Thursday, December 30, 2010

They Have Us Where They Want Us


We are now in an era where jobs are hard to come by including "pink collar" or "Joe jobs." Workers are holding onto their jobs in fast food, retail, restaurants, and the few remaining factories. Many of us are holding onto whatever jobs we have for dear life. We realize new jobs are hard to come by, especially for older workers.

It seems younger workers are favored by many corporations at this time. They can pay them less, and some may not ask as often for pay raises or more hours. Some will put up with unfair working conditions longer than an older person who may speak out against certain practices.

There are some terrific younger workers out there who deserve jobs. All I am referring to are the older workers who are still quick, hardworking, experienced and well...mature, who are being overlooked when companies hire.


In some jobs a bully makes the workplace very unpleasant. Under normal circumstances the bully is dealt with by management, written up, counseled, and eventually let go. When the bully becomes friends with the manager (also another bully) things become very stressful.

The bully I know of is a very strong former construction worker with a prison record. He lost employment with the building trade when the economy tanked and had to try restaurant work. He walks about with his chest puffed out and his arms flexed pushing others out of his way to prove he's alpha male.

His manager sometimes joins in the bullying. The two of them cornered a younger and smaller male worker in the walk in cooler and acting serious said they were going to "have fun with him" and they proceeded to unzip. Then they had a good laugh and joked about the young man's white face and shocked expression.

That walk in cooler is for more than storing food. On another occasion that same manager went into the cooler and dropped his pants so he could take a photo of his naked backside which he then showed to several of his employees both male and female.

The bully likes to corner other male workers against a wall, punching an arm or getting someone in a headlock. I know it is assault but there are so few jobs here they are afraid to rock the boat. One former employee is already on unemployment and hasn't found work yet.


The bully hated a former co-worker, the oldest one there. After a year of searching the man found another job so he could escape. He is now earning less money but isn't constantly harassed. It got to a point where the bully would chant, "Send him home, send him home, send him home." until the manager listened and sent him home early. So what if he only worked two hours and so what if they got busy and needed him later, at least the bully was happy and somewhat quieter. Now my husband is the oldest...

One of our money saving techniques is sharing a car. I went to the back door, a few day ago to see if my husband was ready to leave. He was walking between the oven and a work table when the bully stepped into his path. He pushed close to him and whispered something to him and then looked back at me and laughed. My husband didn't want to repeat what he said but I insisted. He said, "Do you want me to violate you in front of your wife?"

There are things going on at my place of work that shouldn't but it is nothing like this place. It's a nightmare.

You used to be able to leave one job, fill out three job applications, and have your choice between two new jobs four days later. Now it will take four months to a year of constant search to find a part time minimum wage job. It's discouraging and we the poor feel beaten down, tired, and defeated.


A friend works in a department store. They dropped her hours and moved her to a different department. She used to make thirty hours a week and now she makes three. This is how they force people to quit so they can't collect unemployment. This same company has a rule that jobs must be posted for a week before they fill a position. A male was moved up to fill a management position that was never posted. Several female workers had been asking to move up. Many of then had been there for years and the man had been there two months. One manager told several workers point blank that they had wanted a man for the job. My friend has a lawyer.

I've told my husband to document things, put notes on a calendar or something. He may need it one day. I wish I could afford a hidden camera. At the end of the day he just doesn't want to dwell on it. It's already affecting his health, mine as well, and I don't even work there. We are just holding on for now. Go in, collect your pay, come home and attempt to de-stress.

We will have changes. Even if the economy doesn't improve here, we will go elsewhere. Somewhere, they must be getting ready for an explosion of jobs. I could get back into retail management, and my husband could find another pizzeria or restaurant he would enjoy working in. I don't care if we are shoveling poop off the sidewalk for a living as long as we are happy and there are more job choices out there. I want travel, and fun, and peace. There is so much to see yet we always seem to feel trapped by poverty. Not for long, we will climb our way out. World, here we come.


  1. The modern world has been here before my'luv and we'll go there again. I have learnt to live sparingly as there's no money and we have good white collar jobs, just the cost of living caught up with us. The economy is awful but for those of us with jobs, we've just got to hang on in there. Workplace bullies have no place on God's earth! Jobs are stress full enough! I hope your husband finds a job where he is appreciated and my prayers are with you both that you will have fortitude and forebearance to cope with the shite that's being thrown at you both, love frugal queen xxxxxxxxxxx

  2. The story about your husband being harassed! How awful!

  3. Who is big enough and who has enough authority to make these people behave themselves? This is an OUTRAGE!

    At least you can vent by blogging.

    We love you, you know.

    Mother Connie

  4. Frugal Queen, Thank you for your concern. We will make changes for ourselves, hopefully this spring.

    Monroe, it's frustrating when a large group of people whom you have to work with everyday behave so unprofessionaly. This may be his worse job yet.

    Connie, The owner is friends with the manager. The manager is friends with the part-time manager, and so on. We will survive, and better times are just ahead. Thanks for venting with me. :)

  5. Holy cow, I can't fathom being a man and being sexually harassed - it surely must be much worse than being a woman and having it happen. I know it shouldn't be, but it seems it would be. I also wouldn't be surprised if someone like that hasn't got a criminal past either and has actually acted out somehow. What a freak.

    I think you're on the right track for thinking of alternate places to go and alternate employment. There's something somewhere that's just right for you!

  6. Jacq, I'm thinking he must have a chemical imbalance of some sort or something. He has days where he is decent and then days like that. There is no excuse for crap like that to go on in any workplace. We just feel stuck for now because of the extreme lack of jobs here. However, we are making progress little by little. We won't always be stuck. Thanks for commenting.

  7. I'm sorry, I'm just not buying this. Not that it couldn't happen, it just sounds so literary that it's probably just somebody's writing project. Who writes a real personal experience with phrases like " we the poor..."? No one I know of.

  8. Hello Anonymous, I am in fact a real person and a member of the working poor. I wrote that sentence, including the views of friends and co-workers I have spoken with. That's why I said "we" and not "I" at that point. I started this blog to provide a conversation starter or a description of daily life of the working poor. I also hope it will serve as help for other working poor who are looking to live more frugally and better their lives. It's all to easy to fall into debt even on low incomes. The above article was difficult to write, as I had to admit what we are putting up with at this time. It was also dwelling on negativity. Thanks for reading and commenting.