Writing

ABUSE IN THE WORKPLACE

Adewale works with a company as a front desk officer and he gets shouted on almost on a daily basis. Sometimes, the boss ridicules and mocks him. It might be the colour of his shirt or even his shoes. This does not mean that he hasn’t been dressing according to the company’s policy on dressing, his boss finds a way to belittle him each day. Adewale works so hard, he gets to work 8 a.m. each day in order to beat the Lagos traffic and leaves work a few minutes past 6 p.m. He gets home tired and worn out. Every day, he walks out of the door wishing he didn’t have to go to work but he can’t resign. He can’t walk away from the abuse because he has two children and a wife to think of. What will happen to the house rent and feeding if he decides to resign now? He takes whatever his boss throws at him and he keeps working, hoping for a promotion. He might occasionally apply elsewhere in a bid to get a better working environment but he finds it almost impossible to go interviews set on a week day.

Princess was happy when she got a job as a PA in a multi-national company at V.I. For her it was a dream come true since she was a new graduate, fresh from NYSC. What she did not know is that her boss is very abusive and it is one of the reasons he hardly has a permanent PA. They never stay beyond three months, he uses them like machines and not humans, other workers in the company tell her. Well, she was determined to be an exception to the rule but after two months of working with this boss, she had begun to rethink her decision. She had no social life, she couldn’t pick call, WhatsApp and telegram messages piled up and she couldn’t respond to them. Every morning, she had to apply makeup to cover the dark circles around her eyes. Her relationships were suffering for the sake of the job. Princess tried to do a job, set reminder for dates, book appointment but she couldn’t be flawless. Every mistake came with a sharp scolding and disdain. She got insulted and shouted on, she got deductions from her salary for minor mistakes… She was literally dying but she needed the salary.
According to the Oxford dictionary, abuse is the cruel and unfair treatment of another person. It also means to speak to someone in an insulting and offensive way.

One day, I was scrolling through my feed and I came across a list of experiences people have had working with an abusive boss. I have had my fair share of the same.
This made me think, why do people oppress their subordinates? Is it for the show of power? Is it to make them cower in fear each time they are in the premises? Or are these bosses dysfunctional and they do not know how to act any better?
It is interesting to note that you won’t work for these bosses forever however, you can protect yourself from them while you do.


1. Build a strong mental firewall. They are trying to get you down, to make you think you are incapable of doing more or doing better. They love being boss and they would hate any form of competition.
2. Become better at the job. Read more, get more information and be innovative. The more you improve yourself, the more you work smartly and efficiently. Your boss might think (s)he is oppressing you but (s)he is helping you discover your inner strengths and help you work on your weaknesses.
3. Find out areas that your boss uses as a point to get at you and make it your strong point.
4. Start planning how you will scale in your career. If you feel it is best to move to another company with better a team, move. If you would like to establish a business, that planning it. Don’t just sit there and do nothing.

Don’t let them break you, rise like the dawn each day and step into your power.

Until next time,

Blessings!

2 thoughts on “ABUSE IN THE WORKPLACE”

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