Writing Workshop: Hello, Man in Suit

This post is inspired by Josie at Sleep is for the Weak and prompt No 1 from this weeks Writing Workshop: Tell me about someone from your past who you lost touch with and who you often think about. 

Hello, Man in Suit (names have been changed to protect the guilty), I’m doing really well thanks but I notice that boil has returned on your neck so you’re obviously still stressed out. No wait, before we engage in innocuous small talk, I’m glad I ran into you, as there are a few things I’ve been wanting to tell you. 

You see that gorgeous, smiling boy in the pushchair. He’s my job now and I love it, in fact I am really happy. It’s not always been this way. I was utterly miserable and couldn’t see a way forward to a happy me, the old me. You were in largely responsible for this. 

Of course, no-one caused my awful, unfortunate miscarriages that made it so hard for me to do my job as well as I had in the past, but you made a difficult set of circumstances so much worse. In fact, you made my life hellish before, during and after that horrible experience.

Even before I needed and asked for the help from the company I had been loyal to for 14 years, you were chipping away at my confidence. You liked your women managers to be young and pretty with big boobs and nice legs. (Incidentally, I have both of these but choose not to flaunt them in the workplace) You liked them to flirt with you and never challenge or question you in any way. Unfortunately you were and are too arrogant to realise that it is the questioning and challenging from competent people that makes a better business and so from the start we were destined to clash. 

None of that should have mattered when I asked for your help. When I knew I wasn’t coping and wanted to reduce my hours for a short time, to take some compassionate leave you should have returned my calls. You should have arranged to meet me straight away when I put my concerns in writing rather than waiting a month. You should have used your discretion and made it happen. Instead you told me I wasn’t the only one to go through this and you couldn’t possibly accommodate my request, no matter how small. 

You shouldn’t have used my normal monthly review to tell me that I had to either take a demotion or face disciplinary action, because you weren’t happy with my performance. You should have seen a hard-working and previously high performing person who was struggling and done more to help. 

I guess you did help in some way, as when I wanted to simply walk away, my family stepped in and persuaded me to see a doctor, which resulted in those three months off work. 

Even then you made my recovery harder and longer with your refusal to pick up the phone for our weekly chat and your insistence that you had the right to call me whenever suited you. You didn’t have that right. I checked. Did you think you were dealing with a total fool?

I will never forget when you came to my home to find out how I was and ask if there was anything you or the company could do to help. Instead it became yet another confrontation, one I didn’t have the fight for, in which you wouldn’t agree to my one small request. To call me back on a Friday or wait until the next week. It turned out you were leaving anyway, which you knew, so what harm would it have done you to simply agree. 

Once you were out of the picture your successor and his boss tied themselves in knots to accommodate me, confirming by their actions that you had been in the wrong. They feared I would take things further, which I still didn’t have the fight for and now just can’t be bothered to do. 

Despite you I did get stronger, I am the old me and as the old me, I know that I was good at my job, better than good in fact and that is why I was able to walk away from it all.

So, yes I am doing brilliantly NOW, but that shouldn’t make you feel any better, because it is in no way thanks to you. You should’ve felt utterly ashamed of how you acted, but you didn’t and even though I’ve had the chance to say all this, you probably still won’t. 

No really, don’t speak, I really don’t have time to hear what you have to say on the matter, I’m far to busy with my new career – looking after my beautiful boy.

Goodbye, Man in Suit and now that I’ve had the chance to say all this to you, I hope I don’t bump into you again. However, if I do, I will be walking straight past without a second glance.

Oh, how I wish I did have the courage to say this if I bumped into him in the street but at best I would probably stick my head down and pretend I hadn’t even seen him.


13 thoughts on “Writing Workshop: Hello, Man in Suit

  1. Wow I bet you feel better after writing that? That is writing therapy there. I'll tell you what, if you don't say it to him if you bump into him in the street, I sure as heck will!

  2. Men, espically ones with small penis', need to masulinate themselfs they tend to do this in the way you describe above. I have had a similar line manager, but being thick skinned and pretty hard headed, I told him so.I am glad that your family found you the help and support you needed. Well done

  3. Thanks everyone – it all seems such a long time ago now – in fact it was 2 years- which also seems to have flown by. He really did get a boil on his neck when he was stressed. I used to look at it in meetings and swear in throbbed when he got annoyed – yuk!Mrs Mad – Yes am sure his wife was a very disappointed woman!

  4. Damn, you're brave! This was a great post. And people like him get their come-uppance. If nothing else, they have to live their miserable little lives.

  5. Cor, thank heavens he left! Thanks for sharing your experience. I hope in writing it all down, its got some of the anger out…I'll vent some over in his direction to. Heck, we all will!!

  6. MiS what a plonker! So glad you're in a good place now and are enjoying life in a way you can look back at this episode and share it.I bet MiS at some point will have to sit down and think and he will remember if he has the courage to and he will have to question his actions, again if he has the courage to.Victory goes to you!

  7. Wow, hard to believe and so very sad that people can be so inconsiderate isn't it?!Everything that we experience makes us stronger tho and you sound plenty strong to me. Like Jax said, miscarriages are hideous but once you get a keeper…..Best x

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