On bullies and abusers and getting paid for it

“I’m in an abusive relationship, so cheers to that”

Our weekly girl’s night turned sour very quickly when my friend uttered these words. I froze, my wine glass suspended halfway between the clink of our glasses in the busy restaurant and a sip.

I never, in a million years expected her husband to be that kind of guy. And I mean I should know. I have had my share of bad relationships. In fact, I think I’ve dated them all. Narcissist, Psychopath, sociopath – been there, got the t-shirt (and burned it). Abuse is something that makes my blood boil in seconds and I pride myself in the fact that I am FINALLY able to spot one of these bastards as soon as they cross my path. I was shocked and disgusted and surprised at her statement. Really, T would do this? Never!!!

My expression, as always, must have been a dead giveaway of the emotion washing over and through me. She quickly swallowed her wine and started laughing. “What are you talking about and why are you laughing?? It’s not something to laugh about!” I practically shouted at her

It’s my boss, she said. He makes me feel like a prostitute for abuse. If T had to abuse me, I’d walk away in the blink of an eye. When it’s your boss, it’s a different story. You need that paycheck at the end of the month, so you suck it up. You become a prostitute for his abuse. You know you should walk away from the situation, but every day you go back for more because you need it. It becomes a co-dependent / narcissist relationship. What makes it worse is when your boss knows that there is no one higher than him in the workplace and you need the job and work is scarce, so you’re just going to suck it up and take it day after day after day. That fuels his narcissistic power trip even more and he revels in the fact that he can do and say whatever he wants and you are just going to have to take whatever he throws your way. He doesn’t actually hit me, but everything else…. it’s an abusive relationship. He’s like the bully on the school ground who knows that you can’t stand up to him so he keeps picking on you every day.

I’m so incredibly tired of driving to work every day, not knowing what to expect. Will I get a coffee and muffin from Starbucks or will I get shouted at the minute I enter the office. Worse, or maybe not, I don’t know, are the days when I get the silent treatment and he just sits there, stewing, minding his own business, staring at me as I go about mine. I dread those days. I will literally do anything to avoid going to his office to ask him something. On those days you can feel the tension building with every second he doesn’t speak and when he finally does, it’s like opening a lucky packet, because you have no idea what you’re about to get. I hate it. I don’t have a contract, I don’t have a union, I don’t even have an HR department! It’s just him and it makes me so miserable. I go home at night and all I can think about is sitting down with a glass of wine to relax. And then poor T gets it from my side because I’ll either want to sit in a corner and cry or want to invite a whole bunch of people over for an impromptu braai or I’ll throw a tantrum because there are ants in the dogs’ food bowls! I really can’t do this anymore

I felt so sorry for her. She sat there looking utterly defeated and I can swear her lower lip quivered a little as her eyes glossed over with tears that threatened to spill over and into her wine. What do you do?

When you have no union rep, no HR, no higher power, who do you go to? The Department of Labour has much bigger fish to fry. The CCMA wouldn’t be interested unless you got fired. So what do you do? You become a prostitute for your paycheck. In fact, your bully pays you to come back to the schoolyard every day to take his abuse, and you comply because you simply have no other choice. It sucks

So from today, I am on a mission to find my friend a new job.

Have you ever been in this situation? How did you get out, other than finding a new job? Is it possible to “manage” a boss like this? I’d love to hear from you!

Freedom of Facebook

Facebook has recently come under attack for failing to enforce its own guidelines on hate speech and violent imagery. Is it a website’s job to moderate the content its users post, or should users have complete freedom? Is there a happy medium? If so, how would you structure it?

keyboardfreedom

Today’s prompt is an interesting one, which will evoke a lot of different opinions.  This certainly is a prompt where I cannot wait to see the responses!

Freedom of speech – that little piece of legislation that gives normal citizens the freedom to say what they want, when they want.  There are two problems with this.

First off, it is an unfortunate fact that some people do not know where to draw the line, and live by this rule:

impress vs bs

A very good example of this was seen last week on the Facebook page created in honor of the late Lee Rigby.  Some of the responses were heartfelt and sincere, but some of them however were just shocking.  At some point I wanted to ask these Neanderthals whether they realized that the page was not created to entice revenge, but to pay respect to a fallen hero.

Secondly, we live in a society where gossip rules.  Some people seem to live for the next bit of saucy detail, regardless of whether it is true or not.  People would much rather believe something bad about someone than to go to the effort to find out the truth.  It’s a fact.  I’m sure it is not necessary, but if you feel the urge to check whether this statement is justified, simply Google Celebrity Gossip.  I’m sure you’ll get the point.

These issues then poses the problem whether internet speech should be censored.

We all have heard of people whose relationships turned to dust or had their reputation shattered because of what was said by an ignorant fool.  Facebook has become a powerful tool for marketing and activism.  When you come across a new product or service (or even, in some cases, when you meet someone) what is the first thing you do?  We turn to Bing or Google, look at the majority of reports and form an initial opinion based on what we find.  This is where I have a bit of a moral dilemma.

Scenario 1 – Freedom of speech is practiced in every sense of the word:

Freedom is allowed across all platforms and any negative claims made, will have to be backed up with evidence to the contrary.  This would mean employing someone full time to keep abreast of what is being said about your company.  For a company like Monsanto for instance, this has proven a difficult task (especially in the past week) as they have had to deal with an influx of rants from visitors 🙂   I am pretty sure they would rather have had the option to just delete those comments before they can be seen.

However, what happens when a company is maliciously attacked with claims which holds no ground?  They will then be stuck with a huge PR dilemma.

Scenario 2 – Freedom of speech is moderated:

Now, this is pretty much the basis that WordPress works on, and for me, it is a system that works really well!  Any comments by new visitors are placed on “Pending” until such time as it can be “Approved” by the owner of the site.  Once a visitor have been approved, all future communication will appear automatically.   This can however also be detrimental in the sense that the owner then have the choice as to what content he / she wants displayed.  It is a very simple choice to delete a comment which goes against your liking.  I guess it’s a matter of the moral compass of the person in charge.  If you can’t take the heat (criticism) stay out of the kitchen!

I quite like the way things are being done on WordPress and will stick with that for now.

Just remember:

freedomofspeech

 

 

Stop Rape Now Campaign

OK, we have gone live! As per my previous post we have started a campaign to support to fight against rape.

Bumper stickers are now available at R20.00 each – remember all profits go to Rape Crisis Centers to assist victims where needed and to fight the battle.

To order stickers, make payment to FNB Somerset West, Account Number 62384289130, Branch Code 250655, Elna Potgieter – Stop Rape. Proof of payment can be emailed to nansuchkasblog@gmail.com together with the quantity ordered as well as delivery address. Please, EFT only as the bank charges on cash deposits are ridiculous!

Make a difference now!

STOPRAPENOW