Sunday 19 June 2011

How Much Does Our Past Influence Us?

Calexora had a wonderful idea to make a book with congratulations from Richard Armitage fans all over the world to send him for his 40th birthday in August this year.

Pssst... - It's still a secret ;o)

Please participate in the «Collective Greetings for Richard Armitage's 40th Birthday» to make it a symbol and visible expression of how wonderful his fandom is.

The fan community is such a lovely place for me to be in, that I will support this effort.

You will wonder a bit about the headline for this article. But I must admit, I at first had second thoughts about participating, as I had bad experiences in my past and hesitate to participate in anything where I cannot take full control of the outcome.
It is almost 5 years in the past now, but still my former boss affects my behaviour and judgement of other peoples behaviour. I even erased his company's name from my openly visible background and CV information, to get rid of him and any connection to his company.

But the power he has to influence my head still remains firm.

It almost made it impossible for me to trust enough to send in my comment for the birthday greetings, though I really love Calexora's idea.

To have to document every word you speak, every instruction you give to colleagues, as otherwise your boss, for whom you have worked for years as his assistant, solving lots of critical situations for him and working day and night for the company to flourish, would try to make you responsible for every mistake anyone makes in the company. He tried to turn round every word I said to make me responsible for mistakes someone else made because of negligence and thoughtlessness.

He even tried to start doubt and mistrust between the colleagues and had quite a fine success with one colleague who should have been working for me, but who was putty in his hands to start one intrigue against me after the other. The last year I worked there it had been hard work to keep all those intrigues under control and stay ahead of them. Fortunately I have a good nose for strange behaviour of people and do not hesitate to confront them and talk about the reasons for it. So I had been able to solve the arising problems before they could get out of hands.
But still it is an enormous work load to do your usual quite immense work load and guard your back at every step you take.

This destroyed my nervous system and when I handed in my resignation, it was the happiest of days for me. I even started smiling again, what I had not done in this company for almost two years.

The result of it all is, I must admit, that now I am an absolute control freak. What I cannot control I do not do.

So perhaps it is a good sign to give up a bit of this total control and trust Calexora with doing a fine job for our collective Birthday Greetings for Mr. Armitage!

Thank you, Calexora, for doing this and for helping me on my way of healing!

P.S.: "Intrigue" will continue on Monday ;o)


  1. Ah thank you CDoart for trusting me (and for spreading the word). Please rest assured that I will do my very best to deserve this trust. I was thinking, what I could do is take a photo of your comment once it is ready in the book and send it to you so you see what it will look like.
    The other thing, like I mentioned, was that I will share the cover art. The only thing I'm debating (I'll ask on my blog what people want) is if I should correct typos and grammar mistakes or leave them as is. We know Richard makes a lot of them and they are rather endearing so I think I'd prefer to leave them as is. But if someone does want me to correct their English, I can offer to do that too.

    I will have to honour the fact that many fans do not want their comments made public so I will not share the whole book with everyone but I can share your special page to Richard with you of course. Hope that will alleviate any fears?

    And I was very sorry to hear about your extremely difficult and soul destroying work experience. I've had my share too in the work place. In my case it was a director that only screamed at everyone. She made a grown man cry twice in her office. And this man had been to Afghanistan - so he was a tough guy. My office was right across from hers so I would hear everything, unless I closed my door which for other reasons wasn't always practical. Whether it was aimed at me or at my colleagues, I found that one of most difficult work periods of my life. I subsequently got a promotion and left and she was shown the door and has not been back in that office. And now I'm in such a better workplace, I've forgotten how it felt to be afraid all the time. You'll see - it will get better; you will start to trust trust again - perhaps a bit wiser from that experience but it's definitely possible to get back to a better, and more trusting, place again - when working with trustworthy and kind individuals.

    And thank you for mentioning your fear of participating in the birthday book. I'm sure you are not the only one that feels that way. I'll make sure to add a bit more info on my blog post to help alleviate fears. Cheers!

  2. @Calexora
    Thank you very much !!!
    Please do not bother with sending me a picture of my comment. You will have to do enough work with the book already.
    As I am in publishing, I can offer you to help, if you run into problems with the book and need some help in that regard.
    Otherwise please do not make yourself more work because of me than already is necessary.
    Though I would very much like to take you up at your offer to correct mistakes in my message. It is very hard for me to recognize them, as I do understand what I mean with my errors ;o)

    My boss was really hard to cope with and my reaction to your offer just brought it back to me, why I do not easily trust now. My boss for example liked to give me instructions where he expected me to fail. You surely can imagine, how disappointed he was when I did not.
    He was good at shouting at people as well. I can very much understand your reaction to that woman.
    In hindsight I think he reacted that way, because he felt redundant and not supported through my good work and had identity issues.
    My parents told me, that when they met him at my birthday once, he told them jokingly that I was in the process of taking over the company. There was no question about that and they felt very uneasy in his presence.

    Now I am self employed and go through a hard time setting my business up. I think I could not endure another boss, while questioning all his decisions as I could no longer trust them.

  3. Originally I only wanted to thank you for your fanfic which I have been following for a while now.

    But then I read today's post. What an awful experience! I have encountered difficult periods at work as well and a couple of years ago I had a boss who was REALLY difficult to get along with. Luckily, however, I have never had to experience such a bad case of mobbying / bullying. How utterly horrible! It is amazing how many people in senior management do feel threatened by competent staff.

    Being self employed in the publishing business must be very difficult at the moment. I wish you all the success you deserve.

    Yes - and thanks again for writing and sharing "Intrigue" - it really makes a most enjoyable reading.

  4. @Suse
    Thank you very much - for your support and feedback, Suse!!!
    I am sorry that you had bad experiences at work as well. I hope everything turned out fine for you.
    As a self-employed I get in contact with others who work as self-employed and quite a lot of them really have bad stories to tell from their work life. It is quite depressing how people misuse their position of power.
    You are absolutely right, being self-employed in publishing is not easy right now. Everybody wants everything for free and it is hard to get people to pay reasonable prices. As a beginner I also get the difficult and problematic cases, so I really have to work double to make it work.
    Fortunately I have a very nice lady as my first author and her first project is partially finished.

    Thank you for your lovely feedback concerning "Intrigue". It makes going on with the story so much easier for me. Thank you!!!

  5. What a terrible work experience CDoart. So glad you were able to get out of that soul destroying situation and move on. We've all had difficult experiences at work, but sad your experience led to distrusting other. I do believe that it's good to be cautious, "trust but verify" as that saying goes. I'm glad you learned from your experience and have successfully moved on to better things.

  6. @Fabolaktuko
    Yes, you are very right, fabolaktuko. The world goes on and fortunately there are better people in the world than there were at my old place of work, where even a service partner of my old company tried to swindle me out of a development I had made, just because they thought they could do it with me, as I must be a bit stupid to endure what my boss had let me go through.

    But fortunately that time is over, the old connections are cut and I found the wonderful RA-fan-community to help me believe in the good again !!!
    Thank you, Fabolaktuko!!!