Giving Birth To Inconsideration

, , , , , , , | Working | April 10, 2018

I was hired into my convenience store job pregnant, with management aware. Everything started out okay, but as time goes by and I near the end of my pregnancy, my feet become extremely swollen and painful to stand on continuously, usually reducing me to tears if I don’t get a chance to sit down. I also get winded easily and feel faint if I overwork myself. Simply sitting for a few minutes and drinking water fixes it. I can still perform my job duties, but my doctor wants me to have access to a chair or a stool while I ring out customers. He writes a note, I give it to my manager who has no problem offering me a chair, and everything seems okay. I should also mention I’m not a smoker, so I do not get any other breaks apart from my lunch, while smoking employees get a break about every half hour.

A few weeks later, I’m working the register and stock, and the district manager comes in. I have my chair next to me and occasionally stop between totes or customers to sit down and have a breather. A few minutes after she comes in, the assistant manager comes up to me and tells me I have to go home, because the district manager said I was a liability. Furious, I go to the back office and ask for a letter from her stating that she is sending me home and why. She says they need a doctor’s note stating I can still work, and until then, I’m not allowed. Then she tells me to call the disability office.

I leave in tears and immediately call human resources. A few days later, the regional manager tells the district manager that I am indeed allowed to work, and I return, with no more issues.

About a week before I am scheduled to go on maternity leave — I am 36 weeks — the district manager returns. At this point, I’m very pregnant, so much so that people ask if I’m having twins. I’m also having practice contractions and am generally uncomfortable, but I still work, as it’s relatively simple and I only have a few days left.

The district manager walks up to me while I’m straightening the front end and hands me a bucket of hot, soapy water and a rag. She tells me to get on my hands and knees and clean the bottoms and tops of all the displays, shelving, and vending machines. I have just dusted them the day prior, but I guess that wasn’t good enough.

I spend the next three hours scrubbing on the floor and on a broken step-ladder, while also ringing people out. It is hard work, and I am able to do it, but it was still pretty inconsiderate, especially considering there are three other employees there who aren’t about nine months pregnant and working the till.

The Anxiety Is Real

, , , , | Working | April 6, 2018

(A new worker has been put on the fitting rooms this shift. I walk by him occasionally, and after his first hour I decide to see how he is doing. I check the inspection log and see that he hasn’t completed it.)

Me: “[Worker], have you been trained on fitting room procedures?”

Worker: “Yep!”

Me: “Have you checked the fitting rooms? You need to do it when you first start, and every hour after.”

Worker: “I can’t go in.”

Me: “Are there customers in?”

Worker: “No.”

(Not believing him, I inspect them myself. The men’s is a mess, and I find several tags stuffed behind the handicap chair. I inspect the women’s, and given I am a man, I shout beforehand. I quickly tidy up and sign the log.)

Me: “If no one is in there, you are allowed to go in. With the men’s you can go in anytime, but with the women’s, shout beforehand just in case.”

Worker: “But I can’t!”

Me: “Why not?”

Worker: “The customers might get offended.”

Me: “[Worker], if a customer gets offended by something you have the authority and responsibility to do, there isn’t much else we can do there.”

Worker: “But, the customers!”

(As hard as I tried, he just couldn’t get past the risk of offending customers. I dropped by for the rest of his shift and inspected for him. He was moved onto something else in later shifts, which he fared better with, but he would completely freeze if a customer approached him. Several customers even expressed concern with him — I decided not to tell him about that. Over his remaining time here, he seemed to suffer more and more from anxiety, and he eventually resigned, saying working with other people was probably not for him. I gave him the details for a mental health organisation which helped me deal with my husband’s death. I haven’t heard anything else from him, so I hope he is doing better.)

Strawberry Fields, Not Quite Foreve

, , , , , | Working | April 5, 2018

(My husband and I are shopping at a grocery store bakery, and we decide to pick up a cake. There’s a really nice-looking layer cake decorated with whole strawberries, but on closer inspection we see mold on most of the berries. We decide to pick it up and bring it to the counter to let them know.)

Me: “Hey, I just thought you should know this cake has mold on it; you might want to take it off the display so no one buys it.”

Bakery Employee: *looks at the cake* “The ‘best before’ date is not for another three days; it’s fine.”

Me: “Oh, but did you look at the top? There’s mold all over the strawberries.”

Bakery Employee: “Well, the cake’s not expired, so it has to go back on the shelf.”

Husband: “But it’s covered in mold; it really isn’t good for anyone to eat that.”

Bakery Employee: “Well, don’t buy it, then. We’ll take it off the shelf in three days when it’s expired.”

Me: “Why would you leave it on the shelf? What if someone else doesn’t see the mold and buys it? You need to take this to the back and throw it out.” *we hand her the cake and walk away*

Bakery Employee: *calling out after us* “But it’s not expired yet!”

Has The Gall To Believe That

, , , , , , | Related | April 4, 2018

(I just had my gallbladder out and am staying with my parents for a few days while I recover. Note, I have many extreme allergies, all to common foods.)

Mom: “Let’s order pizza tonight. We can find something at [Local Pizzeria] for everyone.”

Dad: “Why not just do two large cheese pizzas from [Cheap Chain]?”

Me: “Because I can’t eat any of that. Allergies, remember? Only dealt with them for 15 years, at this point.”

Dad: “But you should be over them. Your gallbladder is gone, so you aren’t allergic.”

Mom & Me: “That isn’t how this works.”

What A Diabeetus, Part 5

, , , , , , | Working | April 4, 2018

(This happened to my dad. He was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, and because of this, he has to have something to eat every two or three hours. His boss knows this. One day, the boss comes over to Dad’s desk to discuss something.)

Boss: *talking without paying attention*

(At that moment, the coffee cart rolls by.)

Dad: “Excuse me for a minute—”

Boss: *ignoring him*

Dad: “Uh, [Boss]? Just give me a minute—”

Boss: “Why?”

Dad: “I need to go get something from the coffee cart.”

Boss: *annoyed* “Now?”  

Dad: “Yes, now.”

Boss: “For Pete’s sake, would it kill you to wait?”

Dad: “Literally? Probably not. But it won’t be healthy for me.”

Boss: *pause* “Oh, the diabetes thing. Right.”

(It wouldn’t have been such a big deal, except that this happened at least once a month.)

What A Diabeetus, Part 4
What A Diabeetus, Part 3
What A Diabeetus, Part 2

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