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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Straight Outta College

by Aki
(Saucon Valley, PA, USA)

So I went to college for 4 years studying hospitality. At age 22 I graduated and was ready to step into adult hood. After I left my first job of 8 months I found a new job at a local University doing Banquets and Catering. I worked in Banquets before and always had a blast doing it so I hoped this job would be a blast as well. I was dead wrong. I was pre warned by the Banquet Manager that this was their busy season so it may be more than 8 hrs a day somedays. Well that was an understatement because we worked 13+ hours daily. On my first day we worked 12 hours. There were 4 Banquet Supervisors: "K", "J", "C",and "A". All of them were older than me by 20 or more years.Besides me, there were many other banquet servers who also were students from the school working part time. I knew I had to get use to a new environment but, I didn't think I was bad at my banquet skills.

On my first day, I overheard "K" say "didnt she go to school for this?!". The University I was working at did not have Hospitality courses so it was obvious who she was talking about. I brushed the comment off thinking she was under pressure and things slip out when your under pressure. Well I was about to find out how wrong I was.

"K" was the top supervisor in the banquets department. She had a daughter who was a student at the university that seldomly helped out serving at banquets who "K" thought could do no wrong. Not to mention if you missed pronounced her name, "K" would call you every name in the book. She harassed and bullied people on a daily basis anyways, esp. me. She called me stupid, useless, good for nothing at least 4x a day. She called "C" and another banquet server fat often. She NEVER wanted to help me out, she would only LOVE to see me do something wrong (when she knew I was unsure of how to do something properly) so she can have the excuse to yell at me And call me stupid. Her and the other banquet supervisors use to ditch me to go elsewhere and do work or eat while I'd sit in the hallway or look for work to do all by myself, looking like a lonely loser. On days "K" wasn't there life was so much smoother "A" and "C" would talk to me a bit and they'd actually help me. When "K" was there, it was like going to therapy with Satan as your therapist. She told me that "I should switch into the dish washing room because it doesn't require thinking to wash dishes". I had it with her and spoke to the manager. The manager had mixed feelings about what I told him. He sort of believed me but he thought I was exaggerating. He told me he "spoke" to her but things DID NOT change. "K" continued to harass me, insult me, and keep people distanced from me. Keep in mind I'm 23 at this time and "K" is in her 50's. It just seemed so weird to have someone my mom' sage bullying me. As we were putting tables away I was helping other servers fold up the tables and she says I in front of everyone "oh look at you trying to think when you are stupid." I went to the manager after that and this time he got mad at me. I realized that the manager was afraid and he probably had never stood up to the Supervisor before... yeah the MANAGER!!!

Talking to the other servers they too have had encounters with "K" being insulted (some servers not all)and went to HR. "A" informed me that they're always losing people because of her. At this point I had enough, along with being constantly belittled, long 13+ hours a day with a schedule that was NEVER out on time and only 1 day off a week... I found another job after 3 months. Besides "K" the thing I hated the most was that id work 830am-130am and have to be back in at 630am till 12am. I did 40 hrs in 2.5 days.

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