In Sixties And A Pain!

Question:

Nine months ago, a chiropractic doctor as a receptionist hired me. There were only three of us; the doctor, Sally, the office manager, who is an older person in her sixties, and me. About a week after I started, Sally yelled at me for little things such as using blue pens instead of black. She is a health nut and pours out my diet coke and junk food. She even yells at me in front of patients. The doctor and she have been together for years and he say anything to stop her abuse. Both the doctor and patients have witnessed her outbursts. After six months I was laid off. I told the doctor about Sally’s verbal abuse and he said she wouldn’t change. She has treated other receptionists badly too. I live in California. There ought be some way to stop her outbursts.

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She’s Trying To Get Me Fired!

Question:

I work for a nonprofit organization at a location with another organization. Over the past several month’s a management member from the other organization has been trying to get me fired by: asking customer’s to write complaints about me, expressing in committee meetings my uncaring attitude about my job, calling me a little girl in these meetings, saying I’m doing childish thing’s like hiding thing’s from her, and her staff, letting my supervisor run my game, saying she can’t get a hold of me when she needs to, involving shared employees to the degree they are all walking on egg shells, asking her staff that is present to write notes about conversations they overheard which almost always in some way get special treatment for doing so.

I believe a select few are taking advantage of her control issues to get special treatment. Now she’s taking all of her made up and unsupported concerns to her boss who in turn is constantly going to mine. My boss is telling me that he’s aware she’s just trying to get me fired. The other day though I received word from my boss that they feel my supervisor of nine years is a big part of the problem and wants her let go even though she hasn’t had write ups or any disciplinary actions for the duration of her employment. He also wants me to hire someone with a manager’s license as my new supervisor and backup manager.

I believe that my employment will end as soon as this new person is trained. This woman is never even present at my game time. I believe she’s a bully and uses bullying tactics in the work place. My stress level has been thru the roof for months now it’s affecting my job performance, my home life, and my health. I’ve in the last three weeks I’ve experienced panic attacks, depression, irritable bowels, and insomnia. The inability to not constantly prepare for the next attack has made me overly sensitive and very reactionary along with being constantly fearful for my job, I would love to just quit, but financially it is impossible. We have four young children. I work three days a week. To make what I do at this job, I would have to take full time work that isn’t an option considering they are out of school, and we couldn’t afford the daycare.

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I Quit; Am I Due Vacation Pay?

Question:

I have just turned in my notice to my current employer of 3 years and I have 2 weeks of vacation time left. I didn’t know if there was some law that said they had to pay me for that time or if it was just up to them. In case it matters I live in NC. Thanks for your help,

Signed,

Voting With My Feet In N.C.

Answer:

Dear Voting With My Feet In N.C.:

Whether a separated employee receives vacation pay after resignation is an individual company policy. In most cases, the employee will be paid. However, many companies have a policy if an employee resigns without working a notice (which is generally two weeks), the vacation pay is forfeited. Discuss the matter with your supervisor, human resources personnel, or an appropriate management person “before” leaving. Best of luck. Think WEGO.

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Am I Being Replaced?

Question:

I have been working for my employer now for a little over 2 years as her assistant manager. Recently she hired a new employee and he took over most of my job duties including assistant manager for no reason known to me. I feel like they are trying to get me to quit. The owner told me what my job would be, and when I went to do it, the new assistant manager told me I couldn’t do it anymore and speak the owner and let her tell me what to do. I also believe she is paying him more for doing the same job I was doing. What do I need to do?

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Can I Be Fired For Reporting Sexual Harassment?

Question:

Can a person be fired while not on the job? I wrote you some time ago about a harassment issue in my office. A week ago, I made a formal charge about the issues. I was then on vacation for 10 days. I was called into the office last Friday – while still on my vacation time, and told I was being fired for insubordination — because it was my managers who were involved in the harassment. My first question: CAN they fire me while I am not “employed” — in essence not on the job — and Secondly: Can they fire me for bringing this incident to light?

