My Crazy Ex-Boss

Have you ever had a boss so crazy you genuinely wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve committed murder?? I have.

I worked with my old employer for 3 very long years and I quit twice. She ran a recruitment agency in London and at first she came across as this lovely mother-like woman who helped me to find my first job after college. Instead of placing me in a new role she hired me herself and I was so thankful to have a job.

A few months into me joining her son started to work in the business. It wasn’t long until I could see he had a lot of control over his mother and she used to go along with any decisions that he put to her. The son clearly had it in for one of the employees that worked there. This created a very sour atmosphere in the office and  it wasn’t long before other staff members left however, being originally out in reception I wasn’t very affected by the atmosphere and was still quite happy in the role.

I was then promoted to be more involved in the recruitment side of things and had a new seat in the main office where everyone including the boss worked. They then wanted to promote me to a Recruitment Consultant position but at the same time they decided to bring in a scheme of cold-calling which involved calling clients all day long every day, they knew how uncomfortable this made me but continued to insist that I had to do it if I wanted to be in recruitment and work for the firm. I was constantly being pushed by them into making more calls and repeatedly and unethically hassling the same clients until they responded as well as being constantly asked how many calls I’d done.

At 19 years old and having spoken to my boss about how I felt about the calls. I felt trapped and started to develop symptoms of anxiety related sickness. I had trouble sleeping, I used to dread work days and I started waking up becoming sick every morning and unable to eat properly. I went to the doctor and they sent me to the hospital for some blood tests to see if I had any stomach problems to explain my sickness, the results came back clear and it was apparent to them that I was suffering from anxiety. I continued to work which involved being sick before work and occasionally during rather than being signed off purely because I knew what her reaction would be. I’d seen someone be signed off with work-related stress before, the comments they had made about him had not been nice and had involved the word “weak” and laughter of how the job isn’t stressful and then later after he returned following an awkward team meeting of him being picked on for various things he then left the company.

In April 2014 I handed my notice in for the first time. I hadn’t obtained a new job I just needed to get out of there. My boss and I went into the meeting room and I handed in my letter of resignation to which she replied “Good, I have been waiting for you to hand in your notice, I saw what you put on Twitter and I was going to sack you anyway, I’ve already got someone to replace you”. Yes, I had written something negative about work on social media which I shouldn’t have done, I was young and naive and not in a great head space and I learnt my lesson but I was shocked by the things she said to me. I apologised and said I shouldn’t have written those things, she then asked me if I had a job lined up and when I said no she laughed and asked if I really hate it here that much that I’d quit my job without having a new one lined up. She then went on to calling me weird, asking me what is wrong with me and comparing me to Jekyll and Hyde. She carried on until she reduced me to tears, handed me a box of tissues and then went back into the main room. She then by email told me I had to publicly announce to everyone in the room that I was leaving, I broke down into tears once again and left the room to which she suddenly in front of the rest of the employees asked me if I was ok and what was wrong, as if the previous conversation had not even happened. She then asked me if anything was going on at home and said how I wasn’t normally like this. My last day was on the 2nd May 2014 after carrying out my week’s notice and training up my replacement.

I received several calls from my old boss during my month out in which she phoned me asking me to come back to work, even on a temporary basis because she’d made a terrible mistake and didn’t release what she had until it was gone. With quite a big pay rise insight and having started to feel much better after starting my dose of Fluoxetine I decided to rejoin the company and give her another chance. We agreed we would put everything behind us and start a fresh.

Early June I returned to work but on a temporary basis. For a while they were very nice to me, making sure I was happy and mentioning how they want me to stay for the long run and quoting  “the grass isn’t always greener” and for a while I really felt things had improved.

We soon took on several new members of staff to include a receptionist, who I supervised and worked very closely with. It wasn’t until the new members came in that I noticed the way they were being treated, if they were a couple of minutes late they were majorly scolded and made to stay late or miss a large proportion of their lunchbreak. If they weren’t working quick enough or not finding enough people we weren’t allowed to help them we were instructed to watch them struggle to “test” them. It was a horrible atmosphere to work in and I couldn’t stand watching people being treated in this way. I started browsing online to see what other jobs were available and my CV appeared publicly on Reed (by accident) to which my boss called me in to her office, demanded that I remove my CV instantly as it was making her look bad and informed me that whilst working for her company I was forbidden from having my CV on any job board. She then went on to mentioning how weird I am, how I come in to work all nice then I’m probably going home and writing stuff on twitter again about the company and how I should find a new job. I was then asked to return to my desk and sit there until she said I can leave. My colleague asked if I was ok and I managed to hold back my tears. I spent the evening crying and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to face work the next day.

