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New research says sharks hunt like serial killers

A paper recently published in the Journal of Zoology says that great white sharks hunt in a highly focused fashion, just like serial killers.

According to a report on ScienceDaily.com, the researchers used geographic profiling—a criminal investigation tool used to find serial killers based on the locations of their crimes—to examine how the hunting patters of great white sharks off the coast of South Africa.

Sharks establish well-defined hunting bases in strategic locations. The researchers noticed that smaller sharks searched further, and had less success, than larger sharks. They surmised that great white sharks refined their search patterns with experience, and concentrated their hunting in locations with the highest probability of success.

For more information on the study, read Geographic profiling works: Great white sharks’ hunting skills as refined as Jack the Ripper’s.


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106 Comments on "New research says sharks hunt like serial killers"

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Although I have this feeling about most everything I read on LF, once again I have to say that’s a very interesting study! It made me think of something that I have pondered before… given evolution theories, (and in this case the theory that humans evolved from sea life?) it seems as if the predatory “traits” we see in sociopaths/psychopaths, would have been valuable traits for our earliest anscestors. And, while humans, in general, have evolved, those traits that have served sociopaths well throughout history, of course, have been passed on in their gene pool. I think of ADHD the same way… at some point in history the ability to not be too focused on any one thing and be constantly aware ( which we now call distracted) of everything in your surroundings was probably a valuable trait. So given all that, for a percentage of the human race, sociopathic traits “worked” and were maintained and the rest of us evolved… I bet somewhere someone studying brain evolution could either prove this or has proven it, since I vaguely remember some article stating the brains of S/Ps are visibly different…

I’m not supposed to be posting until I tell my story, LOL, so please excuse my lapse in doing so ! But, since I am here I have a question and a couple comments:
Kathleen Hawk – may I ask how long you have been in recovery since your experience with the sociopath? Your insight and ability to weave it all together are inspiring and helpful.
Matt – haven’t “seen” you around lately, so I hope that you are OK and that the family situation is manageable for you right now… and I echo the comments of all those who think your advice to others is priceless and you should write a book or be an advocate of some sort! I googled your quote about sunlight being the best disinfectant and really enjoyed reading about the source of the quote Justice Brandeis.

To everyone else walking the path of recovery keep putting one foot in front of the other and remember that ” a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step!”
Have a great day everyone!

Makes perfect sense. Explains why some sociopaths are afflicted with the “big fish in a little pond” syndrome.

Having watched a few documentaries on sharks and the many different kinds of sharks has been interesting. One thing stated was how sharks are evolved to do but two things which is to survive and pass along its genes: 1) hunt and 2) reproduces.

That’s all sharks do they eat and make little baby sharks. They have no social life or group need to co-exist and in fact will attack each other in mistake of prey in a feeding frenzy. These are lonely creatures in the deep blue sea and if they stop swimming (forcing water through their gills for oxygen) will die. But for evolutional standards they are perfect killing machines.

Also of interest to me is how dolphins had been known to attack and kill sharks. Dolphins being a very social creature and reported to be a very highly intelligent creature and have a social network set in place for the survivor of the specie. Reports have been reported that dolphins have saved drowning young children by pushing the child to the surface (for air) as they do with they own baby dolphins. Another interesting like about dolphins is how they are one of the few creatures other then men that as juvenile dolphins will have sex for fun.

Thanks Donna and a very interesting subject.

That’s why it is a good idea to stay out of the bars and nightclubs, if you are looking for real love or a long, healthy relationship.
And they don’t have to be serial killers to be really dangerous.

From my own personal experience, bars and clubs are prime hunting grounds for “great white sharks”, if you know what I mean.

Granted, they are EVERYWHERE, but the clubs on a Friday or Saturday night are usually crawling with predators.

That’s where I met mine. 🙁

(Another interesting like about dolphins is how they are one of the few creatures other then men that as juvenile dolphins will have sex for fun.)

Sorry should have type: “other then us”

Sorry ladies….. 🙁

Rosa

Have to agree with you, finding a life partner in a bar isn’t how I would want to remember our first encounter. In fact I have never “pick up” an woman in a bar. Met a lot of good friend but that’s about it.

When I was in South Africa in the 1960s, the beaches where we swam were surrounded by nets to keep the sharks out. There was also a learning and research center there in Durbin on the sharks and their predation.

