So I haven’t been writing much on here lately. Mostly, it’s because I have been exhausted with summer camp stuff. I did an update after 2 weeks, and barely mentioned that it was going not so great in this post, and this one, but honestly guys, it’s been a horrible summer.
I briefly mentioned in the 2 weeks post that there was one staff who was trying to take over. Week 3, he pulled me aside and said I was on a power trip and being a dictator and he wasn’t happy and was ready to quit. I talked to my work husband about it, my work close friend, and the principal. Husband was like “yeah but you are in charge and when shit hits the fan, you’re gonna get in trouble not him”, close friend was “he tried to talk to me too but I was like, ‘T is my girl I don’t want to get involved’, and my principal was like “you catch more flies with honey, do you need me to get involved?” I said no, there were only 3 weeks of camp left and I knew I would never have to be this person’s superior again so I just let it go, made some personal changes and was just frustrated with this worker for the rest of the summer because he kept over stepping and eventually got the rest of the EA’s to follow his bad working examples.
This was the last week of camp. On Wednesday, my principal was at work and I mentioned to her that I was having a lot of listening issues from the EA’s and I had mentioned it to my work husband as well. That night I was driving to a hook up and just as I parked, I got a call from work. It wasn’t 5:30 yet so I answered it. My principal said that we were having some serious issues at camp and that she thought it best that I stay home for the next two days. She said I needed to have a zoom call with her and another member of management and we made a plan for the next day at 2pm.
I thought it was this guy complaining. I stressed over it all evening and the next day. I got into the zoom call, and the principal asked if I was ok and I said no. I was still confused as to why I was asked to stay home. Then the other management member started to talk: I was being formally written up for sexual harassment.
The one coworker that I thought was an actual friend, I used some statements about her sexuality which crossed a line, and she was very uncomfortable, and it was in front of students apparently, and that was against the code of conduct. Which is usually a “fire on the spot” type of offence, but I wasn’t told about it and the management team was just made aware the day before and I was never given the chance to change my behaviour. The management member said it wasn’t fair that all of it just exploded on that one day. She had been around for a few weeks during camp and no one came up to her at all to complain.
I was so incredibly blown away. This was someone I thought was an actual friend, who was comfortable enough to talk to me about almost anything and here she was holding onto this. I had accidentally made a comment like 6 months ago, apologized on the spot and she was very openly “oh yes that’s totally not offensive at all” so I had no idea that anything I was saying or doing was making her uncomfortable.
On top of that, apparently, while sharing details about my dates with people in conversations where I was being asked to share, I made the younger staff uncomfortable and they also didn’t know how to say anything.
Then there were a few other things as well. It was all VERY overwhelming. Like basically a list of every single thing I had done over the summer, like someone was keeping a list and just waiting until it was severe enough to drop it on me. Things I didn’t even remember doing. And one thing that the work husband had warned me about secretly at the start of the week.
But here’s the thing: the guy who was my issue all summer is friends with the other management person who was in my video call. And I think he kind of planned the whole thing. Because he took offence to something I said in the classroom and immediately went to talk to the principal and then all of this came out. Last week, I had mentioned that a parent had commented on EA’s looking for houses during work time, which was something I was upset with him and another EA about earlier in the summer, and then he told the management team member he’s friends with and it was brought up in the meeting as well. I had never mentioned it since it was in passing and really not a big deal.
I was instructed to apologize to everyone. I reached out to the person who I am accused of sexually harassing by phone. I texted and asked if I could call her and she made time and called me. She accepted my apologies and I said that I had crossed the line between friend and coworker and I was sorry that I misread our friendship. I also mentioned that I wish she would have just said something earlier so it didn’t have to get to this point. She agreed but said she didn’t want to say anything because she knew I would be very apologetic. WHICH I DONT EVEN UNDERSTAND. Let me apologize and make it better. Let me recognize my mistake and be a better person. Then it didn’t have to get to this point, and she basically just said “yeah oh well”. Her tone on the phone was not what I was used to in her, and I get it cos that situation is very uncomfortable for the both of us, but I had to apologize over the phone to her at least, but even just her attitude on the phone made it seem like she wasn’t even affected that this was happening to me.
I will be sending emails to the rest of the staff this weekend. My best friend drafted up a paragraph which she hopes will make them feel guilty about not just talking to me. And I will add a little personal note to each one.
Overall, I am just mortified that I had to have that conversation with my principal. And that I now have to go back into work with some of the same people. I felt sick to my stomach all last night.
I woke up this morning feeling a new emotion: anger.
All this person had to do was say one sentence to me. And it would have all been done with. That’s it. The second she felt uncomfortable. And I thought we have that type of relationship that she would have. She said on the phone she didn’t want to say anything but was asked by management to share her experiences. And now I will have this write up in my personnel file for sexual harassment. Which could affect my professional career and reputation. The management team member was right that it wasn’t fair.
But also, bringing up that I was over sharing about my dating life was so not even fair in the slightest!! I was responding to questions in a group setting where people were actively participating on their own. And after being called a dictator, I stopped sharing with anyone except that one person I thought was my close friend, and when I shared I made sure we were away from the group and kids. But she said on the phone it was “wrong time wrong place” type of things since it was during when we would be waiting for students to arrive in the morning or whatever.
I have spent the day in a variety of crying and headaches and exhaustion. Losing two days of pay sucks. Which means I will have 3 days of pay on my next pay cheque not 10 (next week is holidays so no work just class set up time). I have updated my resume because at this point I have no idea how long I can stay in this environment. Two days ago, I loved my job and the school and support. And now I don’t even want to start the school year.
The two ladies in my zoom call were very supportive at the end. Saying they know I am a good teacher and I have so much to offer and the parents love me and the kids love me and all of that, but it doesn’t really help in this moment.
When I got the call to stay home Wednesday evening, I texted work husband that I was told to stay home. He said “Really?” then I explained exactly what was said on the phone, and I haven’t heard from him since. I’m sure he called someone to find out what was going on but even him being silent is adding to this feeling of hopelessness and helplessness and I honestly have never felt like this before in my whole life and I honestly have no idea how to get rid of this feeling.
Thankfully I still have my job. But that’s about all I can really be thankful for right now.