Fri, 11 Nov 2011 20:16:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Ta Ta Fri, 11 Nov 2011 20:16:06 +0000 admin

We will not be updating MVWJ for the foreseeable future. The site will remain up and you’ll still be able to enjoy past posts. Thanks for your stories, comments and support. We hope to see you at My Very Worst Date and My Very Worst Roommate.

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The Cheap Doctor Wed, 01 Jun 2011 06:09:18 +0000 admin

I applied to the doctor’s office when I saw it on my university’s job listing website. The description said it had part-time hours during school and full-time hours during the summer. It was perfect. I applied and was offered the job.

I was eager to start full-time because I needed the money for my bills. I started “full-time” only to find out that meant under 30 hours a week. I was struggling financially and had to take on another job, at an old job 2 hours away at my hometown, in which I worked 24 hours over the weekend. Apparently the doctor didn’t understand my need for extra hours because even though I told him multiple times I was going home to work he would always ask, “Are you going home this weekend to see your family?”

It would have been more beneficial for me to just live with my family, but I had signed a lease on an apartment with a roommate thinking I would be able to live in my college town. Plus, I felt bad for quitting somewhere so quickly.

As I worked over the summer I got more and more responsibility from the supervisor who I was taking over for. Soon I was in charge of processing insurance claims, running payments and all other general office work.

When school started I went back to my six hours a week. I soon took on a second babysitting job in the evenings and weekends to keep up, no longer did I have time to drive home every weekend. Strangely enough, every time I started going in for the 2 hours at the end of the day I had the exact same amount of work I had every day during the summer. I had no idea what my supervisor was doing all day, but it wasn’t her job.

I should mention that this office was extremely strict. No gum, no cell phones and not even any food was allowed. Of course, my supervisor got to do all these things because she was the doctor’s wife. Minus the paycheck there was no incentive to working there such as a free lunch or cookies for a birthday or something special.

But then my co-worker told me there was a Christmas bonus. I was so excited when Christmas came around and I really needed the money. I opened up my check to find $25. Not what I was expecting, but I decided it was better than nothing and tried to be happy about it. A couple hours later a women called that occasionally referred patients to our business, “Oh I just wanted to call and tell the doctor thank you for the gift card. That was so kind. I really wasn’t expecting it. Please tell him thank you for me!” Surely no one would be that excited for a gift card under $25.

A week later I couldn’t take it any longer and asked my co-worker, “You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want, but I’m just curious what you got for your bonus.”

“$267, you?”

I could barely get the words out to tell her how much I got. She tried to make me feel better by saying it was probably a percentage thing. Sure she was “full-time” all the time, but I had worked full-time all summer, came in whenever I could, and worked full-time every break I got at school.

Around that time I got offered a really great internship. I worked the two hours Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays at the doctor’s office and the internship was going to be all day Monday and Wednesday. I was so happy to have an excuse to quit and told them that I was no longer going to be able to work because of the days I was having to do the internship.

My supervisor’s response, “You don’t work there Thursdays? Well you can just come in then.”

Somehow my attempt to quit did not work.

I didn’t have as much work as I did before my internship, but I still had 2+ days of work every time I would come in. Finally since I am graduating I was able to tell them I wouldn’t be working once I finished school because I was going to find a full-time job in my field. I told them about three months in advance.

Two weeks ago I had a giant group presentation that we had been working on all semester that went into my work time. I told my supervisor I would be late, but I would come in as soon as it was over. She texted me the day before saying it had been slow all week and that I wouldn’t need to come in.

The next week she told me the same thing. I again was grateful since it was finals week. When she sent that text I couldn’t help but thinking my last day was coming up, but couldn’t remember the exact week. Apparently it was that week. When I told her thanks for letting my have the day off she responded, “That was ur last day right? Thank u for all ur hard work.” Guess I’m not even getting a going away card.

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On Edge Mon, 23 May 2011 19:27:43 +0000 admin

I am currently working in MVWJ as a transportation dispatcher, which is basically getting our cabs to pick up train crews to go from point A to point B. The job itself wouldn’t be that bad if it weren’t for the company and the people who run it. It’s owned by a local guy who owns a good portion of business here in town. None of us ever know what we’re going to walk into on a daily basis. Our head supervisor is a former Marine, who if you dare get sick, you’re scheduled on your next day off, usually without warning. We are required to do what they call “highlight” early or late, which means we either have to come in four hours early or stay four hours late. I am on first shift, which means if I highlight early, it means getting up at 2am to see if I am needed at 3am (I live across the street so I don’t need to call any earlier) and there’s no guarantee that you have to go in early.

