Using the abuser’s tools against them
So, if that last run-in taught me a lot about the components of emotional abuse, I figured that breaking out old emails from confirmed abusers would be even more helpful!
The hard part was choosing which ones to explore here. I finally settled for going to my old, locked “rant blog”, asking my girlfriend to pick a number, scrolling down that many screens, and pasting what I find. So first off we have some typical email from a former boss, when I accidentally worked overtime without getting permission first:
Date: Sun, 15 Jun 2003 23:42:35 -0700
From: X X
Subject: I AM SPOZED TO GIVE YOU A WARNING!
HERE IS THE DEAL, YOU ARE HERE UNDER LAWS WHICH GOVERN ME, AND WE WROTE THE PERSONNEL POLICIES YOU AGREED TO ACCORDINGLY.
I AM TO TELL YOU THAT YOU WILL BE SUBJECT TO DISCIPLINE , PROBATION OR TERMINATION IF YOU VIOLATE THE NO OVERTIME WITHOUT PERMISSION RULE.
YOU HAD SEVERAL DAYS TO DO THE PROJECT. THERE IS NO REASON FOR YOU TO ABUSE YOURSELF IN THAT WAY. NOT IN MY NAME.
AND JENNA AND I NEED TO KNOW THAT YOU TOOK THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF BREAKS AS REQUIRED BY LAW, BECAUSE THEY ARE INDEED NECESSARY. SO WHEN DID YOU TAKE THEM?
THERE WAS ANOTHER SENTENCE IN THIS EMAIL, ABOUT “NOT IN MY NAME” , AND MANAGING YOUR TIME BETTER. DID YOU SEE IT?
JENNA ASSUMED U HAD ENUF SENSE TO TAKE BREAKS, BUT WE JUST DONT KNOW WHEN. THEY ARE REQUIRED BY LAW, AS YOU KNOW. DITTO OVERTIME AUTHORIZATION.
I THINK THAT IF PEOPLE DIED FOR THE 8 HOUR DAY IN CHICAGO IN THE HAYMARKET MASSACRE, THAT THEY DID THAT BASED ON A HUMAN NEED. AND STARTING FROM THE ASSUMPTION THAT YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF, UNTIL TOLD OTHERWISE, IS THE RESPECTFUL, APPROPRIATE THING TO DO.
YOU ARE RIGHT THAT SOME WHERE IT SHOULD SAY ABOUT THE STATE REQUIRED HALF HOUR, AND IT DOES IN THE BREAK MEMO THAT JENNA LIKELY SENT YOU
THE HOUR IS REFERRED TO HERE . MOST PEOPLE LIKE THAT FOR A 8 HOUR SHIFT. UC BERKELEY REQUIRED STYLE. AS BELOW.
OTHERS LIKE THE HALF HOUR OUT OF 8 AND HALF, OTHERS OUT OF 8.
BUT WORKERS HAVE FOUGHT VERY HARD TO WIN THE BREAKS. THE LAW REQUIRES THEM FOR WORKERS PROTECTION. IT IS TO THE EMPLOYERS ADVANTAGE TO HAVE WORKERS WHO ARE REFRESHED. BUT SOME EMPLOYERS ARE DO NOT HAVE THE SENSE TO REALIZE THAT, AND SURELY THE LAW DID NOT COME FROM EMPLOYERS, THO I AM SUPPOSED TO SEND YOU A WARNING ON THAT TOO. BECAUSE AGAIN, I AM NOT SUPPOSED TO ABUSE YOU ANY MORE THAN YOU ARE SPOZED TO ABUSE YOURSELF, IN MY NAME OR OTHERWISE.
All right, let’s see what we have here. All her emails looked like this, even though she knew that all caps constituted yelling online. In fact, when I first went for my interview, almost every single employee I met pulled me aside to warn me that she was “a yeller.” One even added that it was “okay, because she only yells at you if you do something wrong.” I so badly wanted to give her the number of a battered women’s shelter.
So we can add yelling to the list of emotional abuse tools. It can never be said too many times: yelling at someone is emotional abuse.
It’s not clear from this email, but she was changing the rules by providing inaccurate information and then railing about what she thought she had said or what she wanted us to think she had said. In this case, (More...)