17 Times I Should Have Quit The Toxic Job I Stayed At For 3 Years
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17 Times I Should Have Quit The Toxic Job I Stayed At For 3 Years

Why be loyal to a job that is loyal to no one?

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17 Times I Should Have Quit The Toxic Job I Stayed At For 3 Years
Huffington Post

I came to New Orleans because my sister had been a volunteer after Katrina and never left. I had visited her multiple times and decided to apply to some colleges in New Orleans because atleast I'd have her and be in a new place. I was accepted to Loyola and got a generous scholarship. However, it wasn't a full ride, didn't cover room and board, and wasn't enough for books and moving across the country. My parents were having financial issues but decided that as a long time honor roll student, hard worker, and the baby of five kids who was also the first to go to a university after high school- that they'd pay for what they could. They could afford one year of college for me. I worked at Pinkberry for $8 an hour plus tips about 18-30 hours a week and had a work study job on campus to pay for whatever I needed. When I returned home from college, they let me know that they couldn't afford to send me back and that our family home was under foreclosure. I spent the rest of the summer swimming, seeing friends, and working music festivals.

I decided to move to New Orleans on my own and save some money to put myself through college. I moved in with my sister a few weeks before my 19th birthday and tried to start my new life there. I tried to enroll in a public university but because I was out of state they told me I'd need to pay the $12.000 tuition up front and then be reimbursed after my transcripts and tax returns were thoroughly reviewed. I couldn't afford that and left the school crying and thus started my job search.

I interviewed, on my birthday, at a witch-store for a job packaging their products and wasn't witchy enough to get it. I was offered a job at a fine dining restaurant in Jackson Square, a luxury hotel, and at a music venue. I ended up turning down the fine dining restaurant in Jackson Square because I was offered $3 more an hour at the hotel. I was so broke when I moved down here that I returned the bike my parents got me as a birthday present and used the Walmart Giftcard to buy non slip work shoes and a clearance futon to sleep on.

Within three months, I found out I was pregnant and had no idea if my goal of going back to college was going to be attainable. I had some problems with my jobs but had rent to pay, a baby on the way, and Loyola's tuition kept going up. I didn't think anyone would hire a pregnant 19 year old so I felt trapped at my jobs and stayed.

Here are some of many times I realize now after ending my employment, that I should have quit my job,

1. Morning Fights

I worked morning shifts and that means I was in uniform and starting to work at 7 am everyday. I had one supervisor who made it incredibly hard to be there happily. She'd start a fight with anyone and everyone working the morning shift about the smallest things. She once told a server that another server had looked at her wrong and that she "couldn't wait until that hoe tried to mess with her because when she was gonna go out she'd throw tables and chairs." She would talk down to us constantly and would often remind us that she was "from the worst project in the lower 9th ward and never lost a fight." This supervisor also made it clear that we wouldn't be going to human resources or else we'd have bigger problems.

2. Throwing Away Food and Drinks

There were a few rules at this job. We weren't supposed to eat any extra food, but we were allowed to drink something as long as it was in a cup with a lid and on the designated drink shelf. Multiple times we'd go buy something from the vending machine or bring something from home- items that we don't even sell at the job and the management would come and throw it all out. They even did this during busy season where you were expected to work 10+ hour shifts without a break for lunch. They also would sometimes take our drinks that often had names written on them, and throw them out and sometimes did it right in front of us. My teeth were sensitive to temperature when I was pregnant and I'd often make a cup of tea and let it cool down for over an hour before I could drink it, they always of course threw my tea out just as it had gotten to the right temperature and right before I could drink it. They'd also eat things in front of us while they threw out food we had bought or brought from home.

3. Unpaid Work

There was an older Haitian man who had worked there for over five years that I talked to often. He was coded as a server assistant but would sometimes be assigned to be a food runner. Food runners were supposed to get $1 more per hour because they got less tip out than server assistants. He always told me he hated to food run because it was less tip out and they never paid him correctly. I was assigned to food run one day and I went in the office to ask if I was being paid correctly and if they could show me. I also mentioned that my coworker said he'd never been paid extra to run food. My manager laughed and said he was probably reading his check wrong and then proceeded to show me how I was double coded as a runner and showed me the $1 increase in my hourly wage. He then went to check my coworkers hours and realized he wasn't even coded as a runner at all and it had never been entered in manually. That coworker left the job soon after this but had worked there for over five years and wasn't being paid correctly that entire time for whenever they scheduled him as a runner which was probably once a week or more.

