Victim Blaming at the Toxic Office

Victim Blaming at the Toxic Office

When Corporate doesn’t want to deal with a problem, there are many subtle ways for them to turn to victim blaming instead.

Now, I wouldn’t describe myself as a victim. I think “target” is a bit more suitable for my situation. But victim blaming is terminology that most people are already familiar with, so I’m not going to re-create the wheel over it here.

But if you’d like extra insight into victim blaming overall, I found a good article from Very Well Mind which gave this effective definition: Blaming the victim is a phenomenon in which victims of crimes or tragedies are held accountable for what happened to them.

But one thing that happened to me when I started to escalate my issues with my stalker at work… is that I was told to change MY behavior, in order to not provoke any more situations that needs to be escalated. THAT is absolutely victim blaming.

One example that immediately comes to my mind, is that I was actually told to no longer walk by his office anymore.

Nobody ever told him to stop walking by MY office instead. Nobody ever told him to LEAVE.ME.ALONE. You’d think the best solution would be to address the root cause. But no, they didn’t do that.

And if you check out the floorplan I drew up (lol, no it’s not to scale), that’s a big change that I had to accommodate in order to prevent any inconvenience for him. It’s kinda disgusting. And, he actually enjoyed that I had to suffer the consequences of trying to escalate issues with him. It definitely served to be a deterrent for me to try to escalate anything. He experienced no deterrents at all. He was practically giddy over this turn of events, and it only emboldened him to behave even more outrageously towards me because he believed that he was protected.

And he was right.

His behavior later led to the point where he ended up bleeding on my desk and completely got away with it. I posted about it here if you missed it. And he never experienced any consequences for it.

He was protected. Not me.

And me changing my behavior to prevent any more issues didn’t fix anything. Because I wasn’t the problem.

Delicious and Cheesy Doritos Chicken Casserole

Doritos Chicken Casserole

This Doritos Chicken Casserole is definitely a favorite at home. There aren’t alot of meals here that we ALL enjoy (too many picky-eaters) but this is one of them. It’s also very different. You can’t really find this on any restaurant menu ever.

And yes, you read the title correctly. This casserole’s star ingredient is Doritos.

There’s also multiple delivery methods to serve this Doritos Chicken Casserole. My daughter and I will eat this meal over white rice. While my husband skips the rice and just eats this as a hot tip with chips. So you can try it both ways and see which you prefer.

Ingredients:

2 lbs chicken, shredded
1 can, cream of chicken soup
1 can, cream of mushroom soup
1 can, diced Rotel tomatoes – Original
1/2 can, diced Rotel tomatoes – Hot
1 medium onion, diced
3 cups, shredded cheese Monterey Jack or Cheddar
1 bag (16oz) Nacho Cheese flavor Doritos
Optional: white rice
Optional: Tortilla chips for scooping

Instructions:

  1. Sautee the onions until they are soft
  2. Combine soups, rotel, and onions in a bowl, stir well
  3. Spray a 13×9 pan with Pam and coat bottom layer with crushed Doritos
  4. Layer soup mixture, shredded chicken, shredded cheese in pan
  5. Layer crushed Doritos on top
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes

You can serve this Doritos Chicken Casserole over white rice, or serve as a hot dip with Tortilla chips for scooping.

Which Character from The Office Are You?

Which Character From The Office Are You

This quick fun game might help us get to know each other a bit better… So which character from The Office are you (U.S. version)?

I really found myself most like Angela. Lol, don’t hate me now! What do you think? That’s me in the top right corner of the image, striking my typical arms-crossed pose. It’s my typical pose because I never have pockets in my work pants and I don’t like my arms to dangle, so… I cross them. Alot.

[The animated part of my image is from Marisa Livingston and can be found on her Instagram.]

I know Angela on The Office comes off as really unlikeable, and I think I do as well. Especially in person. But I can attribute that mostly to just being awkward socially.

But I definitely compartmentalize my life. There’s a time for work and there’s a time for play. And when I am at the office, I am in work mode and I don’t mingle much playfulness into that. When I see my co-workers goofing-off at work instead, it does bother me. Alot. And I do judge them for it too. So that’s particularly where I relate with Angela.

So I usually skip all the extra-curricular events that get scheduled during work hours so I can complete all my work during that time. And I do NOT enjoy any office pranks either. Especially those at my expense. Check out what my co-workers hid in my desk drawer here.

On the other hand, I’m a very good sport about any after-hours events that get scheduled. Happy-hours with fun coworkers at the end of the day were always my fave.

And except for Angela’s situation where 2 men were dueling for her (lol, THAT’S never happened to me), I do relate to her most of all.

How about you? Which character from The Office are you?

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Outstanding Blogger Award

The timing couldn’t have been any better for me to be nominated for the Outstanding Blogger Award, since I’ve been stumped lately as to what to post next.

