Case 036 - Chauffeur

Twelve months have passed while trying to keep my head above water. I was the personal chauffeur to the chairman of a corporation. This corporation has its head office in New York but is owned by the Japanese. I never applied for the job but was instead serenaded by the then CEO who went on to be Chairman.

I accepted a generous offer to be a contract chauffeur to this man and relocated at the company's cost with my family from Brisbane to Sydney. Over a four year period my work hours increased and at times I was working 100 hours per week. My boss was known as a bully and about eighteen months of working eleven of his most senior directors and managers took their grievances to New York.

He was almost sacked but miraculously returned to work with a new policy on behaviour and providing balance for workers between their professional life and home. What was more astounding is that they did not manage to prove the embezzlement issues. (For some reason the driver was not questioned, to which I kept a number of records.) It was almost as though he was more important than all the people below him.

I was becoming very fearful of him as he was the only person I answered to. Although I confided in the HR director to try and alleviate the many issues that were arising a turn occurred when this person became a more close drinking buddy. I had to deal with threats of loss of job and yelling and in the car while always being late for meetings. Phones being thrown in the car and the constant forcing to break all the road rules. The stress became so intense that I developed a nervous condition which was only truly apparent to me when I left.

On one occasion the abuse was so intense and my day had been about 18 hours long I simply broke down. I was unable to drive and told him I was having a nervous breakdown. The next day he pleaded for me to return. Thankfully I kept detailed diaries on everything that went on.

I had taken the information of what was happening to me to the Deputy CEO who had been sent from New York to watch him and I had been told never to speak to. I found him to be kind and understanding and I believe he made an attempt to address the problem. Unfortunately his hands appeared to be tied shortly after.

At the moment I am trying as hard as possible to keep myself up and maintain the fight to be heard. The company has made several attempts to pay me off which is in the six figure mark. The person I worked for has a high profile in the industry I was in around the world. A large number of people have fallen to this man's bullying and the cost to the company to keep some of these issues quiet has been astounding.

I am on antidepressants and beta blockers to control the tremors I now have. Although I was feeling at times I was at fault I did have solid support from his PA who watched my deterioration. Many people within the company and past directors are supporting me in this fight. We have relinquished a great deal to continue and not simply be silenced so that others can be exposed in the future.

Don't let them hide the truth behind profits.

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