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end of the line

August 17th, 2011 at 12:54 am

It is nearing breaking point at my workplace with everyone. I don't like to whinge too much about my job here (because well, I know I do it a lot, so every extra post is another whine that no one wants to hear about). But I can't really anywhere else... sorry guys!

My best friend quit this morning. She has been off sick a few times lately. First with a broken arm - tripped over something at her house in the dark getting ready for work (works night shifts). Second time, she had salmonella poisoning. Third time, which she is off work right now from, a bulging disc in her back is pressing against a nerve. She is on extreme painkillers, spends all day and night lying on a mattress in her parents loungeroom. Is only allowed to get up for roughly 5 minutes, three or four times a day (basically... to go to the toilet). Will be like this for a week.

These things are not her fault, but even so, she made the painful journey to work yesterday, to talk to our boss and his wife. My boss has no balls (excuse the crass language) and did not talk to her. Let his wife do the talking. And did she talk! And, within earshot of everyone at the workplace, which I thought was very unproffesional.

She talked to my friend (who is a 26 year old woman) like a naughty child. I have heard her talk to her children, and that is how she talked to my friend. She went on to say that her husband has to get up off his deathbed (no, he's not dying. not even sick) to work for her and that they can't rely on her. If they still had the other baker (who left, 9 months ago) she would have been fired by now. Also that she needs to take better care of herself, and if she has any time off after this, she is getting fired. She also went on to say that this is extremely stressful for her because her and her husband have not had a holiday in years, and now she feels like she can't go away for a week without stressing that no one will show up for work.

First of all, she's being a drama queen about it all. Secondly, her personal aspects of running a business have nothing to do with the staff she employs. And lastly, it's a small family business, what exactly does she expect if she employs the bare minimum of staff with the lowest amount of hours possible? Of COURSE her husband is going to have to work extra if someone is sick. If that's the way you operate, that's what you get when it all goes kaphooey. Idiot.

Anyway, my friend quit. She sais she's saving everyone the hassle of firing her and doing it to herself. She has a car that's about to stop working because it needs a new gearbox, she booked and paid for a holiday a year ago that's due in a month and is freaking out about that. She told me if she could get her money back she would do it in an instant - but she can't, not even half.

On top of that, which is enough to make my blood boil, the boss's wife, shall we call her J, asked me yesterday if I wanted extra hours while people take holidays later this month. I said sure. She then went on to talk about me working afternoon shifts, which is something I don't do normally, and I wouldn't be able to organise uni around. I said to her (nicely) that if it meant extra hours but doing afternoon shifts, then no to worry about it, as I couldn't do it. She got in a huff, said 'Fine! Don't Worry about it!' and stormed off. A few minutes later came up to me and started on about needing to know if I could EVER work afternoons and if they could RELY on me and whether I wasn't FLEXIBLE anymore. I initially started to explain but when I saw that it was more about her talking at me rather than listening to what I had to say, I ignored her and carried on with my work. Later on when I had gotten home, I sent her a text message. It read:
'I don't expect my studies to be important to you, but they are important to me. I started them because even though I asked, there is no possibility of advancement in my current job. To change my schedule, I need a lot of notice as I plan my semesters' assessments and tutorials based on times I will be available to do them. I don't expect you to know several months in advance when you will need me, and I don't expect you to care about my workload either. I just wanted you to understand this is why it is difficult for me to tell you if I am available for afternoon work.'

This is the way she talks to people, she is blunt and unapologetic. I can be blunt. I usually am a little nicer but I figured this is what she gets. She rang me to tell me 'accusing her of not caring is being catty'. I told her I didn't say she didn't care, I said I didn't expect her to. (she is always talking about how hard her life is because she has two young children, and no one would understand how little time she has unless they have children too. And run a business)
She went on to say that I ahve been hostile and resentful to her lately, and that she feels like I would not give her the time of day. I said 'actually, you're right. I wouldn't. I don't appreciate the way you talk to me, and other people, and I know I am not the only one who feels this way.' Other things were said as well. I didn't lose my temper, I just got everything out in the open.
As usual though, she didn't take anything in at all. She turned it all around on me and the other staff ('We have given you SO much, more than any other business would. Who else gives you birthday presents? Engagement presents? Huh? And I spend all this time defending you against other staff because you didn't lose as many hours as them.')
And when I brought up the incident a few months ago to do with my sister, she turned it, as usual, on me. ('I know you must have been stressed out, and that is why the conversation ended up as it did'). I said, 'You come across as though you don't care at all about what's going on in people's lives at all. We all hear about how the business is affecting you and how cutting staff hours affects you and your husband, but you do not care, do not want to listen and don't give anyone the time to talk about how losing shifts affects them. You don't ask how anyone is going and then you get angry when you hear people complain.'. She went on to say I was contradicting myself, because when I called about my sister, I didn't want to discuss why she couldn't work. Excuse me? That is a completely personal matter - all that she needed to know was that she could not work - there is no reason for her to know why a 15 year old junior casual staff member can't work a four hour shift. When I mentioned that she yelled at me after I told her my sister was in hospital she said 'that's not the way I remember the conversation'. She said she sent me a text the next day because she felt the conversation didn't sit well with her (oh? really?). I interupted her at that point, and mentioned that the text meant nothing, as she had never apologised for her actions, even now. She completely ignored me.

Anyway. At the end of the conversation, she said all she needs to know is that I will turn up to work, do my shift with 100% effort, and that she understands 'our relationship'.

Also - I think she recorded my conversation, or, that I was on loudspeaker the whole time and my boss was also listening. I could hear a funny echo. My friend said she heard the same thing, and thought it odd that J asked her several times 'Now, I need to know if you are NOT going to go for workers compensation and that you DID NOT do this injury at work'. She asked my friend to repeat it several times, so it's highly likely they recorded it. I should make it a point to mention to her one day that it is illegal to do that without consent...

I after that conversation, I emailed my dad about it, and applied for five jobs online. My dad sent me a late email telling me that if my heart wasn't in it anymore and the workplace had gone sour, that I should leave soon and not let it drag me down. Something will turn up, he said. You just have to look.

I am planning on spending the weekend studying, and will set aside an hour to print resumes, track down a lovely old couple who employed me a few years ago to use as a reference, and spend a few afternoons next week visiting businesses in the area to find SOMETHING. I can't work for someone who can't admit even one fault about herself.

6 Responses to “end of the line”

  1. Shiela Says:

    What a bitch! Are you or your friend union members? You should call them.
    I would have quit that job a long time ago. You could do so much better.

  2. whitestripe Says:

    thanks shiela - am glad it is just not me imagining things. no, not a union member. i am trying to find a new job - there is not much here on the sunny coast. i am now worried that if I become pregnant in the next few months, it will be used against me :S well... I earnt more than DH last year, so maybe it's his turn to get into gear! Big Grin trying to stay positive as it has been going sour for a long time - but this is, as they say, boiling point. atleast I am healthy, have some money in the bank, a beautiful husband and two loveable dogs! that is what i am thankful for right now...

  3. Homebody Says:

    Extremely unprofessional. We are business owners and I cannot believe she has any employees left. I hope things work out for you.

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    That sounds maddening. I don't blame you for wanting to get out. I've had some pretty hard-to-deal-with bosses in my lifetime, but none as bad as what you're describing!

  5. PatientSaver Says:

    Be careful with her; she sounds extremely manipulative, trying to make you feel guilty and all that. I've found that many small business owners are like that, totally unprofessional, getting into your private life, letting you know way too much about their private lives...there just aren't any boundaries. Ugh.

  6. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Ugh! I'm sorry things seem to be going so badly. I hope you find a new job soon!

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