I told myself I would never stay at a job where I wasn’t respected, but I guess that was easy to say because I was a teen, still under my mother’s care. Maybe if I was in her shoes, I would tolerate that type of behaviour, maybe I would put feeding my family above all. I always thought to myself, how much BS could I tolerate for money??? As I gained more experience, I learned my tolerance level and boundaries in the workplace, and they were the same as my boundaries outside of work. I attribute that to my upbringing, the values that my parents instilled in me. I haven’t and couldn’t bring myself to bend them, regardless of how much money I was making. No wage was worth my soul. In a worst case scenario, if I was having a serious problem, I’d ask my mother for advice before making a move. I’d ignore the BS, until I was able to sit down with the a supervisor or management. I would only take my concerns to HR if it were absolutely necessary. I prided myself on never having to go to HR, for any drama-related reasons, but of course, someone had to try me and ruin my clean record!
I remember my first week starting a new position at the head office of a very large company. The office was huge, with a call centre, the largest I’d ever worked in. At first it was overwhelming with all the people crammed into one space separated only by “dividers”. I sat at my cubicle with my trainer trying to concentrate on what he was teaching me, I was super focused, blanking out the noise and movement around me. Learning many new computer applications, was challenging, but I was very excited to be catching on quickly. My trainer and I were bonding, and having fun, and I was doing amazing with my calls. Out of the blue, a coworker who I did not know, approached us and started ranting. She was saying that we were making too much noise, and our “joking” would get us in trouble with management. We actually were not loud at all, so I was confused as to what provoked her to get up and talk to us in that tone. She seemed annoyed, and she was also neglecting her job by getting up to interrupt us. I was bewildered, so I asked my trainer, “What is she talking about??!” he looked at me puzzled. I could tell he was trying not to aggravate the situation. I was annoyed and I didn’t want to cause a scene, considering I was new. Low and behold our supervisor walks up and asks her to come with him, and I thought to myself, HERE WE GO! I couldn’t just get through my first week without something stupid happening. Drawing negative attention to myself was NOT my intention, I didn’t even know what the hell was going on. My trainer told me not to worry, he said the woman was wrong for approaching us, and that I did nothing wrong. I was upset and confused, I didn’t want to go upstairs and speak to HR. I was focused on learning, that’s all!
Call me naive, but the thought of a grown ass woman being jealous of my success never crossed my mind…It took my trainer and others to explain to me that my success in gaining “sign ups”, was the motivation for her actions. I was truly hurt, and my guard went up like a coat of armour from that day forward. Some consider me “sensitive” for taking that very seriously, but I don’t. There was no need for this woman to bother me, especially during my training. Although I didn’t get in trouble, I made it VERY clear while speaking to HR that I want them to keep that trouble making woman away from me. I saw the petty, jealous, foolish behaviour exuded in an environment that was supposed to be “professional” and my first impression was a lasting one…Stay tuned for my next blog.