100 lb. Club - OT - advice needed

View Full Version : OT - advice needed

03-05-2005, 02:34 AM
As many of you know I have a pretty stressful job, even though it's just retail. Well it blew up in my face today! I went to my manager and district manager early in the week with some major complaints, but also with the knowledge nothing could be done, and I also asked them not to act on my complaints. I just needed some advice on how to deal with the situation. In a fit of word vomit (I was incredibly mad because I was scheduled for a day I told them I could not work, and it was changed 3 times in one day) I told my manager how the assistant manager and 3rd key holder were plotting to have her removed from the store so they could control it. I was told this multiple times by the two girls, who were also the people who changed my schedule and were rude when I said I couldn't work.

Anyways! I was of the understanding that whatever I said to my manager and district manager was to be confidential. Today I was taken to the back office, where I was written up for "gossip" because my manager went to the assistant manager and asked her if what I said was true (the assistant is a coward, and would deny), of course.. she denied it. I apparently signed something that says I won't gossip, and that if I don't make a visible improvement by May 1, I will be written up again, which makes me unable to get a raise (even though I became a keyholder, even though I didn't need to). I don't know what to do, I was crying for like 45 minutes, and was told that my previous complaints were "all in your head", because I couldn't come up with a specific example. Even though I told them, I couldn't prove it, but it was a feeling (the assistant and 3rd key tend to exclude everyone). I don't know what to do, I thought I was doing the right thing by going to my manager and district manager, but they completely betrayed my trust. Not only that, they have made work a completely uncomfortable situation for me. I know this is long winded, I just feel so hurt and betrayed, and can no longer trust anyone I work with. Quitting isn't an option until I get another job. I just don't know what to do, I will definitely start looking for a job but I am not working every single weekday.

I can admit that I was wrong to pass that information along to my manager, but I also feel it was her responsibility to keep what I said confidential. Also, my district manager went to my manager and told her everything I said! I need advice! What do I do? I know I need to call my manager tomorrow and let her know that I feel she betrayed my trust, and to let her know that I don't know what I signed. I also need to know what exactly my district manager told her of our conversation. help!!!! :dizzy:


03-05-2005, 04:39 AM
Sorry to hear it went so rough for you at work. I think I would just leave it alone for now and really up my effort for job seeking. You seem to really be unhappy with where you are. So I would just turn all my thoughts and energy into a new job. I hope you can find something you like soon I can see how hard this is on you.

03-05-2005, 08:30 AM
Aimee... I have to agree with Howie here. By going to your manager and telling her that you feel betrayed is only going to piss her off. (no matter if you are right or not) Last time you spoke with him/her you had good intentions and it blew up in your face; whose to say it won't happen again :(
Focus on getting a new job - I believe that no matter what you do for a living it should not be that stressful.

Good Luck to you.


03-05-2005, 12:40 PM
I have to go with Charbar and Howie on this. However, i would not slam the door on them. If you find another job and resign, do it professionnaly: 2 weeks notice, no grieviances letter, etc.... You never know, you may need profesionnal references from them someday...

Ivanna B. Skinny
03-05-2005, 01:58 PM
Yep...I agree with the others, your work environment sucks, and you need a new one. Easier said than done, I guess, but you shouldnt have to work daily ina situation like that.

03-05-2005, 03:04 PM
MY job actually isn't allowed to give references, some company policy. It's very weird, I work for one of the largest Canadian retail chains (they own 9 different chains of stores), and this is what they feel is appropriate. I will get a hold of a copy of the paper I signed, just because I don't know what it is that I signed. As it stands though, if I want a personal reference, I wouldn't trust these people to do that.

I did call this 1888 number my company has posted if you have a problem and can't go to your manager, and I talked to them about this situation.. because essentially I am being written up for telling the truth. It's gone to the head of human resources, and I was assured the file wouldn't be seen by my district manager.

I know I dug my own grave by trusting them, and now I just have to face the consequences. Who know telling the truth could feel so bad?

I do have Monday off of work, and I will be out applying for jobs, and if I get hired (Starbucks is actually famous for hiring people immediately), I will give my notice. They've broken me in the worst way.


03-05-2005, 04:40 PM
Good luck, Aimee! :)

03-05-2005, 04:49 PM
I felt so bad reading your post, Aimee. My dad worked in retail for a bunch of years at a huge chain here in the US and had a horrendous experience at the end.

You obviously have a lot of spirit and integrity. This will soon be in the past for you. Don't let it break you, but let it make you stronger and better able to deal with whatever you may come across in the working world.

