As my workplace bullying book launch approaches, I can't help wondering what the consequences will be if my current employer finds out. I'm therefore doing everything in my power to make sure they don’t.
Each morning, I switch on my PC and knuckle down to a day of typing. The trainees tease me that the reason I rush home at 5pm is to catch the tail end of daytime TV. Joking, they click imaginary remote controls as I breeze past, buttoning my coat as I go. They quip about my not wanting to miss Jeremy Kyle or Loose Women.
Behind the scenes, of course, launch plans are under way. A large box of pre-prepared goody-bags for volunteers and those who might buy a book on the day sits expectantly in my studio-flat. During lunch, I Google organisations that might be interested in supporting me, together with local journalists and MPs. I keep up with my fellow anti-bullying friends on Twitter.
Post work, I return to my launch plans. There are meetings about a viral. A director has kindly offered to film a short ad for the book and promptly found an actor to play Howard. His monologue has been written and the location scouted. You can imagine how surreal it is for Howard to be brought to life on film for the purposes of raising awareness and promoting ‘Bullied by the Boss’.
Obviously, this involves my telling a lot of porkies. Does being legally obliged to lie to my employer make it any more excusable?
Adhering to the confidentiality clause has covered thousands of hours (and a chunk of my former firm’s settlement money) devoted to raising awareness. Whilst I seem to be in my comfort zone on the subject of workplace bullying, I wonder how I could ever explain to my present employer quite how I ended up in this position: the extent of the bullying at my former firm, the blog, the book and the approaching book launch/promotion.
I may just be trying to explain the unexplainable!