coworker trying to get me made redundant

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shortfatbalduglyman
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27 Apr 2023, 11:42 am

Been working at Home Depot as Lot Attendant since October 2020. Tattletale Tom has been working there longer. Once in a while, he made a couple isolated remarks that I was not lifting enough merchandise, but I let it go, because "pick your battles" and "freedom of speech". He was just "being true to himself" and "doing his best". Then in May 2022, the front end supervisor called Tattletale Tom and me on the walkie talkie to come load some drywall. Tattletale Tom started throwing down the drywall so quickly, and I tried to keep up, but I was too slow. Tattletale Tom stormed off in a fit of rage. The customer and I tried to load the drywall. It was too heavy. The customer said "thank you", so I returned to pushing carts. A couple minutes later, the supervisor called Tattletale Tom and me on the walkie talkie again. Tattletale Tom had the nerve to tell the supervisor that "I did everything. He didn't even get his hands on it." (Semantically correct, but he omitted the part where he was throwing the drywall so quickly that I tried and could not touch them.) "Tom stormed off. The customer and I tried to finish loading, but it was too heavy", I told the supervisor. Tattletale Tom grunted in disgust. "It's on videotape," I said. "(My name), how do you feel about loading? Does your back hurt?", the supervisor asked. "I have a doctor's note that I am not allowed to lift over fifty pounds", I said. "Thank you. Thank you," the supervisor said, so I returned to pushing carts. Tattletale Tom was absent for the next 12 days or so.

December 2021, Tattletale Tom had the nerve to tell the supervisor that I had pushed zero carts between 10 and 11am, but I was scheduled for Garden that day.

In August 2022, Tattletale Tom had the nerve to tell me "Haven't seen you in a while", but I was clocked out for lunch.

Home Depot has signs that says that it is on videotape. However, Reddit (which is not always correct), says that the managers do not have a right to access the videotapes. Only the Loss Prevention (and cops. There are at least 2 cops at Home Depot at all times) has access to the videotapes.

Tattletale Tom appears to be friends with a lot of people at Home Depot, some of which have termination authority. Almost everyone at Home Depot appears to me to be from the same Myers Briggs Type: Extroverted Emotional Judgmental. Meanwhile, I am an autistic introvert, and I am not friends with anyone at Home Depot.

Everyone, including the manager, who has termination authority, has subconscious biases. Home Depot can do anything it wants, legal or illegal, and the only way to stop it is to win a civil lawsuit. Home Depot has its own lawyers. Merely having the moral high road does not guarantee the outcome.

Tattletale Tom often wastes hours on end standing around talking, on the phone, or away from the parking lot. Lot Attendants Steve and Javell often waste over 30 minutes loitering in the sod, but I did not tattle on them, because of fear of "whistleblower retaliation".

Tattletale Tom might be having sex with the manager.

The state that I live in "at will" employer. According to the Home Depot disciplinary policy, Home Depot will not just fire someone because "it's a bad fit." (When I worked at UCSF, it had the nerve to make me redundant, because "It's a bad match".) There has to be documentation (a paper trail). However, if it is Tattletale Tom's word against mine, the manager can believe anyone they want. Home Depot is on videotape, except the breakroom, bathroom, offices, and training room.

Thus far, I have not noticed Tattletale Tom micromanaging anyone except me, but not all part of the parking lot visible from all part of the parking lot. Nobody besides Tattletale Tom, not even the supervisor or manager, micromanages me.

Sometimes, I get paranoid that Tattletale Tom will do something extreme, like plant some merchandise in my purse and tell the cops I shoplifted.

I am just one person, I have zero "friends", I am autistic, and et cetera. There is always something Tattletale Tom, or someone else, could do, to outnumber, overpower, or outsmart me.

Tattletale Tom has been telling me things like "the garbage is over there", which I already knew. But I was pushing four shopping carts and tried to add a fifth one, but failed, because the fifth shopping cart contained too much garbage. "It didn't fit the other four," I said. But at the time, Tattletale Tom was standing around on the phone. (hypocrite).

(There are plenty of other examples, like the one about "the garbage is over there".)

Home Depot's disciplinary policy says that when a manager or supervisor has to tell the employee when the employee gets written up. Thus far, nobody has told me that they wrote me up. However, Home Depot does not always follow the official policy, so I am paranoid that someone already wrote me up and did not tell me.

