Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Roadhouse: "D-Rock is unemployed"

This week's Roadhouse is a little sad. But we get the sadness out of the way up front, then hit you with an amazing idea for a super cool reality show.

NOTE: D-Rock is aware of her legal rights. Due to the sensitive nature of the topic, it would be awesome if we could refrain from offering legal advice or "you should" or "if I were you." However, we encourage you to share your stories of workplace harassment and discrimination in the comments.


  1. It keeps telling me, "This video is private." Did I miss something?

  2. That sucks that the boss is enabling such douche-baggery.

    Moan during the next pat down. Stops the cop, at least a moment.

    I've never been sexually harassed at work. But, as a call center customer service rep for an online retailer, I got some interesting tales.

    One call for someone who supposedly wanted Delta faucet replacement parts, the guy asked if I was a recording (no, but evidently my professional voice sounds like a recorded message). He then asked if I was wearing heels. No? Do I like pantyhose? Uhhh... Do I paint my toes? Umm, sir? Did you need replacement parts? Bet you think I'm kinda creepy. There's no 'kinda' to it, sir.

    I was in charge of going through and sorting the various voicemails and sending them to department heads to be addressed. One call I couldn't sort.

    The caller was a troubled man, upset by what he found out about one of our photographers. The photographer was a pornographer, he'd been to the caller's house earlier in the evening, with a prostitute, and the photographer took "several lewd photos" and the caller just wanted us to know what sort of people we have working for us.

    After laughing my ass off, I passed it to my supervisor to handle because it was pure WTF? for me. She got down to the bottom of it. Evidently the caller thought he was calling Kathy Ireland Designs.

    So, um, buyer beware.

  3. D-Rock, I'd offer you a hug if there was a way to transmit those through the Internet. I feel angry and disappointed that you went through all that.

    When I was in high school, I worked at Suncoast (the movie store) in the mall during the holiday season. I was really good at my job. I was the human computer for people who didn't know what section the movie they were looking for was in. If someone came in looking for Operation Petticoat, I could tell them that it was in comedy and that Tony Curtis and Cary Grant were hilarious in it. I could sort the DVDs in the back room like nobody's business. I was good with the customers and never screwed up on the register. I actually loved working there, and not just for the employee discount. After I helped move the store location from one end of the mall to the other one Sunday, our schedules changed. They didn't need so many people working in the store because there was such a crappy amount of foot traffic, and we lost our TVs (so we couldn't play Pirates of the Caribbean in the store anymore). Around the middle of February, I noticed that I wasn't on schedule for a while. After a day or two, I walked into the store and found the manager. I asked him when I was on schedule next, and he told me that they were letting me go. They couldn't keep me on staff anymore. They had hired a new assistant manager and kept my friend (we were hired at the same time), but they fired me. I never found out exactly why, and the Suncoast chain went bankrupt a little while later.

    I was so devastated after that. We were on our way out to dinner before I made my stop at Suncoast, and then I got the bad news. I couldn't eat anything once we got to the restaurant. I felt like a failure.

    It's now four years after I graduated from college, and I'm still unemployed. I work freelance, but it's not enough at all. I recently applied for an internship, but haven't heard back from them in three weeks. Not even a "the position is already filled" email. Which is the worst part about job searching. When you don't hear a single word about the job you applied for. And the few times I've had the chance to get an interview, I'm often told that I don't have enough experience. Which I can't get because no one will hire me because I have no experience. A lot of the jobs in my field require 3-5 years of experience for you to apply, and I've gotten so tired of hearing those words that I just don't even bother anymore when I see that.

    You guys, I'm so tired of it all. I'm tired of living off my parents' money and being useless. I'm tired of being unemployed. It's gotten to the point where it's like no one wants me and I don't know how the hell I'm supposed to change to fix that.


