Is it time for me to look for a new job?

This is long, so I will try to make it as concise as possible.

I have been interning for a women’s outerwear company comprised of two women since May- I graduated from college in July. Right after I graduated I took a job with a childrens’ wear company, that was supposed to be a design position, and on day one they said “actually we’re going to make you the book keeper.” They barely trained me and I had a feeling they were going to fire me since I kept making clerical errors… because I studied design, not accounting and they acknowledged when I left that they, “didn’t have time to work with me.” Anyway- they were paying me a decent amount of money though, so I took a semi-expensive apartment that I could afford on that salary.

So…I took a part time retail job at a store that wasn’t doing very well and couldn’t give me enough hours. Then, in October, my internship said they could give me a full time position at slightly less than my desired monthly salary, but they would give me time to do other things on the side.

Reality: In October I literally had TWO days off the entire month. I am not exaggerating. I was working with them during the week, and I sell our overstock at a market place over the weekend. So I told them, enough is enough, either you pay me more, or I’m only doing the market. Woman One says she’s going to slash my salary in response, that she never wanted to pay me in the first place. Woman Two says that’s not fair, I should get some days off, have a chance to get another job and they’ll keep me at my current salary until that happens. W2 tells me privately she’ll pay me out of her own pocket if W1 doesn’t agree, but W1 does so it’s fine.

I get another job and W1 is pissed! I reiterate to her, you slashed my salary…now I am only doing the market place and that’s it…sorry! She finally says that’s fine.

Now here’s the main issue with W1. She’s been having all these marital problems and has moved in with W2. She’s been taking her personal issues out on W2 and I. I have no idea what W2’s opinion is- they’re friends and W2 is hosting W1 in her home…W2 has indicated to me though that she’s only doing this outerwear stuff as a favor, and she’s told W1 off for behaving like a brat (presumably out of stress from her home problems).

W1 is fine about 75% of the time but she has a major attitude problem. I don’t want to make her sound 100% bad, because she has thanked me for my work, etc. but she throws fits about the most bizarre things and will start screaming and yelling if I do something, then she’ll want me to do something else, and forget what she’s already told me, and tell me off for doing it wrong- even if it’s something that can be easily fixed (she’s done this to W2 as well). She’s also from a very wealthy background and believes she’s the “social better” of most people and is constantly rolling her eyes and acting rude to service people, etc.

Today she acted pretty appalling, which is what made me think it’s time to look for something else. Long story short, she came to the market place with some new merchandise for me- she came an hour late after the market started getting crowded, so it was kind of awkward to begin with. But she came up to my table while I was standing to the side talking with another vendor…proceeded to roll her eyes and make faces at the vendor who was watching my table…so that vendor’s now looking at her like, “What the hell is that lady’s problem?” and W1 has the nerve, when I come back to the table, to say all the vendors are staring at me, because I asked upon approaching the table if we needed to sew labels on our coats! She says everyone’s staring at us because now they know they’re not hand made and I need to stop shouting things out like that. Then she proceeds to yell and snap at W2 and I…vendors are still staring…when they finally leave, those vendors inform me that my boss has a major attitude problem and when I tell them she thought they were all staring at me, everyone of them said they hadn’t heard what I said at all…that W2 was acting incredibly paranoid and “wigged out.”

One of the vendors was telling me that she wouldn’t put up with crap like that…but on the other hand, I need to consider that I’ve worked with them for 6 months now and I shouldn’t burn my bridges. And she’s right. Also money is a concern which was the point of me mentioning my apartment…this is a major source of support for me, although I do have a second job…I just can’t support myself on it. I just feel guilty because she’ll be like this then she’ll be nice…I’m thinking that I should get another job lined up, then have a chat with them and either take the other job or if they apologize, keep this one. I suppose I’m just looking for validation. My friends and family are sick of hearing about these two women.

Good grief you don’t have a job you have a soap opera.

First remember retail makes their money at this time of year. The money they make between now and December’s end often tides stores over the whole year.

You should expect more hours.

Second, you’re in the worst job market since the Great Depression. At our local Target, I went for Christmas help. Over 300 people showed up for FIVE jobs. That’s all they are hiring for extra Christmas help, just five jobs.

So whatever you do, don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.

You’re just starting out in life and there’s lots of time to change. I say work the hours, keep your eye open for other jobs, while your working and just wear it for awhile. Things will be better and as jobs open up you will be in a better positon.

Just adopt the attitude of minding your own business, don’t complain and be plesant, smile but don’t say more than you have to.

Yes…soap opera is an accurate way to put it!

I’ve started distancing myself…if they don’t respond to an email, instead of following up, I just let it go…and yeah, smiling and nodding with minimal contact is how I’m trying to deal with W1 at least…W2 I can have a conversation with, she’s usually with W1 though. W2 is actually the newest addition…up until around August a set of twins were W1’s business partners, but they all had a falling out, and W2 was the replacement.

The thing is- this isn’t retail per say…the market place is, but we’re actually in the manufacturing business. What they didn’t want to pay me for is doing sketches of our coats…the sketches get sent to the factory with the measurements so the factory knows what the hell they’re supposed to be making. The retail store I mentioned was a superfluous detail I suppose…I was just explaining why that didn’t work as a fall back job.

You’re right about the economy sucking and you’re right, I am lucky to be employed at least given the way the job market is…I don’t think they’re going to fire me, so I’ll look and then give them an ultimatum.

The thing is you know you need a new job. It’s 99% unlikely it’s gonna get better at this one.

But you don’t want to give into your anger and quit. They won’t care, they’ll just hire someone else.

So just get your resume in order and try to devote at least 8 hours a week to applying for other jobs. Preferably more but at least 8 FULL hours. Going online getting your resume out there.

Also look around for professional organizations and clubs. Join these, it’s so much easier to get a job if you know someone who is working there. You can get leads through these.

Just stay where you are for now. Most companies have finished their bugets for next year by now and won’t hire till after New Year’s anyway.

Keep telling yourself, “It’s just to pay the rent.” or “It’s better than being on food stamps”

Devote all your spare time to looking for another job. It’s clear this one is not a good long term investment

I appreciate the advice. I do a lot of networking through the market place. I also feel like NYC is not as affected by the economy as other places, so I’m hoping it’ll be all right. I’m meeting with them tomorrow morning.

Considering this your first job, and an internship at that, out of college, I vote for,“Suck it up, and make the best of it.” However, in the event something better comes along (like something that gives you weekends off!), jump on it!

Good Luck.

W1 as you’ve described seems to have issues. I’m not trained to say if they are related to chemicals, emotions, or imbalance, but my survival sense tells me you should smile nicely & keep a twice arms length distance from her.
Oh and if while you are at that meeting, should someone walk into a bathroom behind the conference table that you are sitting at, its perfectly OK to tell them “Shut the door please. Thank You!”. You can tell them that I told you its OK to.