Experienced some indirect workplace bullying because I was doing my job as an ecologist and put a stop to some infrastructure works. How can I not let this get to me?
I’m a new environmental scientist/ecologist and one thing I do occasionally for my company is fauna spotting/catching. My boss put me on this Highway upgrade works to fill a gap in our roster.
So I’m doing my job on the first day, and I find a snake. I wasn’t sure on the species but had a suspicion that it was this endangered species. I took pictures and made notes which I sent through to the other ecologists in my company. They reached a consensus that it definitely was the endangered species and this requires special reporting to the government.
Furthermore, their initial environmental agreement didn’t recognise the risk to this species meaning that they had to obtain a new one. For me this meant that I had to turn up to the site office as the big boss/supervisor got there on the second day to tell him what was happening and that they couldn’t do this and that. He ummed and ahhed for a bit and finally let me back on site. Whilst this was happening, my boss was reporting the siting to the roads people and environment department. Roads people said that they had to immediately stop all works in the relevant habitat areas until they submitted a new environmental agreement which would require approval before commencing.
So, what happened was the 24 year old fauna guy came in and stopped all works along 120km of highway because they didn’t submit an adequate environmental agreement and were caught out because I found this snake.
This caused a lot of pain for a lot of contractors who wanted to get their job done. They then expressed all their outrage about the situation and the “dumb cunt” (ie me) that caused the problem, over the UHF channel. I had my radio on me, so I could hear it all. I picked it up and just said “fauna spotter here” thinking they were would realise that they were being dicks. But no, they continued to hurl abuse indirectly (and a bit directly) at me, referring to me as “the guy that wants to sing kumbaya with the trees and whales”.
So yeah, I did the right thing and tried to get them to correct their practices so they didn’t kill individuals of this endangered snake, but more importantly that they complied with the law. The fellow contractors got very upset about it. I didn’t do anything wrong or overly “green”. I just did what I’m supposed to do under the law, and I did the right thing morally imo.
So yeah, how can I not let their comments get to me?