(Loudon, TN, USA)
I know I am not lonely experience this problem and it can happen to anyone and I mean anyone. I am a minority from Europe and I work in a southern state. The town is a small community were everybody knows everybody or are related to everybody. So my chances to be one of the gang are very limited. Lucky for me that I have a good sense of humour. I am also very patient and can easily learn things.
Coming from a small town myself in Europe I know it will take years to be accepted somewhat. So patients is what saved me. My first job was at a hardware store. It worked out fine for a start and I got along good with my coworkers who thought Europe was cool and interesting (in the beginning). After a while it gets old and now I am the odd one. They hired a "new" girl who everybody know and obviously gone to highschool with. Comments like she is one of us! was heard but I didn't pay any attention to them. This girl was hanging after me every single day talking friendly to me. I had no problem with her I thought and was friendly back. Then they hired a friend of hers. And that friend was more of a bully and started to criticize all work we have done over the years. I thought she was over enthusiastic but now I know that they wanted to create their own hardware store.
So one day the one who was fist hired came up to me together with other coworkers and asked me about what I thought about the other new hire. I gave them my honest opinion that I thought she was a little bit clumsy right now and stepping on peoples toes and that we should give her time to adjust a little but in the long run she would be fine. The first new hire responded with. -Well I see you don't like her but I do!!! and then she turned her back to me and the others followed her. Okej I thought this was odd???
Suddeny I was the target of everyone to criticize and whatever I did was never good enough. I had lunch alone. I have to stand by the register while the other had baby shower parties and after the party was over I could go in and get some leftovers.
They stepped it up by accusing me of not working hard enough and that customers couldn't understand me since I was from Europe. I was called in to the management every week. For things I thought was over the line ridiculous. It cost me my job and I am proud that I actually said no to these people and went on with my life. One day and the last day I worked there they were calling me in to the management and there sat my "best friend" in a chair crying and it was 3 manager there. Guess who they were at that time. The new girl hired and her best friend and the older female manager. I had no clue on what was going on.
"How could you do such a thing against her, your friend failing her like that.
I was like a ????? Failing to do what??? They never said but they felt like they couldn't have me working close to me so they wanted to take the responsibility of running the paint department away from me and to see that I would behave they wanted this two new girls to be my new bosses.
All alone with three hostile managers one crying so called friend. Who I never know why she cried for. I told myself this is it. I know I am not bullying anyone I am doing a good job. At least I was told so before they hired the new girl. The manager at that time always complemented my work and I got a lot of customers to come to the store.
This is not right. I just smiled at them and shook my head and said: I can't work with these two girls because they harass me for some unknown reason and I am actually too proud to let that happen to me. Sorry for any hurt feelings but you know what I think I quit right now. They stared at me in unbelief of what they just heard.
I took the command and said end of meeting and walked out gathering my things and stepped out to the freedom and other job opportunities.
Later that night my older boss called me and apologized to me that it had happened that way but she felt she was out of control. I told her that she probably was but I wished her luck with the hardware store. She wondered what I was going to do now? And I answerd her: Get a good job! She wished me luck and we hanged up. End of story.
After this happened I suffered nightmares low self-esteem but I was glad I held my head up high when it was storming against me.
One day I had a horrible headache and I walked in to CVS to get a headache pill and people smiled at me and we started talking like we all been friends for ever. I said: Shit! I just had a bad work expereience and now I have a headache but no job. At least you can help me with the headache. And we all laughed together. I took the headache pills immediately and when the headache fading away I said: By the way do you have a little job for me somewhere in the store.
I like you guys. The little I do won't even be noticed and then I smiled and they all started laughing. The manager had overheard the whole conversation and was thrilled to hire me. I got the job on the spot and I loved my work from day number one. Fun job, nice coworkers, no bullying and I felt that they finally took advantage of my knowledge and I started to learn things. Suddenly the sky was the limit it wasn't for long until I trained new employees and was sent out on putting up new makeup displays at all CVS stores in the region. At certain event I was the one representing CVS and I did it with pride. Thank you CVS for getting my self esteem back love you all.
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