March Break: What a Difference a Year Makes

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.

Good riddance.

I’m in a much, MUCH better place now.

Amanda Kay

Amanda Kay, an Employment Specialist and founder of My Life, I Guess, strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making a living. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations - including a FREE library of career & job search resources.

This post was proofread by Grammarly. Try it - it's FREE!

Sign up and get free access to the Career & Job Search Resource Library!

15 thoughts on “March Break: What a Difference a Year Makes”

  1. I take it you are not keen on having children then? 🙂

    They’re a lot of work, that’s for sure… but a lot of it is also expectations. You just can’t set any when they’re very small, have to wait until their brains get bigger/smarter to understand.

  2. Woah! Sounds like a TERRIBLE work experience for sure. That’s unfortunate that nothing was ever pushed through, *but* at least the Labour Board now has a note and has had contact with the employer; that should rock the boat enough. Also, around town, people would’ve heard that a motion had been filed against them, and that is enough to do some reputation damage by the gossip. So, I think you did succeed, time will just tell. But, you should’ve known that you would have to have *some* kind of evidence! It’s like showing up to a job interview without a portfolio if you’re a graphics designer! You should check out the blog askamanager to get workplace advice (it’s US, but can help for Canadians). Best of luck in the future! Hopefully burning this bridge doesn’t come back to get you in the tush, but it sounds like your new workplace is much more supportive.

    • Thanks, anonymous 🙂
      I was happy to know that my former employer would have to “re-live” what they put me through and defend their actions to an outside source. As for the evidence thing, I assumed that they would interview other coworkers or at least ask me for more specific details on the situations we discussed, but alas, that didn’t happen. Oh well… Now I’ll know better in case anything like this happens again!
      I’m a big fan of Ask A Manager, and actually got a lot of help on this from one of the open-threads she has 🙂

  3. Yeah, I guess some things you just have to let go although it does really suck that justice will not be served. I’m really glad you are in a much better place in life. It’s crazy that so much negativity that was going on all spiraled out of that awful job. It’s amazing what a difference a decent job can make in your life!

  4. That sucks, but I guess all you can do is live you life and make sure you see the signs of a bad employer before working for one. Easier said than done obviously, but at least you’re out of there and don’t have to deal with that awful employer anymore.

    • You’re latest post just reinforced that there were “red flags” from the beginning and that I shouldn’t have invested all that energy into trying to make it better. Sometimes walking away is the best answer 🙂

  5. I’m so glad that life is all kinds of better, a year later. That’s disappointing that it all came to naught. It also sucks that evidence in these things, even if you had been asked for more, it’s so subjective.

  6. Wow that’s a horrible situation. I’m so glad you “got out”. Life is too short to be working a job that makes you miserable with employers that treat you like crap. Sometimes you gotta just cut your losses and run. The fact you even stood up for yourself against them is a good thing (I suspect others will as well someday and at least now there’s a paper trail to help the next guy or gal). Sorry it didn’t work out better for you though 🙁

    • Thanks, KK. The more I think about it, the more I’m okay with how things ended. I think I made my point with management, and hope they will pay more attention to their actions.

  7. Wow, what a tough situation. It sounds like you are doing a lot better now, but I can imagine how horrible it was before. It’s hard because we spend so much time at work, with people who have a huge influence on us. I mean, if they treat us badly, such as in your case, it’s not like we can just walk away; we are with those people for days every week. I’m glad you got out of that situation and sometimes bridges have to be burned.


Leave a Comment