Ask anyone. When the fiance and I decided to move to South Florida, I was as excited as a child on Christmas and couldn’t wait to spread my butterfly wings and soar. Fresh out of college and ready for the next stage of the journey, I packed my bags with no plan and no job awaiting wherever life decided to take me.
Two weeks later, I applied for a job as a physical therapist assistant and got hired. Fate had other plans for me, I decided to reach out to a local yoga studio with the hopes of teaching a couple of classes a week and two days after I started teaching they asked me to manage the place.
I WAS STOKED. BAFFLED. GIDDY. IN LOVE WITH THE MAGIC OF THE UNIVERSE.
For months, I journaled about this job, all I desired was teaching yoga full-time. The law of attraction once again manifested this experience into my life.
The studio is beautiful, handmade, great sound system, organic feel, good vibes and has the most amazing floors. It was everything you could dream of in a yoga studio.
The first month and a half was exhilarating, I was on a natural high of doing what I loved at 80 miles an hour -coffee, false promises, and my natural positivity kept me sustaining. I was working 12-15 hours a day from the studio and from home. In that month and a half, I managed to hire on 8 teachers, I filled the teaching schedule, built relationships with amazing human beings in the community, created a studio website, designed business cards, created flyers for workshops, managed social media, fixed the inventory, and best of all?
I organized a grand opening event for the studio featuring over 20 local vendors, 200 attendees and free classes for the community It was a HUGE success and I was so FUCKING PROUD of myself.
So where did it all go wrong?
Well, I can take blame here because ultimately I allowed this to happen. I was so giddy about my “dream job” that I chose not to listen to my loved ones. They warned me about not working so many hours, about fair compensation and about “getting a real job.” – (that will probably never happen anyway!)
I burnt out, I literally hit a wall and simply couldn’t recover. I was getting headaches, feeling nauseated almost daily and getting sick. My performance slipped, the joy of going into the studio vanished and I knew deep down inside there was no turning back.
But that would only be telling you half the story. Truth is, we got paid monthly at the studio and I was NEVER paid on time. I had never been so stressed about getting paid in my entire life. I was always asked to wait until Thursday, next week, tomorrow, etc. I hid this fact from my fiance for a couple of months until it was eating me alive and then he told me to leave.
I was so torn. I had put my heart and soul into this place and I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving my hard work. My ego was getting in the way of doing what was best for myself.
Then there was the owner I could no longer agree on how he was doing business. Not that I’m a business expert, but I knew that something wasn’t right with the way things were being done. The pay was never on time, people were being treated like they were numbers not people, a women was threatened to be sued over a $37 bottle of CBD oil, my voice was not valued, and I found out that the camera systems at the studio were recording video – ILLEGAL in the state of Florida without someone’s consent to have their voice recorded.
So that’s where things fell apart, I decided to talk to one of the teachers about what I was feeling and she expressed similar concerns. Everything was recorded and we were unknowingly being listened to.
But as usual, the universe had my back. I started my mindfulness coaching program, was offered part-time work doing social media for The Yoga Expo and even landed a few hours a week at a spa. The transition was easy and I was left with my mental health back in repair.
Mentally I felt like the shackles were gone. I let go of who I was and my entire business to a sacrifice for someone else’s dream. I realized that it was time to get back on the horse and keep doing me.
The final page of the chapter concludes with me picking up my final paycheck. I was hoping to make peace and move on- but boy was the final meeting far from peaceful. When I was finished taking my belongings out, I was asked to come back in and sign something.
I was handed a contract that should have been given to me upon hire. I was a bit puzzled. The owner told me to follow him upstairs. As I skimmed through the contract he told me that he could care less if I signed that contract and only desired that I signed “the other paper.”
This paper basically signed away my first amendment right of freedom of speech. If I decided to sign this contract I couldn’t blog, speak, record video or say anything about the studio. The owner was frustrated that I talked about the studio in a video I created I told him that although I wasn’t a lawyer, I was a journalism student who knew my rights as a journalist and that I hadn’t done anything illegal by sharing life experience I even left out the name of the owners and studio in the video and IN THIS BLOG.
The owner retaliated by threatening to take away my bonus- but I stepped my foot down and told him that I wasn’t leaving until I had what was owed to me. You see, the owner is also a LAWYER and a couple of weeks prior his wife and I signed a contract laying out everything else they owed me and this yoga babe wasn’t going down without a fight. I worked too fucking hard to be bullied and intimidated.
So I handed him the check back and told him if things weren’t fixed that I was calling the police and they could take care of it for me. Upon dialing, he told me to stop and agreed to pay me in FULL. Told me I ruined his business and fucked him (not in a literal sense of course) and then threatened to sue me if I ever said anything bad about the studio again and so I smiled and told him to go right ahead.
You see, I always thought it was weird that a lawyer never made me sign a contract to work for him but his wife made me sign one to authorize my last paycheck. The irony is that having no contract is ultimately why I can write this blog because I didn’t sign my rights away upon hire.
So sunshine, speak your truth, your goddamn mind and don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.