Toxicity Begets Toxicity

, , , , , | Working | October 4, 2018

(I am looking to leave a toxic work environment. The manager has threatened to fire me, using loopholes, for being out recovering from an injury I sustained at work. I have recently interviewed for a position in an office environment. The pay is about the same as where I am, but it’s also closer to where I’m looking to move with my spouse. The interview goes well, and I come back to fill out some paperwork. I walk up to the receptionist.)

Me: “Hello, my name is [My Name] and I’m here to see [HR Manager].”

Receptionist: “Hi. Let me just page her for you; if you would just take a seat over there…”

Me: “Sure!”

(I sit down and wait for a little bit. The receptionist calls me up to tell me that the manager is at lunch and I need to wait a bit longer. I agree and sit back down. I arrived around the same time I did the interview. The manager didn’t schedule a time for the paperwork, but just gave me a day to come back. As I sit, silently looking at my phone, the waiting room fills up with people, all looking for the HR manager. After forty-five minutes, I begin to recognize this as a red-flag from my current job. But I am desperate to get out, so I figure, “What the h***?” and let it slide.)

Someone Next To Me: “Man, I’ve been waiting for twenty minutes. When is she going to get back?”

Me: “Probably soon. I’ve been here nearly an hour.”

(I occupy myself with my phone until I hear my name called. I am escorted back to the HR manager’s office. We greet each other, and I start filling out the paperwork.)

HR Manager: “I have to say, I’m very disappointed.”

Me: “Why?”

HR Manager: “I was told that you were quite rude to the receptionist. You know, I always say, you can tell how a person truly is by the way they treat the receptionist. You think you get to know them in an interview, but they’re just putting on an act to get hired.”

Me: “What?”

(I have high social anxiety. I am red in the face at this accusation, desperately wondering what I did wrong.)

HR Manager: “You were condescending and complaining the entire time. I told you that I had lunch this time of day. Why did you come now?”

Me: “I think you must have the wrong person…”

HR Manager: “No. They very clearly told me it was [My Name].”

(I finish the paperwork, trembling and embarrassed, feeling like crying. I hand it back to the HR manager.)

HR Manager: “So, are you good to start [date]?”

(I think about the other interviews I have lined up and decide that there is no way I am going to accept a trade to an environment that is an exact match for my current one.)

Me: “No.”

HR Manager: “Oh? And when would be good for you?”

Me: “I am formally rescinding my acceptance. Have a nice day.”

(I was escorted out. I drove home, shaky and terrified that I’d thrown away my only opportunity for a new job outside of my current position. But it worked out; I got another job offer a week later, and the managers are super chill, and everyone is friendly and gets along. Always trust your gut instinct!)

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