Taking Time For Me
Talking to my sister the other day and she made the statement, "I need to take some time off for me". Her statement rang loudly in my ears and sat down right next to my current situation.
So before I can tell about my current situation, I gotta take you back to where it all started.
(Insert flashback here lol)
It's December 2021. I'm at the finish line of my home buying process and creeping up on my mom's 1 year transition anniversary and my dad's 8 year anniversary. Needless to say, I was an emotional wreck... but I had to keep pushing. I had to keep showing up. I had to keep working. I'm not sure what the deal was at 'these people's job' but all of a sudden I felt like there was a target on my back.
First thing that happened was a simple conversation. I sent my manager a message stating that I would be out for two days because my daughters both had appointments on these days during work hours.
"I'm trying to figure out why you would schedule appointments when you know you're needed at work."
I couldn't believe he sent me such a message back in response. Like seriously?!?!
Next thing,I received a phone call and stepped out of the office. When I returned my manager asked if I was ok. I responded with "Yes, I'm just tired". A co-worker sitting next to me heard me and replied, "Tired? We don't have time for that!" and laughed. I slid my phone onto my desk as I sat down and replied to my co-worker, "I don't have time for this!" while I pointed towards my phone. You would have thought I called for the National Guard the way I was asked to step out of the room. My manager and his manager pulled me into a side office. They walk in and I follow with the most confused look on my face. As I stood there waiting for clarity, my eyes moved back and forth between the two of them looking for one of them to start talking. Finally the silence was broken by "You can't say stuff like that".My face immediately reacted while my mind was still trying to process what they were talking about. Long story short, they felt like I was referring to the job when I said I didn't have time for this. They were embarrassed and wanted me to watch what I say. I was so shocked that this was happening. I laughed it off and told them what I was actually talking about. They smiled, but they still wanted me to watch what I say.
A few days went by and I followed their request to watch what I say by limiting my talking altogether. Then I was talking to a co-worker about an issue in the office and I was pulled out again. Immediately management assumed that I was berating my co-worker. Not understanding that my co-worker and I were actually on the same page and discussing the issue. Although there was a member of management is the office the entire time, he sat by silently and watched everything escalate. It was extremely frustrating to be misunderstood and accused again. It was like they just found reasons to keep talking to me. I took it in stride.....again, and I followed the directive to watch what I say.......again.
A few days passed and they gave a co-worker freedom to work despite having a positive case of COVID at home. This would not typically be an issue but she sat right behind me in a small office. In addition, my manager was actually out because he caught it. I was pissed! When my daughter had COVID and everyone else in our home tested negative I was still forced to quarantine for two weeks, but my co-worker was able to return the day after she received the results about her child. When I spoke to upper management about it I was informed that the policy changed the day before and that's why she was allowed to work. This, along with the fact that my manager was doing my job and micro-managing from a remote location, pushed me to request a new work assignment. Although it was a temporary move, I was glad to have a break from the office and the politics therein.
After that incident, I stopped talking and engaging the way I had been for the past 2 years of being in that position. One of my co-workers was given a task which involved asking me the same question every 15 minutes for the duration of our shift. Most times, she would ask for the information right after I said it aloud. One time I responded and said, "I literally just said it" in a low monotone voice, thenI continued, "You ask me right after I say it aloud". I guess that was a breaking point for her because she snapped! She started yelling and screaming at me like I had stolen her winning lottery ticket and her man. Yet, despite her elevated tone and aggression, I kept my cool. I simply told management they should step in and handle it because it was out of line. I also reminded the yelling co-worker and management that I NEVER raised my voice, yelled, or disrespected anyone in that office or in the building and I would appreciate the same courtesy. Instead............................................................................ I was pulled out of the office......yet again. Then I was blamed.....again. My manager told me that I did yell at my co-worker and the outburst was warranted. I couldn't believe it. I was told I was the one in the wrong. I was told that it's all me. I was different, stand-offish, and distant. I couldn't believe this.
This time, I spoke up for myself and defending my position. I told my manager the reason I was 'different' is because they started pulling me out the office for random bullshit and making me the bad guy. I told him I was probably coming off 'distant' because I was told to watch what I say on multiple occasions. I told him I may appear 'stand-offish' because they were attempting to control my words, my moods, and my actions and I do not conform well. He basically just dismissed everything I said and started telling me about the need to cross-train people in the positions in the office. I already knew what that meant. So I told him, "I know that means that y'all want to get me out of here and I'm fine with that but just let me know what's going on instead on doing it like this". He denied the thought of wanting to get rid of me but still stuck with the conversation of needing to cross-train. A couple days later, I saw the district manager and I told the her about the blow-up and she was shocked because no one from management had informed her of the incident.
