19. That awkward age when you’re expected to start adulting, but nobody actually treats you like an adult. You feel like an imposter in your grown up work clothes – kind of like you’re wearing a costume. But you still have to contribute as a mature member of society.
And yet some of the ‘mature’ people you’re expected to shadow treat you like absolute shit.
I’m not 19 anymore. In fact, I turn 26 next month. But last week, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I came across something that not only hit super close to home, but it also produced an overflow of extremely nasty memories.
My younger friend’s colleagues were bullying her. She posted a scathing status about the situation, but she was adamant that she wasn’t giving up. She enjoyed the work, the company had a kick arse reputation and sticking things out would most certainly open doors.
Basically, if I had kept a diary when I was 19, it would’ve sounded exactly like that.
Kids on bullying. Post continues below.
After I graduated high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. So I completed a few business administration courses, and then scored myself a job as a junior receptionist.
And although I found full-time work terrifying at first, most of my colleagues were wonderful. They treated me like an adult, but they also understood that I was young, new and scared. They taught me all about the workforce, they helped me master the art of the telephone switch board and some even showed me how to navigate my confusing train commute.
But just like everything in life, there are always people who enjoy stomping on and destroying a damn good thing.
When I met my work bully for the first time, I thought she was lovely. She even gifted me a chocolate cupcake and insisted that I visit her should I have any questions. And anyone who knows me knows the best way to win me over is through my stomach.
Everything was great for the first few days. She answered my ridiculous questions, provided me with extra work when I was bored and even she vented to me about her personal life.
But then things started to change. She began assigning me tasks that were definitely not part of my job. And I’m not talking fetching coffee, photocopying and general grunt work here. What I’m talking about is this woman forcing me to do her groceries, or making me walk kilometres in the rain just to secure her favourite Boost juice when I really should’ve been doing my job.