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Mar 28Liked by Anna Codrea-Rado

I was a child, maybe 6 years old. I went to a very competitive music school in Russia, but my mother had taken me to the UK for a trip that ended in a 6 month stay. Then I was freshly back at the Russian music school, and soon it was time to play in a concert. I started playing my piece, but then I got locked into a repeated section and couldn’t get out of it to get to the end. I managed to save myself and get back on track, I think, but I’d repeated too many times and the damage was done. After I walked off the stage, relieved that the torture was over, my teacher walked out and said into the microphone: “and this, dear parents, is what happens when you take your child ABROAD.”

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author

Jude, thank you for sharing this. As a fellow immigrant, I feel it deeply!

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I write about music and someone left a one star review on one of my books saying “This wasn’t written by Taylor Swift!!” Which had the benefit, at least, of being true.

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I recently posted on LinkedIn about a new project I’m working on and excited about (a Substack newsletter, in fact!) and a random man, not in my industry who I have no connections to, commented and said, “But who is the audience?”

Perhaps he meant nothing by it, but it felt very much like a put down and like he was insinuating my idea wasn’t well thought out.

I’m trying something new I’ve been curious about and am excited to experiment. It’s not that deep, sir!

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Now I'm excited, too! Subscribed and waiting, patiently, in the wings.

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Mar 28Liked by Anna Codrea-Rado

I used to work on a food magazine and someone actually phoned me about a mushroom recipe feature that we’d run – saying in a very passive aggressive manner that we’d incorrectly spelled ‘fungi’ (we hadn’t) and asked how she could get a job on the title. I was so taken by surprise, I just thanked her for the call! Totally bizarre. I think her intention was to highlight how great she was and that we should give her some work.

Similarly, I saw a ‘bro-type’ copywriting guru giving advice on Linkedin the other day - basically if you spot spelling or grammar mistakes, email the brand/content manager and flag the mistakes to showcase your copy skills! 

😱 By all means contact the brand and cold pitch your services, but to shame the poor frazzled content editor is really bad form.

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I was thinking that! There very worst thing you can do is phone up and say, that was crap - there was a typo, btw, do you want to hire me?! I mean duh! I have emailed someone before when a mistake has been really obvious and is detrimental to their ad etc. but not put anyone down!

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I was working on shift at an entertainment magazine writing about reality TV. Not hugely my thing, but was occasionally fun. Anyway, I got the name of two contestants mixed up and published an article. I quickly noticed my mistake and corrected it. But not before a random person tweeted me, Insta DM'd me AND emailed my personal email (not sure where they found it?) to send me a message that basically said: "you had ONE JOB and you couldn't even do that right?"

I spent quite a while being baffled that a random reader would to that much effort to find me and send me multiple messages over what was basically a typo. Some people are so weird!

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author

the multi-channel correction!! Wow. Just wow.

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Fren,

This reminds me of a co-worker who would first Message to ask if available to talk about his problem.. I mean, his work. 30 seconds would pass and he would ring up on the Tring-Tring line. And finally walk down to my Thron.., I mean Desk, disturbing my Work.

Maybe he was rehired to your magazine / competitor, fren? (Although, he was not very entertaining, Fren)

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This one’s not work shame as much as team shame. I went out on a limb once (I’m very introverted and wasn’t one to join up at much of anything) and joined the equestrian team in college. At that time, college teams were pretty much all hunter-jumper riding; I was a beginner dressage rider. Before the last competition of the semester, the team captain “asked” me if I could sit that one out because another team member needed to go to get PE credit and the host school didn’t have enough horses for all team members to participate. I was okay with that, totally understood, it was fine. Really.

You’d think that would have been the end of the conversation. But then the team captain (captain!) went on to say, “And, after all, you are the least valuable member of the team.” It’s one thing to know it, but quite another to have it said to your face...especially by the team captain.

Suffice to say, I did not remain a team member for much longer. I didn’t need that crap, and it wasn’t my only riding opportunity as I was also a working student for a dressage trainer.

People are always accusing me of not being a “team player.” Hmmm...wonder why.

