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."

Saturday, 29 May 2010

WEEK 67 All or Nothing

The biggest problem people have when trying to prove they’ve been bullied is a lack of evidence. After the event, when asked to give examples of the incidents including times, dates and names of those involved, it's hard to recall specifics.

“But I left months ago...” they'll say. “I can’t precisely remember, but it was around October, or maybe it was November – but it was horrible. And it got worse!”

The best case scenario, with no evidence, is a lawyer will pull out a Compromise Agreement and the worst case scenario is they’ll say it’s a waste of time. Not a leg to stand on. The bully has sneakily covered their tracks. The victim looks like a liar.

My own bully, on the other hand, got complacent. HOWARD, secure about the amount of money he brought it, wasn’t concerned about covering his tracks. The more they let him get away with it, the more he believed he was invincible. He sent me scores of offensive e-mails for a start. And I collected the evidence.

Too much evidence apparently.

There is so much evidence my solicitor isn’t comfortable. He’s had to book a “reading day” at the Tribunal, which will cost me more money. There was a tone to his voice, as if he wished we could leave half of it at home.

“It’s just expensive all round,” he said.

It may be expensive and inconvenient for people to take time to review the evidence but it is more costly and inconvenient to have no proof against HOWARD when he accuses me of being the secretarial version of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.

Keep a workplace bullying diary; keep e-mails which prove what you are saying. Keep everything you can. If you are being bullied you’ll need it all.

“Reading days” are a good way of reminding the Employment Tribunals, Employment Lawyers and Barristers just why they’re doing the job in the first place.

Eva x


Fiona WordsBird said...

I've noticed that an awful lot of the legal advice you're getting tends towards 'get the best deal'.. 'don't give it all you've got'.. 'settle and run'.

Even the solicitors who help people like you with a case seem more intent on achieving a win and a settlement they can brag about, than on shining a light on an underlying trend that allows serial workplace bullying to continue in the 21st century.

Maybe it's because so many solicitors have themselves had to deal with being bullied... it's surprising how many people who've prevailed despite hard times are less (not more) inclined to make it easier for others who come along after them.

Look how much Maggie Thatcher did to help other women break through the glass ceiling ... exactly.

And in the interest of political balance, look how Labour stopped the university grants after themselves benefiting from them.

I'm glad you are sticking to your guns Eva. It's what I did when I was in an unfair workplace ... didn't do me any good in that situation (nothing would have done) but I retain that zeal for making the world a better place and my conscience is clear.

My ra-ra skirt and pom-poms are in the car. Let me know when you want a cheerleader and I'll be there high-kicking for you. Go!go!go!

Mr Fan said...

well done, you may be like that girl in fatal attraction (o no run like the wind- joke) evidence! suppose if he covered his tracks without emails it would be incredibly difficult. I need to know how to get evidence when there are no resources. After all of this and when you are flying high I wish you could put out an education campaign world wide on all forms of workplace bullying & suppose even look all bullying as this is the silent/negative unspoken code that alot of people are scared and have not much confidence to fight it as they could think it could jeopardise and slow down there progression in a company.

Bullied By The Boss said...

Fiona and Mr Fan. I cannot thank you enough. I've just learnt that my solicitor is taking 45% (not including VAT and disbursements) and the barrister will probably take the rest.

They hold themselves up as heroes whilst creating huge financial disinsentive for anyone bullied to take action.

If it wasn't for the support I'm receiving I would be wobbling - but I've seen enough.

The more cynicism I see in the system - the more determined I am to take this all the way and go for maximum publicity when it comes out. That way I can put workplace bullying in the spotlight.

It'll take a while, but watch this space. xxx

Bottom Swirl