Following PHILIP’S strap-line idea, he decided to update the firm photo on the website too. He’d hired a number of new people and wanted a new picture to include his entire team. The photographer was booked for yesterday morning and PHILIP wanted his troops looking smart.
The last thing I wanted was a photograph. I was tired of being looked at. HOWARD’S latest thing was staring at me with his lip curled. He’d also taken to stop checks – like military inspections. He halted me again.
“Wait a second, Ugly. Let me look at you. Worse and worse. Yuk! How’s it possible? Every time I look at you I feel glad about going home to my wife.”
Later he came uncomfortably close, examining my face. I turned scarlet. He told me they’d done an amazing job of hiding the cleft palette scar – just a shame I still talked like I had one.
In the middle of the office he drew colleagues’ attention to his notion that, whilst my desperation for sex was an open door for sad men, my face was slamming it shut at the same time.
On Friday morning, seeing I’d made a special effort, he said my NEXT skirt was something his Nan would wear, my hair could have inspired, “Pirates of the Caribbean” and my blusher made me look like a Russian doll.
He asked me why I’d gone for the “woman serving chips, saying, ‘want a mug of tea with that, love’ image, when I knew full well PHILIP wanted corporate polish.”
My silver necklace was the ugliest thing he’d ever seen and recommended if I was looking for something to wear around my neck then I couldn’t improve on a noose hanging from the branch of a tree. Come to think of it, it was something he’d pay to have photographed.
As the photographer got himself ready, we collected ourselves in a sprawling group in the car park. After much arranging, I was told to stand next to HOWARD.
“Okay,” the photographer said, “I need you all closer together if I’m going to get you in the picture with the sign.”
“Closer,” he said.
We huddled together until he was satisfied.
He took one photo after another but didn’t look happy. “I need you guys on the left to step one pace in, and you guys on the right to step two paces in.” We jostled against each other, shoulder to shoulder. A couple of people giggled. Fee earners became impatient. Someone muttered something about there being no one in the building to answer the phones. “Smile”, the photographer said. He snapped away.
Without warning, HOWARD turned to face me.
“Jesus Christ! Get your bloody hands off me. We all know you fancy me but do you have to make it so obvious?” he yelled.
The photographer smiled in resignation as staff howled with laughter. The guy took tons of photographs but I’m guessing the first ones he binned were taken at the perfect moment to catch my horrified expression and the entire company looking at me the same way HOWARD does - looking and laughing.
See you on soon,
- Bullied By The Boss
- Welcome to my blog. My pen name is Eva James. I'm an aspiring writer paying the bills working as a legal secretary. Relentlessly bullied by my former boss, I looked for another job but the recession hit. Feeling trapped, I recorded everything in this blog, which serves as a revealing insight into workplace bullying. WEEK 1 starts the story and, as the weeks progress, you'll note what starts as banter soon spirals out of control. Sadly, it's all true. Whilst along the way I've found alternative employment, my passion for blogging about workplace bullying remains. 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."