Gen United

I initially worked part time at a local consignment store that sells work from local artists, I was then hired as the store manager at 22. The main owner worked hard to keep staff isolated from each other (immediately prior to meeting a new staff member I was told that this person could be very difficult but could be great to work with). This staff alienation continued with no staff really trusting one another and blatant bullying was either ignored or the complainant would be reprimanded.
At the end of my first year managing, I had someone attempt to steal some alcohol from the store which I managed to get back, when I told my boss about it, I was praised in front of all staff members for my heroism and told I did the right thing. The following week a similar incident happened, the assistant store manager pointed the thief out to me on the street and I chased after him eventually catching up – he made an attempt to stab me and at that point I turned around (luckily unharmed), let him go, returned to the store and had a panic attack. I was immediately told after that that I shouldn’t have followed him (despite being praised for it the week before) and worked there full time for 5 months while seeking workers compensation for my injury. I had weekly check ins with my boss where they insisted that worker’s compensation was coming and I would speak to someone from the insurance company soon. While I was working my PTSD symptoms were getting worse, I couldn’t concentrate and was constantly crying. As that time passed, my boss kept pulling me up for not doing my job correctly and blatantly targeted me when I was obviously in a vulnerable state instead of helping me with my workers compensation claim. I believe they were trying to get me to quit my job so that they wouldn’t be liable to any workers compensation. I eventually asked to transition to admin work rather than serving customers on the floor as it was too triggering and was told I need to go on workers compensation leave. My boss insisted that the claim would be accepted by the insurance company – it wasn’t. When I finally went on workers compensation leave, I found out through a friend who is familiar with workers compensation protocol that given the avenue my workplace went down to seek cover for me, they did not have workers compensation insurance which is illegal. Years later I am still recovering from the treatment of that workplace. On my final day working there, I found out through another coworker the intense and nasty bullying she was facing at the hands of another co-worker, someone who was close with our boss and so was protected whenever she made a complaint. She was told that her complaint had created an ‘unsafe work environment’ for her bully while also being told by the same boss that they know how problematic this person is and that they were on her side. I see ads for them around town every now and then and I find it extremely triggering. I’m fortunate that I have recovered from the PTSD of my attack through treatment but I consider the treatment from that boss psychological abuse and still cry about it regularly. I went from being ‘the worlds best manager’ to a liability and a nuisance in a few short months. I strongly believe that everyone should be aware of their rights when it comes to a workplace injury (physical or psychological). If you are injured, you should be contacted by an insurance representative immediately, not speak to your boss and hear from the ‘representative’ through them.