Advice about my work situation?

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  • So I'm not going to say exactly where I work, but our store color is mainly based around red and we have a dog as our mascot. I've been working here since last August and I honestly enjoyed what I was doing. I work in consumables so its literally just pushing what comes off the truck onto the shelves and working somewhat in the backroom. Simple, manual labor and I enjoyed it. But my problem now and it has been for a few months now is my ETL (Executive Team Lead), she's above my Team lead, and I'm in the pool of employees that are under the Team Lead.

    She used to seem like she loved me because I was and still am a damn hard worker and I got all my shit done and helped newer people even when not asked to. Everything was great up until a few months ago. I hear from my Co-worker Andy (Who is an absolute kiss ass to my ETL), that she says I'm not doing shit and she wants Andy (who I am the same level as and am not his subordinate) to come yell at me. This annoyed me because you could check the many cameras we have and see I've been working my ass off all day. This wa sjust the start.

    Now this ETL thinks that she can say whatever she wants about her subordinates to anyone out loud and they'll keep what she says to themselves. Absolutely not. We all hate her and put up with her just not to cause any issues. I've heard from my co-workers that she talks shit about me, but I've never let it bother me until now.

    I've been suffering with back pain for a few years and about 5 weeks ago, I could barely bend down nor pick anything up without collapsing in excrutiating pain and in tears. I went to work anyways because on the rare times I do call out, I hear she pitches a fit and then gives me issues when I get back to work about why I called out. I didn't want to deal with this so I went in. I stuck it through for about two hours until I was in tears and my closer co-worker Andrew, went to my ETL and told her the issues because I was genuinely scared she'd get mad at me and tell me off (I hate confrontation). Surprisingly, she came to me all nice and said I could go home and that here in the Consumables team, we all look out for each other. Seems like the thing a reasonable and understanding manager would do right? Well let me bring you to the breaking point I reached last Wednesday that made me lose all respect for this woman.

    Last Monday night, I was experiencing the same terrible back pain and couldn't move, so I tried to call out Monday night saying that i couldn't come in Tuesday morning for my shift because obviously my back is way more important than this job. My family has a history of back issues and at 18, I don't want to make this worse than it is. (I have a doctors appointment schedules fairly soon to address my back in full.) The lines were down at my store so I texted my co-worker Andy (You know, the kiss ass who happens to always have my ETL's number and messages her about every little bs thing he finds), and asked him if he could tell her the issue so at least someone knew I couldn't come in and I wouldn't be put down as a No call/No Show. That seems to go well and she's informed and is fine with it. COME TO FIND OUT, on Wednesday morning when I came in or my next shift, I was talking to Andrew and he told me a whole different story.

    I was told by Andrew that my ETL went off that day saying she didnt give two shits about my back and that I was just lazy and didn't care about my job. She also said that I must be lying about the phone issues because I didn't want to call in and tell them by bs lie. Now, my sister also works there and has been for about 4 years now, being a Senior Team Lead, and my ETL went to her all passive aggressively sympathetic saying "Oh is she sick? What's wrong with her? I hope she's okay and feels better" Keep in mind, she knew the issue and just wanted to save face for herself in font on the higher-ups so she seems like a good person. When she's by my co-workers (i.e, the majority of the lowest level employees there), she doesn't care what she says.

    My delema is that I'm tired of this shit and know damn well she's going to come to me and be like "Oh dear is your back okay?" after I already heard what she said about me me when I wasn't at work that day. I want to go off on her, but I want to keep it at a level that I won't get fired because I'm comfortable where I am and can't find another job at the moment that's not retail. I want to tell her that her actions are extremely unprofessional and I would certainly expect someone of her age and experience to show better conduct and integrity because she's supposed to be someone we all can go to with work issues and trust. She shouldn't think she can say such things about her subordinates of anyone she works with just because we're under her or we're not one of her golden children (I.e kiss ass Andy who she adores though he barely does anything at work while me and Andrew bust our ass' and are sweating to death after we're finished.) I want to show her that despite my age and level at the store, I show more professionalism than her, who has had a history of being managers for many stores now.

    The other issue is that since i haven't been at the store for that long ( a little less than a year), that I don't want to seem like I'm just stirring shit up. Everyone knows how this ETL is but they don't want to report her and hurt their job, which is absolutely understandable. I don't want to just be a sheep in a herd of people who just deal with her. All the other Team Leads and ETLs know i'm a hard worker so I have that going for me if I want to change departments, but I honestly like and am too comfortable in consumables to want to move departments, even if it is to get away from this ETL. I need a bit of advice on what I should do. I'm set on having that talk with her if she comes to me acting all passive aggressivly nice asking about my back, but should I report her? I know she'll never find out that I specifically reported her, but I think we all know she'll know its me and she might make my life even more hell there. I'm at a point where I don't want to be a pushover anymore and just sit there taking her shit, I want speak my mind, but idk. I guess I'm just coming here for reassurance on what I should do and if im right to be upset about this.

    Thank you for reading my rant and any advice is helpful! c:

  • hello! reading through this, I have somewhat of advice as well.