When two parties have a competition, the one with more resources wins. (skill, authority, $$, personality, friends). The outcome does not depend on logic, factual accuracy, legality, or morality.

Home Depot does not require "due diligence", "due process", "fair trial" or anything like that. The training videos say "you are always good with Home Depot as long as you are doing your best." The managers sometimes acted in ways that, appeared to me, like they did not have good critical thinking skills.

Tattletale Tom hasn't done anything illegal, that I know of, thus far. But every time Tattletale Tom has the nerve to micromanage me, I am afraid of getting written up.

Plenty of other jobs had the nerve to make me redundant, so I am afraid that no other job will ever hire me again.



MatchboxVagabond
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27 Apr 2023, 6:08 pm

Any time something like this happens, one of the first things to do is to make sure to document, all of it, the more documentation you have from the time that it happens, the harder it is for the business to ignore it and the harder it is for the other party to get away with that garbage. And in case that you are fired as a result, it also gives an attorney a bunch of ammo for going after the company for failing to provide an environment free of harassment and discrimination if they failed to do anything to stop it.

Having the documentation makes it possible to go to HR and get something done as that pile of documentation doesn't just incriminate the other employee, it's also potential legal liability if the company can't get it to stop.



Lecia_Wynter
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30 Apr 2023, 8:24 am

That job sounds like walking on eggshells. Sounds quite testing having to work like that with someone watching over your shoulders. All the more reason for there to be UBI and robots to replace most jobs.

Anyway, you might consider copypasting your post and sending it to a different Home Depot, maybe you can ask for a transfer and maybe they may even give you a promotion.



ezbzbfcg2
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30 Apr 2023, 8:51 am

MatchboxVagabond wrote:
Having the documentation makes it possible to go to HR and get something done as that pile of documentation doesn't just incriminate the other employee, it's also potential legal liability if the company can't get it to stop.


I'm sure you mean well, but what exactly constitutes "documentation"? Are you saying the OP should write out what's happening? That's no different that their word vs. the company.

HR is not on the employee's side. HR exists to serve the company.

A lawyer will simply tell you, "It's at-will employment, there's nothing we can do. Not taking the case." The concept of documentation, whatever that even means, is meaningless. Unless you have some personal example. People believe the myth that writing things down gives "ammo" to a lawyer. That's NOT the reality of the world.



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30 Apr 2023, 9:05 am

ezbzbfcg2 wrote:
MatchboxVagabond wrote:
Having the documentation makes it possible to go to HR and get something done as that pile of documentation doesn't just incriminate the other employee, it's also potential legal liability if the company can't get it to stop.


I'm sure you mean well, but what exactly constitutes "documentation"? Are you saying the OP should write out what's happening? That's no different that their word vs. the company.

HR is not on the employee's side. HR exists to serve the company.

A lawyer will simply tell you, "It's at-will employment, there's nothing we can do. Not taking the case." The concept of documentation, whatever that even means, is meaningless. Unless you have some personal example. People believe the myth that writing things down gives "ammo" to a lawyer. That's NOT the reality of the world.

Oh I think they should just copy paste what they said and tell it to another home depot. Because according to youtube, HR can be the scum of society. So I think the best thing is to somehow just transfer to a different home depot



MatchboxVagabond
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01 May 2023, 6:33 pm

ezbzbfcg2 wrote:
MatchboxVagabond wrote:
Having the documentation makes it possible to go to HR and get something done as that pile of documentation doesn't just incriminate the other employee, it's also potential legal liability if the company can't get it to stop.


I'm sure you mean well, but what exactly constitutes "documentation"? Are you saying the OP should write out what's happening? That's no different that their word vs. the company.

HR is not on the employee's side. HR exists to serve the company.

A lawyer will simply tell you, "It's at-will employment, there's nothing we can do. Not taking the case." The concept of documentation, whatever that even means, is meaningless. Unless you have some personal example. People believe the myth that writing things down gives "ammo" to a lawyer. That's NOT the reality of the world.

Please don't spread this ignorance. That's not what at will means and you should know it. At will has limitations and documentation does make a difference if the reason for the firing was illegal.

If that's the response you're getting, find a competent attorney.



ezbzbfcg2
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02 May 2023, 5:34 pm

MatchboxVagabond wrote:
Please don't spread this ignorance. That's not what at will means and you should know it. At will has limitations and documentation does make a difference if the reason for the firing was illegal.

