I want to take you back a bit ... back to when I worked for an organization that prides itself on "building girls of courage, confidence, and character." I want to take you back to when I was bullied at the Girl Scouts. When I was made to feel like I was nothing. When I was verbally and mentally tormented by my boss. When I had to make a decision to quit a job because I was trapped in a toxic environment.
What happened to me was horrible, gut wrenching, life changing, and should be illegal. But since July, I've had a lot of time to move past what happened to me. And I've had time to heal. Yes, I said heal. What I went through was something I wouldn't wish on anyone (except maybe the people who perpetrated it).
Workplace bullying is real.
And it's horrible.
And it breaks you to your core.
And I was a victim.
I had no one to turn to. I had no recourse other than to leave a job that I once thought was a great job. And earlier this year I made a decision to let the national organization know what happened. I thought it was important for the GSUSA to know what I suffered so that maybe they could prevent it from happening again.
That I even thought they would care is now laughable to me.
This is their response:
"Anna Maria Chavez (the CEO of GSUSA) asked me to follow up on the letter you sent her regarding your resignation as communications manager. Though it is always disappointing for all involved if a position does not work out as expected, please understand that Girl Scouts of the USA does not interfere in personnel decisions. These are the responsibility of the council leadership and are completely within their purview." (bold added by me)
In other words: GSUSA fully supports workplace bullying and has given it their green stamp of approval.
I am floored by this response.
Granted, I wasn't expecting much from the organization, but was thinking I'd hear something along the lines of "we're so sorry you had to deal with this," or "what happened to you does not fit within this organization's mission statement and for that we apologize."
Anything but a stamp of approval telling me that what happened to me was OK with them because they won't control what council "leadership" does.
Perhaps there is a new badge for this? I can see it now.....What's that? You told your employee that everyone dislikes her, no one wants to work with her, she sucks at her job, and she has a negative attitude? And you made her cry and fear for her job for weeks on end? And you made her physically sick? And gave her no choice but to quit her job? CONGRATULATIONS! You get this shiny new "workplace bullying" badge for your green sash!
I know now, without a doubt, that quitting my job with the Girl Scouts was the BEST decision I've made. I know now that had I stayed my complaints would have fallen on deaf ears and the "leadership" would have continued to bully me. This was NOT a case of a position not "working out as expected" as the GSUSA stated in their letter. No one expects to be bullied at work! This was a case of an employee being bullied for months and having no choice but to quit her job. But according to the national office, this is all OK with them because the choice to bully me was "completely with the purview" of the local leadership.
In other words ... dear council leadership please feel free to treat your staff like crap and bully them to your heart's content. We approve! We agree! We think you're wonderful for doing it! Yay for workplace bullying!
As I said before, I am completely finished with the Girl Scouts organization as a whole. The organization has no redeeming qualities and offer nothing to young girls and women. It has been made very clear based on their response that the organization does not stand by the "values" it tries to "teach" young girls. For an organization that claims to promote "anti-bullying measures" in school to APPROVE workplace bullying (because they obviously think it isn't real) make me furious. And sick to my stomach.
So to the trolls who tried to break me and to the national organization who supports them in their bullying endeavors, I say this to you: You didn't win. You didn't beat me. You didn't strip me of my confidence. I am ME. And I am stronger. And smarter. And I will always be better than you.