I’ve been reading a rather marvellous book by Owen Jones called ‘Chavs’ which exposes how the middle classes have come, due initially to Thatcherism, to deride the entire working class as money-grabbing, lazy and ignorant. Jones describes the modern day working class as including roles such as secretaries, nurses, call centre workers and service industry workers, including retail.
I cannot help but think of things in terms of class at the moment, especially when there are still lawyers who still insist I wasn’t bullied, but that I am, instead, a money grabbing individual out to extort the system.
Newsflash and timely reminder: I took my settlement money and this is what I did with it:
1) I wrote and self-published my self-help book Bullied by the Boss. I hired a marvellous English editor (@FionaWordsBird) and an American editor to make sure it had cross-channel appeal and I used my own money to do so.
2) I launched the book in Canary Wharf tube station and hired a barbershop quartet to sing work related songs while hired helpers handed out flyers. I bought my ‘team’ Bullied by the Boss T-shirts. All this came out of the settlement money, as did the hotel and travelling expenses. I also hired a great photographer, Adam Hollingsworth.
3. I made a donation to the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.
4. I retrained as a literacy teacher.
Just because we’re secretaries, nurses or clerks standing up for ourselves, whistle-blowing or taking legal action doesn’t mean we’re out to extort money. Sometimes, just because of a sense of solidarity and a stubborn sense of fairness, we will spend our time and money trying to help people in the same boat.