Tuesday, October 21, 2008

sometimes we get what we want (and realize we're not sure we want it)

So after a lot of heart searching a consulting with a couple colleagues I trust, I decided I would talk to my boss about what happened, and what's been going with, the enforcer. It was hard, harder then I thought it would be. I discovered there's a blank space in my memory of the event, which kind of freaks me out. I don't remember how it ended. I remember being in the corner being yelled at, and I remember being on the phone, getting ready to pick up donations. I don't remember getting up, or the argument stopping.

Anyway, my boss says we have to all get together and talk. Which is of course, what I expected. However, now that it's happening, I'm less then enthused. It doesn't help that I'm hearing from other staff that they've tried to deal with the enforcer and nothing has changed. All that will happen is my boss is going to try and make him listen to my side of things, and then make me listen to his. And I need to of course try and get through this without crying.

My boss basically said well, this is what the enforcer is like. Well, you know what, that doesn't make it right! I don't care if it's him being him. That's like when I got told "boys will be boys" when I was being bullied in middle school. The bullies aren't supposed to win. You know what it is though, is seniority with the union, management can't touch him unless they have an incredibly good reason. And if anything happens, it's going to be me who winds up having to change shifts, something I don't want to have to do.

I think the worst part of this is, we're not going to meet until next Tuesday morning (because of the weekend and the fact that the enforcer and I have only 3 days on together not 5 (I work his days off and he works mine). But, my boss is phoning him today to give him notice for the meeting. That means i have minimum three shifts (probably four) during which I have to work with him, knowing we have to do this later.

I'm going to be honest right now, I mean if I can't be honest in my blog, where can I be honest, and say that this is really upsetting me. And honestly, I'm upset and embarrassed that it's getting to me. I'm crying more, about other things too, I'm grumpy and cranky, I'm tired all the time, and going to work just isn't good anymore when I know he's going to be there. I have to deal with this one way or another, and I'm glad I spoke up, but wow, I feel like total crap. I'm sick of crying, I'm sick of feeling like crap. I thought once all the changes in my life were done things would level off for me, but then this happens and things seem to get even worse. I will get through this, but what will it cost me verses what will I gain!?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey I really feel for you - I'm going through something like this at the moment with my social work group project (I've just started studying for a social work degree). The feelings you are feeling at the moment are not who you are so remind yourself of that. My analyst passed that bit of wisdom on to me yesterday! And it all matters - standing up for yourself matters regardless of the outcome. Me, I'm scared of the outcome too - but it's a pattern I've fallen into before and, as my tutor reminded me, this is an opportunity for me to change the narrative of my life. In a similar way - this is yours. He may not like what you say or what you do, but you have a right to have your viewpoint treated with respect. Ultimately, if management condone bullying, then walking away can be the best way we can care for ourselves (I think). But I write that with the proviso that you stand up for yourself first - and I say this with real feeling because for the whole of the 45 years I've been on this planet, I've not - I've run away without standing up for myself - and doing it repeatedly has only diminished me. Be kind to yourself the next few days. Keep a record of any interactions which seem abusive (if you feel able to - I know I've sometimes struggled with the pain of this). And hold firm to your own truth. Finally remember this too shall pass ....

Anonymous said...

PS By walking away I mean consciously looking for another organisation which values the dignity of the people that work for it more.

lcsw mom said...

It may help to go with a few concerns of yours and with them solutions to the concerns and wording them using "I" statements versus "you" statements. I find that if I prepare my remarks when meeting with a poophead that it goes much better. It usually goes better also if there are some suggestions for improvement and for trying to meet them on middle ground. Be thinking of you.

Caroline said...

You know, I was listening to my grand daughter talking about the inequalities, "in crowds" and bullying at school (she's five) and it struck me that nothing has ever changed as I've gone on with my life, time after time I have been the "new girl", felt included or felt left out, left with tears in my eyes or a spring in my step - what frightens me is - I see exactly the same things in old folks homes -You are right, people like the enforcer are almost untouchable because fo employment law - unless they do something heinous they carry on - so all you can do is what makes you able to walk tall. Your thoughts are yours, his are his - and he cant have your soul, your principles or your beliefs - this isn't about victory, it's about dignity. I am with you in spirit, get through it, say your piece and move on - you were right, you can look in the mirror and know that is true. In the end, you are ok and he behaved like a bigot - take courage my dear - we will all be rooting for you x

illusivejoy said...

Some of the most challengin moments I have had in this field have been dealing with difficult or innapropriate coworkers. You should be proud of yourself for not accepting bad treatment. Too many people get away with behavior that is in my opinion, unacceptable. Good for you for standing up for yourself. I guarantee there ARE others or HAVE BEEN others who wished they had the courage to do something about this person.

socialworkemergency said...

Hey - I am sorry that you are having to deal with this. The SWs at my hospital have had countless meetings with state agencies and risk management over the confidentiality issue. It is very complex, and people get passionate about it - usually because of personal beliefs/values. You are doing the right thing; proposing an alternative response to a dilemma and discussing the benefits/costs of each option is our responsibility when you consider the ethical decision making model. You might want to raise that point next week. It could help reinforce your approach as conscientious (your view) vs. confrontational (as the enforcer sees it). Good luck, and remember to breathe!

cb said...

It sounds like a really difficult situation. Work shouldn't be making you feel like that. Definitely thinking of you. Take care.