Within a few weeks, another person was brought into the office and trained in a separate position. He was trained for a few days until my-coworker who was training him had an emergency and couldn't come in for a couple days. Unbeknownst to me, the co-worker who had the emergency had been coming in and training secretly in my position for two weeks prior to his absence. It was just really messed up and unprofessional for them to do things the way they were. When my co-worker returned, then I was told he would sit with me and I would train him. I had a doctor's appointment the first day I started training him. When I arrived at work, I shared that I just left the doctor and that I had to return in one week. Based on the response I received the last time I needed to take a day for an appointment, I told my manager the morning of the appointment.
"Why didn't you tell me this sooner?"
I didn't dignify his stupid ass question with a response this time....so he documented it in my file without saying anything to me about it.
I trained him for 3-4 weeks and no one said anything to me about what my next assignment was, where I would be working, or anything. Most times, I would just leave out the office and find something to do. By the second week of me training him, I went to other departments and occupied my time after he was set up. Going into the fourth week, I stopped the district management and asked her what was going on and where I was being moved to. She told me which department I should be in and told me she was under the impression that I was already training in that area. I let her know that I was completely clueless about my next steps and everyone was keeping me in the dark. She said she would speak to my manager and make sure there is a clear plan for me and I was to be training in the department she thought I was training in.
Two days later, I go into work and do my normal routine. I get things set up in the office for my co-worker who has been doing my job. Once he walks in to take over I head down to the department I was told I should be training in. One of my co-workers asked where I was going and I told him. One of the management staff in the office asked and I told him. My manager wasn't in there at the time. He walked passed me heading in the opposite direction when I first went into the office. Within 5 minutes of me being in the new department my manger is at the door saying he needs to talk to me.
I open the door and step put to find out what he wants to say. He begins with, "What do you think you're doing?" as if I did something I was not instructed to do. I told himI was training in the new department and that was it. I lit the fuse to his short ass wick and he exploded. He started talking AT me as if I was a child, a dog, or some incompetent or irrelevant being. He attempted to tell me I was wrong, disrespectful, and listening to the wrong people. I quickly informed him that HE was the one being disrespectful and had someone communicated with me weeks ago I wouldn't have to go over his head to get guidance. He continued to huff and puff about the district manager not being anyone and he is who I am supposed to listen to and the district manager doesn't make decisions. When I told him that his issue was not with me but with his manager, he dismissed that notion and continued to go in. By the end he told me to report to a different department from where I was told I was supposed to be. Honestly, it just boiled down to the fact that he wasn't the one who got to "put" me somewhere. He wasn't able to 'swing his sack' and 'make' me do something. The manager I had to work for that day was someone I did not have a good rapport with, one of the main reasons is because she doesn't wash her hands but is on the safety committee and always trying to serve food and drinks. Nevertheless, I went and I worked. I did what was asked of me, although I knew nothing about the area they had me running.
By the end of that altercation I was fuming. It was the last straw for me!
I had to have a break or I was about to be the ANGRY BLACK WOMAN they pegged me to be.
That day, February 25, I left work early and I have not been back yet. After I left, the manager I was working for that day document my file stating that I was disgruntled when I reported to her and had to leave work early for an emergency. Once again, my file was updated without communicating with me, which is the policy. I knew that if I continued to go to work like that, I would end up snapping and blacking out on somebody and that was the last thing I wanted to happen. I wanted to punch, slap, hit, destroy and demolish every POS member of management that came across my path. I called my sister and she told me to get back into therapy. So that is exactly what I did. I filed FMLA and Short-Term Disability due to mental health and started seeing a therapist again.
That's how I got here.....to my current situation.
Since I have been out of work I am starting to feel more like myself again. I have been able to be more present with my children. I am calmer and more relaxed with them. I am more understanding. I am laughing and smiling again with intention and not to just move the conversation along. Taking this time for me has shown me how invaluable employees are to most companies. It saddened me to see how the morale has dropped and all but disappeared from that place. I didn't start working there to go through this...I started to have some supplemental income and benefits. I started create a better life for myself and my children yet it seems my efforts are working in the opposite direction. The stress from the job caused some major health issues for me and I can gladly say things have improved since I haven't been there.
My take-away from all of this?
Work your passion and achieve your goals so that you NEVER have to subject yourself to situations such as these.
You are more than that job!
There are people waiting on you to do what you do, so get it done.
You wasn't created to work for other people in that capacity.
If you have experienced some craziness at your job that made you wanna snap, PLEASE SHARE! I know I'm not the only one!