Last year I became compelled to leave or lose a job as I was no longer allowed to function with autonomy, trust and common decency and respect afforded f those of my peers. Over the course of nine years, I was subjected to harassment, discrimination, abuse and the respect due me as any other employee. If this sounds like bitter words, they are for the simple reason the trauma remains today!
The reason is that the consistent psychological torture was elevated and orchestrated by several individuals more each day. In spite of a down-sized operation, poor performance all around and a mountain of legitimate work to perform, the management focused on the absurd making life more difficult for both myself and those staff reporting to me as well as the entire workplace.
Now you may say, “Well it is in the past, let it go.” Or some may say, “There is nothing you can do to change things now or to improve conditions for those employees who suffer yet today.”
However, I was given assignments that were way out of any job description, actively pursue an approach toward employees that was designed to micro manage every move and using ever-changing standards of performance, place the person on a track for termination. Tasks assigned were made to be “busy work” and irrelevant in any sense to the services given. Statistical Data designed by simple math utilizing a numerator and denominator to determine a percentage was first debated for two weeks, fourteen hours of my own documentation and the only true formula for measuring the performance of your staff was turned upside down after thirty plus years of use. At least two highly paid “analysts” whose job requirements were to compile statistical reports believed we were speaking a foreign language with words such numerator, denominator and a percentage of work performed as something to be rewarded. In the end, you just knew insanity and absurdity would prevail and the measuring tool was turned on its’ head. This now favored the employee who accomplished little or nothing in monthly time frame! It was not George Orwell, but George “Dubbya.’
I hinted at my deteriorating health and stress levels ever rising as this is the only language they might understand. These formulas for time away they had a sense of understanding and could not easily challenge as they advantaged it themselves as well as allowing a class of underachievers known as “untouchables” or “boss’s pet” escape harm via special “Letters of transit” issued and left by the Vichy Government.
When I felt my fate was in the wrong hands and the outcome would be catastrophic I prepared my own legitimate Letters of Transit albeit early departure against my will through normal channels. I learned later some questioned and some criticized my decision to “move on” to find a “new ride” as our commander once termed it. They, the ongoing staff throughout the building must have heard me whisper” from time to time that my days may be numbered and be prepared to take on your own battle.
I gave a notice of only an approximate twenty-four hours of my intention to "take" an early retirement (rather than continued water-boarding and finger nail removal). It certainly was more than afforded me when I was given fifteen minutes notice to join in a five-party conference with no known agenda. I immediately learned that I was to answer a charge (with the accuser) present) without a pre-conference or notification that the accuser “demanded I be reassigned as her supervisor for my discriminatory practices and racist treatment toward her. Enough said, as there is such a thing as “due process” and a right to know the “meeting” called post haste was not as suggested, but a blind-sided attack and trial by fire.
This may have been a "huge signal" to start packing.
After eighteen months I continue to have “nightmares” about these and other job situations and the individuals involved. Doctors describe this to me as Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) after nine years of abuse to the point of “burn-out” and without concern on their part but only malice. Enough said. The saga only those true bureaucrats and the poor employees at their mercy may appreciate. The story continues…later.