To: The Team Members Involved ~ Exactly what is the difference between you and the girls that bullied Phobe Prince to death, except age?

South Hadley, Massachusetts "green",...

Image via Wikipedia

There is absolutely no excuse for abusive behavior, at all. Even if I was a petty thief and the perpetrators analysis of my character was accurate it just isn’t an excuse for abusive behavior, period. And, it would stand to reason that he had a motive to damage my reputation. You all actually trusted his analysis of my character blindly. Most people would be simply shocked by that. Personally, I’m not because I understand how a mob mentality works. It’s inherently irrational and unethical.

Is it rational to trust the perpetrator of any nature of severe abuse about the character and actions of their target or victim? Just in case you all want to suffer from a convenient case of confusion the answer is no.

The perpetrators attacks on my character were a combination of fabrications and his projections. Severely abusive individuals almost always project their own emotional problems onto their target or victim. It’s intuitive that someone capable of that level of abuse has serious emotional problems and is lacking in integrity.

In cases of mobbing, or bullying by a group, accusations of theft and drug addiction are common. I was accused of attempted theft. The first former journalist who I discussed this with used the phrase, “Obviously trumped up.”

I’ll explain exactly what’s wrong with this. First of all, the bully clearly has a motive. Second of all, the mob mentality had already set in so the witness does also. Third of all my friend was typing on a computer rather than packing it up. A quick search history would have revealed that she had visited Match dot com. She switched from an office computer to a lap top because Match was blocked on the office computers. I can understand someone taking issue with this but calling it criminal is ridiculous.

In order for an accusation of attempted theft to have any credibility at all someone has to be accused of trying to steal something. Exactly what was I accused of trying to steal?

I understand that during my brief and unfortunate affiliation with that firm you all gossiped about the fact that there was, “something weird” about the fact that my meetings with the perpetrator were, “so frequent.”

Since you all considered me to be attractive and considered him to be having a mid life crisis the implication was sexual harassment, period. It was impossible to miss the fact that I was in a state of duress and impossible to miss the cause. I was even breaking into cold sweats whenever the perpetrator came near me. Instead of trying to help you all gossiped, laughed and par took in the abuse, including but not limited to accusing me of having bad hygiene.

The reason that our meetings were so frequent is that the perpetrator was refusing my respectful resignation by intimidating my physically and referencing me personal and specifically sexual history. This was wrongful termination as well as sexual harassment. Needless to say, I don’t want the position back!

Severe workplace abuse be it harassment, bullying or a combination there of almost always causes post traumatic stress disorder. It can cause heart conditions as well. PTSD always creates some risk of suicide. Candidly, I did almost kill myself at one point.

Every last one of you who was affiliated with the firm at that point in time knew about the bullying and harassment. All of you knew that I had suffered a breakdown because of it.

It was intuitive that it was a breakdown due to abuse rather than a psychotic breakdown. You all knew the truth. And exactly what did you do about it?

You all ran around gossiping, laughing about it and calling me names like the mean girls at South Hadley High, didn’t you?

Note: While you all are receiving this as a mass email it is also a post at the site “Stop Mobbing, Bullying and Harassment.” Moreover, hard copies of these posts have been sent to home addresses or PO Boxes of all parties copied. As Warren Bennis points out in “Transparency” it’s nearly impossible to suppress information now. And, bullies and large companies aren’t fairing so well in the media recently. The full copy list is attached.

 

To: The Woman Who Thinks That I Was Trying to Steal From Her

Quick preface: “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.

I did not try to steal from you. I was used to an environment in which office computers were shared and that is candidly common. It was also common for us to bring friends to the office since the general public was walking in and out of the office all day anyway. My friend switched to a lap top computer because she was trying to get on to match dot com, which was blocked on the office computers.

If I expressed any remorse I would be faking it. I was already having a traumatic stress breakdown at that point in time. It was extremely obvious that I was being abused. You represent a firm founded by a woman and a team that is predominately female. Not only did no one try to help me, you all made it easy for him to get away with it. This is deeply disturbing.

I don’t feel that I owe anyone there an apology for anything, except the agent who I didn’t train. Even then I tried to keep my word but was afraid that the perpetrator might retaliate in the form of physical violence.

To The Woman Who Says That She Witnessed me Attempting Theft: Careless and Socially Irresponsible

Quick preface: “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.

Here is the bottom line; virtually everyone on that team had reasonable knowledge that I was being abused. Despite that the vast majority of you decided to trust his analysis of my character. This is an excellent example of a low team E-IQ. And, that night you informed me that, “no one…believed anything that (I) said” and, “saw through it.”