Interesting to me though, was that the nets were NOT a big circle, with the ends coming up to the beach, but instead just strung out in FRONT of the beach with both ends OPEN. Every day the boats would go out to remove the sharks caught in the net, and more were caught in the beach side of the net, than in the ocean side of the net….so the sharks WERE in the water on the beach side of the net, but there would be NO attacks as long as the net was in place. I found that very VERY interesting, and I quit going into the water over knee deep after that! LOL

Then I got stung by a jellyfish called a “blue bottle” that has tenticles 50 ft long though it is the size and shape of a coke bottle, so I quit going into the water all together when we were in town and could go to the beach. I just hung out on the sand and in the sun (didn’t know about sun screen back in those days!) until I was the color of saddle leather!

Hecates, glad you are here and you are not “required” to post your story if you do not wish to as a prerequisite for posting. Glad you did post though, as your ideas are quite interesting to me and I agree that the P-genes have at some time in our human history confered a benefit in terms of survival or they would not have persisted. I can definitely see how in a tribal situation for our cave-living ancestors where food was in short supply much of the year that the P would still eat even if every one else starved, and also see that the P would have sired more children as well, simply by FORCE if no other way.

As civilization “advanced” I can also see that groups led by Ps who were “in control” would prey on other groups who were not so violent, and again, garner more food and more women, to better pass on their genetic material and survive.

The biggest, meanest SOB on the “block” would get more food and get more women than the less violent or more empathetic males. It has only been in the last 100 years with advancement of technology so food can be preserved 12 months of the year that anyone on the planet has had a balanced and sufficient diet….in 1905 my own great grandmother died of a niacin deficiency from living on “meat (salted pork), Meal (corn) and molasses” 8 or 9 months out of the year and not having a sufficency of fresh meat or vegetables.

Dr. Leedom I think mentioned in another thread that there is evidence that in “public housing” in England that 25% of the children there are sired by psychopaths. In our own country, I think that number is probably at least equal or more so with about 90% of children born to teenaged mothers being reported as illegitimate (which I would say would predispose those children to a life of dysfunction, if not other problems, as well, such as probably poverty, lack of educational availabiity, etc.)

But I guess I am a judgmental old biddy thinking that a child should be conceived and raised by TWO parents who are ADULTS and emotionally bonded together and to the child for best results….not to say that a single parent can’t raise children successfully, I have been a single parent myself due to a divorce not of my own doing or choosing.

As many of you who have been here a while know that I do have one biological son who is a flaming psychopath, and one that is not, but I do not “blame” my son being a psychopath on how he was raised, but basic bottom line, it is the genetics I passed on to him from my father, and the genetics passed on to him from his fraternal grandfather who I believe was also a psychopath.

I am glad, however, that I have NO biological grandchildren. My P son has been prevented from siring any by being in prison his entire adult life, and my other son has chosen NOT to have children….which I fully support his choice, though I would LOVE to have grandchildren, I think that the genetics in our family make it way too risky.

Oxy- Wow, you really gave us some real education here with your post.Loved it!! This entire thread has been very useful. AND you said (previously on another blog) that you couldnt find your brain.. aww come on , their overrated anyways. Mine went M.I.A. years ago,besides, any more intelligence here, and I couldnt keep up-must keep it simple for the blonds like me! xoxo,,Sabrainiac

Matt, Oxy, Erin, James, ANewLily – I think I mentioned the veterans, did not mean to leave anyone out. I don’t think I am at liberty to give details, but wanted to touch upon the criminal aspect, and it seems to be the topic of this article. I am finding out a lot of discrepancies through the process of discovery and they are mind shuddering. I am more and more certain of criminality of a certain someone. In the presence of all the questions and incongruencies, and in the absence of data, when do you think the authorities become interested?
My pocket is being sucked dry and I was hoping for more capable institutions to continue my investigation that seems now to be far beyond just a civil matter. Has anyone on this site dealt with a similar issue?

Rosa

Bars – Yuk!

I didn’t meet the S in a bar but I might as well have!

