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work problem, so sad, so depressed work problem, so sad, so depressed

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Unread 06-28-2016, 12:12 AM
work problem, so sad, so depressed

I'm not sure where I will end up or what I will do but the place I work for (it's a zoo/sanctuary) is the most negative place I have ever worked. I'm VERY part time so it's not like I'm there 5 days a week. Thank god!!! There are 4 full time keepers and 2 of them have heads about as big as Texas!! And then a bunch of part timers. We are supposed to have management but they don't do their jobs and really don't care what goes on. So it's basically a free for all. No rules, no communication, anyone can do just about whatever they please. The sad part is is that it probably won't change unless management changes.
Not to boast about myself, but I have over 20 years of experience working with zoo animals. I came from a large credited zoo in another state. Then my hubby and I moved to northern Cal to retire and I got the part time job at this place - thinking it would be wonderful.
Two of the full time keepers treat me as if I'm stupid and have zero experience. Continue to be-little me. Today I stood up for myself because management won't do anything about anything. So myself and the other employee got into it. It started out by me simply asking for a little bit of respect. And he tore into me. I didn't back down. This employee has 1 year experience with exotic animals. I have 20+ years. I won't go into all the gory details but he took it so personally. Like it was a personal attack. One of the tigers got into a fight and one has a pretty good scratch on her face and it swelled up. Vet needed to come out and take a look at her. I'm the large carnivore relief keeper. This other employee has nothing to do with that section but since he's full time, he needs to feel important. I have NO problem with him meeting the vet but he NEEDS to call me over to the tiger area to speak with the vet since I'm the one ON the section! He didn't see the need or a reason to do so.
this type of stuff goes on and on, every week. I don't know how much longer I can hold on. I LOVE the job and the animals but these keepers are making life so miserable and difficult. This NEVER happened at the other zoo I worked at because we had a curator who kept everyone in their place and there was protocol! Anyone have any ideas, suggestions??
I guess I'm just venting right now because I'm sure no one can really tell me what to do. It's my decision. But how do you deal with people like this? He just wants to fight and either doesn't get what I'm asking and saying OR he does get it and just wants to continue to be-little me.
I'm not the only one with issues with these two. Our trainer has the same issues and is trying to deal with them as best as she can as well. She is also part time and they are always throwing her under the bus. She's not sure now long she can hang on either.
I help her with the training and we have accomplished quite a bit and that might be part of the problem - jealousy. We have a big black bear trained for his monthly injections for his arthritis. And they feel left out but when asked to join the "team", they want nothing to do with it. They just want to complain about it.
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Unread 06-28-2016, 09:57 PM
Re: work problem

Hi Seablue:

I'm sorry to hear that you are having issues with your co-workers. You may find some help for your team by googling the term "vital smarts". They have written about crucial conversations and have a free email newsletter.

I hope you are able to find the right answers soon. I am sending huge cyberhugs
Unread 04-04-2017, 12:29 PM
So sad, so depressed

I have worked at a very small zoo in northern Cal now for almost 6 years. I came from a large zoo in another state. I'm semi retired and just wanted a fun place to work part time doing the same thing I've always done. I've grown to get attached to these animals here. The mountain lions have grown to trust me and call to me when I call to them. It's been a struggle with co-workers (if I can even call them that). There are only 5 full times and the rest (maybe 6) are part timers. The full timers can't stand the part timers. They see themselves as the elitiest group and we are gum on their shoes. Management doesn't do anything. I've just put up with it somehow.
Yesterday it finally came to a head. I was attacked verbally by 2 of the full timers. These people have less than 2 years zoo keeping experience. I have over 30 years. I stood up for myself and defending myself. But with two people coming at you, it got real hard and they broke me. I walked out of the room, found my one supervisor who was nice but of no help. The full timers obviously run the show there and no one cares. I quit. I finally had enough of the abuse there. I'm sad, stressed and sick over this. I won't miss not one person there but I will miss those animals. My husband said it's a hostile working environment but I'm not strong enough to fight this anymore. I'm beat down. I don't know how these bullies can live with themselves. I would never treat another human being like that. I was NEVER a threat. I NEVER boasted about my experience but I did offer help and suggestion but I was always ignored so I let it go. I just couldn't do it anymore. I can't stop crying. This crying just will not stop!! I feel like there's been a death. I have applied for a volunteer program at another zoo that is further away but it's something - maybe. I hope to find a sane place to gather with people with the same outlook and not try and attack and push those out that they feel are a "threat". My stomach is in knots and I don't remember being this sad in a very, very long time. I don't deserve to be treated like trash. But staying there week after week, I was begining to feel like that and I don't think I deserve that.
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