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Running from the Mob
(Omaha, NE, USA)
I have long thought that my story of being harassed, singled out, labeled and overly scrutinized was a unique one in that it has happened on almost every job I've been on in the last ten years. Since my re-entry into the US workforce in October of 2003 I have literally chased from office to office.
Regardless of how congenial and professional I attempt to be in the onset, within days of my probationary period I have for some reason garnered a reputation of being someone of questionable character. Crazy, pickpocket, thief, terrorist... I once was addressed as a "serial killer" while employed at AT&T in Atlanta, GA by a maintenance worker whom I had seen only once before. The paradox is, I have in the past had no trouble impressing interviewers and being recruited to some very reputable F500 companies. Yet whenever I am exposed to the masses of the office staff, the promise of finally happening into a job where I can peacefully thrive degenerates into a hostile environment. And I'm sure with every job assignment I find myself, the effects of days of humiliation are weighing on my shoulders and surely affecting my performances.
The most insidious aspect of this to me, is how I am made to feel as if I'm being "paranoid" if I attempt to reasonably point out the obviously pointed bullying to an oft times complicit management. It's as if I'm being challenged or they're saying "we know you know what we're doing, so prove it." In these days of a struggling economy and double digit unemployment rates, I don't have the luxury of walking out and finding employment elsewhere. I'm in a kind of prison and the walls are closing in more and more every day.