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Ask the Bitches: "How do I push back when my workplace isn't taking COVID-19 seriously?"

Ask the Bitches Pandemic Lightning Round: “How Do I Push Back When My Workplace Isn’t Taking COVID-19 Seriously?”

Welcome to the Ask the Bitches Pandemic Lightning Round! We’re working around the clock to answer your questions about coronavirus, the impact of quarantine, and the recession of 2020.

Phew. Are y’all getting tired by all these articles yet? We’re not! We’re as tireless as a team of Amish-raised mules, and JUST AS ADORABLE!*

Today, we’re considering the health ramifications of a boss who just don’t give a damn about this global pandemic. Fun stuff!

We’ll be coming at you fast this week, answering as many urgent questions as we can. If you appreciate the extra effort, we would love a small donation on our Patreon. Thank you!

*The first part is a lie; the second one is not.

The question

I’ve been working as an hourly temp at a business since August. My supervisor wanted to hire me. She was beginning this process when COVID-19 hit. Now all hands are on deck.

All company employees who can work from home are. But my supervisor can’t get me a company laptop to work from home, and encouraged me to come to work. I have asthma, so I’m very aware of how careful I must be. I’m wary of how well they clean the office and how seriously some employees are taking this crisis.

Should I continue going to work? I want to keep saving, but I also want to keep myself safe. I’ll take any tips you have.

There are still some workplaces that aren’t taking this pandemic seriously. Hopefully their numbers are shrinking as quickly as COVID-19 cases are rising.

If you’re unlucky enough to be stuck working at one, let’s talk about how to handle it. It shouldn’t be your job to handle it! But in Corporate America, managing other people’s idiocies is always half the job!

From a pure physical health perspective, you shouldn’t take the risk of going in to work. But financial instability wouldn’t benefit your stress, immune system, or mental health. So we have to try to balance those interests. That’s the repulsive calculus of our reprehensible system, where losing your job also means losing your health insurance at the worst possible time.

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Lord, I pray to you today to deliver us from evil. And by evil, I mean coworkers who vaguebook.

Accepted a Coworker’s Social Media Friend Request? Yeah, You’re Gonna Regret That.

Facebook was born just as Piggy and I became seniors in high school. That made us the exact right age to experience Facebook as it was originally intended: a secret club made exclusively for college students to be extremely horny at each other.

Ummm yeah. It was buck-wild.

Scroll back far enough, and it’s like time traveling back to Studio 54 in 1978. Nothing but glitter and blow and Donna Summer rhapsodizing for seventeen minutes about a cake in the rain. Jokes so filthy I cover my mouth when I read them! Photos so embarrassing they can never see the light of day!

Is there a photo of Piggy and I clinking wine glasses while I’m giving her a lap dance while wearing nothing but a cowboy hat, a bra, and some fingerless leather biker gloves? Uh, YEAH, I’m pretty sure there is! (And before you ask, no—you shall never see them. Not even you, Patreon donors. I know we’ve shared some of our drunken karaoke with you in the past, but even we have limits!)

It was fun while it lasted. But alas, nothing gold can stay… First came the high school students. Then the general public. Friend requests crept in from younger kids who’d looked up to us. Coworkers. Professors. Bosses! Parents?! GRANDPARENTS??! Meemaw, no! You don’t need to see old photos of Piggy and I humping a statue of Abigail Adams!

So much about social media has changed since Pigs and I were young. But even though its place in our daily lives is pretty damn cemented, there still isn’t a clear path to avoiding the intrusive, awkward encounters with bosses, coworkers, and companies. The OG horniness persists if the platform persists (do NOT check your filtered messages, there be dragons). But it has expanded to includes bosses, coworkers, and companies who are horny for a peek into your private life. They’re thirsty as heck to leverage whatever they can learn about you for their own purposes.

Today we’re sharing some horrifying tales from the intersection of work and social media. Perhaps we can distill a little wisdom from the wreckage!

