We know the number of injured workers like you and me, who have been ill treated and abused are staggering, probably more staggering than we can possibly imagine, especially as the victims, like you and me-  are weak, sick, scared and have been bullied for God knows how long…. making YOU less likely to actually stand-up for YOURSELF.


    I can honestly say that my former case manager nearly KILLED me (I was on the verge of committing suicide) because of the way she treated me, I am yet seeking a way to name and shame this most despicable woman, who is STILL inflicting pain and suffering upon many other victims – some who have shared their horrid stories on this blog.

    I hope you are reading this, Ms D, for I will ensure that the world will know what you are doing to genuine injured workers like me, every day.

    workcovervictim April 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm
    • In short, this is a pattern of widespread systemic bullying that should be outlawed?  I am wondering whether Brodie’s Law could be just as easily applied to insurers?  This may well be worth pursuing as a potential class action against insurers like Alllianz , Xchange etc.  If enough people come forward with their stories, I would imagine someone in the legal profession would want to pursue it.

      Brodie’s law to get workplace bullies

      Steve Butcher
      June 1, 2011

      Brodie died in September 2006 after what a magistrate described as ”persistent and vicious behaviour” towards her at the former Cafe Vamp in Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn.

      Staff members Marc Da Cruz, Nicholas Smallwood, Rhys MacAlpine, and Gabriel Toomey – and Da Cruz’s company – pleaded guilty last year to workplace charges.

      The five defendants were convicted and fined a total of $335,000.

      Kind regards

      John Mc

      John McPhilbin April 29, 2012 at 5:03 pm
  10. Allianz Australia Limited = Home of Bullies
    WorkCover NSW = Home of Bullies

    Ahh ahhh arghhhhhhh April 29, 2012 at 3:40 pm
  11. Hi None

    Don’t get me started on bullying in WorkCover itself!   A shocking culture if there ever was one!

    Intimidation and fear: welcome to agency charged with stamping out bullying

    Saffron Howden
    September 21, 2010


    THE state government agency responsible for investigating workplace bullying is harbouring a serious bullying problem in its own ranks which it has been attempting to keep quiet.

    But the report has been buried and the agency has attempted to cover up the problem, telling its minister it revealed no bullying.

    Read more:

    I also agree that how insurers routinely bully injured workers needs to taken much more seriously than it appears to be.  I refer to it as procedural bullying – case manager attempt to use rules and regulations as weapon.

    Kind regards

    John Mc

    John McPhilbin April 29, 2012 at 3:27 pm
    • Anyone — staff or injured worker — who has been bullied by WorkCover or an insurer should please consider making available all such information so that we can share and learn from this.

      Whilst I don’t speak on behalf of this website I would encourage all to provide documentation to

      There is also a Twitter account also seeking information on bullying by workers compensation authorities and insurers with the email address

      We must rise up and fight this broken system.

      Evidence please April 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm
  12. Thanks, John…mmmh…I believe my case manager, unfortunately for me falls into the pychopathic category 😉

    workcovervictim April 29, 2012 at 12:51 pm
    • WorkCoverVictim

      How unfortunate!  I know from a social science perspective, there are a number of variables that need to be considered in looking at reforms.   Hence, the reason that it is important to understand what role organisational cultures play.

      Another area I think is important to consider is the role of kindness, care and empathy , and what role org cultures play in encouraging or discouraging their  use.

      When Barry Schwartz gave a speech titled ‘ The Real Crisis? We Stopped Being Wise’ at a TED conference, he received the longest standing ovation in TED’s history.

      Barry Schwartz makes a passionate call for practical wisdom as an antidote to a society gone mad with bureaucracy. He argues powerfully that rules often fail us, incentives often backfire, and practical, everyday wisdom will help rebuild our world.

      Kind regards

      John Mc

      John McPhilbin April 29, 2012 at 2:14 pm
      • I would tend to agree with you about organisational cultures being a problem.

