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S1E14: Part 1: When your dream job becomes a nightmare! We speak to Reina about her toxic workplaceS1E14:

Welcome to this hilarious yet eye-opening toxic workplace interview with Reina, as she shares her experience of working in a toxic workplace. In this candid conversation, Nicola and Gina dive deep into Reina’s journey of how she landed her dream job, only to be engulfed in a series of nightmares. Get ready to be amused and amazed as Reina recounts her hilarious encounters with her toxic colleagues and the bizarre situations she found herself in.

From dealing with a micromanaging boss to navigating office politics, Reina has seen it all. But it’s not all laughs and giggles. Reina’s story sheds light on the serious issue of toxic workplaces and how it can affect employees’ mental health and wellbeing. Through her experience, Reina learned the importance of standing up for oneself and creating boundaries. Join us in this captivating interview as we unravel Reina’s tale of how she survived a toxic workplace and came out stronger on the other side. Don’t miss out on the laughs and the lessons!

In this riveting YouTube interview, Nicola and Gina sit down with Reina to hear her harrowing story about how her dream job turned into a nightmare. Reina opens up about the toxic work environment she endured and the toll it took on her mental and physical health. With raw honesty, and a ton of humour she shares the details of her experience and how it changed her perspective on the industry she had always wanted to work in.

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Oh yeah.Speaker 2: 53:32

All these different shirts. No, that was the other Brian. That was T-shirt Brian Oh.Speaker 1: 53:37

T-shirt Brian. Oh my God, yeah, brian with the insurgents was very funny.Speaker 2: 53:41

Yeah, um, we had the lady with four million jobs. Do you remember that one Mm? hmm, i know Where she had like what was it Like? 47.Speaker 1: 53:54

Like her first. Like her first line out of the box was like I’ve had 46 jobs in the past 30 years and we’re like what.Speaker 2: 54:05

We’ve got Amy, who talks to us about toxic positivity, which is pretty cool, and then we had Stu, who was our most recent recording, yeah, talking about leadership, which I’m pretty bloody excited about.Speaker 1: 54:20

And now so we’ll be doing some more interviews, but also sprinkling in some of the research episodes.Speaker 2: 54:25

Yeah, and then we’ll be doing some research episodes is going to like is our next kind of step right? That’s our evolution.Speaker 1: 54:33

And we’ll see what happens. We’ll see what you guys like more And if you have any comments, thoughts, reactions, just reach out to us.Speaker 2: 54:39

Yeah, We really appreciate everybody’s comments. Yeah, We’ve had. I just, I just get so excited when someone comments, So if you could comment like like subscribe, share follow all those good things. Come join us on LinkedIn. Come join us on.Speaker 3: 54:55

Instagram, yeah, yeah Find us a good place.Speaker 4: 54:57

We’d be happy to have you.Speaker 2: 54:59

And we’ll see you in season two. Couple weeks, yeah, yeah, a couple weeks. Thank you for joining us today. If you would like to share your story, we would love to hear from you.Speaker 1: 55:10

Also, leaving a review helps us create more content because it shows us there’s an interest in this topic.Speaker 2: 55:16

For those of our listeners who do better with reading, we have closed caption available on YouTube.Speaker 1: 55:20

See you next week, same time and same place.

