Real Talk Tuesday: The Workplace

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Good morning everyone!  Another snow day here.  I'm getting pretty tired of all the snow but at least I can still work and get paid on snow days and I don't have to worry about making up any time.   Speaking of work... we're talking about office drama today!

I  feel truly blessed that my current company seems almost entirely free of drama and internal problems, but I think the only reason I appreciate it as much as I do is because I have had at least one pretty horrific former employer.

While I don't like speaking ill of anyone, I though I would just recap a few stories here so if I ever forget my experience there I can easily come back here and remember.

- At some point during my time at that office my boss decided that I should also be his babysitter.  I was getting paid next to nothing so I agreed to it once in a while.  Then, one day, a massive snow storm rolled in.  His kids were let out of school early and he told me to go pick them up, take them out to lunch, and then stay at home with them (meanwhile the office had closed and everyone else went home).  They lived on the top of a huge hill and my car failed to make it up three times... I had to find another route up there and there was no way I would be going back down to take the kids out to lunch.  I called my boss (who had gone to the mall with his wife) close to tears asking him to please get home as soon as possible because the storm was only going to get worse and I lived an hour away.  He and his wife ignored my phone calls and eventually texted me to say they'd be gone for the afternoon.  Needless to say after that I refused to babysit anymore and within a month I had applied to my master's program.

- At this same office I was once "promoted" to a new position.  The woman who was previously doing my job was also moved into a new position.  I didn't realize it at the time, but they wanted to fire her but wanted to make sure that I could do her job before they let her go. They had her doing menial office work for two weeks while she watched someone else take her job.  I felt terrible but was truly unaware of what was going on until it was too late.

- One of the worst stories to come out of this office was when one of our attorneys was driving to meet a client to sign some documents.  When he arrived at the clients house he had a massive heart attack (just one sign of how stressful our company was!).  Instead of visiting him in the hospital with a gift basket and a 'get well soon' card, my boss sent someone down there with termination papers and fired him.

I think I've blocked out much of my time there but I know there a dozen other stories that made this company the poster child for what not to do if you want a successful business.  It was almost always a gloomy and stressful atmosphere and for not real good reason.

Looking back, it was because of this work situation that I decided to go back to school for my master's degree and it is also what pushed me into business since I knew there had to be a better way to manage a company. So, as miserable as it was, it was a great learning experience for me and motivated me into bigger and better things!

Simple Bliss


  1. oh mine, your stories sound really bad. and i can't believe that there's someone like your boss in the first story. i mean asked you to babysit his children??

    but i know some people who ask their employee to run grocery for them too, so...and the one who fired a man because a heart attack. that's unbelievable

    anyway, glad that you got out of those!

  2. oh my gosh erin! those stories are pretty horific! i think i can deal with the coworkers who get snappy. so glad youre loving your new job!

  3. i was getting goose bumps while reading this post. Im so glad you are not working for that company anymore!

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  4. Sorry to hear the awful experiences upon entering the work world. Here's to hoping that I won't be in a similar position when that time comes... though, like you said, it pushed you to earn your Master's and now I'm sure you fully believe it was all well worth it! Congrats!

  5. Oh no, that sounds like a terrible place to work. I am glad you are not there anymore!

  6. Oh boy, I can totally relate to you! I could tell you some stories just like this - best decision of my life to just quit and leave without thinking about what comes after because a good work place really doesn't need all the drama.
    I'm happy for you you're in a much better place now and that it got you to where you are now. That happened to me, too - the experience helped me to grow :)

  7. Oh my gosh... I've been thinking lately about bad jobs myself! It's a terrible time when you go through them and feel so used and manipulated, but in hindsight it's really a good experience if you learn to recognize what you just won't tolerate at a work place. That's pretty good self-awareness training I think.