I worked at this store part-time and full-time during my employment. Since working there I have witnessed, as well as heard, various issues with the general manager. These include sexual harassment, racist comments, unfair treatment to workers, misogyny, and aggressive/harassing management work style.
A couple of instances come to mind that that I will share. I was working 6am one morning. I had gone to customer service after I had put the sale signs up for the front end of the store. The general manager was discussing the store card with one of the employees of the cleaning crew. The cleaning crew is an independent company, contracted by our store. The man was not fluent in English and seemed to have a tough time understanding the general manager, as he explained the store card. The general manager ended up having my coworker help the man go through the store card application process at Guest Services. My coworker told me that the general manager had been aggressively pursuing and trying to persuade the employee of the cleaning crew about the store card. But the cleaning crew worker did not know his social security number, so he could not apply for the store card. When the general manager later questioned my coworker about the application, they told him that the cleaning crew employee didn’t have his social security number. However, he had explained he’d bring his social security card the next day. The general manager’s response to this was “Then you should have asked him for his five other social security numbers.” Not only is this extremely unprofessional as a general manager, but also, it’s extremely racist, as he’s insisting the cleaning crew worker was an illegal immigrant.
My coworker and I were clocking in. As soon as the general manager came through the office, he put his hand on my coworker’s shoulder. He proceeded to lift the shirt of her arm up, and asked “Is that a tattoo?!” She yank her shirt down and said “No, that is a bruise.” He then told her how pretty she looked that day. This made my coworker extremely uncomfortable, as it did for anyone who was in the room, including myself.
Next, a coworker and I were working on the sales floor redoing sale signs that we had been asked to do. My coworker went back to the printer in the backroom to print more signs. As he was having trouble with the printer the general manager walked into the room. My coworker asked the general manger if they could help him fix the issue with the printer. The general manager responded “you should know how to do this better than me, you’re Asian,” after my coworker asked for help. Again, another racist comment that should not be tolerate in a workplace, nor anywhere else.
I have had issues with the general manager aggressively and wrongfully accusing me. No other manager at our store harassed and questioned any team member for calling out of work. At the most they would ask when you think you could work next, and sometimes if you could call a couple coworkers to ease the process of calling out. All of those are extremely reasonable, depending on the situation. I’ve called in sick before and the general manager has answered. He has accused me of being hungover, of not being sick, or lazy. In general he’s questioned me and persuade me to come in, even if I was sick and had a doctor’s note.
During the last few months I worked there, I’d be given a list of things I needed to do during the work day. This did not include the responsibilities that every sales floor member has: going to the front if your called, assist guests, and do other work related to your designated section. There were various occasions that the general manager would come up to me and become angry with me because I hadn’t gotten through all the tasks on my list. He would also accuse me about my speed. Once he even made a comment about my weight and another coworkers weight, as he referred to us as the “big boys.”
Another instance that comes to mind was an afternoon in 2015, when I had shown him what tasks I had completed. We were in the HR desk, before I clocked out and left for my other job. I had already gone 45 minutes over from when my shift was supposed to end. He told me I needed to stay and finish the rest of the list, even though I told him my next job was in 30 mins. He shook his head and told me I needed to work “more efficiently,” even though we had two call outs on sales floor that day. These types of things happened a lot, where instead of coaching me, he would yell at me. Due to the low amount of workers on the floor, and scheduling conflicts, these occurrences with the general manager would take a mental toll on me. I had two breakdowns in the electronics stock room due to personal stress and work stress, partially due to the general manager. When he talked to me like this it would increase my anxiety and make me panic. This is not how you treat your employees.
During my course at this store I was made aware that if you were a member of the LGBTQ+ community, you were protected by the store if you received harassment based on your sexual orientation. To do this, I was advised to go into my store profile on the computer and check the box in my personal info for LGBTQ. I did so, since I’m gay. Later down the road I had to update my address in the computer and found that my box was unchecked. I rechecked it, only to find out later that it was unchecked again. This happened three different times since 2014.