Saturday, November 6, 2010

I'm Getting My Confidence Back.

This post requires some background.  As I've stated before, I worked tech support for about 15 years for a university.  As I worked, I gained a lot of confidence.  I became very good at my job.  For reasons I don't want to get into, I upset some powerful people.  I came down on the wrong side of some politics, and took part in exposing some very embarrassing and illegal actions on the part of some of my bosses.  Shortly after that, things at work got very, very bad.

Before long, they started to find a lot of problems with my work.  If anything wasn't perfect, I was called in and reprimanded.  I was reprimanded when my supervisor would find a single chair out of place in a computer lab, or a single piece of paper on the floor.  It didn't matter that I had to take care of labs all over the university campus, and it took a minimum of an hour to even walk to all of the labs.

The abuse I experienced got more and more severe, until I wanted to quit, but I had just gotten married (actually, my  choice of wife was part of their problem with me, but I don't want to get into that right now) and my quitting in the middle of a a recession with unemployment that (when counted using the same criteria) is actually higher than during the Great Depression didn't seem like a good option.  I needed the insurance, and I needed an income, and I didn't feel that I could get a job so easily.  The only way I could get by was to either keep working, or get fired and get unemployment.

I believe that they wanted to make it bad enough that I had to quit.  I was determined not to quit.  The abuse led me to having an anxiety disorder.  I went on Effexor, a drug commonly used for anxiety disorders.  It also has serious side effects, including rather severe sexual side effects that make it rather unpleasant for someone newly married.

When I was finally fired, I fought it.  I took it as far as I could, but I didn't have the money to continue on, so I was forced to abandon my fight.  The blessing however was that I could go off of the meds, and I began to feel better.

What I didn't realize however was just how much my confidence was shattered.  I knew intellectually that I was in the right, but emotionally, I often wondered if it really was my fault.  Since I was fired for incompetence, I wondered if I really was incompetent.

After six months of looking for more tech support jobs, in desperation, I took a substitute teaching job,.  Since then, I have had great success, and generally made the schools I've worked for happy with my performance.  Now I don't pretend that I know much about teaching.  I've never had any training for any kind of teaching, but considering how much training I've had, I feel very good about how I've done.

What I've seen myself do has convinced me that it wasn't me.  It was them.  My confidence is returning, and I am feeling better about myself.  Now I know that I am a competent worker, and can excel at what I try. 

The question is "Now What?"  The way I see it, I have two choices.  I, most likely, can not pursue further action against the university, as the time has run out, so I can either let the whole thing die, or pursue individual lawsuits against my former bosses individually.  It was, after all, their abuse that led to my problem, and they did conspire to fire me without actual cause.  I'm sure that there is something there, but again I would need to hire a lawyer to do it.  Now I do have a good lawyer, but he doesn't work for free, so at the moment I'm stuck.

There are some other options that don't involve the legal system, and they might work.  This particular university is getting hit again and again with charges of corruption.  So far, the local media has covered up for them, so perhaps someone else should step up, and expose all of the problems.

The local paper will occasionally report on the problems there, but they spin it.  They also have a tendency to 'accidentally' delete old stories from their archives. What I did found, however, is that the local library keeps back issues of the newspaper.  Maybe I should go there and extract all of the stories I can find, and put them in an easily accessible location.

I've not had a significant number of visitors yet, but if anyone does find this post, I would appreciate any advice.

Update:  I just ran across the term "Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress".  I'll have to look into that a bit more.

No comments:

Post a Comment