This is the story of why I left my job at a small family owned tourist trap patisserie. It’s actually two mini stories that both lead up to the final explosion. To start off with, one of my former friends worked there also, she told me they were hiring. We’ll call her Claire.
Everything was fine at first, I got along with my coworkers, but there was one guy who worked there that no one liked… because he was the epitome of a lazy supervisor. We’ll call him Jose. He would delegate and stand around while we scraped caked-on black crap off the table bases, he would take three times as long as any other manager to close (1.5 hours instead of .5) and he was just a really annoying person in general. One of my coworkers even dubbed him "Captain Douchebag."
Well, I made the mistake of telling one of my girlfriends that. She told him (I didn’t realize she wanted in his pants… yeah it’s a small town) and he flipped his shit. Decided he was going to get me fired. So he wrote up a big report about me, saying that I talked too much, didn’t do enough work, always asked to leave early (he always sent me home early because he NEVER liked me--I guess it was because I didn’t put up with his shit) and the one and only semi-true thing in the report was that I was "slandering the management."
Yeah, he made it out to be SO much worse. However, I accepted responsibility and thought we could move on after he quit about a month later. Claire took his place as the night supervisor.
Shortly after that, I was closing alone with just the other supervisor, who we’ll call Jackie. Now, everyone knew I am very open about my sexuality. After we closed and were cleaning, we were having what I thought to be "girl talk", opening up to each other about our opinions of ourselves and certain things we’d experienced. I mentioned that I had tried Shibari/kinbaku (fully clothed, mind you, and in a non-sexual way) and she was immensely intrigued.
Now that she knew I was a "submissive," she wanted to know everything I knew about sex, BDSM, and the different levels of power exchange. The whole time, she was all giddy and one minute she would run off yelling "I don’t want to know, I don’t want to know!!!" and then the next she’d come back and beg me to answer the question. Mind you, it was nothing more extreme than "have you done anal?? What’s it like?!" or "so wait, there’s different levels of BDSM? How far have you gone?"
Now I know I shouldn’t have answered any of her questions, but for some weird reason I thought she was just genuinely curious and wanted to know. She had treated me as a friend and I her, so I thought nothing of it until a few days later when I got a call from the manager, who told me that one of my coworkers had complained about me, saying that I "talk about way too much personal stuff at work."
It really didn’t occur to me that it could have been her until later, because obviously, she was the one asking all the questions, right? I asked Claire outright if she had done it. She denied it, but admitted to saying that she thought she needed to "keep me on top of things." I wouldn’t have taken this seriously, but the manager had actually told me that if I got one more complaint about my work ethic, she was going to fire me.
I was taken aback, and informed him that no, she was the one who was asking all the questions.
He said "Eh whatever, I believe her cause you’re always talking about sex stuff and she never is."
I see. She wanted to keep up her "innocent" persona, she couldn’t possibly be thrown into the same category and me, who is apparently sex-crazed. Well, now I was on thin ice… again. For something that was almost entirely not my fault. Yes, I shouldn’t have answered her questions, I should have even reported her for asking them in the first place, but again, I thought we were friends. At this point I was determined to do anything to keep this job. Not one toe out of line.
And then I found out that Claire giving food to coworkers’ families was against company policy.
I had no way of knowing before until it was directly brought up. I figured… small store, supervisors can probably decide when it’s okay to do something like that… wrong. Jackie and the manager both flipped when I mentioned that Jose had instructed us to sell coffees to one of the next door workers for .21 cents cheaper than it was supposed to be… oh man I could only imagine the trouble I would get in if it came out I had witnessed Claire giving away free food. At that point, Claire had been cold shouldering me, so I predicted the worst: I confront her about it, say she should stop, and she goes and tells the manager that I’VE been the one doing it.
Not gonna happen. I go to the manager and tell her everything. Nothing comes of it for a while, but somehow, Chris overheard one of our conversations about it. He misinterpreted though, and thought that I had said Claire AND he were giving away food. Naturally, he was upset, and proceeded to tell everyone while still being civil to me. Next time I worked, though, Jackie had the nerve to confront me about it.
Jackie: "So what’s this I hear about Chris and Claire giving away free food?"
Me: "Ummm what? Not Chris."
Jackie: "So you did tell [the manager] then. Why would you do that?! Claire is your friend!"
She continued attacking me until finally I broke down into tears and, since it was during business hours, I went into the bathroom to try to calm down. Of course, Jackie was overly nice to me after that while Claire, who I had not yet worked with, had ignored me entirely in the brief moments we’d been on the same shift. That all changed the next day when I had to work with her. I turned in my two week notice at the beginning of the day. I was done.
She was openly hostile to me that day, despite the manager asking the whole crew to back off because I was soon leaving. It got to the point where customers were getting the wrong orders because she wouldn’t answer me when I tried to confirm it. She had a nasty tone even in front of the customers, so I took her into the back and addressed her as calmly as I could.
Me: "Look, Claire, can you just work with me here? I’ve only got two more weeks until I’m out of this drama-filled hell hole."
Claire: "Yeah, I know, I don’t give a shit! You threw me and Chris under the fucking bus! I handed you this job on a silver fucking platter and you bit the--you bit--you fucking bit my hand!"
This is being shouted at me as she is pacing back and forth around the customer-filled store, and she’s not letting up. She continues on this tangent for a while until I finally have had enough and I go into the bathroom to call the manager. As I’m closing the door I hear her shout, "Yeah go cry in the bathroom like last time!" which can only be a reference to my encounter with Jackie.
I tell the manager everything, and she gives HR a call who then calls me on the store phone to arrange a meeting. While waiting for the call, I make sure to thank Chris for being cordial to me even though he thought I had lied about him. His response was "well, a job’s a job."
I then called the manager back and she told me just to clock out and ignore Claire. Don’t talk to her, don’t look at her. We’ll deal with her later. I go to clock out and Claire confronts me again in front of a long line of customers waiting for ice cream.
Claire: "Did [the manager] tell you to leave?"
Me: (I don’t respond until I’m clocked out so I know she cannot keep me there any longer) "I’ve been instructed not to speak to you."
Claire: "That’s fine, but I’m checking your bag before you go!" (This is NOT common practice at this job. It has never been done before and probably hasn’t since.)
Me: "Are you serious?"
Claire: "You heard me."
I glare at her for a moment, and then finally say "This needs to be taken away from customers, supervisor," putting a great deal of emphasis on the final word.
She herds me into the bathroom, checks my bag, and begins to berate me again. I don’t remember what exactly she said… I think I blocked most of it out. HR’s report should have it all down. I finally pushed past her and got out. I started crying out of frustration, not sadness, and let it ALL out during the meeting with HR.
Here’s the kicker, the final straw that made me not even honor my two-week notice: the manager scheduled me with her for the day after.
She also still works there.