I worked myself to death every day I was scheduled to work for my old boss. I came in when people pulled “no call, no shows”, I came in when people didn’t show up even on days I had requested for very personal reasons, I came in when I happened to be passing the store and realized no one had opened that day, just to name a few incidents over the three years I was employed there.
My boss hired people who never lasted more than a month or two, people who stole both merchandise and cash from the register, people who humiliated and cajoled fellow employees, people with no work ethic.
I picked up the slack when work didn’t get done. I was eventually lucky enough that she hired three other employees that actually knew what a job entailed(work, wow, can you believe it?). Those three women made the last year or so that I worked there bearable, though it was still difficult.
On days I worked at 100% rather than 1000% to make up for anyone who was slacking, I was told I wasn’t pulling my weight, I wasn’t doing my job.
My assistant manager left a year into my three years working there, and I was offered the job. Promised the job. We were required to find an assistant manager that year. The paperwork never went through. For two years I did the job without getting paid for it. Because someone had to. I can’t put that on my resume.
Nine months or so before I managed to find a better job and leave, a woman got hired who was older than the rest of us. We were all younger women, under 25, working in a low priced chain shoe store. She was 59, older by a few years than my manager, and immediately they were bosom buddies.
This woman immediately started talking about me behind my back, saying I shouldn’t be telling her how to do her job, that it was disrespectful. I was in charge of training her.
I tried to make it better, tried to show her that I did respect her. She finished training started attacking me in other ways, saying that I was taking advantage of my friends by asking them for rides(I don’t drive). Saying I was going against policy regarding other new hires. Saying I was being rude and disrespectful again.
My manager started to believe her. I had worked there as an exemplary employee for nearly three years, there was no evidence that the things she was claiming were true, I was breaking no policy, I was continually trying my hardest to make her feel comfortable, resulting in going home nearly in tears every time I worked with her.
It never got better. She never stopped. I finally left. I got a new job and the friends I’d worked with still had to deal with her bad-mouthing me.
Then she started in on the next girl with the most seniority. The only other person younger than her who had been in the store longer.
This woman eventually left before making my friend leave, to work in a store that, in my opinion, suits her better. A “higher class” shoe store.
Now, three months later, I’m happy in my new job. And they truly appreciate me and my work ethic. They’ve already put me on an actual track to move up in the company.
And then a friend from my old job tells me that not only is my old boss still talking about me in negative ways, but she’s also fallen back into an old habit of belittling employees with mental illnesses and disorders. Telling them that she doesn’t think they need to be taking medications they take, asking them why they’re taking this medication instead of that one. Looking at them with pity and condescension. Pressuring and bullying them into telling her things they don't want to tell her. Things that aren't appropriate or necessary to talk about with her employees because they aren't causing problems in the workplace. Things that are none of her business.
She always preached about how if a team member created drama, they weren’t a good fit.
I don’t think she’ll ever see that she’s the one creating the hostile work environment. She’s the one inciting drama and creating and environment that will never foster good workers.
Maybe one day I’ll tell her.