    I love the reality show idea. I'm trying to quit smoking. I started using those Blu e-cig things, but it's not quite the same. And I have an emergency pack in my purse, so this quitting thing isn't really working out. I've quit before (for seven months), but it didn't stick with me. I caught a whiff of my neighbor's cigarettes and just caved. Problem is, I actually like the taste of cigarettes, and these Blu things aren't the same. Plus, the batteries are really shitty. They lose their charged time and break constantly. I've bought five since I started using them, and the latest one that came in the mail is busted. Also? It's way cheaper for me to just smoke real cigarettes. At least with real cigarettes, I have to plan where to go outside when I smoke and I'm not going through entire packs within days. Real cigarettes last longer.

    Jenny, your hair is absolutely gorgeous right now. So cute.

    1. I'm in the same place as you regarding jobs. Exactly. I graduated uni in 2008 and (bar the time I spent *recovering* from depression and the year I spent with part time jobs to fund another course I did) haven't been able to get a 'proper' job since.

      Why do we need to have experience already? And, like you said, how do we get it if no one is willing to train a graduate??

      Regarding internships, I did two last year (and practically bankrupted myself as obviously, they were unpaid and I had to fork out for a hotel to stay in London in order to complete them) during which time they basically gave me office jobs and cupboard tidying duties. I understand that those jobs are important to the running off the office but they didn't teach me anything about what the role of assistant editor involves! Why couldn't I have shadowed someone for that week and actually learnt about what they did?? It would have been far more valuable.

      So... yeah. You're not alone! :)

    2. I also have been unable to find a "real" job since graduating in 2009 - with 2 grad degrees and a whole mess of student loans to boot!

      I did have a 3-month-long gig at a local university, but it was a disaster. It was a content management system integration job that turned into a project management position when the prior PM was unceremoniously fired near the conclusion of the project.

      It smelled fishy when they asked me to take over (I'd only been there a month and a half in a freelance capacity, and knew very little about the project history), but I had to take the chance that it would become something real.

      Sure enough, when the project missed its time line within 2 weeks of my becoming involved, I was scapegoated for the failure. For a project that had been underway for a full year before I came on board!

      The office and the project were both so politically charged that even people who knew that I couldn't possibly have anything to do with the project being off-track didn't dare speak in my defense.

      I wasn't fired, but I found a reason to resign within 1 month of taking on the position in the first place (seriously, I was simply not there long enough to fuck things up!). I had worked very hard on this project, both before and after becoming PM, so I felt so shitty, worthless, and like a pawn when I was scapegoated - like all my work had been worth nothing.

      I sometimes think the blow to my self-esteem had something to do with my inability to find anything else...or even (paranoia!) that I may have been black-balled from local industry (I'm in a pretty small city and the university has major reach here). Either way, I'm jobless, too and I just want to cry sometimes.

    3. I know it's not great out there right now. I just finished an AA and working a crappy desk job, but I've never been unemployed. I was always working the entry level jobs (with high turnover rate, surprisingly).

      If I can make a suggestion, though. Why not volunteer? Anywhere, doing anything. You gain experience you can apply towards a job (y'know, alter the resume to make it fit) and you might meet some people who can help! A lot of different people volunteer all the time. You might run into a business owner who has been looking for decent help.

      I just really wanted to throw that out there for you guys. I hope it gets better!

    4. That is a good suggestion, thanks!

    5. I do transcription volunteer work for a museum :) I also applied to volunteer at a magazine and a newspaper but never heard anything back :(

    6. In regards to the e-cig, my partner went with the Blu and I tried the volt. I found the Blu to be pretty inconsistent and the battery life weak. But the volt with the large battery is awesome. Cigarette free for six weeks now after 19 years smoking. Never thought I could do it!

  4. Not going to give legal advice, but I hope you pursue your rights. What's "great" is that they gave an easy-to-disprove reason for firing you.

    Is it completely mean of me to hope that harasser has a little accident that results in the loss of his "little friend"?

  5. Good show! Sorry to hear about D-Rock's misadventures. Hopefully it opens the way to something better for her, and she can leave this all behind without ever needing to think about this blip in her life again.

    Okay, well, you asked for it. Things that piss me off:

    Incorrect use of the English language, including the terms 'off of', 'would of', and 'anythink'. There are numerous other abuses that I have seen published in books, print media, used in television and movies, as well as those that have crept and crawled into everyday language.

