It’s no secret that I’ve been unhappy with things at work for a while now, but it finally got to the point where I grew tired of complaining/hearing my coworkers complain all the time, that I did something about it. I filed a claim with the labour board.
It started out innocently enough – I had an issue with my one boss (I have two) calling meetings outside of my working hours, and I wanted to know if it was in my rights to refuse to attend these meetings (which it is, sort of). I called the 1-800 number, and ended up chatting with a woman for a little bit about my work situation. Not surprisingly, there’s a lot of “he said, she said” involved with filing a claim and whole lot of variables to consider if something is a violation or not. But when I mentioned that over the summer and during March Break, I worked 8 hour days without a single break, she said this was a clear violation and told me where to find the forms.
Although this was not what I was originally inquiring about, I decided to file a claim. A lot of this decision was based on my coworkers encouraging me to do so, and I’m not sure I would have handled this way or not otherwise. To be honest, I likely would have continued doing nothing, as many that have come and gone before me have done. But after I submitted the claim, it felt good. I felt like I was finally standing up for myself.
I don’t want to get into the specifics too much, as this may be investigated, and I don’t want to be found guilty of slander or anything, but I was not prepared for what would come next.
The labour board moves quickly, folks!
It was less than 10 days before the letter landed on my bosses desk saying that I had filed a complaint. Although I knew this would happen, I thought I’d have more time. But there I was in the office, talking about this and a few other things for over an hour.
And guess what?
I left the meeting feeling GOOD about things. About everything! They knew where I was coming from, the air was cleared between us, and my one boss who has a bad habit of flying off the handle actually listened to me, and maybe even empathized with me. I started second guessing whether or not I’d keep looking for a new job. Seriously! That’s how good I felt in that moment.
Unfortunately, that feeling didn’t last.
Within an hour, maybe, the repercussions of my actions were being felt. (Here’s where I’m going to be vague.) In the passed few days since “the letter”, one boss has actually been treating with more respect then he’s ever shown me before (YAY!) but the other is treating me like garbage. My friends and family who know the specifics have used the phrases “deliberately setting you up to fail”, “harassing you” and “bullying”. (Not so Yay…)
My coworkers haven’t been the best either. A few that were so adamant about me filing this complaints now want nothing to do with me. Most say something like “Good for you. If it is investigated, I’ll tell them what it’s really like around here,” but nothing more. Very few are actually supporting me at all anymore – but even then, I feel like I’m fighting alone.
I also feel really…. lost. Stuck, maybe? Like I had the fight in me to get me this far, but now what? Is this my chance to say everything that’s on my mind (tactfully, of course) or do I keep it focused on this one aspect and hope that taking this little stand for myself is enough to make a change?
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