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, 31 December 2011

WEEK 207 Invitation


Eva James requests the pleasure of your company to raise awareness of workplace bullying and celebrate the launch of her groundbreaking self-help book:-

Bullied by the Boss

8.30am – 10.30am, Monday 26th March 2012, Canary Wharf, London.

Entertainment will be provided. You're welcome to just come and watch if you're in the area.

If you would like to actually join Eva James in handing out flyers on the day and receive a free goody-bag of thanks on the morning of the 26th March 2012 do RSVP:
Very best

Saturday, 24 December 2011

WEEK 206 Grand Designs

Season’s Greetings!

Hurrah! I got my workplace bullying book off to the publishers in time, so I can relax over Christmas.

Still, I feel like those couples on Grand Designs. You know the ones – where they start out telling Kevin McCloud their budget and insisting that they’ll have their derelict property renovated and beautifully restored by Christmas. Kevin McCloud, standing out of earshot, raises an eyebrow and tells the camera he applauds their optimism – but thinks they’re completely crazy.

Then, something like two and a half years later, having spent three times their budget and applied to the bank for a bigger mortgage, the older and wiser couple move in and confess to Kevin the many ways in which their project was compromised.

So, seeing out 2011 older and wiser, I’m looking forward to my book being finally on sale around February 2012. That’s not the end of it, of course. After all this effort – I’m going to have to have a fabulous launch. It’s another of my Grand Designs; already wildly over budget and highly ambitious.

I’ll reveal all after Christmas.

For now, I’ll just say if you’re anywhere near London on the morning of Monday 26th March 2012 – and you particularly dislike workplace bullying - you might want to keep it clear. I’ve got something fun planned.

In the meantime, I’m wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thanks for all your support in 2011!

Very best


Sunday, 11 December 2011

WEEK 204 As Good as a Rest

Quite out of the blue, Ollie’s ex secretary phoned.

After 8 months of unemployment, she’s found a job and she’s happy.

I didn’t have much to report. Worn out, I’m just longing for the Christmas holidays and a chance to recharge my batteries.

The conversation turned to our former firm. She thinks something’s in the wind; a possible new claim against them in the Employment Tribunal. She wondered if there was a way to find out. I didn’t think so, but said I’d do a Google search and see if anything came up.

We finished the conversation agreeing to meet up nearer Christmas, as we did last year, for mince pies and mulled wine in her garden. She’ll burn kindling in her BBQ bucket again. We’ll have a proper catch up.

I haven’t looked at my former firm’s website since I left. They’ve had a redesign; offering a couple of new services. They appear to be doing well. What shocked me, however, is that Howard is still there. His photo and profile have been updated. After everything that went on, they still employ him.

I genuinely believed that when they found out the extent of the bullying, they would quietly get rid of him.

Not the case.

And almost two years on, the gory details will have faded. Howard and his pals will have come to believe the BS of their legal defence against me. They’ll refer to me (as they did everyone who tried to make a stand) as a lonely, malicious secretary who was out to extort money from her employer.

So my attempt to take them to a Tribunal changed absolutely nothing.

Up to the point of Googling their website, I was tired – mostly of being ignored. It’s hard to make a difference. But after seeing how much my former firm have supported Howard. I feel energetic again. They say change is as good as a rest, but this time no change is as good as a rest. I obviously need to work harder.

My workplace bullying book will be out in March 2012 and I’m going to move heaven and earth to make it a success. I’ll commit whatever it takes in terms of time and money! Details of the launch will be coming soon.

At some point, employers are going to have to sit up and listen.

Best wishes


Saturday, 3 December 2011

WEEK 203 Riot Act

In the last couple of weeks you can’t fail to have noticed Vince Cable’s latest attack on employment rights.

James Chapman wrote in the Daily Mail on Wednesday:

‘Emergency measures to kick-start Britain’s faltering economic recovery by reining in a £1 billion a year employment tribunal bonanza will be unveiled today’.

Vince Cable, it was announced, plans to cut the number of Tribunal claims by a quarter – by making sackings easier, allowing firms to ‘read the riot act’ to underperforming staff and even remove rights to a Tribunal hearing altogether.

Allowing bosses to ‘read the riot act’ is surely giving carte blanche to companies to bully staff. But, of course, it’s all played up under the guise of helping our poor UK businesses recover. Vince Cable would have us believe it’s the employees and their employment rights causing all the problems. If it weren’t for this, business would be booming. Legal actions, causing distraction and wasting time and money, would be a thing of the past.

But would it?

No. Commercial litigation is booming! Businesses are well used to defending themselves in Court on corporate matters. They’re issuing statutory demands, summonses and countersuing. Then there are the lawyers that find the tax loopholes and disputes about VAT. Nobody in business wants to be seen to be taken for a ride. Nobody in business wants to pay a penny to someone they don’t have to.

Blaming employees isn’t going to make a scrap of difference apart from reinforcing the ‘them and us’ dynamic that’s so harmful to business. Business is having a tough time, but creating an imaginary, diversionary enemy of the UK workforce is hardly going to help matters.

As for Vince Cable’s ‘riot act’ – I wish his boss would read him one.

Best wishes

Bottom Swirl