The Guardian Money Dear Jeremy 17 March 2017
I felt I had no choice but to expose fraud at work, but was bullied and ignored. Now I have lost all hope in work
Twice a week we publish problems that will feature in a forthcoming Dear Jeremy advice column in the Saturday Guardian so that readers can offer their own advice and suggestions. We then print the best of your comments alongside Jeremy’s own insights.
Six years ago I was a whistleblower at my workplace. I worked there for three years, but from my first day I noticed daily cover-ups, misuse of position and daily cash fraud.
This was my dream job, at a firm I had looked up to. I was shocked to see what was happening and, for a long time, blamed myself for being too sensitive and thought I was just being paranoid.
At one point the fraud became so serious, and the cover-up so intricate, that I was left with no choice but to report it internally.
I was 100% sure they would find out, correct the situation and give out warnings, and we would move on. But my first report was not taken seriously: they checked out the paperwork I mentioned but overlooked the obvious fraud. They simply dismissed any claims, and the case was closed.
Nothing changed and I decided I would quit as soon as I could. When I made that decision I also decided to become a whistleblower. I thought I had nothing more to lose.
I was very wrong. During the whole whistleblowing experience, I was bullied, snubbed by management as a disgruntled employee and accused of being a “disrespectful colleague”.
I have lost all my hope in humanity. I know it sounds severe, but I really feel this way. I am scared to be employed again, and have been working from home and living off my savings.
How will I ever gain any confidence in the world or in any company? The people I looked up to, those whom I had aspired to be like, have let me down beyond belief. I am a traumatised human who had no other choice but become a whistleblower.
Do you need advice on a work issue? For Jeremy’s and readers’ help, send a brief email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that he is unable to answer questions of a legal nature or to reply personally.