I’ve gotten to the point in my life, finally, that I do not feel the need to allow others to walk all over me. Really, this trait has been with me for the past several years. Unfortunately, since moving to my current place of residence, I have noted that there seems to be a lot more people again that feel that they can do so – they might treat me as though I am dumb, or inexperienced or what have you – or treat me as though I am overreacting if and when I stand up for myself.
Oh, honey… You haven’t even begun to see me overreact. And, no, sweetie, it is not “unprofessional” to defend yourself, especially when you are defending yourself from extremely negative, toxic, and outright lying people. Those that know me, know that I am the first to say “Oops, my bad,” and try to figure out how I can fix an issue with myself… I also let things slide for quite awhile and try my hardest to just get along with people. So when I get to the point that I have to stand up for myself, you best believe there is a real reason for it.
Honestly, I’m not even sure if it’s the local culture in this specific area, or just that I got so used to being respected in previous jobs. In Australia, I was disrespected once by a Director of Nursing… but that was quickly remedied and he learned real quick that I wouldn’t tolerate that nonsense. (I quite literally walked out of his office at the end of the day after telling him I would not renew my contract due to the behaviour/issue and he was scrambling to get me to reconsider the next work day.)
Otherwise, in Australia, I NEVER had issues in which I was treated as less-than. The worst jobs I have had in that respect have been here in the USA. I won’t go into each specific case, but there were a couple in the deep south when I was much younger, one in Tennessee when I was also still quite young… Since then I’ve wizened up, and grown, and recognized that I have worth and I shouldn’t be treated any old way just to stay in a job. Especially in a job that makes me feel horrible all the time because of how I’m being treated.
Since moving back to the USA, I have had two more jobs – in this particular area – that have condoned toxic behaviour and when I stood up for myself and/or asked for help I wasn’t believed or I was treated as though what I said was not valid… Because I am the newer employee or whatever their reasoning was to not believe or listen to my side of the story. It honestly floors me how these companies can think it’s ok to defend people like that or side with toxic employees without even knowing all the facts or investigating anything first. More than one person lied to me and changed their tune in meetings when other people were present or in emails that others were cc’d into.
I’m lucky to be in a position currently that means I don’t have to plead to keep a job in a mentally abhorrent place. I am by no means a perfect person, or perfect employee, I know that… But honestly these companies I have walked away from; I truely think it is their loss not mine. They are the ones that are stuck with the toxic culture and will hopefully continue to lose the staff that would have been better for them and their culture. I get to walk away from that. Luckily, not all companies up here are horrible. I work/have worked for a couple other companies in which I was/am treated well and in general respect and support their employees, so I know not all hope is lost around here!
All five of those horrible places I mentioned above that I have dealt with in my long career… I have come to find out after the fact that they already have the WORST of reputations. You keep up, what you are doing, then. I will continue to move on and up to work for employers of choice. And you should know full well, I won’t be stuck in this small town USA for long anyway.