Full disclosure. W and I both knew of this rep group. We had worked competitively with them in the same industry for over a decade. They did not have a good reputation, nor were they well liked. But seeing as I had be looking for a career in Minneapolis since before we made the move, I decided to give it a try. You can't believe everything you hear, right?
Turns out, the rumors weren't true. The reality was much, much worse.
My second week on the job, my boss, one of the principles of the group, told me I was full figured and too big to fit in our lines (not true, I was a L), followed by stating that at his age he can say whatever the hell he wants. He also told me that seem week that he wasn't sure I was going to work out. Seeing as he had been in the office less than 3 days with me since I started, I wasn't sure what this was based on, but I was determined to prove him wrong.
A few weeks later I headed on my first business trip with the group, to LA for the fall '14 preview with one of our brands (the very same trip where I developed Trigeminal Neuralgia). Things seemed to go well, despite the searing pain in my face.
The next week I totaled my car. Which was far from awesome, but was made infinitely worse by my boss telling me that I need a car and that not having one is reason to let me go.A week later we had another sit down where we discussed whether or not I was able to handle the stress of the job. The stress of the job? Yes, that I could handle. The stress of a boss telling me I was fat every other week, a totaled car, a nerve disorder, and another threat of being fired? That was maybe a bit much. But I begged and pleaded for him to give me an opportunity to do the job and prove that I was a valuable part of the group.
Did I mention the time he told me that I was a "big girl" like the purchaser he was trying to send samples to, but where she was muscular and worked out, I was just big? That moment was not just shared with me and my boss, but with two of my office mates. I'd like to think we bonded over that moment.