THE MAJORITY OF us know what it is like to work in a difficult work environment.
A place that makes you feel inferior or doubt your ability. A place that might come with one or two difficult characters that you have to navigate around. This is or has been a reality for many of us.
We deal with it by venting to friends, trying our best to step carefully through the situation and, if it calls for it, speaking about it to those that can help.
Taking to Twitter last week, Olivia revealed that she had been invited to interview with the travel software company and after a ‘brutal two-hour interview, in which the CEO tore both me and my writing to shr, I was offered the job’.
“There is something very off to me about a man who tries his best to intimidate and assert power over a young woman, and who continues to push even when he can see that he’s making somebody uncomfortable to the point of tears.”
She revealed that the experience felt all too painfully familiar to an abusive relationship she had just gotten out of and that the behavior needed to be flagged.
Her bravery in sharing her story has been praised by those who’ve read her post with many high-powered and high-profile people commenting to try and help Olivia find work.
In the comments beneath her post are multiple job offers or offers to come and discuss the possibility.
Since Olivia’s post has gone viral, the company released a statement on the issue where they said that “following completion of our investigation, the board is satisfied that no bullying or intimidation occurred”.
Olivia has since said that she has a “record of at least 46 people who have come forward to tell me that they have suffered at the hands of the CEO”.
“During the interview itself, I tried really hard to remain steady but I was very close to tears many times which he pointed out that he could see, yet he still continued to push me,” she told DailyEdge.ie.
It’s a feeling we can all relate to and when you consider Olivia is a recent graduate and on the hunt for a job, it’s easy to understand why the situation drained the power from her.
“I needed the job, so I wasn’t about to just walk out or stand up for myself – I’m a stone broke graduate!”
Since her post has gone viral, Olivia has seen her followers grow from 400 friends and family to nearly 7,000 people in the space of a week.
However, despite the huge attention she’s gotten , Web Applications UK have yet to reach out to her directly.
But, things are looking up for the 22-year-old who says she’s been networking with some of her 6,000 new followers.
“I’ve got a couple of meetings and interviews coming up this week with companies that are very lovely and value their employees,” Olivia told us.
While Olivia’s story is shocking, unfortunately, it is far from unique.
The comment section beneath her post is filled with countless other stories of intimidation and belittling being used as interview tactics. Many of the people who posted them actually did accept their job offers and said the treatment continued.
“Keeping in mind that this was a low paying administration assistant role, they asked me questions like, ‘If your exam results were so good in school, why didn’t you bother getting a degree? Are you not clever enough to get a degree?” she told us.
“‘Why are you looking for a job when your baby is only five months old? Don’t you want to spend time with her? Who will look after the baby when you’re at work? Is the dad not in the picture?’,” the questioning continued.
She said that her interviewers repeatedly laughed at her answers and giggled to each other during the short meeting.
“He was quizzing me about everything and then went on to discuss what I would be doing at the weekend. I was heading away with some friends so I told them that.
Similarly to Olivia’s story, this reader was later offered the role but decided to turn it down.
“I felt as soon as I sat down, one of the interviewers was making a few unnecessary comments. Everyone else was polite and pleasant enough except him.
“I got a vibe off him that was judgmental and almost ‘how was I considered for the role?’. One of the questions was, ‘Why I should be considered for the role?’ After I answered it the man smiled sarcastically and laughed.
“I felt really demoralised as soon as I walked into room especially with the way this man was staring at me, it almost felt like he was looking down on me.
“I just knew in my gut that an interviewer had never belittled me like that before ever.”
And while Olivia’s story has certainly gotten the internet talking, sadly, the situation she was put in is not all that hard to imagine.
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