Story Time: About an Old Job

I wrote a review today on a job I used to have. It was my first real job, I was 18 and new to retail completely. I was hired on as a seasonal associate and then officially hired after the holiday season. When I started the job I was immediately in love with the place. It had a lot of really cool things from around the world, housewares, and even some clothing items. It was a really fun place to work, until I got to know the manager.

There were multiple managers for the store I was in. The main manager was the awful one. The rest of them were extremely helpful, encouraging, and friendly. The main manager was a huge you know what. She was rude to customers and often rude to staff as well. She made ridiculous requests and often wanted to change displays. She would assign me to one and I would complete it to look like the picture from the catalog (as instructed). When I was done, she would often make me re-do most of it because the picture was just a “concept” and she wanted it done a little different. The first few times this happened I complied because I wanted to prove myself. When it reoccurred every month even when I put my own creativity into the display, she would often have a problem with it.

There was a specific time that I had rearranged all of the baskets  and worked for hours sweating and climbing up and down ladders, as well as assisting customers during store hours, AND cashiering. I worked so hard and then the next day it was all moved around to the way the manager wanted it… I was furious.

Aside from her poor communication skills she was also a pot stirrer. I was sitting in the lunch room eating my lunch, while one of our associates sat next to me eating Halloween candy. She said she didn’t bring a lunch and that the candy was going to be her lunch. That girl was friends with two other girls, one was a younger cashier, another was just moved up to a manager in training. For the first couple months we were all pretty good friends. I even drove the younger girl home quite a few times.

Anyway, the younger girl was in my car and I joked about what our friend/coworker said about eating the candy for lunch and said something about how it was actually kind of gross (because I don’t like chocolate that much). The next day at work I was closing with the younger girl who was giving me the cold shoulder. She wouldn’t look at me or acknowledge me.

The next morning I got called down to the managers office over the loud speaker. I went into the room and all three of the girl plus the manager are in there. They confronted me about what I said and accused me of calling the girl fat… The manager left the room to let us “resolve” the issue after explaining her outside opinion on it, (which was that I needed to apologize and be careful about what I say). When she left the younger girl and the one who was in training told me they were going to make the rest of my time there “a living hell”.

I used to be a team captain and understand how important it is to work together as a team and to help avoid cliques. The manager of the store did not do any of that. She was rude to me consistently.  It almost seemed like she encouraged the behavior and even participated in it when she singled me out during one of our meetings. The security guard at the store was the only one I trusted. He was always the one with the gossip and he liked everyone in the store. Even he agreed that their behavior was unacceptable.

Another time the girls planned for everyone to wear dresses for Easter. I diligently picked out my outfit and because I did not have a dress that would be appropriate I picked out a really cute black and white striped skirt, paired it with leggings, boots and an orange sweater. I thought I looked really cute and it took me a long time to pick out the outfit. I showed up to work and went downstairs to put my apron on. My manager walked in and said “What are you wearing?”, embarrassing me in front of the rest of the staff. Then she told me I looked like I wasn’t feeling well and that I should go home and she basically kicked me out of the store for no reason. I was so confused and really upset.

The previous night I closed again with the younger girl who I saw purposely mess up my displays to try to get me into trouble. She wanted me to quit and I knew she was determined to make it happen. The other girl would also mess up my displays and my item of the day sign. They messed up my schedule too. I was getting less hours than everyone else and guess who made the schedule? The main manager, who I believe was playing along in their game… I’d be pulling into the parking garage and get a call that my shift had changed and that I can go home and come in the next day, which happened to be the day I planned to have off… Eventually I had had my last straw.

I did something I really regret doing. I wanted to get revenge on one of the girls. I was old enough to know better, but young enough to ignore my better judgment and listen to the little devil on my shoulder. I should have take a Bludgeon and smashed the thing. But I was young and dumb. I decided that I was going to fake return some items and use her register to take the money out, intending for her to get blamed for stealing the money. The security guard had mentioned to me that he didn’t think the cameras actually worked in the store. So when her register was open it was game time.

Well, the cameras did work. They caught me doing it and the manager escorted me out of the store and told me that normally she would call the police. But she felt sympathy for me and let me go. That was the only nice thing she ever did.

I have not set foot inside one of those stores since all this occurred. I still talk to the security guard who fills me in on the drama and I saw one of my other coworkers the other day and she was really nice to me. She didn’t know what happened and wanted me to come visit the store and I just shook my head. I saw the girl I “insulted” at Starbucks recently; I looked at her and could tell she recognized me but I pretended like I didn’t even know her.

I don’t really know what point I’m getting at here. But I just wanted to share this experience because it really had an impact on my life. I was so discouraged and disappointed in myself after the incident. I fell into a really deep depression and didn’t work for a long time after I left. I am really careful about learning work environments now before I make friends. After reading reviews about the company this was with I noticed many other stores even out of state had similar issues. I think it says something about the company as a whole and the type of people they hire. I definitely will not be a future/returning customer.

 

via Daily Prompt: Bludgeon

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