Toxic Work Culture/What goes around comes around
Where shall I begin? This incident among other incidences has stayed on my mind for years. This incident took place in a mailroom where I used to work. I was a mailroom associate and had worked for this company (I will not name) for 3 years. I was sitting at a table with co-workers in the break room. We were having a conversation about people that hold back on information when they train you because they do not want to see you know more than them. I had commented that I love helping others, and if someone is intelligent, I would love to have that person on my team. When I said that, there was a co-worker that stared at me with a strong glare in her eyes. I did not know what to think, but it did not look good. She had rushed back into the mailroom ahead of everyone else with a smirk on her face when the break was over. When I made it to the mailroom, I became surrounded by women that were angry with me. They had said that I said something bad about them. I told them that I did not know what they were talking about. The woman that had given me a strong glare in the break room was standing next to the circle of women smiling really hard enjoying what she was seeing. From then on out, I had problems with this woman almost every day.
I was being entangled in all sorts of drama that this woman had created. I reported this woman to management and was not believed. I had found out later on this woman was a close friend of the manager, and even had invited the manager to her home. They were close friends. The hostility did not stop there. I was getting phone calls from a blocked number. The caller sounded like a woman disguising their voice like a man's voice. The person on the other end had accused me of saying that I threatened to put a bomb in their house. It was her, she could not hide her voice very well. This woman called several times playing on the phone, she even asked to speak to my husband. I was not even married. The number was blocked and I could not prove it was her. When I would go to work she would laugh under her smile. She mentioned once that she knows I must have a husband that I go home to. I have even seen her try to provoke other co-workers. She would walk past them with an evil walk and say to them, “I know yall want to beat my so and so” Tauntingly. This co-worker had me so tangled in hostility that I had become sick every time I went to work. My appetite was not there anymore and I could not eat. I began to lose weight and was nauseous. I got to the point where I had to resign for the sake of my health. This happened 17 years ago.
I ran into an old co-worker at the store several years ago after the incident and we exchanged phone numbers. She had told me that the woman that harassed me on the job was fired after harassing an elderly co-worker on the job. While harassing the elderly woman she made a mistake and mixed a batch of payments in the wrong pile. She was fired after the mistake was found. This goes to show when you treat others badly, you will not keep getting away with it. Time will tell on you, and your actions will come back on you.
Although, however, I wonder do people really learn from their mistakes. Several years later I saw the same past co-worker when I was working for a doctor's office. I was working as an independent contractor for a doctor's office. I was sent to all the Walmarts in the area to set up and give free spinal exams. I saw her walk through the double doors and she had her two sons with her. She saw me from the distance and her eyes gleamed. She kept passing by my table several times being nosy. You would think people would grow up. I had wondered if she had some sort of mental illness or is ignorant to do what she is doing. She went over to the produce section and got strawberries and looked over at me. She passed near me again with the same evil walk that she does while pushing her sons in the cart. My present co-worker came and stood near me and asked me what was the matter, and I told her. The woman was at check out, staring over at me and laughing to herself. My present co-worker told me if it happens again to call security. I do not know why I could not think to call security. I just felt shocked that someone would do this.
Nowadays I am really cautious of people. I have noticed there are certain cultures in groups of people that take kindness for weakness and their values are screwed up. I like to be the best of myself. I realize there are people out there that get offended when you are the best of you and they try to get the best of you because they can not find it in themselves.
April Seldon (author) from New Orleans on September 03, 2021:
Hi Shane, thank you for your comment. Working alone is the best peace you can have compared to being around a toxic environment. I worked hard to get where I am now, and have had to face some really awful personality types. This world can be a really scary place where you find not everyone's goal is to be in peaceful surroundings. Many people have all sorts of issues stemming from insecurity issues and they tend to project them onto other people.
Shane Lambert from Richmond, British Columbia on September 03, 2021:
The only place that wasn't toxic was where I worked alone.