Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Above And Beyond

I went to The Store yesterday (which is always my first mistake, I know) but I really needed to check my schedule for next week. I used to be able to call in and have someone tell me my schedule but some of the associates were using that tactic to miss shifts and use the "Well, so and so didn't tell me I had to be there" excuse so now all of us have to make the trek in. As it was, the Store Manager (SM from here on out) hadn't posted it yet so I'm still in the dark about next week and have to make yet another trip to The Store on another day off.

But here's what I did get out of my visit:

Confusion and bemusement.

Wanna know why?

Well, let me back up a bit first. I've made it absolutely no secret that I can't stand my job and if you've read this blog for any length of time, you'll know this. I'm a retail drone. I empty boxes of shipment and I fold jeans. I open fitting rooms for people. I occasionally will help them find their sizes but only if I was headed in that direction anyway. I occasionally spend more time writing haiku about my work day than actually working the work day. I don't work night or holidays and only condone to working two weekends the entire year. I'm not really all that interested in customer service. I refuse to sell credit cards or membership cards or whatever other card they decide we should push. I refuse to learn the register. I flat out don't participate in store incentives and the only reason I didn't heckle the last staff meeting was because I was too busy sitting in the back watching the Patriots game on my smart phone.

And my visit before this one (to pick up a paycheck because I still refuse to get direct deposit even though the company keeps harassing me to do so), I learned that our stupid, stupid annual inventory will be held on Superbowl Sunday. This led to a rant of which I am especially proud in which I may have called everyone in the corporate office a bunch of American hating communists because why else would they schedule something so stupid as inventory on Superbowl Sunday. I say 'may have' because of course it can't be proven.

I just may have to quit my job. And no, that's not a joke.

So, as you can see, I'm very much the motivational poster pictured above.

And yet...

Ruthie, my long suffering stockroom companion, told me that she'd been brought into the office for a sit down meeting with the SM. I don't remember the original topic of conversation but somehow it came around to how Ruthie needs to be more like me.

Me: You mean surly, sarcastic and uncooperative?

Because honestly, I'm flabbergasted. I'm totally the main character in Office Space and just like that character (whose name I honestly can't remember), it seems the more surly, sarcastic and uncooperative I am, the more well received I become.

The SM claims that Ruthie doesn't go above and beyond for her job the way I do.

Me: Well, that's true. I do tweet way more unflattering things about this place than you do.
Ruthie: I don't even know what 'tweeting' is!
Me: Maybe you should.

The SM told Ruthie that I always come early and stay late whereas she punches in on time and leaves on time.

Me: So she's angry that you show up on time? Doesn't she realize that you're one of three employees who actually do that?
Ruthie: I know, right!

And then the SM said I don't take my breaks (which is sometimes true but not always. Some times I take extended breaks but the SM doesn't seem to know about that) whereas Ruthie always takes her breaks. And again, always punches back in on time.

Me: But I get yelled at when I don't take my breaks.
Ruthie: I know!

But then came one of the SM's more well developed examples of how I go above and beyond. It happened just before Christmas when The Store was in the midst of a massive product transfer (nothing makes me happier than sending massive amounts of product to another store just before inventory prep starts.). I just so happened to wander in to check my schedule and saw Ruthie in a bit of a time crunch. So I helped her out by printing shipping labels and putting them on the boxes. I didn't help The Store. I helped Ruthie. Sure, The Store benefited as the boxes made it to the delivery truck on time but that's not why I did it. This is what the SM had to say that day:

SM: What, are you gunning for employee of the month?
Me: God no. I have a reputation to maintain after all.

Yep. Sure sounds like a team player to me.

So let this be a lesson to you, kids. If you're going to be a surly, sarcastic pain the ass at work, make sure you show up early.


  1. To all the creationists out here that say there is a god that created man and then fashioned woman from a rib that was taken from Adam, it was all done so that people could work in retail for the truly privileged of our society. No matter how I look at doesn't make sense. All that I see are that some people's lives are so much better than others.

    I like your demotivational poster as well.

