How My Passion Turned into Depression
We are just numbers.
This article is going to be really long. Finally, I am talking about what happened where I work.
For obvious reasons I won't say the company's name or the country where I live in. The names are censored and please, understand that I am not painting everyone with the same brush.
This is my particular experience. I know I am not the only one who had this problem and we shouldn't keep quiet. We are victims, not killers. If someone feels offended by it, I invite you to contact me and talk about it in private. I don't want to offend anyone.
Please, share it on every platform, if you feel inclined to. This needs to be read also by those who can't find the strength to fight and are thinking about giving up.
It was almost six months ago.
I still remember that day pretty clearly, I was on my lunch break and when I came back my supervisor told me, “M. wants to see you” (for obvious reasons, I have to censor the name).
I never met M. before, so I didn’t know who she was. I felt pretty confused
“Sorry, who?” I asked.
“The operation manager, the tall woman with blue eyes,” replied my supervisor, without even looking at me in the eyes.
“I’m sorry, where can I find her?” I asked. “And why does she want to talk to me?”
Let’s start from the beginning.
I work in a contact center, my project is super cool. But the real problem in this kind of workplace is the management. Most of them are frustrated people that could never accomplish something in their life.
Don’t get me wrong, not everyone is like this, but it is not uncommon to find people that feel like God just because they have a high position in the project and think they have the right to kick you just because you’re young and you already accomplished something in your life, while when they were your age they couldn’t accomplish anything because they were lazy.
So, as I was saying, I work in a contact center. Imagine more than 700 people in one office, from every part of the world.
There was this girl, she was interested in me, and at the beginning, I thought we could be friends.
Then it escalated quickly. She started acting jealous towards my boyfriend and she started obsessing over me, following me everywhere, and sending me messages on Facebook. I blocked her everywhere, but she kept creating fake accounts just to write to me.
Everything happened during her and my working schedule, and not when we were at home. I was afraid. I couldn’t go to the bathroom alone. I felt sick.
I felt that she was always behind me. She kept writing everything I was doing, with whom I was talking to, and about what.
I was going crazy.
One day, I reached a breaking point and I went to my supervisor, asking for advice. I showed her everything. I told her everything.
She asked me to send every screenshot I had so she could ask her manager. For the first time, I had hope.
I did it. I sent everything and I felt relieved.
But nothing happened.
I didn’t hear anything from them anymore. I felt like my supervisor was hiding something from me. As usual.
For some time, it stopped, then she started again.
I had again that awful feeling. I was powerless and I didn’t know what to do.
I asked again. “So, what should I do? Should I go to the police?”
No answers, again. I was tired of everything.
I kept complaining every day, I wanted answers. I wanted to take action but I needed instruction. I live in a foreign country. I don’t know what’s going on with the law or whatever.
And then, the operation manager asked to talk to me.
I seriously couldn’t understand why, because I was expecting my supervisor to tell me something.
“Her office is on the upper floor, just go there. I don’t know anything,” she said.
Of course, it was another lie. I was used to it.
So, I went upstairs. I saw her—the office has transparent doors and she was behind the desk. I knocked on the door. “Sorry, are you M.?”
“Yes, I am. Sit and close the door,” she said in a very rude way.
I had a very bad feeling and I was alone. My heart was so heavy.
After a couple of minutes, she came back with a bold man with big glasses. I didn’t know him. I had another very bad feeling.
She sat behind the desk again. Both of them were looking at me.
“Do you know who am I?” she asked. Whenever someone asks this, they think they’re important. But they are not.
“Sorry, I don’t. I never saw you before.” Of course I knew she was the operation manager, but I didn’t want to give her the satisfaction.
She looked at the man in the eyes and laughed. “I am the operation manager.” Again, her way of talking was very rude.
“Do you know why you are here?” she asked.
“No,” I replied.
“You are here because of the reports you made about R.” I could see she didn’t want to talk to me. “Can you tell me what happened?”
