Reflecting on the troubles of Daisy Fae’s Boy, I began to think back over my life, and some of the bosses I’ve had. And they were a rich and varied bunch. However, I don’t know what I did in a past life to deserve it, but I think I have had more than my share of bad bosses for one lifetime. And some have been really bad.
In last place, but probably only because I only worked there a month, is the owner of the Hometown Restaurant (not it’s real name.) We worked under the tip credit scheme where your tips were supposed to make up about half of your minimum wage. If you didn’t get enough tips, the boss was supposed to pay you whatever you didn’t make, up to minimum wage. Things were much looser back then, and the boss told me if he didn’t know what my tips were, I wouldn’t have to report them. Of course, if he didn’t know what my tips were, he wouldn’t have to make up the rest of my wage either. To expect anyone to earn half their wage in tips in this place was ludicrous. Most of the business was farmers drinking coffee all afternoon. They were so cheap that they wouldn’t even leave you the penny for tax, much less a tip. And the truckers thought that a whole table leaving you fifty cents was adequate. A month of working for eight-five cents an hour was enough.
Next we have every boss that wanted me to come in when I was sick. Hey, didn’t you ever hear of infection control? I was working with vulnerable elderly here, what inconvenienced me might kill them. Just for fun I’ll include in here the boss that kept using me as a free “rent-a-nurse” to fill in for everyone else that called in sick, even though I was so exhausted from untreated sleep apnea that I was falling asleep at my desk and driving on the way home. During this period, I was waiting to get into the pulmonologist, and then waiting to get into the sleep clinic. Or maybe I should promote her. I was “free” because I was on salary, she didn’t have to pay me overtime.
Next comes the boss who fired me because I disagreed with her on what the state registration law allowed nurses to do, and tried to tell unemployment I quit to go to school. I left this particular discussion to go to my classes. Oh, by the way, my nickname is Britannica. If I’m telling you something I have chapter and verse on it. You’ll lose.
And in first place, with the most egregious crap yet, comes The Bitch. She was wrong in so many ways. The only reason I worked for her as long as I did was that my grandfather was in that nursing home, and I was there to protect him. I quit the day after he died. I had warned my mother about the place, but she figured since I lived literally across the street, I could keep an eye on him. And then I went to work there, too.
First thing, she had each of her nine children on the payroll. Despite the fact that we rarely saw seven of them, and wished we had never seen one of the others. She didn’t pay her bills, and merchants cut her off. When my grandad was dying I had to personally pay for a tank of oxygen for him. Sometimes Sunday supper was half a sandwich and a piece of canned fruit. After which Grandpa would toddle (roll actually) over to my house and eat a steak dinner. She was having residents who couldn’t speak for themselves buy treatments for their bedsores out of their personal allowances, which were to be used for clothing and such. Strictly illegal, but I didn’t know it until I left. And the capper: collected our Social Security but didn’t pay it in for two years. We found this out by accident. One of the older nurses, who was tired of all this stuff, and thinking about retiring, requested her Social Security records, and discovered no payments for two years. And so we all check ours, and sure enough, she hadn’t paid it in. Fortunately, as long as we had pay stubs and W-2’s that showed that it had been deducted, we were credited with it. She took a trip to Russia with the money.
Reading back over this, I realize I was a co-dependent doormat. But any time I tried to assert myself, I got it wrong. I wonder why I don’t mind not working anymore?