Stella Dimoko Doctor Freaks Journal - Abusive Work Environment


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Saturday, December 31, 2022

Doctor Freaks Journal - Abusive Work Environment

Some of us have been in abusive relationships but we do not know...

I worked in a certain office some years back. This firm is arguably one of the best within the space of my chosen career and I loved everything about the job when first I joined the firm. The reception was warm and the environment was topnotch.

My excitement was short lived. 

I resumed on a Tuesday and we had the Chamber's meeting on Thursday. I got the first bashing of my life when I attempted to answer a question posed by the principal. He took me to the cleaners by reminding me of how I had "wasted three years" of my "life" in the firm that I was coming from. Initially, I found this outburst rather strange, unnecessary and unwelcoming but as I would soon discover, that was the norm here.

Some of my seniors and colleagues tried to settle my nerves and make me adjust to the new normal though and I'm forever indebted to them. In fairness to my principal, he was/is one of the best teachers of law I've ever met in life. He personally trained me and I am indeed forever grateful to him for his benevolence.

 I do not have issue with him as I still hold him in high esteem up till this moment, but the verbal abuse almost tore me apart.

 He had zero tolerance for imperfections which is a good thing but the words that would accompany the correction, 'omo! no be here oh.' 
There was a day 'oga' looked at me and asked me if the richest man from my village could afford to raise 3million Naira and that now that he is trying to raise me out of poverty I'm not paying attention. 

What about the several occasions 'oga' embarrassed me and others in open court and before clients? To God be the glory. He called me a "disgrace" to my State on numerous occasions. What of "Kunle you're stupid, you are an idiot." Hahahahaha those days en!

The verbal abuse continued for years but I remained focused and unbreakable. He was not a bad person because he never joked with staff welfare but the verbal abuse was a fatal flaw. Up till this moment, friends who are familiar with my 'oga' still ask me "how did you survive in that firm?" 

Very simple. 

I met a senior there who coincidentally happens to be my cousin. He gave me some tips because he was also once a victim. He counselled me that any time 'oga' attempted to hurl his usual verbal abuse at me I should just smile or if possible laugh out hysterically. On a very serious note it worked! The man will just shake his head and say that you're even laughing, stupid boy and gradually I got some respite.

 Interestingly, I tarried for four years and I'm better off for it today. However, for some years it affected me negatively. I had low esteem and I lost confidence in myself despite the fact that he was giving me the most sensitive briefs in the firm at some point but he would still remind me of how incompetent I was. 

As God will have it, I got an offer in another Tier-A firm and remained there for some time and was able to boost my confidence level a bit. It was not until when I finally opted out of paid employment and started doing my own thing that I got my mojo back.

Some of these employers deliberately wage psychological warfare against employees with the sole aim of making them feel inadequate and thus perpetually keeping them in paid employment. Thank God I was able to walk away from one of the best paid employments in my chosen career at the time I did. 

My last employer invited me into his office when he learnt of my resignation and inquired why I was leaving. I simply told him I needed to just exit the firm, go home and think of what to do with my life. It's been 8 years now and God has been faithful.

Back to my 'oga's story. For a very long time my heart was full of hate and unforgiveness for him until a former colleague called me on two occasions and stated that he had noticed that I hadn't forgiven our boss and that it was affecting me in a way. 

The first time he called me I was still living in denial and he didn't push any further. He didn't give up because he still called me months after to repeat himself and I agreed with him. From that moment I purposed in my heart to forgive and forget and move on. It actually worked! I no longer hold anything against him and instead all I have for him now is love and gratitude.

In life, some of us may have found ourselves in abusive relationships in the past or currently. It hurts, I know, but for one to really enjoy life optimally, one must forgive, forget and heal.

Its Kunle


  1. Nice one Uncle Kunle. The good news is that you triumphed in the end.

    1. The easiest way to forgive: pray for the person twice a day for at least a month. If the person do you bad too much, continue till the burden lifts

      Works like MAGIC

      You cant hate who you pray for. That’s why the Bible says pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you.

      It works 120% (lol)

      I’m glad you’ve forgiven him. Thank God your colleague pointed it out to you. You probably were living in denial

      How someone is verbally abusive and decides to remain so befuddles me.
      Can’t they see they’re literally killing and tearing someone down?

      Mma Nwachukwu

  2. Thanks for this write up. My boss does same to his workers. The pay is good but the verbal abuse ehnnn, something else. May God bless him

  3. Truth but people handle things in different ways

  4. The power of forgiveness is awesome. It helps you heal and live freely.

  5. This write up really helped me because I am in a dilemma on how to go about some important decisions I need to take especially about my career and I have been asking God for directions and He has been talking.

    I hope I have the courage to do what I have to doπŸ™

  6. Stray bullet hit village people.

  7. "There was a day 'oga' looked at me and asked me if the richest man from my village could afford to raise 3million Naira and that now that he is trying to raise me out of poverty I'm not paying attention."


    "Some of these employers deliberately wage psychological warfare against employees with the sole aim of making them feel inadequate and thus perpetually keeping them in paid employment."



  8. I can't even read this to the end, I have zero tolerance for such abusive character.
    But wait o, is he amoung the first 50 richest business men in Nigeria (lets not even talk about world o)?
    That your principal should go and sleep joor, rubbish.

  9. This is worse in this country because there are no labour laws, I heard of a staff of a bank that got transferred to another African country and took the normal culture of verbal abuse there, all the staff reported him to Human Rights Commission and the organisation had to withdraw him from that country.

    It's really sad that because of extreme unemployment, people are forced to put up with all sorts of abuse, I'm very careful about the words I use on my subordinates, knowing very well that words can be violent and make people lose their self confidence. May God help us as we grow

  10. We have abusive bosses because people put up with abusive behaviors. If everyone resigns anytime a boss talks to them anyhow, in the long run, his business will run down. But no, we put up with abusive behaviors in our home and place of work.

  11. This is sad and yet very true. I had a conversation recently with someone about abusive leaders/managers in organizations. How do you call someone stupid, timid, fool etc. and still keep the person in your employ?
    It's reverse psychology to make the best workers feel they are not good enough to get a better job.
    I never had that experience as I made up my mind after my first job with a self-proclaimed tribalistic HR Manager, not to work for any other Nigerian company; American companies are always weary of being sued and try to abide by the code of conduct.
    Once I see anyone with evil strategy books like 48 laws of power, I keep my distance. No one should tell me otherwise, I labeled the book evil after my first attempt to read it. My management style is the opposite of what it prescribes.


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