Mission statement!

 

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This is one ethical, legal and effective solution for holding perpetrators of workplace abuse and / or sexual harassment and / or sexual assault accountable for their behavior. Social media offers several options here. Abusive individuals count on their victim’s silence. So do many companies and some places of education. The goal here is to break the silence, create accountability for the perpetrator, and hold the company responsible for neglect. This is what is effective in my situation and something similar to it would be effective in many situations. It’s a model that can be duplicated. However, sometimes creating accountability is as simple as a face book post. Usually, it’s more complex than that but I’ve seen it work in at least one case. Again, the goals here breaking the silence and creating accountability!

I plan to execute on this around the Holiday Season, wish me luck! 😀

Also, I’d love to hear about other instances of breaking the silence and creating accountability. There are several effective solutions and I’d *love* to hear about as many as possible. Guest posts on this topic are *extremely* welcome!

FYI: These are excerpts. The full project is below in the other section titled “Breaking the Silence and Creating Accountability.”

Hey peeps, this is a letter of apology.

Dedicated To: Hendric, Morgan and Ashleig

Hey peeps, this is a letter of apology. You were owed a world in which you all can live your lives safely and in peace. Less than fifty percent of you will inherit that. The horrifying truth for those of you who are female is that one in five of you will experience sexual assault or attempted sexual assault in college. You will find a legal system that will not provide you with justice. You are likely to find that your university is more concerned about protecting its reputation than your human rights. They might even try to silence you about the tragedy. Almost all of you will be the target of gender based disrespect or love someone who is. I am extremely sorry that we let you down.

This sounds like a digression but it isn’t. I was in high school during the nineties. Before the nineties gay and lesbian rights were virtually unheard of. Open disrespect of gays and lesbians was completely socially acceptable. Prior to the nineties it was dangerous for people to be openly gay because they might become the target of violent hate crimes and they had little to no legal recourse. They lived in fear. I know that it’s hard to imagine now, but it’s true.

There was a lot of activism for gay and lesbian rights during the nineties. Probably the most important part of that was the One in Ten Movement. I was a part of that one. There were three things that I loved about it. A friend of mine is a lesbian so I was helping someone who I love. Also, I was creating important social change. This is the mind blowing one. What you had to do to be a part of the One in Ten Movement was *almost nothing!*

So, I’m creating a model that doesn’t cut into your time for enjoying life because we want to keep our priorities straight! All that you had to do to be a part of that movement was learn to recognize homophobia and correct it when you saw it. And, back then it was so common and intrinsic to the culture that our gay and lesbian friends had to coach us on it and explain it to us. However, it’s now 2010 so I’m just including video clips. When we heard homophobic comments we had to say something like, “I have a lesbian friend and I really don’t appreciate that.” Obviously, around ten percent of you will need to be a little more motivated than that. But, I want to make this as simple and easy for most of you as it was for me.

Thoreau writes that, “Wisdom is not gained but lost with age.” It’s similar to Jay-Z’s, “Forever Young.” Warren Bennis, the world’s authority on leadership, observes that leaders see what, “could be” rather than what is. There is another group who is capable, willing to, and excited about seeing what could be. It’s you! It’s one of the wisdoms that Thoreau refers to. I hope that you all will keep it for the rest of your lives. And I hope that you will use that wisdom today. Obviously, some of you will need to do a little extra work, but for about ninety percent of you creating real social change is as simple as watching a few short video clips and making a few simple decisions.

A world in which one is physically safe and treated with respect is a birthright.

Go claim your birthright!

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.


OMFG, you are right!

In the summer that we parted company you said to me, “You are so (exploitive) naïve Cobra!”

You were accurate. One of my biggest weaknesses is corrected now!

But, it isn’t quite that simple. Someone with the qualities that the perpetrator has can frequently manipulate and lie to even experienced executives effectively. This concept is covered in “Snakes In Suits” published by Harper Collins Business Press. There was someone who you employed for several months that followed the same patterns. You finally terminated his employment at my firm recommendation. Later you marveled that you had missed it for so long. I only missed it for a few months also. But, people like that are frequently potentially violent, or at least capable of threatening violence so effectively that it causes a state of duress. Henceforth, my traumatic stress breakdown that it took three years to recover from. That guy is sick and scary!

By the way, he is going to feel like he did nothing wrong. And whatever line of BS he comes up with he will believe. But, the chances of his telling exactly the same story more than once are quite slim.

That is exactly why I didn’t see it or feel it at first!

Edited on December 25th, 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.


To the Perpetrator: If a tree falls in the woods does it make a sound?

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You isolated my three biggest strengths as creative problem solving skills, communication skills and consultation skills. You were praising my creative problem skills. Systematically giving approval for creative problem solving won’t strengthen those skills at all. The only way to teach creative problem solving is by setting an example of seeing problems as opportunities. Anything else is ineffective.

You represented a reputable firm when I met you. That firm is a nationwide name in real estate. Business consultants were attempting to teach agents to apply a certain innovation. Indecently, the fact that pricing appropriately and doing the basics of marketing and consultation well is considered an innovation is bizarre, but I digress. Anyway, you had no confidence in your ability to apply that material and you did have confidence in my ability to apply it. Obviously, you had absolutely no business trying to teach me anything about communication or consultation. You should have been asking me questions!

Here is an underlying problem with all of your selections. None of these are specific skills. They are all skill sets. You build the skill sets one skill at a time. You are doing a process that most people can’t feel in a way that is completely ineffective.

If a tree falls in the woods does it make a sound?

By the way, the answer is no.

Why should I talk about abuse?

Yea, neither do I. But, as long as sexual assault, sexual harassment and domestic violence are shrouded in silence they will continue to be common place. We have to talk about them in order to make them stop! The exact same principle applies for bullying in schools, on college campuses and workplaces!

Besides, we are doing it in such a way that we are demanding social change.

That aspect of it can be a lot of fun!

Can I make jokes about sex and be a team member?

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Of course! I make jokes about sex also! Check out my posts tagged comedy. There are plenty of references to sex, I promise. This isn’t about never referencing sex in a workplace or eliminating female sexuality, *at all*, quite the opposite, actually.

It’s about respect of boundaries and eliminating gender based disrespect. Don’t worry, we will keep the humor and eliminate the hate! 😀

This isn’t my problem.

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One in five women is sexually assaulted during her academic career. One in six is assaulted in America and approximately one in three in the world community. One in three women in America will be the target of domestic abuse, and, approximately one in three the target of harassment. These are human rights violations and public health issues. This is *everyone’s* problem!

The good news is, *everyone* can be part of the solution.

To The Perpetrator: Your judgment was inaccurate and your behavior was predatory.

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You informed me repeatedly that I have a, “challenge with setting and respecting boundaries.”

Your observation was inaccurate. I’m neither abusive nor a passive victim.

However, you perceived a weakness. The only person who has literally disrespected every major boundary that I have set with them is you. And, in order to be effective at keeping me in a disrespectful relationship you had to literally cause me a state of duress. This isn’t acceptable professional behavior.

Exploiting a perceived weakness is predatory.

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.