The  next morning my boss’ husband (who also worked there) spoke to me about the incident and mentioned that they didn’t want me to leave and how my boss was just angry and realises she shouldn’t have said the things she said. I was open and honest and said how I was going to look for a new job, I felt uncomfortable for various reasons, not only from that incident but also the way in which people were being treated, bullied, the way I felt as if I wasn’t allowed to look for a new job and from the aggressive tone she had taken with me. The trapped feeling and dread started to return, I was offered a new job but the thought of handing in my notice after the first time, knowing what it was going to be like filled me with severe anxiety once again. I spoke to my doctor and explained how I felt, she knew how bad I had been before and she signed me off work for 1 week.

Early January 2016 I emailed my boss my resignation, after seeing my doctor’s note she accepted my termination of employment with immediate effect. She wished me all the best for the future and a week later I received a letter from a solicitor with regards to not working my notice and also my restrictive covenants. I was due to join a Sales Recruitment Company which had no overlap with legal recruitment whatsoever and I was appalled that she could clearly see I was suffering from anxiety and still set her lawyers on me.

My future employee also received several calls from my ex-boss asking for me to see if I had started there and when the call got transferred to my now boss she hung up. She then continued to keep calling and hanging up on a witheld number. I received the message that she had rung my future employer and then received a call from a witheld number. I was at the gym at the time with my friend and I ignored the first call. It then rung again and I knew it was going to be her, so I passed the phone to my friend who answered saying “Sarah’s phone”. My ex-boss must have thought it was me answering because she said “Get my name off your LinkedIn you scheming lying little bitch”. My friend was pretty shocked and hung up not knowing what to say. I emailed my ex-boss asking her to stop calling me and my future employer.

After another letter from the solicitors all went quiet until early February when both myself and my boss received an email from my ex-boss which accused me of calling her up and saying things such as “Stupid Bitch”, “Foolish Bitch”, “Hate you Bitch”, “Fooled You”, “Got one up on you” and saying my Dad had just sent her a letter to forgive me. For one, I’ve never told anyone I hate them and secondly, I can’t even pronounce the word foolish properly!

I was extremely shocked by the email, I had blocked all their numbers from the moment I handed in my resignation as I didn’t want anything to do with them. I certainly hadn’t rung her and said those things. It was horrible, I was shaking, I didn’t want my new boss to think that I was that sort of person and that those lies were true and luckily he didn’t but it concerned me and I was afraid of what lies she would make up next to try and ruin my new job. With regards to my father who my ex-boss is aware I don’t have a great relationship with, I called him to ask if he had sent her a letter. He mentioned that he sent her one years ago when I first left but definitely hadn’t since. I had no idea about the first letter but it bothered me even more that she tried to make it sound like my father had recently contacted her when he hadn’t. She knew the impact saying that would have on our relationship and that’s why she mentioned my dad.

I haven’t heard from my ex-boss since this incident and I honestly believe that my other colleague leaving has distracted her from targeting me. Working at that firm was a horrible experience for myself and the people around me and it sickens me to think that they’re probably still continuing to bully their current staff members. I am annoyed at myself that I didn’t leave sooner and that I stood back and watched her bully people in the way she did but she made me feel powerless, it was them as a family against us.

As well as the above she has continued to have a legal dispute with my other colleague who left. Her son publicly humiliated him on a train calling him a thief and a liar and telling everyone to watch their bags and phones. She’s also revved her engine up behind him and beeped to scare him and then drove off and she’s tried to get him arrested for harassing her when he hadn’t done a thing!

Has anyone else has a psycho boss? I’m so glad I quit my last job and joined a great new firm. Life is too short to be unhappy in a job and work takes up so much of your every day life too! 

