2004 to 2008
Writing FOUR YEARS OF A LIVING HELL AT BANK OF AMERICA is like I am a million miles away from myself, is like I am living a hell twice with a nameless ill. Bank of America brings me nothing but frustration and this is leading me into a great desolation. I am devastated living in a hell, the only thing that I do is time, while waiting for justice. I'm hurting so bad that I choose emptiness instead of the possibility of the pain watching my life ruined by Bank of America.
It seems impossible to get over the memories I had with Bank of America, my heart is left with a big hole. I had been hiding my tears behind this broken heart. No matter how far I run, I'll never be able to run far enough to get away from the memories that Bank of America have left me with. I've been pushed down so many times, I try to block out these memories as much as I can, but they creep through and I fall apart all over again.
My son, the soldier will fight long and hard for a ribbon. I will fight the rest of my life for justice. War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest. Being discriminated could kill a person feeling with cruelty and it can be the ugliest. When you lose something it always stays with you, reminding you how easy it is to get hurt again.
These four years of employment at Bank of America had killed my dreams of being a successful bank’s employee. I spend my whole life working hard to fulfill this dream. The management of Bank of America had thrown a difficult choice into my life playing dirty on me, this is the reason I am dedicating this story to all of them.
Tears are the words that my heart uses to help me write FOUR YEARS OF A LIVING HELL AT BANK OF AMERICA.
To my sons Victor, Daniel and Kevin: You have left my home but never my heart. With special thanks to my son Victor who help me to write this story.
January 23, 2004 “Welcome to bank of America! We are looking forward to your joining our team. This letter will confirm our offer to join our Banking Center Team in Washington Park Florida. We believe this is not only a great company to work for, but that it is a company that works for you”.
This is the introduction of the welcome letter I received from the staff of Bank of America in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. My first interview took place at the same office I was designated to work. It was conducted by the branch’s assistant manager Mrs. Catty Anderson who was in charge new hire tellers. My first impression of her was quite poor. Her conversation contained an argumentative tone and her arrogant questions were unprofessional.
Every day she uses to single out an employee to make his life miserable. The banking center where I was hired to work was a living nightmare. Mrs. Anderson always took advantage of her assistant manager position. In several times she had obligated me to process illegal transactions for his friends.
We had to hear disgusting conversations regarding dating customer behind her husband. Her personal life was public and it was immoral. Maria Lopez, who had the most seniority, comes up to me with a plan to go against the Mrs. Anderson. She wrote a letter addressed the bank’s headquarters reporting the manager of incompetence in lead the employees.
The manager Mr. Kevin Haim was a young man who had been recently promoted to this position. His inexperience and being new at this location contributed to Mrs. Anderson taking advantage of him. He could not cope with the hostile situations created by his assistant. One day it was my day off and I used this time to go to the Motor Vehicles to change my driver’s license. The office was crowded that day. I took the opportunity to bring business to the bank. Later on Mr. Haim at a recognition event had me rewarded with a plaque that nominated me as an Ambassador of the bank.
A new manager was designated to work at the office Mr. Carlos Castro. He had no banking experience and Mrs. Anderson his assistant took advantage of that.
One day during my lunch break I asked him for help to become a full time employee. He made me feel more miserable with his comments. He suggested to me that I leave the bank and find a job as a waitress in a restaurant this way I will earn more money or look for a man to resolve my financial problems. He invited me to join his church to take advantage of a divorce club they are running.
As per the needs of the Banking Center I had worked more than the required hours that I was hire for. This allowed me to work as a full time without the benefit of the position. When I reviewed my time sheet I always found discrepancies on the hours I worked.
It was difficult for me to have a transfer to another branch. I tried to get in touch with Human Resources and this was impossible. All my attempts to find a decent place to work were unsuccessful. I went to a job Interview at a new branch. I was surprised about the true reason I could not get the position. The comments from other employee saying that ethnic race was very important to the manager of that particular banking center. It was considered a high class location.
My professional life at Washington Park banking center had no purpose or dignity, on top of that I was completely ignored by the management. I heard from a coworker that my supervisor wanted to short my hours due to the letter I had sent to the Manager. It had been obvious that revenge was taken against me.
