I am the type of person who will approach someone if I have a problem with them. Perhaps that is why I could never understand why people anonymously report other people.
I mean, I could have used some anonymous reporters throughout my ENTIRE CHILDHOOD. That is when I needed someone to report. But no, no one reported shit back then. They all pretended like they couldn’t see what was right in front of them.
Instead, I’ve had to deal with anonymous reporters throughout my adulthood. There were quite a few instances at work (which just reinforces that my original workplace was a shit show) where people wrote anonymous letters to my boss (and even to corporate) about me and others involved with me.
Really, there was no reason to. I was there to work. I never wanted a promotion, I was never trying to take over someone’s job. But some people don’t like to see others succeed, so they sabotage them.
Many years ago, the front end manager was out on leave. I covered her. I worked without a day off because there really was no one else. I didn’t want the store to fail. And you know what? My team was #1 in all of the metrics. We were on top. And I never once yelled at or threatened anybody. I used positive encouragement. I told my team that if we reached a certain goal, I would buy them all lunch. And I did. Everyone was happy.
And then someone left an anonymous letter on the store manager’s desk. The letter claimed I was mistreating the employees, that they did not want to work under me, that I was mean. It didn’t make any sense considering the great job everyone was doing, but the store manager automatically jumped to believing this anonymous letter as truth, and pulled me from managing the front end. I wasn’t hurt by the change in position, but I was hurt that someone went out of their way to knock me down when I did nothing wrong.
Then there was the anonymous reporter (again at work) who reported me for working off the clock among other things. Technically, I wasn’t working off the clock. I did not want to go home after my shift (for obvious reasons), so I would go and hide in the back warehouse office for hours. My mother thought I was working, so I was covered in that regard. But really, it was just my safety zone. I would sit back there and read a book; sometimes, I would clean if I was really bored. A few times I helped out if they were really behind. But everyone sort of knew and no one ever had a problem (I had been doing this for a long time).
The anonymous reporter also accused me of having inappropriate relationships with management. Well, the assistant manager did drive me home quite a bit. I would often stay to work late shifts and she fed me and drove me home in exchange for me staying. I wasn’t hurting anybody. There was no inappropriateness there. No one questioned why the anonymous reporter knew I was being driven home by this person. They didn’t see the creepy factor in that at all. No, it was all about me and my supposed wrongs.
When I found out about the letter, I cried. I cried for the entire day. My face was so swollen I had to hide it in my hoodie. My manager bought me a giant stuffed animal (it was Valentine’s Day), but it wasn’t enough. How could it be? I was no longer allowed to stay in the back office. My sense of safety was literally stripped away from me. And why? Because someone wanted to be an asshole. There was no other reason. This person didn’t see or understand how much he/she was really hurting me. Now I had to go home after work. Now I had to spend more time in hell.
Then there were anonymous reporters who tried to pretend they were me. They made up yahoo e-mail addresses using my name and sent e-mails to corporate about random things. Hello, why would I send anonymous reports to corporate using e-mails with my name in them? And my name wasn’t even spelled correctly. But of course, as usual, the store manager jumped to conclusions. It took him a long time to realize that it wasn’t me; everyone else saw the obvious fakery. But it didn’t matter. His mind was already programmed to hate me.
I know who some of the anonymous reporters were, but I was never certain of all of them. In reality, they may all be connected to the same people (the front end manager I covered for, her sister also worked as a night manager at the store – and the faked anonymous reports were confirmed to be from her after an investigation). Hell, some of them could have been my own mother. I would never put it past her. She’s stooped lower than that many times before.
It’s funny, when I got banished to the warehouse (which the store manager saw as punishment for me – I saw it as a much wanted opportunity), the drama stopped. The anonymous reports stopped. I was still there, so I wasn’t the problem. Clearly someone just wanted me out of their hair. Someone wanted to be the star. That’s okay, I never wanted to be the star, anyway. It was just a job.
I thought the days of anonymous reporting were over. Recently, however, I became the target of anonymous reports once again. Not at work (thankfully, I work at a much better place now), but at school. I was a little confused when I found out, because not one person ever approached me with any concerns. Instead, they chose to go on the internet and dig up whatever they could on me (ending up at this blog), and anonymously report it.
Not a fan. Not a fan at all. I would never anonymously report someone. I would never put their education and career in jeopardy.
I’m going to turn this into a positive, though. Even though I have once again lost my faith in humanity a bit, I am making a change. I am dropping out of this school and moving on to a different program at a different school. I likely wouldn’t have done it so soon if it weren’t for the anonymous reporters. So thank you.
It’s unfortunate because I really believed I could do great things at that school. It’s going to be their loss. I just don’t like being around people who go behind others’ backs like that. But I am going to do great things no matter where I go. I have proven that by maintaining a 4.0 GPA despite my life’s circumstances. I have proven that by passing the CPCE before I even finished one semester of the program. I have proven that by the work I do every day, not only to better myself as a person, but to better society. Maybe that’s what got me into this mess in the first place. Maybe I should have just been average.
But I’m not average. I refuse to be average. I refuse to shut up and hide who I am. I refuse to conform in order to make other people comfortable. I am who I am and I have gone through what I have gone through for a reason. I am here, today, for a reason.
I don’t need anyone’s concerns now. I needed concerns before when I was a helpless child. I needed concerns when I was crying out for help and receiving denial after denial.
But I am free from that now. I have a support system. I have real, non-anonymous people who care and don’t turn away from the truth or hide from it.
Worry about someone who needs it. Worry about that child that’s being hurt right now, wishing someone would help her find her way. I’m finding my way. I don’t need anyone fucking that up for me.