Work Lately: The Good and Bad

I’m currently lazing my way through  my night off via watching tons of videos from Feminist Frequency and Sex+. While working on this puzzle I’m super looking forward to finishing. Taking a break for a minute to talk about stuff at work.

So this week, one of my regular shift-workers is on vacation and one of the day people is covering her. This same woman will be covering the *other* regular shift-worker while she’s recovering from surgery for six weeks.

This girl is fantastic.

I mean, not over-the-top we-have-so-much-in-common fantastic, but my analysis of her so far is that she’s genuine, truthful, and loyal. She doesn’t take bullshit and she has no problem making herself clear when she’s dealing with bullshit. Something my shift really needs.

I’m often troubled by my seeming inability to be compatible on even the most basic levels with most human beings. There are only a handful of people with whom I’m actually compatible, who I’m never tired of seeing, who I can be 100% at ease with. The majority of people are alien to me.

We don’t listen to a whole lot of overlapping music, she’s definitely not a sci-fi/fantasy fan, definitely not an atheist. So far a lot of our ability to communicate well revolves around the bullshit we experience from the other two women who work thirds. But she’s not alien to me. Which is very, very significant.

She’s the same age as my husband, compared to the other two women who are 40-something and 60-something. That alone seems to make a huge difference in our ability to exchange humour.

On a slightly more negative vein, the woman on thirds who has been routinely harassing me is going to have a hostile environment report filed on her. (Apparently ‘hostile environment’ is the triggery lawsuit phrase employers don’t like to hear.) I suspect that this will make things much, much worse for me, up until the point that she quits or is fired for continued misconduct.

Also, I don’t think I’ve written about this because it’s only a recent realization, but since the shit hit the fan last fall I have been experiencing microaggressions from these two women. It comes in the forms of checking on me while I’m completing tasks, checking my work after I’m finished, telling what to do (on third shift we have no supervisor, we’re meant to work as a team), ignoring me, stranding me without the ability to take bathroom breaks for several hours, throwing me dirty looks, and generally creating a negative environment.

Most days, I can look forward to ten minutes of interaction with people from the previous shift and then my night looks depressingly bleak. As a matter of fact, last Saturday was the night that all three of us work (happens once a week so we can complete extra tasks) and it’s never more obvious to me that they’re a team against me than those nights. This particular day, their microaggressions were stacked in such a way that, after months, my depression was actually triggered at work to the point that I couldn’t stay. It wasn’t my turn to go home early (a thing we do on those nights) so I had to call one of the managers to cover the last several hours of my shift.

Thankfully, all three of the managers have been on my side throughout this process, they all three like me, and they all three have a strong enough understanding of depression to understand why and to what extent it’s a factor in my reactions to the microaggressions. And it’s thanks to that that the hostile environment report is being filed.

Thankfully again, steps are being taken in the right direction. I seriously never thought I’d have to deal with workplace harassment in this form, nor that it would happen in my FIRST job. It’s been so subtle that I didn’t even realize it was happening until I had to leave work crying and go to my husband while he was at work for comfort.

The store manager was clearly very upset when he spoke to me about what happened Saturday night. I’m sure he’s tired of dealing with bullshit at work, since there’s no apparent reason for it and he’s dealing with enough shit in his personal life. Everyone is tired of these bullies, and measures are being taken to stem their pointlessly aggressive behaviour.

Also the new girl is awesome. Just want to throw that out there again to sort of tie up this shit-in-a-box with a pretty bow.

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