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Fired!

Question:

I recently got dismissed from my job as a retail sales representative. I was only there for 2 weeks. I was doing a distribution audit at a grocery store. I walked in and didn’t see any management around, so I proceeded to the section I needed to audit. The section was messy and I couldn’t tell what was on the shelf so I started to take some product off the shelf and I moved a couple of items and the labels. Before I could finish, someone approached me from the store. I assumed he was a manager.

He asked me what I was doing. I explained but he seemed angry, and I felt very nervous so I kept on straightening the shelf. He then asked me if I moved anything. Without thinking I said no. He pointed to the two items I had moved. I replied, “Oh, I did. ” He then started calling me a liar. I tried to tell him that I wasn’t finished, but he continued to talk over me. Yelling. He asked me how would I like it if he went to my house and moved my furniture. I didn’t answer I just said I’m sorry I’ll move it back. He continued with the same question over and over while I tried to clean up. Finally I asked him to stop yelling at me and to be quiet. He was making a scene on the sales floor, so busy chewing me out that he didn’t even notice customers wanted his help. I tried to get him to calm down but his constant yelling made me so nervous I was actually shaking.

I told him again will you just stop, and I almost started to cry, but I held it in. He asked me again about the moving the furniture. I said if he wants to he could move my furniture. He seemed to think that I was being sarcastic. I just felt I answered his question. Then he asked for my business card and said he was going to tell my boss about my attitude and for me to leave the store. My hands were shaking. I couldn’t find my cards.

I handed him the card, and I left as he requested. He followed me to the door, making a couple of comments, but I just blocked him out of my head. When I got home, I called my supervisor and explained what happened on voice mail. I then got a voice mail telling me to go to the corporate office on Monday at 10 to pick up my pager. So I called in Monday about my route changes, and when I got to the office, the regional supervisor asked me what happened. I explained the best I could. I got upset because when the manager of that store called, he lied about everything. He said I cussed at him and made a scene when he was the one. He twisted the story to his favor. I was so upset I started to cry. Then my boss said a few things, and said she was firing me for not controlling my temper. I told her I never got out of control at the store. I’m showing more of my frustration now, but I didn’t at the store. She at first she was on my side until I started to cry; then she changed her mind which in my opinion is a crock. She already had made up her mind. She told me a story about when she was doing my job, she had a manager follow her around the whole store making comments until she left. I would think that’s harassment, but she put up with it and told me between 7 am and 3:30 I had to put up with it also. The customer is always right, but the store is not the customer, the manufacture is our client. That’s whom we represent, and I understand we need to get along with the stores. But why do we have to accept being treated rudely? I really got upset.

I already gave notice at my part time job that I loved, but had to take this one because my family needed more money. I have been struggling to pay my bills and owe my father money for some court proceedings that I had to pay. I just couldn’t believe I got fired

I’m so mad at myself for not following my gut. I didn’t want to take the job. I didn’t even apply for it. They found my resume on a job board and called me. When I asked around about the company I didn’t here good things, but I took it just because it was full time. So now I have to move on. What do I say to potential employers? I have been working in my field for 17 years and have met some rude managers, but this was the first time I felt scared. I keep asking myself what happened? Everything just happened so fast. Now I’m nervous what if he transfers, and I run into him again? I am giving myself a headache worrying about all this crazy stuff. Thanks

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Boss Hasn’t Fired Terrible Co-worker!

Question:

I was recently hired by someone that I’ve known for a few years to be the “manager” of a new retail store that he opened up. I was under the impression that I would manage the store and have one of the girls from his other store working there with me full time. However, at the last minute before the new, second, store opened up, he hired a friend of one of the other women that works for him in the original store. Now instead of the first girl that I mentioned, I work with this new woman. Since January is a typically slow time in the retail year, we are the only two people working in the new store.

