Total Lack Of Support
“I have two terrible stories that occurred while I was working for the same employer.
I’m colorblind. My boss assigned me a work task once that was color-coded in a way that I couldn’t see. When I brought up my vision issues — not refusing to do the work, but asking for accommodation, I was written up for what they perceived as ‘insubordination.’
When I filed a complaint with HR asking for the write-up to be removed, the HR rep ‘graciously’ gave me what she perceived as a solution: that I should go use the company’s Tuition Reimbursement program to go take a remedial art class at my local community college. ‘So that you can finally learn your colors,’ she said.
For the next incident, I was working second-shift hours (four to midnight) in our network control center. At one point during the holiday season, I was working the last part of my shift alone — nobody else was in the building except the security guard, who was out of my line-of-sight.
At midnight when my shift ended, my coworker came in to start working the overnight shift alone. This coworker is seriously diabetic, of the type who wears an insulin pump to regulate her system. Literally, the moment she walked in the door, her pump started beeping that she was out of insulin.
To avoid going into a diabetic shock at a time when she had nobody else around to help save her, she had to drive home quickly, pick up an insulin refill, and then come back to work. That required me to stay overtime by about 45 minutes to keep the place staffed.
When I showed up at 4:00 the next afternoon for my next shift, I discovered I had been written up for the unauthorized overtime.
I left the company within a few weeks after the second incident.”
“This happened during my last job, as I now run my own business. I quit and gave my boss 30 days notice, which was more than was required. I timed this, politely, on the beginning of our pay cycle. Because I’m nice.
I figured it was easier on everyone with the paperwork and hiring someone new.
He calls me up at 8:00 am at the end of the first 2 weeks, which was our payday. He said, ‘I’m only paying you 50% for the next 2 weeks.’
Even though I had an email confirmation of my expectation to work and be paid for the last 30 days. It was a 100% remote job with no commute, either.
‘Okay,’ I said, ‘I’ll only work 50%.’
He was shocked when I only worked 4 hours a day for the next two weeks.”
A Freak Snowstorm
“One spring morning, my city was hit with a freak snowstorm right before morning rush hour. Several inches of wet snow fell quickly and snarled traffic all over town. At the major insurance company I worked for at the time, about 1/3 of the staff said ‘whatever,’ and just stayed home. The rest of us all arrived for work anywhere from one to three hours late.
In the days following the storm, all the people who stayed home were stressed about how the company would deal with the unexcused absences. They were all hoping they would catch a break and be allowed to use a vacation day instead of being docked a day’s pay and getting dinged on their next performance review.
When the next payday came around, we got a memo with our stubs explaining that all the employees who stayed home would be given an excused absence and paid in full, while the rest of us were docked for the time we were late for work.
This happened thirty years ago, and I still can’t talk about it without sputtering. I only remember that it was spring 1987, and my research of historical weather data shows it was probably April 1, 1987. To clarify, the employees who stayed home didn’t even have to burn a vacation or sick day, they were given a bonus paid day off. The company was Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kentucky, now known as Anthem.”
We Can’t Lose You
“Suffice to say that I was working in a technical capacity at a fairly large company. I was good at what I did, but my real passion was for the creative side of things. So when I started to hear rumblings about the need for an in-house writer, I jumped at the chance to apply. Meetings were scheduled, interviews were conducted, and I was told that the job was essentially mine. The one caveat was that the opening had to be publicly posted for a minimum of one week before they could give it to me.
I spent that week in rapt anticipation of starting in my new position, even devoting my free time to preparing for the shift in focus. When the waiting period was finally up, I approached the individual whom I thought would be my new supervisor, intent on making the transition as smooth as possible. Imagine my surprise when I was told that someone else had been hired in the interim and that the new employee had actually begun working several days prior.
That was already bad enough, but it became downright infuriating when I discovered – some weeks later – that one of my superiors had apparently made me sound like a less-than-desirable candidate, simply because they wanted to keep me in their department.”
Holding Me Back
“My friend’s dad was a regional manager for a very popular bank. At 19, he got me a job as a bank teller. My first year I did well and led the branch in sales. The branch was to be closed so I asked him to transfer me closer to home.
I was transferred to this new branch with the bank manager who has already been there for 35 years. He happened to be good friends with my friend’s father. It was strange that we had the same personality types and the same interests. It started off great, but he began to seemingly resent me.