You rarely know if you will have to stay late until you’re already making other plans, after they’ve told you all day you weren’t needed. Nothing’s worse than when they decide to tell you as your putting your headset up and walking out the door. They’ve been known to chase people down in the parking lot to get them back in to stay! If you have a day that you can’t stay or come in, you’re written up, and they don’t care why. Most of us are parents and some of us have had massive health problems, but even when you’re contagious, you’re expected to be there. The supervisors are also some of the most ridiculous people that I have ever met in my life! One supervisor in particular will virtually scream at you from across the room for something you supposedly did wrong. He has been sent home for his behavior, but won’t ever get fired. I’ve been sexually harassed, insulted, screamed at, threatened, you name it.

One of the worst things is the intimidation tactics they use. They will scream at people on the floor, threatening to suspend them for insubordination for things that are just crazy. We work with the big train companies — CSX, Norfolk Southern, Sooline, Amtrak and Union Pacific. UP has their own system that we have to close out and sometimes, if we are unusually busy, we get behind doing this. That’s when the supervisors come out to yell at us for not getting them out fast enough and threatening suspension. I’ve never worked in a place where people are so afraid to come into work. The only reason why we stay is that the money is halfway decent but that’s about it. I guess it’s a bad sign when there are only three or four people out of about 200 to 300 who have been there longer than three or four years. One has been there about 10, but she’s the exception. All I can do is keep looking for something better.

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Chain Store Capers Fri, 20 May 2011 15:36:12 +0000 admin

MVWJ at an ice cream chain was a mixed bag; I liked most of the people I worked with, and on many nights we could have work efficiently together and leave confident that we’d done a good job. But If S (manager) or L (wannabe manager) came in the next morning, they would find something, even just a smudge on the glass, to blow out of proportion and claim we left a mess. Both of them fed on drama and would often complain about someone to a coworker only to turn around to the person they complained about and say they were doing great and complain about someone else. Every few weeks they would find someone else to target, and while I knew they were probably just blowing off steam, every time it came around to me it made me anxious.

We worked in a small area so it was common to touch someone gently on the shoulder so they’d know you were there and not back into you, but B would often wrap his hand around girls’ waists and hips as he moved past. He would come up behind me and “hug” me from behind, pressing into me and conveniently getting his hands right under my chest. Whenever I closed with him he would try to get me to lay down with him in the back of his car and talk about sex with our respective significant others. Talking was actually most of what he did, and he would often follow me around the store to brag about how awesome he was while I tried to get everything spotless so S and L wouldn’t freak out.

One girl, H, who always worked very hard and was my favorite person to work with, had a boyfriend that called and came in more and more often to make a scene and shout or throw things. Everyone complained about him, but none of us talked to her about it. One night, the guy tried to kill H and she was severely wounded. I felt awful for not speaking up about the warning signs. The next shift I worked, the prick I worked with had the balls to roll his eyes and go on for quite some time about how she “should’ve known better” and that she was stupid, though he had also never said anything to her about the crazy boyfriend.

I landed a very part time job that worked around my schedule at the store, but S found out and started complaining that I was being sneaky. Having had enough of the drama, I found an on-campus job to start in the fall and finished out the summer. On my last shift S smiled and told me to come back and visit, but I’ll never know whether she meant it or if she started badmouthing me the second I walked out the door.


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The Landscape of Hell Mon, 16 May 2011 15:59:54 +0000 admin

Day 1 as a new hiree at a landscaping job, I excitedly head out the door. B, my new boss, calls literally just as I am headed out the door and cancels the workday.

Day 2: I drive the 30 min to work only to find today’s workday also to be cancelled.

Third try is a charm and I work 10 hour days 6 days straight. Upon return from the long weekend I find three new high school  hires, including a real-life Barbie. Shockingly, after 10 hours of work in the hot sun Barbie does not return for a second day of torture to her fake nails. The other two new hires are fired the next day for making honest mistakes made as a result of a lack of training. As the sole employee now, I am told I can work whichever schedule I desire. By the end of the day, however, B has managed to change the schedule a half dozen times before finally implementing a schedule whereby tomorrow – a previously scheduled day off (for which I had made plans that B was aware of) – is now a mandatory full day.  The following day at 8:23 AM, B calls to cancel the workday.

