Confessions of a "Bullied Babe"
I will keep the bio simple, since my experience has transformed me and opened my eyes to the thousands of educated, talented and deserving workers in the U.S. and throughout the world who have been denied job security, continuing health benefits, the ability to support their families and desire contribute their creativity and knowledge to society. I am returning to my journalist's roots after an odyssey of verbal abuse, absurd politics and other human peculiarities. Although I cover a variety of interesting subjects, I hope someday to cover a tougher, more emotional and controversial subject--with a wink, a smile and a committment to fairness and giving working people a voice.
In the late 80s and early 90s, I had the time of my life. I was making a name for myself as a journalist covering a range of subjects -- rock music, fashion, film, lifestyle and news features. I was fearless, aggressive and determined nobody could stop me. And believe me, there were people who tried. But the message that I kept getting in those days was that my talent, creativity, intelligence and assertiveness would carry me through. I was in for a rude awakening, and a series of nightmares that would plague me from the time I completed graduate school. I had a good foundation. 200+ articles in print, solid experience running several small publications and Russ Tarby. Russ, an editor at The Syracuse (NY) New Times, still stands as the best boss I ever had. He took me under his wing and allowed me to blossom as a writer/editor in my own right. He trusted my instincts, listened attentively to my ideas, mentored me over several wonderful lunches, and introduced me to upstate New York's journalism community. When I got into a car accident that derailed me for a year, he took good care of me until I was well enough to return to Chicago.
A year later, I was ready to rock and put all my experience to work as managing editor of a magazine aimed at college kids. This position did not pay much, but it was welcome after months of seeking work in a tepid economy (The "Reality Bites" era, known for Gen-X grads unable to find jobs, and news programs about how bad we had it). In the beginning, I attempted to bond with the associate publisher. Big mistake. As my ideas grew more ambitious, her personality shifted. She stopped speaking at meetings and began to preach a la Vietnam-era Jane Fonda. It degenerated to her summoning me to the basement and screaming for lengthy periods of time. Her diatribe always ended with, "You're expendable. I could get rid of you in a heartbeat." Hence, this job and its tyrant boss inspired the name of this project..
I proved this monster wrong, I found a job writing ad copy for a computer
sales catalog. This reality wound up biting worse than the first.. I was
mobbed by the Advertising gang. I stayed because quitting would not allow
me to receive benefits in Illinois. They humiliated me at the holiday
poffice arty, moved things around my desk while I wasn't looking and made
the workplace as unsafe for me as possible as I recovered from residual
car-accident surgery. The compassionate but ineffectual HR man told me
four other people who previously occupied my desk had been hired and laid
to waste in less than a year's time. The bully problem there was rumored
to be so bad, that ultimately its own CEO/Founder was driven to suicide.
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