Looking back through my blog: My 7 Links

Recently, an fellow Aussie blogger, travel enthusiast and red head – Vicki Potts @redheadedtravel (http://redheadedtravels.com) – nominated me to join in the #My7links project. My first thought was that I must have been living under a rock – as this was the first time I had heard of this project. The second thought was that I was impressed – Vicki had been paying attention and knew I was a sucker for these ‘challenges’.

Not one to rush into things, I had to mull this over for a couple of days, but I think I’ve finally managed to come up with my list. So here they are – my 7 links. What do you think?

My most beautiful post: It’s hard to think of my posts as ‘beautiful’, but on browsing through them, I will put this one forward to you: ‘Moments in Time.’ I published this not long ago, but I actually wrote it years ago. I found it when I was reading an old journal a few weeks back, and was a wee bit impressed at how I wrote back then. After some tweaking, I decided to share it on my blog. It’s about those beautiful moments in everyday life, that we often miss unless we are watching for them.

My most popular post of all time: (well – within the 11 months this blog has been in existence) is What do you do to maintain your mental health? There is no competition. With over 370 hits in the first week, I was blown away by its success – and it was all thanks to some kind soul profiling it on Fiveminute55 cool things for your 5-minute break! I actually have no idea who, how, why…you get the picture. But I am very thankful – especially because it was a post on depression and stress, a subject close to my heart.

My most controversial post: I don’t think I’m a controversial blogger. I tend to focus on things that will either lift people up, or make them think…along with the other quirky, artsy, daggy, self-deprecating stuff I may blog about. But there is one post that jumps to mind because it stimulated a lot of discussion – some of the best I have seen as a result of something I have written. ‘New Experiences at work – Drug and Alcohol test anyone?‘ was a post where I shared my encounter of being random drug tested at work. The discussions that followed were around the infringement of rights, workplace bullying tactics, and the change in company policies throughout the years.

My most helpful post: apart from What do you do to maintain your mental health? would possibly be the post I wrote on my experiences in dealing with Bullying in the Workplace.

A post whose success surprises me: ‘I’d rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not done. Lucille Ball‘ A simple post, referring to an awesome quote I had never heard before. It seemed to strike a chord with lots of people. I’m glad I could share it with you all, and that you liked it as much as I did.

A post I feel didn’t get the attention it deserves: I think it was ‘In the grip of fear‘.  I can understand though, as the subject (domestic violence) is something most people still struggle to talk about in this day and age.

The post I am most proud of: This is REALLY hard! I’m going to go for this one: ‘The greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion – Dalai Lama XIV‘. I chose this one because it’s one of the first times I really let loose and shared my own views on an issue I am passionate about – immigration, multiculturalism and compassion.

So that’s it. What do you think?

Oh, before I forget – I better nominate some ‘victims’ huah huah huah…so over to you (if you choose to accept your challenge:


@hajraks (you wanted something to write about!),

@AckermanRoy and




Bullying in the Workplace

Physical bullying at school, as depicted in th...

Image via Wikipedia

A report in The West Australian newspaper yesterday (Page 7, Wednesday June 8 2011) stated that ‘bullying and discrimination are still rife in the workplace’ and that ‘Almost a third of the 5100 workers surveyed claimed to have been bullied at work’ with more than 1 in 10 having said that ‘they had been the victim of systemic workplace abuse or intimidation’.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t surprise me.  This is why I thought I’d share part of my story, as ‘bullying’ can be atypical, and it can really sneak up on you, catching you unawares.

So here goes…

It’s strange that at the pinnacle of my career I could fall victim to bullying. I presume that this is what we call the tall poppy syndrome? When someone is doing something good, and is happy, then they obviously need to be bought down a peg or two. We see it in the cricket, in the football – Aussie culture? I certainly hope not!

After a hard slog in a male dominated team, with a serious lack of training (training? What was that?), high workloads, insane deadlines and politics galore, I was fortunate enough to win 2 company awards – the prizes being right up my alley (a travel voucher and a junket to a tropical getaway for a get together with other successful people within the company to listen to inspirational speakers). It was funny that even though I was excellent at what I did, and had great respect from customers and stakeholders alike, I had struggled with my confidence for years. I mean, my average scorecard was 10/10, and I still had confidence issues… Sudden, unexpected recognition just blew me away – I was astounded by the reactions of my associates and customers and had a sudden surge in confidence.

