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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

One Man's Song

by B. S. Foolsbane
(Columbus, OH)

He worked at a job for 21 years and then he was fired. For two months after he was fired he sat in the dark in his room and chanted out loud to himself, “I want to die. I want to die.” Until, finally, one dark night he had the method of his demise pointed at his temple, but since he is a loser and a failure and afraid, he was unable to end his own life. And now he’s stuck.

For most of those years he worked in a hostile work environment. His coworkers bullied him and judged him and demeaned him and diminished him. But they did it in a way that wasn’t actionable. They just said it was a matter of perspective. At times he often felt like the Charlize Theron character in the movie North Country, except he didn’t have an ailing Frances McDormand to speak up for him. And he knows that millions of people have suffered horrors so much worse than what he has, but that doesn’t make his mistreatment okay.

Recently the child of one of his former coworkers spit venom and vitriol at him because she was angry that he was complaining about how he had been mistreated. His coworkers often attributed thoughts and motivations to him that were not in him, but once they decided he was a horrible, terrible, lousy, no good person that is how they treated him. They felt justified in hurting him repeatedly and irrevocably. No one ever defended him. No one ever protected him. No one ever helped him. No one ever believed him. No one ever believed in him.

But he is a man. He’s not allowed to complain. He is not allowed to be hurt. He is not allowed to be traumatized. He is not allowed to say #MeToo. He is just not allowed.

He has been removed from the world. He is alone and waiting to die. He mostly thinks of something Bill Murray said in the movie Meatballs, “It just doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t matter.”

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