Corporate Job Discrimination

Bad News Bruce - Posted on 11 February 2014

Leontyne Smith/ POOR News Network

I graduated from college at San Francisco State University in May 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree. After I graduated, I went to almost seventy job interviews for different counseling positions and I was never hired. I decided to apply to Macy’s corporate store in the United States. I got an interview and was hired on the spot as a sales associate. I was only in the system on the internet because I had applied a year before and was not hired, but they had kept my information. I was nervous before the interview, but I went above and beyond by studying the history of Macy’s. Macy’s claims to support the community by donating to various organizations. However, this doesn’t make sense because the people they supposedly help are discriminated against when they are hired. This seems like hypocrisy to me, because some employees are not treated with simple respect no matter how hard we try. Furthermore Macy’s is apparently known to be racist and judgmental with horrible customer service.

My first day of work I was thrown out on the floor with no training with the handbag department, and I had to guess and follow what other people were doing. I was picked on by my manager. She told me to sign up five customers for a Macy’s credit card each day even though I wouldn’t receive commission because I wasn’t considered a permanent worker. The manager made me do things that weren’t under my job title as a sales associate. A sales associate just stays at the register and makes sales. Apparently she wanted me to handle merchandise, recover the floors, work in different departments during the day, and stay for the seventy two hour period they had over the weekend at Macy’s during the holidays. She would say things like, “I am going to give you the dirtiest job in Nine West section,” but I never complained. I was stationed at accessories doing my overnight shift when she called the phone at four o’clock in the morning to see how many sales I had made. Not, “are you okay? it is really late and you are doing the seventy two hour clock for handbags.” Nonetheless I talked to my supervisor.

One day, I was purchasing a purse for myself, and manually discounted it because I could not make the coupons go through. After that, I was called into the security office, and interrogated. That same night there was six thousand dollars worth of counterfeit money in the registers, but to my knowledge that crime was not even investigated. They were more worried about me discounting the Betsy Johnson holiday purse! Reflecting on this experience with my POOR magazine family, I realize they did not want me because I was perceived as a threat to the manager and the other ladies at Macy's. I am a threat simply because I have a degree and other experience. I followed what the POOR family told me to do and wrote a grievance.

I asked the manager if he could lay me off as opposed to being discharged so I could file for unemployment. But because I had filed a grievance he felt it was a form of disrespect and he felt I was being pushy. I only wanted justice for something I deserved. When they called me in for questioning they said there are secret service agents in Macy’s. I believe they were assuming I was a criminal especially because I am young and black. I reported my mistake myself and offered to pay the half price to sum the total of my purse. Instead of giving me another chance they put me on suspension without pay and I had to talk to the manager who I filed the grievance against. Eventually, I was formally fired. The grievance is not really going to make a difference, but at least I tried to fight back. I feel unprivileged because I have not been hired for a job in a year, and I was only hired as a seasonal employee. POOR magazine recognizes these problems. I am fortunate to have the chance to express myself. Hopefully someone can learn from what I just went through dealing with the corporate world. It’s hard, because I’m conscious and aware of the problems with the corporate world, but I need money so therefore they keep us slaves.


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