During the course of my employment, I am yelled at and treated in a demeaning manner, often enduring undeserved and irrelevant rants and of course an erratic schedule that seems to change as often as the weather in our area (hint: every five minutes). I am expected to work 10-hour days in the sweltering heat without break even for food or drink, and B strongly suggests I pee in a bottle, as he does, in the back of the trailer (I am a woman). He places said bottle in the cooler next to my Gatorade. Then came the day B ignorantly drove 1,000lbs+ of mulch-filled trailer over my foot without so much as an apology or offer to take me to a hospital. I tough out the remainder of the day without complaint, despite being unable to bear weight on said foot.

I work long and hard for B despite all the above because a) as a university student I am desperate for the work and b) I am a really hard and proud worker who does not give up easy.

The last straw though was when pay day rolled around and my cheque was missing hours. I worked for B for a month and was one of his longest-working employees. Later I discovered that he owed at least two former employees thousands of dollars in hours and equipment; those employees recounted similar stories to mine (down to the pee bottle stored next to their lunch and drinks).

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Bad Boss Lady Sat, 07 May 2011 16:35:41 +0000 admin

Decades ago, when I was in college, I worked for a lady named L. She had a reputation for being a hard ass with a bad temper, but I thought I could handle it. I did shipping and invoices and clerical duties. I once took a horrible ass-chewing from her because I entered one piece of data wrong. I tried explaining to her that I used one of our software programs before invoices were printed to check all of my entries, but that didn’t matter, I wasn’t supposed to “make ANY mistakes WHATSOEVER.” She would throw paperwork on my desk and tell me she could not believe I had messed that up, that I had better fix it and fix it NOW, and actually stomp her little fat foot. She dragged me into the conference room once and chewed on me for 30 minutes for a mistake that, I found out later, she had made entering customer requirements.

She had the habit of standing behind me while I worked, making me a nervous wreck, watching my every move. One afternoon she grabbed my shoulder, gave me a shake, pointed her chubby finger at my screen and said “See! See that, you almost put the amount in the wrong field!!!” Her boss happened to walk in that time (she would never go overboard on the scolding if someone else was around) and he told me I was late for my lunch, to go ahead and go. Bless him, he could tell I was about to lose it and that L was out of line. I talked to our HR director about that incident the next day. He said he pitied me, that L was famous for her short temper, and did I know that she had fired the last two folks that had had my position? Nope, sure didn’t. He offered to place me in a different job, but it would be a significant cut in pay and I  couldn’t afford it.

She was a horrible racist. I heard her make many nasty comments about the Black and Hispanic workers at our plant, one directed toward a friend of mine that worked in our warehouse. He dared to mess  up one our trucking invoices, she wasn’t shocked, she said she was surprised he could read and write English, and she didn’t know why they bothered hiring “those people.” Early that next year, L was given a promotion at one of our sister facilities in another state. Less than six months after she sold her house and made her hen-pecked husband move 400 miles away from their families, she was shit canned. I heard from my counterpart at that plant that she was overheard telling one co-worker that another co-worker was a “stupid n-word.” She was terminated immediately, she wasn’t even allowed to go back to her desk, she was escorted to her car. This was just before Christmas that year, I told my now husband that he didn’t have to get me a gift, that that was the best present EVER.

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Adventures in Babysitting Mon, 25 Apr 2011 15:14:44 +0000 admin

I got a babysitter job via Craigslist. I was to take care of a stay-at-home mom’s kids. She never asked for references or a background check, but I was immediately given full access to everything she possessed – home, car, purse – and she left bills lying all over the place, which I found odd. Day One – I trained with their last babysitter who’d recently resigned for “health reasons.” It was nap time and the kids were asked to visit the potty before going to bed. The five-year-old refused. The nanny suddenly hugged him tightly and BEGGED him not to pee on the floor again.

Day Two – Mom drove us to a medical appointment for the five-year-old. While in the waiting room, the mom handed me some confidential paperwork and told me to give it to the staff. She then left me to watch the three-year-old, claiming she had to go outside to the car to have a “business meeting” phone call. She said she’d try to make sure it ended when the appointment did. The appointment ended and the kids and I went out to the parking lot but the mom wouldn’t let us in the car because she was still on the phone. So I waited outside in the parking
lot with two small children who didn’t really know me…for ONE HOUR. The five-year-old kept asking when he could see his mom and punched the hood of a car. When Mom finally got off the phone and summoned us, she didn’t even apologize.

