Here is the short story first: Recently I started working a new job in the food industry. At first I thought that I may have found something worthwhile, but now I’m about to quit. I am upset because of general disappointment and having to deal with more financial unease, but I feel that I’m having to work in a hostile work environment and that I will not be able to thrive under these conditions.
And now for the long story.
Like I said before, I was very enthusiastic about my prospects with this company. There seemed to be a lot of money that could be made given its part time status, and some of the people I got to work with were pretty cool. However, as time went on, cracks began to show, and I started doubting my ability to survive long term.
There were a few inconsequential things that happened related to poor communication. Actually, it was a systemic issue. However, during my time with the company, I was insulted for my weight, sexual preference, personality, and even for not using the word “with” while calling out a food order. And as this blog demonstrates, I have a high tolerance for embarrassment, but given that this is a workplace, I always felt that there was a total lack of professionalism that created an environment that did not positively impact the output of product or services. In fact, it often made situations more complicated and stressful than they needed to be.
One person in particular named Chris gave me nothing but grief. From the moment I met him, it was apparent that he couldn’t stand me. I’m not particularly sure what I originally did to piss him off; perhaps our personalities just do not gel. However, he never treated me with dignity or respect, instead opting to repeatedly cuss at me, criticize my personality and work output, and then criticize my attempts to correct the issues he had. It did not take me long to figure out that there was no pleasing this asshole, and instead of acquiescing over and over, I decided to be a smart ass. To be clear, I never intentionally sabotaged his ability to perform his job; I simply annoyed him in response to his dickishness.
Today was the first day I’ve worked with him in charge, and the first day I’ve worked with him since we got into it last time over nothing. At first, I was optimistic that perhaps we could get along today. However, by the time we took our first orders, it was off to the races. The other guy, Jesus, never actively engaged in any demeaning behavior, but often encouraged it with cat calls.
Sooner rather than later, Chris went on an authoritarian streak and started to develop a Trump mindset with the way he communicated with me, insulting me for a various number of things, mostly over nothing, again. As the aggravation increased, the insults became greater. Finally, he told me to “get the fuck out” as loud as he could, customers within earshot. Don’t have to tell me twice, bitch.
I called my boss immediately afterwards. I was left thoroughly unimpressed with the response I received, which basically consisted of telling me that I was completely wrong and that Chris’ behavior was justified. Shocked and upset, I explained that as a human being, I am entitled to dignity and respect, which Chris does not show me, regardless of the differences in work style or personality. Apparently my boss didn’t agree.
So I have the weekend to think about my future with this job. I’ve discussed the situation with close friends and all agree that I should leave. But even though I really want to, I desperately need the money. I can always find another job comparable to this one, and perhaps significantly better like in the past. I really just want to take what I can get.
What would you do?