I’m going to share something that’s very serious and important to me. Whenever I think about it I get very emotional because for the longest time its been a huge part of my life. And for the longest time haven’t been able to say anything out of fear of consequences. It’s affected how I’ve lived, and the decisions I’ve had to make.
It’s been so painful that up until this point I haven’t been motivated to share it. For the last twenty years I’ve lived a life with no appreciation for what I’ve sacrificed. This sacrifice was working for a job that cared less about me.
Once A great Job
When I started this job I was super motivated to be successful at it. The job was super important to me, and I was willing to do whatever it took to keep it. I liked how the company focused on high quality work not just quantity. If the work wasn’t done right, it didn’t go out the door until it was. We even had a great system to keep everyone accountable.
The staff was very respectful and cared about their employees. I felt valued and excited to go to work each day. Nobody ever talked down to us or made us feel like unappreciated. At the time it was a perfect match for my goals, lifestyle and personality.
As far as I was concerned, this was the only company I’d ever work for again. And if I could move up the corporate ladder without slipping on the rungs, even retire from it.
I’ll never forget the first area manager that I ever worked for. At the time I would work my butt off and she noticed this. When a full-time position became available, she approached me with an offer. Of course I accepted it because I enjoyed the work I was doing, and I had the highest respect for her.
The Downward Spiral
For the longest time, this company was great. It helped me grow as a person and learn a lot of valuable skills. Unfortunately, over the years the company changed dramatically while I changed as a person also. This caused the motivation to go to work to dwindle as time went by.
The company went from listening to it’s employees to only being interested in profits. We started to be pushed to roll crappy work out the door as fast as possible and the job became more like a sweat shop. All the management would say is move faster. No matter how hot or cold the weather was, or how tired we became we were expected to be at 100% no matter what.
I didn’t feel appreciated or respected by the upper management and some occurrences that happened caused me to change my feelings about working there. I was what you would call a very dedicated employee. There were times that I went to work sick, and even worked with pneumonia. The only time I didn’t show up was when it put me in the hospital for four days.
Otherwise I was always there. I was there so much that I neglected my family and loved ones. When my grandmother died I couldn’t take time off to go to florida to pay my respects. Same thing happened when a good friend died in NYC. Getting time off was next to impossible.
We were always understaffed and would only be allowed a few days off here and there. And we never got to choose which days we took off. The management would dictate how many days we took and when. That’s of course, when we had a manager.
For the longest time, we didn’t ever have a manager. The area manager was running the branch. Then when we did get a manager the situation still didn’t get any better. For over five months I kept asking for time off to no prevail. I kept getting promises with no results. Finally I had no choice but to contact Human Resources because the situation had gotten out of hand.
Losing Vacation Days
I only had five days off within two years and lost over 20 something vacation days. My family and loved ones didn’t want to be around me because I was miserable and always angry. I felt like I was trapped in a lousy situation and nobody was trying to help me. Meanwhile, the branch manager was always coming in late or taking vacation days whenever he wanted to.
Not too long after contacting Human Resources, the area manager, branch manager and myself sat down to discuss the situation. During the meeting I heard all kinds of empty promises about how I would get days off. And they were my management team and wanted to make sure I could count on them.
Lack Of Results
And then, nothing happened. I didn’t hear anymore about it and when I did finally get permission to take a week off, I was cheated out of that also. On my way to the airport the manager called and said I could only take three days off instead of five, causing me to have to change my travel plans. It cost me extra money and right after I made the change, he called me back and said I could have the full five days. Why I put up with this nonsense, who knows. But I did!
Most people would have quit, and when I think about it, I should have. Again, I was the foolish dedicated employee that came to work every single day no matter what. This whole scenario kept playing out until it got so bad that I had no choice but to put a stop to it. I woke up one morning and knew that I could no longer keep up this pace. After talking to the branch manager, I was given a week off, and immediately after dropped down to part-time.
What made me finally snap? One weekend I hurt my lower back and couldn’t sleep well the night before work. The next morning I was very tired and stopped to get a cup of coffee to help me make it through the day. It took a while to get my coffee because the shop was busy but I hurried to work as fast as I possibly could. As soon as I walked in the door, the area manager was all over me. After telling him about my back, he pulled me into the break room and gave me more hell. He complained that I had time to get coffee, yet had a sore back. I was told that I needed to be committed and if I didn’t want to be there, he’d get someone who did.
During the whole time the branch manager stood there watching the whole thing and had the nerve to tell me afterwards that I brought it upon myself. That I shouldn’t have been walking slow into the branch with a cup of coffee while being late. And he’s right. I should have used one of my sick days instead of being a dedicated employee that still showed up. Besides, I was losing these days anyway. I should have used them!
Tired Of Being Disrespected
I’m not going to lie and say that I wasn’t upset about the whole situation. Not even my family and loved ones disrespect me like that, yet I allowed it to happen. What I should have done was walked off the job, right then and there. After working there for twenty years and sacrificing so much I couldn’t believe that I was treated in such a horrible way. As I already mentioned, the manager was always taking time off or coming in late but had the nerve to go along with such foulness. Besides he was the one who lied about getting me days off for months.