    My parents attitude towards minority rights. Don't get me wrong; I love my parents very much, but they live in a cocoon from which they refuse to break out. Gay rights is a blank to them, and my father will only accept marriage as right between a man and a woman. There is no point in coming out to them, so it saddens me that I have to keep this part of myself hidden, or at least unspoken. I have no idea what my mother thinks she knows. They are also extremely condescending and judgmental in regards to native peoples rights and issues, asylum seekers and illegal immigrants, people with tattoos, excessive piercings, as well as a host of other things. Trying to grow up under that and not become judgmental yourself often means you become as bad as they are in a different way. It's a difficult line to tread.

    Paying for what should be a free resource: water.

    The idea that, as an adult, if you're not in a relationship, or don't want one, but you're not fucking everyone you could possibly get into your bed, then you're abnormal. I sometimes feel like screaming. Especially since most of the people I meet only want another notch on the bedpost. I don't have time for people like that.

    My manager. She told me she's promoting me to supervisor, but refuses to teach me the role.

    That I live in a world where people think it's okay to do things that are deeply unethical, even if it's not illegal to do them.

    Selfishness on a scale I never wanted to know about. Everyone seems to expect ulterior motives for doing ANYTHING.

    Dishonesty. It's so prevalent I wonder how anyone can give any measure of trust that isn't grudging.

    That's all the things I can think of which piss me off right now. Thanks for letting me vent a little!

    1. ^Ditto your whole comment.
      One of the biggest annoyances for me in regards to the language is the dreaded "could care less." UGH!

      Also, my sympathies to D-Rock. That is total bullshit.

      I would totally watch that show! That idea is hysterical!

    2. My parents have somewhat backwards views about gays as well, and I'm also probably never leaving the closet. I'm fairly certain I'll be met with comments of "well, it's just a phase" and "but you like men more than women, right?" and "you've never even been in a relationship, how can you be sure?" Or, worse, they'll deny my feelings and tell me I'm not right. So I'll stay in the closet where they're concerned. Probably indefinitely.

      This doesn't make me mad so much as it makes me incredibly sad.

    3. My biggest annoyance, besides agreeing with your "could of," is "for all intensive purposes."

    4. Ooo, I love using "could care less", but I use it in the sentence "I could care less, but it would be really difficult". :)

    5. D-Rock, that is utter assholery and I'm sorry you had to go through it.

      As long as we're talking about language things that piss us off, I'm a linguist and part of my job entails editing the writing of other professional(!) linguists. It irritates me much more than it probably should that so many of them utterly disregard punctuation rules. Punctuation is part of grammar! We're supposed to be the professional grammar users who know and care about this stuff!

      (And BTW, I have to stick up for the much-maligned "I could care less." Listen to how people say it - their tone of voice, I mean. It's very different from how people say, "I couldn't care less." "I could care less" is being said sarcastically: "I could CARE less." In other words, "Yeah, like there's anything else I could care less about.")

  6. Wow, I'm sorry that happened to you, D-Rock. Hopefully it will lead to something better, though. When one door closes, another one opens.

    Fun story about workplace harassment: at my last job, we had a male boss, and around 12 female/4 male employees. The boss hired a new guy who proceeded to sexually harass the younger girls (no touching or anything, but making comments about their appearance, repeatedly asking them out, telling them they looked sexy, leering, etc). Anyway, the girls complained; he got fired without any questions. Maybe it's because it was a female-dominated workplace, but sometimes the right thing does happen. It was actually the one thing the company did right, as they didn't give two shits about our complaints about working alone and later laid off most of the staff(including myself) without notice and generally were dickheads.

    Pointless bitching: I hate the world today. I hate capitalism. I hate that governments no longer serve the people and I want to incite a rebellion against corporations and bankers and whoever else fucked up the economy and made it so we don't have jobs. OFF WITH THEIR HEADS.

