To my Mentor: I’m sorry, it’s the worst thing that I’ve said to anyone in my life!

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You and I had a mentor-protégée relationship and not a romance. It was a touch confusing from the outside because we had a fair amount of casual sex. From the inside our relationship was extremely simple. We had a mentor-protégée relationship with benefits.

In the summer that we parted company you pointed out that you knew me like the back of your hand and that I knew you like the back of my hand. At that point in time you expressed concern that you were doing something that might have been hurting someone else. Then you said, “You can’t accept this can you?”

I told you that I couldn’t. I’m deeply sorry for that. It’s literally the worst thing that I have done in my life. I thought that I was being a strong person and a wise person. Truthfully, I was being a deeply unappreciative person and a fool.

As you know, a sales manager abused me. In this work I’m referring to him as, “The Perpetrator.” It’s interesting that I can define him as the perpetrator of sexual assault while defining myself as a survivor rather than a victim, isn’t it? But, I digress!

You also know that he was extremely threatened by me professionally and that his first move had been to try to manipulate me out of reinforcing my skill set at management. I’ll address why I didn’t feel it at first later. But, I did feel it enough to take control of the questions at one point. Candidly, immediately prior to that he had said, quite arrogantly, “Will you feel it? You might.”

At any rate, I took control of the questions and he got past me anyway, at least at first.

Honestly, he had to offer me a management position in order to get me to accept a position. On the night that we did the paper work he told me that he would promote me within three weeks. Within seventy-two hours he told me that he wouldn’t put me in a management position at all because he, “wanted” me, “focused on myself.”

When I offered my respectful resignation based on that he became horribly threatening and abusive.

I last saw him in person at his investment property the following summer. He was my client again at that point in time. I had accepted the listings with the specific caveat that we meet in person within seventy-two hours. I was going to end the relationship in that meeting, or attempt to again, and I thought that if I did it in person he might be respectful. I’m aware that my logic was completely irrational but it’s impossible to think clearly when one is suffering from nightmares and flashbacks, like I was at the time. Moreover, denial is quite common in these situations and I was suffering from it. As usual, he broke his word.

I met him by accident at his property. At that point in time I said that I thought that I would have been, “successful” at my position if I had been, “managing.”

He replied, “I agree with you.”

At that point in time he had asked me to go to another company, “do ten transactions and come back.”

I suggested that we end the “relationship respectfully” because we were, “not the right match professionally.”

Instead of acknowledging my statement he changed the topic by saying, “You’re big like me, I’ve seen you do it.”

He was referencing the point at which I took control of the questions.

In the following month he became so violently verbally abusive that three days later I suffered anxiety so severe that I had to call nine-one-one because I thought that I was having a heart attack. When the paramedics picked me up they thought that I had been attacked. When I told a paramedic that I had not he said, “I don’t believe you. But it’s okay, you will tell the doctors the truth.”

I notified him of this and he showed no remorse.

You taught me management. You taught me Drucker, Bennis and Kanter.

You taught me that what big people do is fix their mistakes and apologize.

Thank you for teaching me management!

Edited on December25th, 2010.

Quick note to readers: “Workplace Issues” is a work of creative nonfiction based on my true story of being bullied. It’s told in a series of open letters.


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