One morning over a decade ago, I dressed for work, gathered my keys, and got in my car not bothering to shower or even brush my teeth, because esteem doesn’t matter so much when you’re operating on pure, unadulterated despondency.
My job, where I had quickly advanced as the top regional performer in the company, was a place where I’d numbed to the thrills of achievement and success because, quite frankly - nobody but the devil thrives in a hellscape.
I’d spent too long on the receiving end of what society politely calls “workplace bullying.” Which is euphemism for toxic adult behaviors that enable a perpetrator to get what they want, maintain a status quo, and leave rattled and resourceless people in their quake.
Also, I’d recently made the situation worse by filing a formal complaint. In short, I was collateral damage in a company that had no process for rebuking inappropriate, unsavory activity. And when you have no process to deal with toxicity. You have no procedure to dispose of it.
That morning on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles, exhausted from the drama, with an unrecognizable version of myself at the wheel, my depression weighed in with a solution - that instead of going to work that day, I should simply drive off the road. Even though I knew my workplace was irrational...I didn’t know irrational was contagious.
So I swerved off the interstate.
But in that half second I spent careening off course, my reflexes responded, and I yanked the wheel away from disaster. After clipping the guardrail, I swerved back into the flow of speeding traffic.
Creating collaborative, safe and bully-free work environments.
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