Don’t Treat Your Employers Better Than They Treat You

February 21st, 2007.

Exactly one year after working at the Worst Job I Ever Had, I took my one week paid vacation. I hated that job so much I couldn’t even wait a couple of days to plan a trip. I snatched at the vacation time the millisecond it was offered to me and I intended to spend the week lounging around my apartment doing anything but going there.

On Saturday, I woke up and thought: 9 days before I have to go back there.

On Sunday, I thought: 8 days before I have to go back.

Monday through the following Saturday went similarly until Sunday came around and I started a countdown: 12 hours before I have go back there. I couldn’t even sleep that night. Instead, I just kept ticking off the hours before I had to go back to work, the minutes, the seconds. I couldn’t think about anything else. My alarm went off at 4am on Monday morning and I slapped at the button with a heavy sigh.

It was time to go back.

With a sinking feeling in my stomach, I pulled myself out of bed, showered, dressed, and filled my thermos with coffee. I grabbed my car keys and I was behind the wheel by 5am. Work was exactly 12 miles a way and during my entire commute, my eyes would periodically glance at the odometer. I thought: 9 miles before I’m there.

Desperately, I tried to think of something else. At 5am, the streets are deserted and the sun is slowly starting to make itself visible on the horizon. The birds wake up and minus the sounds of traffic and noisy families bellowing at each other, you can finally hear them sing. I tried to force myself to focus on the birds.

Instead, I thought: 2 miles before I’m there.

It was at that point I slammed on my brakes. I couldn’t go another mile. I just couldn’t. I clutched my steering wheel for a few minutes and willed myself to ease up off the brake and gently press the gas. But I just couldn’t.

Finally, I did ease off the brake and press on the gas; but only to make an illegal U-turn and go home. I told myself that I would call off today. But deep down, I knew I would never go back there.

I went home, stripped naked, and crawled back into bed. I pulled a pillow over my head and waited for the phone calls. When they came, I couldn’t force myself to answer.

My husband said, “Are you going to get that?”

“I don’t want to talk to them!” I hysterically cried.

Back then, my husband and I weren’t as financially well off as we are now. So quitting my job without another one lined up was going to put a damper on our standard of living. Friday was my payday and the paycheck from my vacation was waiting for me, but still, STILL, I couldn’t go back there. Not even a cash incentive was enough convince me to walk through those doors again. I sent my husband to pick up my money.

When he got back, he gave me a message. My employers apparently thought the way I had quit my job was pretty shitty.

Fuck. Them.

There wasn’t a single thing wrong with the way I quit my job. Those people treated me like crap, all day, every day, for an entire year. Frankly, I’m getting sick and tired of companies expecting that their employees give them better treatment than they’re willing to dole out. They tend to do this in 3 major ways.

They Demand Respect While Simultaneously Treating You Like a Child

When you excel at your job, companies have a tendency to reward you with meaningless symbols of merit. Every company I have worked for has had some sort of employee recognition program set up. A job well done might earn you the title ‘Employee of the Month.’ You might get a plaque with your name on it. Or a pre-printed ‘Thank You’ letter from your boss. You might even earn the privilege of wearing a special pin or you may simply get a pat on the back.

You know who else is rewarded like this for good behavior? My 9 year old stepdaughter. After she completes a ballet class, she earns a pat on the head and a sticker for her jacket. This, of course, thrills her.

But it’s pretty fucking degrading if you’re a grown ass adult.

Face it, if your employer really respected you and valued the work that you did, he’d reward you with money. He’d cut you in on the profit. You’d get a slice of the pie.

He wouldn’t draw a little smiley face on a slip of paper and expect you to proudly display it on your refrigerator like you’re a 6 year old child.

They Make it Taboo to Steal

Your job steals 40+ hours of your life a week. They steal your weekends. They steal your dignity. Your soul. Your self respect.

How dare they begrudge you a box of fucking paper clips?

They Demand a Two Weeks Notice Before You Quit

Yet, very rarely, do they give you notice before they fire you. Unless you work for a company that offers a severance package after terminating your employment, fuck them and their notice.