        WorkCover NSW has an internal culture of bullying. This has been well-documented and people holding senior positions within WorkCover NSW have been named in parliament.

        Mellayne Williamson, for example, is one such person adversely named yet guess what her role is now? She looks after complaints (and compliments!)

        See: (I note that Ms Williamson has her employer hidden from view)

        There are countless other examples of this bullying culture, from the executive level (including current members) down.

        This bullying and adversarial culture translates into more of them same when dealing with external parties such as injured workers.

        Of course there is no such bullying when it comes to dealing with the insurers as these are considered to be valuable (and incestuously, potential future employers) — pow wow sessions and long lunches paid for by the likes of Allianz and Xchanging executives on the corporate credit card.

        • None

          I am now really considering doing some research and a paper on the level of bullying being perpetrated by insurers.   A quick search produced this article:

          The Guardian 13 December, 2006

          NSW workers’ compensation: A heartless system

          Dr Con Costa
          National Vice-President, Doctors’ Reform Society

          There is a noticeable sharp decline in the number of people requesting a Workers’ Compensation Certificate following injury at work. And, if a claim does go in, doctor and patient are inevitably bombarded with telephone calls, faxes and requests for information or a medical report from the insurer and the “rehabilitation provider”. (Rehabilitation organisations are contracted to insurance companies to monitor work injury cases and “assist with work return”.)

          The situation has now become critical. New workers’ compensation laws are allowing rehabilitation providers and insurance agents to intimidate treating doctors and constantly harass the injured worker. Injured workers are steered towards the company’s doctors at the time of injury, or, where an injured worker insists on seeing their own doctor, insurance agents and “rehabilitation providers” (paid by the insurance agents) try to dictate management of the injured worker to the treating doctor. (It is not well known but the doctor has some rights in the new legislation including the power to change the rehabilitation provider — although few doctors know about these rights and it rarely happens.)

          John McPhilbin April 29, 2012 at 3:46 pm
          • Thank you, John, this is very very interesting indeed! I have forwarded it to my treaters!

            workcovervictim3 April 30, 2012 at 11:10 am
  13. I think it is also important  to understand that many case managers etc who do bully probably fall into one of three categories.  Not all will be narcissists.

    Types of bullies

    Recent bullying research has sought to explain bullying by the types of behaviours practised by bullies. For example, clinical psychologist Keryl Egan suggests that bullying behaviour moves along a continuum with three clearly identifiable types marking differences in bullying behaviours. The basis for the typology reflects the motivation, intentionality, responses to challenge and capacity for coaching.  According to Egan there are three types:

    1. The accidental bully .  Accidental bullying includes insensitive, aggressive and demanding behaviours which have as their aim some ‘higher good’ such as … reaching high standards, beating the competition or the financial survival of the company. … they regard tough, insensitive and driven behaviour as normal in a pressured workplace. The health and well-being of others is … secondary to primary business goals.
    2. The narcissistic bully.  Narcissistic bullying is further along the continuum of severity. It is often evident in highly motivated or talented individuals, and is characterised by “destructive, self-absorbed attitudes and behaviours, a lack of empathy, blaming, nitpicking, devaluing others, lies, boasting and taking credit for others’ work.
    3. The psychopathic bully. The most destructive behaviour is that of the psychopathic bully who deliberately seeks to destroy others through fear, whisper campaigns, marginalisation and destabilisation. Egan notes that psychopathic bullies have considerable capacity to engender widespread confidence  in their abilities. This means that their destructive behaviours do not become apparent for some time. It is also unlikely that they will change their behaviours.

    According to Egan different kinds of bullying behaviour will tend to generate different responses to accusations of bullying, with some bullies highly amenable to changing behaviours with appropriate coaching. By contrast, narcissistic and psychopathic bullies will resist efforts to begin behavioural changes. This very complexity is one reason why there needs to be greater understanding, awareness and analysis of bullying if effective organisational and public policies are to be developed.

    Kind regards

    John Mc