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That Consequence Must’ve Felt Like A Slap In The Face

, , , , , , | Working | CREDIT: Jumpy-Conclusion4633 | March 14, 2023

About fifteen years ago, I worked in a large hospital for kids in the maintenance department. Our manager was a major b****. No one on our team liked her, and we outwardly showed no respect for her after her constant harassment of us in the two years she worked there.

She would call us on the maintenance radios and be rude or tell the guys they were being incompetent. It was beyond micromanagement but also rude on top of it. She expected the maintenance guys to come to do work at her house for free, or she would tell some of the hospital vendors she would guarantee the hospital contract if they did work at her house for cheap. She used to brag about this to me. [Manager] and I were the only women in our department of about twenty-five people.

I was a mouthy twenty-something-year-old and didn’t care for her attitude, and I would regularly say, “Yeah, sure, whatever,” when she asked me to do things. I would do what she asked because it was my job, but I would make a noncommittal remark like that.

One time, [Manager] asked me to come to her house and help her pull down dead trees in her backyard since she was having a pool installed. I said no, mainly cause I wouldn’t do it for someone I liked let alone her, and pretty soon after that, she started treating me even worse than she did before and trying to get me in trouble. For example, she CCed her buddy in Human Resources on emails to me asking for the status of projects that I was working on and wanted my replies in writing.

Fast forward six months. I was five months pregnant with my first baby, and I was chatting in the office with one of the maintenance guys. [Manager] asked me to do something — I don’t remember what.

Me: “Yeah. Whatever, sure. I’ll do that in a few minutes.”

And I turned back around to talk to my coworker. [Manager] was standing behind me, and I heard her whisper:

Manager: “I wish I could slap the s*** out of you.”

I could see that my coworker heard her say it, too, and I made no comment, but I was shocked. I acted like I didn’t hear her. She left the office a minute later to do something.

I got up and walked down the hall to the employee health department because my heart was racing, and I was fuming, pissed, and five months pregnant. The employee nurse had me lie down for a bit, took my vitals, and wrote up a formal report. An hour later, she sent me back to my desk as okay to continue working.

When I logged back in, I saw an email from [Manager], with Human Resources CC’d, asking where I had been for the last hour as she’d called the office phone a bunch of times and I had abandoned my desk.

I emailed her back.

Me: “I apologize for being away from my desk. When you said you ‘wished you could slap the s*** out of me,’ I was so upset that I had to be calmed down and have my and my baby’s vitals checked at Employee Health. They were concerned about my hostile working environment and wanted me to stay there for the full hour.”

I made sure I BCC’d her buddy in HR and ALL of HR, her boss, and his boss to make sure everyone saw it.

I was summoned to HR about thirty minutes later. I knew [Manager] hadn’t seen my reply yet; this was the early 2000s and her computer was down in the office near me. They had me go home for the day and put me on admin leave for three extra days.

I came back to the office to see that [Manager]’s desk had been emptied out, and we never saw her again.

Those guys in maintenance threw me the best baby shower ever three months later.

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