Updated: Sep 29, 2022
How I Got Burnt Out, Walked Out and Black Listed from One of The Biggest Entertainment Companies in All The Land
By: Jupiter F. Stone
Once upon a time I lived a fairytale life. No I don’t mean I lived in a castle, was married to a prince or was part of a royal family. What I mean is I lived a life that by today's standards seems like a fantasy because - I could afford it.
Gas, rent, entertainment? I paid for it all myself with no struggles.
At 22, I was one of the youngest supervisors in a prestigious entertainment company’s nearly 100 year history. I was there for four years and in that time advanced through 7 different roles across 3 different departments.
My age was a big factor that eventually contributed to my burnout.
I came into this supervisor role and was immediately put in charge of daily operations for a multimillion dollar department while my brain was still developing. Almost everyone who reported to me was older than I was and most of them didn’t try to cover up the fact that they didn’t think I deserved my position. Upper management wasn’t that much better, either.
It didn’t matter what my KPI’s looked like or how I closed my shift. I felt like I had to work harder (even though I was working my ass off) to prove to people I deserved to be there, which took up so much more energy than my counterparts who had the exact same job.
My gender was another large contributing factor that led to my questioning authority and dismissal of their archaic rules. I’m not talking about being a woman in the workspace. I’m talking about being non-binary in the workspace.
Full disclosure that at the time, I was working at this company I didn’t know I was non-binary. Honestly, I hadn’t even heard the word before. If I did, I don’t think I could have followed the company dress code much less teach it. During my time there, I literally led hundreds of new recruits through our company's onboarding orientation, which included the organization’s required binary based dress code.
Women could only have these certain kinds of hairstyles while men could only have those kinds. What if you fell outside the binary? Oh well. If you wanted to work there, you needed to follow these guidelines. If you didn’t, you’d eventually be fired. For years, without even realizing it, I participated in the erasure of my literal self in enthusiastic form and was paid handsomely for it.
Corporate America don’t care about colonization and that was the final straw.
By this point, I was becoming more and more unhappy at work but I was still committed so when we had a staff member call out, I picked up their shift for the day. Amongst my many tasks that day, one of the things I was asked to do was escort a local family away from a public space so we could create an experience there for a paying customer from another country.
I didn’t want to do it. I called it in and informed my boss that I didn’t think what we were doing was right. They told me to do my job. So I did and they kept sending us out. They kept sending us out and the money kept rolling in.
The next week I was back on the books for my regularly scheduled shifts. I was supposed to hire, train and onboard additional employees. Did I? Hell no. I honestly couldn’t even put in my 2 weeks. I had actually reached the end of my rope.
I really just walked away from all of it and I’d love to say I found that better place but that’s not the true story. The truth is most corporations really suck.
In reality, I wasn’t a good culture fit. You see, for me, it’s culture over everything. For them it’s their bottom line. Every. Single. Time.
Though I’m not writing this from the corner office I thought I’d have at this age, life as an independent contractor has been WILD and though at some points I really miss having that medical plan I took for granted - I wouldn’t change walking out that day.
That was the day I started walking out of their bullshit and into my truth. I’ve never looked back. That’s the happiest ever after I need.
About the Author
Queer Non-binary Multiracial Storyteller w/ 17 years of experience in digital space here to help you share your story via text, image, audio, & video based media on the platforms where it matters most.