— Chelsea ♥

On Tuesday, February 21, I arrived to work with a fierce and with a positive outlook, ready with the items I needed to make work less stressful - not just for myself but for everyone. I know this is naive of me, but it was how I felt. My DOT was running around trying to complete daily tasks and handle the member's certifications. At about 10:30 A.M, She was able to have a brief conversation with me regarding an issue that I was completely unaware of. The Friday that I submitted my letter of resignation, my former DOT and our Business Manager were having a screaming match in her office during the director's meeting. The screaming match had to do with a team member who was incapable of doing his job. This team member had been on staff long before I, but he never truly grasped his role. Apparently, my former DOT wanted him gone - but the Business Manager was set on keeping him.

My DOT had spoken to the business manager over the weekend, who somehow found out about my resignation. She never sent him my resignation because she wanted to talk it over with me first, but someone did. She said she had to try to convince him to talk to me and that by Monday, she felt comfortable that he would. I spoke to her about what we needed to fix what was broken around our staff, and she agreed and went to discuss it with the Business Manager.

By noon she entered the office in a huff and appeared visibly upset and frazzled. I was busy putting documents away, but I could tell from her body language that the talks were not going well. As I felt myself accepting what was to come, I had the feeling I wouldn't get to finish out my duties. So I did what I could and started to gather my personal items. My DOT came in and out several times, and finally, at 2:30 P.M, she entered the office with a look of horror, disgust, defeat, and anger. She stands at her office doorway, looking at me, and throws her arms in defeat. She says with a shaky voice, " You know something? I have never wanted to call anyone sexist or racist. I have never felt that I have had to. But the Business Manager is sexist. He's dismissed me and hasn't listened to a word I have said. Never in my life have I left so shitty to be working under someone like him. I'm trying to reason with him, get him to see that we need you here, I need you here. We can't do this without you. But he's made up his mind and can't give me a single reason as to why. I begged him to get rid of (C.J); I told him that you're the only person who knows our program, our website, and you're way more useful to me than C.J. He didn't want to hear it. I'm honestly disgusted by him. He won't even talk to you about why you're so upset. He doesn't care. He said, " I'll tell her to leave today so that you don't have to. " And I said, No, I'll do it. I'm not gonna let her think she's going to be able to finish out her two weeks."

After which, I could see her start to break down. I sat up in my chair and said, " Don't cry. Don't let them see you defeated. It'll be okay."

The Business Manager walked into my office at 3:15 P.M and gave me a letter, barely looked me in the eye, and said, thank you for your service. I said, " Thank you." I opened the letter that said I was to leave immediately. I was actually upset about this part. I knew that I needed at least two weeks to change things over, to show whoever was going to be taking my place how things would be done, to file things away. By being told to leave - everything I left out for the week wouldn't get done, thus making it seem like I wasn't good at my job.

For four years and three months, I worked at this place. I seldom complained. Even in my small, insignificant role, I was a force to be reckoned with. I was outspoken but polite—kind, but firm. I maintained and updated company files, program rules, company policies, and documents, worked as a signatory for the apprenticeship standards, and maintained the company training and union websites. I maintained all social media and public accounts for the training department. Created numerous tracking programs and databases for our training program, designed several print ads and online media ads, made evacuation plans for two training centers, and created numerous automation between various platforms. Managed and maintained all website calendars, member certifications, and training. I was salaried, making $37,440 before taxes and $30,108 after taxes. I worked 16+ hour days, every day, even weekends, and to have one man, one person - not even dignify my position with a conversation - to dismiss and belittle my role to nothing more than a replaceable pawn.

I later learned that the Business Manager was being pressed to cut someone from the staff to save money. I made it easy. I became a pawn in the plan of a man who I can count on one hand the number of times we had spoken. The realization that I was used - as a union admin - was the biggest insult to unions around the country.

Let me say this: I will not say that my union mistreated me. Contrary to that actually - my union loved and supported me. The actions of one man faced with egotism don't define my belief. I will continue to fight for what is fair and right. I got so much out of my career! My college was free! My health care was paid for. But no one escapes office politics - not even a union. So while I could be upset that I didn't get to finish out my job. I left with pride, dignity, and grace