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Podcast Episode 001: "Should I tell my boss I'm looking for another job?"

Season 1, Episode 1: “Should I Tell My Boss I’m Looking for Another Job?”



That’s right. We’ve already teased this information, but it’s true.

Piggy and I stared deeply into each other’s eyes, communicated our love and dedication from a realm beyond words, pulled the condom off, and decided to make a podcast baby together. Here’s hoping it inherits her lustrous hair and my mighty wrists, which can open any jar!

Listen above—or look for Bitches Get Riches in the podcast app of your choice!

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When your toxic, evil boss asks you to do something illegal, don't fucking do it. He can afford a better lawyer than you.

Are You Working on the Next Fyre Festival?: Identifying a Toxic Workplace

Ever had a dream job become a nightmare?

I did.

On paper, the job was everything I wanted and more. Sexy product with high growth potential; industry stars leading the initiative; the best Glass Door reviews I’d ever seen; snazzy downtown office with free snacks, free catered lunches, even beer on tap. I’d be working with a few beloved former colleagues, and oh, right—they were doubling my previous salary. I even got to interview and approve my own manager, who was hired after me.

This opportunity sparkled from every facet like a lovely jewel. I entered that job with this-close-to-literal stars in my eyes.

Wobble wobble.

Four months later, it was 8:05 a.m. on a Monday. I was lacing up my snow boots for the walk to the train station. And I couldn’t see the laces anymore because tears reduced everything to a wobbling blur. They were tears of pure dread. These tears had replaced the stars in my eyes and the job that had once thrilled me filled me with misery.

My train leaves at 8:31, I reasoned. It takes me twenty minutes to walk to the station. I have six minutes to kneel here and let the tears flow. Not the healthiest calculus.

I told myself I would give it a year. After all, I had known real hunger—I could do anything for a year. But I only made it to six months.

All my life, I’ve had instruction on how to identify people who want to abuse me. Peers who want to bully and backstab; husbands who want to beat and control; strangers who want to rape and kill. But nobody ever warned me about their institutional counterparts.

These are the hospitals that confound you with arcane billing procedures; colleges that frame their loans as special awards; police that may arbitrarily enforce or not enforce the law based on who you are; unscrupulous realtors who redline; vampiric MLMs who predate. The list ain’t short!

But worst of all, the place you are obliged to go for forty hours (or more) every single week: the toxic workplace.

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By the time I arrived at work, I was in control of myself, focused, and ready to rip throats out.

My Secret Weapon for Preparing for Awkward Boss Confrontations

I’ve had a lot of uncomfortable discussions with bosses. A few things I’ve told them that come to mind…

“You deliberately humiliated another employee on a group call, and that level of immaturity and pettiness is professionally unacceptable.”

Or…

“Your administrative assistant, whom you love like a son, says casually and openly racist things whenever you’re not in the room.”

Or…

“You need to pay me $20,000 more dollars.”

To be fair, I said that last one nicer. And I had some great PowerPoint slides to go along with it!

Unlike a lot of people, I am actually very comfortable with conflict. I would even say I thrive on it. (There’s no way to say that and not sound like an asshole, but I am what God made me: an ENTJ.) Of all people, I probably go into a confrontational situation with the least possible amount of anxiety.

Nevertheless, I need extra deodorant on those days. My hands shake. My voice trembles. Which I really, truly hate. It makes people think I’m nervous, when it’s more of an under-exercized-border-collie-looking-at-a-fat-city-pigeon-and-trembling-with-overwhelming-herding-instinct situation.

YA DAG CAUGHT MAH

Having a difficult conversation with your boss is really hard. They’re often terribly high-stakes. Depending on the nature of the conversation, you may feel like you’re ambushing your boss with new and unpleasant information. Your life and livelihood may feel like they hang in the balance. It is not easy to stay chill.

That’s why I have a secret weapon for going into such conversations.

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