Yesterday, OLLIE and I arrived at work at the same time. As I settled in, my mobile phone rang.
“That’s got to be your mother,” he said. “No one else would phone you.”
Just as annoying as being insulted by HOWARD is being insulted by OLLIE doing a poor impression of HOWARD. He routinely resurrects HOWARD’S jokes. I answered the call. It was OLLIE’S secretary saying she’d be late in. Happily, I passed on the news.
“Eva, your eggs dry up by the time you’re 35. How old are you?”
“You know I’m 36, OLLIE.”
“Older prima gravitas!” he announced. “Medically you are an old woman. What’s the point of you being alive? Nature intended you to have children young.”
Yeah, yeah, I’d heard all this from HOWARD the day before, only he was worse.
“Thinking about it,” HOWARD had concluded, “its nature’s blessing. You’re the type of person who should be chemically castrated to prevent them from having kids.”
Ignoring OLLIE, I was more concerned about the recent Carry On style e-mails I’d been getting from a high ranking solicitor who worked near HOWARD. Another e-mail arrived asking whether I wanted to be ‘slippered’ over a red velvet cushion or a floral poufee. I wanted to be left alone.
By yesterday afternoon, as I put his files away, HOWARD’S behaviour worsened.
“Do you dream about being raped, Eva? I bet you pray for it…wishing - if it has to be rape – please let it be a gang one!”
“I bet when you’re watching Jodie Foster in The Accused you think, “I wish that was me…I wish that was me...”
HOWARD asked me if I lay awake at night, scared at every sound outside my door. He wanted to remind me that, though I may think I’m too ugly to be raped, there are some deeply sick men out there for whom this wouldn’t matter.
I threw the files in the correct drawers and returned to my desk, only to be followed by HOWARD. He carried a letter which needed the address changed. Looking thoughtful, he asked for a pen. I handed it over. He scrawled something across the letter. He’d done this before so I knew it was offensive. He took his hand away and showed it to me. I was losing the will to live. I just stared at him. Seeing me at a loss for words he covered the letter up and scribbled further. Again, pulling his hand away – he’d written about my private parts drying up like an old prune. Underneath he’d written how I think women who are raped have all the luck.
At the same time, another soft-porn e-mail arrived from HOWARD’S colleague - something off the internet. I didn’t open it. This place was disgusting.
HOWARD showed me everything he’d written. Then he whispered, “I’d better shred this.”
“That’s the best place for it, don’t you think?” I replied.
He pressed the letter to him so no one could see it until he’d safely fed it into the shredder.
“I know you made that mistake about the address, Eva,” HOWARD announced for the PM’s benefit. “But, I’m not going to mention it again. I think we should put this whole disgusting matter behind us.”
This morning I arrived half hour early. Checking the coast was clear, I jammed the thankfully small amount of shredding into my carrier bag. It’s going to take me some time to stick the letter back together, but OLLIE isn’t the only one who can resurrect things HOWARD has said or done the day before.
See you 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."