Whenever I told the five-year-old no he would shout at top volume or threaten me. He had a problem with impulse control and had been recently evaluated for ADHD. Even so, the mom would let him have whatever he wanted anytime, often contradicting everything I’d told him. Once she gave him a real hammer to play with in the house. All the kids were far and away the biggest brats I’ve ever seen in over 20 years of child care. They were constantly whining and treating me like a servant. They had clearly been raised with no rules or consequences for their behavior, and it made them into little monsters, especially the five-year-old.

After two weeks I was suddenly fired because the kids weren’t “happy.” I still have no idea what that means since they were like NEVER happy. I think Mom just decided I wasn’t peppy and lax enough for her perfect little crotch nuggets.

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Floor Store Fri, 22 Apr 2011 01:09:44 +0000 admin

I had just graduated university and was looking for my first real job. A friend suggested I apply for a job at a local flooring store as an office worker, as her Dad knew the owners. I should have known right away that this wasn’t a good idea, but I really wanted to get started on my career. I applied and interviewed for the position and was thrilled when they offered me the job. The name of the store was so embarrassing I wouldn’t even tell people where I worked.

The shift started at a different time everyday ( I got all the bad shifts) which wasn’t ideal but beggars can’t be choosers so I sucked it up. Their daughter was about to have a baby and they needed someone to cover for her and then stay on afterwards. They asked me to promise that I would stay for at least one year, which I had no problem doing.

Right away the dynamics of the office seemed odd. It was made clear that they were family and I was an outsider.  The daughter (A) and her husband (B) worked there as did the mother (owner), I will call her P and her ex-husband’s new wife, T. She had bought her ex-husband (F) out of the company. Despite this F continued to come in all the time and acted like he owned the company, fine who was I to say anything. He was a local politician but was a shady character, the type of guy that just gives you the creeps. He used the staff to put up his campaign signs.

I got along with B really well and even got him free tickets for him and his son to see his favourite band. I liked everyone and things were fine for a while, although I did little office work and did a lot of cleaning, sales and other things.

They used an archaic system to store their business contacts and expected me to instantly grasp the way they filed, even though it made no logical sense, not alphabetical.

Then right before A had her baby I broke my ankle. I called to say I had to go to the hospital but that I would come in after I had my cast on, so I would be about an hour late. She told me to stay home and call the next day. They continued to tell me to stay home even though I said I could work because I had a walking cast. I came in to see them and brought A some really nice baby presents. P sent me home and said she would call me.

Eventually, after much begging on my part (I needed the money and I was ok to work) P allowed me to come back to work, but got angry if I made even the smallest mistake even though they didn’t have the time to properly train me. Then one day out of the blue P fired me, said it just wasn’t working out. Other then the occasional small mistake I had done nothing really wrong, was always dressed really well, on time and polite. I was confused as to why but then I figured it out. They had hired me only until the daughter could come back to work. She would now work under the table (while collecting maternity leave) and bring the baby to work everyday; she had been doing this a few days a week while I was still there.

I guess they wanted to see if it would work with the baby there and I was the back up plan. I had never been fired in my life. Getting fired from this place was the best thing that happened to me, I got offered a government job the next week for over double the pay. I figured I was better off anyways, since the whole dynamic of the place was odd. F and T even lived in the store for a while.

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The Assistant’s Assistant Sun, 10 Apr 2011 23:36:40 +0000 admin

I’m writing this submission while still employed at MVWJ. I began this entry-level position at my company a year and half ago. At the beginning, I had a great relationship with my boss, J. When I had been employed for about eight months, J pulled me into his office and told me I had been doing a great job and asked if I was interested in more responsibilities, a title change and increased salary. The department was making some big changes and he had been approached by his boss and HR about this. I said of course! I was so thrilled that my hard work had paid off and I was moving up the company ladder. The next week K, the head of HR, came to my desk and told me I would be reporting to V from now on. My desk would be moved within a couple of days. I was in shock and asked her if she was sure and what my position would be. She replied yes, and that it was still administrative assistant, then smiled a fake smile and walked off.

The reason for my shock and dismay was that V was the executive assistant for J’s boss. I went from being an “assistant” to an “assistant to an executive assistant.” No title change, no salary increase, nothing. I was crushed. J came by and apologized profusely. He said he had no idea that HR was moving in that direction and his hands were tied. I was upset but knew it wasn’t his fault and resolved to suck it up and try to be optimistic.