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this podcast may contain adult themes this podcast is for entertainment purposes only the views and opinions in this podcast are expressly our own when I get into the workplace I like to [ __ ] [ __ ] up honestly every time I try to do something fun or exciting you make it not that way hey are you tired of toxic workplaces and the negativity that comes with them we hear you and we’re here to shake things up welcome to let’s break up toxic workplace Stories the podcast that’s all about breaking up with workplace toxicity I’m Nicola and I’m here with my co-host Gina together we’re going to explore real life experiences of workplace toxicity and offer a sense of encouragement and unity that’s right we’re tackling the tough topic of negativity in the workplace and turning it into a movement for positivity we’ll be interviewing guests to share their experiences and offer practical solutions for dealing with workplace the city our aim is to promote solidarity and a sense of community amongst our listeners let’s break up is quickly becoming the go-to source for anyone looking to share and then ditch the drama and create a happier healthier work environment so join us each week as we explore the various forms of toxicity in the workplace Get Ready To Join the Revolution against red flags and toxic workplaces thanks for tuning in and don’t forget to like subscribe and tell all your friends in this week’s episode so today we’ve got a two-part series because it was just so juicy and so exciting we had to break it up into two whole Parts unbelievably crazy a lot of plot twists lots of characters um so we’re gonna also treat everyone to special graphics on Instagram so you might want to check those out before you listen to this episode one part one and part two to keep all of the the characters kind of you know together in your mind as you’re listening because there’s a lot of players today’s episode contains a couple of trigger warnings around sexual harassment and completed suicide we will warn you when those topics are coming up so that you could either fast forward or jump ship no hard feelings no I think we have to have a trigger warning just for our entire podcast because it’s like some people really [ __ ] have PTSD from their the places they’ve been I mean itsd I okay so I forgot to do I forgot to do something this morning I I was supposed to submit a report yesterday and it completely slipped my mind because I inherited this inbox of emails that have like they had like 200 plus emails and that had never been replied to and I was like oh [ __ ] so okay so I’m like so focused on trying to get some of these through and I’m churning through them that I forget about the report which is uncharacteristic of me because I remember right [ __ ] Hot smart right right so my boss emails me and she’s like hey have you delivered that report and I was like oh my God I legitimately didn’t even think about it so it had to Rally that [ __ ] around and I was like so in that moment I felt so stressed out that she was going to yell at me or freak out at me and I was like oh my God I’m so sorry like I feel terrible that I’ve forgotten this like how would I forget this I never forget anything and I felt so shitty and I’m telling you it’s that post-traumatic stress like it is the stress it’s because it’s like the the feeling is similar it’s like I gotta get this done really quick oh my God I gotta get this done really quick and it just like it just like opens up all the feelings you had when you were at Yeah but I genuinely I felt terrible like I was like oh my God I cannot like what kind of god-awful humor what did your boss say was she just like don’t worry like just get it done what happens I was like it doesn’t happen to me you’re like hello have we met my name is Nicola and no it doesn’t happen oh my God so I had a little bit meltdown at myself well you know our Highlights Highlights that there is genuinely post-traumatic stress that comes with well I mean I was doubting myself and my ability I was like maybe I really am not good at what I do like I’ve gotten to the place in my career where I do believe I am good at what I do but after leaving there for like three days I was in I was like in bed just like sleeping because I was like I guess it was like shock and a little depression um but not full scale because I wasn’t there long enough to have it like you had it yeah but it really did leave me doubting like do I have to like change everything I’m doing like meanwhile like I have clients who tell me like literally I’m amazing and I can get anything done for them and they’re so happy with me so it’s like what is it it’s like the Madonna [ __ ] thing am I awful toxic Horrible no am I assertive you know yes but and that doesn’t always mean people are going to understand that it’s just assertiveness I think you know like I reflect back on after I had been named God and I think one of the big things for me was the fact that I literally felt like I meant nothing to anyone I was like how did you how could you literally tell me that I am the go-to person for everything and then they were lying delete me from everything like how little did I actually mean and that is what I struggled with yeah and I get that and like I remember one of our first conversations when I reached out to you you were like I wonder how well they’re gonna do with their star players and I was like clear without their star players meaning you and me because we did have the most experience and I just said clearly we weren’t stars to them nor we weren’t it’s just I just I I still can’t like I still struggle too I’m sure that they were like knowing who these people are now I’m positive they were telling that that same exact line to other people multiple people in the company for different reasons oh for sure for sure I just didn’t because I was in the cult I just didn’t see it yeah you were you were just sucked in for too long where you couldn’t you actually believed everything they said I mean the the one and only time that the CEO went around me I was I was surprised at my reaction because I was angry but I was also really sad it made me sad because it made me feel like like it didn’t give me any like it didn’t make me feel like she trusted me and I said that to the CEO I was like I was like listen if she wants to do my job she should do it why did you hire me you know and the fact that I had to hear it through someone else it’s like she didn’t she wasn’t even big enough to say oh by the way I just want to let you know I have this conversation like she sent her little like Mass kisser minion to come to me to break the dirty news it’s just so I don’t know I I know like I feel I feel like we’ve somehow touched on this in every episode at this point you know which is fine like I have no problems with that but at the same time I’m like how much like how impactful has this been that it continues to draw us in you know what I mean like it just keeps sucking Us in because we’re just like we keep talking about it and it’s like so traumatic like realistically it was so traumatic for the both of us that it is it is emotionally [ __ ] draining hello are you I’m good how are you guys good thank you okay so where are your base where are you I uh used to be in America uh and then about seven years ago moved to New Zealand okay so we’ll have to have a coffee or something this this cat over here is based in Wellington Florida Oh Me Oh but I’m but I’m from New York didn’t some of your toxic stuff come from New York uh Chicago actually okay Chicago I don’t know why I thought New York well because we did use ability testing in New York so some of the things in there are New York maybe you mentioned it yeah yeah but I but yeah I’m originally from Manhattan and when I was six months pregnant I moved here you’re what you said what you sent us amazing and the pictures you included like my my eyes are already big but they were like bugging out I was like no this is not something actually we decided to stop reading it yeah because we were like we don’t want to know what’s going to come up we don’t want to know we want to be surprised yes but the fact that there was like photographic like reference images just I was like this is [ __ ] amazing okay so I feel like you’re so I feel like every single job you’ve had so up until the job you have now maybe I don’t I don’t know I’m assuming has been [ __ ] insanely toxic so I should say like I’ve had um good jobs in between but um these jobs that I’ve talked about they started off as like the best place I’ve ever worked in my life and then ended up being the worst place ever so yes get right into it we want to hear nitty-gritty right in yeah because I feel like you have so [ __ ] much going on no but I’m so here for it like I can’t wait to hear this