Now, my problem is that she is extremely offensive verbally, making the most inappropriate remarks both in private to me, and in close proximity to customers on more than one occasion. From a woman who is older than me (I am 28 and she is 37), it is unbelievable to hear the ignorant and racist things she has to say. Some of her topics of conversation have been religion, whether or not someone was a transsexual, how her boyfriend is too fat to tie his shoes, and that she really has to “pee bad”, and that was in front of customers. In the unfortunate time when I am alone with her, it gets much worse.

I believe I have a vested interest in my boss doing well in the new location. I believe that firing this woman will only help him establish the store as a place that people will want to visit over and over again. However, despite three or four instances where I expressed my feelings about the situation, he is reluctant to do anything about it. I have guaranteed him there would be no issue with having all the hours covered, and in fact he has several current employees who have been with him for quite some time that have told me they would like more hours. These are people that he knows and trusts and have proven them selves. This new woman has not proven anything other than she will potentially piss off some customers and make a bad name for the store. My boss says he is not hesitant because of any loyalty he may have to the woman that made this horrible recommendation, but I cannot see any logical reason why he would not let me get rid of her. As far as I see it, the longer he lets her stay, the harder it will be to do what has to be done when she finally screws up big-time. This is a job that I enjoy very much and I think I am rather good at it, but this woman makes me extremely uncomfortable and I feel that my only option now may be to look for another job for myself. Of course this would be a last resort, but any advice that you may have would be help. Thank you.

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Friend Fired For Drinking!

Question:

A friend at work was terminated a few weeks ago for violating a company policy of having alcohol in her system at work. Less than two weeks later, four employees were actually caught drinking at work, and their only punishment was a record of it put in their personnel file. She was a good personal friend of mine but not very well liked by her employer or other employees. Would this be a discrimination case? Actually all she wants is her job back. Thank you.

Signed,

Friend

Answer:

Dear Friend:

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Changed Jobs And Should Not Have!

Question:

I have recently changed positions. I was a bank teller and now work for a finance company in the call centre. I am finding the call centre work to be extremely demanding and think I am losing my mind. I was part time and now full time, I have been so stressed with the call centre that I asked to do part time. > I am so embarrassed to leave, but am not sure what to do, the bosses are so nice but saying the same thing over and over really gets to me. I don’t know what to do. I love the full time pay but am not coping. Any suggestions?

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A Co-worker Friend Might Be Laid Off

Question:

In a private board meeting, I learned that my best friend is about to be laid off. My friend is in the process of buying a new house. How should I handle this situation?

Signed,

Worried For Her

Answer:

Dear Worried For Her:

This is an ethical question we have addressed another time from another employee who was in the know of a termination of a friend. In that case the employee, who sent the question, knew her friend was about to be fired and was about to go in debt for a new car. If she disclosed that the boss was interviewing someone to replace this friend, the friend might quit early and it could get back to her boss that she was betraying a confidence. In a similar way, you are facing the same problem–your friend is in the process of buying a new house and is about to be laid off. What do you think you should do? From the little you say, I assume that what you learned what revealed in confidence.

If you hint to your friend, “maybe you should check with your boss to learn how stable is your job before you sign the papers of a new house”, surely your friend will suspect you know something she does not. And when the friend confronts the boss, undoubtedly he will suspect that what you learned at the board meeting had been disclosed–in Washington D.C. terms “had been leaked without the boss’s permission.”

Have you spoken with the boss, or whomever will be the bearer of bad news to your friend, to apprise her/him that this co-worker is in the process of buying a house, probably under the assumption that her job is secure? Once you put this ball in that individual’s hands, you have opened the door to the ethical dilemma you feel–wanting to help your friend and expecting the friend once she gets the bad news to confront you, “Did you know anything about this and if so why didn’t you warn me???” And because you know that friends do not lie to one another, you cannot say, “No, I had heard nothing.” The boss then should make her/his wishes known about what is ethically permissible for you to do or not do. Putting your self in other’s shoes, both a friend’s and your organization’s, is WEGO mindedness.

There may other ways to work through this should I or shouldn’t I say something. If so , please let us know.

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