I seriously doubt that you are capable of understanding this but I would never speak to another human being the way that you spoke to me that night. It isn’t about who they are it’s about who I am.

The next day the manager who abused me asked me if she was, “someone who I picked up in a bar?”

The above has an obvious sexual connotation. That certainly was not his first inappropriate statement. The truth is that she is from an affluent Jewish family and went to Rutgers University. I had known her for years. I had celebrated holidays with her family and she had celebrated holidays with my family. I told the manager who abused me this but I consider it likely that the information was not relayed. Moreover I said, “If you want to accuse me of theft call the police.”

I handled that correctly despite the fact that I was having a traumatic stress breakdown.

If anyone had actually cared if the allegation was true they would have checked the search history on the computer and checked to see if any files had been opened. No one did. Match dot com is blocked on the office computers, or was then. My friend was extremely anxious to know if she had a date. This is hardly criminal.

The perpetrator was looking for a way to discredit me completely. If he felt confident that no one would believe me then he could continue the abuse. My licensed therapist specializes in trauma. A woman fearing for her safety for a prolonged period of time can be as traumatic as rape and that is what happened to me. To put this in perspective when I relayed my experience to a former journalist he said, “It sounds like you are lucky that you got out of there before something happened.”

Sexual assault is about control rather than desire. According to RAINN one in six women are raped in America. They usually know their attacker and these crimes happen at all socio-economic levels. Given his inappropriate and abusive behavior my concern was extremely reasonable. I do not become afraid for my physical safety easily at all. Either he is potentially violent or he inflicted a state of duress intentionally. The other option is that he cannot control his own emotions and which is immaterial.

Retaliation is unethical but it is ethical to hold individuals accountable for their actions. To say that the firm and the team handled this poorly is an understatement.

For future reference kindness is a virtue. It is also a leadership skill and a strength in business.

To the Team: Congratulations at being collectively obtuse! This is impossible, actually.

Quick preface: “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.

One thing that was extremely constant in my practice as an agent was encouraging questions. After the financial meltdown Ken Fisher wrote a book titled How to spot a Rat. In his interview on The Common Wealth Club he keeps reiterating the fact that the most important indicator of financial fraud is whether or not someone is encouraging or suppressing questions. That indicator works for other professions as well.

Now, as I was encouraging questions regarding rentals many of you said things like, “What’s the ulterior motive?”

A few of you followed that up with a snide, “I can feel it.”

The reason that Ken Fisher keeps emphasizing someone encouraging rather than suppressing questions is that it’s impossible to simultaneously suppress questions and operate with a lack of transparency.

You people are supposed to know these things!

To: Whatever Team Members Said This! (language warning)

Quick preface: “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.

So, during my first week at the company I carried myself with my typical level of confidence. Apparently a few of you were complaining that I shouldn’t do that because I was, “just a rental agent.”

Now, feeling an inherent need to look down on others in order to feel good about ones self is completely pathetic. Grow up and get some fucking self esteem!

Oh yea, what the perpetrator of the assault was trying his best to make sure that no one found out is that the one thing that I’m as good at as renting apartments is management. Last I checked, that’s the more important skill!

To: The Break Room!

Quick preface: “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.

Break rooms are a mistake anyway. They only cause trouble. There are far more effective ways of building positive relationships between team members that don’t detract from time spent working and encourage gossip, but I digress.

In the break room a handful of you were discussing whether or not a certain strategy was effective with clients. It was something that would have been helpful sometimes and counter productive other times. I was asked my opinion.

I said, “I think that it’s a matter of doing the basics well and creating ones own style.”

You all looked at me as if I were insane. *Ahem*, I’m completely accurate.

Update on 10-23-10: This makes me sound like a slave driver. That isn’t true. I frequently helped agents with business plans that involved less that forty hours a week of work. But, an office is best used as a place to work rather than hang out. If collegues want to hang out together, go to a cafe or pub! 😀

To a certain team member: How pathetic!

I’m not naming any names, obviously, or identifying you in any way. But you told me that other team members wouldn’t like me if I expressed the fact that I like my mentor’s father. I’m sorry, that’s just pathetic. Anytime that the majority of team members need to build their own self esteem by looking down on others it’s an *extremely* bad sign. And, since there was an abusive and predatory individual in charge for a decade I’m not particularly surprised by that serious weakness in the firm’s culture and integrity.

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.

 

To the Team Implicated: You all do know that you are guilty, don’t you?

A friend of mine called your firm and asked about me a few years ago. The team member who he spoke with practically hung up on him. If I was actually an insane petty thief who were lacking in aptitude and intellect then you all would have absolutely nothing to be afraid of, now would you?

You do all know the truth already. I can understand exactly why you are afraid.

You have excellent reason to be!

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.