So many thanks to Delicate and Brutal for nominating me at her award post today, and for saving me from writer’s block this week! I appreciate you girlfriend! :)

The Rules:

1. Provide a link to the creator’s original award post.

2. Answer the questions provided.

3. Create 7 unique questions.

4. Nominate up to 10 bloggers.

5. Ensure that they are aware of their nomination.

6. Now let’s continue to support and cheer each other throughout 2021 for the Outstanding Blogger Award!

Questions by Delicate and Brutal:

1. Tell us your 2021 goals for your blog. I’m unsure what my ultimate goal for my blog is, but in the meantime, I have the short-term goals to keep creating content and to keep growing an audience.

2. How do you plan on implementing your goals for your blog in 2021? I’ve been staying relatively active on social media for my blog. Facebook is probably the account that I go to the most because I actually find alot of helpful blog information there in the groups I have joined. So, I’m getting an education out of it too.

3. What inspires you to write your blogs? Mostly it’s my own personal life events that inspire me to write my blog. The tricky part is to make it interesting to others. :)

4. Why did you begin your blog? I started blogging because of the pandemic lockdowns and I was starved for attention from other adults. I never leave my home anymore except for necessities, because my job enables me to work-from-home. I never even dress for the day anymore, and it’s going to be almost a year of being stuck at home everyday. It’s depressing. Blogging is my only escape. :(

5. What have you learned about yourself in writing your blogs?  I think I’m starting to feel more confident about myself because of blogging. I’m expressing myself online and I’m getting positive reinforcement from it, instead of the negative reinforcement I always get when I express myself in my real life. It makes me feel good about myself.

6. What would you change about your blog? I like to change how amateur it looks. I mean, besides choosing a theme, I really haven’t done much else to customize it. I’d like to make it look more professional I just don’t have the skills to do so.

7. How do you feel about collaborating on your blog? I would welcome collaboration. I haven’t been asked to do a collaboration is why I haven’t done one yet. And I don’t have any ideas on how to initiate a collaboration. But I’d enjoy doing it if it makes sense for me and my collaborator.

I am leaving the same 7 questions for my nominees.

Here are my nominees (if I don’t nominate you, but you’d still like to be included, please let me know and I’ll gladly add your link here too! Don’t be shy!) :

  1. Crandew
  2. Wandering Explorer Travel
  3. The World’s Common Tater
  4. Adventures with the Michigan Mama
  5. Missy Bee London
  6. The Yorkshire Dreamer
  7. Miss Suzanne

I hope everyone has a great day! :)

Corrupt HR Is Not On Your Side

This post is about the moment I realized that HR is unethical and will lie to employees. Blatantly. Right to your face. Just know that HR is not on your side and they are not ethical.

[In an earlier post, I gave a quick intro into my experience at this toxic office environment. If you’ve missed the intro for extra context, you can find it here.]

HR is on the side of company leadership. They serve to protect them at all costs, at the expense of every single employee if necessary. I looked-up how Wikipedia defines HR and I was able to find this definition here: A human-resources department (HR department) of an organization performs human resource management, overseeing various aspects of employment, such as compliance with labor law and employment standards, administration of employee benefits, organizing of employees files with the required documents for future reference, and some aspects of recruitment (also known as talent acquisition) and employee offboarding.

I was always so naive about HR. I mean, I’ve never been in trouble at work before, so my experience with HR was always concerning annual enrollment and a few random questions about benefits.

And until I needed to escalate a work issue to them, I believed they would be on my side. They actually advertise pretty heavily that they have an “open door” policy to hear any employee concerns or issues, etc. But that is a flat-out lie, as this is only a ploy to hear issues ahead-of-time, so they have time and can assist leadership in any cover-up work in the background.

The work issue that I escalated to HR was concerning a male employee that was stalking me, inside and outside of work. He even texted to me photos of himself OUTSIDE OF MY DAUGHTER’S DAYCARE. This is how bad it got for me with him. Unfortunately for me, this male employee was also a buddy of the guy running the company, so he acted quite outrageously towards me because he had confidence that he could get away with.

I had already gone to my stalker’s boss because I thought maybe she could intervene and help. I also thought because she was the only female executive at that company that she would be the most sensitive towards this problem. But she did not help me. She chose to protect my stalker instead and advised me to “toughen up”.

I lost all respect for her leadership at the company at that point.

Because he kept getting away with everything, his behavior kept escalating.

One day, I arrived at work early to find BLOOD. Everyone knows that I arrive early, usually before anyone else. The blood was on the floor and the wall en-route to the restrooms. Then I arrived in my office and there was BLOOD on the papers on top of my desk. When I found that it was on my desk, I KNEW it was this stalker guy doing it. And I KNEW I was the target.

I know this because I’ve had issues with him in my office after-hours before, going through my papers. He’s the last person to leave work everyday. He even stays after the cleaning crew. So the person who did this, must have done this AFTER the cleaning crew and he’s the only one that stays that late.

Here are pics of what I found that day when I arrived at work. I’m sorry the photos are crummy and poor-quality as I took them on my cell phone only. Seeing it in-person was alot more startling.

I immediately went to HR, and told them I know my stalker did it. I gave them them the papers with blood on them. And there are also surveillance cameras all over the office and I asked them to confirm with the surveillance cameras. They said they would investigate and sent me away.

