We’ve all worked with one –the office bully, the control freak, the first-gear worker. Those staff who are just unmanageable – I’m sure most of you can relate.
I picked up my very first job after leaving school, and things have certainly come on a long way since then – almost 20 years ago.
I remember in my very first week, a senior person pointed to me in front of the whole factory and said, “look at her big b***s!”
We were told not to wear trousers, only skirts, as we worked in the office, and that’s what the ladies did.
I have also managed expenses for sales reps and been made to process claims for strip clubs and whiskey. I was always told to keep this discreet and that it was simply a ‘bonding exercise for the team’.
At various stages in my career, I have suffered verbal bullying in the office, I have felt intimidated by chauvinistic men, jealously from older women and suffered unnecessary antagonistic behaviour from people who coveted my management position.
Believe me I’m no wall flower, I can stand up for myself, but these situations have been very stressful to say the least.
As a nation, we are making strides to identify and eradicate this type of behaviour in industry.
The public sector is leading the way, but many forward-thinking corporates are beginning to recognise that a happy working environment is a big contributor to success.
Luckily, after many roles, I’m now a year in to a really great job and I couldn’t be happier.
Companies continue to improve HR and working conditions but ultimately the type of people you’re thrown together with will always be a lottery. If you’re fortune enough to love your job, then you are one of the lucky ones – like me.