I have a question. I am in a situation at work where I am not sure if its abuse or just plain bad attitude. I work in an office with four other women; one is our supervisor. She is something else. I have been there for 10 years now and I have seen so many people come and go there that it can’t be normal. The Supervisor thinks she’s God. When I first started, she treated me so badly that I came home at night crying. She has a power thing going. Every time a new person comes in she does the same thing. I use to tell new employee’s to be patient and she would move on to her next victim. She has grabbed my arm tight so that I could not leave the room. She mentally abuses me and many before me, and probably will many more after me. Once again I find myself going home at night and crying. I try to stay away from her and she finds me and abuses me more I call it abuse because anyone that degrades and humiliates another person is abusive. My response to her bitching today was a few Moo’s, and I told her, “If God had intended for me to be abused he would have made me a kicking post not an Accountant.” I have several others that will back me if needed that she has done the same to. She can’t even use the same temp services more than two times because of the complaints that temps have given.
Abused,You are really a wonder, staying in an abusive relationship for 10 years. You have a gift of patience and hope for change. I see you as a good person who is loyal to your job in spite of undeserved abuse and emotional suffering. I also see you as an agent of change, change for yourself, other workers, for your supervisor and the company you are working for. If you do not choose to take this opportunity for the good of all, you had better find another job.You do not have to take this abuse. Your reaction has been to submit and that is not healthy. You need to know that ten years ago was the best time to act and correct the situation. However, it is not too late. I wonder why you have chosen to suffer so long? Perhaps it is because you haven’t learned to be assertive enough, to stand up to your supervisor in the presence of her boss who is also your real boss.I suggest that you seize this opportunity, and delay no longer. You need to go to the boss over you and your supervisor and ask her or him to be a witness to what you must say to your abuser; “Look, I have taken all this abuse for altogether too long, as have countless of other employees. I cannot work in a negative, destructive environment. And for my sake and others, and the good of the company, I request that you change your behavior to me and all other of my workers or I will have to make some changes on my own.”I believe that your boss over her will admire you for your stand and thank you for it. If that doesn’t happen, then you must seek your freedom to be treated as a human being with respect elsewhere. Do it Now! Speaking up for your self and for the good of the company is what we call WEGO action. Feel free to keep us posted on what works and what doesn’t. Changing one’s self takes courage. Changing others takes patience and persistence.
Ed Hollenberg, M.D.