General chatter - Am I dramatic? long, sorry.. and maybe TMI

11-15-2010, 11:53 AM
Blahh, so to start it off. I am in college and I work at a craft/wedding/halloween/everything store. I cashier, and I am not a huge fan of this job but I cannot find anything else and I need to save for my study abroad in Spain in the next couple years. (I'm definitely trying to find something else)

But yesterday, I wore a v-neck tshirt, with a tank top underneath it. I lost 100 pounds kind of quickly, so I went to Deb and bought like a five of these fitted tshirts in different colors, because they're plain and I can just wear them to work and anywhere without it being obvious that it's the same tshirt I always wear. I can't stand spending money when my body changes as often and as quickly as it does.

Anyways, I was in the break room and I was leaning forward and I had my arm propped under my chest, kind of pushing my boobs up I guess while I talked to my friend and ate salad for lunch.

This manager comes in and goes, "Oh wow, do you have another shirt?" So I straightened up and like rearranged my top kind of confused. And I was like "uh... no I don't.. not here.." And she was like "A company tshirt? Anything?" and I was like no... and she was like "Um yeah, how far do you live from home? Are you working the rest of the day? What register are you on?" And I was like my dad's is a half hour away, yes I am and North... and she goes "Well. Looks like I'll have to find you a new tshirt." I was like, about to cry because I kind of had a feeling it was because my cleavage was showing. Then I asked, "Do only cashiers have to wear uniform tshirts or.. what's going on?" (Which I regret asking but I was still like in denial that she'd address this in the break room in front of my coworkers) And she was like "No you're just showing too much up top." My jaw dropped and I was like oh. I am definitely body conscious as it is. Probably the most self-conscious person in that room, getting my cleavage pointed out. I am a conservative dresser, I'm modest... honestly. Everyone said my shirt was NOT bad. I am one of those girls who gets emotional way too easily. And I get embarrassed way too easily (especially about my body.. probably because I weighed 345 pounds and had to deal with that all my life, idk)

Anyways, I was steaming, but I was like.. maybe I'm being dramatic. So I went back to work and the same manager came up to me and goes, "Nicole lets go in back." And I was like okay.. she handed me a tshirt, and was like "here this is all we have" and I was like it's too small for me.. I pulled my tank top up high can't I just wear this tshirt?" And she was like, "Well no, you'll have to make do." Started crying. UGHH. I cry too easily, how embarrassing. Then I got self-righteous and I was like, "Excuse me I just want you to know that was completely disrespectful, and unprofessional to address my cleavage in a room full of coworkers and you should be ashamed." And she looked like I slapped her in the face, and she goes, "Ohh... I wouldn't have said anything.. but a customer REAMED me because your cleavage was showing as you checked her out. I walked by and your cleavage was showing, definitely. (Keep in mind I hadn't seen her once the entire day, and she asked me what registers I was at, plus I had already been on break for 20 minutes and she looked surprised to see me when she walked in). I don't buy that, I don't buy that the customer complained, but I don't know actually. Whatever. That's beside the issue, she should have pulled me in a back room, said something to me. I was crying, and telling her what I thought of her embarrassing me in front of people. Told her that I'm limited in clothing, and I'm sorry and was sobbing like an idiot. I may also be starting my period in the next few days, I don't know.

I called my mom, because I call my mom when I cry (because I'm still 12 at heart I guess, not 19), how embarrassing. My mom was livid. She keeps saying, "tell her boss. Tell someone. I cannot believe she would do that."

I can't decide if my mom is just being a "momma bear" and protecting me, or if I should be really upset, or if I was dramatic.

She did end up apologizing excessively while I was crying, and then sucking up to me the rest of the day by like coming over and trying to talk to me about her life, her kids, what movies were out. I was basically just nice to her, because I don't know how to be mean lol (wouldn't really want to be mean, anyways)

But yeah, what do you think? Sorry this is so long.

Oh, and she still made me wear the shirt that was too small for me. Lol, that looked awful, but at least my cleavage wasn't showing.. blah.

11-15-2010, 12:12 PM
omg - I am so sorry to hear this happened to you.


I was once told at work that a particular shirt I had worn was "too feminine".

I don't think you over-reacted at all. In fact, unless there is a specific dress code where you work, what your boss did may be considered harassment. She had no right to speak like that to you in front of your co-workers.

You could talk to her boss about it - it depends on what you feel comfortable doing. It might make things more uncomfortable, though. You might want to consider sitting down with your boss and talking to her.

At the very least - Ask her for a copy of the dress code policy. And ask her that she speak to you in private if another issue like this ever comes up.

If you feel up to it - I would tell her that it was very unprofessional for her to address you the way she did in front of everyone. That it was embarrassing, humiliating and boardered on harassment.

