Thursday, June 19, 2008

I need to stop thinking and just get this all out of my head. A huge coffee sits on my desk. Well, an empty coffee cup. I should go to bed. I'm tired but I don't want to. Blue pills bring you up, red pills bring you down. Maybe a sleeping pill, if I had any. I stop all the time to pick pimples. I'm obsessive over it at the moment. I'm mutilating my skin. Several raw wounds flare up on my cheeks and chin. I cannot stop. I don't know how. I must empty my brain.

I'm so angry right now. I think it, I type it and it sounds flat in my head. It doesn't capture the wetness in my eyes, the way my fingers tremble every time I pause. The way my breath catches in my throat when I try to compose myself. I feel like there is no letting go of it. It eats me alive. Consumes me and there is nothing left.

I worry. Its all work stuff but its causing this. Its ruining my life right now. I feel like I'm going to be sick. Though my stomach is empty of all but the coffee. I worry about my friend at work. She's going through utter hell. The work bully has overstepped his boundaries. He's pushing her and another out. The other has been there for 12 or 13 years. My friend is the hardest working individual there. She works all of her breaks, begins before starting time and is often there after knock off. And still he gives her more work, still he berates her and then holds her up from doing her work when she has no time to spare, and will tell her off for not getting her work done! I'm pushing for my friend to go to her HR manager. I worry that she will not go if there is no one there to support her. I have told her I will support her. I will give her all of my evidence that I have documented. But still she doesn't go. Today I offered to physically go with her to offer moral support. I worry that I'm going to snap and stab him in the throat. I don't talk to him. I cannot do it. And it confuses him. I hate him so much it burns. I jobsearch for her harder than I ever did for myself.

I worry that I'll never be able to work in a real environment again. One where you don't need to be constantly looking over your shoulder, pulling knives out of your back, or jumping at shadows. A job where I won't think of slashing my wrists just so that I never have to go back. Work has warped me beyond recognition.

I cannot stay home. I have nothing to do at nights, but I cannot stay home. I am weary within myself. I do not enjoy my own company at the moment and I find the cats too clingy at times. So I go. Anywhere. I went shopping tonight but could not tolerate the crowd. I wanted to hit people, spit on them and scream. I wanted to shock them out of their sane reverie. I couldn't breathe. It has been about 4 years since I've been this way and it scares me. I cannot be comfortable at home or out. I went to see a movie. I was comfortable sitting in the dark, by myself. And that's about the only place I can do it. I hate this place


Sumiko said...

don't really know what to say here, but stay strong. keep pushing your friend to go talk to her HR manager, maybe she'll agree to do so. sometimes, the most simple things calm me down. chewing on ice... a weird suggestion, yes, but it's cool and refreshing and it just feels good. or a long, hot bath. splurge on a massage? hang in there

kelly said...

I say, get the fuck out! It's not worthy it, and you are taking years off your life by stressing out this much. I support you, just as much as you support her, to get the fuck out.

I know it's hard and scary, but you are stronger than what this company is turning you into.

Good luck.

kimba said...

Hey phish.. Workplace bullying is common. I have been bullied at work twice - once individually - and once - a supervisor would randomly pick someone on staff to abuse for a week or several months. Several staff left over this abuse. It was a 'this job ain't worth this grief I get even though I work my guts out..' situation. I was like you Phish - ANGRY at what I saw happen to others. One day, though.. It happened to me. In front of the HR manager. SO.. I googled workplace bullying.. took a whole lot of info in to HR and talked to her about my legal rights. Others heard about what I had done.. more and more staff members came forward then and told their stories.. The bullying staff member was on the back foot - she was one woman alone at the mercy of 25 staff she had bullied.
She left the company on the recommendation that she a) take stress leave or b)do some training in how to be a good manager..

She never came back - resigned.
Sometimes Phishie.. one person can start a tidal wave.. If you seen injustice.. speak up. Your friend will follow you.

Good luck you lovely, caring and sensitive girl..

fingers said...

I bet you went back and saw the Indiana Jones movie again since you didn't see much of it the first time, eh...

sparsely kate said...

hahaha at fingers. I was all solemn up until that point.

keep going to the movies, they are a great place to lose yourself in and block out life for a while.
I know that feeling of not being comfortable anywhere, not at home, not in the shops and it's a horrible feeling. Doesn't last though.

Can't wait for you to swap jobs and get happy. x

Ms Smack said...

Bullies prey on your silence and you're enabling him, honey. Make an appointment with the HR manager and tell them someone in the team is being severly bullied but don't share the name.

Take a list of times that he's bullied her, with dates if you have them.

Tell your friend that the response of the HR manager and leave it open for her to get the confidence to follow it up.

Even if the HR manager pulls everyone in and gives a group talking to, she'll breathe a sigh of relief.

Hang in there darlin'. They're menaces and I know how much they can bring someone down. I've been in tears because of them too.

All else fails, give me the number of the HR manager, and I'll do the dirty work for you.

Josh said...

Hey Phish,

Smackie has hit the nail on the head with how to deal with this.

This sort of shit goes on all the time in the workplace and it is silence that enables it.

HR will generally not be able to fix the interpersonal problems that exist but they can often help management manipulate the realtionships so that a company does not loose the wrong person.

The chances are that people higher up are aware and appreciate the work and effort your friend puts in but could easily have no idea of the stress she is under.

Sadly it happens all to often that by the time management find out what is going on, the bully has won and they loose the wrong person.

You never know, they could be sitting back looking for the reason to kick his arse out of there...

Speak up. Good staff a bloody hard to find, staff with 10-13 years experience are like gold - you both might be surprised how hard they will fight for her.

As for the staying home bit - I am hearing you there. I reckon I would be better off in a hotel room for the amount of time I am at home right now :)

Cazzie!!! said...

Could ytou possibly take up thai chi or karate or something..somethng to concentrate on, somthing new to learn, and something that relaxes you and makes you think of anything else except work and feeling lonely. Give it a thought, it might be for you.

Clyde said...

There are no bullies---only people who let these weak arse wankers think that they have power.
Go to your HR together and expose this prick----
It is not only your mates being dragged down----you are going with them---so go with them and fix this.
You are a strong woman---dont let this get you---there ar plenty of places to go-----
There is always people who are happy to help with wankers

yrautca said...

You should talk to someone about these feelings, like a counselor. It sometimes helps to talk to a professional about these things. I dont know about Australia but in US the employment law is fair enough that you can go to your HR and tell them whats going on.

Thing is we all can do something about out situations. I know that sometimes its hard to have faith in that. I know this. But at the end of the day, most of our troubles are in our head. Everything has a solution. You could try another job, your friend could keep looking for another job. I know its easier said than done.

So my advice is send your HR an anonymous letter and give them details. And talk to someone you trust about your emotions and rage. You should also just take the weekend off and get away from it all.