You know that feeling you get when things are spinning out of control and you don’t how to stop it? For me I get this heat in my cheeks and my chest gets tight and I get this buzzing in my ears. Everything around me loses focus and my hearing is dulled. It’s similar to an anxiety attack except that I’m able to function externally, all of this is happening internally.
Well that’s how I felt on Friday. Since last week Monday things at work have snow balled to such an extent that I’m in big trouble. My boss asked me to prove that I didn’t cause the R100k loss last week in an email and he cc’d HR and the MD. I responded with all the facts and with emails to back up my statements. I also detailed exactly what he did to me on Monday. I received no response. On Tuesday he had a meeting scheduled with HR in diary. The whole week he was like Frosty the Snowman and I felt like I was working in the North Pole.
On Friday the HR Manager calls me into his office so say that that my boss has laid a grievance of insubordination against me and that according to company policy this constitutes as a break of trust. Also, he says I embarrassed my boss my accusing him of intimidation and threats of violence in my email, my response should have been handled in private. A break of trust means that there is no way the two of us can work together which means one of two things: They either move me out of the department or I leave the company. There’s nowhere else to go in this company so I’m basically screwed.
My boss and I had huge confrontation on Friday as well which just exacerbated the situation. I said some things that I shouldn’t have and I think I’ve dug my own grave. I brought up the fact that he told me he’d ‘klap’ (smack) me twice, that he screamed at me on numerous occasions and a few other things. He says that he was just joking and my response was that even though he was joking I did tell him that it made me uncomfortable and yet he continued. It basically just went downhill from there. HR says that it looks like I’m just being vindictive after what happened on Monday and that at this point it’s a ‘He says – She says’ situation. In other words no one will believe me.
And I’m not totally innocent in this situation. My boss and I have butted heads over numerous things in the past but we’ve always dealt with it and moved on, at least that’s what I thought. In hindsight maybe I shouldn’t have been so out spoken and dominating. I did recognise that he was the type of person that should always get the last work but yet I still pushed him. Instead of fighting him on certain things I should have just submitted, it’s his decision at the end of the day so why should I care if we go out of policy or budget?
Anyway, I’ve met with HR and he says the break of trust thing is irreversible. If I want to go ahead with the grievance charge I can but I’ll have to leave work until further notice. Or I let the grievance go and receive severance pay instead. But he wants me to leave the office immediately, which I promptly refused. I will not leave the office like I’m guilty of something. I refuse to be treated like that. I am a professional and I won’t have my reputation ruined. We agreed on me leaving at the end of February with full references and my severance package.
So I’m on the job market again. I’m terrified and I want to cry. What will I tell my husband? How did it come to this? What should have I done differently?