I’m buckled up I’ve got a seat belt on I’m ready to go we’ve already recorded our trigger warnings based on some okay we were like you know what we’ll just insert those as needed like yeah okay so um just some background on me yeah so uh I’m a user experience graphic design person um I used to do um uh graphic design and then I moved over into like a managerial role and so a lot of these things that we’ll talk about are this me kind of moving up the chain from the bottom um and uh I have a patent in America for uh one of my designs and I also have various awards for some of the um some of the stuff I did for some of the bigger companies and um yeah I have over 15 years experience and I’ve done work for like huge Fortune 500 companies all the way down to like small companies that have like 30 people or even 10 people or yeah so um I have experience in Corporate America as well as kind of small loose startup tell us about your first uh toxic workplace experience like how was it how did it stopped How would how did were you recruited what was what happened yeah so I had a job um my first job out of college and it was a an industrial signaling company and it was literally like doing ads for like fire alarms and screws and it was really really boring and um I sadly got laid off from there um they were downsizing and they decided to keep people that were there like before I was born and they decided to let go the people that had just started there so yeah it was like a blessing in disguise because they paid for me to get a second degree and I would have had to pay it back or stay for five years after graduation but since they laid me off I was totally clean from that so that was actually a blessing and discussion so I love movies and I love video games and my degree in school was media arts and animation I wanted to do like special effects in movies and stuff this role came up for this movie and games company and I thought oh this this is amazing you know and I didn’t think I was qualified for the the job because there were a lot of senior aspect things and I had just you know had my first ever job but my dad always used to tell me just apply I let them tell you no right just tell them what you’re willing to contribute and they’ll yeah so I ended up getting the job so I was so excited I loved my work I love my co-workers and I’m still friends with a lot of them today um and it continued like that for like three years like there were like Christmas we uh like we finished a big push and we got Xboxes for Christmas and the end of the year party was in Vegas and um a lot of the people were around my age um and uh there was a lot of opportunity to work on new types of mediums and new platforms so in that respect it was really interesting work for me too like specially coming from doing ads for like fire alarms boring boring smoke alarm ads yeah yeah so um yeah so then um after three years um I’m just gonna call them Bilbo Baggins because he looked did you resemble Bilbo yes I need hairy feet in my life yeah please this is great for our marketing information like what happens when you’re what happens when your boss is Bilbo Baggins so Bilbo Baggins becomes your new manager yeah he was the hire he was hired a way up there as a senior VP um and he became kind of the face of the company whenever the company had to do interviews he would do them yeah and he was featured in like TV shows morning TV shows stuff like that um he later became the chief Revenue officer um and he was in talks to become like the um what’s step lower than CEO I forget anyway he’s in talks to do that yes okay yeah that’s actually not a step down but oh it’s the same level but just in charge of different things like operations and all that kind of stuff but yeah um anyway go ahead yeah so then I noticed little things where he started being inappropriate here and there like um he would compliment how I looked which you know I was like okay that’s not too bad but then like he would um always say like ladies first and let me through the door but then he’d put his hand like on like do not touch me I will punch you in the tit do not the last time I was at Atlantic City this was right before I got pregnant I was 39 so I was the oldest one at this club probably and and obviously I don’t look my age because I’m 43 I don’t look 43 But but so I’m at this club I’m dressed like a who you know like big stilettos like all that kind of stuff Slinky little tiny dress and literally every 25 year old kid in there who thought I was somewhat attractive put their hand on the small of my back and I would have to be like stop touching me is too intimate yeah okay so he’s ushering you through ladies first let me put my hand and the smile of your back grab your hands but he would put his hand on my back to where his fingers we’re like we’re like my butt yeah I can do it yeah oh that gives me like the Heats he would do things like straight out of Anchorman where it was like I’d pass by his office and it was like glass windows and he’d be like working out and he’d be like make eye contact I wouldn’t say he was buff but he wasn’t like fat either like he was just kind of you know like skinny fat it was kind of like older too so I guess for his age is amazing um yeah it was so many like like wipe his brow or like no I never saw a white T-shirt that’s gross yeah yeah and then uh yeah so then I noticed that uh women were mysteriously getting like huge promotions like I’m talking about intern to like um manager of a department in like two months kind of thing um and so it was like really weird but I was like whatever like that’s different department and I have nothing like maybe you they have they had qualifications you didn’t know about I I can see why you would just be like whatever yeah yeah but when it started being more and more like every week was an announcement of another like intern or a person who just got hired who got like a promotion to like a big role it was kind of odd um and um then I remember it was around review time and so I had the review by my manager and then the uh and Bilbo wanted to talk to me about my review and I was like oh like senior VP wants to talk to me about my review what did I do wrong like you know was your idea with your manager okay so they had good things to say about you okay yeah um and so I went in his office and then he went through my review and then he said he working out no not at this point I so wish that he was working out like like oh I’m ready performance okay so what does he say to you about your review that shouldn’t have raised any red flags so he just said I looked through your review and it looks like you’ve contributed a lot to the company I was the only designer in the company so I was doing everything like print web mobile um pop for grocery stores tv ads like everything um and so he’s like you know we really appreciate your contribution and I want to ask you have you ever considered being promoted to like a higher position I that this is only my second real job and I honestly felt like I wasn’t qualified yet to like lead anyone and I wanted to I really enjoyed being a worker bee at that point and so I told him I was like no I I really want to learn more first I was like maybe you can assign me a mentor where I could learn how to be a leader you know that kind of thing and he’s like so you’re sure you don’t want a promotion I said no no not at this stage and then he was like huh that’s a shame a cute girl like you could work could get their way up in the company real quick and I was like oh okay so the implication there obviously is that because you’re cute he might be interested and because you rejected that potential hiring or promotion he’s not going to get any yeah and so then he said again like are you sure you don’t want a promotion because we could make that happen and I said you know what no I’m I’m okay I’m really okay so he said okay that’s fine and then he’s like you could go back to work so I like slowly backed out of the office like this way because I didn’t want him to look at my butt as I walked out because I felt so weird at that point um so I backed out of the office and that was kind of the last of that and then every once in a while he you know would continue doing like inappropriate things like he would force me to smile at him you know like he would be like oh you have to smile at me and he would like block the hallway so I couldn’t get past him unless I smiled at him and so I created like this fake smile that I would do just to be able to pass by him so I just more like a grimace so he kind of picked up on it and so then he would do the fake smile back to me and then we would just go about her maybe how does Payson get into this position of power because surely people would have complained poorly who’s gonna complain when they are getting promoted so quickly