Found out later that these were his ‘hunting grounds’ while he was ‘just playing darts with the boys’ etc. while the ‘stable’ partner (me) was safely tucked up at home – my brother, brother-in-law, son and 2 close family friends (both male) thought he was a ‘slimeball’ on sight – as I have said before, other men are better at spotting the ‘male predator’ than women. Fully intend to elect a committe to of males to advise me if I am ever foolish enough to dip my toe in the water again! Wish they’d all told me at the time!

Rosa

as a proviso – I mean ‘decent’ men – to have on my committee – there are still some around – would hate to insult anyone on this site!

Escapee:

We have a saying where I live. It goes like this, “If you meet your man in a bar, that is where he will spend all of his time.”

It is true.

Rosa

Once again! You are a funny funny woman. That one is definitely going on one of my ‘post it’ notes!

Night night Sassy lassy! (It’s late on UK time).

All love, Escapee

Ox drover,
ITA with Sabrina about your additional information and thoughts posted above… very interesting and thoughtprovoking. I find I feel that way about most of your posts… each day I log in I look forward to the commentary that you and so many others offer. Not only does it help me stay the course but it also makes me think in new and profound ways, so thank you to you and so many others. BTW, I prefer to think of you as a wise sage rather than an “old biddy”… and your “old biddy” comment made me chuckle cuz I had this vision a mother hen running around wielding (sp?) a skillet down on the farm!

The “requirement” that I post my story is self imposed, LOL, because I felt guilty posting here without first sharing my story since I find so much strength in the personal stories here which have served as an introduction to each of you. I felt a little hypocritical knowing so much about so many of you without sharing first. Thank you just the same though Oxy, for the reminder that it isn’t a requirement. I have started writing my story, but given my long winded, english teacher style, LOL I think I am going to save what I have written thus far, (might turn into a decent book someday, and I can thank the S/P in the dedication for giving me such fodder to write about LOL) and try to write a more condensed version to post. If I don’t, Donna might need to post ” my letter to love fraud” it in weekly installments… 🙂

Hecates

Whenever and if ever you are ready buddy! I have found it very cleansing and the feedback from others here on LF has helped me get my life kick-started again. I know I can’t get back to the person I was 5 years ago (before the S) but at least I am emerging from the darkness of the wreck I was 12 months ago. It’s all very healing.

Things is, I came on this site not knowing what I wanted from it, didn’t even give it any thought – didn’t expect or want anything really – NOW I’m thinking and that’s all thanks to the generosity of others in opening their hearts and stories.

Hope you get what you need from LF – all good wishes.

Dear Hecates,

IF you post, it is more for your benefit than for ours. My opinion on the posting is that when we post our story and others VALIDATE it emotionally, by a simple “I’m sorry you had to endure that” rather than a “Oh, get over it already, it’s been six months!” (I wonder how many of us have heard the last line? LOL)

If you are at a point that you don’t NEED that validation for YOURself, then “save it” for the book. Many of us, and I am one, came here had to post for the validation, to get our heads right that it was happening! did happen! etc.

Thank you for the kind comments, I think I am starting to get on my “high horse” some times with my opinons, like an “old biddy” I iam becoming more opinonated as I get older, and maybe that’s good, but sometimes maybe not. (((hugs))))

Hey Oxy

Sounds like maybe you needed to be on that “high horse” – you can always sit a bit lower in the saddle if it starts to feel uncomfortable!

I think you have found the right mix of true empathy for others and ‘telling it like it is” when needs be.

I like your candour.

Dear Escapee,

Thank you sweetie! I better get off the blog now and go out and take my goats to pasture this morning before it gets to 100 degrees with 99% humidity. Been to hot to ride the jack asses or the horse! I got a new horse day before yesterday, but I think I will stick with riding the mammoth asses as they are smoother and not quite as far to fall! That’s the problem with being on a “high horse” sometimes it is a looooong way down! LOL ESPECIALLY WITH YOUR FOOT (OR FEET) IN YOUR MOUTH! I’ve been THERE too! LOL (((hugs))))

“It might also suggest that larger sharks competitively exclude smaller sharks from the prime hunting areas”. This is EXACTLY what the the criminal psychopath murderers do! And I watched a 37 year old prostitute yesterday bash up two new prostitutes who had no idea it was her territory. I stood and watched from my window. I know the 37 year old prostitute and I had no intention of stopping a shark from killing other potential sharks.
One day i will be able to afford to move.

