Working While Black: I Was Fired Over A Ghirardelli Chocolate

June 22, 2017  |  

Image via BigStockPhoto

After my unemployment ended, I accepted a job through a temp agency to supplement income while I freelanced. The job was at the Pure Group, a digital and advertising company located Midtown-East by Central Park. Initially, I was apprehensive to temp there because their Glassdoor rating and reviews are side-eye worthy and questionable.

When started I was trained by another temp who also worked in the media industry. She found a new job at Hugo Boss and declined the Pure Group’s permanent job offer. After she left Pure Group, I managed the receptionist duties and sample outreach because they have an organic snack brand and sunscreen brand. Everything was going fine. No one bothered me but eventually, that changed.

Pure Group used to share their office space with another company who recently found their own space. To say thank you, the other company held a happy hour in Pure Group’s kitchen. They bought red wine, chips, dip and Ghirardelli Chocolates. Although I didn’t stay for the happy hour, I saw my supervisor and other staff members take part in the activities (i.e. eating the chocolate, chips, and dip). On Monday, the CEO of Pure Group came to the office and saw the Ghirardelli Chocolate on the kitchen counter top. He spoke to my supervisor who lied and told him I ordered the chocolate.

Afterward, my supervisor sent me an email stating that she would have to look over my Fresh Direct food orders when I order groceries for the company. Although I didn’t understand why she lied and felt the need to micromanage me, I replied “thank you for the update,” and also proceeded to refresh her memory regarding who brought the chocolate on the premises and remind her she was in attendance at the happy hour. Also, I didn’t work a full work week to order new groceries for the company so it would be impossible for me to order candy.

She never responded to my email but of course like every other passive aggressive White woman her behavior became cold towards me. Prior to this incident, no one told me that candy that is not under the Mars brand could not be on the premises. Which is understandable. But the principal of the matter is, my supervisor shouldn’t have lied on me.

After this incident, if I needed help around the office (since I was new) she would not help me. After working there for two weeks,  she told me this past Monday, that she hired someone last week Friday,  permanently, and it would be my last day.  I wrote two emails to the temp agency regarding her unprofessionalism, their lack of communication  and the trivial behavior I was exposed to. My mom told me to keep the peace but I feel as though when you work as a temp or receptionist, people don’t think you have adequate work experience prior to being placed in such a position, so, they feel like they can treat you any type of way.

I wanted to share my story because I feel as though many Black employees or even grads believe if they “keep the peace” they won’t upset people who clearly don’t have their best interest at heart and lack integrity.

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