This post contains discussion of sexual harassment.
The world of employment can be a revolving door — and sometimes you find yourself in the situation where you're exiting the door pretty much right after you enter it.
1."It turned out that the ‘company’ was not a registered business and has no license to operate. They also threatened us that we’d have to pay them an amount if we quit during the 60-day training period. A few months later, they were shut down."
2."I was working at a place that didn't do advertising and was very particular about how they set up the store. My last hour was spent being screamed at by the woman in charge of the store's appearance for not folding clothes fast enough. She was screaming at all of us. Imagine an hour of a woman standing on the top floor alternating between, 'Let's go, people!' and shouting insults. We finished 15 minutes early, which meant we got paid less for doing what the screaming lady wanted. Then we were asked to clock out for a 'team meeting.' The woman screamed at us so much that she drove herself to tears. The woman who hired me apologized on my way out, and I told her I wouldn't be back. I didn't even pick up my check; nor have I ever bought anything from there ever again."
3."Landscaping guy wanted me to cold-call customers who all had bad experiences and try to convince them to pay for services they didn't need or have, like aerating a xeriscaped lawn. He also wanted me to do all of his accounting in Quicken."
4."I did my first shift on a Saturday. I was off on the following day, and they waited until 11 p.m. on Saturday to call me and tell me to cover a Sunday. 'Hey, we’ve changed the rota and you’re working tomorrow,' they said. I was busy that Sunday, as I had family commitments, so I said, 'I can’t work tomorrow, I have plans.' 'Well, that will go down as an unauthorized absence.' 'Alright, then I quit.' 'WHAT?!' I hung up and never went back."
5."On my first day, it was a busy Thursday night, and everyone was stressed and yelling at each other. I was asked to come in at 3 but was never told when I was supposed to leave — so I asked, because if I was going to be there for a long time, I also wanted a break. The person in charge wasn’t even a manager, and they said they didn’t know what to tell me because they don’t have a manager right now to make schedules. She mentioned they were open until 3 a.m. and asked me how long I would stay. I got really sketched out, so my next question was about how they were counting for my labor, since I was new and wasn’t in the computer yet, and there was no manager on-site to input my labor manually. She had no idea what I was talking about. I never walked out of somewhere so fast in my life."
6."I got a job with a major hotel brand. I was supposed to handle their small lounge area; I was 18 or 19. During my training, the manager dude in his mid-30s was walking me through, showing me how stuff works. He was super friendly and joking a lot, but also a bit touchy-feely: hand on shoulder, back pats, etc. When we were alone in the kitchen, he reached out his hand and rubbed across my abdomen. I was wearing a light summer dress, super-thin material. He basically touched right above where my panties were, straight up to my belly button and a bit above. It made me so uncomfortable.I didn't say anything and just awkwardly laughed. He smiled and stared at me. I did not return."
7."An older woman slapped me for cutting her fabric too slow. I was like, 'Peace. This isn't the job for me.'"
8."When I was around 14, I sold ice cream for ONE DAY, riding a bicycle with a cooler. You were paid a commission based on what you sold, but you had to pay for your dry ice. Long story short, you had to ride that thing all day in blazing heat to make virtually no money. This was the in the mid-1980s; I hope it's illegal now."
9."I took a phone sales job once, cold-calling people to sell tickets to a country-western show to supposedly benefit the local police department. The group leader had me sit next to someone named Joe and said, 'Now, you watch Joe for a bit and see how he turns the noes into yeses.' First call, Joe starts his speech and then slams down the phone and shouts, 'FUCK!' Second call is pretty much the same, but instead he shouts, 'FUCKING BITCH!' while slamming down the phone. This goes on for about three more calls, and then the manager comes over and says, 'OK, so you see how it’s done? Let’s get you started.' I made about four calls and then asked if I could take a smoke break (even though I didn’t smoke), and I left and never returned."
10."I was sweating my ass off in the kitchen on a hot summer day. I asked for a glass of water, and the owner made me pay for it. I finished my shift and never went back."
