I considered crashing my car just to take a week off, says bullied junior lawyer

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By Thomas Connelly on

Anyone who is ‘a bit different’ can become a target

A junior lawyer who was relentlessly bullied by her boss has revealed how she once considered deliberately crashing her car so she didn’t have to go into the office.

The young solicitor, using the pseudonym ‘Isabelle Fearne’, recalls how she once missed a colleague’s leaving party after her boss purposely gave her a “time-consuming” piece of research late on a Friday afternoon, the Guardian reports. Whilst this doesn’t seem an unusual request for a rookie to receive, Fearne claims that when she later told him the answer, her boss already knew it. “It was a complete waste of my time,” she says.

This, unfortunately, was just one of a number of examples of bullying that Fearne encountered during her time at the unnamed firm. In a further incident, she claims her boss told her to be in the office an hour before everyone else, but then didn’t turn up to let her in.

Describing the move as a “massive power play”, she reveals how things went from bad to worse, at one point even considering crashing her own car to avoid the bullying. The report continues:

“When he [eventually] got there he pulled me into a room, shut the blinds and barracked me [for using the internet too much]. It was absolute nonsense.”

Around that time Fearne considered crashing her car, “just to take a week off”.

Reflecting on her experience, Fearne, who has since moved firms, says that anyone who is “a bit different” can become a target for workplace bullying, including those who are older, overweight, quiet or don’t “ski”.

The shocking account comes just 24 hours after a global survey of nearly 7,000 legal professionals uncovered a shocking degree of bullying and sexual harassment affecting men and women. One in two female respondents and one in three male respondents reported bullying, whilst one in three females and one in fourteen males reported sexual harassment in a work context.

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