Changing my life for the better…

A lot has happened in these last few weeks and I’ve made some changes on both my way of thinking and my life. I’ve been reading a self-help book about depression which is mainly focused on ways of thinking, positivity and kindness. I was of course quite sceptical on how a book could make you feel better and help to change your life but I personally have found it so helpful. For those of you who would like to take a look at it, it’s called “Overcoming Depression: A self help guide” and it’s by Paul Gilbert. I feel I have a lot of anger in certain situations, I can be quite stubborn and I find it hard to forgive and let things go. I’ve also realised how hard I can be on myself and the way I devalue myself when I should know that I deserve a lot better than what I settle for. I’ve stopped posting pictures that could make people have a certain perspective of me, I’ve let go of anger I had towards someone and decided to talk to them and make the peace, I’ve tried a yoga class, I’m thinking of starting meditation, I’ve been working out at the gym more, I’ve enquired about counselling for if/when I need it and most importantly, I’ve moved out of home into a new flat where I’m going to live in a more positive and peaceful environment. I’ve also learned to take one day at a time, be thankful for everything – even the little things.

Moving out of home is such a massive step for me, it’s the first time I’ll be living away from my parents and being completely independent living on my own. I’m so blessed to have got such a good deal on this beautiful place in which I’ll be renting for the next year, and hopefully more years after!

Positive vibes only.

iii

 

 

Vital signs that he’s not right for you!

Dating is such a key part of life and in your life you’ll probably end up dating a variety of guys – some lovely but most likely a lot of awful ones!!

As a girl, it’s very easy for us to get feelings for a guy and end up being blinded from seeing what we should and shouldn’t accept from someone we’re dating. I think when you become used to seeing someone you learn to accept things and see past them when really we need to remember to never settle for less!

Firstly, if you’re dating someone for a while or at the relationship stage and he doesn’t introduce you to any of his friends or family then this should set off a warning alarm. Some people are private people and don’t like to be too public but he should be proud of you and want to introduce you to the important people in his life! If he doesn’t then you really need to start questioning how serious he is about you, does he really want you to be a part of his life or is he quite happy keeping you completely separate from normality?

Secondly, is he taking you out regularly? Or, do you find yourself mostly spending the day at his house “watching a film” and then going home. If the answer to this is yes then you should definitely be concerned. As much fun as staying in and spending time together at home is, exploring new places, going out for dinner and generally just doing things together is so essential in any relationship. By this point you may just be glad to spend time with him, any time is good time right? In reality, getting used to just going round his house and that being it is just leading to a relationship/dating of sex and nothing else or a slowly fizzled out relationship!

Valentine’s Day/Birthdays/Christmas, did he make an effort? Did he take you somewhere nice or get you a nice thoughtful gift or a card? Money isn’t everything and it’s definitely the thought that counts but even from someone who isn’t extremely affectionate, it’s important that they make an effort for these occasions and ensure that you’re happy and feeling special.

Another pointer, if you’ve been dating/seeing someone and he tells you he doesn’t want a relationship then believe him, he doesn’t want a relationship. In our minds we always think we can persuade a guy, the fairytale belief that he’ll suddenly change his mind, realise how cool we are and end up wanting to be with us officially. Maybe we might even believe that he’s afraid of relationships, maybe he’s had bad experiences and we can somehow “fix” him. Perhaps this is the case in very very rare cases but the real truth is if he tells you he doesn’t want a relationship, then he really doesn’t and seeing/dating him isn’t going to go anywhere. In most cases it’ll end up with him moving on either with someone else or just to be alone and you will end up hurt.

You have to ask yourself, why are you wasting your time if you know it’s not going to go anywhere and will most likely just end badly? Yes, it’s nice to feel loved, to get that attention but in the long run the pain you feel when it ends, is it really worth it? Promise me ladies, just don’t settle for less than you deserve. If he isn’t treating you like a queen then it’s not good enough! Be open and honest and tell him how you feel and if he doesn’t shower you with love and affection like every one deserves then run!

Whilst wasting time on Mr Wrong, you’re missing out on finding Mr Right.

Are they cheating on me?

A conversation with someone at my work today inspired me to write a post about cheating. The sad truth is, nearly everyone has either cheated or been cheated on at some point in their life – or maybe both!