11."No one told the staff I would be there. The shift manager seemed annoyed that she would have to train me. It was a dog boarding/daycare facility, and they were SLAMMED. The manager left me alone in the play yard with about 15 dogs and admitted they weren't supposed to take that many out at once. I later went to find the manager and overheard her in the kitchen complaining to someone about 'getting stuck' with me today. After morning walks, she showed me where the daycare-only room was. The room had 40 nice-size kennels, but the floor was also lined with wire crates, and dogs were just shoved in them. There were some kennels and crates with multiple dogs in them, and she admitted that they didn't have enough kennels for everyone to get their own. I left on my lunch break and didn't tell anyone. I'd previously managed a daycare/boarding facility for two years, and it infuriated me to see the way this place handled pets."
12."I was 19 in the late 1990s. Got a job, showed up to work the first day, and heard the manager screaming at a couple of 16-year-old cashiers. I said, 'Nope, not for me,' and I told the girls they should quit too. I ended up giving them a lift home. They lived close to my friend's house. Fast-forward, and one of the girls and my friend are married with a couple of kids and live in the same town. Small world."
13."I had left another job to go to this new company with the promise that I wouldn’t have to stay late. I was told I would be working basically 9 to 5, which I was perfectly happy with. That day, I didn’t get off until 10 p.m. I texted my boss as I got off and said they wouldn’t be seeing me again."
14."I worked in a menswear shop for a single shift. They told me I would work a probation period, which is totally normal. The day of my first shift arrived, and my supervisor very lazily went through training. He very clearly didn’t want to be there. I noticed that my contract said 'temporary,' and I told them the job was advertised as 'permanent,' which is illegal. He said, 'We offer you a permanent contract after you complete this probationary period.' Finally, I got out onto the floor and talked to staff. I found out that this company hires young students, sets really high targets for their 'probation,' and tells them if they hit them, they get to stay. Inevitably, 99% don’t hit the targets and are let go after two to three months. I was being trained by someone whose job I was taking, and it was her last day. I rang up the next day and told them I wasn't coming in and they could fuck off."
15."I was hired as a cook. On my first day, I learned that they lied in the interview about which shifts I'd have. I'd be expected to basically run the restaurant alone on graveyard shift after only a week of training, and this place was violating health codes left and right."
16."I was forgotten about. I worked at a famous Dutch theme park and was scheduled for one day. Showed up that day, worked the whole day, no problem, and had quite a bit of fun. Waited to be called in again, and four years later I still haven't been called in once. I still have the uniform and guidebook."
17."I worked at a pain-management clinic. They didn’t let me take a lunch or any type of break, told me I couldn’t wear protection in the X-ray room because that was 'only for patients and the doctor,' and told me that a lot of the time, the doctor is out, so I could just write out the scripts and forge his signature. Obviously I didn’t go back."
18."I was sorting at a recycling center. They had no dust masks and I could not breathe. I left to go to the hospital when they would not call for medical help. I never came back."
19."It was a startup advertising agency. My first day, I came in and they asked me where my laptop was. They had never told me to bring it, and I thought it was very odd that they wanted me to work on a personal device. Luckily, I did have it on me because I was taking classes nearby. They didn't have me sign any employment paperwork, and my direct supervisor was nowhere to be found. Another employee seemed confused about what to do with me, so she had me go on the company website to review it and learn about some of the work they'd done. So I did that, expecting someone to come eventually and give me some actual training or direction. An hour or so went by, and no one did. I asked other employees, who, again, just looked confused and said they didn't know. I waited for another two hours, and when lunchtime came, I just took my stuff and left. I never got paid for that day, but I didn't care. It was just so weird."
20."I worked at a daycare for one day. They put me in the 3-year-olds room with two other staff members. The staff members were so mean to the kids. They yelled at one child for 'being late,' as if she had any control over that. They made another child cry by telling her she was going to be sent to the director's office for asking to use the bathroom during outside time. They also bragged to me multiple times about how the daycare didn’t have cameras and 'never will.' Then they both fell asleep at naptime. I never went back and told my sister-in-law to pull her baby from that place."
Have your own stories? See you in the comments!
Note: Some of these entries have been edited for length and/or clarity.
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE), which routes the caller to their nearest sexual assault service provider. You can also search for your local center here.