Policy and Procedure? Bah!
Bullying can make you sick! I can't work at all. I have to accept my life may never be the same again. Every aspect of my life has been affected. As well as impacting on my finances I am now dependant (albeit partially) on my aging mother who is not well herself. I need help with all my activities of daily living. My illness effects the cloths I wear, my social life, intimacy - basically my capacity to enjoy life as I have ceased to become the light and bubbly people person who loves to dance and have become the person who can't walk far and needs to rest a lot. Once very active I now have to balance my activities so I don't overtax myself. It has set me up to appear lazy and unsociable - the opposite to who I really am.
Because of my workplace I have suffered the effects of Adrenal exhaustion. Noteworthy of this is that you cannot live without your adrenals. If your adrenal glands cease to function you die. I have stage 3 adrenal exhaustion. There is not stage 4. It's death.
So how did this happen? I bought the organisational speil that policies and procedure were the rules that both worker and organisation work by. Wrong. Because when push came to shove I was the one to get shoved out the door and denied what policy and procedure had assured me.
3 years ago I was the new girl on the block with a lifetime of experience yet to be gleened by my workmates. However my manager, more interested in pleasing her superiors than doing the right thing by her staff, employed me as a cost saving bandaid to a festering gaping wound that was a department at odds with one another. The staff were unhappy and rightly so. Their needs were being ignored and it caused them to turn on each other.
The eternal peacemaker, I consistantly took the passive approach. I looked at it as a test of time and that they would eventually see my gifts and talents and accept me. I got on with everyone except some senior staff members who were masters at the art of bullying. I eventually went to the manager about being singled out. Again and again she said she would handle it but the incidences seemed to escalate in propensity. Long story short, my manager used these bullies to try and make me leave my job by making me look like the bad egg. Others were influenced by the negative attitude being directed toward me and I was openly ostracised in front of clients, excluded from opportunities of learning and undervalued my input.
The stress indicators - like being withdrawn, confused under pressure and having to take regular sick leave added to the negativity surrounding my employment there. I was emotionally and psychologically drained. Then I sustained an injury that affected my physical capacity. On my return from leave I was openly treated as a nuisance because I was on 50% workload. Gradually my workload was increased to include the workload of someone else who had left and hadn't been replaced - another cost cutting measure by the organisation. I finally broke down. From that moment I was cut off from my work society. I didn't hear from anyone from work for several months. When I did I was told that workers were warned not to contact me, my manager forcing some to make a statement that she did not tolerate bullying in the workplace!
The insurance company's aim is to place me back into this workplace before I am signed off from WorkCover. There has been no dialogue with me - no indication that changes to the system or further education on prevention of bullying have been implemented to prevent further 'injury' to me or other workers. My worker's comp payments have now stopped - a direct ploy to make me go back to work without my doctor's authority. I will have to access my superannuation to pay the lawyers to defend me. I really don't know where this is going but I may become the first person to die in the workplace due to adrenal failure! Will anyone care?!!