It’s been almost 3 years since I have posted a blog. I’m not a writer so I think that is the main reason I rarely blog. Having a full-time job and life and not really getting into sharing blog style also keeps me from writing.
Why now after all this time? Sharing can be therapeutic. Also it’s to let others know that things are not always as they seem. I live alone and I think that I’m pretty independent. I handle all obstacles that I encounter. Unfortunately I have one obstacle that has been rearing it’s ugly head off and on for 19 years. It’s not that I have tried to ignore it, but I was hoping that sooner or later karma would rear it’s head and set things right. That’s not happening. So here goes:
It is not easy as a strong independent adult to admit that they are being harassed and bullied. That has been my work life and the work life of several of my coworkers off and on for 19 years. Has management known about it? Yes, but either they are unwilling or unable to stop this person. We were told years ago that we have a zero tolerance work place. If you get into an argument with someone you will be sent home immediately. To me that meant don’t get into an argument period. It was welcome news to many of us. Well, we have one coworker that has always pushed the envelope and once she realized through the years no matter what she said or did management was going to ignore it no one was safe. They contend that they have not done that, but she’s still an employee. She has gotten into cussing matches! She gets in people’s faces if heaven forbid she thinks anyone has even mentioned her name. I want to talk about my harassment though. Yes, there would be long breaks when I was off her radar, but believe you me she always has someone on her radar. This past summer it cycled back to me.
We have about 5 sets of people that share the same first names. There happen to be two people named Deborah in our office. One morning I heard someone say “Deborah” and I said yes. I did not recognize the voice, because if I had I would not have responded. It was our problem coworker. She said she was not talking to me! She waited until everyone left the area and walked up behind me and said she would not call my name if she was dying. Technically she did say my name. I did not respond. She went into the break room and continued to call me every name but a child of God. How do I know this? I could hear most of it. Did my coworkers say anything to her to try to quell her anger? No they did not! Did they get up and walk out? No they did not! My coworkers are so happy it’s not them that they never say a word. The very next day I’m walking across the floor and she steps out at least 7 or 8 feet in front of me. She turns around and sees that it’s me, and right in front of everyone and the supervisor she says: Oh you walking up on me like that! I don’t play that. You better watch yourself. I did not respond. Supervisor didn’t say a word. So I went to the Postmaster and told him about both incidents and I asked him to please tell her to stay out of my face. If she has a problem with anything that I say or do to please go to a supervisor. I told the union president (which I’m not a member of) just to give him a heads up. He went with me in the office twice wanting to stress how important it was for him to talk to the other person. Did he do it? I don’t believe he did. If we are given instructions to do or not to do something, and we disobey, it is considered insubordination. The union is very clear that they cannot defend anyone against insubordination. You do as you are instructed and if it is a contract violation you file a grievance later, but do as you are instructed first and foremost!
Ok! I thought for a couple of months that the Postmaster had actually done his job. I told him I was being harassed and he did something. Boy was I in for a rude awakening. She runs up to me the last Saturday in October and says: I’m trying to get to heaven and I can’t let you people stop me. You were talking yesterday and I’m sorry for what I said! I walked away and did not respond. She walks away saying I’m trying to get to heaven. I told the supervisor that I have absolutely no idea what she is talking about. I didn’t speak to her or about her and she didn’t say a word to me on the day in question . As a matter of fact I got off at 11am so when this mystery conversation took place is beyond me. By the way I had a witness to the incident. I later saw him talking to her so I assumed he told her to stay away from me. On that next Monday we had a postal inspector give a stand up talk about things to look for in the mail. So I was telling him about something I saw in the mail and he said as long as it’s bulk rate it’s not a problem, but 1st class and looks like credit card mail give it to the supervisor. Our problem coworker walks up and starts asking him a question before he got the last words to me out of his mouth. She asks him: are we allowed to have guns in our cars on the property? I walk away and tell someone that girl is up there trying to rat someone out to the postal inspector. Boy was I in for a shock. Keep in mind I have not said a single word to this woman in 19 years! The postal inspector walked up to me and he said I have to ask you if you have a gun in your car. I said I was standing right there I heard her when she asked you! I don’t talk to her! When am I supposed to have told her I had a gun in my car? No one in this office has ever been in my car! I don’t talk about guns with anyone, because I don’t know enough about them, plus it’s not a good topic in my opinion to be discussed at work! So, he comes out I open my car door and he doesn’t even look he closes the door. He says I’m not going to search your car, but I had to ask or she would have called my boss! I said oh no! You are going to search my car and I opened every door, the glove compartment, the center console and where I keep my spare tire! He just closed everything without even looking. But heres the part that hurt the most. I ask: what are you going to do about her lying? Nothing we can do he said. I asked why is the bar set so low that a person can knowingly and willfully tell a lie and there is nothing I can do about it? He said I would have to prove intent and that I would need to seek redress outside the postal service! I asked the Postmaster what did he think her intent was and he said to harass, embarass and hurt me! But she didn’t have to go outside the postal service to tell a lie on me and have you search my car! After I in a state of complete and utter disbelief told the people on my side of the work floor what happened, none of them could believe it. They asked me what was I going to do, and I told them I was told there was nothing I could do. She then walked over to the guy working next to me and said to him but the comment was really directed at me: you knew I didn’t like her anyway. I was looking right at her because she was about 3 feet from me. Her intent was pretty clear to me and everyone else. None of the people that laugh and joke with her stepped up and said a word. It’s amazing how on that Saturday she said that she was trying to get to heaven! By that Monday I guess she decided she was destined for hell!
I along with the union vice president met with the postal inspector and asked could he not at least find out where she got her information from about me having a gun in my car. I felt as though it was a fair request. That was in November! It’s now February. Just like everything else involving this coworker it was ignored. So, once again I ask the Postmaster to please tell her to stay out of my face. So that is 4 times I have made that request. If you think that put a stop to my on going harassment you are just as delusional as I am. So yes there has been another incident and I managed to get two written statements and 3 others that gave verbal statements.
It takes an adult a long time to admit they are being harassed and bullied. I’m the victim of work place harassment and bullying by a coworker! Can’t go into details about what action I’m taking, but I will as things develop.