I want (need) to talk about whistle blowing, reporting a colleague at work and my experience of it.
Trust me on this, it’s not something you would ever really want to do but, alongside that, how can you not?
Perhaps we and I know I presumed that if we’re ever in that situation then it’s going to be the colleague no one likes, we don’t like. That we are doing the company and other colleagues a good turn in ‘dobbing them in’.
What I actually found was quite different to that. I liked the person, they were one of the most popular people in the place and yet, here I was seeing something terrible wrong and not being able to control it. I decided to sleep on it, clear my mind and consider my options. I felt that if I reported the person my employer would likely act, it could affect the colleagues career. My career there had just started. I did not consider their career deserved to be damaged. I valued them enough to know that without the complication of me they would get over it and learn.
It is important for me to copy the first line of my ‘whistle blowing’ email here as I feel, without it part of the context of how I was feeling would be lost.
I am really sorry but I am resigning with immediate effect. I would like to take this chance to explain.
As you can see, I did not consider my further employment in the company was sustainable.
I went on to detail various management issues that were not working for me (quickly addressed) but also, and at length the details I need to convey of abuse of a carer to a resident.
The company acted swiftly, the carer was interviews and a decision made. They continued to work there as I had hoped that they would. I was asked not to resign and I returned to work.
What followed was instant. Sadly, the colleague I’d reported was not discreet and had shared a version of events which did not entirely match what transpired. What I experienced was collegues being simply horrible to me. Blanking me, refusing to help me, gossip behind my back and, it hurt. n one occasion a resident was put at risk because an available colleague refused to work with me.
I never mentioned the situation, I didn’t share my viewpoint until I was actually asked outright by someone, one of the younger carers, what really happened because, he said, that what he had heard didn’t quite add up with me, the man he’d got to know.
Over time most colleagues mellowed but not all. I needed to speak out in front of all staff at a meeting about how they’d made me feel. It was quite humiliating for me.
Still, I have left there now and I hold no malice. Had my health not got the better of me I would still be working there. True, I don’t think the effort I needed to put in in order to earn respect again helped with my anxiety which was ultimately what finished me off and I truly hope those ex colleagues who treated me like that will, in future, either keep out of a similar situation or explore the full story before making a judgement. No one should ever take sides with whistle blowing. It’s not easy for anyone concerned.
I’d still do it again though were the situation to occur.