If that's the response you're getting, find a competent attorney.

I'm not sure why you're so critical and calling me ignorant. Do you have any personal experience? It sounds like OP has a better grip on the reality of the situation.

In order to argue wrongful termination in violation of at-will employment, OP would have to prove they're a member of a protected class and that their termination was a result of discrimination based on their protected status, and then they'd need a lawyer to agree to take the case.

If a person has enough money, they can hire an attorney and keep paying them to build a case. Maybe they'll win, maybe not. Either way, the lawyer is getting paid. Given that OP works in retail, he'd probably need a lawyer working on contingency. (If the lawyer wins the case, he keeps a cut. If he loses, he eats his losses. It's a gamble, and many lawyers won't take on the case if they don't think they can win anything from it.)

In retail, there really isn't usually an on-site HR department accessible to employees. And HR ultimately works to serve the company. So there's no "HR office" to report anything to, as if they'd care in the first place. And as is if they'd ever cooperate with an attorney even if an attorney were involved.

As horrible as the situation is, if the OP gets fired tomorrow, based solely on what has been said here, no attorney will take this case on contingency. So, even a personal journal becomes irrelevant if no lawyer will take the case. Even if one agrees to, the OP's diary isn't enough.

You still haven't explained what you mean by documentation. I agree if someone is injured on the job, and the company sends them to some clinic, they should keep the medical documentation the clinic gives them. That's an example of documentation that can be used in court. A personal journal? A report to HR? Yeah, totally irrelevant. I don't see how someone can have any kind of legal documentation against this workplace bullying (actually workplace mobbing).

Terms like documentation, ammo, and get a better attorney all sound like buzz terms from someone who's truly clueless and hasn't gone through these things. Count your lucky blessings. If it happens to you, that imaginary safety net that you think is there really isn't.



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03 May 2023, 7:43 pm

shortfatbalduglyman wrote:
"Tom stormed off. The customer and I tried to finish loading, but it was too heavy", I told the supervisor. Tattletale Tom grunted in disgust. "It's on videotape," I said. "(My name), how do you feel about loading? Does your back hurt?", the supervisor asked. "I have a doctor's note that I am not allowed to lift over fifty pounds", I said. "Thank you. Thank you," the supervisor said, so I returned to pushing carts. Tattletale Tom was absent for the next 12 days or so.

That last part makes it sound like “Tom” was suspended, or borderline quit.

All the same, he’s a bully and an unpredictable individual while there.

RIWJ = Reduction Interaction With Jerks

But often that’s easier said than done.

============

If possible, I would look for a better job in terms of pay or hours or schedule, location, conditions, etc. That way, the new job will be a win.

Job hunting is always a numbers game, and for those of us on the Spectrum, particularly so! :jester:



MatchboxVagabond
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03 May 2023, 10:32 pm

ezbzbfcg2 wrote:
MatchboxVagabond wrote:
Please don't spread this ignorance. That's not what at will means and you should know it. At will has limitations and documentation does make a difference if the reason for the firing was illegal.

If that's the response you're getting, find a competent attorney.

I'm not sure why you're so critical and calling me ignorant. Do you have any personal experience? It sounds like OP has a better grip on the reality of the situation.

In order to argue wrongful termination in violation of at-will employment, OP would have to prove they're a member of a protected class and that their termination was a result of discrimination based on their protected status, and then they'd need a lawyer to agree to take the case.

If a person has enough money, they can hire an attorney and keep paying them to build a case. Maybe they'll win, maybe not. Either way, the lawyer is getting paid. Given that OP works in retail, he'd probably need a lawyer working on contingency. (If the lawyer wins the case, he keeps a cut. If he loses, he eats his losses. It's a gamble, and many lawyers won't take on the case if they don't think they can win anything from it.)

In retail, there really isn't usually an on-site HR department accessible to employees. And HR ultimately works to serve the company. So there's no "HR office" to report anything to, as if they'd care in the first place. And as is if they'd ever cooperate with an attorney even if an attorney were involved.

As horrible as the situation is, if the OP gets fired tomorrow, based solely on what has been said here, no attorney will take this case on contingency. So, even a personal journal becomes irrelevant if no lawyer will take the case. Even if one agrees to, the OP's diary isn't enough.

