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."

Thursday, 27 January 2011

WEEK 131 Careless Whispers

OLLIE’S ex-secretary is still with us and from my perspective it’s lovely working with an old friend. From her perspective, it’s not so good. She’s going through what I did when I started. If someone laughs, she thinks it’s about her. If someone whispers, she thinks she’s in trouble.

More than once she’s apologised for phoning me in panic on her way home. “No need to apologise”, I tell her. I’ve been there, done it and got the t-shirt. I couldn’t have done it myself without help in the form of Ann Lewis of Recover Your Balance.

I was thinking about all this when I picked up the phone to a potential new client. They asked for my boss. He’s away this week so I asked if the caller would like to speak to one of our other employment solicitors. The person on the phone stammered. “It’s about bullying,” they said. “But I don’t want to talk to anyone other than your boss.”

They’d got his name off our website.

This happens all the time, especially when people have been bullied at work. You can hear the fear in their voices. You might think they ask for my boss because of his reputation, but he’s not well known outside employment law. The truth is, they trust a name they don’t know – and they are hedging their bets their employers don’t know his name either. They fear I might inadvertently put them through to someone who also knows their boss or bully. Their faith has been shaken, they’re confidence knocked. They suspect every decision they make will lead to further trouble.

I hoped the person would call back but, as usual, they didn’t.

This is why I wrote my book. This is why I write my blog. As I sit across from OLLIE’S secretary and I end another call from a scared employee, I want to tell them, “Hey, yeah – it made me paranoid and scared too – but it’ll be alright in the end.” I can’t tell the callers on the phone. It would be highly inappropriate.

So I hope it reaches them this way.



Mr Fan said...

when one is in that situation, it is very difficult to put everything on the table for someone to fully understand, unless one has that connection.

To stay in that situation one needs to look & apply at every possible alternatives including moves. The negative feelings one experiances needs to be blocked quickly as the bullies are the low life & the receipiants need to be positive.

Bullied By The Boss said...

I know. My heart goes out to them.

I sit there hoping they find a quick solution and, as you suggest, moving is something I'd highly recommend, especially if someone can move to a different department or if they're lucky enough to be in one part of an umbrella organisation.

I couldn't agree with you more about the negative feelings we experience when we're in this position. Very difficult. x

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