Toxic workplace? Yes, I know this seems like an odd topic, but one that leads me to a bit of stress.
I’ve posted about my medical history (Part 1 and 2) before, but I think I should give some insight into some of the factors that I feel may have caused this stress. I’m going to get this out all, so if you don’t want to read me ranting and raving you may leave now. If you get to the end and then complain about this post I’m going to send Milly after you, and she has punched people in the mouth for singing poorly.
So lets about my toxic workplace experience.
Toxic Workplace: History
While I was working on my first degree I got a weekend job, as a lot of college students do. It was great, weekends, holidays, it paid great and overall pretty laid back. Perfect for a college student. After graduation, I stayed on to gather my bearings to decide on my next move. During this time I was offered a job as an adjunct teach biology, anatomy and physiology labs at the local university. So I decided to do both jobs for a while so I would have some time to make my plans.
Adjuncts don’t make much money, but it was a nice resume builder and a fun job.
However, soon after my graduate schools plans fell through. So I decided to move from part-time to full-time with my weekend job. This was to gather my bearing and planned on my next move.
Toxic Workplace: Signs
Like most things, you don’t notice you the signs at first. It soon becomes apparent, I’m amazed I didn’t get it.
After staying with the company I decided that I should try to move up. I soon learned this was not just a mistake, but also a waste of time and stress inducing.
To sum up the hiring tree, merchandisers are at the bottom and the next step is an account manager. Account managers answer to district managers which in turn answer to area managers.
Narcissists On Top
One name pops into my head, and sadly I trusted this person and he is in a high enough position to make things happen. When I attempted to move I followed the company policy, waited for an opening and applied. I met all the requirements, including the preferred qualification. At first, I wasn’t even granted an interview, and when I called HR I was told to change my résumé for a “keyword search”. I mean, who needs to check applications when you can run a keyword search.
After my first interview, this person told me we’d go to lunch and discuss my interview. That never happened. I soon realized they were not hiring for qualifications or experience.
Thinking about it in hindsight, about four names come to mind and they are all as bad as each other.
After each interview, I was passed over for people off the street with fewer qualifications. Numerous other employees would tell “I can’t believe they would do that to you”. Turns out, I’m in the majority.
After I made the decision to leave the company and return to school. We had a conference call with the area VP. He wanted to discuss that across the entire area we said management did not hire the best person on our company year-end surveys. He requested feedback, in hindsight, I should have contacted him directly.
Lack of Transparency
What hiring standards did the company follow? Who the hell knows. They made many claims about “hiring the best person”. Might as well try and sell someone a bridge. Numerous employees with experience were passed over. People off the street with zero experience and no real educational qualifications were hired into good jobs.
Policies would change and we were expected to sign acknowledgments without meetings to discuss. I hate meetings, but you should CYA.
People at the bottom of the tree adhered to strict standards. Up the tree, not so much. If they were held accountable 95% of the problems would have been remedied. I found myself in a runt, unable to move up, stuck on a terrible route and no one seemed to worry. So I did let somethings slide. That is 100% on me. But asking for the support that the company promised repeatedly and not receiving it. That is on them.
I got in trouble for letting things slide, no one got in trouble for not providing the proper support.
Five people quit my route before me…This trend wasn’t looked into. Everyone knew the reason, no one said.
The Place Is Sick, Literally
Stressful work environments lead to sick employees. Two employees were so broken mentally from my route they just walked out (I don’t blame them). During this time they found my adrenal tumor. I can’t blame the entire thing on the company, but the physical and mental stress didn’t help. I also ended up with a stress fracture in my vertebral column, which I do blame on this job.
Toxic Workplace: Conclusion
In all I applied for 4 jobs, three went to people off the street with no experience and similar educational qualifications. One went to some who was transferring from another job. To this one, one person called to tell me I wasn’t selected. Not one time was an interview ever discussed with me (despite it being company policy).
My direct supervisor stood up for us but wasn’t in a place to make any material changes.
If you find yourself in a toxic workplace. My advice is to form an exit strategy and get out. Learn from me and do not trust people to do the right thing if they failed to do it the first time.
If any of those in management that made these decisions read this. You affected the livelihoods and family lives of employees because you are terrible people and worse at your jobs. So let me say on behalf of everyone that you can bite me.