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Live and Learn
I worked for a highly visible cosmetic dermatology center on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. My former boss (also the founder and CEO) took me into a room privately within my first month and told me "you cannot have two African American women at the front desk at the same time."
I was flabbergasted. What is even worse, I did not stand up for these two women - who were both my assistant managers - when I should have walked out when being told to implement this policy. It even gets better, not two weeks later at a meeting, this same boss threw a pile of scheduling papers INTO THE FACE of one of these managers (again, an African American woman) when she was not getting answers she wanted.
Because I had never seen this kind of behavior, I did not know how to handle these situations. I knew if I confronted her about this, I would be fired on the spot, thus I continued working there and said nothing. Unfortunately, this makes me just as responsible and I regret it to this day. After being fired from this company, which ultimately went out of business within 6 months of my being fired, I was horribly depressed because I learned that success means standing up for what you believe in, and if I did I could have possibly changed the path of this company.
I am still horrified by what went down to this day and reflect upon what I could have done to change that situation. I only wish there was someone I could have reported her to, needless to say, I had no access to the Board, so I was stuck.