My Horrible Boss Is a Terrible Pain

The day I called in sick almost two years ago my horrible boss set in motion what has become a nightmare with no end in sight. She came to the hospital to see me even though I made it clear that I did not need her there. During the uncomfortably long visit – it should be noted that she brought one of my co-workers with her – I was lying in the hospital bed in nothing but a gown and feeling incredible pain. My pain was being managed by Oxycodone so I had to fight very hard to concentrate to not let down my defences or my inhibitions, and not reveal any personal information while the pain boiled in my abdomen. With my co-worker present my horrible boss asked me embarrassingly personal questions trying to uncover information to which she had no legal right. She continued to invade my personal life after the visit with daily phone calls asking questions about my symptoms and diagnosis.

Weeks later when it was clear that I was too sick to return to work and needed to take a sick leave, she delayed starting the process for my short-term disability benefits. Under the fog of pain medications and in indescribable pain, I had to start the process myself. First I had to investigate what benefits I qualified for and then submit the paperwork. While I waited for approval of these benefits, my horrible boss decided not to pay me my salary. Imagine my shock when I checked my bank balance and found no new funds. That was the last straw for me. Naively, I filed a formal complaint against her for this behaviour that any reasonable person would agree was reprehensible.

Unfortunately for me, the people to whom I filed my complaint didn’t see it that way. Whether it was down to self-preservation or blind loyalty, the investigation was turned on its head and they started to dig into my life. How sick was I really? Could my doctor provide information to substantiate the need for my sick leave? Could my doctor pinpoint the date when I would return to work? What accommodations or modifications of my duties would they have to make for me when I returned to work? It was only when these questions were answered they started to investigate my complaint against my horrible boss – that was three months after I filed it. And what they characterised as an investigation predictably ended with my horrible boss receiving a slap on the wrist.

I’m venting about this today because I had to engage with this situation again. I had to contact my lawyer. My horrible boss terminated my employment a few months ago without notifying me and she and the powers that be are refusing to reverse the decision. I’ve been trying to figure out which legal route to take to bring this situation to closure. I need to do the thing that will have the least harmful effect on my health but will have consequences that are enforceable for my horrible boss.

Sadly, every time I have to think about this or actively do something it makes me feel a higher level of pain and my entire body feels overwhelmed. I can’t figure out how to process this situation in a way that makes it ok. How is it right for anyone to treat another human being this way? How can it be right for an employer to act so violently against a sick employee? How can it be right for an employer to take away the very things an employee needs to take care of their health and recover so they can return to work? How can it be right that someone living with debilitating pain should have added layers of trauma piled on them by their employer when they are most vulnerable?

I want this stress eliminated from my life.

 

Maroon 5 – Misery

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8 thoughts on “My Horrible Boss Is a Terrible Pain

  1. Sometimes, when the legal industry can’t help, or when their help is too expensive, one is left to their own devices. And one of the devices you could use is shame. No, I don’t like shame, but some people should be publicly shamed so they realize their behavior is unacceptable.

    It appears to me that your employment ties have pretty much been severed. Do you expect to go back to work at that company, even if your lawyer can work things out? And for the purposes of future employment, I can’t imagine that you’ll be able to count on a recommendation from this monster.

    Consult your attorney and ask if you can publicize (on the internet) not only what she’s done, but her name and place of employment. Post your story on websites for company complaints, along with websites that past, present, and future employees may look for this company. Just a statement of facts, nothing more. But include incidents of harassment, like when she visited you in the hospital.

    Join Disqus or a similar commenting platform and post comments under articles about the company or in that same industry. Send links of your comments to current employees and/or influential people within the industry. Many companies search the internet for negative stuff like this, and no company wants to look bad.

    It’s called representing and protecting yourself. You’ll need to be prepared for any backlash, but you’ll have to do that anyway if you file suit. I realize activities like this may raise your stress level, but venting may also help to lower it. And who knows, you may find others who support you and might even want to help you. Also, you may find others whom she has treated unfairly, and at some point, you may be able to help them.

    I know this doesn’t sound like something you would do. I hate confrontations also. But you’ll be standing up for yourself and that will feel good, believe me. Anyway, you won’t be able to eliminate this stress from your life — better just to face it, on your own terms.

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    • A media strategy is definitely something I’ve discussed with my lawyer, but if I go that route it will be done professionally so there will be less backlash.
      They aren’t expecting me to pursue this so it will be interesting to see how they react

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  2. Oh my god! I’m so sorry you have to go through this. I’m amazed at the horrible cruelty in this world sometimes. I so hope your lawyer helps you with this so you can concentrate on your health.

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    • Thank you.
      I’ve been told I’m naïve not to understand how anyone could be doing this, but I know it’s because I would never do it to another person even if I hated them.
      I have no choice but to rely on my lawyer to deal with this because I can’t handle the stress of this situation by myself

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  3. Sue for discrimination IMMEDIATELY. They clearly made no attempt to accommodate you in any way. If you don’t fight, they will do this to someone who isn’t as strong and this is unacceptable. Demand compensation for pain and suffering in the suit. Do not be afraid to talk about it until they A) Re-hire you at your original pay grade and learn how to treat you and a serious illness with some compassion or B) Pay you a serious settlement. Don’t sign a gag order unless it’s a considerable sum of money. Do a lot of research on this. Believe me, it helps to defend and protect yourself. If they want to keep you quiet, they’ll pay you. If they want a story, I’d be happy to help you write something and publicize it because things like this piss me off like nobody’s business! I loathe this sort of behavior.

    I wish you good luck and nothing but the best.

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