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, 11 May 2013

WEEK 272 Insensitive Bosses

I used to great on great with my boss, then I made the mistake of having an accident and being off sick for 5 weeks.  When I came back to work, it was like I had a target on my back. 

In the last 18 months I have been called a “minion”, “little person” and referred to as “oh that just (name)”.  I have attended meetings with her and other staff from different departments, and at each meeting she has made a point of putting me down and speaking to me in a patronising / condescending manner, to the point that other people have noticed and commented.   I have spoken to my HR manager, my manager’s manager (both of them since one of them left) and also the Executive Director for our division.  In all instances, I was told “it’s just her unique way of communicating” and advised I could put in a formal complaint.  My argument against doing that was it would make my working life so much worse than it already is – do I really need that extra stress on top of what I am putting up with now?

But the icing on the cake happened in March – this really was the turning point for me....I discovered a lump in my breast and needless to say, I was not in a good place emotionally; my head was all over the place.  I advised my manager’s boss of the situation and said I would be having quite a few hospital appointments.  She told me I had to inform my boss.  I thought about this for a day or two, deliberating on whether to or not, and decided that I should, after all, her husband died of cancer a few years ago, therefore she would understand.  How wrong was I?  Maybe even a bit naive? What I was not expecting was what she said to me when I told her - 3 quick fire statements came rolling out of her mouth one right after the other:

1.    Her new partner’s wife died of breast cancer
2.    She told me my doctor was sending me to the wrong hospital for tests, I should be going to the hospital in the city where they have a specialist cancer unit
3.    I should call the Macmillan Hospice and arrange for a visit so I can see the facilities that they have to offer and speak to a specialist carer

This 3rd comment made me so angry that I couldn’t help myself, I had to say something.  I said to her “why would you tell me to do that? I’ve only just found the lump, not even got all my hospital appointments through and not had any tests, and you have me lying in a hospice dying?  Why would you say that?  That is the most insensitive and inappropriate thing anyone can say”.

I left her after having that chat and went directly to HR – they said “she probably meant well”.  What hope has anyone got when dealing with someone like that when HR defend her?
All my tests came back clear, the lump is just harmless fatty tissue.  The week that I got that news, I had a job interview, was offered the job and I have now handed in my notice.  I have 3 weeks left – and yes, she is making my last month hell.  However, I have an exit interview with HR, I hope they are prepared for comments – I have kept a diary for the last 18 months.

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