If you guys get the chance, please read and spread this. (THIS TEXT WILL NOT SHOW UP ON YOUR BLOG!!) I had the privilege of going to school with Nicole and want this story heard. This is her experience and her letter to Abercrombie & Fitch.
“Not Pretty Enough” An Open Letter to Abercrombie From One Of Your Managers Part 1
My name is Nicole and I have worked for your company as an assistant manager at the same store in Tallahassee Governors Square Mall for two years now. You may know me better as one of the “uglies” who help run your stores. Over my two years as a manager, I have been shamed for my weight, hair, my face and punished for my refusal to shame my employees and co-workers for those same reasons. The fact I have recruited and had nine managers hired means nothing to this company. That I was bullied into running my store for three months during the highest grossing time of the year (Black Friday/Christmas) without store manager title or pay is mere hogwash since my look doesn’t fit the narrow ideal that Abercrombie & Fitch covets above all else. My contributions to this company have been large, coming out of pocket to travel to Lakeland, Florida over $600 and working 57 hour work weeks when managers quit en masse. Despite all this and also being awarded by the office of Diversity and Inclusion for various contests, at least two times that I know of my direct supervisor has been told that I don’t have the “look” to be promoted in the company. Put frankly (and in the words of one of my many District Managers) I am not pretty enough.
I write this as an attempt to get Abercrombie District, Regional and Home Office officials to look inward at their own behavior and at the egregious behavior they ardently protect, see the error that is present at the heart of this company and start changing it.
Abercrombie & Fitch has much to address in terms of professionalism and the many forms of bullying that plague this company. Just imagine that you show up to a job interview; nervous, sitting in a store with pulsating music and stills of shirtless man-children staring down at you. Imagine reviewing potential interview questions in your head when you receive a text message informing you that the person interviewing you won’t be there. That was my reality – three times. On the fourth attempt my then District Manager and the Store Manager finally got it together and my ten minute interview commenced – standing outside the upstairs Abercrombie as people brushed by us. I remember being asked why I liked Hollister and what diversity meant to me. Nothing was written down and I was dismissed. A week later, still wondering if whatever transpired was even real; my cell rang and I got an offer. My strange journey with the company had begun.
My first store manager was short lived. She left the job after a few weeks to become a schoolteacher. The second however, was the culmination of all the bad behavior cautionary human resource videos are made of. I mean it was bad. Under her I experienced some of the most foul treatment I have experienced in my life and being the loser who was pushed down the stairs in high school, my threshold for enduring such behavior is high. We will call her Mori.
A week after I completed my Manager in Training program Mori came into the picture and the following week was a “floor set” where we essentially rebuild and refold the entire store over the course of two weeks. Since two managers had quit in the weeks prior I was put in charge of that task and made Visual Manager. During the floor set Mori would withhold my breaks, restrict me from leaving work even after completing my tasks and even tried to force me to work off the clock. Then came October 17th 2012. A day I won’t forget. This was the day we were to walk through the floor set with the District Manager. Before the District Manager even came out to walk us through, Mori took me to the front table and asked me if I knew what she thought of my two weeks worth of work. I asked. Instead of using her words she reached out and swiped the piles of clothes on the floor. Then she proceeded to inform everyone within earshot how I was the worst manager she had ever seen and the entire floor set was trash. The District Manager did not share that sentiment after she came out and went through it all but when she left Mori told me not to believe what I was told and reassured me I was still the worst. Confused, exhausted and humiliated I went outside and cried. I remembered this day in particular because it was also my birthday.
This ordeal was pretty bad but it was by no means Mori’s worst. Later I recruited my first Manager in Training. She was a fun Venezuelan American girl with a good heart and a strong Miami accent. Mori almost immediately gave her the nickname “Chihuahua”. She then took this a disgusting step further. While we were recruiting Mori proudly showed me picture of a Chihuahua that she had programmed to show up on her phone every time my Manager in Training called. This was at work. I called to report this to Human Resources and they assured me that they handled the situation and would stop the new manager from being singled by the store manager but unfortunately Mori didn’t learn. My Manager in Training (MIT) at one point left her store keys at the register. Instead of Mori informing the MIT the current company policy calls for managers to keep their keys on them at all times; she took the teachable moment and turned it into the most abysmal display I have witnessed professionally. There were multiple levels of idiocy that one has to go through to take someone’s keys and hide them. Then to take it a step further tie a string to those keys then put a peg in the ceiling to attach the string that hold those keys – and then hang those keys over the toilette. But don’t worry, Mori was always one for the most thorough display of bullying, so for the final touch she attached note that read “NEXT TIME YOU WON’T BE SO LUCKY”. The implication was clear that next time the MIT would find the keys inside the toilette bowl. The MIT was obviously upset and wanted to quit. I had no choice but to talk to Mori and tell her that we were not going to conduct business that way. She insisted that it was only fair because her own manager in Tampa had put her keys inside a toilette and Mori had been forced to fish them out. I also reported this to HR but the madness continued.
