"My husband and I started working for this small, family-owned and operated company two years ago," says Lisa (not her real name). "I brought clients from my previous job and everything was going well in the beginning—mainly because the manager—the owner's wife--was away. In fact we increased their revenue by about 50 percent. At first we were hired as employees on salary but when she returned to work, the manager didn't like the fact that I was paid when I had to take a day off so I was put on an hourly rate and my husband worked strictly on commission.
Everything changed when she came back to work. None of the work we had done was up to her expectations; she was extremely critical. The manager was constantly remarking that 'nobody knows how to do their job', including her own kids. (Their two children worked there, the son's girlfriend and another close family friend of theirs—it was pretty tight-knit.) Basically, she is very mean and needs a lesson in people skills and anger management. Verbal abuse was rampant: she accused me of making costly mistakes that were actually made by her family members and herself, and she would belittle me in front of everyone.
I should also mention that I am under my doctor's care and taking medication—a form of chemotherapy. I told the owner about this before I was hired so they knew exactly what I would be going through and I have to be very careful that I don't get stressed out. The meds cause a lot of frustration because I constantly feel sick, like I have the flu. As you can imagine, being subjected to a negative environment such as this compromises my health.
I have walked out of the office on several occasions when she has been on a rampage. The other day she accused me of adding extra time onto my time card. For the last few weeks she has been writing my time in and out—this is also very belittling. And yesterday she told me that my client said I was the reason that our sales were dropping. So I phoned the client and he said that was completely untrue and they were false allegations. So now, she has slandered my name.
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My doctor is signing a medical report today. The owner (her husband) even suggested that I go on disability; he was stuck between a rock and a hard place, but at least he is staying neutral, which I appreciate. I filled out a complaint form on your site because I want to be able to keep my job—disability is my last resort and not something I expected to be on. But the owner said that his wife and I cannot work together so I should take disability for six months.
He told me that, after six months, I can come back to work. That remains to be seen. And maybe she will have taken an anger management course in that time so I won't have to put up with any more abuse when I return to work."