You still haven't explained what you mean by documentation. I agree if someone is injured on the job, and the company sends them to some clinic, they should keep the medical documentation the clinic gives them. That's an example of documentation that can be used in court. A personal journal? A report to HR? Yeah, totally irrelevant. I don't see how someone can have any kind of legal documentation against this workplace bullying (actually workplace mobbing).

Terms like documentation, ammo, and get a better attorney all sound like buzz terms from someone who's truly clueless and hasn't gone through these things. Count your lucky blessings. If it happens to you, that imaginary safety net that you think is there really isn't.


I stand by what I said. I would suggest you actually do some research because this is in fact ignorant BS. If documentation is so worthless, then why is HR so obsessed with having their own documentation when they want to fire people?

They absolutely are not buzzwords and literally any avenue the OP takes other than complete capitulation is going to require or benefit from documentation of the who, what, where and when of what is going on to have the best possible shot at a good outcome. Attorneys need that sort of information when writing nasty letters to back off, they need it to know whom to subpoena and what questions to ask. The department responsible for enforcing EEOC violations needs that information to know if there's anything to investigate and which people to be asking questions. The unemployment insurance people need the information to help counter any claims that HR might be making to try and prevent benefits from being paid.

In short, it is ignorant to suggest that documentation isn't relevant or important. Of course, it's not perfect, but nothing is. Just because we're talking about an at will state does not mean that they can fire for any reason, it means that they can fire for any reason, provided the reason isn't on the list of reasons that they can't fire an employee. If an employee is fired in response to a campaign of harassment over a disability, that's not a legal basis for firing in any part of the US.

And yes, I have seen it play out both ways, once where I had the necessary information at my fingertips at the grievance meeting and saw the aftermath the next day when the visibly hungover district manager was at the building trying to get enough coffee into his system to be ready for the day. And not having the information when the employment security agency had ridiculous counterclaims from my former employer as to why I shouldn't be eligible for benefits.

You can choose to believe what you like but it doesn't make it any less ignorant. Attorneys and regulators work based in part on evidence. If you haven't got any evidence, there won't be a case, they may not even be allowed to file one even if you pay them to. Contemporaneous notes are something that is admissible in any of those situations, provided that you've got somebody that can testify to their accuracy under oath as relevant.



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04 May 2023, 4:40 am

MatchboxVagabond wrote:
I stand by what I said. I would suggest you actually do some research because this is in fact ignorant BS. If documentation is so worthless, then why is HR so obsessed with having their own documentation when they want to fire people?

HR can give any reason it wants to fire people. It can ignore the OP's harassment and say "We have documentation that OP is being lazy by not getting carts." The "documentation" they're obsessed with is really an excuse to fire an employee. They don't care about an employee's personal "documentation." And we're talking about a retail chain. Is there even an HR department on-site that the employee can report to?? It sounds like you don't grasp the situation.

MatchboxVagabond wrote:
They absolutely are not buzzwords and literally any avenue the OP takes other than complete capitulation is going to require or benefit from documentation of the who, what, where and when of what is going on to have the best possible shot at a good outcome. Attorneys need that sort of information when writing nasty letters to back off, they need it to know whom to subpoena and what questions to ask.

An attorney would have to agree to take the case in the first place. Based on what's presented here, unless the OP is willing to pay a lawyer to build a case, no attorney will bother with this.

MatchboxVagabond wrote:
The department responsible for enforcing EEOC violations needs that information to know if there's anything to investigate and which people to be asking questions.

What department??

MatchboxVagabond wrote:
The unemployment insurance people need the information to help counter any claims that HR might be making to try and prevent benefits from being paid.

This is actually the good news for the OP. If fired, the onus is on the company to prove termination was justified. Though it may vary state by state, in order to deny unemployment benefits, the company must prove misconduct on the part of the employee. Misconduct is very serious stuff, like attacking someone else, or destroying property, or theft. In this case, it seems unlikely the company could successfully argue misconduct, and the OP probably will get unemployment benefits if fired.

MatchboxVagabond wrote:
In short, it is ignorant to suggest that documentation isn't relevant or important. Of course, it's not perfect, but nothing is. Just because we're talking about an at will state does not mean that they can fire for any reason, it means that they can fire for any reason, provided the reason isn't on the list of reasons that they can't fire an employee.

