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Confessions: My colleagues are fighting me for sticking to my principles

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All the women in the office have turned against me (Photo: Shutterstock)

I have worked as an office assistant to two senior pastors in a church based in Nairobi for more than 12 years. Over the years, I have witnessed many things and, more so, cases of sexual harassment of staff and female church members but I pretended not to know anything. At present, two staff members have children sired by both pastors and they suspect I know about this. Now, all the women (who are the majority in the office) have turned against me as I am the only one who has never given in to the sexual advances of the pastors. They keep setting me up for failure to make me look incompetent but I am fighting on. It is tough working in an environment where everybody wants me out. I am a single parent and this is my only source of livelihood. Please advise me.

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{Marianne}

What the readers say:

Marianne, this is a tough situation. One thing I have learnt in life is that a colleague can be the first enemy at your place of work. Never at any given time look intimidated by their incessant baseless accusations. What has brought you together is the job you people are currently doing. I swore to never be susceptible to such. Always come out clean in what you want! They probably imagine you might spill the beans but remind them that it is none of your business. Let them understand that everyone has a lane within which they should operate. 

{Ouma Ragumo-Sifuyo}

The stories of Joseph and Daniel should inspire you to be true to yourself. Even if you were to be framed into losing your job, it is because there is a better one for you ahead. How will you settle your conscience if you engage in this immoral act? Immoral engagements will neither bring food to your table nor provide for your children. Remain firm and true to yourself.

{Tasma Saka}

It is written in the Holy Bible that you had better be anxious and proud of heavenly life than earthly life. To me, it is better to be faithful to yourself, your body and your faith. Why not involve church elders and your parents in the problem you are facing or tell the presiding bishop, senior pastor or other authority what you are undergoing? Otherwise they may take advantage of your silence and continue to harass you. Please be firm in your dos and don’ts and start looking for another job or other career instead of suffering silently. Otherwise, trust in God and new doors will be opened for you.

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{Onyango Outha}

Boke says:

Maryanne, sorry for what you have to endure but I must mention to you that there are no perfect workplaces. You must realise that there are people who do not live according to what they profess and a good example are the pastors you are working for. This can be annoying especially when we create an expectation of the work environment based on what we know.

Secondly, every work place has its own politics. Just like a market, where traders use all the means to capture a customer and eventually make a sale, colleagues can go to any length for career progression – even being sycophant, among others. It only creates conflict among the staff because of lack of fairness.

Your workmates have resorted to giving sexual favours as a means of getting an edge over you. I must tell you that, at first, they will look like they are making progress while you are mark timing. But their relevance will only last as long as there are no new employees. When a new one comes, they will be dropped and shunned like the plague and the cycle will continue.

Do what is right and you will have the last laugh. It is frustrating and draining to go to that office but, for as long as you can bear it, continue working. Only leave when it becomes too much for you to handle.

Meanwhile, you can start looking for another job or start a business on the side and gradually grow it until it can support you. You could also further your studies or acquire a new skill then leave.

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ALSO READ: Confessions: He swears his wife left him, could he be lying?

Hilda Boke Mahare has a background in Counselling Psychology

Simon says:

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Marianne, this is somewhat common in institutions where sexual favours are a separate option to climbing up the ladder but the problem with such entities is that they do not last. Indeed, you are having trouble with your colleagues only because they know that you chose not to go down the road they chose. From your explanation, there is no mention of harassment or victimisation from the perpetrators but only from your peers. This is because you have chosen to be different from them and are walking the straight and narrow while they are now compromised.

The thing about sexual relations in the office — for whatever reason — is that nothing good can come out of them. They only breed contempt and familiarity and soon kill the business when the bedroom issues start finding their way into the boardroom. When this happens, the seniors look for ways and means to get rid of the victims (in most instances, the junior officers are termed as the victims even though in some instances they are the perpetrators).

