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Former Executive Director / The Devil's Playmate
(New York City)
I worked at a prominent community service organization that takes pride in the slogan "we build strong kids, families and communities". It also has a mission statement that guarantees respect.
During the first two months of my employment, the Executive Director spent quality time with me going over reports, discussing plans for the company and how great it was to have me on board.
Every now and then in private, he would throw a cutting remark my way. The comments would come out of nowhere and then get brushed aside with his smile. Then he would take delight in telling me about his upcoming weekend, home, kids and vacation plans. I listened to the fun things, but always took a mental note to not repeat the action that the Director had "playfully" griped about.
By month five, the boss's verbal snowflakes had morphed into a full-blown avalanche. These irrational attacks would occur not only in private, but had begun to spill over into staff meetings. I was so embarrassed, humiliated, paralyzed and just wanted to fall through a hole in the floor. I said nothing and did nothing except take it.
My head was not screwed on to think about quitting. All I focused my attention on was that little spotlight called my job. It was my dream come true. I couldn't just walk away. Working for this company paid the electric, the gas, the rent and the work was my social identity.
After a year, I took a bold move and complained to Human Resources. No help there... in fact, things got worse. I soon learned to just keep quiet and live with my Sunday evening blues and Monday morning diarrhea.
After three years. The Executive Director was promoted. I thought that I would finally be free, but that didn't stop him from harassing me. When I came close to suicide, I knew it was time to either quit the job or stay and die.
I left. There was no big fanfare. It just ended. I got away, but not fully. I stayed too long. I am now emotionally scarred. I have confidence issues and lack of trust in my own abilities. I was once a 5-Star worker. I used to be someone who could do any type of job with the greatest of ease. Now, I only have my memories and my anger.