Employment

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: True Confessions  |  House: Booksie Classic


A true story about a narcissist, a person who suffers with depression and a lovely lady called Stacy.

Submitted: February 06, 2018

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Submitted: February 06, 2018

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I sat, blankly staring ahead, she would have thought I was looking at her, but I wasn’t, I was trying my best not to cry. The person sitting across the 1990’s school desk was my employer, the director of a small community interest company, although the way she carried herself you would think she was the queen of bloody England some days. She displayed narcissistic tendencies, liked to keep you on your toes by tripping you up every now and then, liked the power it gave her. She liked nothing more than having her staff, reduced to a bubbling mess, sitting opposite her at this very desk, as it gave her the assurance she needed that they weren’t going anywhere anytime soon; that they would continue their daily slog on minimum wage, being blamed for things they had never done and picked at for being a mere minute late for work, even where their poor old dad had suffered a heart attack that very morning!

 

I had woken up this morning after a rough few weeks. Having suffered anxiety and depression for a number of years, I was a master of disguise, I could walk into work with my mask firmly in place, a big smile on my face, even when I was slowly dying inside. So, no one had any idea what was coming. I spent the morning in the childcare room with the children, playing, dancing, laughing, I truly loved my job and the children I worked with. The staff however, well, that was a different matter.

 

The Manager, Sarah, was looking at me again and talking to Linda, they were trying to trip me up, I could feel it, they had been slyly observing me for weeks, I was more than aware of it. As Deputy Manager, my responsibilities included the weekly planning of activities for the children, this had been picked apart for weeks too, never good enough, needed improving. However, I was the only one in the room who had studied Early Years at University, the manager was merely a Level 2 (GCSE standard) in the same subject, although she had worked in the same place for the past 17 years. It does something to someone, working in the same place for that length of time, spending more time there than with their own family. It makes your world smaller, reduces your vision. Your sight gets narrower, and that place, the one where you work becomes your world, your very own tiny world where the tiniest thing becomes ear splittingly significant and can ruin a day, or three.

 

Well, the latest tiniest thing was that I was one minute late for my shift, I was due in at 8:30, I entered the room at 8:31. This resulted in a quiet word with Sarah, who informed me that it would have to go to disciplinary, to which I replied “well, if that’s what has to be done, you’ll just have to discipline me!’. This clearly went down like a lead balloon as she barely spoke to me for the rest of the day. And I thought that was the end of it until I got a very unprofessional email two nights later, at 9:30pm! The email was not from Sarah, but from the company’s director, Pam. This seemed a bit extreme, Pam was ‘concerned’ that I had been late to work on ‘a number’ of occasions, Pam did not appreciate my ‘flippancy’ about my lateness. Pam was more or less giving me a formal warning via email at 9:30 at night! My insides bubbled, my eyes stung with angry tears, frustrated that the place I worked was so ridiculous! Well Pam could take a super long walk off a super short pier! I replied in the heat of the moment, outlining my ‘concern’ that my company director was dealing with an issue the manager should be dealing with, that I had not been late on a ‘number of occasions’ and neither had I even been considerably late to warrant such a serious email! To which I was informed with a curt reply that she would be in the building the following day if I wished to discuss it further. I was fuming, the bloody nerve!

At this point I became aware that I may be overreacting, and possibly having a minor panic attack as my breathing was becoming increasingly rapid and tears stung at my eyes and rolled down my cheeks, dripping onto the keyboard of my laptop. I hastily forwarded the emails to my partner who was working away and asked for his advice. As though I ever doubted myself, he was as outraged as me, and was fully supportive in my decision.

 

The morning was good, maybe because I knew what was going to happen at lunchtime. I confided in two of my colleagues, they could see that I was unhappy, they’d known for a while, although they were still upset that I had reached my decision and although I had said it before, countless times, they could tell by the determination in my eyes that I was going through with it this time. Lunchtime arrived, as did Pam, I initially thought she had come to see me, after our email exchange the previous evening, but she asked to see Stacy in her office. Stacy is one of the nicest ladies I have met in my life, kind, caring, she would give you her last quid if you asked for it. She’d had a pretty tough time lately, part time employee and full-time carer for her elderly Dad, she had been beside herself when he had been rushed to hospital after having a heart attack. Despite her struggles, Stacy had not missed a single shift, although she had been late a few times, which under the circumstances I think a bit of leniency would be afforded to her! Not by Pam, who sent Tracy back into the childcare room approximately 20 minutes later, blotchy, stressed, upset to the point she could barely speak. The look on Sarah’s face infuriated me, she was smirking, clearly amused that this lovely woman had been reduced to this. I found it gut wrenching that another human being, another woman, could be so unattuned to another.

 

If I was ever in any doubt, that was the moment it was gone. I went to see Pam, hand in my pocket, clutching a white envelope.

 

I knocked on the door, opened it slowly “Are you free?” I asked politely. Pam motioned for me to sit down, I did and passed her the envelope, warm from hibernating in my pocket all morning. “I’m giving you my notice” I told her coolly, “there’s two weeks there, that should give you enough time to find a suitable replacement”

She looked up from her laptop, visibly shocked “Are you joking” she asked. “Nope, deadly serious” I replied, secretly revelling in the fact that she was floundering, she didn’t know what to do next, I had taken the power away from her in this situation. I could practically hear the cogs turning in her brain, frantically grasping for her next move. She began by trying to be my friend, asking why I was unhappy, if I had another job to go to, if she could adjust my working life to suit my needs better. I turned down, shorter working days, later starts, earlier finishes, less paperwork, less responsibility. The only thing she didn’t offer me was a pay rise – which wouldn’t have made any difference but the wage she was paying me for the job I was doing was less than market average. After the niceties did not wash with me and got her no further with A. getting me to reconsider and B. getting me to tell tales on other staff members to account for my unhappiness at work. She began her mental attack. Her face changed from that of a ‘caring friend’ to that of a weird therapist who feels sorry for their patient. She told me that she could see right through me, that I was jumping before I was pushed, that I was paranoid, that I use humour to mask my emotions and act in a passive aggressive way. She was concerned that I was not on the right medication, “Are you still taking medication for your depression?” she asked in a condescending tone whilst looking down at me. Pam then relayed the tale of her depression and how she understands, because she’s come out the other side, she wishes she’d had a caring individual such as herself stopping her from making rash decisions when she was in her darkest hour!

 

This is where I am now, staring blankly ahead, waiting for it to be over, I’m not depressed, I suffer from depression but this decision was made over time, I feel like I have clarity for the first time in months. I am fortunate enough to have a supportive family and a partner who’s income is sufficient for us all. I needed to get out of that room! Then it happened, the tears which stung my eyes cascaded down my cheeks, like a waterfall of self-loathing. Why, did I cry!? I agree to take the rest of the week of to think over my decision… I know I’m not going back, I just wanted to get out of that room, away from Pam and her condescending glare, pitying me for my ‘mental state’. I wonder if she knows she’s a narcissist?


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