Case 008 - Private Industry
Female. Private sector.
I was bullied in a fish factory on a Scottish island. It's the kind of job that has a high turnover of staff in any case and is the perfect setting for a bully. No-one in these places really wants to make a career of it, and it attracts a lot of young easily-led people.
My bully was a sociopath, very charming and he had the rest of the other girls on my line, eating out of his hand. He had a tendency to go from table to table telling jokes and spreading gossip. A little here a little there, let everyone join the dots; think they had worked it out for themselves.
The girl I worker near had health problems, and he didn't like her, I stood up for her; that was my first mistake. I openly said he was being mean to her when she was ill.
Then I became vulnerable, my boyfriend (very short term boyfriend, but I was serious for the first time in a decade) died, and I was now in a position he could kick me. To start with he feigned support, accompanying me home after the funeral, and coming on to me the next morning!! I said no, and it didn't seem to have turned nasty.. you just can't tell with a sociopath.
He spread lies about me from the next day, and I got no support from my workmates, as in his version I had made sexual advances on the night of the funeral, which made me sound like a ...
I made excuses until I finally had to admit what was happening, but I was not myself at the time I was trying to cope with a grief no-one understood and the hostility seemed the easiest thing to sort out.
I begged him to stop, God it was pathetic.. I should have gone straight to the bosses, but it is nearly always too late by the time you figure out what is happening. You are well and truly discredited before you realise what is happening.
It was not just in work that I was targeted by his gang of eager recruits; they would shout at me on the street to keep away from this man, telling me he wasn't interested.
I tried to talk to a supervisor, but he told me (lets call him Jeff) was a nice guy, and I should talk to him outside work. The supervisor was a nice bloke and I really don't think he knew what Jeff was, what was really happening. I told him that I had tried, and it only seemed to make things worse; he twisted everything, the supervisor agreed to talk to him (off the record). In the end though after a day of pondering it I decided that the damage Jeff would perceive I had done to his ego, was unlikely to get him to stop.
So I went around to talk to him, and he was charm itself. Like a fool I believed him; I guess because I wanted to. What he took, to be more than a peck on the cheek of gratitude, took me down a road of... do I reject him again or just do IT and hope to God, he is not messing about!
I was not exactly against the idea of oblivion at the time, I drank myself into it most nights, it would be true to say grief had turned me into a moron. So, I thought what the hell, but it was a big mistake as I found I couldn't go through with it. So I had rejected him AGAIN, and although I tried to explain; by the next day the lies had started again. Once again I had thrown myself at him, and I could hardly deny I everything, as I had gone a fair way (down the road to hell) with the man.
I left the job in the end, but I made a right old stink before I did, sent him solicitors letters and told the bosses... But he is still there and I am in the process of trying not to lose my home.
I did get another job after I left, very fast, but my health was bad as the stress and most of the on-hold grief started to come out.. so I was a basket case (depression) in my new job...and finally lost that too.
It is probably worth people who have left a job due to bullying to stop awhile, get a Drs line and let the stress come out without affecting their next job. It was definitely a mistake for me, I thought I was strong enough to just move on, that is not really realistic.
Because you know, what people are, after you have been bullied, and not just the sociopath but the rest...like sheep they follow, like sheep, (not caring, sensitive, good people).
It is sad, and it is frightening, it explains Bosnia and the Holocaust; it seems to me that most people love to get stuck in, to have an enemy, they just love it...where is the empathy, where is the humanity???