  2. OMFG I love this. And yeah, every time I think of you, I think of Office Space.

    Boss: You've been missing a lot of work.
    Employee: Well, I wouldn't say that I'm actually "missing" work.

  3. it truly amazes me how numbskulls w/ no people skills make it into management (i have worked many a store & restaurant under such)

    then i realize, thats prob as far as they go...retail store manager. they work their butt off following rules and kissing up to get there and abuse their powers when they do...similar to politics =)

    and i believe perseverance pays off. an intelligent person can put up with the drones in management and get a better job (when there are some available...right?)

  4. Lol. Great laugh this morning! My job has been 24/7 since I popped out kid number one, so I've been clocked in for 4 years now. I hope the kids don't lecture me if I take breaks to, you know, shower and eat and stuff. :)

  5. Girl you remind me of me SO much when I worked in the warehouse at my Best Buy. I had the biggest and worst attitude, hated everyone and told them (including my manager) that they were all effing idiots. I literally looked my manager in the face and told him he didn't know how to do his job. I was totally hoping to get fired, instead....he apologized for being dumb and promised to get better. I realized then they would never fire me so I quit two weeks later.

  6. Fellow retail drone! Although I've been job searching like crazy...

    At my store we can't call in either, but if there's a reason nobody's told me. My dad manages a battery factory (I think they make plane batteries I'm not 100% sure on that) and he says if the company makes you drive in they need to pay you. But maybe that's only for certain stuff. Who knows, retail likes to keep you in the dark I think.

  7. So true. Little do they know, the people who complain the most, usually work the hardest. LOL. I hope I never have to go back to retail. 15 years was enough.

  8. If the reverse psychology is working, don't buck it. But Super Bowl Sunday? That is grounds for departure.

  9. I must watch Office Space again :D


    People are crazy.

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  11. Before I had kids, I taught school all day and then worked retail on weekends, nights and holidays. I always loved the people I worked with and couldn't stand the people I worked for. You make me laugh when I read about your job but I'm so glad I'm not there anymore.

  12. I like that attitude. Ah, the stories I could tell about my days in retail... I wished I blogged then. In fact, I may do a post about the good old days soon.

    Good stuff. Stick to your guns. I'm a true believer that you get what you pay for. And if I'm getting paid a pittance to do a job, I'll give a pitiable effort. Well, not really, but sometimes I do.

  13. Oh my dear. I feel your pain. I worked in retail for 5 years. Those stupid Credit Card sales were my downfall. I hope I never have to go back to that again. New Follower :)

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  14. Methinks it would be fun to test how far you can take this, especially if you do intend to quit for Superbowl. Too funny, and so wrong!

  15. Maybe the SM is trying to keep you sweet so you'll agree to skip the Super Bowl to do the stock check. Don't fall for it. I hope you can enjoy Super Bowl Sunday without having to quit v

  16. Hahahaha! I loved this! Lesson taken. And best of luck on Superbowl Sunday!

  17. Here's the logic:
    #1: Trying to do inventory with customers in the store really sucks.

    #2: Yeah, but we'd have to pay extra to have people come in at night to do it. Or close the store.

    #3: No, wait, no one comes in on Super Bowl Sunday (because it's one of the three biggest holidays of the year), let's do it, then! We have to pay the employees to be there anyway, and the store will be basically empty.

    #1: Won't that upset the employees?

    #3: They should just be happy to have jobs and that we allow them to come in and work.

    #2: This is awesome! We'll be at home getting to watch the Super Bowl while all this is going on.

    >high-5s all around<

    This perspective brought to you by someone that used to work at TRU.

  18. I think this story says even more about today's workforce than it does about you. The expectations are so low that even the smallest effort gets noticed. I once worked in an office for three weeks before they promoted me because I was able to follow directions. They were so impressed with my ability to just do what they asked, they thought I should be given more money. Good for me. Not so good for whoever gave them the impression that following simple commands was an in-demand skill.

    poor ruthie!

  20. And I thought Office Space was fiction.

    Perhaps you should hold a Super Bowl party at The Store. It's not like you need to do anything during inventory, right?

    I so don't miss retail.