In the past years, keeping up with my mental health has been a struggle for me. When I was younger, I used to go to therapy to discuss what was stressing me out, and how to deal with the people in my life. I stopped going when I was about thirteen years old, and it was around that time that I stopped taking 90% of any medication that was prescribed to me. Due to what has happened to me in the past year, I decided to go back to therapy. Starting around late May, every other Friday for about an hour, I am in counseling sessions that deal from a large range of topics.
In August, I started working as a hostess at Ihop. Due to my school schedule, and therapy, my work times are limited and non-negotiable. It’s not that I don’t want to work more hours, it’s that I go to school for 8 hours a week, and I have just about 8 hours of homework. Combined, that’s 16 hours of schooling, and 20 hours of working. Every Friday that I have therapy, I reserve that specifically for therapy. I don’t do any homework, and I don’t work those days. When in counseling, my therapist and I do a lot of writing and a few things with EMDR. Everyone responds to EMDR differently, and I get very tired and sometimes can get headaches from it. However, my therapist believes that it will work and help me cope, and I believe him.
On Sundays and the Fridays that I am not in therapy, I work with a co-worker that is rude and nasty to me. This coworker is unavoidable, because she is a hostess as well. Since I have worked there she has had issues with me. When I first got the drawer at work, she complained because I had gotten it sooner than she had. Then, it was because I was well organized. After that it became a dozen of petty issues. I got yelled at for getting in the drawer when nobody was to be found, again when I took a to-go order and on top of that got a huge tip from the person. Typically, I get along with everyone and if I have issues with them I just look at them and say, “Hey, I notice we have this issue can we work it out?” but even when I tried to be nice or ignore the issues at hand, nothing seemed to work.
I work with the scheduling manager, specifically on Monday nights. This is the only time I work with him, so sometimes, I understand that I overwhelm him with such complaints. However, any time I have tried to tell him that something wasn’t right, I was told that I was complaining to much. Then again, I was told that I was over stressing, that I shouldn’t stress so much. But never did this manager look at me and say, “maybe there is an issue here that we should take care of.” Last week I finally had had enough of all the fault being put on me, saying that what I was concerned about was unreasonable. I finally told him that I didn’t want the conflict at work so I asked for my hours to be cut by two, in hopes that that would help with whatever was going on when I worked with her.
It’s not that I’m not willing to work my job, when I work I am efficient and a team leader. I tell my coworkers, “Dream work makes the team work!” Meaning that if we can all make an effort together, then the rushes won’t be so bad and we can get everything completed properly.
On Sunday, September 24th, there was an incident at work that caused me to complain to my managers. I was told that I would get written up, so would she, but ultimately, I knew, that I was at fault for not being the bigger person. I had told the manager that was there at the time, that I was finished with the pettiness. That it’s not fair to me to have to come into work every Sunday and Friday and must put up with how rude she is being. I was told that when the scheduling manager came in, to talk to him. I immediately knew that I wouldn’t be taken seriously. I told myself that I would be calm and polite, and just tell him that I stressed the same concern. I would confront him ten minutes before my shift ended, in hopes to finally end the conflict at work.
When our scheduling manager came in, I approached him and told him that there was an incident at work that I felt the need to discuss with him. He had already heard the story and had made up his mind that I was at fault. In fact, he looked at me and told me that out of the 75 employees that he has, I cause the most issues and that I work the least number of hours. I pointed out that not by choice do I work those numbers of hours, I just can’t work more than what’s given to me. On top of the hours given to me, I am sent home about two hours early any time we are not busy, and I do it without complaint. He continued to yell at me and finally he told me that I needed to get my shit together.
What struck me the most, that left me having a panic attack in my car after the conversation is that he told me that he “accommodates to my issues”. My managers are aware that I have PTSD and High-Anxiety Disorder. I tell them, not to pity and treat me differently, but so they are fully aware that sometimes I might need a 30 second breather. Which I had needed that day. Multiple times, a few managers have mentioned to me about why I don’t work every Friday after therapy, or why I don’t work Saturdays. Saturdays are a different story, that ultimately, if they told me I had to work or I would lose the job, I would do it. But they told me it wouldn’t be an issue. So, I enjoy my Saturdays with my little sister, taking her out to do things and have fun.
I was fully aware at that moment, how I took that statement was that that manager was throwing my “issues” in my face. That I would always be at fault because I couldn’t work 30+ hours a week. I have worked at a lot of different fast food places and restaurants, because I believe that you must enjoy going to work to go to work. That if you don’t like your job then you have all ability to change it. I initially liked working at Ihop because despite that one coworker the managers seemed nice and the rest of my coworkers and I got along. But the more I started to address my concern with the one coworker, the more I realized that none of the managers were willing to confront the conflict. On top of that, last week I had one of the managers look at me and said that they were a dying business and that corporate didn’t really care about them. Another manager told me that she didn’t care about the job because she doesn’t need the job. Why would I want to work for a company when nobody believes that conflict is an issue and that what they are doing with their lives matter? I don’t.
On Monday I started looking for a new job, and I decided the moment that when I got my first paycheck from the new job I would put the two weeks in at Ihop. I won’t work for a company that doesn’t have the same morals as I do and won’t respect mental health.
On Tuesday I went back into work, and he sat me down after he essentially ignored me for two and a half hours. He apologized after he complimented me a bunch of times. As if the excuse, “I had three hours of sleep and I worked the night shift prior to Sunday morning” was acceptable. He kept saying the word “issue” to the point I finally cut him off. I told him, “Don’t say issue if you are talking about my work ethic. Don’t say issue if you are talking about what happened with the coworker and I, specifically say, ‘concern’” He asked me to stay, and when I mentioned getting other jobs, it was like all of my hours were justified and because he needed me on Sundays he was willing to work with me on the hours he just complained he didn’t really need me on.
Yesterday, I hesitated to publish this post. Why? Because the manager apologized for what he had said to me on Sunday, but it still happened. Maybe, I took everything out of line and what he really meant was that he was finished with the concern at work. Maybe, if I wasn’t so upset he would have thought it was acceptable. Or maybe if it is because he was just having a bad day and everyone has bad days.
Well, I decided to publish this. Why? Because regardless of how sorry he is, regardless of the apology, it still happened. It still upset me, and in some ways, even after the talk that we had on Tuesday, it still upsets me. At the end of it all, it doesn’t matter what he meant, what matters is how I took it and the response because of that. What matters is all of the events that lead to that one moment. And non of that is acceptable.
Today I go into work for Ihop, and Thursday I have job interviews lined up. And I still stand by what I said, I won’t work for a company that even on bad days, a manager crosses the line.