Dealing with Workplace Harassment: I demand to be acknowledged

Jamaican Workplace: Horrible boss syndrome - I demand to be acknowledged
Jamaican Workplace: Horrible boss syndrome – I demand to be acknowledged

I demand to be acknowledged” this was shouted across the office in our weekly staff meeting.

I bet in your mind you are thinking that this statement must be warranted; well let me quickly dis-spell your thoughts.

Today’s meeting started out in a very provocative manner – a ‘throw wud’ / word manner. Everyone looked around as accusations were launched like hand grenades. This was nothing new to my coworker and I, but the newcomer in the room had only been around for a week and was getting a dose of bitter candy. Her virginal impression of this working environment was now snatched, with such rude violence.

I took the hits like Mohammed Ali, having long since sought my zen that morning – through morning prayer of course. The day I stop doing that, is the day I become a verbal assassin. Hence, I kept my mouth shut. My mantra was – ‘I need a little more Jesus’ and Erika Campbell sung it just right. Nonetheless, my blood pressure was shooting up because:

– My character was being maligned – as usual

– I was being falsely accused – as usual

– I was being spoken to like a ‘likkle dutty gal’on some street corner – now this is new

I held on to the loving and peaceful arms of Christ Jesus…zen.

My coworker on the other hand was not having it. The discussion had ventured over to her side of the world. Thank God, cause a Uzi was looking real good in my mind’s eye just about now.

She was being accused of not acknowledging the boss while on a phone call. This was more than often not true. My coworker, highlighted this and also mentioned that it is not always conducive to break or interrupt a call when someone is talking with you.

Then it came, “I demand to be acknowledged” this was shouted across the office and the grenade was returned in like manner.

“You demand!…you are acknowledged, but you have to wait. You have a bad habit of standing over people when they are on the phone and sometimes even speaking to them while they are in a conversation with someone!”


Needless to say, things got pretty atomic.

This practice of standing over people while they are talking with clients or on a work or personal call has become very frustrating. That morning my coworker had excused herself – when the boss came and stood over her and she got up – and took the call outside. In that moment, I saw the count down begin to this moment.

The act is not only ill-mannered, but also a symptom of ‘Horrible Boss Syndrome‘.

Who demands to be acknowledged or spoken to when someone else is engaged in another conversation?

Usually children and if you are a good Jamaican parent, you teach your child to say excuse me or wait until you are through speaking, don’t it?

Jamaican people would otherwise accuse you of having no ‘brought up si’.

Copyright © 2016, Denise N. Fyffe


Many people suffer in silence; ridden by stress and abuse. Workplace harassment is a reality. It is abuse just like physical abuse and we should not tolerate it just because someone is paying us every month. I encourage you to rise up and protect yourselves. Report it and stop this immoral occurrence in the workplace.


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