Currently throughout North America, kids are at home bugging their parents and college students may or may not be drinking their faces off on a beach somewhere.
Unfortunately, those days are (mostly) behind me. As a graduate with no kids, March Break doesn’t really mean a whole lot. I still have to work even though all the “college kids” get the week off – but I sure have been enjoying the quiet. And I can’t help but think about how much has changed since this time last year.
See, I used to HATE March Break. As the (now former) education coordinator at a theatre for the previous 4 years, March Break meant “March Break Acting Camp”… which meant me in a dingy old room with anywhere from 5 to 40 screaming and/or crying kids all under the age of 12. The first year was actually a whole lot of fun since it was all new to me and I actually had help – but if you recall, last year’s March Break Camp was the straw the broke the camel’s back for that career path.
Last year, my former employers decided to change the camp from two half-day sessions into one full day – meaning I didn’t get any sort of lunch or break or anything between 8:45am and 4:30pm. I couldn’t even use the washroom without some little hands banging on the door! (How do you moms and dads do it?) The bosses had promised that they would hire someone to help me, but didn’t. Then they promised that another staff member would provide some relief for me, but that didn’t happen either. Add to that the return of my migraines, coping with post-wisdom teeth surgery, and my general growing hatred for that place and a couple weeks later, I reported my (former) employer to the labour board.
The specific claim I made (for violating my rights to eating periods and breaks) was handled quickly and (surprisingly) reasonably between myself and the employer – but the repercussions of standing up for myself came even faster. Let me quote from my previous post on this matter:
Within an hour, maybe, the repercussions of my actions were being felt. [...] the other [boss] is treating me like, well, garbage. My friends and family who know the specifics have used the phrases “deliberately setting you up to fail”, “harassing you” and “bullying”.
Well guess what? This bosses actions was grounds for me to file yet another “reprisal” claim. (Ironically, I only found this out because the Labour Board called me to inform me they never received the employers portion of our settlement.) So, even though I was already off work on a stress leave by this point, I decided to file another claim.
Last week, almost A FULL YEAR later, this all finally came to a close. Albeit a very unfulfilling one.
About 3 weeks ago I finally received a call from the Labour Board Investigator. I was at the mall at the time, and because I initially filed this claim in JUNE and my life is completely different now, I was caught off guard and wasn’t exactly prepared. We chatted very casually for less than 10 minutes and she told me that she would be contacting the employer.
Awesome, I thought. Something is finally happening!
And then I got a letter saying the investigation was closed due to “insufficient evidence submitted“.
Of course there was insufficient evidence submitted – because I was never asked to submit any!
Needless to say, I was pissed. I read and re-read the letter again and again, growing angrier and angrier each time. Half of the letter had nothing to do with my claim at all, and my former employer was still lying about a few key things. I immediately started texting a former co-worker who suggested that I call the Labour Board Investigator before filing an appeal to see what “evidence” her decision was based off of. I then spent a few hours reading through all my saved emails and various “documentation” that I had, ready to argue my case yet again…
… until my boyfriend pointed out that there isn’t really any point. All my “evidence” is subjective at best. It’s all my word against theirs, which sadly, isn’t going to cut it.
I’m disappointed that after all this time the Investigator hardly did any investigating. I’m pissed that my former employers are going to continue to get away with treating their employees so horribly. I wish that current and former employees would stand up for themselves instead of all just quitting.
But more importantly, I’m glad that I threw that match and burned that bridge.
I’m in a much, MUCH better place now.