Tomorrow I win the war.
Well, my version of war.
For the last two months I have been monitored at work. Three women have taken it upon themselves to try and shift the focus from their crappy work habits to my pretend crappy work habits. They have been asking about my movements and work patterns after I leave every day, and they emailed my boss asking her what my job was, and what duties I perform. The best part of that email was the woman who sent it called me “the page” and didn’t even use my name. She made it seem like I neglected my duties, and because of that email, I got pulled off my job to do a project for her (I should mention that I have no idea what she looks like, and she has never had a face-to-face conversation with me).
Two weeks ago, the three women were given an inventory project. That requires every book in the library to be taken off the shelf and scanned into the computer. The woman in charge of the project told me her work was a priority, and my work needed to be put on hold so that I could do inventory. She gave me the largest section of the library to do, and disregarded all my concerns for doing the job I was hired to do (not to mention her plan for the inventory is completely wrong and can be done in a much more efficient way).
Considering I three projects that will take me months to complete, I was not about to put them on hold because these three women want me to do their work. To win the first battle, I emailed the boss and asked her if I could divide my time because I was worried about the backlog of my own work (I also mentioned feeling undervalued and a lot like a trained monkey who had no purpose. I may have also mentioned that while the project was a priority for them, it was not my priority). The boss responded right away with a strongly worded email that she had yet to approve the project, and she would be the one making the assignments. She then sent an email to the three women, with the email I sent her attached to it.
Point one for me.
They countered with pleading for the extra help, so I have to stay on the project. The boss asked me to do it, so there is no chance for me to say no.
Point for them.
They were riding high on their victory, and decided to criticize the way that I am completing their project, and “nicely” offering to show me how to do it “correctly”. They then stepped up their efforts on monitoring my work habits, and have interrogated everyone that I come in contact with during the day. They also started discussing me with other staff as “the page”.
Point for them.
They are up two to one, and that is unacceptable. I only have 77 days left before I can quit and start teaching, and there is no way that I am going to lose this war. I thought about just letting it go and quietly defying them before telling them to fuck off.
Then I thought about how insulted I was that these three people thought they could bully me and get away with it. I emailed the boss again and used words like “hostile work environment” and “they think I work for them” and my favorite, “What did I do to make everyone think I was a bad employee?” I also mentioned that I was upset that a woman who shows up late and leaves early from work gets to monitor my comings and goings when I have yet to miss a day or show up late. I told her I was worried that the inventory job was going to create more work for me since they were not putting the books back correctly or neatly (okay, I may have overstated that one a bit as only three or four books were out of place, but hey, I needed it). That one really got the bosses attention. She personally sought me out and spent a good portion of time with me going over the problems I am having with these three, and what she was going to do about it.
Tomorrow, they are getting their performance evaluations. Tomorrow, they will find out that they are not in charge of me, and are now in very tight leashes with the boss. I only have to finish the small section of inventory I was assigned (and may do so in whatever style works best for me) and then I can go back to my work. The boss also told me who to go to in the union to keep myself protected from these women should they get extra bitchy, and told me when to go to human resources and file a formal complaint so she has something on record to go off of when she reprimands them. They will no longer be able to bully people and get away with neglecting their jobs.
And that my friends, is how you win the war.