In which I start at a new job and it’s a train wreck

I started a new job with a vertical hydrophonic farming company this week. My application in November resulted in a first interview in early December, a second interview a week later, and an employment offer a week after that. The offer of employment was initially for a position as a cleaner with the company, in hopes that I could make a lateral move when a position in the nursery department opened up. Less than two days after accepting the cleaner position, I was called by the woman who made the initial offer, saying they were instead offering me a position as a nursery grower. The offer was for Monday to Friday, from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm. The company offered benefits after three months, paid time off, the works. I was elated to accept the revised offer.

A couple of days later, my official offer came via email. It was for a production grower position. In the job opening post I had seen online, the position had been listed as Nursery/Production grower. In a previous correspondence with the first woman, she had described the position as a Nursery/Production position. I filled out the paperwork, thinking it would still involve nursery work.

When I began my shift on Monday, there was some confusion as to where I would actually be working. I was worried by that. When I was introduced to the team I was to be working with, which was decidedly not the nursery team, I received very little direction or guidance. I was left to my own devices in an environment I was unfamiliar with doing tasks I had never done before. The team leader for the team I had been assigned to was away on vacation, visiting family in Toronto. I had no idea who he even was. I was not given a tour of the facility. I was not introduced to important figures in the building. I was not shown the emergency exits. I was not given a fob to get in the front door, and would thus be reliant on someone being near the door when I needed to knock to get in. The outside temperature (with wind chill) was -34 degrees Celsius. There is no contact information for anyone in the company besides their workplace email. There are no phone numbers in case of illness/injury. There is no HR.

All of this set off alarm bells in my head. I was assured things were imbalanced because of the absence of the team leader, but my second, third, and fourth days bore similar developments. Still no adequate training. I was told the department I was in worked from 7 am until 3:30 pm each day rather than 8 am until 4 pm. Okay. I could modify my availability for that. Then I was told the schedule was actually from Sunday until Friday, with alternating Tuesdays and Fridays off.

None of this had been explained to me prior to my acceptance of the job offer, nor had it specified in the contract I had signed that the days and hours I had been told were inaccurate. With each new development, I raged inside but did my best to be as level about it as I could be externally. The people who were in the places to be telling me these things weren’t the people who could do anything to change them anyway.

My frustration and anger right now are such that I don’t even want to think about the job or the place or the people. I left a job as a contractor for another farm to join this new place, and had been so excited to leave behind the frustrations of the old place. The bullying management, the inconsistent pay schedule, the dearth of hours, and the lack of opportunity to learn and grow. I was great friends with most of the people I worked with there, and I lament the loss of them as a daily presence. Of course I’m still in contact with them digitally, but that kind of contact doesn’t sustain you mentally the way smiles and laughter do in person. That place was also much closer to my home, more accessible, and closer to better amenities in case of a forgotten lunch or emergency.

I am ashamed about my anger. I should be calmer about how things have developed, but I’m struggling to keep myself level and to reign in the welling of frustration and resentment I have every two hours while I’m there. I’ve been duped, but how do I handle this best as an adult?

I have toyed with the idea of emailing both of the people who interviewed me, neither of whom actually work at the location in my city but instead operate out of the head offices for Canada in Toronto, outlining to them what has occurred since my acceptance. I think I will do this, but I need a little bit of time to put together my thoughts in an articulate and coherent way.

How can I work to put my mind at ease in other arenas? I’ve been trying to relax when I get home, but my days feel short because I need to be in bed by 10pm so I get enough sleep to be awake and functional the following day at 5:45 am. The weather has been prohibitively cold, dipping as low as -40 degrees Celsius overnight with wind chill, making outdoor excursions, which I would normally employ to relieve stress and distract from frustrations, a near impossibility. I have tried, with varying degrees of success, to walk myself through my options mentally in as rational a way as I can. It is very helpful, but having to do it repeatedly to quell the anger bubbling inside is difficult.

There isn’t a summary message for this. Just a rambling about how this new circumstance is challenging me to be a grown up in a situation that’s unfair and pisses me off. Maybe you can relate.

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