Take care.

03-05-2005, 05:24 PM
I know my voice is new here... but I think you were very brave. I am so sorry you are in this difficult situation. Good Luck in finding that next job. I know that good karma will come your way soon.... Lori

03-05-2005, 10:49 PM
Tell them to :censored: off. Seriously, it is retail, they do not care about you as a person. And if they can't give you a reference, don't bother giving them the 2 weeks. One week should be sufficient, but be ready to be treated like :censored: from the time you give your notice til the time you leave, regardless of how many weeks you give them.

Starbuks is a good idea, good luck sweetie w/an awesome name!!! :D

03-06-2005, 02:33 PM
well i know what i would do get a new job and quit very publically and very obnoxiously infront of as many customers as possible! but i'm vindictive like that

03-06-2005, 07:49 PM
Oh, I'm extremely vindictive, and it's worse because I know all their secrets, all their deepest darkest fears.. you can do some nasty things with that. But alas karma would come and kick my arse, so I'm going to fight them on a level that won't compromise my integrity.

Thank you all for the replies, I was feeling very down and out because of what happened, and it helps a lot to know there are people out there who don't think I was wrong in this. I'm not a very affectionate person.. but let's all get in for a big group hug! :grouphug:


03-07-2005, 12:29 AM
Aimee, just because your company isn't allowed to give references it doesn't mean that someone won't call your manager and talk to her. If your manager is po'd at you she might just beak off about your regardless of the policy because how are you going to find out unless the person who called for the new job tells you?

I've been through something kind of similar and my new policy is not to get involved in workplace politics or become really friendly with the people I work with. I'm friendly with them enough to get by but not that I am best friends or confidants with anyone.

03-07-2005, 01:27 AM
Jen - I also worked at Wal-Mart in their photo lab for 5 years, and they also don't give up references, so when I was applying for jobs I told the potential employers about their policy, and didn't provide them with the phone number. And I do not normally get involved with people at work, but when your staff is only 7 people it's really hard not to. Infact, they plan dinners, and outtings to unite the staff because it really has to be a team effort. I also don't talk to these people about my life, I just listen to them, they know very few details about my life.

As for workplace politics, I did get caught up in this one, it's really hard to watch 5 people gang up on one person, and trying to get her fired. I know she can stand up for herself, but it's so hard for me to watch people lie, cheat, and purposely discredit someone all behind her back. I should have just let it go, and held it in..


Goddess Jessica
03-07-2005, 02:37 AM
Aimee -

Girl, I have sooo been there.

When I was "forced out" of my job, i was written up for 27 grievences. Basically, if i came back to work and sneezed, I would get fired. I felt like total crap. And I still curse when i drive pass the exit that the place is located. And if i ran into her in a dark alley... you get the idea. And what BS! It's not GOSSIP if you go to your BOSS with it. Holy bejesus! Someone is a moron at this company.

My advice on obtaining a new job, when you interview - let them know what happened at your previous job. Phrase it in a manner that flatters you but doesn't martyr you (no one wants to hire the martyr). It may keep you out of the first cut from some jobs but the earlier posters are right. Just because they can't give references, doesn't mean that they can't tell your new employer stuff "off the record." That's a trick from an insurance company I worked for a long time ago. They weren't allow to give references but if someone called they would say, "This will have to be off the record..." and then give them the dirt.

03-07-2005, 11:07 AM
I don't know about Canadian law, but in the US, because of fear of being sued, many companies will tell potential employers only the dates of employment and whether they quit or were discharged. Even if an employer states something "off the record," it's no protection from a defamation lawsuit, so most err on the "better safe than sorry" side. If it were me, I would go out of my way to protect myself: write a resignation letter specifying your reason for leaving, get a copy of your write-up, document your conversations with higher ups. I would not tell potential future employers your reason for leaving. Just my 2 cents :) . I am sorry this happened to you, but perhaps it will open the way for something much better.

03-07-2005, 02:44 PM
wonderful thoughts here . and swimgirl - calm down -easier said than done, i know. ya gotta think clearly here. the goal: to avoid more trouble, and to get out as quickly as possible, without burning bridges. i'm hopeful about your call to HR. sometimes they can work wonders, but they can also screw up beyond all hope of repair.

for as long as you have to stay, document document document. keep a journal. a PRIVATE journal of events. date everything. you might need it at some point, whether in your discussions with HR or with your evil boss. and i suggest you don'[t ask for 'that paper you signed because you don'[t know what you signed.' admitting that you don't know what you signed is NOT a politically good thing to do.

simply ask for your personnel folder. it's your right to see it. it'll be in there.

as for references, gypsy is right. many many places only give the basic facts, and if they want to have an off-the-record conversation, unfortunately, that's not something you can control.

reason for leaving: looking for more challenge, more responsibility, shorter commute. think up ANYTHING except that you have to get away from a bunch of nasty, gossipy morons.

i wish things were better. retail is unbelievably hard work. there's no way i'd survive in it. so my hat's off to you for even getting up in the mornings!!!

hang in there, darlin. we're behind you..

