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Actively Trying To Sabotage You Via Active-Wear

, , , , , | Working | August 15, 2019

(I’m working a fitting room shift at a discount retailer in my hometown. My shift happens to correspond with a particularly bossy coworker, one who has been told many times over that she is not a manager. A couple of hours into my shift, she approaches the fitting room with several shirts picked off the floor from the nearby activewear department.)

Me: *noticing I have only a few spare hangers* “Hey, [Coworker], is there anywhere else you can put the ones without hangers? I’m almost out.”

Coworker: “That doesn’t matter. It is your job to recover activewear, anyway. You can see the fitting room from there.”

(I accept that as fair because the store manager has told me to recover activewear in the past, for the same reason. I go about doing my more pressing duties and occasionally picking up after customers looking for workout gear. At one point, I look up from adjusting a crooked shirt to find that a customer has emerged from the fitting room and is just putting away her number card. I rush to her, but I am too late to see the number.)

Me: *counting her items* “I’ll take your word for it now, ma’am, but next time I will need to see the card before you put it back.”

Customer #1: “What? This is ridiculous! You shouldn’t have been so far away!”

(Again, I take it as a fair point. Still, I decide to page my coworker.)

Coworker: “What is it?”

Me: “A customer just scolded me for recovering activewear. I was too far away to see her number in time. Are you sure I’m supposed to be doing this?”

(I don’t remember the exact specifics, but my coworker really goes into me about how it is indeed my job. She becomes quite harsh, and once she storms off, I become visibly upset. Two customers witness this and approach me separately.)

Customer #2: “You know what I do when my coworkers get like that? I let it go in one ear and out the other. She’s not worth your tears, sweetheart.”

Customer #3: *a few minutes later* “Yeah, she was not in the right for speaking to you that way. Give me her name, hon, and I’ll send a complaint.”

(I also tell the store manager what my coworker said, and he affirms that I am not supposed to be in activewear while manning the fitting room.)

Manager: “I’ll talk to [Coworker]. She needs to know she’s not a manager.”

(Maybe ten minutes later, the store manager returns, looking amused, as if he has been playing some cute children’s game.)

Manager: “I spoke with [Coworker] and she said all she did was give you some clothes.”

(He walks away without allowing me to rebuke this. I let my thoughts stir for another hour or so, occasionally crying because I think I might be in trouble and it feels like everyone is being a jerk today. Eventually, I start feeling lightheaded and dizzy, and the “not-a-manager” coworker notices.)

Coworker: “Have some water and sit down for a bit.”

(I do, but not before I page the store manager so I can ask for my break. After a while, I page him again; he’s not always the most responsive person in the world. This time, he arrives within a minute and sees me sitting down, crying.)

Manager: “You’re not allowed to sit down. Stand up. This is not professional.”

Me: “But I feel like I’m about to pass out!”

Manager: *laughs* “Oh, so you have one bad experience with a customer and suddenly the world is ending, is that it?”

(I was mortified that he would say something like that — in front of a customer, no less — and the thought of him saying the same to someone with asthma or diabetes did not make things any better. By this point, I was openly bawling. In the end, he told me to go home. As of right now, he has two other managers who are not very happy with him.)

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