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How About Everybody Just Minds Their Own Business?

, , , , , , | Working | CREDIT: SoftyisHere | June 15, 2022

I have a lot of mental issues tied with anxiety and pressure. When I get too overstimulated, I start to twitch, stutter, say intrusive thoughts out loud, hum, and shake.

I was working at a popular fast food place. Before I started working, I informed my boss and my managers I’d be working with about this and got permission to listen to music during work since I worked at the fry station. The orders on the fry station came up on a little screen and I didn’t really have to communicate with anyone as long as I was fast enough to get the orders through before they needed to ask.

Normally, I would work with a pair of Bluetooth earbuds in, just loud enough to barely hear what was going on just in case I’d have to listen. However, these two girls I worked near would loudly talk about me, assuming that I couldn’t hear. It was the normal stuff that I usually heard at work. 

Coworker #1: “Why does she get to listen to music and we don’t?”

Coworker #2: “She must be their favorite.”

And so on.

One day, however, I realized that I had accidentally left my earbuds at home. My manager that day was really sweet but we were short-staffed and I didn’t want to ask to go home and grab them. I also didn’t have the guts to ask anyone if they had something I could borrow. So, I decided to tough it out and work my shift without them.

Being in the kitchen without music was loud, and the two girls gossiping really didn’t help. I was starting to shake and hum already; however, since this was the first time they had ever gotten to really talk to me during work, the girls jumped on the opportunity. We had a conversation that went something like this.

I stuttered throughout.

Coworker #1: “Hey, [My Name], can I ask a personal question?”

Me: “Shoot.”

Coworker #1: “What makes you so special that you can listen to music on earbuds but we can’t even play it out loud on our phones?”

Me: “I do fries and don’t like talking. You don’t do fries and do like talking.”

Coworker #2: “Are you saying we talk too much?”

Me: “No, I’m saying I don’t like talking and I don’t have to talk to you to do my job.”

Coworker #1: “I just think it’s funny how you get to—”

Me: “C**k-sucking w***e.”

Coworker #1: “Excuse me?”

Coworker #2: “What did you just call her?”

The manager just walked in and heard the last bit.

Manager: “Don’t mind her; she can’t help it.”

Coworker #2: “She’s never done this before. Look at her! She’s acting like this to get out of work early since she doesn’t have her special needs music today.”

Manager: “That’s really uncalled for.”

Me: “Wet paint.”

Coworker #1: “We just wanna know why she would work here if she’s just gonna act disabled.”

Me: “I’m a college student on her own. I need a job to get wet paint food.”

Coworker #2: “Are you just r******d? Why don’t you go on disability or something?”

My manager got really mad and yelled at them to stop. I was breathing really heavily and was on the verge of a panic attack, so my manager took me to the freezer in the back and handed me a bag of liquid ice cream to squish. (We’d previously talked about how I enjoy the weird bag feeling and thought they were fun to hold; she also has a brother with similar problems to mine and knew sensory stimulation is helpful to some.) 

She left and came back a few minutes later to tell me that I could clock out for the night and not to worry about those girls.

I did. The next night, I came back and found that [Coworker #1] had been put on a week-long suspension, and [Coworker #2] was fired as it was her final strike for causing workplace drama.

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