A Crippling Case Of Discrimination

, , , , , , | Working | August 29, 2018

(I have just returned part-time to the store where I used to be an assistant manager. The assistant manager who replaced me transferred from a different store. I left after a car accident had left me a paraplegic. I can do everything apart from cashier and stocking. Because of my injury being incomplete, I suffer from muscle spasms and nerve pain. On a bad day, I can’t even get out of bed, let alone sit in my wheelchair. I’ve been told to call in sick as soon as I can and there won’t be a problem. The new assistant manager knows this. This happens the first time I have to call in:)

Me: *slightly slurred speech due to medication* “Hi, its [My Name]. I’m sorry but I can’t come in today.”

Assistant Manager: “What? Just because you’re hungover, that’s no excuse to not come in. You better be here, otherwise you’re fired.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m not hungover. I’m in extreme pain and I’m having such severe muscle spasms that my legs are locked up stiff as boards. If you have a problem, talk to [Store Manager].”

(I hang up on her and call my store manager and explain. I’m told not to worry, just rest and get better. The assistant manager is given a verbal warning. The next shift I work is with the same assistant manager.)

Assistant Manager: “[My Name], I need you on register three.”

Me: “Oh, sorry, but I can’t work a register. It’s too high up.”

Assistant Manager: “God. Fine. I need you to stock [department].”

Me: “I can’t. It’s not safe.”

Assistant Manager: “What? Why the f*** not?”

Me: “Because most of the shelves are too high up for me to reach, and it would require too much bending.”

(There are plenty of other duties I can do; I’m specially trained in the photo lab and electronics department, as a door greeter, at the customer service desk, etc.)

Assistant Manager: “Well, what f****** use are you, then? I don’t understand why they’d even hire a [disabled slur] in the first place! First, you call in still drunk and give some bulls*** excuse, and then you say you can’t do anything. You’re f****** useless!”

(She says this in front of other coworkers who I have worked with before. By now I’m in tears.)

Coworker: “You can’t talk to her like that. [My Name], go to the staff room and calm down. You can work in the lab and I’ll do the register.”

Assistant Manager: “What? No. I’ve told her where she’s working. If she ‘can’t’ do it, she can go home and not bother coming back. And as for you—” *points to coworker* “—you can count this as your first warning, for talking back.”

Me: “You know what? You’re a b****. If I have to work with you, I quit. But I will be talking to [Store Manager], and you can expect to hear from my lawyer for discrimination.”

(I ignore the assistant manager and head back to the staff room, grab my bag, and head home. The store manager rings me ten minutes after I get home.)

Store Manager: “Hey, I’m sorry to do this but [Assistant Manager] said she fired you after she caught you stealing from the staff room.”

Me: “What? That’s bulls***. Don’t take my word for it, but you need to talk to [Coworkers #1, #2, or #3].”

Store Manager: “I don’t believe her. Don’t worry. I’ll sort it out and call you tomorrow.”

(The assistant manager was fired for not only discrimination, but it turns out she was stealing merchandise and money from tills, as well. I also found out from a mutual friend the reason she didn’t like me was because her son had applied for a job at the same time I came back and she blamed me for him not getting it.)

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