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Bullied Once And Refrained From Return Years Later
2005. I joined a big Telco company as a contractor. Before 6 months they offered me a perm position that I accepted gratefully. My reputation of reliable, strong, capable project manager, and my technical knowledge was unquestionable. I did not develop profound, personal friendship, but my sense of humor, and my social skills allowed me to get to know many, many people at all levels, that would ask me for recipes, soccer games for kids, books, shoe deals, to help with work when they found themselves new, shy, or simply not fluent with the task assigned.
2006. My peer was promoted and became my boss. We were what I consider 'work-friends'. I thought I was a very lucky individual... I helped her to form a new team (we hired 7 contractors) I back her up in multiple instances, and I continue my successful career, which by the way was becoming recognized by the very upper management team. However, after 7 months, I suddenly became a person of no trust; according to my boss I turned suspicious, with a hidden agenda, angry, and more. The accusations were subtle ("I am trying to help you with your problem") but escalating quickly.
I was finally given a warning from my supervisor and put me on probation. I was accused of having an anger problem, and forced to take an Anger Management course. I had to discuss with her what I was learning on a daily basis on that class, and sharing with her what I was going to do to 'overcome' my anger. In addition I was also accused of avoiding her contact because my corporate phone broke, and before receiving the new one I did not call on my way back from the dentist. I was also accused of stepping on the floor to strongly while walking, dressing up to show of to the rest of the company, and not following rules. etc. A disciplinary file was opened against me. In early Feb 2007 I left the company.
It took me 6 months of heavy therapy and medication to be able to drive in around the former office area without having a panic attack.
Late 2008. I was employed since mid 2007 and working on different projects abroad. Family illness brought me back to USA. My new company happened to be parter in business with my former one, and I was offered a position on that account. Due to the past issues, I requested previous verification that my return to their premises was not going to be an issue for anyone (former and new ones). I was cleared of any obstacles and started back. In less than 3 months reputation as an exceptional professional grew very quickly and I was promoted in November 2009. 3 weeks later, my former company contacted my HR department requesting an immediate release of my consulting services with them. They reviewed my profile and it was decided I was not suitable to work there as a consultant (of course neither as an employee).
I am back to therapy. I thought I was 'cured', but I found myself back to the same dark hole. Only this time is much, much deeper.