A Disappointing Realization
After this incident I knew that I had to leave such a negative and cut throat atmosphere. I started looking for a job and didn’t give up until I found one. It’s not that I wanted to leave. I just knew that I would never get respect or rewarded for all the hard work and sacrifices that I’ve made. For a while I tried to force myself to feel the same about the job, but just couldn’t no matter how hard I tried.
There’s many things that I will miss about the job. I’m going to miss visiting all the companies that we did business with, and the customers that I’ve come to know. They use to know me by name and ask for me all the time. I’ll also miss the amazing co-workers who I still respect and feel bad for. They have to constantly be put in high pressure situations to make profits, despite having lousy working conditions. These are the people who made work enjoyable despite the garbage that was dished out, and I’ll continue to keep in touch with them.
Failure To Connect
The problem is that there’s a huge disconnect with the office personal and management, and regular employees. It’s not directly the office personnel’s fault. I blame the company for the way they have their business structure set up. It felt like we were always working for the team not with it. A lot of us employees felt like outcasts. And if we complained we had to worry about a squealer going back and telling management.
Somehow we were wrong for being humans and not machines that didn’t get tired or sick. All we got was work in harsh weather conditions. The summers were scorching and the winters were frigid cold. Every day we broke our butts just to be told to work faster like we were working on an assembly line. Yet if the work wasn’t good enough we got bashed for it.
Lack Of Proper Facilities
The problem was that the work facilities weren’t set up properly to do the job as fast as they wanted. They complained about expenses but upper management was getting plenty of bonuses because they were achieving record profits. Instead of improving the facilities, they were putting tons of money into remodeling admin and minor cosmetic repairs to the branch. Then they had the nerve to tell us we weren’t gettting any raises. This is how they treated hard-working employees, yet kept telling us we were very important. The problem was that they weren’t willing to show it.
For twenty years I worked here and was still making chump change with no opportunity for advancement. What was I thinking? I can’t really blame the company for this because I allowed it. I’m the one who stayed and put up with the abuse on a daily basis. I allowed them to talk to me with disrespect and cheat me out of my vacation time and low pay. As far as im concerned, I was too good an employee for them.
Brigette Hyacinth Says It Like It Is
My favorite author and speaker, Brigette Hyacinthtalks a lot about how employees are unfairly treated. A while back I discovered her on Linkedin and have followed her ever since. Brigette Hyacinth has extensive experience working in the corporate world. She’s worked in Human Resources and witnessed many employees being abused by employers. On a few occasions, she’s even been on the receiving end of employee abuse herself. She understands how corporations are finding ways to cheat employees out of what they are entitled to.
Great Lessons From Brigette Hyacinth
My favorite lessons I’ve learned from her are how no company will ever treat you as well as you will to yourself. They will make you work overtime with no breaks or vacations if they can get away with it. You can come in early and leave late, but don’t you dare have a family emergency or get sick. The workload will keep getting bigger while the pay never goes up. Many managers will belittle you and put you down, and will micromanage you to no end.
They don’t care about how long you’ve worked for them or how many sacrifices you’ve made by neglecting family and loved ones. All that matters is how much profit they make. You’re required to put in maximum commitment and when you’re physically or mentally no longer able to perform the job, they will toss you away.
A company will ruin your health and personal life with no remorse or guilt. After they ruin you they will find a replacement for a lot less.
I’ve Learned The Hard Way
The reason I’m writing this is because I’ve made a huge mistake in believing that a company will ever care about me. I was straight out of college and very naïve. With tons of optimism and dreams I put a dead-end job ahead of my happiness, life and health. This caused me to get stuck there with no way of escaping. It was a never-ending pattern that finally had to end. Unfortunately it ended after I was severely traumatized.
My Promise To Myself
I recently made a promise to myself that I will not break. Never again will I let a job ruin my life. Family and loved ones have stuck by me when I was down and out, and tolerated my anger and bad attitude. They could have abandoned me at anytime but they didn’t. Now I will always put them first no matter what.
Another thing that will never happen again is being talked down to. I will not allow anybody to swear or holler at me. If they can’t talk to me with respect, I will immediately walk off the job no matter what the consequences are. Also I will not give up vacation days or lunches to be considered a team player. And above all, won’t keep working at a job that doesn’t give raises.
Putting What’s Important First
I’m going to put what’s most important first. That’s my life. My family and loved ones. Travel and quality time with the ones who are most important in my life will be most important . And no job will ever violate that again. So for all those that have asked me why I left my former job, that’s all the reasons.
The difference between the company that I have worked for is that I have nothing to be ashamed of. I put my time in and did the best job I could ethically and morally. And as they say, bad karma comes back to those who do wrong onto others. I’m a big believer in this and everyone pays for what they do. So to those who I have met over the years and came to respect, I will miss working with or for you. For the ones who have done wrong, I truly hope you correct your foul ways because I sincerely feel bad for you.
Time To Move On
I truly didn’t want to leave the job that I once truly loved. At one time I thought I’d retire from it, but was given no choice.
This is just a perfect example of when greed takes over ethics. Remember that nothing good ever comes out of it. Now I’ve said my peace and will start writing the next chapter of my life.
Stay tuned for the continuation!
Let’s Have A Little Recap Here
Loved the job at first.
Had a great first area manager.
Lost Vacation days.
Brigette Hyacinth is an admirable author and speaker.
Made a promise to myself.
Family and loved ones will come first.
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