4. Threats

When I started the hotel job, I was on the opening crew of their restaurant. They had pulled some people from other outlets within food and beverage to help out. One of these people had worked as a pool attendant before and then was given shifts as a host. He was one of the most positive and funny people we worked with and always seemed to be laughing. He knew a lot about the hotel and was great with the guests. He got into an argument with one of the managers where the manager told him "watch out because I make the schedule." He then did something we all knew not to do and reported that to human resources. He had technically been hired as a temporary pool employee and then was double coded as a host. Within a few weeks, he was no longer employed there since he was hired as temporary and the pool was about to close. He hadn't officially accepted a host position so the same manager who threatened him made sure he was let go and not able to work there any longer.

5. No Holiday Pay

When I did my orientation, we discussed all of the great benefits we could get. We got 401k, dental, medical insurance, PTO, hotel discounts, and a meal in the employee cafeteria every shift. As I was taking in all of this information, I didn't realize that we didn't get holiday pay. I had worked as a server in a luxury retirement home in high school and even part time employees there got holiday pay. Peak season for us was holidays, and we were working over ten hour shifts and very rarely did we get a break to eat lunch because we were so busy. If our more caring management staff was on the shift, they'd order a pizza for us to eat since we didn't get a break or lunch. However, the hotel during holidays was so incredibly busy- I knew without a doubt that they could have afforded holiday pay. After working Christmas, Christmas Eve, and New Years- I took a moment to look at my check and asked about holiday pay, they told us that it was up to the owners discretion whether we got holiday pay and they chose that we wouldn't. When I looked around at all of my coworkers who'd sacrificed their time, sanity, and energy to be there for over ten hours a day from November to January and saw the huge amounts of money the hotel was making, I should have left then.

6. Prices

At this place of work, it cost $12 for a bowl of oatmeal with a side of brown sugar and raisins. They were labeled steel cut oats but I often walked into the kitchen and saw them pouring Quaker Instant Oats in to make them. It also would cost your $6 before tax for one single serving Oikos Greek Yogurt. Would you like a bottle of water? The cheapest one was $5.50 before tax. There were also no coffee makers in the rooms at this hotel and for a coffee in the restaurant it was $6 before tax or you could get a small pot delivered to the room for $20. The prices were insane and most people who worked there would have never been able to afford eating or drinking there.

7. White Washed

There was tons of people of different ethnicities at the hotel. However, I'd say it was one of the most segregated places I'd ever worked. All of the laundry staff were either Asian or Caribbean workers. Housekeeping was made up of tons of Jamaicans and Haitians with a few New Orleans Black workers. They had mainly white managers with the exception of one woman of color who had worked her way up. There were black and a few latin cooks, but all of the supervisors and head chefs were white. All of the executive team were white and most of the management in finance, sales, front office, etc were white. Food and Beverage had two latino managers which was probably the most diverse and a SouthEast Asian director but all of them would have passed the "paper bag test" with flying colors. The hotel ended up hiring an executive who was part asian but she too could have passed the "paper bag test." The only department with an upper management employee who couldn't pass for white was Banquets. However, there were constantly rumors about the banquet team and their director's practices. It seemed like you couldn't get into even a $12 an hour supervisor role there without being able to pass the paper bag test.

8. Bar Politics

The hotel bar was wildly successful and brought in the most money out of every outlet. The bar staff was made of bartenders, cocktail servers, and a barback. Throughout the three years I worked there, there was only one female bartender. Every single bartender could also pass the paper bag test and I can only remember one bartender of color who had ever worked in there. They had one cocktail server who was of latin decent and had worked there forever. However, they routinely only hired very tiny white women to work there. I once asked if I'd be taken seriously If I applied there and talked about serving cocktails at a bar in high-school. My manager told me point blank, that they had a look they were going for and save for the curvy latina waitress, they wanted to make sure the new cocktail servers could fit the same dresses and that heavily influenced who got to work there. The dresses they wore and just about every cocktail waitress were no bigger than a size 4.

9. Check Issues

My checks were often missing correct pay rate, pto, or hours. I worked there for three full and long years and never got direct deposit because they continuously messed my checks up. The second to last week I worked there, every tipped employee had their checks royally messed up. They put our charge tips in the declared tip column which means they subtracted the tips from our hourly wage instead of adding them. They cut us a check for the difference within a few days but still double taxed us. It was a mess and I'm supposedly going to get a credit on my last check but it further illustrates that theres good reason I never got direct deposit while working there.

