WORKING ON EMPTY: Your Work Stories
The Healthy Work Campaign would like to introduce you to Working on Empty: Your Work Stories, our collection of stories from you about unhealthy/toxic workplaces, healthy/engaging work, and how individuals came together to achieve “healthier work.” The story of work stress and health in the United States crosses every demographic, industry and job type. As you read through these stories, think about what work experience you could add to expand the conversation. We all have one.
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“I worked for a company that was HIGHLY stressful and had a toxic environment. You were required to have a degree, and you were assistant to several execs and clients, yet you were paid less than a Starbucks barista. Most of the employees that were promoted from the assistant position had to go to other companies for promotion. We were berated daily, asked to do tasks far beyond our job description on top of all our workload including writing cards for their 400 person roster of clients. No affordable healthcare offered, no 401K, some employees traveled 2 hours daily by bus because they could not afford a car. After suffering a miscarriage, I decided to leave. I can’t blame the job for losing my child, but it definitely did not help.” – Joyce, California (pseudonym)
“When I arrived to work the swing shift at Walmart – from late afternoon to late evening – I often found there were not enough staff to manage the number of customers lined up expecting service. I would find myself rushing between two sides of the deli counter unable to meet the demands on my own. I was afraid to ask some managers for help because it would only result in being yelled at for something else. I was often threatened with being fired or replaced. If you had any kind of emergency or if you had to take time off…you have to put in for time off. But when you do, they won’t approve it… they are always letting you know, ‘Well, you know, there are people who will take your job.’” – Miranda, California