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, 5 January 2013

Friend or Foe?

The Christmas holidays can be a strange time.

Former colleagues seem prone to getting in touch and it’s amazing how many times I bumped into them in the January sales. 

It’s easy to imagine that everyone is imbued with festive cheer. That was until a former secretary contacted me to wish me Happy Christmas and fill me in on exactly how much my old firm still curse me. I put a brave face on, of course. But it was sad to learn that a previous friend had altered her opinion of me. She’d bought the HR propaganda.

I was disappointed.

Days later, trudging down the High Street, someone shouted my name. It was a former solicitor from the same firm as my former friend. She could have been judgemental. I wouldn’t have blamed her at all, but she was happy to let bygones be bygones. She hugged me and wished me Merry Christmas.

Sometimes, the people you trust most who let you down and in the all-too-rare cases where you do find an ally in the workplace, it’s often the person whom you least suspect. People are unpredictable. 

That’s why it’s more important to have supportive friends and family outside work. They won’t succumb to office politics. Their pay packet isn’t threatened because of the bullying you’re going through. 

Then friends you have in work are simply a bonus.

Very best wishes


Kelly Oliver Dougall said...

Interesting post. I identify with it, not through work but through personal life. I think people can be judgemental regardless or not of if you know them through work.

Katharine Ross said...

I really identified with this post. It's always a real shock to learn that someone you thought was a friend - well - ISN'T !! Your advice about building a support network outside work is extremely sound, as this is what helped me most. Thanks for everything you do to combat and highlight bullying xx

Anonymous said...

I normally hate hugs but that one sounds nice. :)

It's sad that even after you're gone they can't let it go. Need a life much?

I have no idea what they say about me at my last job. I cut that place out of my existence like a cancer. My former boss has made several attempts to cryptically reach out to me. "I'll be in town next month. We should do dinner." Methinks not. I'd rather stick my arm in the garbage disposal up to my elbow. What makes you think that's even a remotely viable idea? Ah, the same decision making skills you brought to being a boss. Yeah, that does sound familiar!

Tonight's my work Christmas party. I know it's late. It's about as well-planned as everything else my new boss does. I plan to suffer with all the dignity I can muster. So for one last time this January 2013, Merry Christmas to you and yours! :)

RJBuxton said...

After 3 months 'garden leave', I finally get to close a painful chapter in my life this week when I hand back my company car. The worst treatment of all is reserved for senior staff who fall from favour, or are superseded in a takeover, and cannot afford to simply leave without recompense and awkwardly refuse to die in some stress-related manner. You no longer get invited to meetings, or to take part in any of the myriad 'working parties'. The people you once called colleagues close ranks, and those to whom you once gave instructions simply look sorry for you. It is a cleverly managed process, so you aren't actually left without work, but what you do will no longer be what used to get you out of bed in the morning.
A small victory was when I was finally made redundant, but the stress has taken its toll. I'm afraid that courage failed me and I did not attend the Christmas party. They were sticking up the poster for that on my office door as I left.

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