touche actually touche and one was like around what year was this like was it still in the 90s 1940s no this was like um like 2005. yeah around like after 2004 kind of thing but not before 2010 so around so I think that’s relevant though because I think there was still a lot not totally over sexual harassment going on like in Corporate America um that only recently has kind of come out you know so not I’m not saying that that’s right but I think that it was like the prime time for this [ __ ] to be happening to you you know yeah like if the metoo movement was at that time like this would have been a totally different narrative meanwhile while I’m dealing with uh Bilbo this guy office supply guy I’ll call him he’s the facilities manager um he started flirting with me a lot he would buy me special presents he found out what like my favorite candy was and you’d leave it on my desk with like a beautiful red ribbon you know like stuff like that um and he asked me out and he was really attractive and I told him I was like look I’m really attracted to you but the thing is this is kind of like my dream job working in films yeah I don’t want to date inside you know my co-worker like I hope you understand that and he freaked out like he got so Furious and so then he started sabotaging my ability to work being the office you know manager what was he doing so he would do things like um he would refuse to get me um like Post-it notes and pencils and pens he would refuse to get uh help me with it because he was kind of I.T as well so if I had an issue he would refuse to help me he would purposely block my computer from being able to print um which me being a graphic designer that was integral yeah oh that’s so that’s so [ __ ] Petty um so while I’m dealing with all this and I’m like dude like this is why I don’t date in the office imagine if we had actually dated another level so this lady in the office she was higher up in the office and we’re gonna call her evily so um to backtrack a little bit my industrial signaling job they had to deal with Ford uh in Toyota and a couple other places since they did so many industrial signal and stuff so I actually got my car at a huge discount I bought my car brand new for like the price of like a basic Mazda um and I had a Lexus IS250 well excuse me I’m sorry oh we’re too fancy for this podcast now [ __ ] me well I mean the point is I got it as a like a like the chat right like you would have normally not have been able to afford that level of a car right yeah not the discount okay so then what happens evilly enters so evil e saw me drive into work in the morning in my car and she thought it was ridiculous that I could afford a car like that so she went to her business I don’t know so she went to my boss and he told me this himself she went to my boss and lobbied for him to give me a reduction in Pay What because she’s like yeah she’s like I don’t know how much she makes but she shouldn’t be able to afford Alexis at like her level so it was your parents car like there were so many other scenarios that I would think of like maybe you came from a family of money maybe maybe you bought it used maybe it was a loner like there’s so many someone died and you got inheritance yeah like like there’s so many more suitable scenarios that fit this situation then let’s just like reduce her pay cut you with the knees yeah okay so what happened there I hope your boss stood up for you yeah so my boss is like that’s ridiculous I’m not telling you how much she makes and I am not really super pay good okay thank God so he was great he was a great boss all this stuff was happening at once right Bilbo Supply guy evilly and so I’m like you know what I think this is time to go to HR and just bring all of this stuff to HR and see what they can do to help me because it’s starting to get kind of stressful yeah they did not do a thing they sent an email to you know Supply Guy saying like hey you need to chill out with that um they sent an email to evilly like no we’re not reducing her pay stop asking us and then with Bilbo um they said uh you know he’s so high up in the company we advise if you want to keep your job you should just drop it so then I decided so what did you do I decided to just drop it because I loved my job and I like my thought process at the time was I’m not letting a man who can’t control himself ruin my ability to work in the best job I’ve ever had because it was you know a couple of people like these are three people who were jerks right but the rest of the company were super nice sweet amazing people and the projects I got to work on were like dream jobs okay I love that okay I see that I see the waiting I probably would have reacted the same I probably would have just accepted it so how how did you end up leaving this this job under what circumstances so uh the t uh so what happened was there’s a huge thing where Bilbo got caught giving a 50 000 bonus to one of his Mistresses one of the ladies who was mysteriously promoted okay wow and how was that found out do you know how it was found out uh well because there’s paperwork in him giving a fifty thousand dollar bonus and I’ll be someone’s mistress for a fifty thousand dollar bonus let’s go I mean sign me up where’s Bilbo live now I just want to check about the hairy feet though I don’t know if I could any hoosels so this becomes something that has brought the attention does he get sacked so yeah so he was let go um like overnight and so was everything he should have been every woman who had mysteriously been promoted got sacked as well that fire that makes sense um half of the HDR Department got let go because they were probably privy to it and just turned a blind eye or part of it who knows yeah or part of it so yeah so overnight like it was like Friday to Monday like he’s gone all the women in the department other than me are gone because I’m the only one who didn’t accept a promotion so you’d think that would be the end of the story right you know I kind of I kind of assumed it would be but I feel like now knowing this podcast and where we’re at in our lives I’m gonna say a solid no no I bet we have some return Players let’s let’s hear it yeah it’s a cameo cameos yeah what cameos do you have for us uh I went back to work on Monday and that uh for like the next couple months afterward I really had to fight for respect in the office because my male co-workers treated me like I was guilty also but that I just didn’t get caught yeah and so I really had to fight for respect like they’d call they literally call me things like oh you’re a dirty girl aren’t you or like oh you’re a spinner which I didn’t know at the time but now I went with it sorry am I like 100 years old what is a spinner it’s when you sit on a dick and spin oh am I like on time so I’m Italian and I’m hairy and one time I was called a hairy spinner oh the guy was like your arms are a little hairy and that gave me such a complex that I have now gotten laser hair removal on like my entire our body they’re calling you a spinner I love that yeah giving me keys to their hotel rooms like all sorts of things like that just are inappropriate like I remember one guy gave me tried to give me a key to his hotel room and I was like dude this is sexual harassment and it was after work like at a work function and he was like it’s not sexual harassment if it’s after work hours um it’s at a work function dude and you’re a colleague it’s always work hours when you’re with colleagues meanwhile if you’re interested in whatever happened to Bilbo um he was fired but then it became CEO of another big company about four months after and they told us um at my job like what happened and they’re like oh he’s done his time so you know now he’s allowed to go ahead four months he probably was like shacked up with all the girls who who had been giving him favors for those four months doing his time because they were all living off of his severance yeah well the mistress that he gave 50 Grand to worked with him at the new company obviously I wouldn’t think any obviously I wouldn’t think anything less all right so how did your exit from this horrible place which okay didn’t start out horrible for you it was like a [ __ ] job okay so there’s more yeah so um a return player so evil e instead of getting fired she just got promoted to another section of the company so she actually was still really upset with me that I got her in trouble with hrvic so this is a couple years after the HR incident but anyway so she’s still pissed off because you got a discounted car yeah in in all of your life that’s the one thing that you have in your crawl like right don’t you have don’t you have like a dysfunctional family or like early childhood trauma to have in your craw like why are we targeting Reyna’s [ __ ] car you’re so stupid I’m like a nobody in the company I’m just