03-07-2005, 06:44 PM
Aimee I'm so sorry this is happening. Everyone has given you such great advice. I've always said that I wouldn't work in a job where I wasn't happy and enjoyed my work. I've quit a job before without having a new one lined up because I was that unhappy and it was a bunch of gossip and BS that drove me away and I decided the stress was just too much for me to handle.

Just remember that everything happens for a reason and a much better job is probably about to open up for you.

Just my 2 cents on your manager. It sounds like you DM was trying to follow up on your complaints with your manager and she hasn't quite read the policy books or brushed up on those and is the one doing the gossipping. I do have a question? If you were bringing up complaints to a higher up how is that gossipping?

03-07-2005, 09:18 PM
First of all, congratulations on having a conscience and trying to be honest with your higher-ups (even if it did backfire). That shows an insane amount of character and integrity! :bravo:

Also, I feel your pain. While I didn't work in retail for very long, 5 years was truly long enough to see how back-stabbing and petty some people can be. And I agree that it is difficult to mind your own business when there are so few people working in a store together (I worked in 5 different stores in the same chain, and each one had fewer than 10 people on staff, so whether you like it or not, you're going to get to know them).

I spent over a year working between 3 different stores in the same city because we were short-handed. Then my best friend got hired at one of the stores and went to a second store to help out (as I had been doing). The manager of that second store knew this girl was my best friend and roommate, and yet she totally badmouthed her in front of me! After that (and a few other bad situations), I learned not to trust my managers (which is a horrible way to have to work), and I definitely had to watch what I said and/or repeated to anyone (regardless of rank, considering my first store manager was sleeping with the DM). Unfortunately, retail politics are about as level-headed as a daytime soap opera--gossiping here, backstabbing there, dead spouses returning to life only to find that you have since married their best friend and had an illegitimate child with their brother...:p

Clearly, though, you're better than all of that. You mentioned Starbucks--I have heard that they are great to work for, and that even everyone who works in their corporate office has had to actually work behind the counter of a store for a few weeks first (I know one of my DMs had all these "great" ideas, but had never worked in one of our stores--how frustrating!). As for references, you said you explained the situtation about how they weren't allowed to provide references before, so you didn't give the phone number. I say if that works, stick with it. If they push for needing proof that you worked there, maybe give them the phone number for HR so they can do exactly what they should--confirm your employment, and that's it. No one in HR is going to badmouth you, especially since they don't even know you!

As for me, part of the reason I left my last job was that my boss was a control-freak/micro-managing psycho, but I didn't mention that in my interviews. Rather, I babbled about how I was looking for a position with more "opportunity for growth" and needed something "more challenging"...add enough 25-cent managerial terms to your years of experience and amazing personality, and you'll find a new job in no time. AND don't settle for the first job you're offered if you don't think you will be happy there, either! :nono: I made that mistake when I left my last psycho boss and took the most boring job ever known to man (my current position), so I went from unhappy to, well, unhappy. I'm sure you'll have no trouble at all finding a job, though, and I wish you the best of luck that it's the perfect one for you!! :crossed:

03-07-2005, 10:11 PM
Wowsers, Thanks Jill, Dawyal, jiffy and all.. I had decided that I wouldn't ever tell what happened to cause me to leave my current job, interviewing for a job is essentially a "game" where you have to answer in the right way. I've been thinking about leaving my current job for a while, the commute is a little long. Thats all my new employer needs to know, this "gossip" is only one aspect.. my hard work, my ability to take on manager responsibilities without the pay, those are much more important than "gossip". It's time to move on, these people aren't truthful or very good people (one girl tells me about the scams she runs on people to cheat them out of thousands of dollars, another writes clothes off because she doesn't wanna pay for them). Alright, enough gossip from me!


03-21-2005, 10:43 AM
Aimee - did you find a new job?

03-21-2005, 01:27 PM
Dawn - not yet! I have a few good leads and hope that one of them will turn out :) Thank for asking!


03-22-2005, 10:37 AM
I hope it all works out for you!