The pending issues are still, pending.
At this point, I don't know the time line before further action takes place. I am sure the company is assuming it is over because we didn't send a rebuttal to their reply to my complaint through the the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. The reply, while very impressive, did not entice me to just say, "Well, I guess that's all" and be done with it. It only convinces me further that the company was looking to hide the information.
While reading the documents, I got physically sick. My disgust turned toward someone who was supposed to have been there for me, to protect me.
This woman and I had a connection when we first met. I was in the mall, shopping, in July of 2005. She was sitting in an empty storefront, at a table, surrounded by papers, and a sign out front that read "Now Hiring." I noted that they were hiring for a "new store" coming to the general location of this empty leased space.
I peeked in, because I was looking for work - and with my background having been mostly retail management, I figured I could see which store it was that was coming in. Not only that - she was looking lonely and bored, and at the time, I think was reapplying make-up. I noted immediately that she was perfectly groomed. The lipstick? Immaculate. The eyes - perfectly lined. Nails - perfectly manicured. The hair - long, thick, curly but straightened, and amazing. She obviously gave a lot of time to her primping. She was also very-full figured woman, much like my previous size.
I allowed myself into the room and remember very clearly saying to her, that she looked lonely in this empty space. She laughed and invited me to sit and chat. Chat we did! She had an infectious personality and we got along immediately.
I started to question, in our conversation, if she would be this new store's manager. She seemed like a great "boss" and I thought it would be really a good experience to work for someone with such enthusiasm, much like myself. When I asked her this, and her reply was "Oh, no, I am in Human Resources!" I knew that it was because of this - that she was so friendly and good with people. I thought to myself, "Crap. I'd like to work for someone motivated + bubbly like this."
As we talked further, I eventually delved into the application process for a job. Since I was looking, I figured it might as well be in a new store opening, right? I got the immediate positive reaction from her. She loved me, or at least she seemed to really like me at that meeting. She was highly excited to discuss an opportunity for me to join their team in a position of management that was new to me, but better than I anticipated. It would be a combination of working in an office, and on a sales floor, and that intrigued me. Without giving me the job on the spot, which she nearly did, she called me at home an hour later and offered it to me. I called my husband to discuss the potential of me working full time and the pay, and he was thrilled. I'd have to go through a quick meet with the District Manager and perhaps the incoming Store Manager, but, it was my job, and I'd have to start soon.
When I started, she was there - no longer as an HR Rep, but as a trainer. She was in place to train me, and apparently any/all of the new staff in our basic job functions. At first, things were okay. This job, having been Brand Spanking New to me - was intimidating. I felt that I didn't get enough training, and when she left to go back to the corporate offices, I was l-o-s-t.
I hoped she'd come back and just keep me moving in the right direction, because I knew I could do a great job in this position, with the right training and proper model. But, she couldn't. I recall a visit or two back in the first few weeks, she'd pop up to see how things were rolling.
I remember getting a cold reaction from her when I'd ask questions. She seemed irritated that I would have any reason to not know certain job functions. She'd tell me to ask the store management, or another store's management, and that it was out of her hands, basically. I hate to be a pest, especially about new things, and learning, I just wanted to Do Things by the book. When prompted to ask the store management about detailed functions, I quickly realized that they, had less knowledge of many of the questions I had than I myself did.
One of the three, had a working knowledge of my actual job, and I was able to ask him on occasion about things, or at least, where I could find an answer. This person later explained that he'd had the same position before being promoted, so he knew the "deal."
Another manager, meant well, but never seemed to be able to help, but he was working with less than a year of knowledge of this company. He seemed genuinely interested in my well-being, and told me I could trust him.
The third, having made me immediately uncomfortable in his presence, and also was seemingly not trained for this company either, I avoided asking anything to, and physically avoiding being near him unless required.
I remember voicing my initial concerns with her about my training, and having been shrugged off. She went back to her corporate HQ and left me on my own. I emailed a few, with simple queries, and she didn't seem to like me at all after that point. I gave up on her. She became the butt of jokes with the store management, as they apparently didn't like her at all - but - I was upset because I DID, and they were telling me that I shouldn't because she's a real "bitch," etc. etc.
I didn't see her again after the first few visits back to check up on me until she came to "investigate" my complaints. In the span of many months, culminating in January 2006 I wrote a few letters to my District Manager and Human Resources.
She came back for and investigation of my letters. Her arrival was not pleasant. She was no longer my "warm and friendly Human Resources" person. She was cold, bitter and not at all the same person I met that warm summer day. She acted as if she cared, for a moment, and asked me to "go to Dunkin' Donuts" with her, to you know, "Sit and chat over coffee."
What I didn't know is that she was interviewing me about my complaints. She led me to believe this was just a gesture of goodwill. She started drilling me in FRONT of my co-workers and managers directly in viewing/hearing distance of them. I, was to Tell Her Everything, with all eyes peering out the door?
This was not okay. I told her that I was not comfortable discussing certain things with the customers of the mall hearing me, and my employees digging for dirt. I was nearly in tears before she stopped. I thought she came to protect me, when in fact, she came to annihilate me. I was just dumbfounded at her audacity. During the conversation, I tried, to say to her, "I thought you told me you were always there to protect me and my employees? Isn't that what Human Resources does?"
She just sat - stared at me - stared at her blank sheet of notes - and looked back at me, with this look of contempt. She doubted these things in which I told her. She told me that they couldn't happen. I don't lie. I told her, that I am honest to a fault. I can't make this poop up. She was not amused, and probably wanted nothing more than to go home.
I wondered during our conversation if she'd been paid on the retention of new employees that she'd hired initially.
I wondered if she knew how other people talked about her behind her back, like they'd be doing about me in a few. short. minutes.
In those few minutes, I was the pariah. Thanks for that.
I wonder now, if she's still working for the same company. It's been fifteen months, and they've had some internal shake-ups. They shifted people around, ax'ed a few, their HR exec is gone, and took some losses, so I don't know if she's been lost/removed/moved elsewhere in the mess.
I just really wonder what came of her. I had liked her.
In the time that we spoke way back, she knew I wrote a "blog" and there's a slight possibility that she will read this. She checked it out initially when I was training from her hotel room, when I wrote at Blogger. I only knew because I saw the hit from the hotel she told me she was staying at. Other involved parties have been reading right long, anyways, including the companies law office, so I wouldn't be surprised to have her here, it wouldn't bother me to know.
Anyways - the preface to all of this is that I am waiting to call my lawyer while he's actually in the office and it's on my mind.