some random worker bee and she’s like a you know high up senior it’s like why do you even care return another return player so she actually uh conscripts Supply guy to hack into my computer no and she sends emails from my Outlook to my other bosses and like stakeholders saying flirty things like if you find this out how did you find this out I’m guessing that someone was like why did you send me this email and you’re like what [ __ ] email nobody said a thing so how did you find out so being a graphic that I was the only designer right and I had stakeholders in every every part of the climate Department yeah and so I I would often forget oh did I send that thing I’m not sure so I would look through my sent folder to see if I sent stuff and so when I went through my send folder I saw random messages to them can you summarize what some of these flurry messages said they were probably so terrible too they probably weren’t even good yeah take credit if it was good yeah it was like oh um I just want to say you looked really good today or it was uh you know what when I was presenting today I could hardly concentrate on my presentation because you looked so good or okay we’re getting a little Saucy yeah all right so nothing okay so you find this and you’re like well I never said this yeah so I’m like freaked hours so I go to my boss who she sent these messages to my direct boss and I was like why didn’t you say anything and then he’s like well because of what happened with Bilbo I just didn’t want to even touch it with a 10-foot pole I just like ignored it and I’m like okay and he’s like yeah some of the other stakeholders and I were talking about like what’s going on with Reina you know I told my boss I’m like you know what I’m really gonna need you to help me out with this because I’ve gone to HR before and they haven’t done anything and this is like if you want me to make these deliverables and make presentations that won’t get like awkwardly rescheduled or whatever because of these emails I suggest that you help me with HR so he went to HR and it was easy to prove all right so this is the and this woman how old is this woman but just for reference at the time she was like 40. and how old and I was like 25 26. HR um puts a stop to that because it’s so easy easy to prove because you just go through the sent messages and people saw her at my desk and so it was easy wait wait walked over leisurely to your desk and was like but that is my favorite thing we all I mean I thought that she like did this like um on the cloud or some [ __ ] yes or like via some sort of proxy or hacked in got your no so she’s just like and hold on let’s look is it her birthday that’s the password I mean sometimes sometimes your screen doesn’t lock immediately and yeah like maybe your screen didn’t lock for like whatever 15 minutes I don’t know who knows or she probably was like scurrying over like the second you left your desk like a weird little like Mouse well because the company was so small and it was just kind of a startup at that point they’re only like 60 employees total in the whole company and so the facilities guy the supply guy you I would have to give him my password in order for him to install like stuff oh so he had it got it okay so basically HR just told me to regularly change my passwords and told evilly hey stop doing that and then that was the end of that but if you had to regularly change your password and Supply guy would need it I know that’s why it doesn’t make any sense so again HR didn’t like nothing they shut the bed yeah okay so then what happens so the company exploded it grew dramatically like we went like from 60 employees to like over a thousand um we went to making like a million dollars a day like it was like insane I was still the only graphic designer in the whole company so work you probably had was asinine it was too much it was like overwhelming and so I I asked for help and so they said okay you know what we’re gonna hire another designer and we’re gonna give you that Mentor you asked for way back in the Bilbo days um so they hired a design manager which I thought was pretty great was it great in real life no I had a feeling why did I have that sneaky feeling so what happened there okay so we’re just gonna call him scabs and let me explain why that’s the next card in Our Deck we got easily Supply guy Bilbo Baggins should be like a superhero and then scab okay let’s hear scabs story so scared Gabby Patty oh I like that so he was kind of like a space invader he would also he’s like a close talker when he would like talk to you about stuff he would like often like lean over your desk and like grab your mouse and like you know do stuff um and so um it happened twice where he had like a giant zit around his mouth that kind of scabbed over are you sure it wasn’t the herpes I I didn’t want to say that because I didn’t want like someone that has herpes to be like oh you know if this happens herpes you can get herpes as a child like that’s usually yeah on the mouth the next minute you’ve got herpes for the rest yeah once on your mouth are not considered sexually transmitted because they’re usually just something that you pick up from like a cup or somebody that oh my God have you ever had a cold sore Gina never had one what about you Rayna no oh my God are we all herpes free it seems that way so it’s I don’t think it’s like something to have a stigma about you know okay no I agree are we is this what the podcast is going on is we’re breaking stigma genital herpes can’t help you but mouth herpes don’t get bent with your genital herpes like get off the grass we’re not interested no but male therapies were totally open to them well I’m gonna open mouthing anyone no but no shame if you got them yeah yeah actually here’s the thing did he try to kiss you with the herpes now no because he was such a close and he would lean over your desk like like like scab flakes would like flake off and so it’s like would you find them in your keyboard yes like sprinkled like scab like sprinkles over like your your keyboard yeah he did this to like multiple people so his nickname was scabs when he wasn’t around because he kept leaving scabs like some people’s desk was he like let me think about it I’m like rubbing it all over your head because he’s leaning over your desk okay so he’s a weirdo what happens so um scabs started belittling me and my work and criticizing my appearance he would often like talk about like my you know shirt wasn’t you know work appropriate or my pants or my shoes or whatever and the thing is we had zero like we didn’t have uh address code and people would often go to work in like flip-flops and you know like a tank top I’ve seen that [ __ ] I don’t I wouldn’t think you would need to wear like a button-down and slacks every day and I didn’t I didn’t interact with clients so you know anyway so oh my God he’d often make presentations like as my new boss he would present my work and say that oh Reina didn’t get to it but here’s what I desired can we just pause here for a second and remind people that if this podcast is something you enjoy we would love to hear from you you can find us on Instagram LinkedIn and YouTube at let’s break up toxic workplace stories sharing and subscribing really helps us feel validated how did you did you whoever call that out yes so um I tried to call it out in the meeting and he’s like no that’s not true guys she’s just embarrassed that she didn’t get to it it’s okay right now it’s okay and so I complained to my old boss about it and he was like well how can you prove that you did the work so when I started I don’t know because I’ve got like an entire show on my computer of how I developed and delivered the work so what I started to do was I started hiding watermarks in the imagery like you know a little something or I had a ring yeah it hid my name somewhere or whatever and so in the middle so in the middle of the meeting he would be like oh you know I Reina didn’t get to this and I’m like really can you point out the goat in this picture and then I could like easily go and point it out and then everybody would just die laughing in the meeting and knew he was lying um I love this I love it um so then they recommended that I start presenting my work when I when I did my work and then he would present his work and so I would present my work in meetings and then he would always have something negative to say always and um it was like you just find anything and so my dad um he was like why don’t you just use the fuzzy thumb technique and I was like that’s where you purposely put some mistake in the design so that the person who wants to feel important can point out the obvious mistake and then they feel good about themselves and then you don’t have any feedback you could just move to the next step and so a lot of artists incorporate