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."

Monday, 14 December 2009

WEEK 23 The Truth and Nothing But...

Now and again you have a day in which everything changes. It starts out normal and then gets more and more – well, surreal isn’t a strong enough word. I’d booked the morning off. With the fuss HOWARD kicked up before I left you would have thought it was a sabbatical. Last week, when I had handed in my holiday form, HOWARD handed in a request that the Sunshine Variety Club replace me with a different “spastic” for him to teach basic typing, preferably one who takes fewer half day holidays.

I knew something was up. I asked HOWARD if I’d missed anything and he said no. He was cryptic though and the PM seemed to know what he was on about. Then HOWARD sent me an e-mail which said to double delete what he sends me. Another e-mail arrived with a single attachment. Opening it, I thought for one horrifying, jaw dropping moment that he’d found notes I’d made for my blog. Then I understood in a similarly horrifying, jaw dropping moment that I was reading something legal – and written by somebody else.

It was an extract of a witness statement, written by our former office junior, proposing to take legal action against the firm for unfair dismissal due to her medical condition. She cites HOWARD’S bullying as a big part of this.

The office junior was sacked months ago due to ill health. I won’t say what it was – she was sensitive about it. She missed a lot of work. The witness statement was specific. Amongst other things it accuses HOWARD of insulting her disorder, looks, weight, figure, her background and the amount of money she earned.

HOWARD forwarded me the lengthy rebuttal letter he’d sent to our Employment Lawyer. He swears he never said a word of it. He maintains she’s after money and maliciously using the insults she’s overheard him saying to me in order to extort it. I don’t know about the other stuff, but she’s certainly telling the truth about HOWARD. I overheard most of it. She’d been the next ‘loser’ in line after me.

Still, he’s adamant she’s personalised his jokes about me to strengthen her case against the firm.

“Why don’t you join her?” He said angrily. “Then you can all bloody well sue me in a class action.”

I wouldn’t waste my time. HOWARD has given me numerous examples of how he can twist things and justify anything. It’s what he does for a living, it’s what they all do, these solicitors. Its one big game and they love it. Taking HOWARD to a Tribunal is like volunteering your team to play football at the opposing side’s home ground knowing you’re a couple of men down.

Now, my job, that’s different. I’m paid to type things accurately – so that’s what I do. Even when the truth is stranger than fiction – it’s still the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

See you soon,

Eva x

1 comment:

Johanna said...

Another close ironic..the visualisation of the consequences of being found out really add to the suspense of you "movie".. with so much precedent for legal action You would imagine your case was incredibly strong..were the rules of justice up to date and supportive the zero tolerance approach to bullying could be so effective..In a school context the reality of a clear cut case should bring clear consequences...Policies are all very well but procedures make the consequences clear..I have struggled to get intelliegence on this from our school..
Why, when you know what lies will result from such mind terrorists would you embroil yourself in a "fight" against them..particularly here in the ultimate scenario when a lawyer knows all the tricks in the book and this is a cat and mouse game for them..a pleasure to torture...
I have severe fears when bullies are left to continue...of the consequences for the next Tim said the pattern reveals the intent..Our 16 year old bully has to my understanding about 4 incidences on record...what will happen to the 5th? interesting how, despite his malice Howard really felt insecure when you had a holiday.. I imagine you were propping him up..

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