I worked at the Denver Elections Office as a full-time employee.
I was hired as a manager assistant and told I would work there for a half-year.
I quit a job I’d hated so I could accept this job. Approximately four days after hire, I was told that they had lied and that the job would only last for a few weeks and would never be eligible for benefits, and could not be eligible for unemployment, since the time period was watched carefully. And that the pay agreed upon earlier would not be my actual hourly rate after all, either.
I wanted to quit right then and there, but couldn’t. I was trapped. I’d quit one job to take this one and didn’t have any other pending offers. And couldn’t interview for other jobs because the elections office kept changing my work schedule on a daily basis.
The job I was told I’d have was actually no more than a laborer position. Other men I worked with were people who regularly took painkillers, drank on the job, drove company vehicles over the speed limit, made pit stops at other stores and restaurants regularly, cursed like drunken sailors, and even carried knives with them to and from work; and I had a supervisor who spoke about his love of drinking almost constantly. Of all the people setting up election locations and carrying voting machines and directing traffic stops and so forth (maybe 25 total), there was not one woman hired in this department.
No woman would have been able to tolerate the work environment; no female supervisors, no female staff in warehouse or in any other section, and no women doing any of the labor or planning.
There were two twenty-something workers on staff and everyone else (about 24 other workers) all in their seventies or older. All we did was physical labor, carrying election boxes, setting up stop signs, setting up stanchions and traffic stops, putting up tents and taking them down. I was the only man not drinking, chasing girls, horsing around, speeding like crazy, or doing something else they weren’t supposed to do.
I know that no one is supposed to criticize this employer, but it was one of the worst working experiences of my life and I should have the right to speak the truth as to what happened without censorship. I literally went to work every day feeling like a piece of human garbage; working around people who cursed and drank and smoked and argued with each other, showed up for work late regularly, didn’t do what they said they would do, where employment conditions and agreements changed, schedules varied daily, and no one listened to anyone else. It was one of the most depressing and dehumanizing work experiences ever.