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. Bullied by my boss in 2008, I looked for another job but the recession hit. Feeling trapped, I started this blog. 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." I was unaware back then that it would catalogue one of the most extreme cases of workplace bullying in the UK. I've found another job, but am subject to a gagging order. I'm still blogging, of course. Just don't tell the lawyers!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Would the Real Eva James Please Stand Up?

It’s natural, I suppose, with only a couple of days until my anti-workplace bullying event and book launch, for me to be wondering...


I mean, I walked out two years ago. Why isn’t writing the book and the blog enough? Writing is how I ordinarily deal with workplace bullying, so why come out from behind my desk, go to the lengths of adopting a disguise and organising a Joe versus the Volcano referenced promotion?

This is why: 

In the book, I conclude that I’m still as fired up as ever, but that it’s a broader frustration with employment law, the political reforms being proposed and the blanket refusal by employers to recognise the problem.

All true, of course, but it goes deeper than that.

During my recent interview on BBC Radio Wales, when Jamie Owen asked me to recall one or two of the worst instances of bullying, I struggled to describe things without welling up. It caught me off guard – another indicator of how long it can take to recover.

And the biggest reason is the messages I get from those who’ve been there. It’s all those people who contact me on Twitter and the blog with their own stories; people still trapped in abusive jobs going through just what I did. 

I’ve always said that writing is a healthy way to get over things. It’s cathartic. I hold to that. But I’m so eager for change that I’m ready to stand up and be counted. There’s something to be said for grabbing your megaphone when nothing is fair – on any level. 

Yes, I’m comfortable sat behind my desk, but I’m happy to stand up for the British employee. Someone has to.

I’ve always referred to the book launch as my closure.

But I’m wondering now if this is just the start...
Wish me luck for Monday morning X

Very best


Fiona WordsBird said...

I so wish I could have been there with you! But I have been thinking of you all day and wishing you the best possible launch. I'm looking forward to seeing it in print!

Best wishes, as ever, from your pal
The Words Bird xxx

Silverfox said...

Eva J - I like your tweets (we follow!) and now for the first time see your blog.

PLEASE make your book launch just the beginning...

Workplace bullying won't stop until it is taken much more seriously at government level. It will continue to be rife, sadly – based on my 20 years in the law, the last 10 of which have been in this very area.

You have a great story to share and you write in a very easy-to-follow style which will help many, many people who are going, or will go, thro what you went thro. You manage to keep the pain at a level which is bearable for your reader, yet realistic enough to know it is genuine – detached enough to keep the one-sidedness at bay, yet real enough to give great insight and advice.

We all know that submitting a mere grievance often inflames the situation rather than resolving it because of a complete lack of understanding from too many employers, managers and advisers – as well as the bullies.

The new proposals to remove employment grievances from Whistleblowing will take away one big protection for bullied employees (as they could remain employed) as will the new financial requirements in commencing and pursuing Employment Tribunal cases.

There are of course others which you also cover in a recent blog, which is just fab!

We've all heard that 'the law is an ass'... Whilst that's not true ALL the time, I believe it certainly is true too often when it comes to workplace conflict and bullying. It does not offer a good solution often enough and too often the - usually innocent - victim has to suffer the injustice of either a public trial or a compromise agreement 'gag'. It is only the most minimal of a 'win-win' outcome.

So, out of frustration and hopelessness, I have decided to do less and less of the legal work (the 'litigation lottery' is such a let down) and instead now wish to help much more in the 'prevention rather than cure' of workplace bullying and conflict. I'm sure you could too and hope your blog and book do so...

Keep up your fantastic work. I will follow you with interest and look forward one day to speaking with you, meeting you and perhaps even working or campaigning with you!

So, PLEASE don’t stop with the launch of your book. Make it merely a new beginning...

Scott Johnston

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