October 27th, 2009

Ice King, Adventure Time

Shocker! Work-Related Rant.

First off, I'm going to warn you. This is going to be a wrath-filled rant. Yes, the subject is, again, work, and yes, there is going to be some common sense mixed in here too. In other words, it'll be over management's heads.

Over three years ago I was hired on as a temporary associate for the building of our store. I was on the woodworking crew. The fitting rooms? Built that. I knew I was just a temp and unless I proved myself worthy, I would not have a job before the store opened. There were over 100 of us in the same boat, so it wasn't like I was a special case or anything. I worked very hard. I always showed up, did the work presented to me, and left for the day. I worked not only at the old store, but the new one. Not only inside, but also in the blistering heat. I did what was told and never had to be reprimanded for anything. I was hired weeks before the store started up and I was given three basic choices: Cart Pusher, Maintenance, and Furniture. Since I was leaving my previous job so I wouldn't have to push carts or do maintenance, I went with the obvious furniture department.

The following months and years went by. I was only written up once (which is basically as clean a record as anyone has) for a slap-on-the-wrist kind of thing. I have always been on time, worked, gave my all at my job. I was actually proud to be an associate of my store, and I had the pride and knowledge that not only customers and co-workers appreciated and respected me, but that superiors would often compliment me on my work ethic. Now, I am not saying I was a model associate, perish the thought, but I did enough to please most everyone.

Soon I was given a secondary job code in stationary where I got to apply the knowledge I learned in furniture to a new department where I feel I excelled. Once again I recieved multiple compliments from people and workers on how I did my job over there. I was able to apply more knowledge of how things worked. I even got to head a lot of the back to school area projects where we excelled at what we did. I had a change in department managers and while it took a little bit of time to get my bearings, I still received compliments on, once again, my work ethic.

Months pass again, and I am forced outside in the heat as a cart pusher, a job I never asked for nor put under my preferrences in my work space. It was here things really started to go downhill. Suddenly I get these looks of either pity or disgust. I have to wear these really funky and smelly vests and go outside and do a job that is usually relegated to young boys who usually quit within a few months. Its no big mystery why. No one respects them nor takes them seriously. I now know better, and want out bad.

But heaven forbid that I should speak up at work now. I spoke up once, just once, and now I am relegated to nothing. Nada. Zilch. Not on the schedule. At all. No hours.

Have I missed something here? Did I do something to deserve this treatment? I haven't made anyone mad, even with my menial cart pushing job. The supervisors seem happy with my work....so.....who did I tick off this time? This is why I despise confronting management. This is why I think they are rejects from other stores. Yes, rejects.

Here is the mock conversation I had in my head:

Me: Sooooo...yeah, not being scheduled ANY hours. Not cool.
Manager: Well, let look at your availability.

Let's stop here. The new rule is that the person with the most open availability and seniority gets more hours. Admittedly, my availability is not as good as other ones. Yeah, I can't work on Mondays because of school. I am available Wednesday nights, but not during the day because not only do you never have me there during the day anyhow, I have school. On Thursdays I teach a class at my church and I even came in one night and had to give the lesson to someone on short notice. For you. Yes, I have other responsibilities outside work. Sundays are sacred for me. Yes, I am a God-fearing christian who goes to both morning and evening services, preaching at some in fact, keeping Hebrews 10:25 in mind by not forsaking the assembling of the saints. In fact, I did give up Sundays at my last job. I became someone I'm not proud of, so I know I need church. In short if I don't have Him to believe in, I have nothing. So yes, despite your retorts, I want Sundays off you hypocritical (thought about using the word "atheistic" but didn't want to put anyone's panties into a wad) pigs.

So yes, I have my availability as much as I can. I bend over backwards to try to make it work out. For you. I did everything I could, giving up classes I wanted to take just to keep you happy. This is what I get. Nothing.

Its not right.

Its also not just this. They are going to force all non managerial full time people to be part time. Its either take this part time job, or leave. Now, not only should this be illegal, but its just morally wrong. You are essentially cutting hours of people who have worked there over 20 or 30 years who depend on this place for their income. Have you no decency?

Also, the other major rumor lurking around is that is all but confirmed is pay. Not only are you going to "put everyone at the same level, except management" but you are going to stop giving people raises. Hard workers who have come to expect their pay increases on the annual basis. Again, it saves money, but at what cost? Is it worth the low morale and "bonuses" we get? The 3 basic beliefs should be 1. Serve the Profit 2. Respect the Payroll 3. Forget the Customers.

If work has taught me anything, its that absolute power corrupts absolutely. I think I didn't understand that phrase better than I do now. It has also taught me that the bigger the company, the more corrupt it is. It has also taught me some things about myself as well. I have learned that all I will ever be considered for is grunt work. I also learned that I am not worthy of respect either. I should just give up and be a janitor the rest of my life, because I will never be considered for anything else but those kinds of jobs anyhow.

I will end on this note. The place is a sick, twisted, maddening cult. Nooooooooo. Unions are bad! Never trust a union! Well, in all honesty, its a bit too late to say this, but I honestly think that this mess wouldn't have been as bad if we had some representation. If we had a union, we would have some leverage, and maybe this whole debacle could have been avoided. Just a thought.

I await my last day when I can turn around and say "Good riddance".

The Allengator