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The Piece Which Never Fits. - Sauce1977 [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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The Piece Which Never Fits. [Feb. 20th, 2005|06:31 pm]

On Friday before work, I stopped at a 7-11 for a 24-oz. coffee and a pack of Winston Lights. The bill totalled at $6.66.

The outcome of my company's chaos didn't matter to me.

I attended the assistant managers' meeting with my FedEx receipt and a determination to be professionally-disgruntled.

For one month, I had worked strange hours, experienced daily problems beyond my grasp, and carried my work home with me in the form of frustration, insult over the cheap pay, and a sum of great anger.

The district manager held the meeting at the regional office. I arrived a handful of minutes late, after clocking into work at my store and grabbing the materials needed to take with me. Two chairs remained free. The DM greeted me, and I sat in one of them in the first row.

The DM started the meeting with a round of introductions. Each person told the group who they were, and they added something special about themselves. I was the fourth person to do this. I stood up and faced the group.

"Hello. I'm Christopher sauce1977, and I'm a writer."

I was the only one to stand. Most folks just rattled off their name, position, and how large their family was. Most didn't make much of an effort. I felt that if you were instructed to announce to a group, you should stand up and face them.

After that rousing round of apathy, the meeting began. We covered the dollar statistics and percentage increases and decreases. I found out that my Detroit region is considered the shittiest one in the retail nation.

One assistant manager was congratulated by the DM for following procedure and making a cash pull right before a robbery occurred. The thieves only made out with one register's contents. They walked away with 82 bucks.

I remembered very little of the meeting. I took some notes for the manager's sake, but I convinced myself that I wouldn't be working with the company. I noticed that my outlook remained one of indefinite placement in the problem store with no proper training and awareness of countless procedures not being followed.

I did take note of some procedures discussed, since they were news to me. We weren't doing them.

On the first break, our DM headed out with us for a smoke break.

She approached me. I told her without dramatic embellishment that I felt completely frustrated with my situation. I reiterated that I had no proper training, and many of the policies weren't being followed because the manager also received little training. I let her know that I didn't feel it was the manager's fault, and I stated that I didn't feel it was fair to her, either.

The DM is actually an approachable person with a good attitude. She changed my world by letting me know that I'd start Monday in a new store with managers who know the procedures and can show me what to do.

The meeting continued, but I didn't understand a lot of the bookwork that was discussed. After the meeting concluded, my feelings didn't change. It's hard for someone who's depressed to get out of the rut. I only focused on my FedEx bill, and I approached the DM with the receipt. She okayed a payout for the amount. I gave her fair warning that if my benefits did not process in time, that I would walk. She understood, and she said that I'd know by Monday.

I didn't go straight back to the store. The DM wanted me to go to the new store to talk to the manager. I decided to get lunch at Wendy's on the clock. Those were the best 45 minutes I was ever paid to work.

I headed over to the store. I didn't want to walk in there, but I decided that if the store looked as bad, in organization, as my current store, then this would make it my last day.

The manager did turn out to be a nice person, as the DM had mentioned. This manager gave me a tour of the store, which was neat and organized. The backroom of this store was at least twice the size of our store because it used to belong to another retail chain. There was some clutter and extra stock in the back of this store, but it wasn't completely full and in total chaos. I could deal with this store.

I left to clock out for a little while from my store. I brought back the stuff from the meeting, and I mentioned the payout. It was too late for me to head home for a bit, so I stuck around, talking to my current manager, in the store. Boxes litter the aisles, as there are few folks who can get to them to stock or organize.

I closed the store that night with overtime that I'm not supposed to have in payroll allowance. I also closed the next night. Time and a half kind of makes up for this month, but at this point, none of it really matters to me.

I didn't lift much of a finger on Friday, and I went to the chiropractor on Saturday. He cracked the shit out of me from my ass to my neck. I felt pretty sore and stiff on Saturday after the chiropractor, so I didn't do any lifting at work.

At the close of Saturday, I had received my payout. I wanted to find out about my benefits, but I can never get through to the corporate department when I call. I leave messages, but they never return the calls.

