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Get On With It!

, , , | Working | August 16, 2021

I started a new job in a completely different field when I was around forty. My trainer was in her twenties and clearly didn’t want to give me the time of day. After struggling for weeks, I went to my supervisor — above the trainer — to talk about it.

Me: “I know I’m new and I’m trying to learn, but I just don’t understand why [Trainer] seems so irritated with me all the time.”

Supervisor: *Dismissive tone* “Oh, she’s just like that. It’s not personal.”

Me: “Okay, but it really feels like every time I go near her, she just wants me to leave her alone.”

Supervisor: “She’s under a lot of stress. Her job is very important and you’re supposed to help ease that stress.”

Me: “Right, but I can’t ease the stress if I don’t understand how to do it.”

Supervisor: “I’ll talk to her.”

Another week went by and [Trainer] wouldn’t even look at me, let alone talk to me. At the end of the week, I looked at the schedule and saw that I was not scheduled at all for the next week.

Me: “Hey, [Supervisor], why am I not scheduled?”

Supervisor: *Not looking at me* “Oh, I, uh… it might be a mistake. Don’t worry, we’ll call you when it’s figured out.”

Me: “Okay.”

The week went by with no call, then another and another. I kept checking in with [Supervisor] but he never returned my calls. Finally, I admitted to myself that I’d probably been fired, but for what, I didn’t know. I went to the store and found [Supervisor] and [Trainer] in the office with several other upper-level managers.

Me: *Cheery* “Hi, guys!”

They exchanged an awkward glance.

Supervisor: “Hi, [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Me: “Oh, I was concerned about you.”

Supervisor: “Me?”

Me: “Yeah, I’ve been leaving messages, but you weren’t answering. I thought you were sick.”

Supervisor: “Oh. No, I, uh… [Trainer].”

Trainer: *In a condescending voice* “Look, [My Name], I’m sure you were great at your past jobs, but… this isn’t a good fit for you. Okay?”

Me: “So, you’re firing me?”

Trainer: “It’s just not a good fit for you. You understand?”

Me: “But you weren’t going to tell me. Just… not schedule me.”

[Trainer] stood and led me back to the door.

Trainer: “Thank you for your work, [My Name]. You can leave your vest at customer service.”

She closed the door in my face.

I contacted corporate and asked if that was how they typically handled associates who weren’t working out. They called back and said no, that is not at all how it should have been handled, and they would deal with it. I’ve been to the store a few times since and haven’t seen [Trainer] or [Supervisor] at all. I asked a few other associates and they said that their “tactic” had been used on many other employees who had started with no experience and that [Trainer] and [Supervisor] had both been let go from their roles.

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