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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Bullied by the CEO Part 4

by Danielle

INCIDENT NINE: Exactly one week after this incident came the next one. Our CEO was out of office for the day, for some meetings in Charlotte. He called me that after noon and asked what I was doing. I told him we were almost a week behind on filling and I was trying to catch up, he said that the files were important and that he was forwarding me some e-mails about IContact and wanted me to look at them and to call the IT guy if I had any questions. He sent them then called to make sure I got them. He called about 20 minutes later to see if I called the IT guy. I said no, I haven’t finished reading the website and direction yet and asked him what he wanted me to do with it. He said that he wants to send out birthday cards and a start a newsletter. I said ok, then what do you want me to do, he replied again talk to the IT guy if you have any questions and hangs up. I went to lunch and came back after I finished reading everything. He called me again and asked again if I had spoken to the IT guy for IContact, I replied, “No, I don’t know what you want me to do or what to ask him”. He again told me how he wants to send out birthday cards and monthly news letters. I said ok, but what do you want me to do, I don’t understand. He said just call the IT guy. I again ask what do you want me to ask him. He said just call him, I wanted this done yesterday. In which my response was, “You should have given it to me yesterday then”. He then said, “Forget it, don’t do it. We’ll talk about this Monday” and hung up. Again I cried, I felt like a child be given instructions without all the information and then ridiculed for no understanding. If wasn’t until a week later that he finally gave me a list of contacts that he wanted to be added and for each category, I finished the IContact project in 2 hours after this. The whole incident could have been avoided if he just told me what he wanted, which I kept asking; I am not a mind reader and do not enjoy be reprimanded because of that.

INCIDENT TEN: This is last major incident and last one I am going to list; this is the one that got me fired. I had come into work one Wednesday morning to an email that some files were “missing”. They weren’t missing, just hadn’t been filed yet and responded accordingly. When the CEO came in that day he questioned us about the pile of files that we were a week behind one. He had asked us if we could get them done in 24 hours. I honestly answered “that is never going to happen”. Instead of asking why, he said, “We don’t say never here.” I then replied, “It’s just never going to happen, it’s not possible” This went back and forth a couple more times. I realized he wasn’t understanding me so I change how I was wording things and replied “Under the current circumstances we can’t get it done, we have too much work”. He replied just try and walked out of the front office.

Later that day he called me into his office. I came in and the QA/QI person was sitting in a chair and took the one next to her. He shut the door and asked if I remembered what had happened when he came in that morning. I asked which time, because he had come in several other times that day. Finally after several interchanges he told me the one regarding the files. I said yes and he asked me to repeat in my best words. I did.

He then repeated it as well. We basically had the same story and I didn’t deny anything that he said I said. At this point I still have no idea I had done anything wrong. The conversation slowly escalated when he told me I lacked professionalism and it lead to both of us saying very inappropriate things. The conversation lasted thirty minutes and I was completely balling lots for words. I felt cornered, degraded, and completely humiliated. He told me I was unprofessional, insubordinate, had a bad attitude, was rude, and needed thicker skin because I was crying. I told him, I’m sorry but I will need to leave after this because I felt I would not be able to maintain my composure. He then told me not to take the next day off. I was then fired Friday afternoon, after I came in a worked all day.

I hadn’t realized I had offened him, during that exchange otherwise I would have tried to express my concern in another manor. It would have also gone differently if when he called me to his office, that he first stated that the QA/QI person and I were there because he felt my response about the files earlier that day was inappropriate. The QA/QI person also had no idea why she was called to the office. He forced us both in a truly uncomfortable and unnecessary position that caused me my job.

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