What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

I'm Being Paid To Be Abused

by Maria
(Martinsburg, WV)

I've worked for my boss for one year now. At first, he was funny, kind, giving, and supportive. And within two months, it began. The put-downs but he was "only joking" - the insults of where I'm from - the belittling of my job performance, the snide remarks under his breath, even going as far as insulting my own family. And then things would get better and he was fun again and out of the blue it started again - and the pattern began.

I can't lose this job, I told myself, I have a daughter to raise and I'm a single mother. Even though this job has no health insurance or benefits or vacation or sick leave, I have to keep it. But the warning signs were there from the beginning - taking credit for ideas I had. Taking time off to leave me on my own doing his work. Put downs in front of the clients. And when he hired a new person in the office, his sarcasm escalated in front of her. She thought it was funny. And still comments, "you two fight like an old married couple." I told her, "I can do without it."

Then, after being here a year, the new girl starts and I see subtle changes. I'm excluded from meetings. She's automatically given vacation after 2 months when I worked here a year. He gives her 1/2 days off. She comes in late and leaves early. He is always nitpicking my work. Coming up with mistakes that aren't even there. So, I get anxious and nervous. Losing files on his own, and forgetting things only to blame me and call me "ditzy". His sarcasm is with everyone, even the clients. He told me to "Get a Life" in front of them the other day and I retorted, "I have a life." He wouldn't let it go and said, "Get a better life." In front of the clients. It's so demeaning.

That was this week, and then a day after he was extremely moody and nitpicky that morning, I gave him a file and jokingly said, "here you go sassy pants" - he wasn't laughing and said, "Okay bitch." I ignored him and turned around. But it stung. I'm in a difficult situation because I can't lose this job but I'm very depressed working here.

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