The Price to Pay

Have you ever been the subject of a ‘mobbing’, A. K. A workplace bullying?

Almost a week has passed since I was marched by the ear into the bosses office and had my pants pulled down (not literally) in front of 5 ‘superiors’ for making an ‘error’.

The error in question was my failure to prepare something which was sent to me at 6am via Facebook messanger.

I opened the message and read the first line, which stated, ‘IF you are in tomorrow morning could you please do the following…’

I wasn’t due in the next morning so responded and stated that I was not. All was well. I received an ‘OK mate’. End of story.

If only that were the conclusion.

One self-defence meeting, one letter of warning for attitude, several do’s and don’ts, one response to the letter of warning and several unfairly and unjustly issued tasks later and here we are.

In the past week I’ve been told I cannot put my thumb up at the boss as “I’m not your friend”, I’ve been constantly watched like a hawk and been made to feel uneasy doing my job, I’ve lost sleep, lost weight, and I feel anxious.

I’ve been handed menial tasks, I’ve been asked to tell people what I’m doing at each moment of the day, I’ve been forced to wear plasters over tattoos which had previously been acceptable for the past year.

And today I’m still paying the price.

After two hours of ‘looking busy’ I presented the result of my aimless labour. Two minutes later, upon joining in to have a natter with 4 colleagues who were all sat around laughing I was targeted again.

One whisper in the ear of our ‘monitor’ from back office staff, one cocky saunter toward myself, and low and behold I was singled out once more to “help with a task”.

The task: not helping anyone with anything. Just single handedly peeling the price stickers from the back of hundreds of course manuals.

I’m not sure what do to, or what to say, or who to ask. Here in Italy, it appears as though anything goes. The natives seem to accept bending over to the boss, even if they are not in the wrong. I refuse!

For being me and for being nice, today I had to pay the price, I peeled once; I peeled thrice.

By trying to push your weight on me, I’m sure that in turn you’ll see, I won’t let you take the pee.

Any advice would be much appreciated.




Here I am, reflecting upon reflections. It’s all about how we look at it and in return that’s what we’ll see.

It being anything that we ponder on the daily. My present situation sees me pondering life, mainly down to the fact that I’m feeling victimised in the workplace.

I’m living in beautiful Sardinia, an island nestled smack bang in the middle of the Med. But, in the med the mind does muddle right now.

I love my job. I get paid to speak English. I have a wonderful girlfriend. I can speak Italian ever-increasingly well, which for an Oswestry council estate rat isn’t half bad to say the least. The beaches are paradise. It’s still 25 degrees at the end of October. The food is wonderful. Life is slow. And I could go on…

However, for someone who has been through shit piles the size of everest and came out smelling of the proverbial roses (not those sold by the street vendors here) , there had to be a catch, right?

For the first time in my life, and I mean that, everything seemed to be going seemlessly. Until. Until my boss decided to start singling me out for things which aren’t even worth mentioning. But being the character I am I feel distraught.

I’m currently assessing my options and weighing up my next move. Wondering about wandering. But where and when? One thing I’ve learnt in the last couple of years away from the UK is that I can work anywhere in the world, although I wasn’t quite ready to leave this island.

I just refuse to be bullied on a daily basis. I’m better than that! Usually I believe in letting things play out, but this time I can’t help but feel I don’t deserve a day more of this crap.

Jobs come and go, as do people and as does opportunity. But our life is one and our mental and physical health should be prioritised over any contract, any euro or pound, any shiny savings account.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll find my way home…

Grave Danger.

‘Homeless people shouldn’t sleep in a graveyard. How would you feel if those were your relatives buried there’?

*takes deep breath and exhales*

Now forgive me if I’m wrong but this person’s comment on a site that campaigns to end homelessness was a little pointer toward why we are messed up as an UNcivilisation.

I often read, see, hear great deeds done by a select group of humans who are gentle enough to spend their time campaigning for human rights, animal rights, legalisation of this, abolishment of that, however, where are we when push comes to shove?

Ironically, it’s all too easy to write about these things, to stick up a picket with ‘I’m anti-this’ doodled across it, to exclaim ‘you can’t say THAT‘… I’m offended.

Homelessness, in this instance, and the churchyard worryer. Are we more concerned for the respect of someone passed than we are for the life of someone present?

Spikes placed in shop doorways, steel bars erected on park benches. These are some of the things that some of us are doing to others of us. The difference being that the some are separated from the others by various social and economic factors, and so on.

I can’t and won’t tell you what do do but all I will say is:

It takes very little effort for us many privileged to make a great difference to the few less advantaged.

An Introduction.

It seems as though, nowadays, we’ve all got our specialist subjects, our favourite topics, our professional opinions to discuss.

Frankly I have none of the above and mainly enjoy to talk a lot about nothing in particular. In a world where we are forced to choose sides, take routes and ‘follow’ I prefer to simply sit back and watch.

I’m active in being passive I guess.

The workplace snitch prizes information from the unaware in a ‘what do you think about that scenario’ way and proceeds to screw them from behind by passing their words onto those involved like it’s second nature.

I don’t want any of that. You like me or you don’t. I don’t care for uttering others names with the intention of causing harm. I don’t care for that type of odious character. I’d much prefer to respond only to positive questions.

In short, we’re all too precise. Too mean. Too willing to talk about others for entertainment. What happened to enjoying one another’s company for the sake of learning and enjoying more about ourselves?

Yes, I like being alone.

I love sport. Nature. Exercise. Photography. Music.

Does that make me ‘normal’? I guess so.

Let’s all just get along and once again learn to find enjoyment through one another as oppose to using others negative experiences to self-gratify.

I’m the guy who carries the old gentleman’s shopping up the street and I always will be.

Will you carry my bags?

I live and love in Sardegna, Italy. I teach conversational English to pay for bread.

Parlo italiano anche, non benissimo ma abbastanza bene.

I do introductions back-to-front.

My name is Ben. I’m 29 and I’m on a mission to love life.