  7. I'm sorry, D-Rock. I'm glad you have people that support you and you don't have to explain how sexist what occurred was to them.

    For the pointless bitching... man oh man. I have finals coming up and I am making myself literally sick with the stress of it. While studying I have to also pack, because we're moving. Also have to pack, because we're going on vacation (to MI!) like immediately after finals, so we won't be moved in completely. My OCD wont let me enjoy my vacation knowing I have a home of boxes to come back to. And we got into a car accident today. Sigh.

  8. TRIGGER WARNING: going to talk about some rape/abuse flashbacks that happened at work. Also some douchebags in this story too.

    I worked in a pub over Easter, going back there in the summer. I was a waitress/barmaid and sometimes had to help the kitchen clean up (it was always polishing cutlery, which is a NIGHTMARE). When I was last working there was this apprentice chef - he couldn't have been more than twenty at most and most of the time he was a really surly bastard, despite my attempts to be friendly.

    One night I was in the kitchen, polishing cutlery, when he starts telling rape jokes to the other assistant chef, who was in his teens. For a large part of my teenage years I was in an abusive relationship with a guy who raped me, but it's only recently that I actually realised that his behaviour wasn't normal, and I'm still coming to terms with what happened. I don't like hearing about that stuff, but I've learnt to ignore it - most people I've met will just make more of a deal out of it if you ask them to stop. I just ignored his stupid jokes, but then he started telling this story about how his male friend was raped by a woman. He went into excruciating detail, saying stuff about how many missed calls the guy left when he was trying to reach his friends for help and the whole thing just made me sick to my stomach, they were just laughing about it like it was the funniest shit on the planet.

    I basically ended up having a panic attack after I heard that story, it brought all kinds of memories and feelings back. I think it was a panic attack (I don't know for certain, I've never had one before) because I started shaking and crying and I just wanted to run away. I ended up running into my boss, who made me a cup of tea and I ended up telling him the whole story. I haven't seen that guy since - I had to go back to uni shortly after - and I don't know if he's still working there or not. Even though he was a total dick, I don't think he knows his jokes set off a panic attack and I certainly don't think he told them as a way of getting to me.

    Sorry, just wanted to vent. I can't tell many people this story because then I'd have to talk about my ex, even though it's been a year or two since we broke up. Things are kind of crappy right now. I hope D-Rock can get a job with less arseholes on the workforce, she deserves a job where she doesn't have to put up with that.

    1. Not only is it awful that women are raped, but it's terrible the way so many people laugh when men are raped and say that them getting erect meant they wanted it. Straight men in locker rooms get erection. Women who are raped can get wet. I can't stand how the body working in its involuntary physiological capacity is used to blame and laugh at victims. I wish this didn't happen at all. It's never funny, and never something that should happen.

  9. That really sucks D-Rock. I hope you can find an even better job, without the shitty co-workers/boss.

    What pisses me off? At the moment kids growing up in our country (New Zealand) in poverty, going to school hungry and then awful rich and middle class wankers blaming the parents for not doing their jobs rather than addressing the real problem which is families trying to get by on minimum wage. How I wish I could make those people live for month or two on what these poor families live on - I bet all of a sudden there would be huge call for more government assistance etc.

    1. I am from New Zealand and I agree completely with you statement. Although I do think WINZ needs a system review, to ensure those that need help get it. My mum is studying so that she can get a job that isnt minimum wage and has 3 children at home, 1 with learning and behavioral problems which meant she was unable to work because he was kickec out of school at 9 and she wasnt able to get him help or into a school until last year, this year he started mainstream highschool. With another kid who started intermediate (female) and 1 in last year of highschool (male) who has to wear more uniform now not less. She went to winz to ask for help buying 3 different uniforms ( the highschool the older brother goes to wont accept the younger one) they told her that she had 9.00 spare in her benefit and she hould have been saving that up to buy them and they didnt help her out! She has worked the majority of her life, paid taxes, has ensured that all her children were fed and clothed, never buys stuff for herself bit she cant get help buying school uniforms which even with getting some second hand cost over $300 so she had to get into debt to pay.