A lot of people give notice before they quit a job not out of respect for their employer, but because they fear their employer will give them a bad reference. Most of the time, this is a baseless fear. Large companies fear slander lawsuits too much and will refrain from saying anything bad about a past employee…no matter how much they hated him. Most places even make a policy out of confirming dates of employment and saying nothing else when asked for a reference. This is so common practice now that your new employer won’t even bother to ask your old employer what he thought of you because he knows damned well he’ll hit a brick wall.

If you like your employer and feel that the company treated you well, by all means, give them a bit of notice before you quit. Otherwise, fuck them. They would do the same thing to you, given half the chance.

Honestly, a lot of big companies could stand to review the Golden Rule and start applying it to how they treat their employees. If they are unwilling to treat the people who make them rich with an ounce of dignity or respect, then they have no right to get upset if we just turn our cars around one morning and go home.

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15 Responses to Don’t Treat Your Employers Better Than They Treat You

  1. » Blog Archive » VA: Don’t Treat Your Employer Better Than They Treat You

    […] Original post: Don’t Treat Your Employer Better Than They Treat You […]

  2. » Blog Archive » VA: Don’t Treat Your Employers Better Than They Treat You

    […] Original post: Don’t Treat Your Employers Better Than They Treat You […]

  3. Everyone Has Worked at a Crummy Job « Tommy O’Leary

    […] Posted in Uncategorized at 5:28 pm by toleary After reading this post on Violent Acres it got me thinking about my time at Memphis Lens. Memphis Lens is an optical supply warehouse, which at the time was employed by only 4 employees. Scott, the head manager, Amy, the not-fit-to-be-a-manager floor manager, Emily, and myself. I was making 7.35 an hour (After they had promised me more than that, which was quite a shocker) and doing the job of at least 2 or 3 people. Since our employee count was so drastically low everyone did a bit of everything. Except Amy and Scott. They ran the show and made sure they reminded us on a daily basis. Amy was one of those people that became a manager because there was no one else to fill the position, and she treated us like small children. She would reprimand us like children, praise us like children, it was humiliating. I never wanted to do the work she would tell me to do because everything she did was insulting. Now Emily, she was too busy smoking pot on her lunch breaks, and she’d have crying fits everytime work got busy, so normally I’d be behind her doing most of her work on top of mine. The final straw for me was when I had a nasty upper respiratory infection and wasn’t allowed to take a day off work because Scott took a week long trip to Colorado so he could ride his bike. They wouldn’t even let me take off to visit a doctor’s office. So not too long after, I decided I didn’t want to be treated poorly anymore. I went into work, gave a 2 day notice, which then turned into a no-day notice, because the next day I decided I just wasn’t going to show up. I figured there was no possibly way I was actually going to go there and let them treat me like that anymore. Of course, I still had to go pick up my paycheck. Also, I didn’t actually tell them I quit, I just didn’t show up. So I go in a week later to pick up my paycheck, which they apparently took a scavenger hunt to find, they had to go in a filing cabinet, dig through piles of paper, a secret code might have been used, all I know is they buried it. And the whole time Scott was looking for it he went on and on about how I was so disrespectful for leaving like that. Here’s something people have to realize, people will treat you as good as you treat them. Esepcially employees. They consistently treated me like I was next to worthless, so I treated them the same way. Just because you’re a “manager” making two dollars more than someone else doesn’t make you better than anyone. You don’t deserve a 2 weeks notice, or any notice at all. And I do agree with Violent Acres, you can steal all the paper clips you want. It will make up for at least some of the money you’re not getting. Kind of like having a cat, you may think you own the cat, but if you treat it badly it will run away and never, ever come back. All I’m saying is if you’re working at a job you absolutely hate, then quit. No job is worth that. After quitting I took a month off work, got myself back together, found a much better paying job with superb benefits that I actually enjoy going to. From taking that leap and growing the balls to quit my job I went from having a horrible insurance plan that I wasn’t allowed to use, and zero benefits, to an incredible insurance plan, excellent (cash) benefits, a 401k plan, double time and a half pay on holidays, and an actual chance at a promotion (Verizon Business only promotes from within the company), and also an extensive tuition reimbursement program. So tell your crummy manager to screw off, and find yourself a decent job, because you’re better than them. […]


