Sorry if this is not exactly concise, but I think its important to get the right picture.
I worked as a Veterinary Technician in Pennsylvania. I was in a practice with 3 Vets: The owner "Tom" and two others, "Stacey" and "Erin". Stacey is currently married, not happily, but not persuing divorce or seperation. Stacey has admitted to Erin in the presence of other Veterinary Techs that she has been in a relationship with Tom. Tom has recently been filing or is divorced. Toms' sister "Kim" is the office manager. She has opperated other businesses which failed. She had difficulty keeping employees. There are over 15 employees working at the business. Other than the Tom (owner), I was the only male working there. There is no employee handbook in place including no written policies, sops, etc. There is on occasion a memo written here and there that are hung, requiring employee initials when an issue arrise that Kim does not agree with. I filled out no application, just handed in a resume
Not that it matters, but I am gay. My partners cousin works at the Vet. My neighbors sister works there. My pets have been there for over a year. I wanted a change in careers, sick of working call centers. I had paramedic experience which adapted well to the Vet field. When I met Kim, she thought my upbeat and open personality would be an asset to the business to liven things up.
Before starting, the cousin and sister both gave me insigt that it can be difficult working there at times. Kim is known to alter facts for the betterment of her own agenda. When I started, each employee had their inputs on things, but seemed timid to want to ever bring up issues maybe for fear of relatiation. I too learned quickly about the inner dramas of working with all females and noticed how difficult the office manager could be.
Stacey "remember a married vet dating the owner", as it seems, is " a little friendly with guys". Examples, when we would be in the room with animals and clients, as I am holding a dog, her hands might glide over mine as she smirks as she is using a stethescope. She liked the phrase "get down on that/this" There is a young women working there that brings in catchy slang from movies, shows, etc. Stacey seemded to like this one. She has commented to me that I am not really gay and that she could make me straight. Also, she made comment to a close friend of hers that is another vet tech that Tom doesnt think Im gay and that I really want to go wout with Stacey. At this years christmas party, she pulled her jacket from over her chest, revealing a lacey/thin black shirt and asked me "if I wanted to get down on this". I laughed when she did these things, and continuously showed concern that her boyfriend (tom) might fire me.
Speaking of slang from movies, etc. We used "thats hot" around the office. I also did some computer work around the office because of my degree. I came in for an hour one day I was off in order to clean out hte inside of a computer that was not working right the day before. I told kim I was coming in. After doing the work, I did not write in the time. The next day, Kim asked me "didnt you come in yesterday to do some computer work" I said yes but did it on my own time. She told me to write in on the sheet. "You should get pais for the time your doing things for us"
When I was hired I was advised that I would have a pay increase after 30 days. I had inquired about this with Kim but was told It wont come till the new year like everyone elses. Othere told me they were told similar, but turned out they had to wait. Along with this concern, I also inquired about the fact that the front desk workers were able to go out continuosly for breaks/smoke and techs never could. Also, our time card was a sheet of paper with our names on it with a grid where we used the honor system in recording our time. One employee especially would arrive 15 min late and make it appear that she was on time. Also would take longer lunches than what was documented. She was known by others as 'THE PRINCESS". Because of the cigarette issue occuring, techs wer not happy. I purchased candy cigarettes and went around to the techs offering them one so they could go out for their breaks. The fron desk people didnt like this.
2 days After bringing up some of these concserns to kim, I am called down to the office and repremanded for a few things. First Tom stated he heard me call Stacey hot. I was told sexual comment like this will not be acceptable. I also got told that coming in when I wasnt scheduled will not be allowed. I told Kim she knew about it and told me to fill in the time. All she said was that She told me to fill it in because of legal issues. But she forgot that she knew the day before I was coming in. I also got told about picking on the desk employees with the cigs. I told here I never directed any comments to them, only offered them to techs. I said its not my fault if they have guily consciouses. I also got told that its not my business to worry what is on the time sheet. I said I thought it was important to bring up possible theft. I mentioned that many techs have issues but seem affraid to raise them. I suggested to have a meeting with Tom. She ended our meeting and told me to tell Tom that we should have a meeting.
