toxic jobs

Personal stories about toxic jobs and workplace woes.

September 01, 2011

Deliberate alienation

When the small accountancy company Vanessa had worked for was taken over by a big corporation she was separated from her former colleagues during the move to the new company and found herself working in alien territory.

"All of my life I’ve felt like I don’t quite fit in with people," explains Vanessa, "so this new situation is the worst possible thing that could happen to me. I am stuck in an open plan office with a team of people doing different work to mine."

"I discussed the problem with my husband, John, and he thinks that my old team has deliberately alienated me," says Vanessa. "His advice is for me to ask for a transfer to the team section in which I am presently situated and to cut ties completely with my former colleagues."

"John feels that if management does not grant me this reasonable request then I should at least be given my own office and secretary and I agree with him," says Vanessa. "It's all very well having more money and staff benefits but if I'm miserable, what's the use of working?"

"Actually, John doesn’t particularly want me to work," laughs Vanessa, "he’d much prefer me to stay home and devote myself to him and the kids - and that’s a great fallback should I be forced to quit this job."

"But I need to be with people," explains Vanessa. "With the kids at school I’d be very lonely being home by myself all day."

“Like most working mothers, I want to work for my own fulfillment as well as for social interaction,” says Vanessa, “and employers really should be more considerate about where they place their new employees - especially those from a take-over and most especially their female staff.”

"I think my situation would be awful for anybody," says Vanessa, "but for someone like me who has been through a lonely childhood being deliberately alienated at work is the sort of stuff from which nightmares are made."

Read more about Vanessa's situation:

  • A lonely only child
  • alien territory

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