Roots Market / unfair treatment at work
After a TON of years in the specialty grocery business (& as a wine distributor) I was laid off in late 2008. So after a couple of unsuccessful job-searching months, I applied at Roots Market, thinking I would be able to make a decent salary (maybe not quite what I expected, but something a bit close?) I started off as cashier, was paid VERY LITTLE (like what I made back in HS as a part time worker at a gourmet market.)
I was told that I would have a flexible schedule. I said great -- I could work weekends, but there was a day that I needed off within the first month. I told the management this upon hire, but they "conveniently" forgot & scheduled me on that day. (That day was not a weekend day; mind you...it was a Monday -- very slow.)
Anyway, after a few problems with the schedule, as mentioned above (I DID end up working that day, too...as not to create waves...) I was "caught" by the store manager -whose name I will not mention here- talking to another cashier. I was simply asking the cashier a code for produce. The cashier gave it to me & I said thank you. Just after the customer rang through my line, I was summoned to the front office (by the manager) & talked to like I was in grade school! I was told to NOT talk to any cashiers, not start conversations w/ANY store employees, & most importantly, DO NOT leave my register!
I was taken aback, but did heed what she said. For the next week, I watched my Ps & Qs, making sure I asked BEFORE I went to the bathroom, didn't talk to anyone except the customer, & if a fellow employee tried to engage me in conversation, I would politely smile & nod my head & keep my mouth shut.
Then came a day when I couldn't find a certain size bag I needed. After (very quickly) asking a cashier, who directed me towards the area where bags were kept, I waited til there were NO MORE customers in the area & made my way - all of 20 feet - to the bagging shelves. I got the bag I needed & stocked up on some smaller ones. In about a minute, I heard the office door open & I got called into the office. I was, once again, reprimanded for leaving my register & also having a conversation w/a cashier. I couldn't believe it! When I told the store manager what I was doing, she told me she didn't care & that I should've already had the supplies I needed before I started. (This is difficult when you're like the 3rd person using the register that day & didn't set it up.)
After mumbling an apology & slinking out the door, I felt totally stupid. Here I was, at least TWICE the age of some of the other employees, making less than most of them, starting pretty much at the bottom after being in the food business over 20 years (which I was prepared for after my layoff...) but getting talked to like I was a complete imbicile. It was not even what the store manager was saying, it was how she was saying it...the whole thing was absolutely condescending.
Needless to say, I quit. I typed up a nice letter & gave my proper 2-weeks' notice. Unfortunately, the next day after I gave my letter, my name was crossed off the schedule (in thick black magic-marker, ) & I was told to not bother coming back for my last couple of weeks. Goodbye & good riddance!