To Katya – if you are finding lots of discrepancies and think you might want to contact authorities, DO IT. If there is any kind of possibility on your part, you need to cover your back with information into the police, etc. If you are talking now and they investigate later you are less likely to be considered one of the ‘bad guys’. I’m having to contact the FBI and all sorts of state agencies to tell them what I know about P’s fraud, even though I’m afraid I’ll get hurt for talking. I’m more afraid of being considered bad just by reason of association.

‘If you meet your man in a bar that is were he will always be’ BINGO same goes for other undesirable meeting places such as the internet and dating sites….I have a crush on a guy that works at Petsmart – I have been in there so much, have bought enuff dogfood to last 6 months, he is always so friendly and smiles this big smile, even asked my name and shook my hand – but maybe he is just freindly to everybody – I am afraid to ask him if he is gay, I am pretty sure he is, my gaydar goes off, but what if I am wrong? Or maybe I am afraid of rejection ….oh my, think I will become a dolphin….

Henry:

When I meet a man who I am really attracted to, I will say something like, “I love your suit, does your wife dress you?”

He will either say “Yes, my wife dresses me” or he will say “No. I am not married”.

Maybe you could ask the guy at PetSmart a non-threatening question that will pin him down regarding his status????

For example, if you go in there on a weekend, and he is working, say something like, “You are stuck working on the weekend? I bet your wife hates that.” He will either answer about his wife, or he will say, “No, I am not married”, or he will say, “I’m not straight, I’m gay”, which would be music to your ears. 🙂

Just a suggestion.

P.S. Have you looked for a wedding ring? But, a lot of men do NOT wear wedding rings, so you cannot really go by that. I operate on the assumption that all men are married, engaged, or living with someone unless they tell me otherwise.

Hope someone starts a blog in the media section about the S. Carolina governor. The cheapness of this millionaire, his sense of entitlement, the lies, the inability to maintain good behavior, the arrogance about what he thought he could get away with….all sounds too familiar. Just wondering….seems like at least a Narc. and I would GUESS this is not the only woman in his past.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/28/opinion/28dowd.html

Also, of course I’m cynical now, but I think there was no 8 year friendship, I think there was an 8 year flirtation. The p/s/n I was involved with kept testing the waters for 40 years until he caught me at a weak time. And I don’t buy that he is/was “in love”, no matter what he told anyone. I realize it is unfair to speculate because we don’t know the details, but most of what I heard is a whole lot of red flags. I think he just hadn’t reach the devalue stage yet. But again, unfair to say!

Henry..your comments always make me laugh..THANK YOU!! I have been trying to get in to the place of acceptance which I have drifted in and out of it seems MANY times….I did meet my S at a bar..it was kareoke night..and like a dumbass..I believed him when he told me it was the first time he had been there….for me it was the truth..but anyhoot…the flags were flailin and I STILL set sail..all I can do is take oewn my responsibilty for allowing things to go the way they did..Im gald I kicked him to the curb finally..I just fel soory that we have a 3 yr old in thr midst of it….dont get me wrong..I love him to death..I just would never wish this on a child or anyone for that matter….

EndthePain:

“the flags were flailin and I STILL set sail.”

I love it!!!! Me too.
I had my yachting cap on, and I was SURE that I was on an unsinkable ship.

Little did I know that I was going to hit an iceburg, and everything would turn TITANIC on me!!! 🙁

But, my heart will go on. 🙂 (without him)

Dear Katya and Dreamer

I have walked in both of your shoes. It is not enough to go to authorities and tell your stories of criminality. I did that and was more or less told i was ‘mad’. Let me tell you i was ‘mad’ because nobody listened to me. If the authorities had of chosen to look years ago, i told them where to find the evidence. The were not interested unless i could provide evidence. The evidence had unfortunately been lost. Surprisinly after a few years the lost information was found, which has now been forwarded to authorities.

I was not concerned about my part in any of the activities as i was unknowingly involved. I needed to ease my conscience. I believed any repurcussions of my disclosure were justified on my part. At least i could sleep at night.

Two months on and still no answer from authorities. Im not sure they even care. I am talking a minimum half a million dollars worth of fraud, an apparent murder i was informed about and much, much more.

You must have evidence to be taken even slightly seriously by the authorities. You then must take into account revenge by the PS or N. You must be prepared to accept any consequences from your own involvement (knowlingly or not).

