It has become apparent me that I very much need to learn social self-defense. Moreover, I need to relearn how to assert myself effectively. There was a co-worker turned out to be something of a bully as well as a control freak. When I started last year at DBC Marine Safety Equipment, we worked in the same department and he had the responsibility of training me. To his credit, he did teach me well but I suspect he started to lose patience with me when I wasn't learning fast enough (I am not a quick study). After a while, he would criticize me little things. At first, I tried to take as constructive criticism. He would then go on about how I need to learn to organize myself. Some days he would get on my case as to how I'm not working fast enough and/or that I'm spending way too much time on some rafts. On other days, he would go on at me for not taking the time and care to do the job properly. Sometimes he accused me me of not taking any pride in my work.
There were a couple of days when I came to work in a somewhat "disassociated" state due to some stress in my personal life. When he noticed this, he would "warn" me in the guise of friendly advice that if he noticed that I wasn't altogether there, management would also notice it. Later, he accused me of not showing up to work mentally. To be fair, I can imagine for some people, working beside someone who "disassociates" can be rather unnerving. The trouble is "blanking out" is what I instinctively do when someone is getting into my space more than I am comfortable with and when someone is being abusive toward me.
As time went on, he started trying to take more control of what I was doing. Once when I was given a project in another department, he took it upon himself to check up on me. On couple of occasions, he tried to tell me what to write in my log book. On the day before I left for Toronto, he started to tell me when I should leave for the airport and what ID to bring. I found myself having to protect my privacy and exercise my autonomy in a covert manner.
To be continued....