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, 27 November 2010

Can't Bully Me

I hope you saw the BBC Three documentary, Can’t Bully Me, which followed four youngsters as they tried to overcome the traumatic effects of bullying, with the help of the Red Balloon organisation.

It was very emotional. I wouldn’t wish what I went through on my worst enemy, let alone children. But it was a program of light and shade. The support the children got from Red Balloon was amazing. In fact, I took some of their advice myself yesterday.

Still unable to go to the work Christmas party, colleagues are curious. It’s only a week away now. As they discussed their dresses and gave me questioning looks, I felt under pressure to go. But I know full well, if I force myself, it will trigger a string of panic attacks. Work mates imagine I don't want to go because of a previous Christmas indiscretion. How can I explain it's because I'm terrified of being bullied and humiliated because of the way I look?

And that’s the reminder I got from Red Balloon. It’s to employ patience. If something makes me very anxious – then that’s the way it is for the time being.

Best wishes


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

WEEK 115 Family Familiar

Job identity is a powerful thing.

How many times have you worked with someone curt, driven and disinterested, only to find them the height of charm at social events?

I’ve known loads of people like this. The kind of people about whom colleagues whisper, “You should see her when she’s out! She’s a different person.”

I started thinking about this when a solicitor said, “It’s strange. Giving a client a dressing down isn’t difficult when I’m wearing the guise of a solicitor, but I wouldn’t dream of addressing someone in the same manner if I was representing myself.”

It made me consider how the employment roles we adopt often alter our behaviour completely, not only with clients or customers, but also the people we work with. We can be one person in work and someone entirely different off the clock.

Whilst we all compartmentalise, we should be mindful of ourselves when we do. We must resist, as far as possible, sacrificing our individuality for a generic job identity. It’s a short step from being curt, driven and disinterested to being outright rude to colleagues when the heat is on. And even targets of workplace bullying can succumb to the stereotypical labels directed at them and accept them as some sort of personal definition.

The goal, perhaps, is to be the kind of person in work your family and friends would still recognise if they chose to spend a day with you.

It’s extremely important, even if it is easier said than done.

Best wishes

Bottom Swirl