We’re Family… When It Suits Me

, , , , | Working | April 19, 2021

Back in 2018, I worked in a really well-known English shop that sold soaps. I was a Christmas seasonal employee and did not stick around when Christmas ended.

I was grateful because our manager was incredibly vindictive and loved to play favourites. He even bullied me in front of clients and coworkers because of my disability, claiming it had cost him two days of work — one was my free day, which he chose. But this wasn’t even the pettiest thing he did.

The pettiest thing was overheard while I was down in the small warehouse.

A bunch of us workers were clocking out already. One, [Coworker #1], had to take a train and needed to leave fast, so she just took her things, wrote down her hours, and ran for it. A coworker, who was still on her working time, was in the middle of putting some things in a box and, as it was a very small warehouse, [Coworker #1] apologized and jumped over her. When she was already on the stairs, [Manager] stopped her.

Manager: “Why aren’t you helping your coworker? She is down there in the ground and you just go and jump over her. That is terribly disrespectful and I cannot believe you would do that!”

Coworker #1: “Well, I already clocked out and I have to catch a train to my hometown. I have no obligation to help, and she didn’t need it.”

Manager: “But you are her coworker and as such should be more empathetic. We need team players; we are a family. I don’t care that you are running late for your train. You have to help your fellow mates.”

Coworker #1: “Again, [Coworker #2] didn’t need help, and I. Have. A. Train. To take. Can I leave already?”

Manager: “No, no. You don’t get it. You are being terribly disrespectful and I am super disappointed in you. I did not expect you to do such things.”

Coworker #1: “But I am—”

[Manager] cut [Coworker #1] off in the middle of her sentence.

Manager: “No, no, go catch the train now.”

[Coworker #1] tried to say something else, but [Manager] kept cutting her off and telling her, sarcastically, to leave already because she had a train to catch and, obviously, it was way more important.

[Coworker #1] left, huffing and stomping, rightfully fed up with [Manager].

Then, [Manager] went to the table where one of the administrative employees was and started chatting with her.

Manager: “You know, next year, when she asks me for holiday leave, I’m just gonna give her whatever day I want. And if she can’t see her family, tough luck. She shouldn’t be such a b****.”

So much for empathy and family, huh?

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