My recovery has ben 4 years and my high values have returned (the values that the PS & N slowly managed to subtly deconstruct in me) . I am prepared for the above knowing i have done the right thing. I am prepared to take responsibilities for my actions.

Think carefully and make sure you have evidence.

Best wishes in your choices.

Henry and Tilly thanyou for you kind words of reassurance last month.

Rosa,
Reading your posts in this thread really cheered me up, thanks!

I squeezed out a couple of tears earlier today and was feeling like no matter what I do I just can’t get away from the thoughts of the S. I am just soooo tired of thinking about him but every time I’m not engaged with something those thoughts come back. It’s exhausting because I am in ‘go! go! go!’ mode all the time to escape thinking of him, and then when I try to relax the thoughts come back and I spend my energy attempting to fight them off. No wonder I’m so drained!

I’m also having a hard time with the ‘being discarded’ part today. I am happy to be NC, but part of me can’t believe he hasn’t tried to contact me. It will be two months NC on Saturday and this is the longest we have ever not spoken since we met over 10 years ago. I try to ignore it, but sometimes that little voice saying ‘How could he just drop me after everything we’ve been through and seemingly not give it a second thought?’ comes back to haunt me.

Anyway, feeling better after reading what everyone has shared. All the days can’t be good days I suppose.

Done:

I am so happy if I was able to cheer you up, even if it was just a little bit.

Tilly & I need our comedy fix, or we will go crazy! 🙂 🙂

P.S. Without laughter, I would be popping my Grandma’s Lexapro like M&M’s.

Done, Actually I’m impressed that after 2 months of NC you are so far along! You are moving much faster than I did. So congratulate yourself. It will get better. It has been just over two years of no face to face contact, and about 1 and a half since we last talked. You know, they just change the channel. Their emotions are just an inch deep. We hurt and grieve the loss of the love that was REAL on our end, because we are GOOD people, capable of truly loving. He can drop you “just like that” not because of anything you did, but because of who HE is. It is no reflection on you.

Good for you for keeping busy. Yes, I know that exhaustion. And you are drained because you have been emotionally raped. It will get better. You are doing all the right things.

Hugs!

Rosa,
Yes thank God for laughter, and that my Grandma locks up her pills!

justabouthealed,
Don’t give me too much credit, even though it’s only been 2 months NC, I have known for years that something was just not right. It took me that long to finally make up my mind to have NC, and really he made up my mind for me. If he hadn’t announced that he was “in love” with this woman he was apparently sleeping with I most likely would be living with him and that underlying feeling of guilt/self disgust due to settling.

I know he has shallow emotions, but it would be nice to hear from him. Not actually hear from him, but to see his # on the caller ID. In the past when I tried to leave he would always sneak back in and has never gone this long without calling. I just can’t believe he hasn’t tried to call. I guess it means him and his new gf are ‘happy’. I will count it as a blessing, and tell my hurt ego to toughen up. It hurts when I start to doubt myself, thinking things like ‘what if he really CAN love and just doesn’t love me, and is happy with the new girl?’

Also, we always used to fight about sex. He would make up all kinds of excuses not to have sex it used to baffle me, I’m 10 years younger than him, and I may not be a model, but I can turn some heads and for him I was the best he could ever hope for (except his new gf has bigger boobs even though she’s 20 years older than me yuk). So anyway, I think that was his way of devaluing me, because it would make me very insecure and rejected feeling to have to beg for sex all the time. Point of all this is, the last time we spoke he told me that “A-He was in love with this other woman, B-He never had any fun when he was with me (sure seemed like it when he was living off my dime) and C- That the reason that he never wanted to have sex with me was because he didn’t find me attractive.

So I try to brush those things off as just a few more lies, but sometimes I wonder if maybe he just didn’t love me anymore, and that his new girl is more attractive and fun to be around and that he doesn’t miss me (that’s true I know) and that maybe I’m just making up this S thing in my head as a defense mechanism so I don’t have to deal with the reality of being rejected.

Also since NC I have gained nearly 10 pounds, and since I moved here to be with him I had already gained 10 just from the stress of him…so that’s 20 pounds I’ve put on this year. I know it will take months to lose it, and I feel so disgusting, which feeds the thoughts about being unattractive to him, which in turn makes me feel like eating EVERYTHING!

