Wednesday, February 15, 2006

illegitimis nil carborundum


Once upon a time there was a 17 year old girl. Let's call her Anne. Anne got a job, a good job that her daddy said was 'a job for life'. That job was in a big bank. She would be working at a small local office. Anne worked hard. She learned fast and was well liked by everyone in that office.

Soon she found herself looking at promotion.

Anne moved to a big office, in a big city. It was busy and for the first few weeks she spent her time getting to grips with all the new staff there - and there were lots of them. It was very different to her old office and she was a little scared but determined to make things work out.

Now most of the staff there were lovely. They helped her find her feet, showed her the ropes and welcomed her in. But there was one woman. Judith.

Now Judith hated Anne on sight. Judith had worked for the same bank and in the same office for 15 years so she was a lot older than Anne. And she was a lot more experienced than Anne. But Judith hated Anne's youth and her spirit. She hated the fact that Anne was moving onwards and upwards when she, Judith, was still in the same place she started.

And so she started to make life difficult for Anne. When Anne was talking to a customer Judith would butt in and undermine her. When Anne went into the staff room for lunch, Judith would ignore her. Judith would bring treats in for everyone else - but not for Anne. She'd give Anne the wrong information and when Anne made a mistake she ridiculed her in front of anyone that cared to listen. She chipped away at Anne's confidence slowly but surely.

Anne used to cry on the way home from work at night. She'd hide in the corner of the train carriage and let the tears slip down her face. Then she'd wipe them away and re-do her mascara before she went home to her parents and pretended everything was okay.

It made Anne sick. She stopped eating and would often faint on the busy journey into work when she had to stand up on the train. Sometimes she would faint at work - once she had to be taken to hospital by ambulance because she hit her head badly as she fell.

Anne stuck it out for three long years. She never once retaliated. At night she dreamt of answering back with a witty comment, or even just standing up for herself but she never found the courage to do it. Nor did she ever talk about this to anyone else. She kept it to herself, ashamed and believing it was all her fault.

Then miraculously she was offered another promotion. A smaller branch this time, but a much higher position.

She took the position and worked herself into the ground. She proved herself and after less than a year she was offered yet another promotion - this time to another bigger branch. There she encountered some of the staff she had previously worked with and as they talked and grew more comfortable with each other she began to learn the truth about Judith.

Judith was a serial bully. Lots of people were afraid of her. And lots of people had noticed the way that she had bullied Anne. It wasn't right that none of them had intervened, but such is life.
But what it had changed was their perception of Anne. What Anne thought was weakness, they had seen as strength. When Anne felt ashamed, they saw her dignity. When Anne was scared, they saw courage.

Needless to say, Anne survived.

Illegitimis nil carborundum


Blogger kate said...

Great story... Its interesting what other people see in us that we do not see in ourselves. This is whyI think it is so important to have friends (and I will go as far as to say girl friends...) I think I would have been lost many times in my life without the support, kindness and love of my best friends. They believed in my even when I had lost hope.

8:47 PM  
Blogger Sapphire said...

Smacked between the eyes again.


8:51 PM  
Blogger ~Deb said...

This reminded me of a company I used to work for. There was a “Judith” there too. She was a serial bully. Everyone hated her. They feared her. One day, I just had it with her. She was a manager of our call center, and I walked up to her and stood up for myself. I explained how everyone feared her outbursts---and that she was ‘feared’, and not respected. I asked her if this is what she really wanted out of people.

After that day, she never, ever bullied me again. In fact, she invited me over to her house for dinner. We became really oddly close, and no one ever understood the relationship her and I had. She was a very insecure lady with a lot of issues. She just took it out on people in a bad way.

I loved this story---and I think a lot of people can relate to this! Very well written!

Wow---brought back memories for me!

9:23 PM  
Blogger art said...

sounds like Anne was a tough lady

10:06 PM  
Anonymous firetiger0810 said...

very interesting. Was that based on personal experience? There's nothing worse than a bitter and twisted person, who has to belittle others to make themself feel better. My If you want to chat by the way, my msn is and that goes for S too of course! xx

10:26 PM  
Blogger a fish on a bycicle said...

dulce et decorum est

it is sweet, and right (as if you didn't know!)

10:31 PM  
Blogger FunkyB said...

Don't you wish we could see ourselves as other people see us, instead of assuming other people see us the way we see ourselves?

Well, that's what I took from this story. That, and I hope Judith gets a large blister on her forehead.

3:24 AM  
Blogger Wenchy said...

Anne will always survive.

Btw, my blog url has changed.


5:16 AM  
Blogger bee said...

hi, deadly.
i wanted to introduce myself. i wandered over to your blog yesterday, (i'm not sure how i found it, but i was intrigued by your screen name), and i'm completely in awe. of you, your love, your situation, the way you express yourself, your sense of humour...i've been checking out your archives (i feel sort of guilty, admitting this) and they've just compelled me to your story all the more.
i hope to visit often, if that's all right.
i CANNOT express in words how finding this blog has touched my life. thank you. thankyouthankyouthankyou.
blessed be.

5:31 AM  
Blogger Aine said...

That's a really inspiring story. :)

10:49 AM  
Blogger natty68 said...

DF, what an amazing story. There are a lot of "Judith's" in this world, and if only one "Anne" can come out of it a truly better person then that is good. I am also a great believer of "what goes around comes around" :-)


11:38 AM  
Blogger Brae said...

I stumbled across this today.. and I have to say admire and respect your comments and the way you write. I wish you peace.

1:26 PM  
Blogger patti_cake said...

I have nothing but the utmost respect for Anne but she or someone should have/ should seriously kick Judith's ASS.

2:39 PM  
Blogger a fish on a bycicle said...

or better still, the wizard's rings so we can visit Narnia

4:03 PM  
Blogger a fish on a bycicle said...

ah, I see, I know where it came from would prefer your mood ring obviously!!!

4:44 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Right on, Anne! *wink wink*

6:30 PM  
Blogger Miladysa said...

Nearly every office and classroom has a Judith :(

*applauds Anne*

7:51 PM  
Blogger EE said...

Oh I love what funkyb said....

"Don't you wish we could see ourselves as other people see us, instead of assuming other people see us the way we see ourselves?"

Very, very true.

9:28 PM  
Blogger song said...

very inspiring.

thankyou from all the anne's out there.

4:19 AM  
Anonymous JD's Rose said...

Yay for Anne! Anne needs to give herself more credit... she is a lot stronger than she realises.

I'm back and will post SECRET SATURDAY tomorrow.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Bent Fabric said...

Anne could have given up by quitting. Or she could have taken the low road and played nasty as well. Her real strengh came from being tenatious and doing the opposite. Good for her!

5:36 PM  
Blogger Lil Bit said...

True character ALWAYS shines through... even when we don't realize it about ourselves.
Anne not only survived... she's a champion!
Great story!

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this, it gives hope and strength to the "underdogs" out there, who are being called out and harrassed by bullies daily. Turning the other cheek, is truly the way to higher ground. :~)

4:27 PM  

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