“I used to be supervisor in a global shoe store. The pay was competitive and I was a brilliant salesperson, frequently near the top of the global charts. The world was my oyster, right? It started slowly at first, and I began thinking I was the one in the wrong. Little things, like being constantly reminded that I had ‘forgotten’ this and ‘forgotten’ that. I started writing down things I was asked to do on my hand, and that was when I realised I was being toyed with. I wasn’t forgetting anything. And things got worse. There were snide remarks here and there, like ‘you’re not good enough for this job’, and worse ‘you’re useless…’ And then she would walk away like it was the most normal thing in the world. I worked harder, obviously. And I worked very hard already. However instead of working hard because I loved my job, I did it because I didn’t want to be on the receiving end of that abuse. Things got even worse, and they happened right in front of my co-workers. It got worse still. She would get people to say things to me, and gang up on me. I felt horrible, so one day I just walked in, gave over my keys and badge, packed up my stuff and left. I left with no guarantees and no job to go to. I learned a lot about myself then. To talk to people closest to me, that I can walk away from negativity. I learned that I can still smile. I walked away from a bully, just like I would in a school playground. I’m in a much better place; I’ve been at my most creative, I’ve almost completed a degree and I have a job with a large financial firm where the culture is perfect for personal and professional growth.”

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