11-15-2010, 12:17 PM
Ugh, and you have my sympathy. A friend pointed out not so long ago that my shirt was dipping a bit low and even that felt crppy.

She was right to let you know if she thought your top was a bit revealing, if a customer had complained.
She was waaaaay out of order to do so in front of anybody at all. OK, well actually, it might have been good to have a 3rd party but not just bang, out of the blue.
You're right to be upset at being treated that way.
Yup, your mother is being a mommy bear, that's why you love her, it's her job.

Maybe, the next time you're in work ask to speak to her privately (or take 1 friend with you), let her know that you understand the dress code; you're sorry if it slipped once and caused her to get chewed out; you will be very alert in future; BUT that you are doing the courtesy of telling her in private that she was wrong to have tackled you in public; that this draws a line under the event.

After this, no reason to avoid her, be snarky with her. This way, You've been the grown up and taken responsibility for the situation back from her.

And have a :hug:

11-15-2010, 12:20 PM

At the very least - Ask her for a copy of the dress code policy.

this way she knows you wont tolerate being singled out.


11-15-2010, 12:41 PM
I had my fiance of all people tell me i was showing plumber's crack of all things! that was SO embarrassing! I don't think you are being over dramatic. Someone once told me, you can't control how you feel, or how things will make you feel. :)

11-15-2010, 01:29 PM
You were in the right Nicole. Good job for not going off on her even more!

11-15-2010, 01:49 PM
It's natural for a person to feel defensive, embarrassed, and startled whenEVER they're put on the spot. People feel especially offended when something about their body is brought to attention. A "private" body part (breasts)? Pointing out anything about a person who has weight/body image issues? Now add other people, coworkers, no less, to that mix. Then put it in a boss/employee context. Yea, I think just about anybody would feel emotional, angry, embarrassed, self conscious, etc in that situation.

Before I lost weight, I had a pretty significant cleavage (sometimes I miss it, usually I don't). I was a front desk employee at my university's vet school. I had a button up blouse with a lace tank top underneath. I'd been wrestling with that dang tank top all day because it kept riding down. Apparently it had gotten a little low, and my boss discretely asked me to the back room to help her make copies. While we were making copies, she casually and gently asked me to pull my tank top up (after she mentioned that it was a cute shirt). The whole thing was done very tactfully, we giggled about it, I wasn't embarrassed, and the issue was solved. THAT is how your boss should have handled it.

11-15-2010, 03:10 PM
Having your top slip in the lunch room is one thing. NO customers to offend. We've all been there..look down ..oops...sharing the girls with the world. However, this supervisor should have pulled you aside privately and asked that you make sure you're covered up out in the store and advised you that in future you would have to wear a more concealing shirt. To do what she did and in the manner that she did it was unacceptable and unprofessional. Forcing a too small t-shirt onto someone was also not acceptable.

You didn't over react at all.

11-16-2010, 11:48 PM
Thats one thing I hate about jobs like that the managers and supervisors have no respect for anyone and do not know how to handle situations in a proper manner. What she did was uncalled for and then making you wear a shirt that was too small was even more ridiculous. I would have honestly said I'm not wearing that and I would have went home for the rest of the day.
You weren't over reacting trust me when I got my work uniform and it was way too big for me all I wanted to do was cry because I felt like I was 800 pounds again (clearly over exaterating but still) I didn't want to look like I had 6 months ago I wanted form fitting uniforms or at least uniforms that weren't completely hopeless and I was drowning in them. Sometimes certain things hit us a certain way one day it might bother us and the next it won't. We've all been there I'm sure of it, what she did was humiliating and uncalled for she should have taken you into her office or another room to talk to you about it, not call you out infront of everyone.

11-17-2010, 01:00 AM
I know how you feel. I had a male manager tell me that the whole store calls me "tits" He said it in front of my entire staff, I was grooming manager at a Petco. I've been teased endlessly my whole life about my boobs being large and it really hit home. I cried so hard. I told my GM what happened and that manager almost got fired.

11-17-2010, 07:36 AM
It sounds to me like she screwed up and she feels bad about it, so you should cut her some slack. It is her job to make sure you are dressed appropriately, but she shouldn't have said something in front of everybody. But from what you've said, she was just being thoughtless, not mean, she feels bad, she apologized. Someday you too will make a careless mistake and make someone cry. Forgive her now so that you can forgive yourself then.

DON'T ask for the dress code. You shouldn't need to be told "don't show too much boob" and acting like you want to see that rule will just make you look petty.

Pint Sized Terror
11-17-2010, 10:13 AM
I don't think you overreacted. A lot of people in that situation would have reacted similarly.
I used to be a crier. Any time I got angry or embarrassed I would cry. I couldn't help it and it often made my embarrassment worse, which would lead to MORE tears... it was a vicious cycle. I've had managers and fellow employees comment on how I dress. A few times they were right, most of the time they weren't, every time I walked away humiliated with tears in my eyes regardless of how they handled it. When I was heavier, if it wasn't a crew neck or higher, I had cleavage. I was in a 38F bra size, and people were constantly commenting about it. I was very self-conscious.

