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Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1166
Experience:  Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
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Dr. L, I would like to tell you what happened to me at work

Resolved Question:

Dr. L, I would like to tell you what happened to me at work and why I am so depressed. Are you available?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. L replied 1 year ago.

Dr. L :

Hello,

Dr. L :

Yes...I am here and will be for several hours.

Dr. L :

I will wait for you.

Customer:

hi

Customer:

I am glad you are available

Customer:

this is what happened at work

Customer:

As I told you, I am very respected at work but just around the time I ended the relationship with this guy, a new boss came aboard.

Customer:

the problem is that the new boss feels intimidated by me, and even though I've tried my best to win her over, the fact that people trust me over her is making her crazy.

Customer:

for this reason, she started bullying me at work. Giving me more and more to do with less and less help. She humiliated me in front of all the department, she talks about me behind my back, she accuses me of things I have not done, and so on.

Customer:

I have been trying to concentrate on work and forget about her until last week when she accused me of a bunch of things in writing. I had to respond and I fortunately keep emails and reports, so I attached them as proof of her lies. Aside from this I went and made a formal complaint to Human Resources.

Customer:

unfortunately, this happened on a Friday and by Sunday I was admitted to the hospital with symptoms of a heart attack, which turned out to be a panic attack caused by excessive stress.

Customer:

an investigation is going on, but I just received an email from this person saying that since I was going back on Monday that I had a new project. The problem is that it seems I am going to have to swallow all her humiliations and keep working for her!

Customer:

I mean, the investigation from Human Resources is not finished, but if I continue to work with her, they will say that it was resolved and that everything resumes the way it was before. But I can't work with her! She is mean and lies all the time! She doesn't give me the correct information to see if I make a mistake! She reports that I don't finish work when I stay until very late hours to complete everything! I mean, how can I work in these circumstances? I am afraid I will end very, very sick.

Customer:

apparently some people are going to be let go before the end of the year, but that means two more months of torture!

Customer:

she might be in the black list, but what if she is not?

Customer:

I will wait for you. I t seems you are offline.

Dr. L :

I am reading your posting and will reply in a minute or two.

Dr. L :

I am so sorry this has happened. Do you trust that the Human Resources department will conduct a fair and honest investigation?

Dr. L :

What about your former boss...does he know what is going on and can he be of support to you?

Dr. L :

Can you get your physician to write a letter to Human Resources supporting a temporary leave of absence? That would seem like one of the best things you can do to take care of yourself...and to keep from having to work with her.

Dr. L :

Taking a leave really sounds like the best strategy.

Dr. L :

I will wait for you to respond.

Customer:

I don't know how Human Resources will respond

Customer:

is every HR department willing to let these kinds of things happen?

Customer:

why do yu ask about HR? What is your experience?

Dr. L :

Most companies have provisions for a leave of absence.

Dr. L :

I would check with your Human Resources department to find out about this.

Dr. L :

Yes...I have had experience with this.

Dr. L :

Clients have asked me to write letters for them explaining why they need a leave.

Dr. L :

Were you hospitalized by your own physician? Or did you go to the Emergency Room and then they made a diagnosis of anxiety?

Customer:

I went to the ER but they didn't give a written diagnosis

Dr. L :

It is important that you not put yourself in a position of being further traumatized by your boss.

Dr. L :

Where you hospitalized over night?

Customer:

I understand

Dr. L :

Have you seen your own physician since then?

Customer:

yes, I was

Customer:

I have an appointment on Wednesday

Customer:

what worries me is what you said about HR

Customer:

why do you think they wouldn't ;listen?

Customer:

this woman has a history in HR

Dr. L :

That's good. It would be important for your own physician to see you and evaluate you.

Customer:

she already did the same thing to another girl

Dr. L :

HR should listen to you. They must take you seriously.

Customer:

and I know my coworkers will support me. I am sure

Customer:

the company has a history of mobbing so they should be sensitive to my case

Dr. L :

All you need is a letter from your physician saying that the level of stress you are experiencing at your job is posing a threat to your health and in their opinion you need to take a leave in order to deal with your health.

Dr. L :

I do not believe that your company can ignore such a letter.

Customer:

I am sure that is what the doctor will say, but the ER doctors are not authorized to give that kind of letter

Customer:

however, at the ER they told me that my doctor should recommend time off work to protect my health

Dr. L :

The ER doctors may not be able be authorized to write that type of letter, but the fact that you were hospitalized is proof that your health has been negatively impacted. Your company cannot ignore this.

Customer:

Ok

Dr. L :

Your company likely has disability insurance...meaning that you should be able to receive pay while you are out of work.

Dr. L :

Were you given any medication for the anxiety?

Customer:

My question is: are you concerned they won't take me seriously or that HR will turn against me?

Customer:

Yes, I was given medication for anxiety

Dr. L :

NO...I am not concerned about HR. You will have the supporting evidence of your physician and the hospital record. They cannot deny these things.

Dr. L :

Are you feeling any better?

Customer:

They already told me to take as much time as I needed and gave me information on how to claim short term dissability

Dr. L :

Very good!

Dr. L :

So are you willing to do this?

Customer:

I am feeling a little better but I get this downs... like flashes of what this woman has done come to my mind and I feel I can't breathe, and the chest pain starts again

Dr. L :

I am so sorry. I understand what is going on...

Customer:

Today when I read the email she sent with a new project, I felt like I was going to faint and I felt nausea

Customer:

the other day I didn't have the courage to talk about these things because it hurts so much

Customer:

I have given a piece of my life to the company, and yes, my former boss, and other very high executives are aware of my work

Customer:

but, I feel like crying when I think they let these things happen to me

Customer:

I tried to quit and they pleaded me to stay

Dr. L :

When you feel like you can't breathe....stop to check how much air you really are taking in. What typically happens is that you breathe very shallow - like taking little puffs of air. What you need to do is to breathe as deeply and as slowly as possible - taking in as much air as you can. Concentrate on taking in deep breaths. This will help you get back in control. What you are reacting to is how out of control you feel because of how this woman has been treating you. Her actions have taken away your sense of self-worth and you are in great fear.

