Putting up with It – IE Storyteller

My second job in insurance was at a brokerage/MGA and I wanted to do well, of course. Our office was taken over by another about 8-12 months into my time there, and the new manager interviewed each of us privately.

This new manager was on his laptop the entire time he talked to me, saying “If I don’t look at you or I’m typing, I’m still listening.” It was overall fine, but then he asked me if I planned to have kids with my then-boyfriend. I was thrown by this, but said no. Then he looked at me and straight-up asked me if my boyfriend was OK with me going to events and drinking, would he get jealous or allow me to do that? I was definitely flustered at this point and answered as best I could, that he didn’t mind and it was fine. I didn’t mention that I wasn’t drinking at the time for personal reasons because I was afraid that would be unacceptable.

While at that same brokerage, I went to a local insurance conference.

I was told that, if I didn’t want to give the indication that I wanted to have sex with people, I should make sure to stay on the main floor.

That the upper floors of the hotel were essentially hookup spots for people at the conference.

Also there, I informed my boss of my recent anxiety and depression diagnosis. In that conversation, he was very understanding and said how his wife has similar issues and I should just let him know if I have a problem, that I’m salaried and if I need to go home one day that’s ok. So a few weeks later, I have a really bad anxiety attack, bad enough that I feel like I’m having a heart attack and I can’t breathe. I made sure to get my work done and then two hours before when I’d normally leave, I asked him if I could go home early and said I felt like I couldn’t breathe.

He immediately started going off on me about how this job is stressful, that if I can’t handle it this is going to be a problem, that this is just how it is and I need to deal with it.

Would we have said that to a man? I’m guessing not.

That’s what I remember at the moment, and while none of it is very extreme, it’s definitely a huge turnoff for me in the industry. I can’t tell you how many “honeys”, “sweeties”, and similar I got while working there.

Those are all relatively small, but they all build and are all so accepted by the industry at large that I feel like I just have to put up with it.

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