 As soon as I was moved closer to V, she began her tirade. It takes about two hours for me to commute on the train to my job and J had always been very understanding about this since he commuted from far away as well. He would let me make my own schedule because he knew I always completed my work on time and was very reliable. J would even let me work from home some days as he did as well.

V did not care. She wanted me at my desk and checking in with her at precisely 8:30 every morning and not a minute later. This meant leaving my apartment at 6:15am and not returning home until 6:30pm and I was NEVER allowed to work from home. Some days I couldn’t help being late because the train would break down or be delayed. I would tell V and notify her from my phone when it happened. She wrote me up with HR and I was given a final warning. I had been on a train that struck and killed a man! I tried to explain to them that it wasn’t my fault but K (who had stuck me with V in the first place) told me to suck it up and figure it out myself. This would have been bearable had that been the only issue. V and her other friend B (who was also an executive assistant) would give me all the work they didn’t feel like doing. She sent me to pick up lunches for their bosses (which were paid with the company credit card). V would also make me file her expense reports for her boss, which she would then check and submit under her name to receive credit. She sent me passive aggressive emails marked high priority with read receipts attached.

One of my favorites went like this: 

V: “I need you to research the best and safest way to purchase American Express gift cards online for the upcoming baby shower. This is high priority.”

Me: “” 

She would shuffle past my desk to check to make sure I was working. It was obvious she was checking up on me because my desk was not on a convenient route to anywhere i.e. the kitchen, elevator, bathroom, etc. I stopped taking lunches because she treated me as if I was doing something wrong whenever I said I was going to take a break. She demanded I inform her the second I returned and would make sure I wasn’t a minute off on my time card or she’d send it back to me to fix it. I began to hate work so much that every morning I’d wake up with a stomachache at the thought of dealing with V, always worried she would throw me under the bus. I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. She had several nicknamed around the office, such as “Cruella” and “Lady of the Dark.”

After months of job searching, I finally found a new position where I will get to use my brain, not my ability to fetch lunches and make folders! Even better, it’s 10 minutes from my apartment. I almost cried from relief when they hired me. I’m going to miss J (he actually helped me get my new job by giving me a great reference) and a few other people, but I’m so happy to get out of this dead-end position. 

I told V last Friday that I would be leaving and she’s still trying to make my life hell. It’s ok, though because I’M OUTTA HERE!

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Don’t Bank On It Mon, 28 Mar 2011 05:57:59 +0000 admin

MVWJ seemed like it could be MVBJ, but took a sudden turn for the worst. I was hired by a bank as a supervisor in the summer of ’08. My particular branch won quite a few regional outstanding performance awards in ’08 and at the end of the year we received a new regional manager that took a liking to me. By early ’09 I had been promoted to Assistant Manager and when the new regional manager had enough with the current branch manager he got rid of her, leaving me in charge. A few months later I was training to be a full branch manager, all of this happening within the first year that I started working for this bank.

As Branch Manager I was one of the most successful managers in the company’s history right off the bat. I was awarded with free box seats to professional baseball, basketball, and hockey games. I was earning large monthly bonuses, and very excited about possibly moving up farther in the company, but then it all came crashing down.

I had a supervisor, J, who was basically one of the laziest employees I have ever seen. I was at home when my regional manager called me up and told me to go ahead and terminate her employment (entirely his decision to make). Immediately following J’s termination all hell broke loose. Her parents and fiancé would regularly come into the branch and stand at the teller line complaining about the employees and, of course, me. Her father filled out a customer service report rating us “poor” in every category and claiming that one of my employees was intoxicated at work. On one occasion J’s parents refused to leave the branch and I had to call the police in order to get rid of them. On a near daily basis calls were made to our customer service and legal departments that J’s parents were hiring lawyers and planned to sue the bank for discrimination unless they terminated me. Since this is posted as MVWJ you know what happened.

I was brought in two months following J’s termination and my regional manager was nearly in tears as he fired me, promising to give me stellar recommendations if needed in the future. The bank dug up a minor policy I had violated 12 months prior as the reason for the termination, but everyone knew what the real issue was. I consulted a lawyer, but when you are an at-will employee there is really nothing that can be done outside of discrimination (curses to being a white male). Perhaps I got the last laugh though since the day after my termination the complete branch manager rankings came out, and guess who was ranked first for the entire company?

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