Bullied at work

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Two years ago, I moved to The Netherlands for work. On my first day, I was introduced to my team. My manager told my colleagues which “band” I was on and that I had no prior experience. She made a sarcastic comment and said “.. not sure why she is on this band considering she doesn’t have any experience”. My new colleagues started to complain saying that it took them ‘years’ to reach that band and that it was not fair. That is when my horrifying experience began. There I was day in day out in an office with colleagues who refused to talk to me. I ate my lunch alone. They were supposed to train me on the job, but refused to train me. After two months, my manager instructed them they had to do so at all cost.

After 3 weeks of training, my colleagues informed my manager that I was ‘not competent’ and would never be able to learn the tasks of the role. They refused to sign me off, thus my manager assigned me to do filing and photocopying. The lady who was working me was unfriendly from the beginning. Eventually we got round to talking about church and she told me she was a church goer. She was so cold, she would come in, not say hello and sit next to me for the next 8 hours. Then reported me to my manager that I was making a “mess of things” and unable to file. She reported that when she left the room I would check her e-mail (her desktop was locked) and go through her locker (which was locked with a key). By this time, I was becoming depressed, unable to sleep at night and asking God why He allowed me to move to The Netherlands to endure such hardship.

My manager whom I had confided in, also turned against me. She was the only one who would go to lunch with me. She made it clear that she was my manager and had a High School diploma. My university piece of paper was useless. I was on a one year contract. Without my knowledge, my manager informed the director that I was not performing well and that my contract should not be extended. The director had hired me from the UK and was shocked by the feedback. He said that my interview was very good and was surprised I was not managing the role. God gave me favour with this man, and he renewed by contract for a further 11 months. My manager was not pleased about it and ensured that I did not get a pay rise.

I was nominated for an awards ceremony for the members of staff who attributed to the core values of the company. I was humbled, thankful and had a prepared a speech. Two days before the event, one of the organizers told me they had to take me off from the event. They received information that I was not a good role model for the company and based on the information given, they had chosen another candidate. It ended up that one of my colleagues went to the organizer and spoke many lies. I was heartbroken.

Also, all my colleagues were allowed to go on courses besides me. It was one excuse after the other as to why I couldn’t follow a course. Moreover I already had a “piece of paper” and so there was nothing else they could offer me. That is when I decided to pursue a masters whilst studying fulltime without their knowledge. I completed this with a distinction within one year on a scholarship (see God’s restoration blogpost ).

The maltreatment at work continued, there were days when I just wanted to quit. I went back to the Father and reminded Him of the promise He gave me when I moved. I had received a prophetic message that God opened the door for the career move to elevate me. However, this was a contrast. One day, I said to myself, I could no longer take the treatment. I made an appointment with the director and told him everything whilst uncontrollably crying. That is when he told me all the lies my manager had told him. The next day, I was moved to another department. In this department, I have been accepted and the colleagues are wonderful. I also now have a permanent contract.

A few weeks ago, I posted on my Linkedin that I had completed my masters with a picture of my graduation ceremony. Who were the first to comment? My former manager and the colleague who got me removed from the awards ceremony and refused to sign my training. Then, I bumped into them in the corridor and they were praising me for how amazing my academic achievement was and that they had no idea I was doing the course whilst working. I politely said thank you and walked away. I forgive them for their ignorance.

Psalm 23:5

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

I can now confirm that (less than a year later) I have been promoted to one of the prestige positions within the company. This was a position that I did not apply for, but was handed to me by the Vice President of the business unit for my academic success and hard work . In addition to this, the lady who reported me for not being able to file will be reporting to me- THANK YOU JESUS!

I want to encourage you today that God sees your struggle-nothing goes unnoticed. Sometimes, God allows us to go through the fire to build character and produce testimonies. Once God elevates you, He will elevate you higher than you ever imagined!

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