Never heard back from them so a few days later I asked them what they found in their investigation.

They seriously played-dumb with me. Like, “what investigation?” I told them they were supposed to find out if my stalker did this or not and they said nothing happened. I told them I gave them the papers with his blood on them (I watch enough Forensic Files that I know that’s legit evidence that can PROVE who it was) and they were like “No, you didn’t give us anything.” WTF! I told them I wanted the surveillance cameras checked and they said they couldn’t do that because no one was currently employed that knew how to review the surveillance cameras and they would have to hire/contract someone and they weren’t going to do that because nothing happened.

I later find out that the surveillance camera excuse was also a lie, because a few weeks later, the guy running the company turned 50. And some employees decorated his office overnight and he arrived to see his birthday decorations and freaked out about people being in his office and demanded to see the surveillance camera footage about who all was involved, and within 30min, he was watching the footage for himself. Everyone involved were his buddies so he was happy and not freaked out anymore.

I was completely disgusted with HR and leadership at this point. I lost all trust in them. I consulted with a lawyer over this event and he advised me that HR’s purpose is to protect the company from lawsuits, not to protect the employee. I never knew that until it was already too late, when I already delivered to them actual evidence when I needed help.

Please be aware of this fact yourself. You need to protect yourself at the workplace. Don’t trust HR to protect you. If you do have an issue that needs escalation, please consult with an employment / labor lawyer first. Never give HR any original copies of evidence if you want to be able to escalate the issue. From my perspective, it’s practically the same thing as wiping off all the fingerprints at your home after you’ve been robbed but before you call the police.

4 Things to Look for in Your Perfect Office Bestie

I’ve been working in the corporate world for a longgggg time. And one thing I’ve learned is that you NEED an office bestie to survive. Your mental health requires it. This bestie could become the only thing you look forward to at the office and everyone needs that one thing. Otherwise, it can become a miserable existence there and that’s a LOT of your life you are spending miserable. Life’s way too short for that.

You won’t realize how important this office bestie is to you, until you need them. I actually didn’t come to this conclusion until I myself became the target of a toxic office, and everyone except this one person turned their backs on me because they chose their career over a friend. Most people will probably make that same choice. But when you find that one person who doesn’t, they deserve so much appreciation for it.

[My intro post about my toxic office experience is here, in case you missed it…]

This bestie will be important to vent to, to ask advice from, to make you laugh, to goof off with, to keep company while eating or breaking, etc. Basically, you won’t feel alone there bc of this person.

But while your office bestie can help you survive the daily grind, they can simultaneously have a crippling effect on your career goals. So you must be very careful who you choose for this. Some things to look out for:

1) That they are trustworthy. They hear all your venting, which isn’t anyone’s best moment. If they share any of that with others at work, you are in jeopardy of being seriously misconstrued and targeted as a squeaky wheel.

2) Their “side” in the toxic office. Are they a target of the toxic office? Or are they a part of the toxic office? Bc you’ll be lumped in with them, so choose wisely. This is where you do have to choose either your friendship or your career, because I don’t believe it’s possible to maintain both.

3) That they aren’t a higher position than you. Even a well-deserved promotion will be disputed by your peers when they know you have a friendship with a higher-up. And their cooperation going forward will be much harder to come by.

4) Marital Status. Here’s the thing, if you and your office bestie are the opposite sex, regardless of whether or not there is any intimacy after-hours, the office gossips WILL loudly proclaim that you two are most definitely an item. Are you willing to accept such gossip? If the both of you are single, then the gossip might not be a big deal. But if either of you – or both – are married, then this gossip can be devastating and you would probably be better off choosing a different office bestie.

And there’s probably a few more tips for this I could share with you. But these are the top 4 for sure. Do you have any tips regarding this you’d like to share? :)

Easy Tomato Garlic Bruschetta

Tomato Garlic Bruschetta

So once upon a time when we were allowed to have social gatherings, one of my favorites dishes to make is my Tomato Garlic Bruschetta appetizer. I always enjoyed making it for others because it always received great compliments and I live for the positive reinforcement.

It’s surprisingly very easy to make as well.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 French loaf
  • 4 cups (or 2 lbs) tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ cup white onion, finely minced
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions for preparing the bread:

  • Preheat oven to 450ºF.
  • Cut the French loaf into thin slices.
  • Lightly brush olive oil on both sides of each slice.
  • Bake until the surface is lightly browned, about 5 minutes per side.

Instructions for preparing the tomato garlic bruschetta:

  • In a bowl, add the tomatoes, onions, basil, garlic, salt and black pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Add the olive oil, stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve immediately or chill.

Instructions for serving the tomato garlic bruschetta:

  • Keep the bread and the bruschetta separate from each other prior to serving. This prevents the bread from getting soggy.
  • Immediately prior to serving, the bruschetta is to be added to the top of each bread slice.

I bring this tomato garlic bruschetta dish to dinners or to potluck-ish gatherings and everyone always compliments this appetizer. I love it too. I can eat it as a snack.