Tag Archives: interview

Stockholm Syndrome

bullying in workplaceThe end could be in sight – I had a second, very successful job interview yesterday and I can almost taste freedom. For my sanity, I need to get out of my current job.

Until recently, I had never experienced workplace bullying. When I informed my colleagues about my MS, I didn’t expect kid glove treatment or special measures, just a little understanding. I was completely unprepared for what happened next.

Bit by bit my duties were stripped from me. I was told that I could no longer drive for work, cutting me off from a large percentage of what my job actually entails. I was studiously ignored and excluded, most of my projects were shelved and backs were literally turned. Schoolgirl sniggers might sound harmless , but when executed effectively, they can be brutal.

In the blink of a diagnosis, I have been branded worthless, a waste of company resources and deemed less intelligent than before. Yet the only tangible change is that I chose to reduce my working hours (due to extreme fatigue), so that when I was in work, I could be as effective, if not more, than before.

What angers me most though, is that their callous and cruel actions have robbed me of the mental clarity needed to adjust to my diagnosis. I have been fighting a war on two fronts and it is clear they are hoping to make my life so unbearable that I will have no choice but to leave.

So why, on the threshold of a brighter future, do I feel nostalgic? Have I come to love my tormentors as a way of coping with the ongoing ordeal? I think I have had to believe that deep down, they are decent people, in order to force myself out of the house each morning. Or perhaps it is just sadness, for never being allowed to reach my full potential.

In the meantime, as I wait for good news, I will cheer myself up by reading our company policy on ‘Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace’. It’s by far the best work of fiction I have read in a long time…

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Interview nerves

Is it just me or are job interviews like blind dates? You need to make a dazzling impression in 3 seconds flat, you spend ages on your outfit and you practice your witty laugh and come-back comments in the mirror. I had an interview yesterday and I always reckon Friday interviews are a good bet – everyone’s looking forward to the weekend and we can just kick back and chill. Wouldn’t you know though, it was a job I applied for and promptly forgot about as I was only asked to submit my CV and a covering email. Yet I can spend hours and hours on carefully-crafted, 10-page long personal statements and not hear a peep.

I took an inordinate amount of time selecting a suitable outfit, painstakingly applied make-up so that it looked like I wasn’t wearing any, teased my unruly hair into bouncy waves and applied perfume very liberally. I read up on the company, memorised facts and wrote a few tiny crib notes on my wrist, carefully hidden under my watch. Unfortunately, as this whole process took over two hours, I downed gallons of coffee to steady my nerves. By the time I left the house, every nerve was buzzing, but, hey, I was on form, I was flying.

At the reception desk, a jaded receptionist slapped a very large ID sticker on my coat and commanded me to sit and wait until I was ‘collected’. I was then lead to the most open-plan office ever designed where the workers were handing round birthday cake, casting sad little glances in my direction,  as I huddled in the tiny corner sitting-area.

Finally I was called in to The Panel and an hour (an hour!) later, I was led back to the lift and sent on my way. I won’t be cracking open the Champagne just yet, but I think I have a good chance. If I am successful I get called back for a second, then a third interview, gulp. Wish me luck and watch this space…

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