And what are those reasons? What the OP is going through sucks, but if he gets fired tomorrow, based on what's presented here, there's no violation of at-will employment on the employer's part. I listed the reasons, mainly proving the employee is being discriminated based upon being a member of a protected class, and finding a lawyer willing to take the case.

MatchboxVagabond wrote:
If an employee is fired in response to a campaign of harassment over a disability, that's not a legal basis for firing in any part of the US.

Yes, arguing discrimination over being disabled is something that could be the basis for a lawsuit. It is a legal basis. But a lawyer would have to agree to take the case, and documentation would have to be more than a diary. More like third-party medical records confirming a disability. Then finding a contingency lawyer willing to argue discrimination based on established disability.

MatchboxVagabond wrote:
And yes, I have seen it play out both ways, once where I had the necessary information at my fingertips at the grievance meeting and saw the aftermath the next day when the visibly hungover district manager was at the building trying to get enough coffee into his system to be ready for the day.

This had nothing to do with hiring an attorney or finding one to work on contingency.

MatchboxVagabond wrote:
And not having the information when the employment security agency had ridiculous counterclaims from my former employer as to why I shouldn't be eligible for benefits.

What's the employment security agency? Sounds like you're talking about unemployment, a different animal than filing a lawsuit against a company.

MatchboxVagabond wrote:
You can choose to believe what you like but it doesn't make it any less ignorant. Attorneys and regulators work based in part on evidence. If you haven't got any evidence, there won't be a case, they may not even be allowed to file one even if you pay them to. Contemporaneous notes are something that is admissible in any of those situations, provided that you've got somebody that can testify to their accuracy under oath as relevant.

I'm not "choosing" to believe anything. I have personal experience and can share stories if you like. I don't like the propagation of ignorance and wishful thinking. I'm with you in spirit, the reality of the world sucks. But, if documentation means "a personal diary of injustice," then the OP doesn't have a case. HR will use their "documentation" to fire a person, doesn't care about the "documentation" of the person they're firing. Finding a lawyer to work on contingency is difficult without third-party documents (medical records, police reports). So far, it's OP vs. Home Depot. HR is part of Home Depot, the adversary. There's no third-party documentation.

I do think it's a good idea for the OP to keep notes for his own records, but that's all meaningless to a lawyer. Grievance meetings with the company and trips to the unemployment office are NOT what I'm talking about. I'm talking about hiring a lawyer to build a case. Difficult to do without money; very, very hard to find one to work on contingency based on what's presented here.

Quite frankly, it's a bunch of wishful thinking and buzzwords with you. You mean well, but you're misleading the OP. From what I gather, you've never tried contacting an attorney over wrongful termination, but you're a self-proclaimed expert? The security net you think is there is just a myth.

Also, no attorney will write "nasty letters" unless they agree to take the case. OP doesn't appear to be in a financial position to hire a lawyer. Lawyers are most interested in their cut and what they can get out of a case. There's no incentive for a lawyer to go the contingency route on this one. Truth.



MatchboxVagabond
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04 May 2023, 6:46 am

I've got better things to do with my time. If you're going to take this personally, that's really on you. Perhaps work that out with a therapist. But, as I've outlined, the alternative is to do nothing and just give up, which isn't a viable strategy. People can and do win these cases from time to time and the main reason that it's as unusual as it is, is that people don't even try for one reason or another, or they haven't done the work of creating the documentation and collecting the evidence that they can before it's destroyed or lost.



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05 May 2023, 6:17 am

MatchboxVagabond wrote:
I've got better things to do with my time. If you're going to take this personally, that's really on you.

I like to discuss truth and facts. If someone has something better to offer, I'm all-ears. I have personal experience. I know the REALITY. I can't sit by and watch ignorance being propagated (no matter how well-intentioned).

MatchboxVagabond wrote:
Perhaps work that out with a therapist.

Bzzzz.

MatchboxVagabond wrote:
But, as I've outlined, the alternative is to do nothing and just give up, which isn't a viable strategy.

What the OP can do:

1) Try and transfer to a different Home Depot (as someone mentioned).

2) Get fired and apply for unemployment.

3) Hope that the higher-ups dislike the jerk manager and are looking for a reason to get rid of him (that was the saving grace in your case, MatchboxVagabond). It's a gamble, but if someone above the OP's manager dislikes said manager, this can be a reason to get rid of the manager. If the higher-ups are cool with the manager, OP is out of luck.

4) OP can bide his time and hope the manager quits / gets fired / gets transferred. Ditto for the harassing employee.