I have a revised plan.

If my benefits were processed, I will continue to give the company a chance. I didn't like the idea that I'd only be at this new store for a couple of weeks. This meant that I'd probably return to the first store. Each day will be a test of my feelings about sticking around . . . the DM mentioned that it's a clean slate on Monday, but I find it hard to make that a two-way street. At least the one way is coming from the top-down on this one.

If my benefits were not processed, then I will continue to work until I can find a new place to jump ship. I will do as little as possible, and I will try to avoid lifting anything heavy, in either case. I might have to do a truck on Monday, but I won't be working too hard at it. I understand truck-work . . . I don't understand 90% of the job, especially the paper-work, which is my major concern.

I feel that it's a shame for this situation to have happened. I bring good customer service skill to the table, and I probably own an IQ of at least 120. I can do the work. I could probably do it well. Yet, I have no motivation at this point.

The middle fingers in my hands sometimes throb with pain, and other times, they feel numb. I am not sure what that means.

Two bright spots happened on Friday and Saturday at work.

On Friday, a father and his son came into work with an application. His 17-year-old son was looking for a 1st job. I took the application with my professional flair, and I began to look it over when I noticed missing parts of the app. One that was filled in urged me to help the kid.

On the part of the app where it asks for the person to list any other names they've had, the kid put down names like "Ant-Wan, D-Note," and 3 or 4 other nicknames. I gave my explanation with some positive construction that the question is directed toward women who had maiden last names before they were married. I told the two to wait while I went to get another application, and I spent about ten minutes to explain and look over his answers to make sure that he was fully aware of how to get a job. The father, impressed with my offering of help, reiterated my guidance on questions and the process, telling his son, "Listen to this man. What he's saying is what I told you, and this is what you need to do." I guided him through the lack of work experience, suggesting that instead of putting down "N/A" . . . add a letter, either on a typewriter or a computer, telling the employer about what he can offer. I mentioned that if he could produce a letter there . . . it would be better than listing nothing, and it would show the employer that he could communicate. I finished the guidance by telling the young man that even if he didn't get a job with this company, that it would be true and would hold water to follow these tips anywhere he put in an application, as it would separate him from the rest of the new workers as one who should be given a shot. The two took my 2nd blank application, and the father told me that he'd sit down with his son and re-fill the application. I was thanked for my time.

On Saturday, a mother came in with her two young children. She purchased her items for her house while the 8-year-old daughter and the 4-year-old son waited. I helped her with her EBT card. EBTs are basically food-stamp-cash-cards. I wished them a good evening as they left the store.

One minute later, the mother storms in with her son. She yanked him by his arm and swung him forward in front of me. "Take him to the police. He stole these items." The boy, visibly shaken, held some toy in his one hand.

He murmured "no" as he tried to make for the door, but his mother grabbed him by the shoulders and swung him back in front of me. "I'm sorry, sir, but my son took these items. Give them back to the man. Sir, you can call the police to come get him."

"No," he said, a little more loudly, with terror.

He tried once more to leave, but she grabbed his arm with the toy. "Give him the toy." She swung it toward me. I took the toy from his hand. "I saw you had something else. Give it to this man." She rolled up his sleeve, and he had a pack of Bubble Tape. The boy gave me the Bubble Tape. "Take him away . . . "

I bent my knees down to talk to the boy on his level. He wanted to run, but I grabbed him by his shoulders. "Hey, it's okay," I said. He wouldn't look at me. "Look at me," I said. "Look at me."

The boy looked at me, and tears rolled down his cheeks. He tried looking away, but I repeated the command to look at me. "Today's your lucky day," I softly said to him. "Your momma's gonna love you. She will teach you how to act right. I'm not going to call the police. It's okay. Listen to your momma."

The mother thanked me, and she grabbed the child, and they left the store.

A line of three or four people were waiting to be rung up during the commotion. I received a couple of individual commendations from the customers, congratulating me for the good way that I handled it. "I was more proud of the mother," I said.

