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, 2 June 2010

WEEK 68 Alarm Bells

The time has come to suspend my blog.

For obvious reasons, I’m putting it on hold until the Final Judgement of the Tribunal hearing.

My solicitor has accepted I'm not going to settle whatever it costs me (45% of my damages in his case, not including VAT and disbursements).

I don’t want to risk jeopardising the trial so I cannot blog about the details over the next six to eight months. I will continue to write, but I won’t post all the details until the trial is over, at which point it becomes public record. I have a feeling, however, that what I learn will be more than worth the wait.

I will still be on Twitter. Please, please keep in touch there. I’m really going to miss your comments on my blog. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with my thoughts before I proceed without the blog for a while.

When this country fell into the grip of recession, secretaries at PHILIP and HOWARD’S firm seemed more concerned than the lawyers.

Secretaries we’d worked with before began to text or e-mail about possible vacancies with us as whole departments were made redundant. CVs poured in. Worried, we discussed how risky it was to only have one client. What if something happened? We could be next. What if our big insurer found a cheaper firm? What if they found someone better? We could all be put out of work. Our law firm would close the same day.

But there were no redundancies at our firm. There was not even a whisper. This is because, as long as PHILIP’S one client is content, they aren’t going anywhere. The insurance client calls the shots. That client was, and still is, a major player in the legal expenses insurance market. They refer all sorts to my old firm, but over 50% of the cases they refer are employment claims.

We often wondered what our big insurance client would say if they knew that legal secretaries were treated worse at PHILIP’S firm than most of the examples in the employment claims they referred to us.

PHILIP and his colleagues were confident they were invincible - until my solicitor hinted at the serious evidence backing up my allegations of bullying. They started hearing alarm bells then. When you only have one client, and that client refers employment claims, the last thing you want is a former secretary telling her own true story to the Tribunal of public humiliation and harassment within your firm. The alarm bells got louder. What if the big client found out about the others who’d tried to claim? That kind of negative publicity could lose the client and sink the company.

Now, I’d heard alarm bells from the beginning. I heard them watching secretary after secretary bullied out by PHILIP. I heard them as I saw these girls’ Tribunal claims fail on technicalities or PHILIP’S lies. They were the soundtrack behind my awful treatment by HOWARD; the bystander apathy and the “let it go in one ear and out the other” advice from those who could have helped.

So before I suspend my blog for the duration I’d like to pass on this advice to them regarding those alarm bells, and to all employers who treat their staff abysmally.

Ask not for whom the alarm bell tolls. It tolls for thee.

See you in six to eight months.

Eva x

1 comment:

Mr Fan said...

You have courage to voice your opionion. You need Justice, nobody should be mistreated that through someone's twisted soul, they say the higher one is the harder they fall. We will miss your blog & hope you still post comments which doesn't have to be related to your case. I would guess there is around 1 billion people world wide that get bullied but most don't talk about it in public because they may be scared. Everyone needs to know crystal clear that it is unexceptable to be treated like that especially in a work environment were a worker is a so called servent to a boss in a professional environment. Bullies are the SCUM of the earth. sorry for that harsh wording. x

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