Of course, there is always a flip side to the story. The days, weeks and months following turned into hell at work. First, the cold shoulders and what I called ‘death glares’, followed by the snickering and gossiping. Then the team meetings – people could not talk to me without feeling the wrath from certain offenders, I couldn’t talk without getting eye rolls. I couldn’t even tell my team about the junket I had been on to share the inspiration I had gained from some amazing people, due to having to tread on egg shells. I could have handled all of those things, but then came the attempts to discredit my work, my reputation and my personality. ‘She slept her way to the top’, ‘It’s because she dresses the way she does’, ‘She’s on with all of her male colleagues’. (Now I’ve worded them all so very nicely so as not to offend but you can get the gist!!!). And some people believed them (not everyone, thankfully).

I had seen things like this happen to other successful women in the workforce, but it still came as a surprise. Perhaps it was my new-found confidence? Thinking back on it now I admit this story goes back a few more years, from when I was the shy, retiring type starting work, to when I started taking pride in my appearance, dressing in suits, doing my hair, wearing make up, talking and excelling and whatever it was I did! The rumours and innuendo probably started then. Disappointingly, it was all from women (I think that’s a whole new blog in itself!).

There were so many ways I could have handled this, and admit that exhaustion from the job did contribute to my ability to deal with the situation – but that also gave me clarity.

Some of the steps I took to deal with the issue were:

– I discussed the issues, how I was feeling, possible ways to deal with it with my Manager, and other trusted Managers;
– Attempted to discuss with the ring-leader;
– Discussed with my ‘friends’ at work (most of who had left by then – which perhaps symbolised some bigger issues in the greater company at the time – who backed me up to anyone they heard ‘dissing’ me;
– I tried blocking it out as ‘ignorance was bliss’;
– Just tried to not care.
– I didn’t feel like I could report anything. How can you substantiate gossip?

In the end I made the hardest, and easiest decision I had to make in a long time – I quit. I think what helped me to this decision was the realisation that sometimes you cannot change people, a place or a culture, and I had done all I could do there. I needed to be around people who were like me. I needed to look after myself.

I admit that I have still not found the right place for me, and have gone through a few more interesting ‘experiences’ since then, BUT I will never regretted the decision I made to leave when I did.

Those grrrrrr moments

A Jaguar Black Panther

Image via Wikipedia

We all have them. You know those moments where, if you could, you would launch yourself across the table at the person who was making your blood boil, like a panther going in for the kill…

Ah – maybe that’s just me.

I’ve had a few of these moments this week whereby my tolerance has been pushed to the limit – I’ll blame it on the fact that I was getting sick (not that I had one too many encounters with IDIOTS!).

The highlight was Wednesday where I fell victim to a Corporate Bully. As he sat there across the table criticising, ridiculing, teasing, rolling his eyes and just generally talking down to me WITH sexual inuendo all I could hear in my head was ‘grrrrr’ and the bubbling sound of my blood boiling. He is lucky to have made it out of the room in one piece.

I’ve seriously had it with Corporate Bullies, and it astounds me that they actually still exist! I guess society has spent years empowering these people into positions of authority, so there is a lot of work to be done to reverse this.

What right does anyone have to act like they are better than someone else?

It really frustrates me to see ego-centric people with superiority complexes treating others like sub-par human beings. What right does anyone have to act like they are better than someone else?

I know that it’s completely naive to believe that everyone should be treated equally and with respect, no matter what their financial status, culture, background, eduction, IQ, gender, skin colour, hair colour,  nationality, and so on, is. But it’s RIGHT. I am sick of seeing people treated badly, discriminated against, bullied, criticised. It needs to stop.

I’ve been so fired up by this over the last year that I’ve found myself sticking up for the ‘under dog’, since they haven’t been in a position to stick up for themselves. It just hasn’t done me any favours as its then tended to direct the attention onto myself. And now I’m even more frustrated. It’s just so difficult sticking up for what you believe in sometimes. But I’m not going to stop.