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, 10 July 2010

WEEK 81 Saving the Day

I have a pedestrian attitude to money. I don’t spend above my earnings, but I don’t save either. As long as I can pay my rent, bills, food and clothes I’m doing alright. I used to have a friend who bragged about her ISA but, being honest, I couldn’t foresee the day when I would have the kind of savings to get one myself.

Thanks to HOWARD and his pals, I went to the bank this morning and got an ISA.

As the bank clerk did a sweeping examination of my accounts, he mentioned my mobile telephone bill, trying (as they always will) to sell me the bank’s insurance products. He pointed to the screen and I noticed an entry underneath saying that £11 had been direct debited out of my account for Unite union membership.

I told you I had a pedestrian attitude to money. I should have cancelled the Unite direct debit ages ago!

Now, perhaps you’re wondering why I didn’t seek help from Unite when everything kicked off?

Well, um, actually – I did.

The day I walked out of work, leaving HOWARD and pals my terrible resignation letter, I went to M&S cafe to have a cup of tea and think about what to do. The woman behind the till in the cafe was kind and I sat in the window in complete shock.

I remembered Unite had an office in town somewhere. Surely they’d help me. I’d been a member for a while. Most of the secretaries at my old firm had quietly joined one union or another.

I was on my way there when the PM left a couple of messages on my mobile asking me to call her back. She said she was worried about me. I wanted to phone her back and shout, “You should have helped me! You should have helped me!” I started crying and turned my phone off.

As you can imagine, I really needed advice when I got to Unite. I took out my membership card and went to their reception. There was no-one behind the desk. I waited 10 minutes. There was no-one around. The place was deserted. Confused, I went back outside and looked up at the scores of windows. There were definitely people moving about inside.

I phoned them up. A woman answered and I asked her if I could speak to a rep. I told her I’d walked out of my job and I was outside.

I was told they do not see people like that. I reminded her that I was only outside if someone could just spare me 10 minutes. I was told, no, they could not. She would get a union officer to call me back on the phone and take details. Incredulous – I gave her my mobile and membership number.

They never called me back. I can only assume they were too busy with newsworthy collective disputes to have time for a legal secretary crying outside on the pavement.

I went to the employment agency and the rest is history...

So today, I had the bank clerk set up my ISA and cancel my Unite direct debit.

It makes me laugh - after what I’ve been through recently and what the country’s been through economically – who’d have thought I’d actually have more faith in banking than the unions!

Lots of love,

Eva x

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are right about some unions. I was with a union for over a year. I needed their help but it was not forthcoming. So I resigned my membership in disgust. I am now with a different union & they are helping me with my case, so far.

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