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Hi Krista, your post reminded me of school life back in the early sixties here in the UK.Like you I was introverted and shy. Sport was never going to be my bag,my near claim to fame was throwing the cricket ball not yet featured in the Olympics. Before sports day I tried so hard I damaged the muscle in my arm but told no one that was the end of my sporting life, never chosen to be in the football group one of the five rejects in the class.Best performance in cross country was seventh out of thirty the day the others found a stash of cigarettes. Sometimes it hurts to be rejected and relegated to be one of the failures without being actually told. You just know how you are perceived without being told. Mental abuse is a terrible thing, fortunately for some of us we get over it and achieve in other spheres . To those not able to get over the trauma,may they rest in peace these last sixty years.

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I was working as a fake freelancer for a Berlin startup that sold itself as "google maps for the outdoors". My job was to write travel guides for hikes, mountain biking and ski areas. I had two editors – one for winter sports and the other for summer. The summer editor was a semi-pro mountain biker from the states. He spoke and wrote to me in a very aggressive tone, if I didn't use an oxford comma or whatever he flipped out and told me to go study the style guide again. He made me feel terrible about myself and very insecure about my writing. I was one of 2 women in a 25 person company. The place was full of extreme-sports guys and testosterone. I was hired to create content because I am a writer, not a pro-sports person. I always felt aware of my gender, and my inferior status. I was fighting an ongoing battle to have my name on my work, because I was trying to carve a reputation for being a hiking guide travel writer. The men in my team were publishing all their content under their name, but I could not. Our manager did not stand up to the mountain bike bully, because I suspect he was also scared of him. So he continued to take his frustrations with the company out on me, from the safe distance of the other side of the world. Funnily enough, the winter sports editor never had a problem with my work. I have since been lucky enough to work with an amazing editor who worked at the New Yorker for years, is very sharp and inspiring. She always encouraged me, and even if a piece wasn't perfect first time around, she wouldn't see it as an opportunity to put someone down. At magazines, in companies, even from the distance of working online and swooping in as a freelancer, you can always taste is the water cooler has been spiked by bullies. The Berlin English-language writing world is small, and so if you are treating people badly, everyone knows about it. The main English language magazine has a terrible reputation for a toxic and bullying editorial team, even though the founder and Editor-in-Chief stepped down, her Devil-Wears-Prada style legacy lives on – it stagnates their water cooler, as the sub editors seem to think editorial work is about blaming the writers for their publication's chaos, making nasty, nonconstructive undermining remarks, and taking their stress out on you. Jeez that was a lot. Thanks for the opportunity to get it off my chest!

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Which English language magazine is that? I worked for one in Germany for a while but not Berlin... your extreme-sports bully sounds like an extreme bully full stop, missing out the sports completely! What a numpty...

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yes, it was Exberliner.

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this sounds very familiar - so many people like this here in Berlin.

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Mar 28Liked by Anna Codrea-Rado

Too many times to comment! But I always return to what a wise person told me: If you've learned something from it, it's not a mistake. Keep going forward, don't let anyone's judgement stop you for more than a few minutes.

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author

I love that, Pat! I love what Theodore Roosevelt had to say about critics:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena".

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Mar 28Liked by Anna Codrea-Rado

Many years ago, one of my tweets about a project went viral and my boss implied that my ego was getting in the way of my work. It hurt because a) I consider myself very collaborative and low ego, and b) the reach of the tweet actually helped propel the project forward.

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Ouch

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Mar 28Liked by Anna Codrea-Rado

The night before my first novel came out I got my first ever message from the 'contact me' form on my website. Still being naive, I thought it might be someone wishing me luck for pub day. It was actually someone using the email 'noneedtoreply@justfeedback.com' saying 'yet another woman writer with the back of a woman's head on her front cover' - which, like, A) what am I meant to do with that? B) Yes, and?? C) It's not like I designed it And D) A WILD decision to contact an absolute nobody debut author on the eve of her publication to tell her something you could simply... keep to yourself 🙃

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Ack Nicola, this is grim! I'm sorry. I do often wonder why people don't keep this stuff to themselves? I actually replied to the person who sent me that message about my grammar and asked them directly what they'd hoped to achieve with it. I phrased with it curiosity and interest because I genuinely want to understand. They didn't reply. I can only assume it was to make themselves feel bigger by making me feel smaller.

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I’ve had a few but I think my worst was when I’d just started teaching adults. I was still learning and had been chucked in at the deep end delivering lessons solo without my mentor because he’d had to take emergency leave. The course leader, a woman younger than me who was otherwise generally friendly with me, strolled into my office on the last day as I was leaving and said ‘oh you should know, there’s some feedback that said you were patronising… but otherwise great job!’ Off she went. I was devastated. I almost gave up teaching on the spot.

