Some things aren’t so clear starting out. Some things take time to fester and boil before rising up to the surface. I grew up thinking that I was a normal girl in a normal world and nothing could happen to me. That I had some control over my life and I was able to get through this life and accomplish what I need to in order to create a stable, easy lifestyle. All I would have to do is put in the time and the effort. I’m a smart person and I can take a test and pass it. I can get through college easy and go to work everyday. Make a paycheck and go home. Basically go through the rat race untouched by deep emotions. That I wouldn’t need anyone else to accomplish this.
As you’re probably thinking to yourself by now, I was dead wrong on every single point. I thought I could go through life taking a back seat to most things and come out on top. That I wouldn’t have much of a life story to tell and I could escape into my works of fiction, writing about dragons and elves for the rest of my life when the daily monotony got to be too much.
It started to really go down hill in my second year of college. I had figured out that I didn’t want to be in college anymore. I had transferred between a couple of schools and had a couple of part time jobs, I was running out of my inheritance and I didn’t know how money management worked. I realized really fast that I wasn’t going anywhere. So I got a full time job working for a computer company.
I thought that this progressive work environment would be the start I needed to make a career. I quit school and devoted my time to this one job that promised so much. Well that’s where I encountered my first real road block. I was 21 and I had never once encountered any sort of discrimination or sexism. My father was a construction worker so of course I knew about sexist jokes and actually made a few of my own. I’ve had normal relationships with boys , three major long term relationships up to this point that were more or less healthy.
It started when they promoted the store manager and hired on a new store manager who proceeded to clear out every one of the department managers and replaced them with new ones. I was new to my own promotion to a specific team and was still learning a lot about computers. I was basically starting from scratch because even though I was smart, I didn’t have the technical experience to excel. I was learning and that was understandable under the old manager. This new manager targeted me immediately along with every single other woman working in that store. It started with another employee running out of the store crying from his comments. I would get dragged into the manager office every single day and he wouldn’t let up until I was crying mess as well.
The little things started adding up, every week small packages from this manager’s wife would show up in the manager’s office for the store manager. Nicely wrapped packages of food or homemade candies. His wife was a happy mormon homemaker and he thought that all woman should have the same position. He couldn’t understand how a woman could work on computers, how a woman could be a manager, how a woman could teach others how to use a computer. The other female manager was transferred to another store first. The female back of house worker straight up quit soon after. I held on as long as I could and finally made a deal that I would put in my official two weeks and quit. I made it 12 days and that’s when I couldn’t take it. They told me that I would be fine, I “officially” quit and I could move on.
I had already started looking for jobs at other places but no one would hire me. I wrote down on every application that I had quit my last job but when the place called back to my last job, they told them that I was fired and I was lying. Needless to say I wasn’t hired by anyone except for a desperate temp job as a life guard that didn’t check my references before hiring me. By that time I decided the military life was the only way I could climb out of this deep hole I found myself in. So I joined up and actually reuped for another term. But this isn’t a happy ending story. It’s just the beginning.
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