10. Playing Favorites

There was a ton of favoritism in the hotel, in every department. This is standard in most of the hospitality Industry. I knew a few garde mange chefs who'd applied for various different positions such as front desk agent, security, hostess, etc and never even got interviews. For a company that promotes that it promotes from within- this was only true for favored employees. Also, if hourly employees violated the attendance policy, were accused of stealing, or improper conduct- they were fired point blank. But when one of the food and beverage managers who constantly talked down to and yelled at employees had his last straw with the company, they allowed him to resign. This looks much better to future employers. Then, when the long term chef d'cusine was accused of video taping an employees rear end on a company phone, he was allowed to resign as well. Ah- favoritism.

11. Management Inequalities

There were few women in upper management roles in any department. Human Resources, which was an office of about four people had majority women while I was there but that was one of a few departments that were majority women. The spa and the gift shop were also ran by majority of women but those were also the smallest departments. There was no women on the executive team and males were normally promoted much faster than women even when they'd worked there for longer or had more experience.

12. Manager Misconduct

I once had a male supervisor turned male manager who would constantly use the word "rape" when talking about jacking up prices for private parties so he could make the hotel more money. He said it probably eight times in a five minute conversation.

I had a manager who was talking about an employee's work history with another manager. The employee had worked at Bath and Body Works and one manager, who was gay himself, asked if the employee was gay. This comment was out of line to begin with, however, the other manager went and told the employee that the other manager thought he was gay.

The same manager who told that employee that the other manager had asked if he was gay ended up getting promoted over the other manager. He consistently told personal information about other employees to everyone. The first few months I'd worked there, he revealed one of the hostesses had a miscarriage and couldn't come to work and that was why she got fired.

He told me that one of the human resource managers was pregnant and if she wasn't pregnant and wasn't in human resources, they'd definitely be dating.

One of the employees in the cafe I work was constantly being scheduled at times that interfered with her school schedule and would be marked as late and get in trouble even though she had given them her school schedule and they were supposed to work with it. She was sent home one day and told to come in early the next day and ended up resigning from her position. She told us what happened when she left the building that day. The manager walked into the cafe to make his normal coffee and when my coworker asked why he was so late, he responded, "I was terminating your barista, you know the one who's always late." He said this in front of two employees including myself and a myriad of guests at the counter and when the barista who'd just resigned was still walking out of the cafe.

The same manager walked into the cafe to make his daily iced coffee and broke a ceramic plate that displayed the name of items we served. Instead of picking it up, he came up to me as I frothed milk at the espresso machine and yelled at me for having a box of bananas on the counter. The box of bananas was further than two feet away from where he broke the dish and I was not at fault. I also did not put the box there, another manager did. I told him so, his face flushed red with anger, and he walked out without picking up his mess. Not only did he find a way to blame it on a woman but he left his mess for women to clean up. LE SIGH.

13. Competitive Write Ups

At the company I worked for, you were allowed to transfer positions after working in yours for 6 months or more without having a write up for six months. The way they prevented people from leaving their positions was by writing them up. There were several favorites who could and would be late daily and not be written up. There were people who had write ups but would be allowed to be double coded in the position they wanted until the write up expired. I was on both ends, I had not been allowed to move positions because of a tardy write up and when they needed me, they allowed me to move from the restaurant to the cafe with a write up and waited months until I could officially accept the position. However, as soon as they got wind of you wanting to transfer, they'd find a reason to write you up.

One employee who' d started as a host and then became a room service server was given a final write up for making a long distance phone call out of state using a company phone. The management knew perfectly well that the other employee on the shift last night had a daughter in that state and that she made the call, however she had write ups and the former hostess didn't. They explained that she needed to take the fall for it because or else the other woman would be fired. She was fed up and nearly quit but was convinced to stay on. A year later she had been thinking of moving to banquets, however she made the mistake of letting this be known. She even told human resources, which she claims was her biggest mistake. Soon she was written up and some of the dates that she allegedly called off on were days she said she didn't call off for. The management had not written down anything about her calling off that day in the daily notes, yet still wrote her up. She soon quit and is doing spectacular.

The last month I worked there, my write ups had expired and I was thinking of applying for a different position. One of the newer people in the cafe asked if he could work morning shifts instead of night shifts because he lived so close to the hotel and preferred mornings. One of the managers responded with well Sequoya has morning shifts now and sometimes she runs late, so I'm going to leave her there in hopes she'll catch a write up.

