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Try to Hang in There for the Severance
(New York, NY)
Having worked previously in the Legal/Compliance Department for a large corporation in the private sector, I learned how far an employer can and will go to remove an employee or coerce them to quit. Also, my father owned an employment agency during my early employment years, and I was fired from about nine jobs in three years. He would always send to me to a new job and never once told me I had to put up with any mess. I’ve pretty much built up immunity to the threat of being fired.
Recently, I worked as an Administrator in a large health care organization. My immediate supervisor was an equal opportunity abuser, so I didn't take it personal. However, she attempted to sabotage me on many occasions. On the eve of a deadline, she spent the entire day screaming at me at the top of her lungs in front of everyone. I met the deadline and earned the respect of some of my superiors and most of my peers and became the go to person for others when they were on the hot seat. I later learned that she was being abused by her superiors as one day she quit with no warning. Thanks to her attempts to tarnish my reputation, they turned their attention to me. I guess since she was gone, they wanted to get rid of me too. They wrote me up for all sorts of minutiae, none of it true. One of her supervisors in particular would stand in the middle of the floor and scream at the top of her lungs. (Luckily for me I was never there). Another would blatantly lie about some perceived insubordination. (I was there for that). Either way, I was not fazed.
I attempted to solve these situations diplomatically. My approaches to solve these difficult situations were rebuffed more than once. During one sit down, I was told that doing things the right way is not always acceptable. (Not kidding!) These were some really belligerent individuals.
Another time, I was called into the screamer's office. She and the liar attempted to double-team me with verbal abuse and false accusations. I sat there quietly listening to the tirade and when all was said and done, they asked me if I wanted to respond. I replied no I didn’t, thanked them for their feedback and asked if they wanted me to close the door on my way out. The look on their faces was priceless. Two months later I was called in again. This time they gave me a nice severance package, a letter of recommendation and thanked me for my contributions to the department.
I have previous experiences from years before dealing with workplace bullies who were trying to get me to quit. I finessed those as well and received severance packages in both cases. I've also worked as a temp/consultant for years in between permanent jobs, which you know makes you a bully magnet at all levels. I used to fight back (professionally of course) without ever having to report anyone. I can sense the weaknesses of these individuals. I was picked on briefly while growing up and became an unofficial advocate for the underdog. I’ve been successful more often than not in diffusing these toxic individuals, both personally and professionally. However, I'm not perfect. I've been known to blow up in the past, but I no longer take that approach as I believe it is counterproductive and accomplishes nothing.
These days I remain thoughtful and focused. I've managed to take on some of the nastiest people in my experiences. I subscribe to the adage "Don't let anyone rent space in your head” and “I haven’t got time for the pain." Now I'm like "If you don't want me, someone else will." I grew up in a large family of loud mouthed, argumentative people. Some of them don't like me either, so I'm prepared and forearmed. I'd like to see these people held accountable for their actions. It's disgusting. All some of us want to do is go to work, do a good job, get some praise, maybe a decent raise, and keep it moving. I'd like to see some legislation passed to help correct this problem, but I know it's easier said than done. Thank God for these forums.
I am currently working in the same building for another company. I welcome the moment when I run into these two bi---es. I don't think I'll do anything drastic, because I don't work for them anymore, but who knows?