Monday, July 22, 2013

Store Stories

I haven't blogged about my day job for a while. The reason isn't because things have been dull. It's more that I've been spending so much time squinting at the train wreck in front of me as I attempt to make sense of it all that I haven't been able to put it into words.

So, here for you now—in bullet point form because I lack the brain power to create paragraphs and the transitions between them—is a sampling of what's been going on:

—Much of the staff has quit. And this is not an exaggeration in any way, shape or form. There was this mass exodus, and now we're running on a truly bare bones crew. Which is terrific because it's summer and we're a little busy. Double shifts for everyone!

—You should understand that the staff at The Store is made up of two groups: the veterans (six or more years) and the newbies (three months or less). The veterans have been at The Store so long they can't afford to quit and work somewhere else because (even though our pay is laughable) it would mean taking a significant pay cut. Which, apparently, is a good thing because the newbies seldom make it past the three month mark. One recent new hire didn't even make it through one month before she quit saying, "I can't see myself working here another day." End quote.

—But then there was the new hire who quit just minutes before her first shift was set to begin. That's the new record, and it's gonna be pretty tough to beat. But I don't blame them. Seriously, if I were a new hire and I had to sit through The Store's orientation (which has evolved quite a lot since I first started), I'd quit before the first hour was up.

—#2 Boss quit. She moved on to an amazing opportunity and, while I'm happy for her, I am sad to see her go because she was the one member of Management that everyone could tolerate working with. I ran into her shortly afterward and she said, "I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed not working at The Store." End quote.

—#1 Boss and #3 Boss spend more time at each other's throats than is probably healthy. Their biggest blow-out fight to date happened when #1 Boss took away #3 Boss's vacation (at the last minute) because of #2 Boss's departure. This was a Big Deal because #1 Boss had been given more than a month's notice and chose not to start looking for a replacement until after #2 Boss's last day. So #1B and #3B had a screaming match right outside The Store. Because nothing makes customers feel more welcome than Management screaming at each other in front of the entrance. Come for the deals. Stay for the uncomfortable public arguing.

—I was recently reminded once again that I am still no longer eligible for raises because I have reached the maximum hourly wage for someone in my position. You know, in case I'd somehow forgotten that I am working the textbook definition of a dead-end job. (Note to Management: I didn't forget.)

—#1 Boss told me this after she'd woken up from the nap she'd been taking on the stockroom shelves. Because she was tired. Good thing none of the rest of us ever get tired.

—She then stuck me with the training of the new #2 Boss. Lesson #1: the stock girl is always right. Management is always wrong. Lesson #2: The stock shelves are for stock, not sleeping. If anyone is going to be napping on the stockroom shelves, it'll be me. Lesson #3: You know what? Just don't touch anything back here. Doing so will just piss me off. Here endth the lesson.

—New #2 Boss seems nice. Earnest and hardworking, even. I charitably gave her three months before she ran away screaming (my co-workers only gave her two), but then she had to go home early the other day because she had a panic attack. This is bad because (a) she had a panic attack and that is never good, and (b) if she's panicking over things now, she'll never survive our true busy season (October-December). I have since lowered my estimate of her time with us. Two months. If we're lucky.

—#1 Boss told me I didn't have to fill out a self-evaluation form this year. I attribute this to the fact that last year, I wrote "What, exactly, is my motivation for doing this? I already know I'm not getting a raise, so what does it matter?" on my form and called it good.

—This week's schedule wasn't released until last Friday afternoon, and when I showed up to look at it, #1 Boss ran away and hid (true story). I didn't understand why until I saw my hours. Then I said several not-nice words, took a breath, and said several more not-nice words. Here's why: I don't have a day off this week. #1 Boss has three days off. I have zero. I am working at least the next seven days. #1 Boss is not. We are not amused.

Anyway, this means my blogging will be ultra light this week, but my work-themed haiku will be plentiful. And chock full of sarcasm. And perhaps not-nice words.

Have a great day, all.

34 comments:

  1. Is there a reason Boss #3 didn't become Boss #2? Is there a reason you're not a boss? Although managing that mess sounds worse than working in it.

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    1. I'm going to guess #3 Boss isn't qualified to be #2 Boss.

      And I don't want to a boss. At least not officially. I just want to tell people how to do their jobs without being responsible for anything...

      Delete
  2. Yeah... I know you probably tried already, but this is when you renew the search for a new job. Because not only is the job dead-end, bad management means the job's dying as well.

    Sounds like your work environment is absolutely vile. Good luck!

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    1. I'm one of the people who can't afford to leave her job. The pay cut will just be too much, and there's not much else available in this area except for retail. At least nothing that I'm qualified for.

      Delete
  3. How could #1 Boss remember your time-saving self-evaluation and yet still remind you about raises? Such a demonstration of management skills speaks for itself. Not to mention her napping and sprinting skills.

    Is The Store owned and operated by #1 Boss, or is it part of a chain, to which you could appeal (or sacrifice a newbie) to a Super-Boss?

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    1. The Store is a chain. There is a Super Boss and she's heard a lot about #1 Boss from both associates and departed members of management. She just doesn't seem to care all that much.

      Delete
  4. There's nothing worse than bosses screaming at each other. I don't blame #3 though. I wonder how corporate would feel about it though?

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    1. I'm not sure corporate even knows about it. And, if Super Boss did know, there's an excellent chance she doesn't care.

