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Is Company Moral a Thing of the Past
Working for a large corporation can be rewarding in some areas, such as health and life insurance and even Pension, but how much can you take working for a company where there’s no room for growth unless you have a manager or human resources behind you.
When I first started working for this company a year before 9/11 I was grateful and happy about the incentives, but as the years went by I came to realize it was nothing more than a facade. Within the first two years I was already looking to get out of the department I was placed in due to gossip, thievery and special treatment given to those employees who took the time to suck up.
To this day it amazes me how much favoritism is given to those certain individuals who barely complete their quota while others are actually sitting at their desk doing their job. When I recall my very first day the only thing that stuck was this older woman running up to me and saying in Spanish. “As soon as you pass probation get the hell out.” I remember smiling back at this woman and proceeding to be led to my assigned desk by my supervisor and thinking that woman must be nuts.
During my second month though I knew she was right. I had to get out of this department and fast. I learned my job fairly quickly but came to realize my supervisor didn’t like me. She tried her best to catch every mistake I made, and upon getting my first evaluation which she had to write up I found out just how much. The good thing is that she brought in the department manager and broke it down to me one by one.
“You were late a few times within the month. You have a hard time taking direction when given to you by your immediate supervisor, and you have an attitude problem.” First of all anyone who knows me can tell you I have the most pleasant attitude. It takes a lot to piss me off and cause me to react, and most of this crap she was spewing was absolute bull. Two of the lateness was excused transit delays so that only left one. Taking direction is one thing but orders is another, as we are not in the military and the best one the attitude problem needed a bit more clarity.
As my mind raced with obscenities I wanted to yell out at her my manager turns to me and says. “Do you have anything to add?” “Yes I do,” I replied as they both glared at me. “First two of the lateness were excused by HR due to transit delays, so there should only be one, and second can you please explain to me why you think I don’t follow direction and why you think I have an attitude?” “Well, you were on the phone one day and I tried to tell you you were advising the customer incorrectly and you turned around after placing the call on hold and shouted “What.”
“Okay first of all I was on a call. I am trying to listen to the customer as well as advise her to the best of my ability, for only being here three weeks, and all I hear behind me is someone saying you said the wrong thing when all you should’ve done was tap me on the shoulder and gesture for me to place the call on hold. What you did was not only unprofessional because the customer heard you in the background, but very rude,” I said and the manager quickly stood up and said. “This is between the two of you,” and walked out.
My first evaluation went up to HR as is because the supervisor wanted to be head strong and prove to the manager that she stands by her word, but it was nothing but lies. The following month she was not going to be allowed the privilege to downplay me, so I made sure from then on not to give her any more ammunition against me. Fortunately for me, she went out on DBL and did not return till way over the three months needed to pass probation. Upon her return though, she was shocked to still see me there. That afternoon the manager called us both into her office handed her a file folder and said. “Sign this as she passed her probation with flying colors.” The look on my supervisor’s face was priceless and I enjoyed my day to the fullest there after. I then developed a great respect for that manager for noting my performance and never witnessing the attitude that never truly existed in the first place.
The fact of the matter was I did my job and I did it well. I caught on to all the rules and regulations quickly, took a few training courses which were offered by HR to begin with, and was the only Spanish rep in my department. For a company that handled over 500,000 customers and rising, and based in NY we were bound to get calls from Spanish speaking individuals, so yes they also needed me. The racial factor was also brought up a lot, which is when I truly took a look and noticed the majority of the staff and all managers were black. As a dark skinned Latina woman I can relate to both nationalities, and I was raised to treat everyone equally, so I felt I wouldn’t feel out of place nor cared less that the majority was black.
I didn’t care. I had a job and health insurance that surpassed many NYC health packages by a mile. No co-payments, no deductibles. Nevertheless my Spanish co-workers soon started making comments that the only reason why they kept me was because I was dark skin. By that time I was already considering getting out of the department entirely and ran into yet another dead end. It seems my company gives you the opportunity to move up, but you have to take an exam to see if you qualify. Not a problem, you say, but think about this. You and a few others are vying for the same job. You all take the exam and you get 100%. However, the other person who scored 75% is offered the job and you are ruled out because of seniority. You are then forced to stay in a department where you now feel the racial tension between the Hispanics and the Blacks (African American’s) to those that take offense, and your supervisor who still hates you smiling like a Cheshire cat because she knows how long it takes to move up in the company or that you have to suck up to someone with authority to get noticed.
The sagas at this site continue to this date, I can actually write a book about it and this of course started out as an article. My purpose was to disclose the many obstacles that can get in the way of you achieving your goals and seeking promotion within a company that uses such practices. It is totally unjust to take an exam, ace it and then have to be told you couldn’t get the position because someone else who took it scored less but has seniority, and so therefore they get the job. This practice not only prevents others from trying to seek a promotion, but also forces good people who actually care about their customers to leave the company all together.
Fortunately for me and by the grace of God, sheer determination, and will power I was able to move on. It took me another year to do so, but I am no longer in the same department I started in and my knowledge and ongoing training classes placed me in a department I truly love. Others however, have stayed in the same position because they fear taking these exams and quite frankly gave up because they are intended to be difficult. Many haven’t been to school in years, most do not take advantage of the free training classes offered because they can’t simply keep up; and the majority is taken aback due to the seniority criteria. I for one understand how they feel, and will be first in line to lobby for that rule to be omitted from company policies, but of course never see it happening.
© 2009 one2recognize2