    2. Our GOP wants to get rid of the minimum wage altogether and argue that it's unAmerican to have a minimum at all, and that having no minimum would make workers more competitive. It's estimated that half of the people in the US are actually in poverty, but not all are counter for technicalities, like child support being counted even if it's not being paid. Even more are in poverty is you count relative poverty (in some areas rent on a cheap studio/efficiency unit costs more than the monthly limit for poverty, so if you can afford a place you're not in "real" poverty even if you can't afford to eat). Never mind how so many politicians are claiming that health care isn't a right and that you and your kids should only get what you can afford to pay out of pocket. Can't afford to get your baby a heart surgery? Your baby can die. I hope the rich are really looking forward to scrubbing their own toilets.

      The state of first-world countries claiming to be the ones everyone else should aspire to is disgusting, and we're all going downhill fast.

  10. So sorry D-Rock, some people are just stupid. Better things coming your way for sure.

  11. It's really nice to find others who share opinions with me. Such a relief to hear that I'm not alone on these matters sometimes (because I agree with like, every comment here).

  12. wow, that seriously blows and I hate that people think sexism is over when solid evidence of it is still happening. I can see why D-Rock is so down :( sorry that happened to you.

    so, here are just a few things that piss me off.

    -people who are so pedantic about language. So the person used the wrong form of your or you're. It discounts and shames people who are self-taught or didn't get access to the same education as you did.

    -people who say anything about peoples weight, thin or fat. Just fuck off.

    -people who point at the window of subway when they ask for veggies. Stab the glass a few more times, maybe the person on the other side doesn't know what pickles look like!

    -anyone who keeps their backpack on during a crowded bus ride, people have limited room and you'd rather keep your bag on than hold it for the 20 minutes the bus is full. Jerks.

    -GIANT jogging strollers on buses, like 3-4 deep while the mom HOLDS the baby in her lap. UGH...can you not!

    -hearing the same joke at work over and over again. I work at a wine store (excellent job, you can taste booze on the clock...where can you do that anywhere else!) and I hear the same joke "Can I get the 5th one free?" or "I bet you guys get drunk all the time!" ....fuck off.

    -in the same vein, men who won't let me carry their wine or musto to their cars for them after REQUESTING a carry out. I'm sorry my vagina is in the way of your ego, but there isn't anyone else to carry this shit or you drag it yourself to your fucking car or it's me you're stuck with!

    The end. ...so things that annoy/piss me off!

    Goodluck with the job search D-Rock! Feel better soon.

    1. "People who are so pedantic about language. So the person used the wrong form of your or you're. It discounts and shames people who are self-taught or didn't get access to the same education as you did."

      ^^ Regarding this. I know a girl who had the same sort of education as me, including the same university course, and then did a PGCE (teaching qualification) on top of that. She now teaches reception age kids (4-5)at a primary school. You think she'd understand correct grammar, right? Well, turns out - after all that education - that she still doesn't know the difference between your and you're and routinely gets them mixed up on Facebook. And that is terrifying.

  13. Sorry you had to deal with that D-Rock.

    I was pretty lucky in my career, in spite of the multiple layoffs (in the 90's). I worked as a financial/economic analyst for a decade or so before having kids and did it in some pretty male dominated industries such as oil refining/retail. Never had a bit of trouble, but it helps that I'm just shy of 6 feet and was raised by an asshole of a dad.

    My last full-time corporate job was a doozy though. Korean owned computer manufacturer. I was an analyst and "data guru" for them. They even asked me to sign a stay contract - I would contract to stay at the company at least 18 months in exchange for a hefty pay raise.

    Then I got pregnant. Went out on maternity leave, fielded calls at home, dialed in to help out as needed, then went to the hospital to have my son via C-section since he was breech. After I had recovered from the surgery, I checked my phone messages at home. Hubby had put the birth info on our outgoing message. The message from my company was "Um, er, uh, congratulations? By the way, you're being laid off..." While I was recovering from flippin' surgery!!! Turned out for the best. I got my 12 week disability, severance pay, unemployment and a couple thousand dollars hush money to just go away and stop bringing up the employment contract. Son turned out to have autism, so it's been 14 years now and I've only worked part time seasonal tax work since.

