With Child(like Behavior)

| IL, USA | Working | April 15, 2013

(I’m seven months pregnant and working alone in the shoe department; my department manager has stepped out for lunch. Everyone has been understanding of my pregnancy except for my assistant manager. Note: she calls me ‘Karen’, even though it’s not my real name, which is printed on my name tag.)

Assistant Manager: “Karen, I need all the shoes from this list down and out on the floor.”

(I look at the list and realize more than half are out of my reach.)

Me: “I can get some out, but I’ll have to wait ’til [department manager] is back from lunch since I can’t get the higher boxes.”

Assistant Manager: “Look, I gave you a job and I want it done now. If you don’t do it now, I will write you. Do you understand?”

Me: “But… I can’t use—”

Assistant Manager: “Now!” *walks away*

(At this point, I am tearing up because I am both stressed and scared for my job. I’m about to climb up a rolling ladder when the store manager walks by with his co-manager.)

Store Manager: “[My real name], what are you doing?!”

Me: “[Assistant manager] told me I had to get these shoes down right now or I would be written up.”

Store Manager: “Oh, for Pete’s sake… I gave her that list to give to [department manager], not you. Wait here.”

(The store manager rushes off, leaving me and the co-manager, who does his best to try to calm me down. Eventually, the store manager returns with the assistant manager in tow.)

Assistant Manager: “Karen, why aren’t you doing what I asked?!”

Me: “Um…”

Store Manager: “No. I will stop you right there, [assistant manager]. You can clearly see she is pregnant. If she were to fall or hurt herself, it would be on us. She’s already had one incident here before (I had passed out while on the clock) and I do not need another one. I gave you the list for [department manager], but you felt you had to take your personal opinion out on her, bullying her and threatening her job. So now I am making YOU do the job. If I see or hear of you passing it off to someone else, I will write you up myself and put in a call to [regional manager]. Do I make myself clear?”

Assistant Manager: “Yes, sir.” *turns to me and scowls*

Store Manager: “By the way, her name is not Karen; it’s [my real name]. If you used your eyes, you could clearly see it on her name tag.” *turns to me* “[My real name], go take a break. When you come off that break, come to the office. I will transfer you to a different department myself so you do not have to deal with [assistant manager] anymore.”

(The store manager did indeed transfer me to a different department. Unsurprisingly, the assistant manager transferred stores shortly after I left for maternity leave because she tried to pull a similar stunt with another pregnant girl she didn’t like!)

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