Workers Against Abuse, Unite!

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I am always surprised by employers. It's a funny thing, but for some reason when you agree to work for them, there also seems to be some sort of implied agreement to become their slave. I don't really understand this phenomenon, but it appears to be more widespread than bad breath.

When you go to a business, and pay them money for their services, you try to maintain a generally amicable relationship. Makes sense, since they are providing you with something you need and you do the same for them. So why do such courtesies no longer apply in the employee/employer relationship? It's a very similar scenario after all. Money is paid to the individual for services which the employer needs. Yet the requirement to maintain that amicable relationship appears to take a back seat to personal interests.

The reason I write this is because I had another unpleasant episode at one of my current jobs. I haven't been working there for all that long, so my relationship with my coworkers has barely begun to develop. Just the other day I apparently did something wrong without knowing it. My supervisor swore at me for doing so, and I decided to call him on it.

In a calm manner I approached him and said, "I just want you to know that if you want to tell me something I can understand it without you swearing at me." Well, he didn't like that too much. I was told I was being "too sensitive," that he wasn't going to change the way he talks for me or "tip-toe around [me]." He tried to take the superiority road by offering some older-and-wiser words, how my being too sensitive would not serve me in the professional world. He also said I should not be there if I couldn't deal with it. But it was the last thing he said which really summed his thoughts up quite nicely: "Let me put it this way. I don't care."

Older and wiser indeed. I thought this was a rather significantly sized soap box to climb up on, all because I told him it wasn't necessary to swear in order to communicate with me. So, for future reference to everyone out there, telling someone you "don't care" isn't exactly how you demonstrate your years of acquired wisdom. Not to mention that excessive profanity makes your IQ plummet like your company's profits in the face of outsourcing to China.

I think maybe when I start new jobs from now on, along with having to fill out and sign a bunch of paperwork for them, I'll require my employers to sign an agreement to treat me like a human being. Maybe I'll create a new legal precedent allowing employees to sue for psychologically abusive treatment.

Maybe it's my rotten luck that I end up working for jerks all the time. Or maybe I am too sensitive. It's possible, just as much as I could argue for the opposite possibility that the other guy is an insensitive prick. A little digging in this direction has turned up some interesting information.

The Bully Online website makes information available regarding popular myths and stereotypes regarding bullying in the workplace as collected by the UK National Workplace Bullying Advice Line, and here is what they have to say about "sensitivity."

Victims are sensitive / oversensitive
Sensitivity comprises a constellation of values to be cherished and nurtured, including empathy, respect, tolerance, dignity, honour, consideration and gentility. Anyone who is not sensitive is insensitive. Targets have an instinctive ability to detect malicious intent which is often labelled by those who lack this ability as "being oversensitive". Bullies are callously insensitive and indifferent to the needs of others and when called upon to share or address the needs and concerns of others respond with impatience, irritability and aggression.

Maybe I'll give this information to my employer at some point. Because I don't know how much I would have to be paid in order to put up with that kind of nonsense, but I know I'm not being paid enough for it now. I don't anticipate to stay there much longer, and maybe I really will give this to them before leaving.

No one should stand for that kind of treatment, regardless of how sensitive a person they are. When your employer tells you that he "should hire Mexicans because they work harder," it's time to get out of there and visit

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