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, 24 March 2010

WEEK 48 Money Talks

I’m so tired I can’t see straight. Yesterday was HOWARD’S conference. In the morning I sat at home waiting for my lift. I’d been determined to get the train but the Senior Solicitor said he’d overheard HOWARD and if he didn’t stop milking the situation and offer me a lift he’d have a word.

HOWARD was late and I wondered if there was a problem. I’d given him my mobile number, but he’d only made a face and thrown it in the bin. When I asked him what he’d do if there was an emergency, he replied that even if he got to my flat and found it on fire he had no duty to phone the Fire Brigade. He assured me he’d pop to the local shop for sweets and watch the show.

When he arrived he reiterated his instructions from the day before. It was going to be a long day and I probably wouldn’t have time for lunch. Not that he’d pay if we did. If I had to introduce myself then I was to say, “My name’s Eva James and I apologise for being a tedious person.” And finally, if he had to refer to me at all, it would be as his assistant, Baldrick.

Like most things you dread though, the conference didn’t turn out so bad. Some of it was really interesting. I managed to catch the end of a fascinating talk on the gender pay difference in law firms and how if female solicitors aspired to senior positions it might as well still be the 1970s. I threw myself into the job and I was so busy that the first time I looked at my watch a whole two and a half hours had slipped by. The second time I looked, I was shocked to find it was four and a half hours later. As HOWARD predicted, I’d forgotten all about lunch. Before I knew it, we were on our way home; an exhausting day of leaflets and running round after HOWARD far behind me.

We got on quite well on the way back. It was the camaraderie, I suppose, of a job well done. When HOWARD dropped me off he even waved goodbye using more than two fingers.

Problem was, of course, I thought it would last.

Today, he wasn’t in for half an hour before talking about how ugly I am. He involved two colleagues in debate on how men prefer pretty with a horrible personality than ugly with an amazing personality. You could learn to live with someone with a horrible personality but not the other way round, he announced, staring at me.

“I never met anyone who hates women as much as you.” I said, hurt. “And

I’ll remember everything you’ve said next time I work 11 hours straight for you”

“I don’t hate all women,” he said. “Just the ugly ones.”

“If you hate me so much,” I demanded, “why on earth don’t you replace me with a man?”

“It’s quite simple,” he replied. “You have to pay them more.”

There was nothing to say after that.

I consoled myself in the thought that men might earn more than their female contemporaries, but it doesn’t stop them being cheap when they want to be.

See you soon

Eva x

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