Up to a third of the workforce has dealt with workplace bullying.
This is her story.
When I started working at the office, it was great. There were few rules, the people seemed fun and I was finally working at a place that fit with my desire to be compassionate and help my community. I took a pay cut and drove twice the distance to get to work because I believe in the work I was doing.
A few months at my new job, things...changed.
It didn't matter how beautiful my fiance thought I was or how many times my friends told me I was pretty, in my heart I felt ugly.
The ringleader of this workplace bullying, was The Queen: a woman who took pleasure in putting down other people while actively trying to avoid work. She admitted she hated talking to our clients so she avoided them during intake. She'd come to work late, spend fifteen minutes in the bathroom putting on makeup, then call the rest of us "slackers."
Nothing was ever the Queen's fault.
My side of the organization had a total of five people. Our supervisor is well-aware of what The Queen does.
One day, I decided to stand up to her, in front of the boss. Said I didn't deserve to be talked to like that. For my stand, I was treated even worse.
There were no consequences for her.
If I'd gone to my boss - if any of us had gone to her (I wasn't the only victim) The Queen would've known and made our lives even harder. The day I stood up to her, I had a panic attack for the first time in six months.
I turned to the only outlet I had: The Internet.
I tweeted about her work ethic, the cruel things she said, the inaccuracies about body image she spread. Everything she did that made me angry. I had no other means of support: my fiance was tired of hearing about it. Her close friend was a member of the sports team I was on.
I had nowhere else to turn.
I never used her name, the name of our organization, or anything that might identify the parties involved. I may be fat, slow and ugly, but I'm not stupid.
Everything fell apart when her friend began reading my Twitter stream. She saw something I'd written about my concerns about our team and, without asking for clarification, she went to the head of the team and told her I was spreading lies about the team. This led to a blowup between the head and I, at which time I told her exactly why I'd written those tweets; that those tweets had nothing to do with what The Queen's friend assumed it had.
But, just like that, I was off the team.
Once again, I took to Twitter.
Only this time, I said I knew she was reading and I wasn't afraid of her. That I felt sorry for her because she had to cause drama to make herself feel better.
She waited until I was at work to tell The Queen. When she did, she told her I'd been telling people online about things The Queen did at work; that I threatened to kill her. Of course, the Queen went to our boss, her friend right behind her - a big grin on her face.
After that, the entire workday was hell. My coworkers put a picture of a two-faced cat up on the wall and made loud comments. When I asked for help, I was ignored. I leaned over to pick up a piece of paper and had a door slammed half an inch away from my face. When I finished my shift, I went to our boss with the intention of quitting. I wanted to tell her my side of things.
I didn't get the chance.
When I walked in, the boss told me to "close the door." She went on to say that she didn't want to get in the middle of the drama, she couldn't say I'd done anything wrong, but because I had a new job lined up, it would probably be better if I just left.
I asked if I was being fired and she said no - we'd just say "I finished my two weeks on good terms" and leave it at that. She said she'd give me a good reference. She was excited for my new job and wished me all the best. And just like that, I was out almost an entire paycheck. There were no consequences for either of the bullies.
If only I had never joined that team. If only I'd kept the promise I made to myself never to trust people, maybe this never would have happened.
If only.6 Comments