Are humans really meant to be monogamous? That’s the real question. The more I go through life, the more it doesn’t really seem like it!

The title of this post…. are they cheating on me? If you’re honestly asking yourself that question then the truth is, yes, they probably are. Don’t get me wrong, some people have trust issues and just assume everyone is being dishonest all the time, but generally if you have an instinct that something isn’t right and someone is cheating, then more often than not, they are.

Don’t assume just because someone is always busy means they don’t have time to cheat, because if they want to then they’ll always be able to make time.

Mysterious “business trips”, suddenly hanging out with a “friend” a lot that they never used to hang out with as often, not coming home, suddenly being impossible to get hold of at certain times and never leaving their phone around – these are some of the things to look out for.

Another thing cheaters seem to do is get very jealous of people of the opposite sex around you. In their heads, they know they’re cheating and they’re paranoid that you could be doing the same. They seem to trust you less because they know that they can’t be trusted themselves. It’s easier to push the blame and guilt onto someone else by making them seem like they’re also doing wrong.

I spoke to a girl once whose boyfriend was cheating on her and she just didn’t believe it. She’d had multiple girls all telling her that her boyfriend had cheated on her with them yet she just accused them of being jealous and trying to ruin her relationship. Please, if various girls are telling you that your boyfriend is cheating on you – he is!!

Keep your eyes peeled for the vital signs and trust your instincts. You’re smart. If you look for it, you’ll find it.

I let someone take my heart and stamp all over it again…

…not sure when I’m going to learn and I should have seen it coming but something about me makes me keep going back to situations and people that I should have left when I had the warning. Going back to my previous blog post about holding on to what makes you happy short term even if it’s going to end up badly and you’re going to get hurt, that’s me, right now. Yet what I’d do to go back and be able to have that happiness with them again, to disguise the real issues that are going on with me.

Please come back and say you’ve made a mistake. Please?

——

I’ll do some proper blog posts soon, I’m just having a hard time lately and can’t think of what to post about. I didn’t really want to post these one either but I thought I would in case you thought I’d abandoned my blog!

I’ll be posting something more entertaining soon so keep your eyes peeled xx

Living with depression and/or anxiety

What many people don’t know about me (yes I’m a pro at putting on a smile) is for a short while I used to suffer from really bad anxiety and I also suffer from what I believe to be depression. In my opinion depression is something that is very hard to define and it’s definitely not just as simple as “being sad”.

Anxiety:

Starting with the anxiety, I used to wake up every day and be physically sick just from waking up and having to face the day. At the time I had just been through a really bad break up and on top of this was going through a hard time at work. Having a full time job meant I had to be sick and continue with my day as normal. Sometimes I was even sick during work and in the evenings after, I really just couldn’t cope. Of course being sick meant that I couldn’t eat properly, I also didn’t want to eat much in case it increased the chances of me being sick and I lost A LOT of weight. At first I did go to the doctors, I wasn’t sure if it was some sort of virus in my stomach that was making me sick but then I realised the real reason behind it.

Options:

Once it was clear I didn’t have a stomach virus and I began to open up to the doctor about how low and ill I’d be feeling and what I’d been going through, she decided to give me some options. Prozac (an anti-depressant) being one and counselling being another. If I’m completely honest with you, neither of these options appealed to me, I’ve never been a fan of taking tablets and the thought of a tablet changing your state of mind scared me, particularly knowing that it can make you worse before it makes you better and counselling, well I’ve never been one to be able to talk about my problems. I knew I had to choose one of the options so I decided to go onto Prozac.

Prozac:

I was prescribed Prozac, one a day for a minimum of 6 months and warned that for the first few days I was likely to feel a million times worse and had to be very careful. They were right, the first few days I felt like utter crap but I was suffering more from anxiety than depression which I think made the whole thing a lot easier. They did help, I stopped being sick, I was able to eat again and my weight returned back to normal. I’m not sure if it was a mental thing, knowing that I was taking something which was meant to make me better and having that to rely on, who knows, but it worked and I felt a lot happier and a lot more positive and able to cope.

After nearly a year on Prozac both myself and my doctor decided it was time to come off. She said I seemed a million times happier and I felt ready to face the real world without the aid of tablets.

