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."

Friday, 18 December 2009

WEEK 24 Ignorance is Bliss

The Employment Lawyer asked for a word in private. She was cagey about what was happening. Her colleague was the one dealing with matters; she was helping out. She said I’d probably be approached by the office junior’s firm of solicitors asking for a witness statement about HOWARD’S bullying. She also said her colleague would ask me to make a witness statement supporting HOWARD. I swallowed.

Everything is horribly complicated. HOWARD’S problems at home, my problems with HOWARD, the office junior’s sacking…everything seems to be, well, in collision. It’s becoming the legal equivalent of a motorway pile up. The worst thing is that for a few days my Bullied by the Boss blog felt like an oil tanker thundering towards it all. With hindsight it’s a tad overdramatic, but that’s how it felt.

How was I supposed to provide a supportive witness statement for HOWARD when Bullied by the Boss is the mother of all witness statements against him?

I tried talking to HOWARD. “Can’t you put it down to banter?” I asked.

“Don’t you understand how this works? Take you and me, for example. Taken out of context, the man in the suit at the Tribunal won’t be happy that I encourage you to hang yourself. Context is everything!”

I’d totally put my foot in it. Annoyed at my ignorance, HOWARD sent me an e-mail showing how he could convince a Court of law, by tweaking the truth, that I’m the one bullying him. “You see,” he’d written. “Context is everything.”

He began showing off. Everything innocent thing said in front of us by colleagues was magically transformed. This person could be done for bullying…that person for sexual harassment. He could bring someone else up on intimidation. He rammed his message home. Context is everything, he repeated.

When a third e-mail arrived, showing off his legal skills, I was annoyed. HOWARD was trying to prove his innocence by showing how easy it is to prove innocent people guilty. What’s next? Sending them to prison?

I’m not a lawyer so perhaps it’s easy for me to talk. I don’t have any legal angles to take into account. I’m hoping to avoid getting drawn in any further than I am. I don’t know what the outcome will be, but the law being as it is, it moves slowly and it’s a long way down the road yet.

I’m out of the loop. The Employment Team are having regular meetings. I don’t know what’s going on. HOWARD, huffy at my naiveté, eventually calmed down.

When it comes to this sort of complication at work - ignorance is bliss.

See you soon,

Eva x

1 comment:

Johanna said...

Did you have to write the statement then?
Not knowing how the law works is hardly naive! I struggled to fathom how a group of people lying about me was to be defended by questioning the WAY they handled the procedure of lying..when the truth was none of the actions I was accused of were grounds for the action they proposed..."may lead to your dismissal" with no investigation sure leads to a delclaration of intent.. I had to laugh at the level of education of my persecutors for light relief.(or cry!) the words still echo in my head..its a "mindfield " you know...but nevermine!just be pacific and everone will belive you ..loldilol..BUT whaterver you do don t undermind anyone!IYSWM

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