When I was that boy's age, I put a pack of gum in my pocket so I wouldn't lose it in the corner store. I planned to give it to my mom when she was ready to purchase our stuff. I forgot about the gum, and we left the store and returned home. I found the gum and showed my mom in shock . . . I knew that she didn't pay for it. I already knew it was wrong to steal.

My mother had a fit. She scolded me for taking the gum, and she dragged me back to the store. I was terrified. I thought they'd take me away from my mom. She made me apologize to the store workers, and I remember being punished for some time after that incident.

I was just as much in that little boy's shoes as he was there with me yesterday. I still feel honored to have met such a devoted mother.

Again, I apologize for the incoherence and the mistakes. It's been a long month.


(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2005-02-22 01:19 am (UTC)
They'll be sorry when they get on my last nerve.
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From: little_hg
2005-02-21 03:34 am (UTC)
He was only 4? =( Oh my... you did well.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2005-02-22 01:19 am (UTC)
Thank you, but it's more impressive to have a food-stamp-mom take the time to correct her son. I'm more proud of her than anything else.
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From: little_hg
2005-02-22 01:27 am (UTC)
Ack. I'm a food-stamp-mom.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2005-02-22 01:30 am (UTC)
That's a noble undertaking, to care so much to teach your son or daughter right that you'd drag them back into a store to make them return the items they snatched without paying for . . .

Most parents are too lazy to go back in the store.
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[User Picture]From: gjenkins05
2005-02-21 04:32 am (UTC)
You handled the situation with the little boy well. I hope that your benefits do get processed, and that things work out ok at the new store. It does suck you'd probably only be there for a few weeks...but even so, if you learn a lot there and feel you get trained better, the next place you go maybe you can help them with the way they were trained, or if things are good, learn even more there.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2005-02-22 01:18 am (UTC)
Thanks for the compliment.

I'm naturally helpful, so I have to develop a non-caring back-hand mean nature to balance. People take advantage of me.

One of these days, the motherfuckers are going to use up my last ounce of care.
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From: needlefinger
2005-02-21 07:27 am (UTC)
okay Ive been thinking about it... here's what ya gotta do. make sure you got the benefits first, unload the truck, throw your back out and go on disability. get your back worked while you write your breakthrough novel and/or find something better.
It will be a great loss to the service sector, but we dont want to lose you altogether.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2005-02-22 01:16 am (UTC)
Companies tie in the disability to insurance companies.

It would take months to collect, if there even was a possibility.

I believe my generation should be a nation of protesting homeless. We should refuse to work. We should refuse to participate. When the elders become too old and sick to work, then we shall have them.

You first.
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From: needlefinger
2005-02-22 02:07 am (UTC)
I'm already there. I'm a retail management refugee, now a part of a growing underground economy. Unfortunately, though, the gas company wont take payment in handcrafts or yarn... but in the summer I can barter with the farmers for food.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2005-02-22 03:04 am (UTC)
I might be able to trade sculpted feces on Ebay.
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[User Picture]From: mostlie_sunnie
2005-02-21 03:10 pm (UTC)
That was really swell of you to help that kid with his application!
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2005-02-22 01:15 am (UTC)
I wish someone had been as open with me.

The nicknames were a green-ish giveaway.
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[User Picture]From: notoriousmdc
2005-02-22 12:42 am (UTC)
Considering how much bullshit you have to put up with, your overall professionalism and dedication are quite commendable.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2005-02-22 01:14 am (UTC)
It's a bullshit facade, just like everyone else's.

I would like to find something similar without the hours of lifting 60 lbs. of cat litter.
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[User Picture]From: notoriousmdc
2005-02-22 04:06 am (UTC)

That'd be nice hey? At least you've got a job... I keep that in mind a lot.

Doesn't always help, but I keep it in mind.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2005-02-22 05:15 am (UTC)
I do keep it in mind.

One other manager was making more on unemployment than they do in their position.

That's a laugher.

I did spend almost 1.5 years unemployed with no government support . . . I've always quit my jobs . . . I've never been laid-off or fired from them.
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