In that situation, the pastors are in too deep being that they are having multiple relationships with staff. However, to them, you are invaluable and they cannot even dare touch you. Having kept yourself free of those office fiascos, you effectively earned your respect. Your colleagues are well aware of this and, as such, have nothing but hate for you. As a matter of fact, many of them wish they were like you but they are all messed up and are in too deep. They probably feel like they have no way of climbing up and out of their situation.

With all this, how do you survive the marginalisation and torture at your workplace? It is never easy swimming against the tide but it is not impossible. However, you have to stand by your decision not to give in at whatever cost. The moment you do, you will lose all the respect and they may even look for an opportunity to get rid of you fast. With all that has happened and continues to happen, you are the only indispensable staff member and trying to get rid of you is an uphill task.

Remember you have the respect and support of the seniors so your colleagues may try as much as they want but will not get anywhere. Being privy to most of the scandalous secrets in the office also gives you a lot of power in this situation. If it ever gets to the worst, you may want to rub it in the faces of the key perpetrators. This should tame them.

Nonetheless, you have to remain focused and be aware of the fact that many people are not happy with you being there. I urge you to take great caution in everything you do and, as a matter of fact, maintain only essential contact and relations with them.

Simon Anyona is a relationships counsellor

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The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke

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Fans react after Kobe Bryants parents were ignored during memorial

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It is no secret that the late Kobe Bryant and his parents were not on speaking terms.

And this fact brought itself out during the celebration of his life at the Staples Centre on February 24.

Netizens expressed their reaction online saying his parents and siblings should have been acknowledged.

Kobe once mentioned that his father was not in support of Vannessa’s Latino heritage.

Papa Bryant did not attend his son’s wedding. He did not visit Kobe and his family and he vaguely knew his granddaughter at that time.

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Later on, they decided to work on reconciliation, it is not very clear how that turned out.

Kobe’s parents also decided to sell his memorabilia which apparently Kobe did not like and it led to a disagreement between them. His parents, later on, apologized publicly for this.

Despite all this, one’s parents are still one’s parents. Dispute or not, they ought to have recognized their part in Kobe’s life. It is not known though if Kobe’s parents wanted to be recognized or not

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Smokin Wanjala, six Indian judges contract swine flu

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Supreme Court Judge Smokin Wanjala has been admitted at the Apollo hospital in India after contracting the H1N1 influenza virus known as swine flu.

Wanjala is said to be among other top judges who are in India for an international judicial conference.

Chief Justice David Maraga confirmed on his twitter account that justice Wanjala is undergoing treatment for the H1N1-Swine flu which also affected six Indian Supreme Court Judges.

Wishing him a quick recovery, the CJ said the Judge is making great progress and maybe discharged today (Wednesday).

Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153

India is on high alert after following fresh outbreaks.

 H1N1 Flu Virus

H1N1 flu is also known as swine flu. It’s called swine flu because in the past, the people who caught it had direct contact with pigs. That changed several years ago, when a new virus emerged that spread among people who hadn’t been near pigs.

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In 2009, H1N1 was spreading fast around the world, so the World Health Organization called it a pandemic. Since then, people have continued to get sick from swine flu, but not as many

How Do You Catch It?

The same way as the seasonal flu. When people who have it cough or sneeze, they spray tiny drops of the virus into the air. If you come in contact with these drops, touch a surface (like a doorknob or sink) where the drops landed, or touch something an infected person has recently touched, you can catch H1N1 swine flu.

Symptoms

Symptoms of swine flu are similar to those produced by standard seasonal flu – fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and chills.

Some people with the virus also experience nausea and diarrhea. The disease originated from pigs, but is now a wholly human disease and is spread by coughing and sneezing.

Swine flu first appeared in Mexico in 2009 and rapidly spread around the world.

After the pandemic of 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) and researchers warned of sporadic outbreaks of the H1N1 influenza virus, but the number of cases dwindled in the subsequent years.

 

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