Our expert says:
Some HR people are excellent, some are useless, sadly. Some collude with the abusive people they should be controlling. Its curious, though, from this message, it sounds as though you soldiered through bad years of bad management, and then began to feel more upset and depressed or sad when the possibility arose of some improvements. Odd though it may seem, this is a recognized pattern. Maybe, though the changes actually bring new opportunities you are more inclined to see new risks and to fear them ?
Counselling from a psychologist sounds like a really good idea, and have you checked whether your medical aid might cover this ?
It sounds as though the old HR person acted most improperly, if he refused to allow you to start a grievance - I though that was a right they were supposed to assist you with not one they should ever try to ban.
A counsellor could help you deal better with the anger issues - its not a matyter of excusing or forgiving the guy who caused you the misery, but of setting yourself free from unhelpful anger that still ties you to him and keeps you vulnerable to him, rather than setting you free.
Discuss with the new HR person, especially if there is any written evidence, the issue of the useless old HR person having refused to allow you to lodge a formal grievance - if this can be proved its surely improper conduct on his behalf, and in breach of the relevant regulations.
To protect a bully is to be a bully.
I hope the union will also now be able to insist that you be better protected.
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