I asked stacey about me calling her hot, she never said anythign about it and didnt even think I called her hot. She recalls me saing "thats hot" at times. I never used that phrase again (and its not like I abused it)
At the end of one day, Tom kept all the techs behind and we bagan to address concerns. Kim walks in and gets defensive about some of the things said. Tom ends the meeting stating that he will talk to us individually.
On a day in mid September, I was at the front desk. Two men arrive to offer their service to the company to do payroll. I call to Kim and tell her that these two gentlemen have a proposition for her. There are three other employees near by, clients, and the two men.
On October 11, my Dog was in the facility for a neuter. At 6:39, I was in the exam room with erin, a client, another tech and two of the clients dogs. We were all laughing about this and that. She showed us pictures of her dogs dressed in christmas attire and commented that "in this one the dogs look tike they are in sexual posses". I walked her out to the desk. There were no other clients in the ofifce and Kim was at the desk. The client hears my dog barking I said thats my boy. "Whats wrong with him" I said: "he had a snip, snip, today" she asked what was a snip Snip. I replied "he had a de-ball-ectomy" She laughed and said "now thats cute". She left. Kim asked me if I knew her. I said just from the exam room, we were laughing about things in there. She asked if that was a good thing to say. I asked what.. Apparently she didnt like the Snip Snip comment. I appologized and stressed how I was continuing the tone of the conversation from the exam room. That was that.
Its October 15. Im leaving for vacation Oct 27 and Im concerned about my paycheck for the following week. I wont be there to pick it up. I asked kim if I could get my paycheck before I go. She stated that one time prior she gave an advance but doesnt make a habit of it. But since my warning, my behavior had been much better and if it continues she will give me an advance on my paycheck. I said OK.
When I was hired, one benefit we had was a nice discount on our pet care. Cost plus 20%. On Oct 24, 2007 we a drawn to the magical door were there is a new memo. It explains that the pet care benefit is changed effective immediately. Now is 50% off, no discount on food, and all bills must be paid within a week. If not paid in a week, we pay full price. (now were thinking about all those clients that own money that are allowed to make payments and also the good friends of Tom are given free pet care.). Remember my Dogs neuter on Oct 11. Kim had just finished my invoice for cost plus 20% maybe 3-5 days prior. Because of her delay, I forgot about my bill till the memo. I logged into my account and it was discounted cost plus 20%. Latter that day, Kim gives me an invoice. Changed my bill from Oct 11 to the new discount. This memo had all in an uproar. I finally pulled Kim aside and ? why my invoice was changed. I asked if clients had service one day, prices increase wo weeks later, would she contact them all to tell them they owe more money. She tole me to speak to Tom, it was his decision. Speaking to Stacey, she mentions that Tom never knew kim was doing that with our invoices. Regardless the item never came up again. This is happening on Oct 24, 2007.
October 26, I am about to sign out as Tom pulls me down to have our conversation as he promised. He re-visits what was discussed when Kim pulled me down and talked about calling Stacey hot. Talks about how quick I learned everything. Mentions that I will have to have my evaluation done before Christmas to determine my bonus and raise for 2008. As I sit, there is a paper on the table face up. It reads notes that Kim aparently made for him. I was able to read on the first few lines that kim never wants to hire another guys again after all the trouble I put here through. He picks up the paper. I ask to read it, Im told its not for my eyes. He then givens me a paper with written warning on it Item one talks about when the gentlemen came in to offer their payroll services. Kims account of that situation was different. She documented that I told her "here are two other guys that you can proposition" I said that account was wrong. Item two was in regards to the Snip Snip comment. I am accused of Sexual Harassement and told it has to end now. I was dumb founded as he could not tell me how they were in any way sexual harassment. He tells me that it doesnt matter if the person I say things to doesnt get upset, but he has to worry about getting sued by someone who might hear me. I told him I didint agree with it, but gined it. I know felt the wrath of Kim and had too many experiences with her story telling. I realize that these actions toward me happen whenever I question her about something.
Tom from time to time would forget that I am male. What I mean is he will tell clients that they can make an appoint with "on of the girls" for ear cleanings, nail trimmings, etc. I would have to comment "or boy".