Afterwards, I saw it for what it was. She wanted to knock me down a peg or two - all other students had loved what I’d done. (Course feedback was also always gathered and analyses for trends so my one-off should never have been shared with me.)

It remains one of the best lessons I’ve learned. Some people just want to put you down so they can feel better about themselves. It wasn’t about me at all.

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What is it about education…

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Given that we were teaching and advocating for more inclusive teaching practices and ensuring students were motivated and inspired, it was a bit of a punch to be knocked back by someone who should have known better. Unfortunately she was also the person who felt the need to declare to all the students that she was the most senior trainer on the course.

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author

This has made me think of this skit about senior leadership teams in education: https://youtube.com/shorts/awU-8NGX9u8?si=DsAZuFtBzQx8rohq

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Oh goodness, funny and so sadly true!

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I was promoted from a field manager position to a corporate staff training and development position. I have a Ed degree, training in adult learning, etc so while I couldn’t afford to teach HS or Comm College, I could do training for field assembly and repair bike techs for an F500 corporation (no longer around 😢)

First year, I spent basically creating curriculum for my boss, who was the Director, T&D. He was not qualified, and spent a lot of time lecturing in his training workshops, creating “systems” that he thought would help techs learn. They didn’t. Basically, his approach was that if he didn’t teach them, they didn’t learn.

Not my approach!

Anyway, second year into this position, he was getting ready to be promoted into a Regional manager position… direct line of operations, not a staff position… so he was “grooming” me to take over. I go into teacher mode, self-directed learning… workshop one, I would ask the field techs questions instead of just telling them the answer. My boss was horrified but by the end of the second workshop, he saw energized techs and not just bored faces, the problem he was always looking to solve. Turns out the problem wasn’t the material, it was…. well, him.

Fast forward a couple months, he gets promoted, I get an anniversary date and on the staff meeting, he and the other regional managers, staff manager and my boss decides to give me a shirt that said, “Is it?” “Does it?” like the learning process was a big joke… they all thought it was funny. It wasn’t, it was straight up bullying, mocking what they didn’t understand instead of celebrating the results I got them… fewer injuries, fewer liability claims, faster onboarding and accelerated skills acquisition resulting in increased productivity.

Instead, a shirt, mocking my process.

I still have that shirt, god… going on 34 years now… I was young then and maybe I can attribute that to arrogance, but I knew what I knew. I was an expert at adult learning whereas he was not. Perhaps I would have been kinder to his … ego … and less like a bull in a china shop… meh, probably not… 😀

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Fren..

I hope you gifted a "It Isnt" "It doesnt" shirt back. :)

good day Fren

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The timing of this post is fortuitous for me. I've been workshopping my book with my writer's group over the past few weeks. I've been getting encouraging and positive feedback from everyone except for one person. She's said a lot of harsh things about my structure and writing choices (all of which were highly intentional). I don't really fault her for this. Sometimes, we say things that sound matter-of-fact in our minds, but sound really harsh to the recipient, especially in writers' groups.

However, I don't believe she's right. I could lay out a lot of well-supported arguments for why she's wrong. My book still needs revision, and I know exactly what and how I want to revise, but her comments have thrown me into intense performance anxiety. Rationally, I believe she's wrong, there's still a part of me that feels like I'm failing.

I don't know if you'd count that as a "shaming," but I certainly feel a lot of shame.

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Mar 28Liked by Anna Codrea-Rado

Don't worry I've been humiliated more times than I care to remember, but don't let the nasties,(I would like to use a b word) grind you down. Count the ones who respect you for trying, be proud and to hell with the other pathetic nobody's who are probably jealous of your popularity. When you put your head above the parapet as we all do when appearing in public either in real life or in print, there are always those who secretly wish they were in your shoes but they know they are incapable, impotent. They don't deserve any recognition but I find it hard not to retaliate and tell them about their own shortcomings. Sorry it's a personal rant. I don't stand for disrespect from anyone .

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Mar 28Liked by Anna Codrea-Rado

I recently had a new business call (the person's boss has recommended they speak to me) and the person was sniggering and then thought they were clever by trying to catch me out about my experience and I was just honest that I hadn't done that specific thing before but explained why it didn't matter but she was so rude and looked so smug. I'm shocked how unkind people often can be.

