Here's another guest post from my mom. You know her from such hits as "Shout Out at the Golden Corral".
I'm a bully buster. I think I always have been but the only vivid memory of a beginning was when I was a first year student at Collinsville High, old campus in Illinois. I don't recall what grade or even who the boys were. What stands clear in my mind was the look on the face of a girl in "the special class" while these assholes kicked her prosthetic arm down the hall.
I punched the place kicker in the face when I bent down to get her leg and he grabbed my shoulder. Even if he hadn't put hands on me, I don't think I would have gotten in any trouble. I can't prove it but I'm pretty sure the principal was glad somebody stepped up. It was a malicious, unthinkably heinous attack.
I have always "had a mouth on me". My mother's label. It's hard to keep it shut in the face of wrong things. Like, how can one be pro life AND pro war?? Seems it should be mutually exclusive. In my life, I have let things go. Some big. Pick your battles. But a bully is gonna go down if they pull their crap around me when no one else will take the reigns. I don't know anybody else personally who has been spit on by a KKK member. That mental picture is a good avatar for my life.
My daughter calls me fearless. That's not entirely true. I'm afraid to lose someone I really love to senseless random death. But in the face of bullying, she is absolutely correct because I think God's got my back with the bully thing. Bullies are literally everywhere anymore it seems.
Some of you have been blessed to be allowed the choice to stay home and raise your kids. I lived life almost completely backwards and had to live a little different life. Mostly one of mitigating wrong choices.
But what I want to say is that we women seem to lack solidarity in the workplace. We've come a long way baby, to coin an advertising slogan, but are still not finishing the race. Mentoring was a big buzzword in the 80s. No job I have worked at since has any kind of mentoring program for women except for licensed nurses and so, we who are out there, need to make a truce. Form a coalition. Just say NO. STOP throwing other women under the bus! It makes you just a sad little wannabe.
I handled a supervisor bully last year. I went to our practice administrator 3 times about this woman. She only stopped because I let it be known that with the very next event of snooping, spying and condescension I was going full on to Human Resources and was gonna fight it out. I had previously told said supervisor that the multiple initials behind her name only meant she was more educated than I, not more intelligent. After I tried to bridge the breach like a grown-up.
Bullies don't like to get caught in their nonsense and this supervisor had been there before for the same kind of harassment. It stopped. But just in my case. I saw her do it to at least 2 more co-workers, but they are grown-ass women who let it slide for fear of what?? I assume they had reason. Their jobs maybe. The lack of empowerment. I don't know, but it's not gonna happen to me or mine. No matter the consequence.
I always have to ask why more people don't stand up for right and wrong.
This year I left a medical practice I really loved. At 57. Without a job to go to. It was about folks doing wrong to me just because they could. Even when they legally could have been stopped.
I went on FMLA (family medical leave) a year ago to care for my mom while she died of lung cancer. They took me out of my job, and in spite of my asking nicely twice for them to follow Federal law, they refused. I even pointed out the point of law to no avail. I chose not to file action because the practice doctors weren't responsible for the idiocy and I didn't want to cause them drama. I think the aforementioned powers-that-be took that for weakness. They would be wrong.
I sucked it up and did the work I did because I believed in what we were doing in people's lives, but soon, that would not be enough. My immediate supervisor left. A good person. Maybe the last person in management I really trusted. Her nemesis then came to our office. A supervisor who employees had FLED to other offices to get away from. Now our office had 2 fake bullies. I tried to work with her. In less that 2 weeks I knew she was a phony with less than honorable goals. Uh-uh.
I had been watching the environment since it was made known there was a beautiful new facility being built. And limited space as 3 offices become one. There was a fair amount of mean girl bullshit anyway, but it got uglier as women scratched and clawed for a hopeful spot in the future. When I turned my 2 week notice in, the whole atmosphere seemed to be one of crafty manipulations. No one trusted any of the women in charge.
It's sad because most of us aren't power/control freaks. We have bills and families to raise, so we work. It used to be in this country that if you worked hard and proved yourself an honest person, you got a break every now and then and you always got respect.
We are still making less money than men for the same work and the same degrees. We need to be helping, not hurting each other.
I quit this job because I couldn't reason with unreasonable people. I was seeing grown women playing games that were messing with lives without so much as a thought. I simply couldn't watch them get away with it anymore. I called bullshit and left 2 weeks later because I know my source. I went out like I came in with my head held high.
God knew the truth. I didn't think it would take Him so long to fix it up, but true to His Word, He did it. In the 11th hour rescue mode, He honored it when I stood firm. After a couple of months I could feel depression sinking in. I had hopes after a couple of interviews but crashed soon after. I have needed my best life back for awhile now.
I like to read my Bible like this: One chapter of Old Testament, one from Psalms for praise and remembering, one from Proverbs for wisdom's sake and at least one from the New Testament.
Sometimes when I am really up against the wall, I will ask God to take me to the verse He needs me to know. Like a spiritual fortune cookie, I open the Bible randomly and read.
At the end of the rope, He had me go to Matthew 15:25-28. When I had just let go and was ready to take my punishment for being me because it always looks hopeless in the 11th hour, He got me a good job. At one of the places I had been hopeful for about a month or so before. After not giving up or giving in, and trusting God. Not some employer or shady woman.
And comparing apples to apples, I will lose about 75 cents an hour but trade up to better insurance benefits and working conditions. In the final analysis, my integrity cost me $27.00 a week, but my less costly benefits are making up for it. It's figure I can live with.
I wrote two doctors I had worked closely with and who really knew me and the essence of who I was. Because to them, it appeared I had left abruptly. I waited just to make sure I wasn't coming from the same skeezy place my supervisors were. I just knew that I had respect for them and if it was my business, I'd damn sure wanna know the senseless games going on while I'm trying to help my patients beat cancer. It was well received, and I hear some things are better now. That they know the truth is awesome.
I can live with that too.