Site hosted by Build your free website today!
Quietly's Story... Mysterious Woman: Discrimination In The Work Place

This is my story.

Hi, I will go by the name of Quietly and where do I start?
I am a full time career Fire Lieutenant, the first female officer ever on the " Fire" side of this organization. This is a metropolitan department that serves over a million people.
I have been in this line of work for 9 years. In this time I have experienced many positive experiences. These experiences though have been clouded with various incidents of discrimination/harassment. I always prided myself in confronting an individual if something happened, and then I would go on with my life. This is a male dominated field.

Some of these incidents included; having things stolen from my locker, my car keys got "misplaced" one day and when I came in the next day with the spare keys, my car was stolen from the parking lot. I was threatened with physical harm, including basically a death threat. This all happened BEFORE I was promoted.
After my promotion, which I was the First Female to take this role I encountered more things. My reports, which are legal documents began to "Disappear". My boss was paying very close attention to any overtime I was working but not to the other male co-workers. Then he began to degrade me. Making off color remarks implying, I was a lewd woman. This label then carried over to my new assignment.
Again I was subjected to threats, but this time it was more blatant and included more then one individual. Mind you, during this time I am married to a Man in the same job.
This went as far as one individual, a superior actually coming after me. When I reported this I was told I was thin skinned. I began to believe it. He also suggested I should just "stay in my office". I still tried to handle this basically by myself.

Then my world came crashing down. I was ordered to give a deposition regarding another woman who was fired. I did not want to go. When I went to my union for help, they said I was not in trouble, so they could not represent me and felt I did not need a attorney.
I knew in doing this it would only make my world even more difficult. I felt like a woman who was forced to testify about a rape. But in that instance at least the woman has some legal protection or the right to refuse to testify, I did not have this luxury. I was thrust back into my work environment with no protection. Then the backlash began.

My personal work items were being messed with, to the point where I could not do my job. I was threatened to be reported if I testified at this court case. I was pressured to disclose this information to the administration and was told " I didn't want to make a enemy out of boss" and that " The boss was going to pursue these allegations with or without my cooperation".
With this pressure and a promise of confidentiality I relented and told my story. What a mistake!!!! The boss said after getting my signed statement he could not keep this confidential. Word spread like wild fire. I was a "Rat". I was ostrasized even more then before.
I began to have panic attacks. I was scared to death. I began to think I was crazy. In desperation I went to our Employees Assistance Program. This program is run interdepartmentally. After speaking to the counselor, about a week later, as I would walk by a member would whistle the "Looney Tunes" theme. I was a wreak. My only avenue to discuss this was also not confidential.

I was at the breaking point. I would jump if some knocked on the door. The last straw was when I received a phone call at home from a co-worker who told me I was being set-up at work, he was very upset and said they were trying to get him involved. I couldn't take anymore, ironically I was also scheduled to see the "Big Boss" about the same time regarding my testimony. I began to shake, I am a strong woman who has endured some tough times growing up, but this was just too much.
I shook like someone who had been exposed to freezing temperatures for hours. After years in this job I finally " fell apart". I began to think like a desperate person. I knew I could not work and be affective in this state of mind. I went and got help. I was going to quit and was encouraged to do so by my counselor. But I did not. I stayed out for 3 months and then went back to work in a different area.

I am slowly recovering from this, and ironically I never filed a claim with the EEOC, although everyone thinks I should. I still proceed with caution, I will never be the same , happy go lucky person I was, but I'll continue to love my work, and try to protect myself from those who want to hurt me.

Thank you for your time and I am a survivor of discrimination.


graphics by
Celtic Heart Creations