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    […] 09.30: I never really understood Donnie Darko. I’m glad I’m not the only one. 10.11: Woow, another soul like me! I hope she’s hot! They Make it Taboo to Steal Your job steals 40+ hours of your life a week. They steal your weekends. They steal your dignity. Your soul. Your self respect. How dare they begrudge you a box of fucking paper clips? […]

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  9. get that pretty little home « Off Chance Blog and Miscellany

    […] Work sucks, and this blog post from Violent Acres sums it up pretty well with the admonishment not to treat your employer better than they treat you. They Demand a Two Weeks Notice Before You Quit. Yet, very rarely, do they give you notice before they fire you. Unless you work for a company that offers a severance package after terminating your employment, fuck them and their notice. […]

  10. Magic Pot of Jobs » Do unto others, yada yada

    […] As a general rule, I advocate taking the high road when resigning, even if it’s a soul-sucking job where you’re treated poorly all day, every day. With all the raving I’ve been doing about loyalty and employers who expect more of it than they give, however, I thought I’d share Violent Acres’s take on the subject.. It’s a cautionary tale for employers, really. […]

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  12. Employment and Jobs Blog » Unhappy Employees Should Find New Jobs

    […] I came across a very popular recent blog post from Violent Acres: Don’t Treat Your Employer Better than They Treat You. I found it on Digg, where it has nearly 2000 “diggs” so far and a growing number of comments — the vast majority of which are supporting the overall “The Man is keeping me down, so F him!” approach of the post. Violent Acres had a pretty miserable job for about a year and she kept showing up, despite her hatred of the position. She finally quit abruptly after a week-long vacation where all she did was dread returning to work. Her take is that working for her company sucked and that they have no right to begrudge her quitting without notice, etc. because “they” robbed her of dignity, etc. I understand that work sucks for most people. And I understand that most large companies don’t exactly create an atmosphere of mutual respect with their employees. But, man, if you’re really that miserable (or miserable at all, for that matter), then get the hell out of there and move on. I know it wouldn’t take me a year to realize that I hated a job. […]

  13. Just Jo! :: Constantly Variable :: March :: 2007

    […] Every now and then I wonder what it will be like in the ‘real’ world, as in, when Olivia is older. I was reminded of this again when I read Qalballah this morning. I’m not too worried about a husband for her (Olivia, not Qalballah, she’s already got a husband), ‘cos she quite simply won’t have time, as she’ll be taking care of me when I’ve finally descended into complete senility. Adam? He’s coped with me for the last 18 years, so I’m sure he’s well-qualified to cope with whatever the world hurls at him. Except the world sees him as a 6′2″ man and I still see him as an 8lb 1oz new born. But apart from that, he will be fine! So I’m thinking more along the lines of work and going back to a proper job with money and stuff, and paid holidays, and perks, and all sorts of wondrous things like that. I’ve been quite fortunate in the jobs I’ve had, in that the enjoyment I got out of them far outweighed any negatives. Except for the one attempt I had at ‘cleaning’…. In a city centre bar. You can imagine the delights that we were faced with first thing in the morning. Fortunately, I only worked 3 mornings during the week. I was offered Saturday and Sunday mornings. I said no. After Friday and Saturday nights? When all those who are less likely to be able to hold their drink go bonkers with alcohol? And the squaddies are let loose from Lympstone? A very definite no. I lasted about four months and thought how lucky I was to get out. There are some who have a lifetime of cleaning, and moaning about the cleaning they have to do. So yes, apart from the cleaning fiasco, I’ve been very happy in my jobs. Not like some, not like something else I read this morning (such a hectic morning I had )….Don’t treat your employers better than they treat you…. It made me think again about the world of employment. And then I read this little gem somewhere else…. […]

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