It all started when Caleb began to be very critical of his more able team members. He felt particularly threatened by five of them, including Frankie and Gavin, and he began to bully them. He had clearly identified the vulnerabilities of each of the five. Frankie was vulnerable because she was caring for Alex after his stroke, and Gavin because he was still grieving for his mother who had died a few months previously, and for whom he had been sole carer during her dementia. One team member, Carmen, had a serious sight-impairment and was caring for two disabled children and a blind husband, whilst the fourth, David, was having financial problems after his recent marriage to a newly divorced woman with a child. The fifth, Jenna, was a young mother of two children who was experiencing domestic abuse from her husband.
Caleb would ask these team members to undertake certain projects. Then, using a red pen, he would cover their work in crossings-out and negative comments as if they were school children and he was the teacher.
Frankie was particularly overworked in her safeguarding role, which was snowballing at a fast rate. This was causing her increasing stress on top of caring for Alex. She had a meeting with Caleb to ask if he would employ a temporary assistant for her until she could get back in control of her workload.
“Huh! Your work is not important enough to warrant an extra member of staff,” he responded disdainfully.
He displayed no understanding or empathy for Frankie’s personal situation at home, whilst undermining her fragile confidence. Frankie was shocked at his response. Her work was underpinned by statute so could not have been more important.
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