that fuzzy thumb technique to kind of move stuff through pretty quickly so I started doing that and he would always choose the fuzzy thumb which is easy for me because I already had the fixed version at my desk so I could like send off the finished version like five minutes yeah okay um so he started getting really upset about that stuff and started like punishing me by making me work long hours making me work overnight um like I’d have to work overnight like multiple nights in a week to where I had to call off work just to get sleep um and he would like message me at 3am like where’s that thing where’s that thing um yeah so it was it was really really stressful and he wasn’t even a good designer so I couldn’t even learn anything from him which is really frustrating because I’m like well at least if I could learn something if I could get a silver lining out of this but there was like nothing you know he wasn’t teaching me how to be a good manager he wasn’t teaching me how to be a good designer he was leaving scabs all over my desk there wasn’t anything to say let’s not forget the scabs in your in your keyboard okay so then what happens so he brings me in for a one-on-one meeting around um review time and he had a whole like literally a giant notepad full of complaints and they were all about my appearance what and yeah I gin I I I genuinely like I genuinely don’t know where to like put that folder in my brain so because I’m just like how is that like on what planet do you think that it is appropriate to comment on someone’s Behavior to a point that you’re complaining about it you’re not coming into work with let’s say a copious amount of Bo or you know you’re coming in with like let’s say you’re not wearing a bikini to work yeah like buddy like what sort of instance so here’s my theory here’s my theory all of his other techniques to shut you down like points taking didn’t work so now he’s like this is all this is all he has left is is his objective subjective rather view of what he thinks you dress and look like and how it should be changed even though I’m positive you were totally fine line within the reason of the office you know reasonably dressed like we said you did not come into in with like a stripper outfit or a bikini or no yeah so what were his points inquiry minds must know okay so among the lists I’ll just tell you the highest level things um so I had peekaboo streaks I don’t know if you know what that is but it’s like yeah so during work hours it would just look normal and then outside of work hours I could just do my hair in a different way and then you can see it yeah and so he hated that and he hated the fact that I have dark hair and so he said I really prefer you as like a medium brown so if you could dye your hair like medium brown that’s what I would prefer I think it’ll make you look more professional um and then he also said that he wanted me to wear a two inch slingback heel and he actually brought the shoes into your size yes how did you know your shoe size on occasion I would take off my shoes at my desk so I could like work or whatever and then you know put my shoes on if I because remember I was working crazy hours so sometimes I just want to become your shoe size okay yeah and um he yeah and he bought the shoes and I have pictures there though that’s what the shoes looked like um and um told me like how we wanted me to update my clothing as well and then he gave me a scathing review uh and he actually put in the review if there was a way to rate her zero Stars I would do that and on what basis what was what was what because she’s not she’s not bending to his Conformity of dyed hair slingbacks and vagina on display okay right so how can you demand all of that and also like give you a horrible review like let’s say you were you were not as strong as you are and you were like okay let me go do that where’s the time period where you could turn that around it can’t all happen in the same day right yeah none yeah and he he said I was bad at my job but I didn’t know what I was doing that I was not a good subordinate that I would often challenge him which that part was true yeah it just sounds like he was again threatened by you well and then the ways that I would go against him were just in the ridiculous things he was doing not in the common like Common Sense things right right um and then he said like oh she doesn’t even know how to use illustrate on the program isn’t even called that it’s called illustrator but it doesn’t even need a version that I don’t know about like is that a version we don’t know about like is that like is that like a 1998 version is it like a Corel Draw Vibe like where are you oh my god do you remember Corel Draw oh my God I started my design career in Korea please what a tree okay anyway okay so we’re all on board he’s a [ __ ] idiot yeah so then it starts getting like aggressive so wait did you go to HR about this ridiculous review and like how inappropriate it was yeah and they did nothing yeah first I tried because HR always told me try to work it out with the person first before you come out here so I I I went to scabs and I was like hey can you please explain this review to me like what’s going on here and so that’s when he got really aggressive he started screaming at me and we had like a cubicle like a single cubicle right and he blocked my exit so I couldn’t leave um and then uh at one point he got really upset and I hadn’t raised my voice or anything and he swipes everything off my desk like dramatically and then he had a cupboard moment yeah and he had a couple books in his hand and he like slams them on the desk and then he like just keeps like you know talking to me aggressively and then he starts like pointing in my face floating in the air we have debris floating so I don’t know that he’s ever worked with a Latino before because I am not like I’m nice but don’t worry I’m not Latino I’m Italian but it’s very similar like I it I can flip like that and I can be so [ __ ] mean so I get up at this point because I’m pissed and I don’t even care about my job at that point so and I start like screaming at him and like you know basically like telling him to back off and let me pass and so the the co-workers hear us both screaming and so I hear that the chair desks moving and you know like uh the the chairs moving so I know because essentially they’re getting popcorn yeah yeah yeah so after he hears people coming then he leaves I thought that I had enough between the bad review the you know the clothing thing the aggressive behavior like I had enough to go to HR the new HR right I would say yeah so I went to the new nature um and I highlighted in the manual where it says we have no dress code I had Witnesses come and talk about the violent confrontation all that stuff and the good news is he was removed as my boss um but he still held his title he was just you know different section and he kind of didn’t manage anyone for a while but he still had that like the title manager yeah um eventually demoted but not demoted no he just he was promoted he was eventually promoted after a little bit of time and two women two designers were hired to work for his team um there was some sort of thing that happened I don’t know because I wasn’t part of this but I witnessed the two ladies run out of the meeting like sobbing yeah and then shortly after that um the women were let go and then he was told like a communication came out and he was told that he was only allowed to manage men from now on but he kept his position well I mean okay my thought on that for whatever reason they couldn’t remove him like there wasn’t enough of a Smoking Gun or if he didn’t maybe he had like some [ __ ] weird clause in his contract who knows but like I think that was the right thing to do like he could only obviously he does not get along with women there’s something maybe he’s never been maybe he’s an incel maybe he’s never been kissed because he has too many scabs on his mouth no he had a wife and twin twins artificial insemination well the one time they had six cards in that green card situation I don’t know I mean that’s possibilities no okay but but clearly he has issues issues okay now you say okay now I’m like now I’m mentally concerned right like you’re telling me the man is married if he’s treating people at work like this if he’s treating women at work like this what the [ __ ] is he doing to his wife at home okay yeah I agree with that but at the same time like maybe it’s because I’m too much of a true crime nerd like I feel like these people who are so insane like that they wear different masks so he probably wore a very different mask at home than he yeah but then let’s say you’re hungry or tired your mask is gonna slip if you’re that [ __ ] weird it doesn’t you and your [ __ ] podcasts well I will say when his wife came in she