Does anyone else suffer from the emotional eating thing? Any tips? I had been doing so well until all of this and I feel like I’ve backtracked in several aspects of my life. I’d hate to run into him somewhere and have him see me all fat and icky. That would be the icing on his S cake.

Arhg if I could only shut off my brain!

Done – When my X left me, or lets say when I kicked his butt too the curb, I changed phone numbers, not only to prevent him from calling me but also to prevent me from sitting and waiting on him to call, I think it would of been worse had I known he didnt call at all. So I knew I had to do this to begin healing from years of (something isn’t right). Your X does not love this girl with big boobs, he just went to someone new that does not know he is empty and shallow. If anything they get bored with us, they never had intentions of being with us forever, just until we see them for what they are and then they move on to greener pastures and they will graze that green grass until the pasture is bare and then on to the next and the next. I know how you feel about not believing he didnt love you, well guess what – he didnt, but dont take it personal, youwere just at the right place at the wrong time. I too get weary of him still in my mind but if I could just turn off the thoughts of him and the feelings I had for him then I would be just like him.

Thank you Henry. I’ll consider changing my number. I hate to do that bc I’ve had it since 1998 and that would be a lot of people to notify. I know you are right that he never loved me, and doesn’t love the new girl–but sometimes it’s easy to still be upset that he didn’t.

In the mean time, I have found something else to worry about. I think that my boss has it in for me. I had a review yesterday and she made all these claims, when I asked her to provide specific examples she was unable to. She also stated that I had a good attitude and performed at a consistent level, met all deadlines etc. but made other contradictory statements. Long story short my probation has been extended, if I can’t figure out how to make her happy I guess I may need to look for a new job in six months. If that happens, I will definitely move out of this city and far away from the S. I’m so frustrated because I don’t know how to improve at my job without any feedback, and I think that it is personal. I don’t know if I should just work my ass off for the next six months and hope I keep my job, or give up and start looking now. If it’s personal I feel like it doesn’t matter what I do, and I don’t know if I should talk to her superiors about my suspicions or if she’d find out and it’d be more awkward.

I just mention this bc I am already exhausted from dealing with the S, I don’t know how much more I can deal with. If she knows she doesn’t want me for this job I wish she’d just tell me now instead of keep me hanging for six more months.

Done,

Know how hard it can to change yet another part of our life albeit a phone number job etc..

We must do this to separate ourselves from that which is making us weak and emotional sick at times but still wonder why we need to do it all and yet so little about them changes. In fact so many times they go down their little path of life with little or no change at all. Maybe a new source but that’s about it. Just like when we were with them, we had to carry the ball of responsibility, cleaning up their messes behind them while at the same time dealing with our personal struggles. But each door we do close if we make sure it stay closed we gave yet a little more peace a little more distance and a little more self-esteem.

I too see change in my horizon soon, a new town a new job but if I keep my eye on the prize I know in the end I will triumph knowing God is with me and that my children are at my side.

Good luck Done!

Dear Done,

I am a retired Registered Nurse Practitioner (advanced practice nurse) and yes, STRESS DOES MAKE US EAT MORE, but it will also make you gain “fat” molecules adn loses muscle tissue. In fact, research with mice has shown that with the same number of calories and the same amount of exercise that stressed mice will gain weight around their mid section.

The hormones of stress cause our bodies to change in many “strange” ways and not any of them good (at least in the long term). Research has shown that stress decreases our life span, craps out our immune system, messes with all kinds of balances in our bodies and generally messes us up physically and mentally….I felt that I was somewhat immune to othis because I knew all about it, but believe me, I AM A LIVING EXAMPLE OF WHAT STRESS WILL DO TO YOUR MIND AND BODY. Take it easy on yourself! DE stress as much as possible.

Thanks James,
It is helpful to ‘keep my eye on the prize’ and I share the belief that it will be okay in the end.

OxDrover,
My mom is a nurse and I know about the stress/fat thing. I think I mentioned before that my hair actually fell out I was so stressed, it is amazing how destructive it can be. I guess I need advice on how to DEstress. Especially now that I feel as I’ve just been fired from my job, but they still expect me to work another months. I have NEVER been in trouble at a job, at school, etc. Never got a bad review, and NEVER had to fear for my job before. I really think this woman has already made up her mind to let me go six months from now and I don’t know what to do next. I love my job, now I’m afraid to go in on Monday. I think normally I would be able to better deal with a difficult boss, but I already have been emotionally sucked dry by the S, I don’t know if I have the energy to deal with another difficult person at work. =(

Done:

I have been reading your post on the fly. One thing that came to me from a legal standpoint. You should bring up, in writing, the point that you have requested from your supervisor, and thus far not received, constructive criticism, on ways to improve your job.