  14. This story makes me rage-y. Hugs to D-Rock.

    I dealt with SO. MUCH. FUCKING. HARASSMENT. during my college years working shitty part-time jobs and doing internships. I was never fired, but I've been the brunt of many sexist jokes, ass-grabbery, and just shitty behavior.

    Probably the worst one was when my internship supervisor took me to a porn shop during work hours (we were in between meetings or something and had time to kill). He bought me some magazines and then kept asking me about my sex life and what I looked like naked. At the time I was so concerned about being well-liked and getting a good recommendation for my graduate program that I went along with it and rationalized his behavior as a normal rite of passage for being in the "boys club."

    I can't even tell you how ashamed that makes me. I feel gross just telling that story.

    So, major props to D-Rock for not putting up with that kind of bullshit. I'm sorry you lost your job, but I'm impressed with your resolve to not keep yourself in such a blatantly sexist and hostile work environment. I'll keep my fingers crossed that you find something better soon.

  15. D-Rock, I'm sorry for what happened. But at least you have your awesome cousin to help you through this! It sucks they would do this to you after you put so much time into working for them. I hope you find a job with someone who will treat you better. If it were me and they offered to take me back to the original position I had in order to make things "right", I don't know if I could do it. You saw their underbelly. You see how they treat those loyal to them. I wouldn't be able to work with those same people again.

    I got laid off on my first solid job. I moved up from under the table when I was a file clerk to being on the books when I was the in house artist and secretary on top of still being a file clerk. The business was a franchise and the boss was using the royalty money that wasn't his to pay for things. Bills started stacking up and he started letting people go. I happened to come down with the flu and called out sick. At first it was fine and then I got a call back later saying I was being let go! I came in the next day to print out my designs and to collect my things. The boss came up to me and said, "I hear you're leaving us.", like it was my choice! I told him, "Well, you would know better than me!". He didn't have much to say after that.
    It was hard looking for work and I spent a lot of the money I saved looking for a new job. There was a lot going on in my family at that time so I was trying to be a rock as well as looking for a job. I got on eventually and now I'm trying to fix things here. Hole different set of problems but at least they might be changeable!
    I'm rooting for you and I really hope you find somewhere who will appreciate your hard work and loyalty!! Don't let this place get the satisfaction of getting you down! I know I don't know you personally, but you really seem like an awesome person! Keep being awesome and remember, this too shall pass!

  16. Goddamn I am sorry that happened d-rock. In my limited experice sometimes when you get a new job there is a reason it was available in the first place. If there is any silver lining to this, perhaps it's that you found out what a dysfunctional fucked up place to work that was early, rather than after investing five, or fifteen, or fifty years into the company. The economy sucks and jobs are hard to find but I truly believe you'll find so,etching better soon. Not because of fate or luck or anything dumb like that, but because you work hard, have unique experience, and a good attitude.

  17. Goddamn I am sorry that happened d-rock. In my limited experice sometimes when you get a new job there is a reason it was available in the first place. If there is any silver lining to this, perhaps it's that you found out what a dysfunctional fucked up place to work that was early, rather than after investing five, or fifteen, or fifty years into the company. The economy sucks and jobs are hard to find but I truly believe you'll find so,etching better soon. Not because of fate or luck or anything dumb like that, but because you work hard, have unique experience, and a good attitude.

  18. I was once taken aside by my two direct superiors - both women - and told that I was being too assertive around the department supervisors (three men).

    I was never told exactly what I did to offend these gentlemen only that I shouldn't correct them even when they were wrong, that I should make the right information seem like it was their idea all along, and that I should - quoting here - "act more like the secretaries on Mad Men" to make things run smoothly.

    1. Dude, that is fucked up.

    2. Jesus Christ. I'm so sorry! Being punished for being good at your job, what in the world?!

      Women are totally equal in society, though. Completely. /eye roll


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