I didn’t know that would be the worst mistake ever made. I started telling her the whole story, with all the details and with the fake accounts she created to write to me.
At some point, she interrupted me: “I don’t care,” she said.
I felt heavy again.
“Sorry, what?” I asked.
“I don’t care about the story. This has to end now.” She was being aggressive now. I couldn’t understand why.
I stared at her. I could feel all my energy leaving my body. I was in shock.
Then, she said she heard also the story of the girl, and of course, she denied everything. She deleted all the fake accounts she created.
“Sorry, but I have the screenshots. You can see clearly that it’s her,” I said.
“I don’t care. When you write a message on Facebook, which name do you see?” She was trying to make me say that on Facebook you see the names of the people writing and in those screenshots, there were just the fake name she chose.
As I told you before, at the beginning that girl was my friend, so one day we were joking and I said, “Oh, I should stalk that girl,” referring to someone. Of course, the operation manager read it and she said: “You were talking about stalking someone and now you complain if someone stalks you.”
I swear I was shocked about how stupid that woman was. She was a blowhard, trying to accuse me of something I never did.
“Sorry, but that was a joke. I also say that I can kill a specific person, but I don’t do it and I will never do it. It was a joke,” I replied, trying to not stand up and go away after that phrase.
This is the worst part. Be prepared.
She raised her voice and said, “I don’t care. It’s your fault if you have a stalker.”
Now, imagine how I felt. The victim.
I was being told that if I had a stalker that was my fault.Only my fault.Hear this, rapists! If you rape a girl, it’s her fault! You are innocent!
I looked at the man that was with us. He was shocked as much as I was but he didn’t say anything. I felt so alone.
“Sorry, what?” I could finally say.
She laughed and looked at me with an angry face, raising her voice again. “If you talk again about this stalker story, I’m going to fire you. If you talk about what happened here, I’m going to fire you.”
I was petrified. She was threatening me. Just because I asked for help.
Just because she didn’t know how to handle the situation, she decided to threaten me.
I didn’t know what to say. I am in a foreign country, with rent to pay. Of course I don’t want to lose my job.
And she knew it. I couldn’t think of anything. I just wanted to cry. I was being accused of something I never did. I was being told that it was my fault if I had a stalker and I was being threatened.
The worst part was that I didn’t have any kind of proof of whatever she was saying to me.
I wasn’t prepared for all of this.
The next days, I felt sick. Whenever I was going to the office, I felt as if I was being judged, observed, and I felt as I had this big weight upon my shoulders.
No one listened to me, not my supervisor, not her manager. I have been nominated top performer twice. That means that I always did an amazing job, far above the team average. And yet, I was being threatened to be fired if I asked for help again.
You know what this cost me? I put on a lot of weight because I started to eat. I didn’t want that girl to find me attractive again. And when I say “a lot of weight,” I mean 25kgs (55.1156 lbs).
I started to feel depressed. I didn’t want to go out of my apartment. I wanted to stay at home. I thought about killing myself.
I couldn’t react.
Usually, I’m strong. Nothing can make me feel this way. This time, I couldn’t do anything.
My boyfriend tried to stay next to me in every way, and my friends were there for me, too. But this doesn’t matter when you feel this way.
Later on, I discovered that the operation manager acted like that because she is Portuguese and that girl was Portuguese. In her opinion, Italians were useless and a bunch of stupid sheep (I am not saying that everyone from Portugal is like this).
I am a victim of racism, discrimination, and stalking.
I won’t shut my mouth now. This article needs to be shared to let everyone know what is going on in contact centers.
This article needs to be shared to let everyone know that at the moment you start blaming a victim, you are killing him/her.
This article needs to be shared to let everyone know that at the moment you start judging someone for his nationality, you’re destroying a piece of his/her culture.
This article needs to be shared to let everyone know that at the moment you start doing what this operation manager did, someone could take his/her life.
This is how my passion turned into depression.