      Delete
  5. I really think you need to release a book of work-related haiku. An illustrated version (including a stick drawing of boss sleeping on stock shelves) would probably be ideal. I know it's been overdone, but S**t My Boss Says would make a great title. :)

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    1. I was thinking about calling it "Song of the Snarky Stock Girl."

      Not that I'm actually thinking about releasing a books of work-related haiku. Well, much anyway...

      Delete
  6. You need to write this stuff down as a short story collection or a memoir - My Life in Retail Hell: A Memoir. Or A Collection of Linked Stories. Or A Collection of Haikus Full of Not So Nice Words.

    You'd have a built in audience/fan base - anyone who ever worked in retail. Maybe you could even sell it at The Store. :)

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    Replies
    1. "A Collection of Haikus Full of Not So Nice Words" <---I love that.

      Delete
  7. Oy it sounds terrible. American capitalism at its best. You should let me know what this company is in a private email so that I don't end up buying their stock. They sound awful.

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    Replies
    1. They have been awful lately. I'm pretty sure there was a time when things weren't nearly as awful, but it was very long ago.

      Delete
  8. I made the mistake of training someone meant to be my boss once. Never do that. If they have to have you train someone meant to be in charge of you, tell them you need serious incentives before doing it.

    And this is the problem with retail: they won't actually promote someone that just works there into management, no matter how qualified you are. Because, you know, if you work there then you are not, by definition, qualified.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I train people in my area because I want them to do the job right (meaning MY way) and no one else will train them that way.

      And The Store is not opposed to promoting from within. Just...no one wants to be promoted.

      Delete
    2. Most retail (chain) places won't do that. Like TRU does not promote even their department heads to management, no matter how skilled, unless they get special schooling for it. I'm pretty sure Wal-Mart is the same way. I know they used to be that way.

      Delete
  9. Um...YIKES. Working at your store sounds like such a nightmare! Sorry you have to put up with any of this, much less all of this...

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    1. And that's just a sampling of shenanigans. At least I never want for haiku material.

      Delete
  10. Whoa. #1 boss needs to get eaten by a hell worm or something slimy.

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  11. Did #3 boss have reservations? Because #1 boss should then be liable for any nonrefundables. #1 boss... I just don't know what to say.

    Years ago, I was on a vacation from my retail job. Two weeks. First week passed. Boss put me on the schedule for the 2nd week. I didn't check, because I was on vacation. Got a call from them asking where I was. "I'm on vacation. I put in for it weeks ago."

    Boss asked if I could come in anyway.

    The only reason I didn't get pestered about it was because my grandmother happened to die while I was on vacation, and I was kind of busy with funeral stuff. The only reason I got to keep my "vacation".

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  12. Although I love your #workhaiku, never stop looking for another job. Working in that environment is bad for your brain. Stress is bad for your whole body.

    Be kind to yourself!

    Heather

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  13. I hope that means you're getting over-time. You also have my sympathy. There is absolutely nothing worse than working at a job you hate. It's a soul suck and I hope you find something else soon.

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  14. That all sounds... interesting. I can understand your pain though. At my day job, we had a turn over of waitresses and have yet to find suitable ones. It didn't help that today, the opening waitress didn't show up and no one, not us nor her family, knew where she was. The closing waitress ended up pulling a double shift.

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  15. Geez, what stress. Things would be easier if they just listened to the stock girl.

    I'll be looking forward to the haikus.

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  16. Oh, man. What a crap situation. I'm sorry you're having to deal with all of that. Keep us posted on the tenure of new boss #2!

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  17. someone in a ski mask needs to kick #1 boss' butt!

    why arent you boss #2? i know, not enough perks, right? ha!

    hang in there!!

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  18. Ughhh! No!!! Lo siento!

    (Side note: do you watch Parks & Recreation? If not, you should because I like it and we both have impeccable taste in television. If you DO watch, you should know that I imagine you working at Food and Stuff.)

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  19. Bless. Your. Heart! Wow, I remember days like that. While I am truly sorry for the state of affairs at your workplace, I have to say....your breakdown of it all is witty, amusing, and outright hilarious. Well done! And I hope it gets better. Is there a regional manager someone can speak to?

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  20. I'm soooooo with some of the folks above who suggest you write your "adventures" in a novel form (how about a novel? That's novel, no?)

    I say this having 15 years experience in the Restaurant business and though I feel sorry for you (no, I do... I swear:) your Store posts are always hilarious and remind me of the "good old days."

    You could even write multiple books and instead of a Trilogy, it would be a Chain :)

    Your sanity is in my prayers and GOOD LUCK in general :)

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  21. Agree with Mark. Have you ever read Schooled? It's about a former private school English teacher in NYC who discovers what really goes on with her students and their parents and her administration. Check it out if you can. I could totally see you writing a hilarious novel like that about The Store - your voice is perfect.

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  22. Ouch....sorry for the sucky working conditions. I think I used to work at The Store....or, at least, a place just like it.

    I was never so happy to leave a job in my life....

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  23. Wow... just wow. It always surprises me how management actually become management when they seem to have no clue how to actually do it. My appraisals have never been linked to pay - in my last job, not even HR bothered to look at them!

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  24. Le suck, Dude. Still, you have a speedy metabolism, W00T!

    Yeeeeeeeears ago (very late 80s) I worked at an Express store. I don't remember much about my time there (except for the French pop they played - which I bought on cassette tape and STILL own - and the fun sweaters), but I DO remember a staff meeting in which they gave us dire warnings about shop lifting (that is to say, they warned US not to), as the penalties were severe. "Forewarned is fairwarned," was their cutesy summary. Yeah. Screw them.
    Some Dark Romantic

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