I come back from vacation and I make a point to keep my nose super clean. No issues happen in November. Stacey still being "friendly" Erin does inquire of Stacey one day in surgery about her "relationship" with Tom. She at first denies anything is happening but their actions tell otherwise. She admits they are going together for 6 months. The cat is out of the bag now. From time to time I remind Stacey that the friendiness should stop, otherwise tom might get mad. She would reply to me not to worry about it and commented that Tom liked me. Dont get me wrong, I never got offended by anything.
I dont recall the dat, but as Tom and Stacey were walking down the hall, Tom grabbed Staceys rear end.
December 19, 2007- another vet tech tells me about Tom having a conversation with Erin. Erin tells Tom that she probably would not be able to be with another man if anything ever happened with her loosing her current husband "Jim". Doug questioned how would she have an "orgasm" and if she would ever use a "double dildo". The tech stated she latter talked with Erin about how appalled she was. Erin told the tech that if her husband knew about it, he would probably make her quit.
December 22, 2007, I am with Tom in an exam room. A young girl brought her animal in for exam. After the exam, Tom askes the girl if she has a boyfriend. She said she did but broke up due to problems. Tom tells her, "dont worry about it, all men are bad news. I immediately looked at him and said that I took offense to the comment.
Monday December 24, 2007. A female tech shows me a 2008 calendar depicting shirtless cowboys Studs-n-spurs. Everyone was gathering around gawking over it, picking their favorite month. They continue to look as Kim arrives and bring her over to look at it as well. Kim comments to how “good looking” some of the men were. And laughs with the girls.
December 26, 2007 Tom is putting to sleep a rat that had a rather large tumor in its side. This tumor is practically larger than the rat. I was at the lab machines loading a sample and heard a tech question how was the rat able to move around. That comment had me turn to look at the rat. Tom commented “now you know how Dolly Parton feels”. I then commented that I didn’t think that was appropriate and wouldn’t expect it from him.
About an hour or two latter, A female beagle puppy arrives for treatment. There is an issue withher back leggs not growning properly and tom had tapped its back legs to help fix it. Becasue of the tape, the female puppy was covered in urine and smelled bad. I and another tech washed the puppy wit ha fruity/flowery shampoo. After she was dry we went back to the surgey suite where Tom proceeded to retape the legs. the puppy was licking my face. I commented "now she smells like a women". The comment draws no attention. Tom smilled and continued to tape.
December 27, I work the morning and afternoon. About 3:30, Tom calls me to the office. Kim and Tom are there along with some HR consultant that they hire. I am told I am being left go for Sexual Harassment. I said for what. Tom said I made a comment yesterday that was sexually offensive. States I was told about it before and this is the last straw. He said " you made some comment -now you smell like a women- I dont know what you ment by it ut i cant risk getting sued for the comments you continuously make" I question him about these other comments. He stated I was given a written warning and signed it. From Oct 26, thru Dec 27, he states he has heard me make too many sexual commernts but could not think of one other. I remined him that I did not agree with the proposition statement and still dont think the snipp snipp comment was harassment. I then spring on him the comment he made with Erin about orgasims and double dildos. He said she is a friend and it doesnt matter. I said "but someone heard you" He saked who and I told him. He said If she heard me, she must not have been working. She was taking care of animals well within hearing distance. The building is basically the size of a trailor home. I ask to see my employee file, I am denied "this is not a good time" the HR consultant said. After this discussion, I am asked to leave.
I filed online for unemployment compensation and await initial eligibility determination.
Remember the actors. Tom is the owner recently divorced. Stacey is a vet whom in currently married and also dating tom. Kim is the office manager and Toms sister. Erin is another vet that seems to be in the middle of all. When I fist got reprimanded, she went to talk to Kim about how good of a tech i was. Another time she went out to talk to Tom after some drauma was occuring. Tom told her to mind her own business, "your only an employee"
What are your concerns, thoughts. Yes you say I should be glad Im gone and should have left sooner. they are moving to a new building soon and it was the thought of the techs that things were going to get better.
I know this was long and your propaply sleeping. I would ask that you give your final chapter to this story. I do have so many questions, but i figured i would give the full story to see if the reader picks up on my concerns.