So then...

About Me

Welcome to my blog. My pen name is Eva James. I'm an aspiring writer paying the bills working as a legal secretary. Bullied by my boss in 2008, I looked for another job but the recession hit. Feeling trapped, I started this blog. Trevor Griffiths, legendary theatre, TV and film writer said at the outset, "I like the writing a lot: smart, cool, placed. If you were prepared/able to take your prick of a boss on, you'd marmelise him." I was unaware back then that it would catalogue one of the most extreme cases of workplace bullying in the UK. I've found another job, but am subject to a gagging order. I'm still blogging, of course. Just don't tell the lawyers!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Office Routine

Let’s be honest, most offices are places of dull routine. My working day is much the same day in, day out, spent plugged into Howard's dulcet tones on audio-tape. I type away and drift off.
Howard's routine is a little different - his comedy routine that is. When I’m not listening to him on audio I can catch his spontaneous, live performance of Eva based repartee. Today the theme was my ex-husband and my lack of boyfriend.

“I’m not surprised your ex-husband left you, Eva. I mean, I can’t imagine what the man went through having to wake up and find you in the bed. Is that why he left? He couldn’t bring himself to touch you? Yuk!”

He got a few laughs. But less than usual. Also, the first time he pulled this routine I’d been embarrassed, but I’d heard it too often. Was I finally getting used to it? Was his routine getting, dare I say, boring?

I looked around the office as he continued. Most were zoned out working. Ollie's secretary yawned and stretched. Two solicitors were staring out the same window and the office junior was standing by the copier looking on the verge of dribbling. Howard's stand-up routine was getting stale. I was triumphant. Trouble was, I wasn’t the only one who noticed. Howard became louder and more animated until his audience woke up.

“So, Eva, tell us. Your ex-husband…was your marriage annulled or did he compromise with the sex thing on condition that he put a pillow over your face so he didn’t have to look at you? Eugh! How long has it been exactly?”

Then he told the Practice Manager he’d have a whip round to afford me a male prostitute - to put me out of my misery and stop me mentally raping him. Then I was accused of spiking his BBQ Pot Noodle with the date rape drug Rohipnol.

And so it went on…and on.

It was like that scene out of The Nutty Professor. The one where Professor Sherman takes the girl he fancies to a comedy club. Do you know the one I mean? The comedian makes fat jokes about Sherman, who tries to laugh it off. The comedian is crueller - the room is splitting their sides. Sherman’s smile fades. The comedian continues; the laughter continues. We know Sherman is humiliated and we feel for him. The comedian revs his routine up and asks the audience…‘Should I get him?” The audience yells, “Yes,” and screams for more.

Well, it was like that, minus a sympathetic TV audience.

I got in after work feeling really sorry for myself - not only because of the jokes, but because I was wrong. There are some routines you never get used to.

So I’ve decided to take control. I've just subscribed to I’m scared, but the only way to change someone else’s behaviour is to change your own. And maybe it’s about time my own routine changed. I’ll keep you posted.

Eva x

1 comment:

Johanna said...

That takes some courage after that level of abuse..Not an easy step..Finally did it without much success too..but you want to live happilly ever after you have to meet a few princes! and frogs!

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