Having handed in my notice last Monday and then taken it back it was essential I show at least 8 hours of genuine regret for wanting to leave. And it was genuine. I believed HOWARD would try and I didn’t want to lose my bedsit. Showing I was an upbeat team player was a little harder considering my face was still itching with hives. HOWARD, however, was done being nice.
“Simon bloody Weston didn’t make this much fuss,” he announced to our colleagues, waving a hand in the direction of my pink face.
Emotionally raw and tearful, I came upon the idea of a bet.
I bet HOWARD £10 he couldn't go for a week without calling me Ugly.
The calculation went as follows:-
Showing I’m a team player - £5
Showing I was willing to laugh it all off - £5
Not being called Ugly for a week - PRICELESS
“Easy,” he said, accepting. But HOWARD didn't want £10. He said if he went without saying it for a week I’d have to take a beginner's skiing lesson at a dry ski slope. Something wasn’t quite right about this, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Anyway, I think I would have agreed to anything.
He did it though. HOWARD got through the whole of last week without calling me Ugly.
The strange thing is it worried me more. If it was so easy for him, why hadn’t he stopped all the times I got upset? Why’d it gone on for so long? And a question began eating away at my frayed nerves.
Why was it so important to him that I go skiing?
It meant enough to break a habit he'd had from the beginning. Sure, HOWARD was passionate about skiing, but this was out of my comfort zone and straight into the Twilight Zone. He e-mailed me ski times for a dry ski slope which was miles away. He watched as I booked and paid for my beginner’s lesson over the phone.
So, yesterday evening I joined five couples and three groups of friends as we all donned skis for the first time. They’re all practicing for skiing hols. I kept to myself and, being careful in the rain, hopped sideways about half way up the slope and let myself slide down. I felt a curious detachment. The instructor shouted out exercises to try on the move; little jumps, lifting our arms, touching our knees. Up and down I went. The teacher pointed out my good balance and lack of fear. Truth is, all I felt was an aching sense of mental tiredness. I didn’t fall once, not even when I took a discrete look at my watch half way through.
In the darkness, a few spectators watched outside the perimeter, cheering their beginner friends on as they waddled up and glided down. The drizzle sparkled like snow in the flood lights. Squinting, I kept thinking I could see HOWARD down there, laughing at me behind the chain link fence.
Being honest, I’ve never felt lonelier.
I missed the bus back to town and waited alone for over half hour in the freezing bus stop. I then had a damp trudge across town to get the second bus home. By the time I got in I was soaked, too tired to eat and too cold to sleep. My teeth chattered all night.
There’s no snow on the dry ski slope, but I left feeling very much out in the cold.
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."