I was in Kmart, selecting size 16 (OH MY GOD WHY AM I SO HUUUUGE!?!) pants for my new job which was going to start after the weekend. I was so excited to be a Data Entry Officer for the Hospital and get paid a fortune for basically filling in boring forms on the computer over and over again.
This is the EXACT type of job I want. Something I can do without thinking. 10,000 forms had not been added to the Hospital’s computer system so they hired me to input them. I could put my earphones in, have NO responsibility (YASS!!!) and just plug away at a HUGE stack of data entry.
I was smiling as I added new, comfy pants to my shopping basket.
But Monday morning came, and with it a call from the Agency saying the Managers had ‘terminated my contract’ and ‘did not want to progress with me any further’ after all.
I was so shocked, tears pricked my eyes and I wondered what on earth had happened on the weekend to destroy my career without my knowing.
Shaking, I hit the contact details for one of the managers – we’ll call him “Jason” and when he answered, I asked why the termination.
As a writer, I think TERMINATION is the perfect word for this horrible bollocks, too. I felt as if I had been shot, it was so shocking and it hurt so much to be suddenly cut off for no reason.
Jason explained (he was VERY angry) that the other Manager in the office…we’ll call him “Basil” had recieved “highly inappropriate messages” from me over the weekend.
I felt instantly better as I held the phone to my face because I knew it couldn’t have been me. I don’t have Basil’s mobile number. This would be easily cleared up.
“But Jason” I smiled as I spoke, the shaking subsided, I was SO SURE of myself in that moment “it wasn’t me, I don’t even have -“
Jason had hung up!!!
The Rudeness of it!!!
I was back to being hurt. I was sliding down a familiar hole of loss, pain and grief and this time was so much worse because I didn’t know why I had been cast down.
I emailed the Agency and copied Basil and Jason into the email, titling it “INNOCENT” and explaining that I did not send those messages and that perhaps someone could look into tracing the number to find out who it belonged to as it certainly wasn’t mine.
Basil and Jason emailed back, saying they would ‘conference call’ me to explain further.
They rang and it was honestly a huge mess. Basil did all the talking. I assume Jason was just listening. Maybe he was in the room throwing darts at a photo of my face or angrily pushing pins into a tiny voodoo doll of me? I didn’t hear him but I felt the pain of being accused of something I didn’t do. I asked to be sent the messages. This was met with great reluctance. It took them over 4 days to finally send copies of the incriminating messages.
As soon as I saw them, I knew who had sent them! Let’s call her “Natalie”.
When I worked in Basil and Jason’s office this February, I met Natalie. She worked in the floor above my office and she was OBSESSED with Basil. Within a minute of meeting her, she fired away questions at me “Do you know Bas? Do you know where he sits? Have you seen him today? What is he wearing? What is he saying about me in the office? Has he mentioned me to you at all?”
It was so intense and so WEIRD. Red flags popped up in my mind with every question or statement Natalie made about Basil.
“This one’s cray-cray” I said to myself.
I knew to distance myself from this insane girl right away.
It didn’t stop her finding me in the TEAMS app and messaging me – sometimes 20 times a day – about Bas. “What is he wearing?” “What time did he come into work?” “Do you know if he’s eating lunch? What is he eating for lunch? Can you look in the fridge and tell me?”
OMG girl, you are OBSESSED at a SCARY LEVEL and I want no more to do with this.
I heard from office gossip and Michelle – a ‘friend’ at the time – that recently, Basil and Natalie had been “quite close”. A lot of gossip hinted at an extra-marital affair. I don’t like gossip so I didn’t pay any attention to it, but it was certainly very clear that Natalie had formed an unhealthy attachment to Basil and that she wasn’t willing to let him go.
A few months later, I left that job (another PAINFUL experience tainted by lies and gossip) and I moved on.
It seems Natalie DID NOT.
She wanted Basil and she would go to ANY lengths to get him.
…Because when she asked “How’s work going?” (she wanted to know EVERY detail of MY life at all times – so, so weird!!!) on FB messenger a few weeks ago, I messaged that Bas had contacted me on LinkedIn and offered me a data entry position. Natalie was VERY interested in the goings on “How was the interview? What did Bas say? Did he mention me? Does he want to see me?”
FFS Natalie. OMG.
She had left the office a month earlier and was now working in a different Hospital. I wonder why she left when she was removing herself from the very man she was obsessed with?
Anyway, Natalie was the one texting Bas that fateful weekend. I knew the moment I read the texts because they ALL talked about NATALIE and her great affection for Basil. One text said he should feel sorry for her as her marriage was breaking up (WHY WOULD I EVER TEXT SOMETHING LIKE THAT TO MY BOSS??? TO ANYONE???) and every text talked about how Basil should contact Natalie and befriend her again. Every text got longer and rambled about some really weird things “Brain trauma” “loss of memory” “Natalie really needs to see you, Basil”
WHY WOULD I EVER SAY SUCH THINGS???
I’m SO MAD that he couldn’t see this for himself.
I’m SO MAD that I’M the one who was punished for Natalie’s weird texts. To be fair, she did start the FIRST text with “Hi, this is Janet” but come on, now!!!
TO NOT EVEN ASK ME ABOUT IT before TERMINATING my contract beggars belief, don’t you think???
I told my friend Sam about it who was OUTRAGED. I felt better knowing someone else cared so much about me being hard-done by. Thank you, Sammy. I love you so much and I’m so glad you’re my friend.
Sam rang the number the texts came from (WHY DIDN’T BASIL DO THAT???) and someone on the other end of the phone – a girl – said SHE WAS JANET HILL.
I was TERRIFIED when Sam told me.
Natalie wasn’t just messaging Basil as me, she was willing to SAY she was ME to anyone who rang her!!!
I went back through all the messages Natalie sent me on Facebook Messsenger and the tone of them, the way the sentences were put together and the way words were phrased EXACTLY MATCHED those of the texts.
The Judge in COURT TODAY agreed RIGHT AWAY that the messages from “me” to Basil over the weekend were SO OBVIOUSLY from Natalie. He only had to take ONE LOOK at my print outs to grant me the Restraining Order I had applied for.
They don’t give out restraining orders easily, you know. I had to fight tooth and nail for mine, but even so, a measured, wise, accomplished JUDGE agreed that those messages were definitely written by NATALIE and NOT BY ME.
I know this blog seems like I’ve got it all sorted. Let me tell you, I couldn’t sleep, eat or function when this all went down. Losing a job I really, really wanted not only broke my heart, it had me questioning myself “was I any good?” “was I worth anything if people could fire me so easily on something I obviously hadn’t done?”. I have been through absolute HELL this last week. I think I’m still in the deep dark pit Basil and Natalie put me in by firing me and impersonating me.
I don’t know how to cope with how this has made me feel. Worthless. Stupid. Unimportant. Cast away. Rubbish. Awful.