I'm working as a (female) IT technician in a worldwide company (located in Central Europe, Austria). I've been here 1.5 years. I'm turning 21 this month, so it's my first job.
The basic work is okay, but the workplace itself is horrible. There is one colleague in particular who literally treats me and some of the younger employees like crap.
His critique doesn't relate to the work or the mistake which was made, it's always directly against someone's personality (like he just wants to say "you are bad"). He lets me make mistakes or lets me run right into a trap, only to humilate me afterwards with the right solution, talking in a way which offends and hurts me. Every mistake I make, whether it's about topics he knows or not, everything that I might get wrong which he witnesses, makes him either laugh out loud about me or gossip with the colleague next to him.
I'm one of those who just can't defend themselves verbally: I never have a right answer to his offenses, and I feel that I'm spreading my insecurity when I'm talking to him as if I'm spreading the flu. He senses that, knowing he can abuse and humilate me and I will respond just as he wants (for whatever reason).
The rumors spread about him make me wonder even more why he is still here and was never fired.
My anxiousness to avoid giving him opportunities is putting so much pressure on me that when I'm talking to my other colleagues or my boss I often get things wrong - which just leads him to mock me again. It's a vicious cycle.
His behavior makes me cry. I am suffering from depression again (after therapy and some years of doing well). I often hide in quiet places and cry, because the only way my mind can somehow cope with the anger he gives me, is bursting into tears - which I really don't want to do in front of him.
I've told my boss a couple of times. I was allowed to stop directly working with him, but we're still in the same office and there's still work where I need to talk to him.
Our other colleagues join in with or ignore his behaviour. I'm clearly left alone, but I'm not the only one struggling with him (although I might be the only one who really suffers from him). Even management is doing nothing about him. The last time I complained I was told in one single sentence that I need to earn his respect and I need to respect him just as he is, 'because it's just his way of being'.
Because no one here is helping me to stop him, I want to leave. Period.
But I've been searching for 8 months now, with still not even a single interview. There are really not many positions in my area where my profile fits, and my applications are always turned down.
I'm afraid of being unemployed, as this is my first job after school, and I don't know how to handle unemployment, plus my dad is pressuring me not to lose my job, and I don't want to disappoint him.
I read questions on this site often, during work, as I need StackOverflow for scripting, and I stumpled upon a topic in The Workplace where someone said "No job under any condition should make you cry". This sounds so right to me, but I can't seem to find a solution.
Should I quit without having a new job? I'm so afraid of this step. I feel really overwhelmed.
If not, how can I deal with him? My past complaints didn't help at all.