Recently I had taken up a job since I was still a jobless recent grad. I thought that the position, working on a campaign, would be good experience since I had a political science degree and wanted to build my resume.
At first the job didn’t sound like it was going to work out due to campaign funding issues, but the team decided to bring me on under a limited contract to work on a few campaign matters, such as social media, campaign research and graphic design. I agreed.
But then things started to go downhill from there.
I had to endure disrespectful, condescending, and rude messages from the campaign director, interspersed with inappropriate messages.
At first, I tried to defend myself and brush it off, wanting to make this opportunity work for me. To be able to have a job and a paycheck.
But these things still persisted.
Whenever I wouldn’t respond almost immediately to messages that the campaign director had sent to me, either through email or social media messaging, I would receive hate-filled messages for not responding.
I sent a reply to which I explained that I highly value communication and I will always respond when as soon as I can, but that I was unavailable at the time.
But I let it go and brushed it aside.
One day, after we had had a campaign meeting, the campaign director sent out an email to the team to let us know that there had been a big communication problem and that we needed to move ahead on our plans for the big fundraising event. As the social media team member, I was asked to prepare advertising for our event, but felt uncomfortable doing so since the event was being held at my mother’s house, since she graciously agreed to host it.
I refused to advertise my mother’s home like that, and forsake her safety, so I said no.
I received a not-so-nice message in return that made me very unhappy and upset.
But still, I brushed it aside.
It wasn’t until I was notified one morning that the fundraiser had been cancelled and some rather not nice things had been said about me and my mother via social media message that I finally had it. I defended my mother and myself, and as the campaign director’s comments persisted, I told him that I was done. These rude messages were the final straw, and I did what I should have done long before.
I drafted a resignation letter and quit.
I refused to be treated with disrespect, and to be walked on.
And I realized that it was something that I should have done long ago.
I honestly don’t know why I let it go on for so long. Maybe because it was a job? Maybe because I thought the comments would just go away, especially if I shoved them to the back of my mind?
It’s not right, though. If you have a gut feeling that something is wrong, it means it’s wrong. So act on it. Don’t let it get out of hand, and don’t let yourself get hurt. Or even worse: harassed.
Don’t deal with anyone else’s nonsense. You know your worth, so don’t let anyone mess with you, hurt your feelings, offend you, make you uncomfortable, or make you feel inferior. Don’t let them.
In situations like these, you have to defend yourself. Don’t let individuals get away with reprehensible behavior; call them out on it.
When you feel that a situation is wrong for you, and you are contemplating removing yourself from the situation, do it.
Stand up for yourself, and say enough.
Never be afraid to grant yourself freedom.