    I'll start off by saying that people at my job HATE me. Not just the ones who are my age, but the ones who are older as well. They hate me because I've been promoted multiple times and am now there boss: they go around talking so much shit and have even made attempts to get me fired. I understand somewhat where you're coming from.

    A team leader is one who is there to lead, obviously, and help the others when they need and serve as a support system and role model. If the ETL is acting like that then it makes it okay for your coworkers to act like that as well. Under no circumstances is it okay for an ETL to be acting so hostile and treating her subordinates that. By all means, I suggest reporting her. Not as a snitch, but as I'm also in management as my job, that's what I recommend. But tell the whole story, dont leave certain things out to protect others. Her supervisor can probably handle her, but if that doesnt work, switching departments is another option. Even if you dont want too. Personally, I wouldnt talk to her about the issues because from you've said, she sounds like a two faced snake in the grass.

    If she makes it worse after that, the you have no valid reason to keep yourself in a stressful work situation. Along with that, busting your ass and hurting your back for someone who doesnt care nor appreciate your is crazy. I wouldn't risk further hurting myself like that and if you switch departments for a bit, give your back a rest and you might find that you enjoy it more. But staying where your at, in my opinion, appears to be stressing you out even more. And if you dont absolutely have to stay there, then I wouldn't. Stress at work can carry into your personal life as well and that is never good.

    In a nutshell, I would go to her supervisors or whatever they are called and tell them what a going on and what's shes doing. I'm sure they know you're one of the good workers, it doesn't matter how long you've been there. If things get worse, I would try another department, at least for a little while to allow yourself to rest and things to settle down. But under no means do I suggest quitting entirely. Some people find pleasure in knowing they have the power to run someone from there job. You sound like a very hard worker and a formidable employee. I think you can get through this <3 I really hope this helps, even a little c:

  • Thank you for the advice and just listening to my rant about work! I have a little update about the whole situation if you're interested.

    Now I listened to what you said about not directly talking to my ETL about the issue, I was definitely fueled by anger when I was contemplating that, but I had time to cool down and think about everything.

    I kind of was just going over how miserable i am at work and realized that the reason i am miserable is because I let myself be disappointed all the time by the same shit that goes on there. So I had a bit of a revelation, coming to the conclusion that I shouldn't care so much about a job and ETL when they don't care about me. In a way, that helped a lot. With a more relaxed attitude toward the 'political' aspect of my job (i.e favorites, bs spoken about everyone/myself), I found work to be less of a hassle to go to. Now my work ethic hasn't changed, I am still hard working and bust my ass despite what my ETL thinks, and in the end, it actually payed off in a way.

    See now my sister, the Senior Team Lead that works there is good friends with my Team Lead. She let slip about what my ETL said and how i was effected by it, and my Team Lead was livid to hear about this; so much that she kept asking my sister when I worked next so she could have a talk with me. She eventually pulled me aside last week, which I was a little worried about because naturally I hate confrontation and was hoping this wasn't going to be a bad conversation, but it actually wasn't.

    My Team Lead is new in the area I work in, but despite that, she hasn't come to talk to me at all nor made an impression with me, so I didn't really like her to start with. (It was just something about the fact that she talked to pretty much everyone else but me at work.) So when she pulled me aside, I was nervous because she mentioned what my sister said to her and I figured she was going to take my ETL's side and just tell me to be better i guess. But no, she went on to tell me that she sees how incredibly hard i work and she appreciates everything I do for her and my team. She also let me know that she leaves me be all the time because she's more than confident in my abilities to get my work done and I know everything there needs to be done in my area without her having to ask. I told her I'm just going to ignore my ETL's comments from now in because I don't want to make work more stressful for myself, and she agreed with that, but also let me know that she's working to make it so that the ETL will be less present in my work area and wont directly deal with me and my co-workers anymore. SO hopefully no more hearing her bs.

    That conversation with my Team Lead honestly made my day that day, and since then I find myself just enjoying the two hours in the morning I can listen to music before the store opens while working, very sneakily dancing to myself as well lmao, and just going through the normal motions when the store does open and i cant have my little jam sessions lol. I think my Team Lead said something to my ETL about the issue because ever since she's been super nice to me, very quickly accepting my two weeks off for vacation at the end of this month and putting me in charge of leading my co-workers today since her and my Team Lead had to go for training certification renewals; mind you she also said this openly in front of the rest of the store's leads and various other department employees during out morning huddle to discuss the day and what's happening soon in the store. Her words "Myself and (insert Team Lead name here) will be gone for training tomorrow and Rosie (not real name of course XD) will be cracking the whip and leading in our area tomorrow, so go to her with any questions."

    I've had a bit of a confidence boost since the whole ordeal and feel a bit better about work, but am also glad to be taking less hours soon to start my first year of college classes. I don't really need all the stress and am really lookin forward to school because I've missed the work and studying since graduating high school last year.

    But anyways, thank you for your advice, I really appreciated it, especially coming from your view point as a higher-up in your job c:

  • not a problem! im so glad everything is looking up for you now! i know how miserable it can make one when there work life is terrible, so I know you feel better <3 and that's awesome that they made you lead for a bit, it shows they so see how hard of a worker you are (: