• Corporate Gaslighting

Beware Of Slippery Snakes ...

I hate to submit a second time, but you thought the last one was bad?


Strap in, it’s about to get messy ...


All of the red flags were there at the start:


I had been made redundant and they reached out to me with a really cool offer.


We met for dinner, I was grilled but seemed to make the grade.


It then took 4 months to actually get the job approved, which I still had to formally interview for. And then wait. A month later I started.


Everything seemed rosy, I was taken to the pub every day for “brainstorming sessions”. We were starting something new and the limitations were minimal. But I sensed my boss was risk-averse as in week one he asked “I wonder what mistakes we’ll make”.


The mistake I made was believing that he trusted me.


The job became a series of hurdles that got higher, every time I thought I’d achieved something great the bar was set just out of reach. To say the atmosphere in that room was misogynistic is a massive understatement. Even my clients and female colleagues were disrespected, foul language being used and nicknames were given. Was I in a playground?


And then an odd conversation in a pub garden (where else) where he made comments about the size of my breasts and how stylish I was. At the time I didn’t think how inappropriate this was.


We fast forward to December and I’ve won a challenging but high-profile project. The colleague I’m working with on it screams in my face twice within two weeks.


Somehow I remain calm and report both incidents to my manager. Nothing happens. “He’s going through a hard time”.


Sure, buddy.


I bring on board an industry expert to help me develop the model. He is also treated with sneering undeserved disrespect. My arms freeze in a meeting where we are both scolded like children and it feels like we are both fired.


Then the pandemic hits.


My only communication with work is pretty much him on a Teams call. His demeanour waxes and wanes, it seems he is losing interest in what I’m doing and even what he’s doing. I've had more positive counselling sessions.


Lockdown lifts for a bit and I’m forced into the office. He asks me for a drink, can you see a pattern here?


We sit outside a pub and he tells me he’s been passed over for promotion. He’s gutted. It’s freezing outside and this feels like a conversation for anyone else apart from me. I tell him to get another job, make my excuses and get back to people who actually care about me.


The next few months are hell.


I actually seek therapy for the effect he and work are having on me. But the worst is yet to come ...


In a meeting with colleagues, he talks about me as if I’m not present, saying I haven’t made enough money and I’m no good at building corporate partnerships.


None of this is true.


A month later we are told he’s going on sabbatical, then a week later he resigns. He sends passive-aggressive messages to myself and a colleague because a meeting he set up is no longer appropriate for him to attend.


And then the ultimate fuckery: I am told my contract won’t be renewed and he lied about the fact he had put in an application to extend.


Hilariously once he’s left, the job becomes a different ballgame and I’m killing it. He’s exposed for standing in my way and taking all the credit.


And then, a message from him on LinkedIn - giving me a glowing recommendation. Words he could never say to my face while he was my boss.


What a loser.

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