Tragic Work Tales #2

        My first job was a tough one. It wasn’t tough as in what the job entailed. It was tough because I was a 19 year old kid just trying to make enough money to pay for school, get experience, and to set foot into the working world. I didn’t anticipate the amount of drama that would come with the responsibility. It was the type of drama that I hadn’t even experienced in high school. I got to see first hand how petty and backwards so called adults were. There are many things I could say about this place. MANY. I want to tell this one tale in particular because it left me the most puzzled. Trust me, I’ll tell more of this place in the future.
        I stayed with my first job for almost seven years. Most of the people in my department I got along with and loved like family. The few who barely lifted a finger even had a place in my heart (except during work hours because I was doing the majority of the work and seriously fuck them for that) but one did not. On the surface he came off as a good guy. He was very talkative and very much a guy who wanted to be liked by everybody, but I assumed he played the likable guy to keep people’s attention away from the fact that he didn’t do shit but gossip for eight hours. I was always amused how he did very little and never got called out on it, but I would get called out on the smallest things even though I did 75% of the work that came through our department.
        There was always something about him that made me uncomfortable, but most of the time I’d just ignore it and concentrate on my work. Since his job was to repair items that were returned damaged he spent his time in the back. Well he spent time back there when he wasn’t roaming the building to gossip to all the women in other departments. As the years went on more responsibility was placed on me which meant I got to do more work that called for me to enter information into our system. Some days when it was slow on the floor I’d work on projects in the back as well as I’d always take my breaks in our work room anyways. One day while on the computer, after this guy had left for the day, I noticed he hadn’t closed all the windows he had open. As I was closing them I noticed a few were pornographic. The first time it caught me off guard, of course. By the 20th time I was disgusted. Look, I have no problem with porn at all. What I do have a problem with is someone doing it at work and on a shared company computer. I noticed that he would visit sites, but most of the videos and images he looked at were being emailed to his work email from his friends. It got to a point where it seemed as though he was trying to taunt me. He’d open images when I was working in the back even though he might’ve been on the other side of the room working on something else when I walked in. It also seemed as though he’d leave this stuff open when he left for the day so that I’d have to be the one to get rid of it.
        People always say there’s a straw that breaks the camel’s when they’re dealing with bullshit. I had two straws and both incidents happened pretty close together. By this point there was another woman, with the same job title as me, who had started to notice what he was doing and we’d compare notes. Also, being who I am, I started becoming vocal and speaking to other coworkers about it and how grossed out I was. The first final straw was using the computer on a break one day, and again having to close out all of his emails after he’d gone, but one image looked familiar. One of our other coworkers (who was fairly new and also did about 10% of work if any at all) had taken a few photos from my MySpace and emailed them to him. I. Was. Livid. I decided not to speak up on that because I know how I am and the things that come out of my mouth when I’m legit angry, and trust me, I was fuming. I told a few folks who were all on the same level as me when it came to job title and who also knew of the stuff this guy did. The last final straw came not too long after when this particular computer got a virus. When it was finally fixed the manager in our department (who is the biggest twat I’ve ever worked for, honestly) left a note on the computer stating that the cause of the virus was because of MySpace, Facebook, etc. and that all of the people who were in the same pay grade as myself could only use it for work purposes (mind you this dude got right back to his porn habits as soon as it was fixed, but yeah sure Facebook did it *eye roll*). When I saw that note I was again fuming. I’m sorry, but if I bust my ass around here while most everyone else in this place does jack shit but gossip all day then I’m going to spend my breaks/lunches winding down the way I want. I texted a coworker, who hadn’t started his shift yet, that we were being punished for this dude’s bullshit. My coworker texted me back “Fuck that. I’m gonna put in my two weeks notice when I get there. Watch me.” And that’s exactly what he did. I was even more upset, because this guy and I had become close and he’s one of the few people that made my days there bearable. Now he was going to quit all because our boss treated this perv like he was gold.
        How I handled the situation was writing a strongly worded letter to my supervisor and the director of the company. I won’t even drag this part of the story out because of course nothing was done. I was down a friend. I was up enemies because people didn’t want to believe that he was doing it. Actually I’m not sure what they thought, but the fact that no one sided with a young woman who was clearly uncomfortable working with a grown man who watched porn at work, on a company computer, oh and I forgot to mention that he would also have phone sex with women in other departments during work hours. That was always a fun listen, but I was the bad guy in the whole situation. A family member once suggested that I’d tell the police since this job was only a few blocks away from the police station. My one regret while I worked there is that I didn’t do just that, but my thought at that time was that it wasn’t that serious. I really should have done that though. Not sure what that would’ve accomplished, but if you have someone who can’t get through a workday without watching porn then no telling what type of individual he may actually be.
        I gladly left that job in the summer of 2008. That place got under my skin so much that I left the damn state. I mean, my main reason was to transfer to another school, but my second reason was to get a clean break from that place. I visited once on winter break early 2009 and that was the last I stepped foot in there. When I moved back home 2013 family kept saying “Go back there. I’m sure you’d get hired back.” No. I’d rather be in poverty than return to that establishment. Not joking. This is only one of many problems I had with that place. Never again. Not today, Satan.   

-Asia Aneka Anderson, 2015©

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