Oh, where do I start? My former employer is led by narcissistic, incompetent, back-stabbing, lying, power hungry mean girls. It was the worst year of my life, pure hell. And it’s a remote agency; I’ve never even met any of them in person. God, I hope I never do.
It seemed like a good gig at first. Allowed my husband to accept his third dream job as an engineering professor (he’s an engineer by day, works on cars nights and weekends and somehow finds time to teach an afternoon university class 2 nights per week). He almost didn’t accept his dream job because he has always been the afternoon parent, working the earlier shift while I work the later shift. Remote work allows me schedule flexibility and parenting flexibility. I was also incredibly thankful for it when Covid-19 hit, my kids’ schools closed without warning and my husband’s office didn’t send him to work from home for 3 weeks.
That’s where the good ends. When Covid-19 hit, my employer made no attempt to accommodate the new predicament we were all in. I had lost my childcare due to no fault of my own and there were literally zero other childcare options for “non-essential” workers in my area. For some reason employers seem to think it’s possible for their employees to work from home, parent and facilitate distance learning all at the same time.
During this time my 8 year old found a grill lighter he knew he wasn’t supposed to touch left unattended by my husband. Let’s just say 8 year old + grill lighter + paper towels + garage garbage bin = almost disaster. During this time my 4 year old was hit with a stick, in the eye ball by a neighbor boy and I had to rush him to the ER. Also during this time my 4 year old managed to chew on an ice pack and drink the entire contents, hello poison control! Not only were we all scared for our health, I was scared for my children’s safety and there were zero provisions made to help me parent through this unprecedented time. Then, during the most difficult year of everyone in the world’s life, my former employer made my already difficult life a living hell.
Managers would invent drama and tattle it to the president and have the president reprimand me. Then I would go to the co-worker I had supposedly slighted; only to find out they had no idea what I was talking about. Managers would ask me to do something and reprimand me for doing it. Managers would tell me not to do something, and then reprimand me for not doing it. Managers would claim they asked me to do something they’d never asked me to do, then reprimand me for not doing this mystery task. Managers would give me a stern, raised voice talking-to about the way I talk to others. Managers would reprimand me for minor client requests, edits or questions relating to content I had written for them, as if mind-reading were a job requirement.
Managers would micromanage more than you could ever imagine possible, from the other side of the country. Because, remember, we all worked remotely. They would request the details of my outlook calendar, then go through it with a fine-toothed comb and confront me about activities I had been asked to do. They would go through every line of my detailed timesheet then condescend me about the amount of time I spent on tasks. Though later I would go in to my timesheet and find the time and the activity in question didn’t match up. It was an utter mind-fuck, gaslighting to the nth degree.
Managers switched me to a new position, provided me with a vague verbal description, and reprimanded me for not knowing my job duties. When I asked clarifying questions about my new job they accused me of insubordination, questioning authority and get this, somehow refusal to do my job??? For the record, I never refused to do anything. Was just genuinely confused about this mystery job I was blindly thrust into.
Malicious intent was put behind nearly everything I said, no matter how innocent the comment or question was. I would be told *I* need to be very careful how I say things, but no one addressed the bat-shit crazy managers from hell who constantly take things the wrong way.
At this point this it’s no surprise my generalized anxiety disorder caused me to have multiple terrible and scary panic attacks, making it even more difficult for me to do my already impossible job in the middle of a pandemic.
After all this shit I put up with, what did they do? They fired me. Did they give me a reason? Nope. I had literally no clue. To be honest, it was both reliving and distressing to be fired. On one hand I no longer had to endure their daily abuse. On the other hand, I was out a paycheck. Yikes!
I hope you never have to experience that special kind of hell. It's given me new perspective. I love my new job and manager. She's the most kind, positive and caring person I've ever worked for. And my current position didn't exist before Covid, so if I hadn't gone through the above, I wouldn't be working here. All that to say, you spend too much time at work to be unhappy. Don't settle for shit employment. There are better options out there.