You know, it’s coming up on the year anniversary of the day that I said “no more” and walked away. It was a long time coming, and it took lots of job applications and a couple of job interviews before something better came up. I have only ever walked away from two jobs in my life partway through my shift, and in both instances I was dealing with workplace bullying on a heavy level. Not from coworkers, in fact those people were cool, but from a manager in both cases.
This most recent time, I was going to try and work my two weeks despite the shitty treatment from most of the managers in the place, but I made myself a promise. Once I knew I started another job the following Monday, I decided that if I was given the job I always got stuck with – sometimes every shift I worked in a week – I was leaving. Sure enough, I was told I was doing front counter (which I didn’t mind if it wasn’t every single day, but it was a terrible job, which was also accompanied with terrible treatment). I had multiple anxiety attacks in the back of that store from being shrieked at and treated like I was an idiot for not being able to be in two places at once.
My manager was nowhere to be found when I came in that morning, the board had no designated jobs written on it, so I grabbed and counted my till and took it to the drive-thru since the person who was there was waiting to be relieved. My coworker said she wanted the front counter so we decided on our own where we would work. Then the manager came back in and decided she needed to put us in our places (THERE’LL BE NO FREE THINKING IN MY STORE!) and switched us. It sparked a thought in my head and an opportunity to show her that not everyone would put up with her horrendous bullshit. I put my till into the cash register, I calmly walked to the back with a smile on my face and I got my coat and walked out the back door without looking back. As I was crossing the parking lot, my phone started going off, the store calling (well, the manager) of course. I didn’t answer, in fact I finally answered just long enough to hang up.
I am not understating when I say “horrendous”, I am not overstating in the least. To let you understand, this was the person we all had to answer to, yet she would forget to order coffee (yes, coffee), show people her glam photos while working, constantly talk shit about old employees and current after stalking their Facebook. One instant she would be acting like your best friend, the next she would call you names, scream and yell, and just act like a temperamental child. She would say things like “I’m feeling bitchy today” and laugh at how much she was abusing people. I once heard her say that because she has no kids yet – despite trying – and it was almost Christmas, she was being mean. The people who actually had kids at home got a blue streak talked about them. In short, she should never have been a manager and I had the displeasure of dealing with her for six months of my life.
Several coworkers relayed stories to me about how she said she was going to withhold my pay check etc – which, if she is a manager has to know that is illegal, but you can’t fix stupid. I started training at Concentrix the following Monday and my life has been far less stressful since. It seems like in most workplaces, people just take the abuse because they think they have to in order to keep a job, and it’s rampant in food service. Well, I’m here to tell you that after 25 years working food service jobs, if I can suddenly switch lanes, so can anyone. Every job has its ups and downs, I mean tech support requires specific training and at first I felt like I couldn’t cut it. Here I am though, working 40 hours minimum every week (I can work a ridiculous amount of overtime if I ever want to plug away some extra cash), I’m getting a dollar over the new minimum wage, and I have a TL who never yells at me, mostly because he’s a laid back, nice person – also because he is professional. This is the first workplace where I don’t see any of those lines being crossed without it being dealt with. We have employee appreciation day where when you walk into the lunchroom there might be hot dogs, or cup noodles, or ice cream just because the bosses felt we should have something that day.
The message here is – to you people dealing with bosses who think that kicking you around is their right, or who make your life at work anxiety-filled, there are other jobs out there. Better jobs. Better paying jobs. Don’t think for a second that because some loser got themselves promoted in the position of chief bully that you can’t do anything about it. Sometimes it’s hard to get people like that fired, especially if they are friends with everyone who hired them, but you can control where you choose to work. Don’t let habit and a false sense of security make you stay somewhere you’re being shit on, because you can do better. You can all do better.