toxic jobs

Personal stories about toxic jobs and workplace woes.

July 26, 2007

jabbering idiots

As a result of the company she works for taking on board a policy of employing friends and relatives of existing workers rather than advertising new positions as they become available, Leigh is the only white woman left in her department and she is treated badly by the new employees.

"The company was once a very open and friendly place to work," complains Leigh, "but over the years it has become almost incestuous with an employment policy that favors cheap immigrant family labor."

"My employer is quite happy to appoint someone’s daughter, sister, mother or aunt because it saves on advertising the job," explains Leigh. "And while it's saving my employer money it's costing me my mental health."

"In my last job noise was a big problem" says Leigh. "I found it impossible to keep track of what I was doing when I sat next to the fax machine buzzing all day and the person in the next cubicle was also annoying me."

"He had a habit of speaking too loudly, and too often, and when he wasn't talking he was humming loudly."

"When he realized it annoyed me," sighs Leigh, "he did it deliberately. This sort of thing can drive you nuts in a very short time and I was so glad to leave that place and come here."

"Now, I'm finding how horrible it is to be working on a team with people who are related to each other, especially because they are of a different ethnic group and deliberately jabber in their native tongue all day around me."

"When I started here four years ago there was one ethnic lady on my team and we all got along well," says Leigh. "But then, as people left she got a relative of hers to take over the vacant positions."

"I am now on a team made up entirely of her relatives!"

"I am stuck in a small workplace where I have to put up with these women actually talking and laughing about me - using my name quite clearly in their foreign language," says Leigh "and it is driving me insane."

"They look after each other and make decisions without my input," says Leigh "and they have totally alienated me."

"Their language is totally foreign to me so they honestly do sound like jabbering idiots," says Leigh, "and to make matters worse they bring in their strange smelling food that make me feel nauseous."

"Whole days go by when they don't speak to me at all - even though they speak English perfectly," says Leigh "and you have no idea how depressing it is to be ignored in the way they are ignoring me. I try to start up a conversation and they just giggle and jabber and pretend they don't hear me."

"It's pretty obvious that they are trying to get me to resign so that they can get another one of their relatives into my job," says Leigh, "but I am 48 and it is not going to be easy for me to find another job - especially one so near where I live."

"I live down the road from my workplace - whereas these women come from the outer suburbs," says Leigh, "so even if I do find another job I will be forced to pass this place every day."

"It's no use talking to management about my situation because they must know what the situation is - they caused it!"

"I know that these women are earning a lot less money than I am" sighs Leigh "So it's definitely in management's interests to get rid of me, too."

"I've put up with this situation now for over a year and I'm really in a bind about it. One on one, these women are OK, but put them together and they're like jabbering jackals."

"I live alone and I have nobody to cheer me up when I get home," says Leigh, "and I suppose that works against me too."

"I would never take a job where I would be the odd man out," says Leigh, "so this situation has developed around me and I had no idea it would end up the way it has."

"I'm drinking a lot more now than I ever did," confesses Leigh. "It's not good to be drinking alone is it?"

"When I look at nature and see how many native species have been wiped out by introduced species I get to feel that perhaps I am being wiped out too."

"Maybe they have better survival instincts than I do and deserve to take over the place."

"It's survival of the fittest out there, isn't it?"

"I'm glad I never had any children because thanks to greedy types like my employer this land will soon be taken over by another race and I can't bear to think of the type of life white children will have in the future."

(Leigh's story first appeared as mother tongues and is reprinted with permission.)

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