“How was your holiday?”
“Great – until about 5 minutes ago”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“It was just what I needed. I had a really good time, felt really chilled and relaxed. And then as I walked up to the building this morning, I felt the knot in my stomach return. I almost doubled over.”
“What can I do?”. I was concerned, as his friend as well as his boss.
“It’s not you mate, it’s this place, isn’t it?”
Thinking back, I’m a little shocked at how we just accepted this situation. Extreme symptoms of stress were normal, par for the course.
Back then, we didn’t have the understanding and language we have now to discuss it. But it wouldn’t have made much difference. If you asked for help, that would be seen as weakness, and then you’d really be in trouble.
Eventually, he left the organisation for his health and I was glad for him, though sad to see him go.
Would it be different today? I don’t think so.
No amount of wellness programme would have fixed the problem of being in a toxic organisation.
If you continue to reward bullying and ruthlessness, all the yoga classes & mindfulness sessions in the world aren’t going to make your people healthy.