toxic jobs

Personal stories about toxic jobs and workplace woes.

June 02, 2012

sticks and stones

Piper’s first job experience has been woeful. Her manager and co-workers verbally abuse her and, despite being reminded of the ‘sticks and stones’ admonition she heard while growing up, their words still hurt her.

"People in the place where I work have been rude and crude and sometimes cruel and vicious," says Piper. "If I hadn't experienced it first hand I would never have believed that this sort of behavior goes on in workplaces."

"Don't believe that words can never harm you," says Piper, "because the words hurled at me at work cut me to the bone sharper than any stick or stone could – as did the words hurled at me by my parents when I was a kid."

"My body has many physical scars from accidental injuries – from sticks and stones," explains Piper, "but I don't remember any of the incidents that caused these scars."

"The incidents I do remember are the verbal assaults – the words that cut and still bleed in my brain in the form of flashbacks."

"I realize that everyone starting a new job is at a disadvantage and vulnerable," says Piper, "but the transition should be no different from starting a new school or college. It's not."

"Never in my school or college days did anyone treat me badly," says Piper, "so being called 'stupid', 'hopeless', 'slow’ – and other words that I would rather not mention – by my manager and co-workers was something I was not prepared for."

"I don't believe I am over-sensitive," says Piper, "but the hateful invective I received particularly in my first months at work was enough to send me home in tears."

Read more about Piper’s story:

  • toxic verbal abuse
  • childhood flashbacks
  • education fails workers

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