November 27th

Every date is the anniversary of something. Good times, things done, stuff you’d rather forget. But when some dates loom backstage memories, emotions, thoughts seem to gather to muse upon what is ahead. It can take you back. You can get taken right back to pass the same hours, hear the same things, feel the same strength and hopelessness. Sometimes it is a good thing, sometimes it isn’t.

Last year (a Friday), just after 10am, I found out that I was going to get disciplined for my colleague not doing any work. She was sat next to me, was looking smug at me, and she said to me: “Well then maybe you should do some work.” I just looked at her. I just watched her gather her things and leave early on a booked half-day 2 hours before lunch. It was her, Little Miss Excuses. “Please, please,” she’d bat and plead, “can you do this funeral arrangement for me? I just have so much to catch up on” but never as much as me. I just watched R leave and no, no more. I rang ACAS and I found out my rights, and then I rang Employee Relations to get everything I hadn’t received; and there right there in the investigation notes was proof that my manager’s decision to discipline me wasn’t based upon the investigation she’d done or hadn’t done, depending on who (it will turn out) you believe. It was personal. It was because my manager was my bully.

No more, I was sick of it — I got angry, so angry and angrier still. I don’t know how I would’ve kept the anger in had it not been a quiet day in the funeral home; no doorbell, no phone calls. Peace. I was alone and that’s where I traipsed and screamed and carried on — I was back to composed by two.

That was it, that was that. J, m’dear, you’re done. I can take no more of your crap.


So far, not as I’d expected, not expected, I’m not sure what I was expecting to happen — I haven’t found J in my fridge and I haven’t heard R fluttering for me to do her work, and it’s fantastic; it’s really good not having to put up with that today, with them ever ever again.

In 4 days time I’d be handing in my formal grievance, and in 13 I’d be chasing its receipt that will turn out to be more evidence to bolster her bullying, and in 19 I won’t be able to take any more — these dates are just going to be dates, aren’t they? Just anniversary’s of things once done.

I could lament but I won’t. I could regale a tale of blushed-cheeks and syrup smiles but I find I can’t be bothered. Who cares? I ask. I don’t.

In 19 days it’ll be the last day I saw them, in 13 days I’ll discover that my grievance against J was justified, and in 4 days time I’ll have stood up for myself, stood up to my bully and wielded my words.

Why do I remember the bad bits first? I’m going to put the effort in to remember that shit second.


Tomos James

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