It’s taken me awhile to finish this post. I wasn’t sure I wanted to share it. But I decided that I’m far enough removed from my old job that it’s time to share the reasons that led me to being dismissed and why my termination was a build up of past transgressions, mental abuse, and favoritism. Also, spoiler alert; they fired me but didn’t reimburse me correctly for driving stuff around town. So let’s break this down and explain why I decided to write this…
In case you weren’t aware; I worked for a store whose parent company is going through some issues. The owner of the company, who looks like the real life version of the penguin, is going through struggles which you can read about here, here, here, here, and here. But the struggles of being abused or treated badly don’t stop with the owner. They continue all the way down to the managers that I’ve encountered at the store level.
I started with the company in 2016 as a team lead (basically a manager but without the salary of one) and it started out well enough but the pressures of opening up a store and keeping it up and running were making my direct boss snap at everyone. A few months in my two direct bosses changed me from running the operations and admin side to just running the admin part of it. It made sense since I was struggling to run both (again as an hourly paid person all while being treated as a salaried manager) and getting into trouble for having a brand new team that was still learning.
One day, about 6 months into the job I was doing something and was asked a question by my boss *we’ll just call him Shoren. He asked me why I didn’t know the answer to something about the office about 5 minutes from clocking in. I said I wasn’t aware yet and he said “why don’t you know this. We’re paying you to do half your job.” Which should have been the reason I should have left. I was dumbfounded that he spoke to me with such disdain. But out of fear, I stayed. I talked about this to another manager (who we will name Shaylor) and when I said I was upset; instead of listening I got an “I could do that in half the time.” Again, this should have been a clear sign that I was working in a toxic environment.
But I stayed because there was some good that still out numbered the bad. Several other team leads left and there was a constant mass exodus of associates leaving. There were some other people that were great and stayed so I kept my stiff upper lift and stayed at TopShop.
But then things got weird. The DGM was moved back to the bigger grove location and we had a restructure in the store. Shaylor was then placed as my direct boss taking over the Operations/Admin department and I was stuck as a Team Lead. I wasn’t given the chance to interview to be moved into a manager position. Again, I should have known that I was going to remain stagnant for another year or more.
Shaylor played favorites. Literally calling another associate “It’s my favorite” in front of others. Feel free to ask the other associates; this was said in front of them. Whether it was a joke or a not. It didn’t go over well with anyone.
In July, one of my closest friends/coworkers got upset at me for being mean and doing something that upset him. Daniel (and no I’m not hiding his name because all of this can be corroborated from all the witness/coworkers I had) ignored me and would purposefully make working in the office an inhospitable environment. When I brought this up with my direct boss Shaylor she said, “I can’t deal with this gay drama.”
Let’s type that one more time for the cheap seats in the back. “I can’t deal with this gay drama.”
Yeah, a POC LGBTQ+ manager said that to me in front of my other coworker Sharlie. I was so upset about the way I was treated that I asked for a mental health day and Shaylor just laughed (again in front of another manager in the office so please feel free to check sources).
After weeks of being ignored and harassed by Daniel there was a meeting between me, Shaylor, Daniel, and another manager. I explained my side and Daniel refused to speak to me even in that meeting. I tried again and again to try to make the office space feel safe. But I was constantly ignored and treated like I was unwelcomed which caused me to have anxiety going to work every day that we were there together. I literally felt like I was never going to be safe going into the office or if my back was to the door because I didn’t know what he was going to say or do.
What made this worse was that he was obviously closer to Shaylor than I was to her. Even though she was the manager of the stock area and the office; I was doing pretty much all shipments while she and Daniel would hang out in the office. Please feel free to check the cameras on this by the way because we all saw this.
Another example of being treated unfairly when I had to drive from my store to the one in the grove to drop off items they needed without being reimbursed for gas. Furthermore, there were all those times that I had to close the store, clock out, walk to the doors from the back offices all the way to the front of the store, set the alarm, check bags, and then lock/check all 6 front doors without being paid since I was already clocked out. (This whole process was sometimes several minutes of unpaid work that adds up.)
By October of 2018 I had fucking had it. One day I was completely done and a coworker kept pestering me and wouldn’t leave me alone. She was poking me and then tried to use a phone to further bother me and then I took it and tossed it away which then hit her head. It was a complete mistake and I own up to the fact that I still threw a phone at someone.
After the whole incident I realized how annoyed I was and went to the office and said that I need to be fired. They still had to do an investigation but I do think they needed to cover their bases. I do think that I should have left before any of this happened but I kept thinking to myself that it will get better.
It’s unfortunate that I left on those terms but I do hope that this reminds everyone that if you’re not in a good place; you should find something else. Otherwise it will end up eating away at your mental health and causing worse outcomes.