I Don't Know Who Needs to Hear This, But You're Working for an Abusive Employer
How many times have you stood in the bathroom, trembling from a combination of fever and fear, literally breaking into a flop sweat because of the two, terrified to text your boss that you’re too sick to come into work? Even though you may have sick days, even though you may be an exemplary employee, you’re still shaking in your boots at the very thought of their reaction. Here’s the thing: that. is. wrong. And you’re working for an abusive employer.
To give you an idea of what’s okay and what’s not:
Normal: Having anxiety in general, or even minor anxiety at your employer being “mad” at you for calling out.
Not Normal: Being on the verge of tears, because you’re afraid of what your boss will say when you ask for time off. Either they’ll respond passive-aggressively, lowering your self-worth, or more directly abusive, calling you names, saying that there are a million other people who want your job, etc. Sound familiar?
This is a Generational Problem
Unfortunately, most of us Millennials were raised by Boomers who taught us that yes, we were the most special, but also we should “tough it out,” because life isn’t easy. Don’t get me wrong - I’m not shitting on any generation in particular here, but I think workplace attitudes are related to how we grew up and what those expectations were. Should we grow a pair, tough it out, and go to work, even when we don’t feel like it? Sometimes, yes. It depends on the situation. But I, like many Elder Millennials, grew up thinking that my health didn’t matter. I should always “tough it out.” And it makes sense - think about how our governmental leaders in America can’t even figure out a viable healthcare plan for our nation. So if we don’t have accessible, affordable healthcare that our LEADERS can collectively decide on, it stands to reason that no one cares about our health - so why should we?
This is a logical fallacy, reasoning that we’re often prone to, not only as the “Next Great Generation” (HA), but also as Americans. The “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality that is so ingrained in ALL of us only lends to our inability to GIVE OURSELVES A FUCKING BREAK. Faulty reasoning abounds when you’re born in a country entrenched in systemic oppression and racism.
But I Digress
If anyone knows me, they know that for a trained actor, I’m prone to shitty storytelling and rambling tangents, like the one above. So, let me bring it back to my original point: what does all of this oppression within our society have to do with employers? Well, everything - they’re in it, too, after all, no matter where they’re from or what year they were born. But here’s the thing - none of that is an excuse, as much as your crappy boss would like it to be. No other human being has a right to take away one of YOUR rights - which, if you need reminding, include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Sometimes we just need another person to say what we can’t admit to ourselves, and today, I’m the person who’s giving you permission to quit your job. Break up with your boss. Break the cycle of feeling worthless. Make today your Independence Day.