You should file this in response to your review. If you have already filed your review, send in the response, by certified mail to make sure it is in your file. I was given this advice by my employment lawyer (yes, even lawyers need them sometimes) because you need to start laying some kind of employment discrimination foundation if you think they are gunning for you. Also, the letter will definitely get their attention and make them think twice if they are gunning for you, since the first thing your employer’s employment attorneys will tell them is “she’s been to see an employment lawyer.”

Matt,
Part of the problem is she didn’t even have me sign the review. I have the copy she gave me, but I don’t know who I would file my response with. I don’t feel like it would be safe to give it to my boss, and am afraid to go to her boss. I feel like this whole thing started when I confronted my boss about a mistake she made. I was very careful when I confronted her, but I feel like since that day she has had it in for me, like she was mad that I questioned something she had said and ended up being right.

I wasn’t even asked to sign the review, do you think it would be smart to go to human resources or employee relations with my statement, so that it doesn’t look like I’m going over her head, but then they would have that info if she does end up letting me go after the six months?

Also, I know that there is an intern they had before I took the job that graduates in December. I don’t have any proof, but just a feeling that she might be extending my probation so that she can fire me in December and hire him, but doesn’t fire me now because she needs me.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

If you are going to do anything, go to an employment lawyer. Unless you are working in a progressive gov’t office or something, usually the human resources or employee relations dept. is actually on the side of the employer, not you. My friend who filed a response to her review (doesn’t matter if you signed it or not, that’s just another thing she did wrong), got fired a few days later. And it was a VERY professional response, with no blaming, just stating verifiable facts, and ended with optimism about the future. THEN she got a lawyer, and a settlement.

But Matt is right, I think. If you are going to do anything, go to an employment lawyer. The lawyer will advise you if you should go to hr before s/he sends a letter. But you need legal help. You are describing a “hostile work environment” which is also grounds for consulting an employment lawyer, regardless of your review.

Oops…didn’t mean to come across so “bossy”. You will need to do what your heart tells you. Sometimes we just aren’t “up” to do battle. I’m just passionate because of what my friend went through.

Justabouthealed,
I didn’t even notice any ‘bossy-ness’ so no worries. I just really LOVE my job, my company is consistently on the Fortune Top 100 list and I have great benefits and love my work. I kind of want to cross my fingers and think that maybe she doesn’t have it in for me, maybe I just need to work harder, but after everything, if I’ve learned anything it’s that I should trust my intuition more. It’s very depressing for me to have to accept that I might be forced out of a job that I love. But I guess I wouldn’t want to continue working there anyway if my boss hates me. Bleah. Anyway I’d like to think that my boss’s superiors would look at my response with an open mind, but maybe that is naive of me.

My dad suggested just writing my response, and getting it notarized so that if I do get fired in 6 months I will have some recourse. I don’t think I can afford a lawyer =(

Your company doesn’t offer free legal advise as part of the insurance package? Nonetheless I think your dad’s advice is good. Corporate America rewards narcissists, unfortunately. I would find a few trusted friends OUTSIDE the circle of your business to read your response and make sure it sounds factual, professional, mature, and ends with something like” I’m sure we will be able to have a very productive next 12 months! ” which demonstrates you are a team player, even though you are raising concerns. And I would turn it into your boss. That is the proper channel probably. Good time to get out the employee manual. There I go again! BOSSY! You have to decide for yourself, I don’t know all the background including how much you need the job, how long you’ve been there, how long she’s been there, etc. I thought my friend was doing the right and professional thing and she’s now out of a job.

Justabouthealed,
Thanks for the advice and the warning. I know I need to tread carefully. I have only been there 6 months, it is my first “real” job since I graduated college. I need a job, I’d like to keep this one bc it doesn’t even feel like work bc I love what I do, and it would be awful to be let go, since this is my first relevant job I would hate to not be able to use it on a resume if I have to search for a new job.

