The now viral video of a female member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) having what seems to be an emotional breakdown because of unfair treatment by a supervising officer is what it we call a camel with a broken back. To break it down, it is when you have been pushed and pushed so much by a person or a situation that the slightest shade, the slightest misstep will send you over the emotional edge.

If you have never worked with someone who just gets on your last nerve all the time and tries to make you look bad, knock on wood now because you are in fact very lucky. But for those of us who have not been that fortunate, the pressure from superiors, the work itself or just the enormous effort it takes to not breakdown and create a raucous at work is enough to force us into some very bad habits.

I am convinced that there are human beings walking among us whose only mission is to make the lives of those around them a living hell. God forbid they be put in a position of power, all hell will break loose. It’s a known fact that even the smallest dose of power can get to someone’s head. There is really nothing you as an employee can do about that but you still have to deal with it, don’t you?

While it would be the best thing for your sanity to leave the job completely, due to financial and other reasons it might not always be possible. So here comes the difficult “deal with it" part. Can you really effectively deal with a superior putting you under immense pressure, making you look bad, even trying to get you fired?

My advice to myself and people around me is to always have evidence. Feel a superior is trying to set you up about your work? Keep your evidence. Whether it be an email trail or a sample of the work done, meeting notes etc., make sure that you have the evidence to present if the situation ever comes up that you need to defend yourself.

Report it to human resources. Yes, I know, you are saying “but nothing will be done about it” or “human resources don’t care”. That is not why you are reporting it. You are reporting it so that you have written evidence to say, “I did report it” and “you knew it was happening”. In the event that there comes a day when it becomes too much and an altercation does happen and you “pop off”, when you show up to that all important meeting there would already be that evidence to prove that the situation has been ongoing and you have reported it. It is also important that you hold on to your copy of that evidence because we know HR could say they do not have the report or even worse, say you didn't report it in the first place. The best way to do it, send it via email and ensure you follow up to make sure it was received.

It would also benefit you if you could find positive activities that relaxes both your body and mind. These could range from reading before bed, listening to soothing music, praying, going to the beach or taking long hikes. Whatever you choose, make it sure it does not do more harm than good and that it actually relaxes you.

The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed above do not necessarily represent the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of The Desk at 13 West.

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