Ask the Bitches: I can't stand another day at my toxic workplace! Can I walk away without a new job lined up?"

Bonus Episode: “I Can’t Stand Another Day at My Toxic Workplace! Can I Walk Away Without a New Job Lined Up?”

We come to you today with a VERY SPECIAL EPISODE™ of the Bitches Get Riches podcast. And it features a VERY SPECIAL GUEST™: Diania Merriam, owner and founder of theEconoMe Conference!

The question

As you guys know, we rarely have guests on the Bitches Get Riches podcast (unless they’re Santa Claus, of course). It’s a lot of pressure to keep up with our 15-year-long friendship of inside jokes and internalized poor taste. We can’t inflict that on just anyone.

But Diania is exactly the sort of brave bitch we knew could handle the challenge. And she’s got some personal experience with the question at hand! So we welcomed her onto the podcast to answer this question from an anonymous listener:

I work in an extremely toxic work environment. My boss is disrespectful, the whole company culture is abusive, and HR has been utterly dismissive of my issues. Walking in the door every morning feels like I’m entering Shawshank Penitentiary. I’m at the end of my rope and I know I have to leave to save myself. But I haven’t been able to land a new job yet. I have some savings, but I’m definitely not financially independent. I’d describe it as a small amount of ‘Fuck You Money,’ but not enough to live on for more than maybe 4-6 months. Should I quit? Even before I have a new job lined up?

– An anonymous Tumblr follower

Diana floored us with a bunch of great insights. (Did you know if you quit your job because of a hostile work environment, you’re still entitled to collect unemployment? We freakin’ didn’t! Huh, I wonder why workplaces don’t mention that fact more often?) Tune in to listen to the three of us discuss the answer.

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Should You Trust Your Human Resources Department?

Ah, the human resources department: the Dolores Umbridge of work departments!

From Catbert the Evil Director of Human Resources to Office Space‘s The Bobs, HR as an institution has a less than stellar reputation. Some consider it downright evil.

But why? Why does HR get such a bad rap? Especially when they’re supposedly set up to provide employees with recourse against shitty coworkers and a direct pipeline to the EEOC?

Is HR really all that evil? And more importantly… should you trust them?

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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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