Shortly after graduating from University I got a job at an adult day
care facility working with adults with mental illness. Our program
(part of a larger organization) consisted of an Manager, a “team
leader ” (me) and two other team members. When I started, there was
no one in the manager’s position. I was responsible for coordinating
all the events and activities for the program. This included
arranging for people to come meet with the group, field trips and
gathering supplies (with my personal vehicle and no reimbursement for
gas or time.) Within a week, one of the team members quit ue to issues
that arose from before I entered the picture (she accused the
executive director of sexual harrassment and was made miserable ever
since she told me in tears they day she resigned.) This left me and
one other team member, whom I got along with great. Then the
organization hired “Laurel” to be the manager of our team. Laurel had
a master’s degree and was a licensed counselor. Laurel came in and
before getting to know any of our clients started to suggest sweeping
changes to the program. Changes that would make the program
I believe people can overcome some issues with mental illness. What
Laurel was proposing was not appropriate for our clients’ ability
level. I asked her to please meet with them and get to know them
before making changes that may not be suitable. She did not. Instead,
she pressured me to make the changes in the program. When the changes
back-fired, I was written up for essentially “going rogue” and off
program without permission.
One day, I was on my way into work and got into a car accident. My
car and I were “okay,” but I developed extreme anxiety about driving.
Every day starting the day after the accident Laurel would pressure me
about when I would be ready to drive again, since she didn’t want to
use her car to pick up supplies for the program anymore. (I had been
doing it once a week for months.)I couldn’t believe how upset she was
about this. She had a degree in psychology, was a licensed counselor
and she started telling me I should just “get over” my anxiety about
driving and how it was part of my job to get the supplies etc etc
(although I was never told this was part of the position and I would
be donating my gas & wear and tear on my car.)
She frequently would tell me stories of when she worked for other
organizations and violated professional ethical rules. I was
horrified and thought of writing the licensing board.
The final straw came when she forced me to implement another change.
I cautined her that I felt it was inappropriate. When it went
horribly wrong all of a sudden I had thought of it by myself and they
brought over one of the upper management to give me disciplinary
action in writing. I responded in writing with what actually
happened, how I was being blamed for her poor choices, how she
harrassed me about my car accident, etc. I made a copy, dropped the
action on her desk along with my keys and walked out for good. I’ve
never quit without notice before or since.
I did write the board, I’m not sure what became of it but I kept in
touch with the other team member, Bob. The day after I quit they
spoke with him about how loyal Bob was and how they valued him when
there were such awful former employees. They then hired one of
Laurel’s friends into my former position. Bob would tell me about how
the new team leader and Laurel were destroying the program and
practically abusing the clients. They dumped more and more work on
him until less than 2 months later, he left as well.
A couple years later I found out that Laurel had been having a
consensual affair with the executive director (how she got the job)
and blackmailed him (threatened him with publicizing the
relationship) into stepping down and giving her his job. She then
publicized their affair anyway and sued him for sexual harrassment.
She was a real peach.