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, 13 October 2012

WEEK 248 King Kong Connor

When a friend sent me a Telegraph article about bullying on a little island called Canna, south of Skye, my first thought was it might not be applicable to me. After all, I write about workplace bullying. On the contrary, it turned out to be fascinating study in exactly that.

People were lured to the remote island by the National Trust for Scotland for two things - the beauty and the potential businesses they could operate; a rock climbing and wildlife business, restaurant and professional gardening firm etc. 

The National Trust for Scotland hired Stewart Connor as property manager. And here’s where the story takes on the usual form of workplace bullying. Stewart Connor, it appears, likes to micromanage. He has to be in complete control. Failure to exert such control lead to grudges, aggressive silences and moodiness.  

When families complained, the NTS employing Mr Connor stated they could see no evidence of bullying. They believed that those who had left the island lacked ‘stamina’ and introduced a tougher selection process. The Telegraph reports that in since 2010, 20 families have left the island. Only 8 remain.

I wonder how long the NTS will continue to back Mr Connor as he casts a shadow over the families and the fledging firms on the island. I also wonder who will have the necessary stamina to put up with him. 

I can just see the next NTS advert now:

Ann Darrow required for remote island adventure

Good luck to them!
Very best


Fiona WordsBird said...

Once upon a time, if a bullying story wasn't set in a school, it didn't count as bullying. Have we really learnt so little, that 'workplace bullying' can only be recognised if it takes place in an office?

aibika said...

I've just stumbled across your blog. I am one of the former residents of the Isle of Canna, forced to leave because of the bullying by Connor. One year one and we still feel that justice has not been done. Maybe it rarely is in bullying cases. You're right though that bullying is not restricted to the office or to school. The bully in our case was the sole representative of the landowner living on the island and, as such, was in control of jobs, housing, social activities, emails sent round residents, opinions, residents' association meetings etc. You can imagine the power he had and the power he abused. The straw that broke the camel's back though was his employers' support for him despite many damning complaints. They supported him, backed him up, praised him and rewarded him throughout....and still do. They continue to deny that there was ever any bullying. We had to give up our business, our rented home, my two part-time jobs, my daughter's place in nursery, and move off the island because of this bully. A workplace bully you can get away from at the end of the day (physically but not mentally), but this man was always there and in every aspect of island life. Who will be his next victim?

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