Mori didn’t care so much for boundaries or privacy. I went through a tough time medically during her reign and ended up in the Emergency Room. Mori looked up the address to my parent’s house (where I was not living) in an attempt to drive by and “make sure I was really sick”. After I made contact with her to tell her the situation and informing her I would need some sick days; she told me that she hoped I would feel better by the next day so that I could work off the clock from 8pm to 4am to prepare for a Regional Manager visit. I obviously refused not having even had the time to remove the hospital band from my wrist and was punished heavily for that choice for weeks. This was reported to HR and I was told she was not to ask managers to work off the clock or on our days off/sick days but Mori did it again a month later while I was at my friend’s wedding on my day off. Feeling powerless since Mori always remained despite her huge shortcomings in functional adult behavior; I came in from the wedding and worked. Mori continued this reign of terror for a little over a year and eventually left on her own. Not before more egregious displays like throwing down nearby objects in anger, crying in the stockroom and telling me I was brand damaging because I couldn’t fit into the jeans. During her time I went down two pant sizes as to damage the brand less.
I will continue my story as I now realize as I write this that my story will not fit into a few paragraphs. Next time I’ll tell you how I ended up being instructed by a Regional Manager to apologize to every person in my mall with a Hollister bag for my models being so ugly and how I learned that I was also included in that ugly category. District and Regional Managers have earned themselves an entirely separate article for their actions. My goal is to say my piece and to create a change in this company. #ERASEEXCLUSION #NOBULLY
Whoever said this girl is ugly needs their eyes and ego checking. She’s beautiful. I feel so bad for her and her staff going through that
omg I had to reblog this!!!!
What Tree Did You Fall From?
Dec 23 to Jan 01 —- Apple Tree
Jan 01 to Jan 11 —- Fir Tree
Jan 12 to Jan 24 —- Elm Tree
Jan 25 to Feb 03 — Cypress Tree
Feb 04 to Feb 08 — Poplar Tree
Feb 09 to Feb 18 — Cedar Tree
Feb 19 to Feb 28 — Pine Tree
Mar 01 to Mar 10 — Weeping Willow Tree
Mar 11 to Mar 20 — Lime Tree
Mar 21 (only) ——— Oak Tree
Mar 22 to Mar 31 — Hazelnut Tree
Apr 01 to Apr 10 —- Rowan Tree
Apr 11 to Apr 20 —- Maple Tree
Apr 21 to Apr 30 —- Walnut Tree
May 01 to May 14 - Poplar Tree
May 15 to May 24 - Chestnut Tree
May 25 to Jun 03 — Ash Tree
Jun 04 to Jun 13 —- Hornbeam Tree
Jun 14 to Jun 23 —- Fig Tree
Jun 24 (only) ———— Birch Tree
Jun 25 to Jul 04 —— Apple Tree
Jul 05 to Jul 14 ——- Fir Tree
Jul 15 to Jul 25 ——- Elm Tree
Jul 26 to Aug 04 —- Cypress Tree
Aug 05 to Aug 13 — Poplar Tree
Aug 14 to Aug 23 — Cedar Tree
Aug 24 to Sep 02 — Pine Tree
Sep 03 to Sep 12 — Weeping Willow Tree
Sep 13 to Sep 22 — Lime Tree
Sep 23 (only) ——— Olive Tree
Sep 24 to Oct 03 —- Hazelnut Tree
Oct 04 to Oct 13 —— Rowan Tree
Oct 14 to Oct 23 —— Maple Tree
Oct 24 to Nov 11 — Walnut Tree
Nov 12 to Nov 21 — Chestnut Tree
Nov 22 to Dec 01 — Ash Tree
Dec 02 to Dec 11 — Hornbeam Tree
Dec 12 to Dec 21 — Fig Tree
Dec 22 (only) ——— Beech Tree
Dec 23 to Dec 31 — Apple Tree
NOW FIND YOUR TREE
(Listed in alphabetical order)
Apple Tree (Love) — quiet and shy at times, lots of charm,
appeal, and attraction, pleasant attitude, flirtatious smile,
adventurous, sensitive, loyal in love, wants to love and be loved,
faithful and tender partner, very generous, many talents, loves
children, needs affectionate partner.
Ash Tree (Ambition) — extremely attractive, vivacious,
impulsive, demanding, does not care for criticism, ambitious,
intelligent, talented, likes to play with fate, can be very egotistic,
reliable, restless lover, sometimes money rules over the heart,
demands attention, needs love and much emotional support.
Beech Tree (Creative) — has good taste, concerned about its
looks, materialistic, good organization of life and career,
economical, good leader, takes no unnecessary risks, reasonable,
splendid lifetime companion, keen on keeping fit (diets, sports,
Birch Tree (Inspirational) — vivacious, attractive, elegant,
friendly, unpretentious, modest, does not like anything in excess,
abhors the vulgar, loves life in nature and in calm, not very
passionate, full of imagination, little ambition, creates a calm and
Cedar Tree (Confident) — of rare strength, knows how to adapt,
likes unexpected presents, of good health, not in the least shy,
tends to look down on others, self-confident, a great speaker,
determined, often impatient, likes to impress others, has many talents,
industrious, healthy optimism, waits for the one true love, able to
make quick decisions.