14. Schedule Issues

I started going to school full time in the fall of 2014 after I had my son. For two full years, I had school full time, full time day job, and a few jobs on the side plus a kid. I tried to make my school schedule so that I'd have most classes on Tuesday and Thursdays and some night classes during the week. They repeatedly scheduled me wrong, even after I sent them my schedule multiple times and reminded them. They were always denying peoples vacations because they thought we might get busy and then we wouldn't be busy and those people would end up being cut. There were two other girls in school who worked there and they were constantly being scheduled wrong as well. During the summer, all employees were off school and could come in earlier. We're also slower in the summer so they'd close earlier. Instead of scheduling a afternoon person at 1 to close at 6 or 7 pm or ask them to come in at 12 noon, they'd schedule them for 3 or 4 pm. This means the opener would be there 5:30 am-3 or 4 pm and the night person would only be working a 3 hour shift. There were constant schedule issues and no manager was ever reprimanded. They'd also schedule people in room service the overnight shift for their last shift on the schedule and not double check that and schedule them for an am shift. It goes against company policy to have less than 8 hours in between shifts except for doubles or rare occurrences so someone working 10-6 am and then working 6 am-3 pm is bad scheduling.

15. Constantly Out of Everything

We had a small department dedicated to ordering and purchasing and yet were always out of something. We once had to buy replacement cups because they were almost completely out of cups. How does a coffee shop operate without cups? Not sure. We'd be out of cup carriers, togo silverware, bags, togo containers, and condiments once a week if not more. We'd also run out of coffee beans, viennese beans for iced coffee, and espresso beans once a month or so. When they ran out of decaf espresso, they decided we had decaf viennese beans that were ordered incorrectly and we could just use those. For some reason, we were always out of brooms or would only have one broom in very poor condition. It became a race to find a broom when a guest dropped something or when a dish shattered and although we had 3 restaurants, a bar, bakery, stewarding department, and a hot and cold line in the kitchen all on the main floor; we'd often have to run to a different floor to find a broom. I once complained to HR about a cut I got on my hand when I picked up broken glass in the dining room when I was pregnant because no one could find a single broom.

16. No Thank You's

The only people who thanked you there were your customers, if you were lucky. Food and beverage staff were probably one of the most underrepresented department at employee of the month nominations, because no one ever appreciated the extra effort we put in. We'd constantly be asked to pick up shifts or stay late to make up for the manager's schedule issues and often be denied bathroom and lunch breaks because the managers didn't know how to do our job while we ran to the restroom or ran to get something to eat. It was assumed that we'd stay late or cover someone's shift when there was a call out. Most people there had other commitments whether it be social clubs, church, kids, school, or another job yet we were told not asked and then not thanked when we'd have to cover extra shifts.

17. Harassment

When I was pregnant, a bartender with a son kept prodding me to talk about my pregnancy. At this point, I was considering adoption and my sister really wanted to raise my baby so I was considering letting her adopt the baby. He brought it up and repeatedly asked me until I answered and then he told me in front of multiple employees that I "should have just had an abortion because that's a sure way to fuck him up." I fired something back at him and became hysterical and was allowed to go home for the day. However, when I returned back to work I was told that I was "not allowed to talk about my pregnancy any longer." Looking back at it, I can only blame being 19, poor, very depressed, and very pregnant on why I didn't quit right then.

Tons of the men there would say inappropriate things to the women and normally when I'd tell my management, they'd laugh it off or tell us we shouldn't go to hr because it wasn't a big deal or worth someone losing their job for. One of the pastry managers hit on me often and made inappropriate remarks. I normally was dismissive and rude back. One day, he grabbed my ass in the cafe. I told my supervisor and we went to his manager and then we went to HR. They suspended him while they investigated, yet questioned me a lot about different things I could have said to lead him on or flirt with him. They said they reviewed the cameras but couldn't make anything out, so he was allowed to keep his job and he was still scheduled almost all the same shifts as me. He no longer spoke to me and would constantly slam things around when he saw me.

There were many many other reasons I should have quit this job on the spot and a ton of unprofessionalism, favoritism, and questionable practices from every department. I cannot be happier now that I am no longer employed there. Good Luck to all my coworkers who still work there and to all of those stuck in toxic jobs. I hope you realize that you are valuable, appreciated, and important even if you need that job at this time.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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