Just remember that you can't control other people's opinions. I would ask for a copy of the dress code to know exactly what is expected. I would tell your boss how you feel about the way she approached you. If you were showing too much boob, that's one thing, but she handled it badly. Making you wear a shirt that was too small for you was AWFUL.

Has she always been like this? I can't base a judgment on her because I don't know what she's like outside of this situation. Is she normally pretty low key and overall a good manager, or is she generally as nasty as this incident? If she's a crappy manager over all, or she's known for pulling stuff like this, I'd go to HER boss and let them know what's going on. Otherwise, I'd just talk to her, obtain the dress code and move on.

11-18-2010, 11:23 PM
I was going to just let it go, but a few of the other managers told my boss about what happened, so she knew. And we talked about it. Apparently this manager has a habit of running her mouth. And no, I don't think I'll ever make the mistake of humiliating a girl for no reason in front of complete strangers that she has to work with every day.

Now it's twice as awkward, because my manager is going to tell the owner what happened. And the manager who said it to me in the first place has been being overly fake nice to me. So, definitely not sure what to do. I'm fairly new (well I worked there in high school, but i'm back now for the past month) and she's someone I had never spoken to before really. So for her to be trying to buddy up to me now, after she knows that I could get her in trouble (because she has no idea my manager and everyone knows), I think that's ridiculous. I think she's incredibly unprofessional and I've been told by my manager that she was out of line and that I shouldn't feel bad at all. She said she would have walked out right there. The woman honestly didn't seem like she felt "bad" about it at all. She seemed like she knew she could get into trouble for it.

I'm thinking about just putting my two weeks in and not working there anymore. It's going to be ridiculously awkward after the owner talks to her and yes it "builds character" but it's also just a miserable place to be.

Anyways, thanks everyone :)

11-19-2010, 03:31 AM
I don't think you overreacted, I'd me upset and mad too.
I don't think you should quit because of fear it will be awkward. I think if you need the job, you should keep it. However, if you have another job lined up or family who will help support you, then you should do what feels best.

01-04-2011, 05:02 PM
I know how you feel. I had a male manager tell me that the whole store calls me "tits" He said it in front of my entire staff, I was grooming manager at a Petco. I've been teased endlessly my whole life about my boobs being large and it really hit home. I cried so hard. I told my GM what happened and that manager almost got fired.

That manager should have lost his job. Unacceptable.

01-04-2011, 05:47 PM
I had a male manager tell me that the whole store calls me "tits" He said it in front of my entire staff, I was grooming manager at a Petco. [snip] I told my GM what happened and that manager almost got fired.

At my workplace, within minutes of the incident, HR would have started up a dossier on it, begun interviewing all the witnesses, started counseling with you, and that manager would have been fired. Like, within hours of it happening, if not sooner. Because that is just a lawsuit waiting to happen. Unless they apologized & somehow got you to sign a release ... and even then ... whew! No, I'm not in HR, but I witnessed something in the dept. next to mine a couple years ago & now understand what a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment means. HR drops in like commandos from a Black Hawk helicopter.

01-04-2011, 05:52 PM
The manager was out of line speaking to you in front of coworkers. That said, it sounds as if she's sorry and knows what she did was wrong. Hopefully she won't do it again to someone else.

If you need the job and you can handle the situation, don't give notice. It's a job and they can be hard to come by. There is nothing you have to do now, whatever the owner does at this point is not up to you.

Lady Stardust
01-04-2011, 06:59 PM
Even if you were in dress code standards, it's still up to the managers' discretion on whether or not something you're wearing is appropriate. It sucks, and it was like that at my old private high school. You could be wearing something not specifically listed as inappropriate in the dress code, and the administration could still deem it inappropriate at their discretion. I would still ask for the dress code and say that you want to make sure that from now on you always adhere to it and if you have any questions to ask management first.

She didnt handle it right, and it sucks because she is still one of your managers. I don't understand how some people wind up with management positions when they obviously can't handle a simple task like speaking with an employee about dress code. She should have simply spoken with you in private and explained that your top wasn't appropriate for work and given you a warning, and she shouldn't have forced you to change and wear a shirt that was too small. But actions are being taken, so I'd let it sit for now and find a way to always be in dress code.

I totally feel your pain about dress code, I've been confronted before by two of my managers at the same time and I thought my top was appropriate (the fabric was "too casual"). So I said thanks for letting me know, I was thought this top was acceptable and in the future, I'll make sure to ask first if I'm unsure about a certain top. And I did. And the top in question was deemed inappropriate by my manager.