A former receptionist was showered with praise this week for the story of her smart and calm response to a combative boss.
Spellman explained that the incident unfolded when she was 19 years old and working as a receptionist in a UK solicitor’s office. A family attorney she named Anna joined the office to focus on helping victims of domestic violence.
According to Spellman, Anna excelled at her job and worked hard to advocate for restraining orders, emergency hearings, police interviews, safe housing, and child custody for abused women. However, an article in the press went to his head and he became “arrogant and irritable,” Spellman said, with “small insults to secretaries and other workers.”
The receptionist let the behavior go because she knew her boss was stressed and doing important work.
That was until Anna brutally reprimanded her. Twice in a row, Spellman was cursed and belittled in front of clients for taking the faxed documents to her boss an hour after the due date, even though she had brought the documents to Anna’s desk as soon as they passed. Through the door. Fax machine.
The second time, Anna followed her out of the room while yelling insults. “[She] he started yelling at me that I had no respect or kindness in my heart for these women and that I was lazy, completely incompetent and ridiculously out of my mind. I cried in the bathrooms,” Spellman wrote.
A few days later, Anna suddenly realized why the timestamps on the documents were wrong. She coldly told her boss, “The reason the documents seemed to be an hour late was because the clocks changed for daylight saving time, I should have noticed when the ink wasn’t dry yet when I handed them over to you.” “. The fax machine was old and hadn’t updated the time.
Anna begrudgingly apologized, but Spellman went on to run his “malicious compliance”: after each call, he would connect from domestic violence victims, wrote an individual Post-It for Anna, sometimes going in and out of her office 10 times an hour.
“His desk was flooded with [P]ost-[I]ts just said ‘Husband’s 10 am call to client X,'” Spellman said. “She was upset, but this is what she asked for. i wasted a lot [P]ost-[I]ts.”
The story ended with an incident that ended up bringing the receptionist and her boss much closer. As Spellman recounted, a woman in a shelter with her daughter called the office to say that she was reconciling with her husband and wanted to drop her domestic abuse case.
Spellman told Anna to call the police. After talking to customers on the phone every day, he recognized that the voice on the other line was not his wife’s. The receptionist’s suspicion was confirmed after the office requested a social assistance check: “Indeed, her husband had taken her home by force and her oldest daughter called the office pretending to be her Spellman said. “He was arrested.”
Grateful for her receptionist’s prompt interference, Anna handed Spellman a bottle of red wine and a thank-you card. She finally apologized properly, saying that Spellman could finish the Post-Its, since his message had been received.
Beneath Spellman’s Reddit post, readers praised both her clever revenge and her effort to save the life of a domestic violence victim.
“Glad you finally got your proper apology,” said one comment. “Lots of happy endings too. Good job OP.”
“Congratulations to you!” another reader agreed. “It’s a bit strange that someone who works so hard defending victims of abuse is a bit abusive. I’m glad he changed his tune.”
UK police recorded 845,734 domestic abuse-related offenses in England and Wales between March 2020 and March 2021, up 6 per cent from the previous year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Demand for the National Domestic Abuse Helpline in England soared 22 per cent over the same period. This increase does not necessarily indicate a higher number of victims, but could mean “an increase in the severity of abuse experienced and the lack of available coping mechanisms,” the ONS reported.
news week contacted Spellman for comment.