Thursday, February 7, 2008

The fat-hating boss from hell

The job was tempting because it offered full-time work, at a wage equal to what I was getting, and health insurance kicking in after a few months of employment. I was getting tired of my other job because, well, it sucked. Another story, another day. The employer seemed reasonable, his store was beautiful, and I did have a great time for a while. I loved most of my coworkers, except the European girl who treated me like garbage because I wasn't constantly on a diet like she was. She actually gave me a chocolate bar for a Christmas gift, saying, "You'll like it, because it's food." She also hated Americans, finding them disgusting, rude, and irritating. No, don't ask me why she immigrated here. I don't know either.

The worst part of that job, though, wasn't the snotty dieter, but the boss, who had a nasty temper, and would lose his shit at the smallest thing. I was screamed at--obscenities and all--for being too polite to a customer that he didn't like. He threw objects at his employees--if something didn't have a price tag, for example, he hurled it at the nearest person, screaming and accusing us of being lazy idiots. If something was too complicated for him to understand, we took the brunt of his rage--and it was ten times worse if we were able to figure it out. I got the shit end of that stick, having more experience than he did in the subject, and having been educated as well.

The worst part about this man was not just his abusive, nasty temper; it was his bigotry. He would say, "I'm not racist," then turn around and use the n-word to describe a black person he didn't like. He was one of those people who really thought that he wasn't racist as long as it was only the bad black people that he called n-word. He also called my Jewish doctor, a wonderful, intelligent, compassionate man (which made the boss hate him soooo damn much), a schmuck to his face, but he claims he didn't know what it really meant. Whatever.

Even that, however, pales in comparison to what he did to his sister. She was a very large woman who lived on the other side of the country. The boss was disgusted by his sister's size, and firmly believed that she was going to die within the next week if she didn't stop being fat RIGHT THIS MINUTE.

Now, let me sidetrack for a moment and talk about some customers we had. They were a married couple, both very fat, who had both undergone gastric surgery. They both had the "safer" band surgery, and boss-man thought this was the greatest thing. He talked to them at length about it to find out all kinds of information. About a week after he talked to them, one of them, then the other, ended up in the hospital with complications. They both had to be cut back open, and one had a pretty serious infection. They were absent from the store for quite a while because of this, and the item they'd had on layaway had to be postponed, then cancelled with money back because of their health problems. The boss did not even acknowledge that the gastric surgery had been problematic, and he was nicey nice to their faces when they came to get their money back, but skewered them behind their backs for being irresponsible with money, because he'd lost the sale. Yeah, the guy is a real schmuck.

Back to his sister, though! After getting hyped up about gastric surgery because of those two customers, he proceeded to write his sister a letter. He told her in this letter that it was time she did something about her weight, and that he wasn't going to let her ignore the "problem" any longer. He then said that if she did not get gastric surgery, he would disown her and never talk to her again. He then sent the letter Certified Mail so that she could not claim that she hadn't received it, and awaited her response. I did foolishly point out that gastric surgery had a lot of risks, and had a high rate of complications and death, but I should have just kept my mouth shut; I was pooh-poohed and told that the banding surgery was TOTALLY SAFE, and it was worth the risk for his sister to do it. And yes, he did do all of this letter writing and bitching behind the counter at the store, where we were all working, using his employees as an audience for his anger.

I'm sorry to say that I don't know how this resolved, because I quit very soon after that. I'd had it with his cruelty and hatred, and couldn't take it anymore when there was a final straw (long long story, and I promise to share it eventually). I do hope, however, that he made good on his promise to never speak to her again, because, if he were my brother, I'd consider it to be a blessing. Boss's sister, if you're out there, I want you to know that it's not your fault that he's a giant asshole, and you did not deserve what he did to you. Being fat is not a crime, and it is not an excuse for being treated inhumanely.


vesta44 said...

Bosses like that are lucky they even have employees. There aren't many who will put up with that kind of crap for very long. He obviously never learned that the customer is always right, especially if you want repeat business from them and their friends and family (word of mouth can be a killer for business if the boss/manager/clerks are asshats).

Bekbek said...

Okay, your story freaked me out. Did we work at the smae place? Right down to the snarky European! Though, at my work, it was split into two people, the racist fat hating shop owner and the neo-nazi fat hating co-worker. (married to the snarky European)The neo nazi would bitch about his fat sister and bitch her out when he talked to her on the phone. He said "Maybe she has reverse-anorexia, you know, she looks in the mirror and sees a thin person and keeps eating." Creepy!

miriam.heddy said...

I would have taken the empty chocolate bar wrapper and put it in a gift box and wrapped it up and given it back to the bitchy European woman as a present and said, "You'll like this, because you enjoy self-denial."

Anonymous said...

I feel horrible for that man's sister. As I am sure most anyone here knows, that is a kind of mental/emotional abuse and it tends to never go away. My ex used to remind me daily about how he wished I was the same size as when we got married (I was 109 lbs when we got married...I went up to about 130/140 by the time we got divorced and). That pain is still with me to this day and I feel that a lot of my self esteem issues with my body come from him (among other issues I have with myself in general).

As you said, I hope he DID stop talking to her...that would probably be the best thing that could have happened to her.

aebhel said...

What a jackass. No matter how many stories like this I hear, I always find it hard to believe that people can actually behave like that.

I also know people who use the line "I'm not racist/sexist, but..." before saying something shockingly racist or sexist. It makes me want to hit them.

Mercurior said...

i am afraid if i was working in that store, i would have turned round and smacked him one.

NO ONE deserves to be treated like he treated his sister or anyone else. BUT unfortunatly today being a bigot is common.

At the moment its fat people, and childfree people, and men, so god help you if your a fat male cf.. (as i am), and sometimes i find it hard to speak out about my size my life, because the moment you do they then make you the problem.

for example if you told your boss that WLS is not good, he will probably have said well you and your KIND, want her to die and become a fat martyr.. i see it a lot today. there are certain groups where it is LEGAL to be insulting too. and fat people are one of them.

Even if i was a customer, and i over heard what he said, i would have complained to the highest person, that it was bad work practice.

i see bigotry everywhere, and prejudice. and your ex boss could be its poster child

Heather said...

I like to think that assholes like this guy get their come-uppance. How many repeat customers did he scare away with his two-year-old temper tantrums?

JeanC said...

I hope his sister sent back a certified letter saying goodbye and hope he enjoyed his miserable life.

I'm afraid if I worked for a dipstick like that there would be assault charges involved. I do hope his karma finally bit him on his ass.