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author

Sniggering!! Gosh

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Mar 28Liked by Anna Codrea-Rado

Yeh I practice kindness in all contexts. You never know what someone is going through on a particular day so I was very polite to this woman too. Be the behaviour you want to see and all that

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author

Yup. And if you really cannot help yourself, bitch about it privately to a friend!

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Mar 28Liked by Anna Codrea-Rado

Oh that's essential for being a good person lol

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Mar 28Liked by Anna Codrea-Rado

How can someone correct your grammar without pointing out specific mistakes?

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author

I know right! :/

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Apr 1Liked by Anna Codrea-Rado

I once made a (fairly minor) language mistake in Indonesian (in which I'm fluent) and a senior colleague told me it'd have been "better if I'd stayed at home if I was going to make that sort of mistake".

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I'm low-key obsessed with how grammar pedants go from zero to 100 when it comes to a spelling error 🤯

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Mar 30Liked by Anna Codrea-Rado

I don't know if this counts as work shame but when my first book came out, surprise surprise it didn't make me a millionaire 😆 so naturally I kept working in my day job, in London's financial district. Most people in my department knew my book had come out and they were very kind and enthusiastic about it....except for one woman who cornered me one Monday morning and told me she'd bought and read my book over the weekend. "It was.....interesting," she said, in a tone that suggested she hadn't found it interesting in the slightest. She stared at me intensely, waiting for a reaction.

Before I could reply, she then hit me with "I"m surprised you're still working here, with a book out. What are your royalties like?" 😳 I was so stunned, I just said nothing. She then filled the silence with “oh, you don’t have to tell me!” as if she was doing me a favour. In the end I just thanked her for buying a copy of the book and left on the pretext of a meeting elsewhere in the building!

I was quite bruised by the interaction at the time - I didn't mind if the book wasn't her cup of tea but I wish she'd just kept that to herself. But after all these years, and no longer working there, I can laugh about it now! Some people are just weird!

Sending you a hug Anna, that email you got was incredibly rude and uncalled for. Not constructive in the slightest. File under "useless/irrelevant" and keep being fabulous! My husband bought a copy of the Australian movie Chopper for us to watch over the weekend and I heard this line in the trailer - "Even Beethoven had his critics. See if you can name three of them." 💥

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Mar 30Liked by Anna Codrea-Rado

Probably my most baffling humiliating experience was when submitting an article to an academic journal. One of the peer reviewers said my phrasing was “odd” and I should have a native English speaker copyedit my manuscript.

I am a native English speaker. I taught composition for many years. I have copy edited thousands of academic manuscripts. The thing about language is that style differs by country. My phrasing wasn’t odd…it simply wasn’t what he was accustomed to.

I wrote an annoyed email to the journal editor but of course, these things go nowhere.

I’ll never forget the day a peer reviewer told me I couldn’t write like a native English speaker. Never. Evaluate my CONTENT, not my writing!

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Fren,

I sympathise! (even though English is not my tongue and I dont copy editors).

Engrish or English is very Confusing Fren.

I sometimes wonder if it was invented to confuse people, accidentally, on purpose.

Otherwise how could Cough, Dough, Tough be spelt similarly but pronounced differently, Fren?

Maybe it was a conspira..er., language to confuse us all Fren?

Maybe...

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You are clearly a very native English speaker. Would that we all could write so impeccably.

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Fren,

Are you maybe sircaustic, Fren? My symptathies weren't sirCaustic. Fren! (My Engrish is really just Good Enough Fren - maybe you meant that?)

I torally torally know/get the feeling in your previous comment, Fren - or at least its close relative of "You speak X tongue really well". "Thank you, It is my native tongue!"

<shocked Pikachu> "You dont look like X tongue speaker".

That is when I show them my tongue Fren (at least, that is what I would like to, sometimes, Fren).

Have a Green / Good Day Fren.

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I was once heckled during a staff professional learning session on grammar. There was a grammatical error in one example and she yelled from the back of the theatre, “It’s just wrong!” She is in her 80s and no doubt does know more than me about grammar. I told my partner after and he said that in his org (he works in tech, not in a school) she would be asked to leave - the company.

