Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Worst Job Ever

***Last name of the person involved has been omitted, because I do have some compassion left in me.

The worst job that I've ever had was one as a Sales Associate for Athleta, a company owned by GAP, Inc. I worked at their Newport Beach, CA location from August 2011 until late October of the same year.

When I was going through corporate training, I was starry-eyed. Wow, finally a company that respected women! A company that cared about women!

I loved the manager and the team leads that I met. I loved the team of Sales Associates that were hired. Everybody seemed so friendly, the atmosphere was warm and inviting, and I wanted nothing more than to spend as much time working in that store as possible.

The store was set up like this: 1 manager; 3 team leads. Each lead was responsible for a task (scheduling, inventory processing, and the floater who stayed mostly on the sales floor).

Anyhow, the lead in charge of scheduling, a woman named Jenelle, repeatedly gave me only 4 hours a week, while everybody else got a minimum of 20 hours, even though they did not have open schedules (most were college students or had a 2nd job), and they kept on asking me to fill in for them every week, which I didn't mind because I really needed those hours. Did I mention that I had a fully open schedule? 4 hours a week = not much in earnings before taxes, by the way.

I asked the scheduling lead about this, and explained to her that while I understood that it was a part-time position (everybody worked part-time, except for the manager and leads), I needed more than 4 hours. She totally ignored me and consistently scheduled me at only 4 hours a week, which was the bare minimum that she was supposed to give to someone.

Then I began to notice that nobody asked me to fill in for them anymore. In fact, I noticed that they would rather not show up for work at all than call me. One girl told me, "Tammy, I am so sorry but Jenelle told me not to ask you to fill in for me anymore."

I just couldn't understand what Jenelle had against me because I was always friendly; I didn't look so hideous that she couldn't have me on the sales floor (not that that would have been okay either), and I had years of experience in sales. For example, when I showed up for the mid-shift, a lead ran up to me and frantically said, "Okay, it is already 2 PM, and we are not even one-third of the way to our daily sales goal yet!"

There were already 4 other girls working since that morning, and they didn't even seem to care about the goal. Quite a few even told me flat out, "Why should I care? I'm not staying here forever."

Well, just one hour into my shift, and I alone earned for the store roughly $1,000 in sales, all just from assisting only 4 customers, tops.

Despite repeated top-notch performances, I never got more than 4 hours a week. It was disappointing and heartbreaking, because as a Sales Associate, I trusted and relied on my team leaders to do the right things. I told myself that as someone in the leadership position, the team lead in charge of scheduling must have had a good reason for giving me only 4 hours a week; maybe if I worked harder and performed even better, and let her see my accomplishments, she would see that I was an asset to the store. Well, she didn't care.

I was so disillusioned by the end of my employment there that I simply walked out on that job; the only job that I ever walked out on without a notice, because it was very uncomfortable to work in an environment where I knew I was not wanted. Job loyalty goes both ways: dehumanize your employees, and don't expect them to feel an ounce of loyalty toward you.

How about you? What was the worst job that you have ever had?

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