Temet Nosce is something that I have been working on recently. It has been a struggle and I find it quite difficult. Everyday I work a bit more on it and it has been enjoyable and difficult at the same time. This Medium Article is being written to allow me to address things from my past to better understand myself. In addition I hope that it will help others that might be in a similar situation.
First I have to say an expression that my partner’s Mom says, ‘Everything happens for a reason even if you don’t know what it is at the time’. It is an expression that I really appreciate, and I have come to understand it very well.
Second I have to say I am very glad I don’t work for my former employer as they had become very toxic to me. At the time I stayed because I was invested in many ways, mentally, emotionally, and of course financially. Trusting your gut is very important and my gut was telling me something that I wasn’t listening too.
Third I would love to say I am in a great place now that I don’t work there and life is amazing. That would be untrue, life is getting better everyday, and I am in a good place, except something has been stuck in my craw about what happen to me. That is why I am writing this, I want to get to the bottom of what is stuck in my craw and hopefully dissect it.
Why am I bringing this up now and not closer to when it happen? Well I have not been ready until now and I feel that if I don’t do it that it will ‘haunt’ me. In addition my former employers recent blog post, and then this one have made me feel that they want to have a conversation about it.
You see I was a remote worker for this company and they were bought. When they were bought we were told ‘Your Job Won’t Change, Nothing Will Change, Just Sign the New Contract’. Being a good worker bee I signed. I didn’t have any verbiage put in my contract about being a remote worker. I didn’t make anything formal about my situation in writing. I was relying on the moral and ethical ‘rightness’ of the company and taking them on their word that they would do what they said. Why I would do that with a company that had a President that had been convicted of a Felony while on the company dime I am not sure. Maybe I thought they had turned a new leaf when they were bought except I knew in my gut the truth based on actions they had taken with current and former employees.
A few months after signing the new contract I was having issues with my management. I took these issues to Human Resources to see if they could be addressed. Since our HR team was part time there were some delays between interactions and I was put into some interesting situations. It got so bad that I decided to create a formal bullying complaint. When I told HR that I wanted to put in a formal bullying complaint I was told,
‘If you want to file a formal bullying complaint the President of the company has said you are required to move back to the home office.’
At this point I said,
‘Since I am unable to move back and you know that(I had previously turned down a position that required me to move back as it would split my family up) I consider the request another bullying action and I asked to add it to my complaint.’
In response I was told,
‘If you don’t move then “You Quit”’
Being a remote employee means that once they change your password you can’t log in to work anymore. Once they deactivate your phone you can’t call anyone anymore. Once they remotely deactivate your computer you can’t even turn it on anymore. I packed up the gear that wasn’t mine, as it is theft to hold on to equipment you don’t own, and I shipped it back.
The follow up to this is that I took my company to the labor board for not paying me for work I had done. Doing work without being paid is in the employee handbook under bullying. The labor board agreed my company did not pay me for work I had done and at the same time they said ‘You Quit’.
So I proved I was being bullied and I was still told ‘You Quit’.
For me I think the most important thing that I can say to anyone that might be in this situation is twofold. First, always get it in writing. Second and more importantly is to find a way to leave, I should have trusted my gut long before this situation arose and I did not.
I would love to say that I learned that being bullied is easy to combat except that would be a lie. Being bullied is something that is complex, hard for people to see at times, and not easy to overcome. If you are being bullied in the workplace I suggest you leave as quickly as possible. If you are being bullied in school or other aspects of your life please tell people. If they don’t listen, tell more people, and get help for yourself too. Life is too short to let others push you around and you should never accept that from anyone. Your health and safety are the most important thing and leaving the situation is almost always the best option.
This might sound strange but it is true, I wish my former employer no ill will.
Please if you liked this share it, and let me know in the comments if you have ever experienced anything similar. I would love to hear from you.