like owned him like she like Snapped her fingers and he was like I can use his pants so he was probably taking out that his lack of control yes and we’re asserting control on the women not the boys psychologists we’re just making it something um I am I just got my PhD lscsw within whatever that would yeah I’m licensed I’m not but you can call me no absolutely not but you can call me Dr Panella if you’re nasty did I just sexually harass everyone on the podcast right now just a fun Janet Jackson song I no no no yeah Reina break the tie questionable questionable it’s perfect timing though oh it landed okay so he’s only managing men yeah and this is all at the same job by the way yeah no I’m we’re on board yeah okay so I feel like this may have to be a two-parter at this point because I’m just yeah so much like I feel like we’re only on page four of your documents where we stopped reading 10 pages of crap okay go ahead you know what if it becomes a two-part series like part one open to it I’m totally there for it because this is ridiculous all at the same job this guy’s only managing dicks people with dicks and what happens next for you how much longer do you stay at this job does evil e Come Back uh evely does not come back okay but uh I do stand at the job for like two two more years and did anything notable happen then yeah a lot so oh [ __ ] yeah so I got Justin I think it can’t get any worse yeah so it gets way worse so I got a new manager and he was like a crazy talented designer um he was yeah he was so good at like um kind of um presenting and like getting feedback and like you know getting people to like kind of convey what they want from a design which is something that I struggled with at that time like giving people to explain what they want when it comes to Art is often very different it’s hard to do yeah yeah so I learned a lot from him and I was I really liked it but um he I was used to having autonomy over my work and when he got hired like he would take all the awesome jobs and then I was stuck with like all the crappy like just cutting up assets or like giving specs to the developers or whatever like kind of boring stuff um so I kind of was starting to lose interest because I I felt like I lost like all the cool stuff oh yeah so at this point working there had become like so stressful that um uh for myself and other employees as well in other parts of the company I’d often like go to the bathroom and cry like and just like yeah yeah and I’d hear other ladies crying in the bathroom like at the same time did you guys ever talk about that like hey why are you gave it like solidarity together yeah um but also they kept you so busy that you didn’t really have a ton of time like we would like have long lunches or we’d like kind of do vent sessions and stuff but it then it kind of became more like you never got a break from work because you’re talking about work when you’re not at work what were the other ladies crying about was it similar stuff like being overworked or what like what was it that you guys were um coming up with the reasons yeah I think the main problem of the company at that point was it had exploded and got so huge like in such a short period of time when I first got hired I had like six people interview me and you know all six of them had to say yes in order for me to get hired and I I think it created a close-knit group of people who were a good cultural fit and were also like willing to teach each other and also like you know kind of good-natured people overall but when the job exploded they just started hiring people sometimes not even with meeting them in person just like reading their their resume and then hiring them and also another problem was that there were way too many top managers it was so top-heavy like I had about 13 manager stakeholders yeah and I had to I had to like plea because it was a shared resource so I had this like a basically a boss or a stakeholder in every part of the company and so in order to get a design approved I had to get 12 13 people to agree on one piece that’s like herding cats yeah it’s like impossible um and so like other ladies that were crying and stuff it was the same thing like they had multiple managers and not enough people to do the actual work um so it actually wasn’t uncommon to like walk through the aisle and see people like crying under their desks um and I actually took a picture of one of my friends uh just to remember how awful it was and I always have the picture in my phone because I always tell myself if a job ever gets this bad again I’m just gonna quit and I actually need to quit before it gets that bad yeah yeah I feel honestly I feel like you should have quit a long time ago but I also get like in retrospect hindsight’s 2020 right you now looking back you’re like I should have been out when that when scabs was [ __ ] freaking out at you yeah yeah so but that was the point where I started winning awards for my work and so I don’t know but I get it so I get it it’s like I I mean I still get it and I think it’s it’s harder for women to make that decision too for some reason because like the sense of I’m assuming you were supporting yourself at this point like I’ve always supported myself as an adult like I never had my parents help or anything so the sense of kind of like just leaving is I think it’s very scary for women yeah and I just moved into my new apartment right like yeah I don’t yeah yeah okay so rain okay so you should have been out with scabs but you were getting Awards everything was really going well for you up until are we getting to the point where it’s up until yes because I feel like a lot more shit’s about to happen trigger warning completed suicide coming up so someone committed suicide at work at at the location yes but like how not like details but like yeah how at the location yeah was it during regular work hours yeah it was during work hours um and they were alone at that point um yeah so that was like a huge wake-up call for me because I had just talked to the guy like a week prior um so that was really really crazy for me jump out the window no um so he uh kind of like I don’t know like exactly how to define his role but he worked in the in the office plus you he worked in the office um helping to kind of curate the materials and then he would load the trucks with the or like kind of do inventory of the trucks and so he when he committed suicide it was in the in the truck and I don’t know how he did it but it was some in the truck uh so they found him in the truck like later that day um so it was really yeah really awful um and so the company uh reacted very quickly and what they decided that the office needed a makeover to solve the mass depression among us obviously so part of this renovation involved putting plants in the office okay unfortunately and yeah a planned in response to Suicide I uh okay and adding colorful chairs okay okay color psychology is I’m sure there are valid reasons behind it but what did it do to you Rayna well um it didn’t help me because unfortunately I was ridiculously allergic to the plants and so I asked Supply guy there is a return Supply guy return oh God Supply guy since he was the office manager I asked him to remove them because I was like really allergic and so he would purposely put clippings of the plant all over the office us to mess with me and like for example he put clippings of the office like in the bathroom so that I couldn’t use the bathroom um when the clip when you found the clippings like was it like immediate sneezing coughing swelling of the eyes like what what did it look like for you yeah so it’s like if I saw the plant and I like immediately got out of the room it was fine but if I was in the room for like more than a minute then I started my throat started closing up I couldn’t breathe yeah yeah okay what plant is this like what oh I don’t remember it’s some sort of fern I don’t know it’s like why are we not shaking without a stop that we aren’t allergic to crap like that as your local health and safety person because America doesn’t have healthy and safety people okay so I again tried HR um and I told them that the plants were you know um making me allergic like anaphylaxis level like serious level yeah and their response is that they can’t get rid of the plants just to accommodate one person so what they agreed was a compromise of moving the plants to a different floor of the building okay so they gathered all up all the plants and put them on a different floor well the problem is some some people who didn’t know that I was allergic or whatever they thought it was pretty plant and they would bring it back down to our floor um or in meeting rooms or whatever um so I just always had to be super Vigilant um and so one day I had a meeting and I didn’t see that there was a plant I called it plant of