Cooper City office needs a teller for two weeks. The assistant manager Mrs. Anderson picked a person she did not like to send and it and was me. This was a gift for me; I did enjoy working at this banking center.
I have another opportunity to cover a vacation time at the Sawgrass branch. This office was located North at Sunrise. At once I noticed that it was a location far away from home, but the desperation I had was enough for me not to care about distance. Anything was better than the hell at the Washington Park office. Later, I did not know where I will be going. The only solution I found out of desperation was going back to Cooper City and asking for help. I knew they always been short staffed. May 09, 2005 I started a new life in Cooper City. Due to the hours I work I considered the option to look for a full time position. This was my goal since I had started working for the bank. I went to Pembroke Pines office. July 18, 2005 was a day that I called “A dream becomes true”. I got the full time position. As soon I get in to the office I received an unpleasant impression. The tellers’ stations were a mess, the supervisor had ignored me.
When the supervisor started settling me in the computer she had found that my home state was New Jersey. Suddenly she got up from the chair and started screaming while holding her head. I was scared at that moment; I thought something terrible had come up from New Jersey that damaged my record. She refused to talk to me about her findings.
I called one of my former coworker from New Jersey. When I told her about the supervisor attitude towards me, my friend could not believe what she was hearing from me. She said the supervisor was the person who had replaced me when I left Bergenfield NJ. She sat at my former station and got very irritated when customers asked her for me. She always complained when people told her they missed me. She always asked my friend questions about who I was and she confessed her hate towards me although she had never had met me. This was an incredible yet most unfortunate coincidence. I went back to Cooper City.
Cooper City hired a new supervisor. This lady was the everyday gossip, because her troubled life style. I was carefully when she transfer money; she had short me in two different transactions.
I missed my family and coworkers in New Jersey. My middle son had finished high school in Florida and moved back to New Jersey. My youngest son was unhappy living far away from his family and friends. Having a part time job helped me change my mind about returning to New Jersey.
On July 12 2006 I decided to sell my house. I verbally informed the assistant manager Mrs. Jasmine Arango my intentions to move back to New Jersey.
On August 09, 2006, while on my lunch time from work I went to a Supermarket located at the same shopping center as the bank in Cooper City. While shopping I slipped and fell. I hurt my knee, ankle and back, an ambulance took me to the hospital. Mrs. Jasmine Arango called me to find out when I would be able to return to work. She had given me four days off to recovery and return to work. Eventually, I started receiving correspondence from my medical insurance claiming that they were unable to pay any medical bills since this was an accident, not a medical condition.
A coworker had recommended me her lawyer. Having legal assistance would help me in recovering the expenses needed to in order to be treated medically. Upon my return to work, Mrs. Arango advised me against suing the Supermarket due to the fact that this would produce a negative image for the bank. This company had business with the bank and so it would not be convenient for an employee to sue them. Mrs. Jasmine Arango had shocked me. I already had signed the lawyer’s papers. She was following very closely how I was managing the case without a lawyer.
On September 01, I was called in by her. She handles me a letter that she had received from my lawyer requesting a wage and salary verification. This information was supposed to be forwarded to Human Resources, but she had decided to keep it and talk to me before she filled it out. The mistake that the attorney had committed was sending this form to my office instead of Human Resources since had caused a hectic situation with my employment at Cooper City. My life became a hell, I was involved in missing money and no one cared.
From this moment on my relation with the management had changed significantly. I had to stop going to therapy or seeing any doctor regarding the medical conditions of my knee and ankle. As a consequence of that decision the lawyer dropped my case. My priority was to prevent the assistant manager from sending any negative comments to New Jersey where I had planned to continue my employment with Bank of America.
Worried for the injury I had sustained on my knee and knowing that it needed to be treated with surgical procedure I sought out another lawyer. This way I can be medical treated in New Jersey. On January 27, 2007 I returned to New Jersey. The cold weather had great impact on my knee. I had to take pain killers.
