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. 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."

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

WEEK 13 The Holiday

I’ve been thinking of a weekend visit to Edinburgh for ages, but the PM reminded me I still had to tell HOWARD. It wasn’t my taking Monday and Friday off I was reluctant to tell him about, it was the fact that I knew he’d guess who I was thinking of going with. Thank God for e-mail.

As HOWARD strolled over I knew it was going to be a long day.

“Another bloody holiday request? I said I’d take you on the understanding you have no life. Where are you going? Has your appointment for gender realignment finally come up? Going away with your mother, I bet. Twin room I suppose – to keep the costs down, (snicker, snicker) but what if she finds a man?”

HOWARD forwarded me e-mails along the lines of “Edinburgh, Gay Friendly Hotels and Accommodation.” If I leaned back in my chair a little I could see him laughing to himself.

“How are you getting there? Booked a leisure coach trip for little old ladies, eh? By the time your coach reaches the motorway you’ll have learnt all the words to ‘Hang out your washing on the Siegfried Line’ and be stopping every 10 minutes for a toilet break.”

Just before I went home he cranked it up another level. “There’s a term for people like you, people who go away with their mothers – no joke now…an actual term – It’s SAD BITCHES”. (Canned office laughter).

I avoided eye contact with the accountant who told me she was also going away with her mum this year. Worried I’d take her down with me, she slunk from the room. It’s funny how you think you’re the only one affected, when in fact we are all affected by it to some extent. I wondered how often my colleagues caught the ricocheting bullets meant for me.

“Forget the holidays over here.” He said. “An ugly girl like you is safe to travel anywhere. You could walk drunk down a Thai beach wearing a sign reading I won’t remember anything in the morning – and, trust me, no-one would touch you. Few girls are that fortunate. You should try backpacking!”

It’s a variation on a regular joke of his. Sometimes its Somali pirates (when they see me on the boat, they jump back off). Sometimes he uses history – Stalingrad soldiers (who see me after kicking the door in and then turn and leave).

I need a change of scenery. I’m not ashamed to be going with my mum. I’m not going to creep around pretending otherwise to HOWARD. Working for HOWARD makes a girl appreciate having her mum around to talk to. I can’t wait to get away.

Perhaps it’s less to do with where I’m going or who I’m going with and more who I’m getting a break from.

See you soon.

Eva x

1 comment:

Johanna said...

What a fab city..I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.Far better to holiday with someone you love and loves you..than be with someone just to look like you are one of a gang..I see these girl gangs hanging out together with the bully cos they want to look popular..They photograph themselves "having fun" in some bizarre charade and are poisonous organising the next nasty action on the next target often from within their group..
Humouer is an acquired tast and has to be a socially agreed convention to work..

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