death I didn’t see the plant of death in the corner here’s another card for us like evil plant with like double horns um and so yeah I just didn’t see it and as I was presenting my design um I started like inexplicity like inexplicably like coughing and wheezing and then my boss like he noticed the plan and he’s like oh no oh no Reena the plant the plant and so they hurried up and they moved the plant out of the room but it was too late like the damage had already been done so like I couldn’t I literally couldn’t breathe to the point where I couldn’t use my legs I couldn’t walk so I’m crawling Army crawling trying to get to my desk so I can get my like steroid inhaler um and I didn’t I didn’t make it to my desk I just passed out um and like all the people that were in the meeting are just like following me being like what do we do what do we do what do we do but of course I can’t talk I don’t have any breath and so like I pass out and when um I came to I saw my boss calling 9-1-1 in the ambulance and I was like don’t don’t call the ambulance I can’t afford it don’t call the ambulance and I just passed out in the middle of like begging him but America is so gross the fact that you don’t want the ambulance to come because you can’t afford it I hate you America when I came to um after asking them not to call you I mean I was just in the ambulance hooked up to all sorts of breathing things and you know whatever um and so I ended up getting a bill for like 600 bucks for the ambulance ride and then I had to pay for the actual Hospital stay because I had to stay overnight did you have insurance with this company I did yeah this was like yeah after insurance that was like how much I owed yeah so I told HR that they should reimburse me right because I repeatedly asked them to move the plan and they didn’t um and they refused um they said that they were not gonna reimburse me um so I they said because it was pre-existing conditions that I had allergies before this incident yeah but you okay they’re so stupid I hate them yeah okay so then what happened so shortly after that my good boss the one that was teaching me all this stuff he got promoted oh so after my boss got promoted I lobbied to take his place because at that point I felt like I could start moving up and be like a senior or a lead or something and um I didn’t want like with all the stuff going on I did want to quit but I felt like I was like letting them win if I quit you know I’m following and so I didn’t want to quit unless I had something bigger and better pretty much okay um I think that’s a smart move Yeah well yeah after I got the promotion I happened to land my new job um but I noticed with other people who left the company that there was some funny business going on like I suspected that they would try some something weird with me when I tried to quit because like a friend of mine resigned at the company and instead of saying that she resigned they said that she was fired um that’s exactly what happened to me yeah I heard that in your pocket that’s why I put that in there I was like oh that happened to me um and they said because she was fired and she didn’t quit that they weren’t entitled to giving her the rest of her holiday pay yeah so I didn’t really understand and so I was just like you know what I’m just gonna cover my bases and so um oh okay so what I did was I had my one-on-one where I was going to give my boss my resignation and so in order to like prevent like anything like any fun fuzz like funny business so during the one-on-one I gave him my letter of resignation um while I was talking to him about my resignation after he read the letter he started saying uh oh you know what I’m not I think I have to review your recent performance to decide if in fact I’ll allow a resignation or if I if I’m gonna fire you instead and so while he was saying that um I heard like the Glorious ding of the email that I had pre-timed to go off while I was giving my resignation with him in the office that announced to the rest of the company that I was resigning oh [ __ ] mic drop I’m loving myself yeah so he was talking to me and he heard the ding and he just kind of glanced over and saw you know reina’s resignation and so then he looks back over at me and he goes well you thought of everything didn’t you I guess you can leave Mike drop okay and I finished out the rest of my time there with no problem and I did get all of my holiday pay uh well that’s because you were resigning you didn’t like say like there’s a difference between resigning and quitting quitting me okay like you’re leaving right then and there [ __ ] the company you’re dropping everything and you’re walking out resigning is basically saying like here’s my two weeks notice let me finish up or I’ll finish up whatever I need to finish up so it’s more like you’re working with the company um whereas quitting is like [ __ ] you I’m out of here and I’m gonna leave everything messy and open for anyone else to have at with like no help for finding a replacement if that was something they might ask you to do so it sounds like you resigned whereas your friend quit uh well she had told me that she resigned but I I don’t know who knows yeah okay so then what happened uh so yeah so I was done with that job I’m very happy to be done with it and unfortunately after quitting um I heard through my friends that were still there that two more people committed suicide on works on work premises oh as a response they subjected all the employees to bi-weekly psych assessments um so that like they could assess like oh this person is psychologically unstable so we’re not liable right um it wasn’t actually to have to actually keep tabs and understand what’s stressing the employees it was a loophole for them to say well they were already unstable pretty much that is so [ __ ] up like Nicola don’t you have something to say about that from the health and safety work that you do hold on let me just get my so much to say so my first question here is that how legitimate it is it to give people psychological assessments because if you’re creating like a safe and healthy work environment especially for mentally healthy work you’re not going in and you know exposing people to additional stress for them to be doing psych assessments every week like that’s like what is my problem shouldn’t they have like what’s wrong with the system that this is what you’re checking versus check how the work is created and developed and formed and what are the managers doing and oh I know there’s just it’s it’s too I could talk that’s my point like shouldn’t they have taken the time out to be like let’s stop and see what the bigger issue is are we overworking our employees like what’s going on rather than just saying oh well we’re giving them mental checks every two weeks or whatever it was that also like what it were you able to refuse the mental track like I have a therapist I don’t need to have a uh on I don’t have a work you know someone who works for the company telling me if I’m saying or not like [ __ ] you you probably haven’t you probably have no Doctorate of anything they probably just because you said they were hiring people just from their resumes it’s like I could be like Dr Panella yeah everything and they’d be like you’re hired you’re doing the mental health checks every two weeks like I feel like that would have been totally something that could have happened hi okay yeah here so yeah um that was it and then so many people quit that it became like a real skeleton crew and the company nearly folded so the company is still um open now yeah but it’s barely like it was making like you know two billion whatever and now it’s like just barely limping along so um now no I don’t but at one point it was 2 billion a year yeah yeah with a B I know they look like sold out parts of the company and all that stuff yeah never a good sign now what’s really cool as we come to the end of this podcast is we are going to head into part two and it is going to be equally as Saucy as this first um first part that we’ve completed um and we’re really looking forward to your feedback on part one as well because these stories that um Rayna is sharing with us just keep getting more crazier and like weirder and also you’ll be introduced to a new cast of characters so we encourage you from part one going into part two to check out our deck of cards of characters on IG and like subscribe and tell all your friends and family thank you for joining us today if you would like to share your story we would love to hear from you also leaving a review helps us create more content because it shows us there’s an interest in this topic for those of our listeners who do better with reading we have closed caption available on YouTube see you next week same time and same place

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