I think I am going to document my concerns, have them notarized and keep them to myself for now. I am going to schedule weekly meetings with my boss and keep notes of feedback she does/doesn’t provide. I’ll probably just suck it up and tell her that I really want this job and want to do whatever it takes to secure it. Then in six months if she decides to terminate me I will have documentation showing that it’s not warranted. I already have surveys that we send to clients, all of them I’ve received back so far have given me 5 out of 5 for the score, so I think that should show that I am doing my job well. I’m a graphic designer, so some of my work is subjective but as long as I am pleasing clients and meeting deadlines I don’t see how she would have grounds to fire me without lying/exaggerating on my review (but she has already worded things to make me look bad).

On a side note, I have had dreams about her and my S together in the same dream the last two nights. UG!

All that sounds good, esp. given your history. Keep your documentation at home, including copies of the surveys, because usually if you are fired in a fortune 500 company, you are fired and escorted off the property and they go get your personal belongs and give them to you, you aren’t even allowed to get your stuff, nor access your email or get phone numbers, etc. Keep a copy of the employee manual at home.

You are so very mature, I would have pictured you much older! I am! 🙂

Done:

If you are going to have weekly meetings with her, you may want to consider sending follow-up emails after each one to th effect of “to ensure that we are in accord of my objectives to accomplish as discussed at our meeting on X date, the objectives we agreed on are X, Y and Z”.

The upside of this is you eliminate your boss being able to weasel around and you have actual objectives on the page. The downside is businesses have gotten more and more spooked and may not issue a response. But, te uside still is that you have actual documented emails (and send copies to your personal email).

Good idea Matt, thanks!

justabouthealed,
Good point about being escorted off. I think you’re right, and I was planning on starting to send my work to my personal email anyway so that I can use it in my portfolio, in case I don’t get a chance to access it later.

Also, I’m not that young, I’m 28. I just spent a long time goofing off before I graduated (largely due to the S).

Thanks so much for the advice guys!

Please, advise:
I PIed myself into learning of P’s embezzlement. I also learned that he told someone while we were together, that our relationship was “strictly business”. So, I had this question. One: should I press criminal charges or instigate them? (possible will P$^% him off). The other thing I was thinking, we all know how much of an inconvenience it is for them to work, to do something for the benefit of others, and to be consistently driven by something. If it is business, perhaps, they evaluate it in terms of Cost analysis? so, if causing us grief costs nothing, why not do it? if causing us grief becomes a nuisance, would the cost analysis be done to move on? Many of you are much more experienced with the humanoids, so I was wondering if I was on to something there. Some of my friends said that I’d be putting myself in more danger, but I cannot function, when I live in fear. I’d rather endanger myself for a short while rather than live in fear forever. Thoughts? Matt, if I did this would it be counter productive for the custody battle I am in?

Dear PI,

No one but YOU can answer the question..however, that said, here is my thought.

They love REVENGE and sometimes will “cut their noses off to spite their faces” in order to get revenge on you. sometimes this is as “serious” as murder/suicide.

They don’t see the “cost analysis” like we do—they don’t think like we do.

“Criminal” charges are difficult to get the law to prosecute because it comes down to a “civil suit” rather than a “criminal” action.

Unless it is forged checks in great amounts etc. generally it is an uphill battle. Prosecutors don’t have “time” to prosecute murder and mayhem, so non violent crimes don’t get first shot at their time.

I would vote for leaving it alone, and taking care of YOURself if possible. (((Hugs))))

TY (Sigh)

PI,

I’m with Oxy on this. Unless it directly relates to you, and especially you getting something material out of this, don’t waste the time or attention.

Ultimately what you want is to teach these people is that you’re not fun or easy to deal with, now or in the future, and that it’s more trouble than it’s worth to try to get resources or jollies from you. So they go away.

Vengeance is a way of staying involved with them. For us, it’s the later stages of involvement. Part of the angry phase. And it’s okay and normal to feel that way. But unless you have something that will get him out of your hair for life, I’d think carefully about the Pandora’s box you’re opening up, and what it might mean to you in terms of dealing with him in the future.

What you will want in your post-P life is less drama, less involvement, less seeing him or dealing with him. Those are the objectives to be working on now, the ones you’ll thank yourself for later.

Kathy

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