The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

The effects of a toxic workplace

Toxic workplace culture can go from causing lower self esteem and stress to physical injuries.
Jazmin Lara Mota (created with Canva)
Toxic workplace culture can go from causing lower self esteem and stress to physical injuries.

Imagine you’re finally getting your first job, or maybe even your dream job, but you find out about all the corruption and toxicity inside of that job’s workplace? What would you do if you saw that not only can it ruin your mental and physical health but it can also put your life at risk?

Everyone at some point will get their first job of their life, however whether it’s a good experience or not depends on each individual. It is actually very common for many people to quit the first job they get in the first month.

According to Robert Half’s study, up to about 38% of people consider quitting their first job within less than a month because of the workplace culture. Consequently, the suffering of the employees will also negatively affect the company. There is an objective called employee withdrawal which is an employee’s avoidance and disengagement from their workplace. This costs employees a lot of money to withdraw from their workspace. It’s a businesses’ “silent killer”, it costs up to about their old employer’s annual salary or higher just to replace them. So truly, when an employee quits their job because of the toxicity, it harms the company as well so everybody is losing at some point.

However, everyone’s work experience is different and this does not apply to everyone.

Custodian Maria Orozco is currently working at a mall for the upper class that is filled with expensive and designer stores. She works late shifts as a cleaning lady for the entire mall. She always gets stressed and has a low self esteem from working at that place. She claims that her coworkers are always complaining about returning back to work. Orozco refers to how much paperwork she must sign each time to continue in the same workspace.

Despite this, she continues working there for the need of a job and the benefits that come with it. This workplace culture really changed her perspective on how differently people of different social status are treated. Like how people of a lower status like retail workers will be treated more poorly compared to CEOs of companies and high class business workers.

Some advice she had for others was that if you were going to sue anybody, you shouldn’t wait and do it as soon as you can. You would have to do it on account of a law called the Statute of Limitations here in California within a certain period of time.

It is a law that creates a deadline for you to be able to fill out a lawsuit at all. It is required for you to fill the lawsuit within this certain amount of time or else your legal claims would no longer be valid. A personal injury would have a 1-2 year time period or property damage could be 3 years of time. But there are some crimes that are so terrible that they don’t have an actual statute of limitations time period, like murder. Most times you have to calculate what that time period is yourself for your legal claims but you should always talk to a lawyer for help.

“My advice for other people would be to never be afraid to get some help because there can always be someone that can help.” said Orozco.

Yet, there remains much worse cases of these toxic workplace cultures.

“The social hierarchy is an important part when it comes to workplace culture,” said packager Yesenia Mota.

Mrs. Mota used to work at a bakery factory where cookies were the main dish. In this workplace, there was more than just mental stress, there were also gruesome injuries. At times, she would worry about having to go back every time because of the psychological torment as well as the fear of getting badly hurt. She would lose her job if she was in any way injured. In this company, getting badly hurt meant losing your job entirely.

It is common for new workers to get hurt and leave with no job. There are stories of individuals getting hurt badly like getting their whole finger torn off by a machine, having their back torn and broken, getting brain damage, or even getting completely crushed to death. If someone were to research about these incidents, you wouldn’t find anything which would leave you to believe that the company themselves are trying to cover it up.

She claimed that the worst part of this was that most would just continue working as this happened. This was all very traumatic to hear and witness upfront for her. Constant yelling was also common and led to the point where her hearing worsened from all of it. They would frequently make her perform tasks that her job position didn’t require her to do without any extra pay as well.

She thought strongly that all this happened because of a clear social status hierarchy where the rich and powerful took advantage of the workers. She stayed for many years but only recently, she left for good. She had to stay because finances were needed and the pay was remotely well; finding a new job would take a long time. Even though she has found a new job, she still has some fear that she will run into this workplace culture again.

“You shouldn’t just endure these places but what you should do is find a way out if it doesn’t get any better,” said Mrs. Mota.

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About the Contributor
Jazmin Lara Mota
Jazmin Lara Mota, Staff Writer
I like listening to music, I like drawing and making art, and I like going on walks.