Understanding Abuse: A First Hand Account

When I began working for Nortel Networks back in November of 1993, I had no idea of the type of dynamics that would be going on, in both me, and some of the others who would be around me. First off, wouldn’t you know it, but the man that was to be my manager, was an abusive person. If I would tell him I was sick, he would say I was lying, that I was just trying to get time off. He was manipulative. As a new employee, I felt very lonely at the company. My manager basically never came by to say ‘hello’ — except, I think it was, the first day, when he asked me if I wanted to come down to the cafeteria with him. I remember that day well. I had said to him, ‘Well, I would like to, but I have promised another co-worker that I would wait for him first.’

‘Oh, don’t worry about him,’ my manager said, ‘just come with me.’ That was the type of guy my manager was. He was very hard to get along with. He didn’t think about others, just himself. I have forgiven him now, but I can tell you, he certainly caused a lot of problems for our whole group. After he was gone, one of my co-workers came up to me and said, ‘Dan, can I ask you a question? Did you ever have a hard time with XX when he was with us?’

‘Yes,’ I replied quite openly. ‘At last,’ I thought to myself, ‘I could talk about it to someone who actually had listening ears!’ I had not been that open before, really, with anyone (especially Human Resources who tended always to side with the manager, I can assure you!), because of how ‘oppressed’ I had felt under this man.

The man answered me back, ‘Man, I too was harrassed by him, you just can’t imagine how! I complained many times about XX in (senior manager’s) office!’

I know personally of three people (including myself) that felt a great sense of oppression from this man. I’m sure there were others — scores. I know personally of one of them who actually left the company because of him, the other one basically wanted to ‘get as far away as possible’ from him, and did so by joining up with another group, before he eventually left the company entirely, feeling disregarded in terms of his real ‘value’ to the company. I think the real problem was that, basically, he felt ‘unheard’ and therefore ‘uncared for’ by the higher ups. I can tell you for sure, Nortel Networks lost a good man when they lost this man!

I myself, under a great deal of duress, ‘sweated it out’ like a good boy, for I can’t remember how long (about a year — too long), before providence (God) moved me on. Man, was that hard! Talk about sweat! Soon, by God’s grace, I was in the ‘hands’ of another manager, this time, a somewhat more ‘giving’ manager, full of just a bit more ‘grace’ than the previous one! And thank God for that! If you yourself are currently in an abusive situation, please say along with me, ‘Yes, this too will pass!’ Like the Isrealites of old, who ‘sweated it out in Egypt’ before being rescued, you may have to ‘sweat it out’ for a while, but I can assure you, deliverance will come!