How OSHA Cost Me My Job

Jen Sullivan
13 min readMar 9, 2022
Image by Oli Hale from Pixabay

In October 2020, I started working at Michaels as a part-time Customer Experience Manager, or CEM for short. It wasn’t the greatest job, but I needed something, and I already was quite familiar with the craft world from working for a competitor as a store manager. I was never much of a fan of Michaels. Their stores always seemed dirty and their prices were often higher. Still, I liked some of the people with whom I worked, so it would work for a while.

The Knee Issues

Back in 2017, I had a strange illness that mostly destroyed my knees. Doctors were stumped at the time and had tested me for at least ten different diseases, including Lyme disease. Though my Lyme test was negative, as they so often are, a specialist decided to treat me with the antibiotics used to treat Lyme. After a week of prescription steroids — which was not fun for anyone — and at least two weeks of antibiotics, I was feeling better. However, once the steroids wore off, my knee pain returned, along with severe weakness in the joints. I have been that way ever since. This was a big part of why I left my job as a store manager at another store. That, and wanting free time to work on side projects, such as starting my own business.

I worked a few other jobs before ending up at Michaels. One of my friends/former employees was working there and suggested I apply, knowing that I was miserable at my extremely boring job with TJ Maxx. Michaels paid more and I knew many of the products — I am not a fashion person, so I did not quite fit in well at TJ Maxx. Aside from being bored and uninterested in most of the products, that particular TJ Maxx had a lot of negative employees, which created a very toxic environment. I had accepted the job because I liked the manager — a woman who seemed to be caring and very experienced. I liked her, but I could not stand the negativity from other employees, including their complaints that this new manager made them actually do work, and I hated the idea of pushing the store’s credit card on customers.

Starting at Michaels

After starting at Michaels, my knees were beginning to remind me that walking around a large store was not something I could easily do for a full shift. As they started to get worse, I debated leaving that job, too. I needed a job somewhere, and…

Jen Sullivan

I am a gamer, a geek, and a gardener, among many things. I enjoy writing as a way to share with others. You'll find no AI content here--I am a real writer.