I had been married for 7 years to a horrible drug addicted guy who was verbally, emotionally and financially abusive. He had never crossed the line to physical abuse, but I felt like it was coming. I finally decided enough was enough and if I didn’t leave it was always going to be that way it worse. So I filed for divorce. He didn’t take it well and put sugar in the gas tank of my car, acetone in my motor causing $4000 worth of damages, tried to get me fired from my job, contacted friends and co-workers and drug me through the mud, would call my mom’s house day and night just yelling at me over the phone etc.
When I was about 20, I spent one summer working for a very rich family who lived by Columbus Circle in NYC. For those of you unfamiliar with Manhattan, that is a very expensive area. The mom was a corporate attorney and the dad was VP at a fancy investment bank. They lived in a luxury apartment building on a high floor that had floor to ceiling windows with views of the entire city and the Hudson River. Their building had multiple rooftop lounges with flat screen TVs, a game room with 2 pool tables, ping pong, foosball, and more flat screens. It had a gym, kids playroom, garden, office lounges…the list goes on. These guys were rich af.
They had 2 kids, a baby girl and a 4 year old boy. Normally I was paid 18/hr to watch the baby all day and the boy when he got home from school. Over the summer, I got 20/hr for both of them all day. Hardly a valuable increase for double the work, but whatever. I was young and it was a good salary for a 20 year old so I just did the work anyway, even though the boy was very mean and poorly behaved due to a lack of attention from his constantly working parents. He would constantly hit and kick me, call me names, tell me he hated me, hit his sister, etc etc. For all his privilege, he was a very unhappy child.
Anyway, when school came back in session, it went back down to 18/hr. Kinda stingy but still, fine. One day, I came in on a weekend because they had a party to go to or something and I was watching both kids. When I asked for 20/hr, not only did they refuse, but they LET ME GO. No warning, no 2 weeks, no severance, nothing. This isn’t the worst story in here by far, but I was still astounded at how cheap these people were. Then, the mom had the audacity to text me later to tell me that they always paid me as much as they could and that I should have been more grateful! Bear in mind-this was a 5 hour shift. I was asking her for an extra $10! This b*tch spent at least $25 every morning ordering a Belgian waffle and an iced coffee for delivery (when she had waffles in her freezer and coffee in her cabinet). And she still had the nerve to act like she couldn’t afford an extra $10 for the woman raising her children. Her daughter called me Mommy.
Honestly I was being way too nice. It was perfectly reasonable for me to expect more money for more work. I did DOUBLE the work and asked you for a mere $10 extra. You spend more than that on your morning waffle, but won’t give it to someone who is helping raise your children? Refusing was your right, but to let me go last minute when I did nothing wrong and proceed to try to guilt me was very disrespectful. I needed that money for my rent. Thankfully I still live with my parents and they are understanding, but that might not have been the case.
I figured the only thing I could do was move far enough away that he couldn’t find me. I worked for the California Department of Corrections at the time, and luckily could apply to transfer to other facilities. I applied for several positions at places that were 2–4 hours away from our house. I had applied at a prison outside of the town I grew up in and got the job, but when you take a lateral transfer, your old job is allowed to hold you for 30 days do they can get a replacement. Just a day before they called me to offer me the job, I had accepted an interview at a different facility a few days later. I was tempted to cancel the second interview, but for some reason I didn’t.