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Constantly criticized, never valued? Could be bullying ... read this

Whatever happened to...

People often ask me what happens to people after they call your Advice line or browse Bully OnLine?

Mostly, they go off and fight their cases having been enlightened and re-empowered by the insight and information on this web site and in my book Bully in sight. Sometimes people take legal action (although the law is notoriously inadequate - click here to see why) but eventually people recover - it may take several years - to the point where they can get their lives back on track.

I was especially pleased to hear from Steve Nicholls, whose story follows. Steve set up the first version of this web site in his own time and web space around Easter 1997 before I had a PC. A downshifting provided me with the income to invest in my own computer and I took over the site in November 1997. The rest is history. So, thanks Steve, and great to hear from you and that you're doing well again.

I don't normally endorse advertising and commercial ventures on this web site. However I'm grateful for Steve's early work in establishing this web site and his patience in teaching me the basics of web authoring, so I'm prepared to make an exception.

Steve's story:

Hi, my name is Steve Nicholls, and I wrote the original web site here for Tim Field here when he started up as a favour to him for all the support that he gave me. Now I see that Tim has acquired the necessary web authoring skills and the site has rapidly expanded. Congratulations Tim, keep up the good work!

I was bullied at work and like most of you reading this, it came as a  complete surprise to me. I tried reasoning, the grievance procedure, eventually an industrial tribunal. I lost. Even the union let me down. I was eventually set up and believe it or not they accused me of bullying a subordinate. The subordinate was then promoted and my post was deleted, and so on. The workplace intimidation that I had to face daily ended in 1997. I fought hard not to lose my job, it meant everything to me, but when someone wants you out they usually succeed because they are in a position of power. At least I got some money out of it though.

Now the constant bullying is just a distant memory. I have never been so happy in my life, and perhaps in the not too distant future I would like to be able to thank that person for doing me the biggest favour ever. For years I have been impressed with the idea that a job - a career - is important. When people meet you one of the first questions they ask is "what do you do for a living?" However I have now learned that a "job" is not a natural thing, someone else has to create it for you so you are reliant upon them. In fact I would never ever dream of being employed again, I now have more respect for myself than to place my livelihood in someone else's hands, whether they be benevolent or malevolent. I think many people who have experienced what I have would identify with this feeling.

So what the hell happened to me?

Well, one day I responded to a poster on a lamp post advertising cheaper phone calls, and it saved me around 30 a month. This was great, bearing in mind my circumstances at the time. I told a few other people and they joined, then I asked about becoming an agent with the company. Being an ex-Trading Standards Officer my eyebrows rose when I learned it was a so-called "Network Marketing Scheme". I had often been involved in pyramid selling scams, and I had one chap arrested as he went to pick up his mail in Central London. He was released when it was established that he had not committed any criminal offences, but nevertheless I think it served as a warning to him. Later that year I was featured in Money magazine and the Mail on Sunday condemning such schemes.

Anyway, I kept an open mind, after all the service worked and it saved me money, so I was invited along to a meeting at a plush hotel in Bayswater. Another eyebrow was raised when I heard the speaker say that a Trading Standards Officer called Peter Clothier had developed the scheme that they used. This was a familiar name to me. I read the scheme and it looked good. This was no scam, it was a very clever marketing scheme applied to a service which is expanding very rapidly. It was a winner.

Thanks again Tim for hosting this page. I wanted to share with everyone the fact that there is life after bullying, and whilst it may be very different to your previous life, and the opportunity may come from an unexpected quarter, there can be many advantages ... like never having to work for a bully again.

Sincerest best wishes,

Steve Nicholls

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