I have no doubt that every one of you consider
your lives extraordinary are not surprised to find that the most
commonly used word in speech is, "I" . We all meet unusual
people, and I am no exception. I'm sure by now, you've noticed that
the people in my life take on the feel of actors in soap opera.
My marriage adventures really began the morning after buying my
fiancée her engagement ring. We both worked for Frederick's
of Hollywood (yes, that Fredericks). Where we worked within Frederick's
and how we worked it not as important as who are employer was, or
rather one of their employment policies. Frederick's had a long
standing policy prohibiting relationships between employees with
in the same department. By our dating, then asking and Charlene's
acceptance of my proposal, we broke that policy.
As soon as she appeared for work with that ring on her finger
the troubles started. Once at work the rumors of her impending marriage
spread like wildfire among the employees and it wasn't long before
management discovered that it was me. I suppose that we could have
lied and denied it was me, but why lie about such an event. The
Human Resource director, Margo, and our supervisor Joanne agreed
that within the month remaining they would find us positions with
Every place I've ever worked there was politics involved, the
bigger the company the bigger the political intrigue. Something
should be said at this point regarding the politics at Fredericks.
Pay attention, because this is going to get real confusing, real
fast. Our direct supervisor, Joanne, wanted very much to follow
in the footsteps of the Vice-president, Susan. Joanne also had strong
feelings of a romantic nature for Susan . To this day, I do not
know if they were real feelings of love, lust, or just general power
climbing. Our VP did not return that affection above and beyond
casual conversation. While I believe she liked our supervisor ,
Susan just didn't return the same type of affection. Now, Susan
did have strong lustful and romantic feelings toward my fiancée.
Actually, the VP displayed lustful feelings for most of the female
employees as well as a strong and open dislike for men - verbal
abuse being a common place event. This stronger than most attraction
to my fiancée angered Joanne and fit will into the realm
of jealousy, at least I think so. She went our of her way to verbal
harrass and belittle Charlene, but refused to transfer her. I can
only assume this was to avoid annoying her love, Susan, who had
feelings toward my wife-to-be. Did all that make sense? I'm not
sure anymore. Even though I was there and watched it unfold like
a cheap dime-store novel, it still makes very little sense.
As the days slipped by, no new positions within the company emerged.
Like most large companies Fredericks has some of its operations
in a separate area of the city. About 2 weeks before our scheduled
marriage date, I received a call from our downtown corporate office
wondering why no one was applying to the open positions that were
sent out to the regional divisions . I discovered that since the
discovery of our marriage no one from our division was responding
to these notices of new positions available. The caller told me
that a position related to the same type of work I was doing had
been available but was filled from outside the company only a few
days prior. I gave up on the company and started scanning the want-ads.
Our marriage was to take place at Disneyland, the sight of our
first date. This was to be Charlene's second marriage, and she thought
it would be inappropriate to wear white. She had found a wonderful
purple dress in the Frederick's catalog . Paris her daughter refused
to wear purple if she had to participate in the wedding. Charlene
wanted very much for her to be in the wedding party, so they compromised.
Paris would wear a pink dress. While this was her choice, it made
the the wedding colors purple and pink, which just so happened to
be the colors of Frederick's. Many employees wanted to attend our
marriage, and we encouraged them to do so. The management at Fredrick's
became rather upset at this prospect. Joanne, Susan, and several
other upper management personnel informed all employees that anybody
who attended our wedding would be let go. It was to be a storybook
wedding. What a promotional opportunity! Two Frederick's employees,
the color scheme the same colors of Frederick's, with a Frederick's
wedding dress, getting married at the sight of their first date.
My last days at Frederick's were rather hectic. I was trying to
finish up projects I knew I would never see again, but they were
still my creations. One of those projects involved the manipulation
of data from another department, remittance processing. On the Friday
before the Monday our project was due, the remittance processing
supervisor, Delfin, called and informed me that his data was going
to be late, and that that would be fine because they didn't need
the data until sometime Monday. Since this was a mainly a project
between remittance processing and marketing, I thought nothing about
it and went about my day. The next morning as soon as I walked in
the door Joanne and Delfin were there breathing fire about how everybody
from Susan down was very upset about Marketing not getting their
data when they needed it. I explained that Delfin told me it was
only due sometime Monday. Joanne looked at him, and he told her
that he never told me any such thing. The finger of blame had passed
to Susan, to Joanne, to Delfin, and finally to me. In turn each
had blamed the next person in the chain. In my case there was no
one under me. I had no one to blame. I gave them their data, waited
until the end of the day and left, never to return again. I did
not give two weeks notice, I did not empty my desk. I was gone.
My wife's fun was only just beginning. Once I was gone I had hoped
that things would settle down for Charlene. There was now no reason
to transfer her. However, Joanne started to find fault with Charlene
about every detail of her job. Even going so far as to assign her
tasks outside the normal performance of her duties. Joanne blamed
her own failures on Charlene. I suppose it was a pattern to blame
those underneath you. When the mismanagement of Charlene's department
began to have drastic and noticeable effects Joanne claimed complete
innocence and instead claimed it was all Charlene's fault. The last
straw came when Joanne started to increase the physical contact
between her and Charlene. Perhaps it was just paranoia, who is to
say? Charlene gave her notice and quit.
In the week and months that followed Charlene and I discovered
that when new prospective employers called Frederick's for a job
reference Margo was giving them a great deal of false information.
Information that was very slanderous. Charlene and I both finally
found new jobs when Margo's statements became just too unbelievable
for any sane person to accept as real.