Customer:

there was an audit done to the company and the conclusion was that the only valuable person in my department was me... this conclusion set off this woman like she had a personal war with me

Dr. L :

If they pleaded you to stay...then they must move you to another department so you are safe...or they must remove her. I would insist that you cannot work for her and you will leave if they don't do anything to protect you. You can always talk to a lawyer as you may have a case against the company if they continue to allow her to treat you badly.

Dr. L :

Yes...it sounds like she is very jealous and that she does not like it that you are more competent that her.

Customer:

I did tell the person in HR that I was tempted to get a lawyer. The person from HR said that if that made me feel better it would be okay, but that usually people give her a chance to intervene

Dr. L :

Do you trust that they will intervene on your behalf and make certain that you are not hurt by this woman?

Dr. L :

Getting a lawyer may provide you with the peace of mind you need.

Customer:

the problem is... the only answers are the ones you propose: either they transfer me or they get rid of her

Dr. L :

Well...there are other options...

Customer:

there is a rumor that she is going to be let go

Customer:

and there was a rumor that I was going to take her place

Dr. L :

That is...you can leave and bring suit against them for a hostile work environment. An attorney can talk to you about this.

Dr. L :

Who would know if this is true?

Customer:

the problem is that they also changed the top executive who used to manage the department, and that person wants to bring someone from outside, not me

Dr. L :

Do you understand why they would want to bring someone from the outside?

Customer:

so even though I have proven myself, best case scenario, I get a new boss

Customer:

it's politics

Dr. L :

Yes...I understand the politics.

Customer:

I am supposed to train the new person, can you believe that?

Dr. L :

This woman...did she come from the outside too?

Customer:

no

Dr. L :

Can you refuse to do that?

Dr. L :

Okay...so that woman was promoted from another department?

Customer:

this woman used to work there and asked to have my position. She was told that she was not prepared. She left and the company hired me. Suddenly the top executive had personal problems and decides to rehire her in a position above me

Customer:

I guess she negotiated to come back with the condition of being put in a higher position

Customer:

in summary, a person that was not considered prepared to assume my role (after 15 years in the same company) was rehired in a position above me

Customer:

for this reason, she hated me from the beginning

Dr. L :

Yes...I can certainly see what happened and why she has treated you with such hostility.

Customer:

I have 25 years of experience in different areas of the same industry, speak fluently 3 languages

Customer:

and have already won international awards for the company

Dr. L :

Do you think that your superiors can see what you see?

Customer:

the first award I won was with my first project

Customer:

my superiors see what I see, they have told me so

Customer:

the problem is that there is too much rotation at the top because they are political positions

Dr. L :

Then they are admitting that you are working in a hostile environment and they have a responsibility to ensure that you are treated with respect and dignity.

Customer:

I am the last position before you become a political figure

Customer:

and I don't mean that I work in politics

Dr. L :

Yes...I understand that the rotating upper staff.

Dr. L :

And I understand.

Dr. L :

But...the botXXXXX XXXXXne is that they have a responsibility to ensure that the workplace does not do harm to employees.

Customer:

yes

Customer:

and I understand I need to go to this appointment and get some time off

Customer:

I understand that

Dr. L :

It seems to me that you need the help of an employment attorney to see what your rights are and to see if you have cause to sue the company, or what demands you can make.

Dr. L :

And absolutely....have your physician write a letter so that you can get a leave of absence and get healthy again.

Customer:

that will cost me money... and what if they are taking care of it?

Dr. L :

That you must absolutely do.

Customer:

I mean, the attorney will cost money

Dr. L :

All you need at this point is a consultation for the purpose of understanding your rights. You don't have to do anything other than gather information. Right now you are at the mercy of the company. And as you have said...you are very, very sad that they have let this happen to you.

Customer:

yes

Dr. L :

Yes..it will cost you some money. But one appointment is all I am suggesting at this point.

Dr. L :

One appointment so that you have information and are not just depending on what the company is saying.

Customer:

everyone is so concerned about getting more power that they ignore what is happening to the people that really work

Dr. L :

Yes...and isn't that sad.

Dr. L :

You need to take care of you.

Customer:

and since we take the abuse and continue to work, they keep rotating the upper staff to see who wins

Dr. L :

Please consider seeing an employment attorney.

Customer:

i will

Customer:

I feel really sick

Dr. L :

Okay. I think that will give you a sense of control and relief.

Customer:

I was so scared when I was admitted to the hospital!

Dr. L :

Do you mean...that you feel really upset by how badly you have been treated and how you have been let down by the company?

Customer:

and I feel exhausted all day but can't sleep at night

Dr. L :

Yes...I can imagine how scared you were thinking that you were having a heart attack....terrible.

Customer:

no, I mean that I feel physically sick

Customer:

and emotionally exhausted

Dr. L :

Oh. If you are not sleeping...you can consider taking something like Tylenol PM. That might help you rest.

Customer:

I will

Customer:

Thank you for listening DR. L

Dr. L :

Also...drinking hot milk often helps and listening to relaxing music or a relaxation tape.

Customer:

I will talk to you tomorrow... I know it's late for you

Dr. L :

Yes...it is quite late here.

Customer:

that's a good idea

Customer:

have a good night, and thank you!

Dr. L :

You are very welcome.

Dr. L :

Take care!

Dr. L :

Good night for now.

Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1166
Experience: Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
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Dr. L
Dr. L
Clinical Psychologist
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Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.