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author

Heckled at work! That is on another level. 🫣

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Mar 29Liked by Anna Codrea-Rado

Oh yes, the grammar police has hit me multiple times! Once they disagreed with something I commented in Facebook and decided to point out my humongous error: I misspelled algorithm (algorhythm). It felt so petty! I just told them that I’m not native in English language but try my best. Obviously, should’ve just shut up. 🤷🏻‍♀️🫠

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author

You know what I find ironic about the grammar police, is how they deal in absolutes. "There's *never* an excuse for misspellings... It's *always* a sign of laziness," etc. When I can think of many reasons why someone might struggle with their spelling (non native speakers being one!). Language shamers might be technically right about the rules of grammar, but they're wrong about its purpose - which is communication. By being so unkind in their delivery, they fail to communicate their message. In other words, shaming someone about their grammar is an amateur use of language!

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You’re right to be angry. What possesses people to be so not nice? Why couldn’t they have said what they wanted in a more positive way? Why do they have to create massive self doubt?

The answer? Some people are nasty pasties.

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Mar 28Liked by Anna Codrea-Rado

One time during my first job we were looking at a proof of the front cover of the magazine which led on a comparison between cars, trains and planes (for context, I worked at a B2B motoring title at the time) and the cover had images of all three.

It was a fun feature, but I pointed out the class of the train pictured on the cover was different to the one I'd travelled aboard and the difference would be acutely obvious (not least because there pictures of the train I had travelled aboard in the feature). I offered to source a replacement image but my editor said "Oh, no, no need to worry as our readers aren't trainspotters".

"Right, but it is still an inaccurate image?"

"A train is a train. The cover is fine."

"Sure, but you wouldn't put a picture of the wrong car on the front cover would you? Because people would notice that."

"We're not all trainspotters."

The magazine went to press with an image of a Pendolino in VTWC livery whereas I'd travelled aboard a 225 in VTEC livery.

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Not exactly work shame, but higher education shame. My "advisor" in my PhD program regularly commented on my appearance ("You could use a hair cut") and what emotion she perceived I was feeling, ("You're looking fragile.") It was so inappropriate and so infantilizing, as was the complete process for working towards my degree. We had to "go through what they did" to succeed. I feel very lucky and a bit like a cockroach for surviving.

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Mar 29Liked by Anna Codrea-Rado

That sounds like harassment. I’m so sorry you went through that.

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It totally was. Too bad it was like 1998 and I didn't know how to stand up for myself.

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I had a narcissistic boss once who was spread so thin he neglected to tell me that there was another team in the company requesting my help on a project. They contacted him to get approval because he was my manager. He never told me, I didn’t have any contacts in this group, so I had 0 clue someone needed my help. They eventually got upset with him for not giving a response and he blamed me and pulled a meeting together with our entire team to publicly shame me for not being proactive enough to go around asking all the other groups in the 1000+ employees company if they needed anything. Prior to this he had a process in place where he always assigned me things that people came to him requesting. He threw me under the bus for his own slip, basically. I had to do EMDR in therapy to get over that one. It was beyond nasty.

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I once had a writer plagiarise me and I called them out on it on social media, only for the editor-in-chief of their paper tell me later at a networking event that it was basically okay that they copied my article and I shouldn't have said anything on social media.

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Ok. I can relate but there is a difference between giving harsh feedback and shaming. You feel like you are shamed, but I read nothing but blunt criticism, or am I missing context here? I had to interview the new dean of Amsterdam University. Went great, afterwards a professor walked up and said: Nice try but you let her get away with superficial answers. I would have done it totally different, and he nudged to the woman on his side, also professor.. That hit me, since I look up to the man. But later I realised that's just how these people communicate. And I kind of love the fact that he did not hesitate to help mee see that I maybe happy with the outcome but that doesn't mean that is was actually that great. So after first few grnnnnbbblll 'i want to hit this guy's moments I decided to take it as advice. Blunt and not very polite, but advice.

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Back at uni, the professor who was tutoring me as I wrote my thesis/dissertation took my USB pen (which was pink anf glittery) to review my pages, and made a face while saying he really hoped what I wrote in there was at least smart or interesting. Since then I've always had unique USB pens.

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I'm in a very supportive job now, but in my last few companies there's always been someone just determined to undermine me. I think it's because I'm quite friendly and I smile a lot (lol). The worst was a freelancer who worked in data and paid marketing who would regularly laugh and shake his head when members of the team were presenting. It was truly awful. He particularly had it out for me as I worked in search marketing and I think he felt intimidated as his knowledge was very out of date. Anyway, we had a large team planning day where I presented my section to the team and then another member of staff presented their section, and then we took a break. Just before we all stood up, he decided to comment on my presentation and said my data was incorrect. I was stunned and couldn't remember the exact part he was referring to, as my section had been over for a while, so I said nothing. I spent the break at my desk checking the data, which was, in fact, correct, but he hadn't understood it. I moved on from that job and heard he rage quit shortly after.

