With HOWARD away skiing it was a bit quieter this week so I’ll give you some background. I don’t want you thinking I didn’t try, on some level, to reach HOWARD. I really did - long before I started working for him. And now I get to remember the awful day when it backfired on me.
When HOWARD started bothering me I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t understand why he singled me out. I wracked my brains until the early hours. I lost my appetite and a stone and a half. I dragged myself to work each day, exhausted. I looked terrible and still it kept me awake. I figured, back then, that there had to be an answer to it…if I could just find it.
His secretary tried to help, encouraging me to get my own back. For a few weeks we childishly stooped to his level. It made him worse. The day she failed to return from lunch I was hurt and confused; even more so when they replaced her with me, but a part of me did hope he’d calm down if I was his secretary. Next I wondered if honesty might be a better policy. I sent him regular e-mails about bullying, psychological projection and de-humanisation. He was still calling me “Ugly.” When the PM told him repeatedly to stop, worried about a Tribunal, HOWARD was confident the Tribunal would agree I am, in fact, bloody ugly.
I told him I couldn’t sleep because of the way he was. He said if I stopped playing with myself I would probably nod off quicker and for the remainder of the day played suggestively with his fingers.
Thwarted, I cut and pasted bullying information direct from websites. The Bully Online website was helpful.
One day, I sent him the following:-
"Most organisations have a serial bully. It never ceases to amaze me how one person's divisive, disordered, dysfunctional behaviour can permeate the entire organisation like a cancer."
HOWARD responded, “My little brother DIED OF CANCER - THANKS.”
You’re lying, I wrote back.
HOWARD replied, “Six days before his 7th birthday!” I realised it was true. It was bloody awful. I hadn’t meant anything by it. I mean, I hadn’t known. I didn’t know much about HOWARD back then. I thought he’d fire me.
I looked around for him. HOWARD was at the copier. “HOWARD,” I said. “I’m so sorry…I really am.”
“Oh, give over,” he said. “It was bloody years ago.” He licked his fingers suggestively and looked satisfied. I wanted to crawl under the nearest rock.
Later, HOWARD sent me a more detailed e-mail explaining his brother’s short illness. He was apologetic. It really had been a long time ago. He had only been, as he admitted in an e-mail, trying to maliciously make me feel bad.
It worked. I didn’t sleep. I spent the night kicking myself for allowing him to make me feel so guilty, but as the sun rose, I realised I didn’t want to behave like HOWARD. I was better than that. I didn’t want to cause the same offence that HOWARD did.
I have enough trouble sleeping without my conscience keeping me awake.
See you soon. I hope you sleep well.
- 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."