5) OP can do nothing.

I don't like ignorance, and people making generalities without comprehension/experience. I think you mean well, but you're setting the OP up for disappointment. No contingency lawyer will take this case. Many will give free consultations and flat out say, "There's no money in it for me." Sucks, but it's reality.

MatchboxVagabond wrote:
People can and do win these cases from time to time and the main reason that it's as unusual as it is, is that people don't even try for one reason or another, or they haven't done the work of creating the documentation and collecting the evidence that they can before it's destroyed or lost.

Bzzzz.

Most people can't even get a lawyer to take on such a case. It's not because "they haven't done the work of creating the documentation," it's because no lawyer will take this case. And it's not that they "don't even try for one reason or another." They try, and are turned away by lawyers.

I guess it's easier to fault others without comprehending the realities behind the scene. But I can't allow platitudes and piss-poor advice to prevail.

I've got better things to do with my time.
Find a better attorney.
Talk to your therapist.
Haven't done the work.
People don't try to take on lawsuits for some reason.
Ammo.
Documentation.


All meaningless fluff, buzz terms, stock phrases. Not applicable. I will call out BS when I see it.



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05 May 2023, 7:46 am

Are there any unions for employees of the Home depot company? Unions are a big thing in my country and they side wirh the workers in cases like this.


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05 May 2023, 9:02 am

Pick another job. A mere forklift cert will put you above "Tom the mong" in employability and are easy to get while being somewhat related to what you do now.

It would drive me nuts being around someone like him. It sounds like a twaty thing to say, but Tom's job is unskilled so I don't know where is ego is coming from when weighing up his job Vs yours.



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14 Sep 2023, 10:32 pm

Nades wrote:
Pick another job. A mere forklift cert will put you above "Tom the mong" in employability and are easy to get while being somewhat related to what you do now.

It would drive me nuts being around someone like him. It sounds like a twaty thing to say, but Tom's job is unskilled so I don't know where is ego is coming from when weighing up his job Vs yours.


____________________

Been looking for a job for over a year. A couple phone interviews. A couple in person interviews. Zero offers.

Tattletale tom's ego could come from many different sources. Just because his (and my) jobs are unskilled labor that any old monkey, doesn't prove that his ego doesn't come from his job

Other jobs could have other precious lil "people" just like tattletale tom or other worse things about the job. Sometimes there is no way to know all the bad things about the job until you work there. Research is better than nothing but only goes so far.

Tattletale tom had the nerve to tell me yesterday "why are you here? You push a couple of carts and disappear. If you don't want to work here, work somewhere else.". As usual, he approached me, not vice versa. He and I were both pushing carts. I wasn't doing anything bad or wrong and I wasn't bothering him or anyone else.

Home Depot hires convicted felons. Plenty of employees appear to have psychiatric symptoms, big muscles and big mouths. Not many employees have critical thinking skills. I work in the middle of a homeless encampment, not in an office.

If I tattle on tattletale tom, I am afraid that his numerous lil cronies will take out revenge on me by exterminating me or physically injuring me.

Otherwise maybe tattletale tom is having sex with the boss and the boss is subconsciously biased in his favor

Just thinking about tattletale tom makes me want to cry, puke, quit, scream, and binge.

I don't understand why tattletale tom had not been made redundant thus far

s**t



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17 Sep 2023, 8:00 pm

shortfatbalduglyman wrote:
Home Depot hires convicted felons. Plenty of employees appear to have psychiatric symptoms, big muscles and big mouths. Not many employees have critical thinking skills. I work in the middle of a homeless encampment, not in an office.

Hi, you explain this very well. In fact, I wish our family, friends, and supporters better understood that for many of us on the spectrum, the “easy” jobs are hard, and vice versa!

Hey, I think it’s okay for you to break the social “rules” and not respond to the content of what tattle trouble tom is saying. For example, an all-purpose, neutral, “Hey, how’re doing,” just like you might give any co-worker you barely know.

And if it seems like you need something to say, how about “I was over at Walmart, can’t believe how early they got their Halloween stuff,” just as a complete non sequitur.

Please note, if he’s used to getting a “rise” out of you, he may up the ante before giving up. Even with the most skillful neutral and minimal statements on your part.

And keep walking. Don’t let him cement you to a spot.

And good luck. Like you say, it is a s**tty situation.