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I was the head of comms for a large and very prominent campaigning charity whose chief executive was the worst bully I have ever worked with. He routinely belittled staff in meetings and over emails, sometimes sending needling and rude messages late into the evening to me and multiple colleagues.

Of many memorable incidents, the worst was a foul-mouthed rant at me at a public march, then weeks of cold-shoulder treatment in the office because I'd followed instructions from the police for public safety. Second only to that was seeing him spend an evening tweeting angry and intemperate comments to an editor and publication I had worked my socks off to cultivate for our campaigning – the absolute, crushing humiliation of having to talk to the editor about it the next day has never left me.

Unfortunately his attitude bled down through other senior staff, who covered up for him, set impossible targets and made no effort to try to understand people's stress, mental health and other challenges. After the angry tweets/shame-faced apology episode, my line manager's immediate response was "we have to make sure the trustees don't find out" – not to ask if I needed help dealing with the fallout. She was the deputy chief executive, and could have challenged the boss, but repeatedly made space for his worst behaviour – and contributed to the toxicity in the office. (I made a bad call on when to launch a fundraising campaign and she demanded I personally raise £1,000 in a week or my job would be under threat. I was not employed as a fundraiser, and only a trustee donating at the last minute kept me from missing the target.)

Knowing that other staff were suffering didn't help very much, because we felt we could do nothing about it: at his worst, the chief executive was just given time off to deal with his own mental health (which was, I'm sure, in a bad place); then he came back and resumed the same toxic behaviour.

Colleagues who have gone on to take prominent roles in Parliament and NGOs still dread any chance they might run into him. I worked late with one such colleague one evening, and had their approval to launch a comms campaign after an important vote in the Commons. They got one figure in the vote a digit out, and had a panic attack about how the chief executive would respond. To this day, the idea of running into him leaves that person feeling unwell.

This all runs a bit beyond shame – but shame is at the root of so much bullying in the workplace, and particularly THAT workplace. Such a failure of HR, governance and common decency. To this day it baffles me that my employer was happier paying a private psychotherapist to help me deal the consequences of the bullying than it was with challenging the bullying itself.

And to this day it continues to shame me that we could do nothing about it – a feeling that never really goes away.

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And you know what? This is the first time I've written all of this stuff down. It does help to know that this stuff DID happen, and that it wasn't acceptable. So thank you for the space to share it.

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Sometimes I make a typo - I try my best but checking it twice with grammarly doesn't always pick up on it either. I'm hugely grateful if someone messages me and I fix it straight away, with thanks. What I don't appreciate is people who message me and then CC my boss and everyone else in the team (who don't care) as its unncessarily aggressive.

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Early in my teaching career, I was put at a school with a battle axe of a school headmistress. She had a lot of conflicts with her staff and me; they felt bullied. The school had an agriculture department, and when it came time to sell the produce, she did not trust the agriculture teacher, so she told me to make all the receipts. What she did not know was that at 18, I did not know the rules of receipt making. On one of the receipts, I made a mistake and scratched it out, correcting it-- without my initials (I learned that I could have done this later). At the end of the sale, she tallied everything and declared loudly who would go to jail for making false receipts. I was mortified!

Under my breath, I muttered. "You and me both. We will be knocking on each other's cell wall." Years later, she approached me and talked about life as if we were great friends. I will never forget the work shaming.

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This is such a needed thread! Luckily the grammar police have not spent much time coming after me but as I write & work in climate action and the environment, I get my fair share of random guys commenting on my social media or emailing me to let me know that I don't fully understand the subject (but they would be happy to explain it to me).

Some of my favourite of these include a man commenting on an Instagram Reel I created to shame Shell for their 'green jobs' initiative. He commented 'And yet everything in this video - laptop, phone - was made with fossil fuels!' Apparently thinking he's caught me out...

Unrelated to this, I once worked in a cafe with a manager who apparently did not like me at all and onced apologised to a customer for my Dutch (which I speak just fine). She also let me know that I was playing 'too much British music' over the Spotify. So I played even more when she wasn't there.

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