Escaping a Predator at Work

Today I posted a blog in the series of The Lies of My Life. I mentioned that sometimes I still end up as a door mat, and although I’m usually pretty good about spotting the predatory types, I somehow get into situations where people want me to be their victim. What you’ll read today shows that even though you may have evolved to remove these types of predatory folks from your life, you have to trust your instincts. I’ve learned it’s the only thing you can trust. The GUT never lies.

This story begins when my brain was still healing. I had just come off of long term disability, and my doctors gave me the green light to come back to work. A friend of mine was talking about a position at his company, and asked me to meet with the big boss for lunch prior to the formal interview so we could talk about the opportunities. I was really appreciative of the job lead and pre-interview private screening that I know the other candidates didn’t get, so I went and had lunch.

Have you have had that feeling when you meet someone that there’s just something not right? Your vibe and their vibe isn’t good together? Your intuition sets off all the flags, and you ignore it because you give someone the benefit of the doubt? Yeah. All that happened at lunch. However, I really trusted my friend, and he told me everything was cool, so I just ignored it.

Next came the formal interview. Man, did that feeling ever come roaring back. However, the opportunity was a dream job for me, and I was itching to get back into work, even though I still had a disability on my chart and I was recovering, so I really went after it. The interview went well, and soon I was notified that I had secured my dream job. Awesome.

So off to work I went, and I went with the burning desire of a wild stallion to crush this job and do it in the way I do. I get in, start blazing through things and then WHAM, I get hit with two major projects that literally take up all my time that it left me with no time for the really important stuff. I was working more hours than my doctor allowed me to work, I was traveling against my doctor’s orders due to pressures from the boss, and then things started to get even worse.

One of the projects I was given to manage had been previously managed by another employee. Because my boss didn’t trust her ability to close the deal, he threw me on during the final push. Based on the way she talked to me, behaved in meetings, and treated others, she was clearly angry about the management decision to swap out the project manager. Her anger and resentment turned squarely to me instead of the people she should have been angry at – herself and the guy that took her off the project.

So for weeks, I got to hear earfuls of the horrible things she said about me. People I had begun developing relationships with stopped smiling back or saying hello when I saw them. I was literally being snubbed. Wow. I don’t even remember this kind of behavior in high school. It was as if all these grownups had regressed into the most insecure versions of angry, hormonal, and irrational pre-teens. I was watching the adult temper tantrums show. How interesting.

It got worse from there. Because this negative cancer had spread to my boss (later to find out he was the original cancer cell), he started sending managers to talk to me and ask me questions like, “what do you do all day?” and “what are you working on?” Naturally, I was happy to share my projects, show people what I was doing because I was so happy to be working and part of a team again. What I didn’t know is that these people were looking for a reason to find something wrong with me, and their sinister desire to find anything to hook onto and twist it was alive and well.

Shortly after, my boss sent me a message telling me that I’ve been out of the office too much for my medical condition, and that if I could do extra curricular activities outside of work then that meant I could work more. He also tried to paint the picture that my condition was worsening because I had extra curricular activities. He also went as far to say he believed what I did outside of work was a conflict of interest, and then tried to put a guilt trip on me for not giving my free time and my life to my company.  Typical corporate slavery lingo. Typical ignorance of productivity vs. hours studies. Typical ignorance that leisure rejuvenates the brain. Just typical ignorance. I quickly realized that I knew what was happening. My boss expected me to be loyal to him – he was trying to control and manipulate me. He didn’t understand the difference between loyalty to a company, being ethical, doing the right thing, etc. and loyalty to him as a person.

…and then all the red flags that I brushed off made sense. I recalled all the times he disclosed private HR information to me about my peers, all the racist and sexist comments I heard him say, all the times he characterized people as “backstabbers” or identified people I should look out for, all the times I heard him speak out of both sides of his mouth and changed his opinion depending on the audience, all the lies I caught him in, and AT THAT MOMENT everything was clear.

I should have trusted my intuition.

Dr. Phil would put this person in the BAITER category. He talks about this in his book Life Code. Dr. Phil is always right. Really. He is.

So after feeling like I could wrap up all my current projects on the highest possible note and bring them to completion, I submitted my resignation. I took the time to live in and be present in the state of gratefulness when I wrote it. I thanked my boss for the great opportunities to grow, etc., because regardless of the childish antics, I did have a lot of fun and met some of the most amazing people. …and because of that, I have so much to be thankful for.

…but then things turned ugly.

So here’s the thing about this boss-man. He couldn’t just take my resignation and professionally work with me to wrap things up. Nope. He hopped into bruised-ego-draw-first-blood-defensive-mechanism mode and basically went off the deep end. He spent a significant amount of energy telling people that nobody liked me (not true), my projects were failures (not true), I wasn’t leaving because of medical reasons (not true), and I’ll just stop right there because the rest is so unbelievably illegal and disgusting that I don’t even want to repeat it.

So if I ever needed a sign from the universe, from God, from the unified field, from the saints, from whomever, that I made the right decision by submitting my resignation – I got it.

And I realize that the things he said about me say more about his relationship with himself than  his relationship with me.

How sad to live in a mind where you can’t (as I say in a previous blog) “face your own shit” because you can’t stand the pain of dealing with it, so you put it on the innocent and make them deal with it.

But it’s ok. It’s all ok. Life is a lesson for all of us, and if I’ve learned anything, it’s to trust my gut, remember what this feels like, and keep myself away from it in the future.

And I forgive them. All of them. I forgive how they hurt and seek to destroy the innocent because they are unable to face the reality of their own emotional business. I’ll keep everyone in my thoughts and prayers. I hope they too can be healed and recover from the nightmare they must be living in.

And because I know you’ll read this, because you’re cyberstalking me right now….

I forgive you.


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