Chestnut Tree (Honest) — of unusual stature, impressive,
well-developed sense of justice, fun to be around, a planner, born
diplomat, can be irritated easily, sensitive of others feelings,
hard worker, sometimes acts superior, feels misunderstood at times,
fiercely family oriented, very loyal in love, physically fit.
Cypress Tree (Faithfulness) — strong, muscular, adaptable,
takes what life has to give but doesn’t necessarily like it, strives to be
content, optimistic, wants to be financially independent, wants love
and affection, hates loneliness, passionate lover which cannot be
satisfied, faithful, quick-tempered at times, can be unruly and
careless, loves to gain knowledge, needs to! be needed.
Elm Tree (Noble-minded) — pleasant shape, tasteful clothes,
modest demands, tends not to forgive mistakes, cheerful, likes to
lead but not to obey, honest and faithful partner, likes making decisions
for others, noble-minded, generous, good sense of humor, practical.
Fig Tree (Sensibility) — very strong minded, a bit self-willed,
honest, loyal, independent, hates contradiction or arguments, loves
life and friends, enjoys children and animals, a social butterfly,
great sense of humor, likes idleness and laziness after long
demanding hours at work, has artistic talent and great intelligence.
Fir tree (Mysterious) — extraordinary taste, handles stress
poorly, loves anything beautiful, can become depressed at times,
stubborn, tends to care for those close to them as well as helping
strangers, rather modest, hard worker, talented, unselfish, few
sexual relationships, many friends, doesn’t want foes,! very reliable.
Hazelnut Tree (Extraordinary) — charming, sense of humor, very
demanding but can also be very understanding, knows how to make a
lasting impression, active fighter for social causes and politics,
popular, quite moody, sexually oriented, honest, a perfectionist,
has a precise sense of judgment and expects complete fairness.
Hornbeam Tree (Good Taste) — of cool beauty, cares for its
looks and condition, good taste, is not egoistic, makes life as
comfortable as possible, leads a reasonable and disciplined life,
looks for kindness and acknowledgment in an emotional partner,
dreams of unusual lovers, is seldom happy with its feelings,
mistrusts most people, is never sure of its decisions,
Lime Tree (Doubt) - intelligent, hard working, accepts what life
dishes out, but not before trying to change bad circumstances into
good ones, hates fighting and stress, enjoys getaway vacations, may
appear tough, but is actually soft and relenting, always willing to
make sacrifices for family and friends, has many talents but not
always enough time to use them, can become a complainer, great
leadership qualities, is jealous at times but extremely loyal.
Maple Tree (Independence of Mind) — no ordinary person, full of
imagination and originality, shy and reserved, ambitious, proud,
self-confident, hungers for new experiences, sometimes nervous, has
many complexities, good memory, learns easily, complicated love
life, wants to impress.
Oak Tree (Brave) — robust nature, courageous, strong,
unrelenting, independent, sensible, does not like change,
keeps its feet on the ground, person of action.
Olive Tree (Wisdom) — loves sun, warmth and kind feelings,
reasonable, balanced, avoids aggression and violence, tolerant,
cheerful, calm, well-developed sense of justice, sensitive,
empathetic, free of jealousy, ! loves to read, and enjoys
the company of sophisticated people.
Pine Tree (the Peacemaker) — loves agreeable company, craves peace
and harmony, loves to help others, active imagination, likes to write
poetry, not fashion conscious, great compassion, friendly to all,
falls strongly in love but will leave if betrayed or lied to, emotionally
soft, low self esteem, needs affection and reassurance.
Poplar Tree (Uncertainty) — looks very decorative, talented,
not very self-confident, extremely courageous if necessary, needs
goodwill and pleasant surroundings, very choosy, often lonely, great
animosity, great artistic nature, good organizer, tends to lean toward
philosophy, reliable in any situation, takes partnership seriously.
Rowan Tree (Sensitivity) — full of charm, cheerful, gifted
without egotism, likes to draw attention, loves life, motion,
unrest, and even complications, is both dependent and
independent, good taste, artistic, passionate, emotional,
good company, does not forgive.
Walnut Tree (Passionate) — unrelenting, strange and full of
contrasts, often egotistic, aggressive, noble, broad horizon,
unexpected reactions, spontaneous, unlimited ambition, no
flexibility, difficult and uncommon partner, not always liked
but often admired, ingenious strategist, very jealous and
passionate, no compromise.
Weeping Willow (Melancholy) - likes to be stress free, loves
family life, full of hopes and dreams, attractive, very empathetic,
loves anything beautiful, musically inclined, loves to travel to
exotic places, restless, capricious, honest, can be influenced but
is not easy to live with when pressured, sometimes demanding,
good intuition, suffers in love until they find that one loyal,
steadfast partner; loves to make others laugh.
Dean Steed (via fawun)
Oreo O’s for dinner this evening :)