I was a Legal Secretary.

Bullies, Bullies, Bullies. If you want to find some, I know where some adult bullies hang out. Bullying is no laughing matter and it hurts a lot. It can happen to any of us. My heart goes out to those loving parents whose children are affected by this. I don’t know anything about cyberbullying with teenagers. I have no children so I should not speak to something I know absolutely nothing about. I do know adults can be bullied. Workplace abuse is behavior that causes workers emotional or physical harm.

Lady Justice Needlepoint by me

I was bullied at a time years ago before I was even aware of the word “bully.” I first saw it mentioned in an article on CNN.com. It was years later that I realized I had been bullied by a senior partner at a highly respected international law firm. To this day I have thoughts of contacting this person and telling him I forgive him but I let it go. My boss at the time wondered how I could even let this bother me. He said, “You’ve had breast cancer so why would you let this mean anything to you if you’ve been through something like that.” That was enough for me to see the real perspective of things. He was a bully then so he probably still is.

How Bad Could it Be?

Let’s call this guy Rick. I believe him to be a passive-aggressive or covert bully. This means he behaved appropriately on the surface, but takes you down with subtlety. He complained more than once to my boss about me laughing. He said I was getting on his nerves. Rick wasn’t the only one to complain about my laughing. Another partner looked around the corner one day and gave me that “tsk tsk” look, meaning quit laughing. Oddly, I’ve always been told what a neat laugh I have. And who doesn’t enjoy the physical feeling of a hearty laugh. It’s been said it’s yoga for your insides. I wasn’t loud or boisterous but evidently laughing could be heard across the hall. My bad.

I think the worst thing Rick ever did was to show me who “the boss” really was. It was yearly review time, which who in the world ever enjoys that? He was not my boss and technically should have played no part in the process. He was, however, head of the Corporate Department. I accidentally overhead an HR person say to Rick’s secretary that she had my paperwork ready to give to him. What?? You don’t review me!! When I heard that I went to my boss immediately to see what was up. Turns out Rick sought out to give me a review.

I said to my boss, “Why would he want to review me?” He kind of indicated he really didn’t know or was holding back. So Rick fills out the review paperwork and trashes me on everything. Back to my boss, “Why would he do a thing like that? To him, I am merely lint on his shirt.” Do these types of people really enjoy harming others? Did it make him happy that I got a smaller raise because of his ratings and his remarks? I don’t get people like that. I really don’t.

I’ll have more law firm stories probably. Just rich with material.

To Sum It up

No one heals himself by wounding another. Author Unknown

Notes:

Website links for further reading (goes to):

Types of Abuse in the Workplace” from work.chron.com

The 5 Major Ways Adults Bully Each Other” from psychologytoday.com

4 comments

  1. Love it! Never worked in a law firm, but definitely in a “man’s field”. One boss in particular stands out – he was in the right spot at the right time and ended up being in management and I thought being in sales was the right spot, my mistake. His knowledge and background was much less than mine, but same as you low review scores (wouldn’t sign them one time, as he said I didn’t get along with others – haha only him) Should have taken a picture of him sleeping at desk. Thanks for sharing, it HELPS!!

  2. Yvonne and I have been neighbors for many years and I never knew she had this blog in her. Knew she had history that was painful, some of which she shared, and some I’m just learning now. All I can say, Yvonne, is keep it up. I think blogging is therapeutic to both you and others who are reading, whether they comment or not. Proud of you.

    1. Harriet, I love you. Your words are touching. Thank you for your encouragement and support. I need it. I’m hoping readers who can relate will happen upon my site. Thank you for leaving a comment.

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