Depression:

Since coming off the Prozac I have noticed more of the depressive state of how I feel. I like to remain positive and I strive for happiness and some days like today I sit here feeling ok, not what I would describe as happy but as ok and I think to myself do I really suffer from depression? Maybe not but then there are days where I feel so low, so alone and it scares me. I know that the Prozac was just a disguise for the real problem that I suffer from, a short term fix for something that I’m probably going to have to deal with for the rest of my life. I’ve made a promise to myself, that if I ever have a day where I’m feeling so low to the point where it actually scares me, I’ll go and see a counsellor.

Something very personal:

The last time I felt extremely low was on my 21st birthday and I decided I’d write down how I felt. Here it is…..

“Do you know what it’s like to feel like giving up? You’ve always tried to be strong, but people hurt you and people let you down, even ones you thought never would. I know I’m not alone in the way I feel, I’m sure there are people out there who also seem to find it impossible to be happy, those who feel alone and unloved.

People like us, do you know what we are? We’re those who spend our lives punishing ourselves, clinging on to poisonous things purely because they give us that glimmer of happiness that we so desperately need.

Sometimes I’m afraid that one day it’ll win, I try so hard to stay afloat, to find new ways of thinking and to find the positive in every situation but days like this and I feel like I’m drowning, like there’s no way out. The worst thing? I rely on others to help me feel alive, to feel loved. That’s the worst thing you can ever do, put your happiness in someone, particularly a lover and it can be taken away in an instant and you’re left feeling as alone and unloved as ever.

I’m 21 today and my birthday cake said “Congratulations on your 21st” and to be honest, it really does feel like congratulations, congratulations that through everything I’ve still managed to cope and get to my 21st birthday. Maybe tomorrow I’ll wake up and I’ll feel different, I’ll feel more positive but it’s days like this that scare me. The fear of never being able to be happy again. I just want to be loved and happy and I don’t know what to do any more.”

I read that now and I think shit. Did I actually feel like that? Do things really get that bad for me? And I sit here and hope that I won’t ever have to feel like that again, that I can remain positive and do everything I can to be happy. I feel very exposed publically posting that but maybe there are people out there who will be able to relate and maybe this will help them to realise that they’re not alone and we can fight this. You don’t have to spend the rest of your life feeling like that or being unhappy. There are ways to cope and to deal with it, you don’t have to be unhappy for the rest of your life.

The Facts:

1 in 4 of us are affected by mental health every year and its nothing to be ashamed of. The symptoms of a physical health problem are a lot more obvious and can be noticed by others, mental health problems however are a lot harder to detect.

It’s time to start being more supportive of others. Next time you decide to pull someone down just remember they could already be going through hell and you wouldn’t even know it.

And for those suffering, please do not be afraid to ask for help. It’s so easy to shut down and block people out but force yourself to open up to people that care about you and love you and seek professional help, no one is judging you, if anything it just means you’re a brave, strong survivor for being able to face your problems head on.

Don’t let it win.

How I know I wasn’t made for high heels…

I absolutely love the look of heels, they’re gorgeous, they compliment outfits well and they make legs look as long and sexy as possible BUT I can’t help but think me and wearing heels were just not meant to be…

So, you’re off on a night out and you get into the cab feeling good and loving your outfit choice, then the struggles begin:

First of all, the struggle of the walk from the cab to the club or bar, add some alcohol and things suddenly get a lot harder!

The concentration you need to make sure you don’t fall over when walking in heels, particularly on stairs or the dreaded cobbled flooring..

High heels stair climbing fail

The struggle of hitting the dance floor and trying to not let the heels hold you back from dancing like crazy all night long…

Rachelle and Monica dancing

Or perhaps you’re out on a date in heels and they decide it’d be a lovely idea to take a nice long romantic stroll… oh wonderful!

Maybe you were smart and decided to pack some flats in your handbag but were faced with being forced to carry around a seriously large packed handbag all evening

But for those of you without the flat shoes to save your feet, you’re really starting to feel the burn…

And you find yourself walking around doing a fantastic Bambi impression…

By this time you’ve had enough! It’s time to accept the fact you just weren’t meant for heels and it’s time to let your feet free…

And when you do… nothing feels better!