On March 12, 2007 I was hired full time teller at Ridgewood office. During the first two weeks I was eager to help the customers and coworkers. I tried to give some motivation to the uneager teller line by greeting the customers with a Welcome to the bank. From my starting date March 12, 2007 to March 30, 2007 working 15 days I had the accrued the most volume of transactions 1,763. The second most was a nice girl named Liana she done 1,681. The manager Mrs. Leona Micah and the supervisor Mr.Mohammed Karuk were happy with me.
By the end of March, I received a call from Cooper City in Florida. To my surprise was Rosa Petros. She told me that ever since I had left Florida she had been looking for me almost every day in the New Jersey directory. I saw no reason for her to worry about me since our relationship had a bitter ending.
The following week the Ridgewood manager Mrs. Leona Micah called me into her office. I just went in shock and disbelief when she told me the assistant manager from Cooper City Florida, Mrs. Jasmine Arango had send a letter with all my records and issues that I had in her office. This documentation never supposed to leave Cooper City. Mrs. Arango wanted to jeopardize my employment in New Jersey. I had to explain to Mrs. Micah the need I had to sue the supermarket which had led me to break the promise I had made with the assistant manager in Florida. I had to struggle to convince her about my honesty. Her face was showing me that she was exasperated over the package she had just received. Finally, she told me she would keep it for further reference.
The manager had advised me that I could not sit while working since it was against bank policy. I told her I had sustained a knee injured in addition other problems with previous surgeries in my legs which had to do with varicose veins. She had denied my petition to sit while working and did not want to see any medical letters. She took away my seniority with the bank saying her branch can’t afford to pay me as a Senior Teller. My vacation time was reduced.
The supervisor, told me that if the District Manager, saw me seated, he would kick me off the chair. I was designated to open the bank by 7:45am. I was not allowed to park my car by the building. I had to wait for the other party standing outside under the inclement weather.
On October 04, 2007 I had a s Arthroscopic partial medal Meniscetomy on the right knee. On November 19, 2007 I had to come back to work. The manager’s abuse never stop, she always reminded me that she was keeping confidential the information she had about me. At Christmas I gave to each of my coworkers a copy of my book Before and After the Border including the manager.
The cold weather had a tremendous impact on the knee of my surgery. Most of the time when I was standing I would put my weight on the left leg in order to relieve the pain in my right knee. This pressure would affect my varicose veins. At the end of the day both legs hurt me. I tried to talk to the manager Mrs. Leona Micah about letting me sit, but she refused to talk to me about my request or to see a doctor’s letter that I had. . Many times in tears showed Mrs. Micah my swollen knee, ankle and veins. She simply did not care. No matter how hard begged her for consideration she would not pay any attention to my pain.
Every month I reviewed the Teller Performance Report. For the month of January I had the most number of transactions which was 2,736 in 21 days with balance accuracy of 100%. The second teller had 1,880 in 21 days with 95.24% balance accuracy. This achievement made me proud for being a productive person to the bank despite the hostile work environment I had to endure.
The manager had single me out to assist customers with safe deposit boxes which some are located in high areas and required ladders. On a Friday I was supposed to leave by two o’clock to avoid working over time. . The assistant manager made me stay until 6:20 PM. I worked 9:45 hours and was paid only for 5:45. This same situation was repeated a day I went to the hospital and my sick time made me over time.
The new supervisor had asked me to lend her $ 500.00 to pay her rent since she was having financial problems. I could not give it her money, from that day on; I become an unpleasant person for her. She had had joined the management in their spiteful attitude against me. On June 6, 2008, the manager demanded that I shut the vault door without any assistance. The door was huge. I tried and could not cope it. The assistant manager continued to tell me to do it and berated and yelled at me. In revenge I was not allowed to park my car by the building where one time the manager let me do it after I returned from surgery.
On August 15, I had varicose veins surgery. One day while I was walking my right knee twisted upon itself. I went back to the orthopedic doctor who had performed the surgery. It was swollen and I was in a lot of pain. The doctor gave me medication and sent me back to the physical therapy. He also had given me a letter advising me that I must remain out of work until October 20, 2008.
I tried to have a legal advice from an attorney. I paid him $300.00 for consultation and he did not care about my case because his good relations with the bank.
It was very hard for me to apply for unemployment benefits since the bank claimed I had voluntary terminated my job. After several interviews and appeals I was approved.