Monday, March 10, 2008

Oh no you di'int!

Saturday night I was putting Anna to bed while John and Emma were at one of his coworkers/buddies house. Anna and I had to stay home because she is sick and coughing. :(

Anyway, I asked her what she was going to do all day Sunday (because I had to work 7-3:30 pm).

"Hmmm," she smiled,"fight with Emma?" She then laughed a very evil, maniacal laugh.

"Ha. Ha. Ha," I monotoned. She comes by the maniac part honestly, John and I both have a few nuts in our family trees. Let's hope that the evil part doesn't pop up again ;) (because she comes by that honestly too, I hate to admit).

Work.... how should I say it? What one word could I possibly use to sum it all up?

How about "SUCKTASTIC"?

I have been trying to avoid sharing the boring details of my anxiety and frustration. Not many people really, truly love their jobs so I know I am not alone... therefore what I have to say in the matter is completely mundane and not at all unique.

The first few days after orientation, one person decided to make it her missions to make sure I knew that younger her was the boss of older me by asking me in a slightly snotty tone after a very busy 1st hour of pushing around the same cart of things to restock because of the very needy consumers customers that kept asking me to help them... "if I was heading in the right direction".

Snark much? I'm not 12, for the love of biscuits... I'm a 38 yr old with a freaking work ethic. Shoot, I have more hours put in on the work force toilet than she has in her whole career. I was a bit put off, and I responded as politely as possible what I had been up to, then let my hair down with "So, yes, I THINK I'm headed in the right direction." Mentally, I added a "Batch!" to end of the conversation.

Some people whom I have confided in have told me that maybe it's just 'cause I'm the new meat on the block. To which I responded, "Well, I suppose that could be true... only I didn't hear her harassing the 18 yr old high school student every 45 minutes."

Yesterday, I worked my first early shift which is a completely different species from working the pm shift. The pm shift consists of restocking, prettying up the aisles full of product (straightening, smoothing, refolding... etc), and restocking all of the returns and items thrown into different spots of the store, basically where ever the customer see fit to drop it, ie: cosmetics in the chip aisle, clothing in the DVD section.

The am shift consists of putting up new sales signs, printing new signs, marking price labels for products that are out of stock or need to be pulled from the stock room. Also miscellaneous and tedious tasks such as dusting the jewelry cases.

Now here is my problem. I have a certain way of doing things, which is fine... I am open to suggestions. I have been told that certain things obviously need to be done a certain way, such as the more technical aspects like taking down sales signs with the use of a hand held type computer. Cool, fine, super even.

I have also been told that concerning said technical tasks, I will develop my own style of how those things, as in in which order I do the steps. I have also been told that I will develop my own style and preferences as far as doing tasks for my shift, as in which end I start my clean up and I how I am able to prioritize the things I am allowed to prioritize.

So, yesterday I am working in the massive womens/juniors department, plus jewelry, cosmetics, purses and hosiery (all of those departments are your work area when they tell you you are "Jewelry" for the day). All morning long, the team leader had me doing tasks primarily outside of my "zone", the work areas I was given. Then midday, I was given 4 tasks. These tasks were specifically for the jewelry person. I didn't ask to clean the jewelry counters, mirrors, and jewelry/watch display cases that sit atop the counters, plus the 3 other tasks. In the grand scheme of things, to anyone who didn't actually know I had been assigned to do these specific things before the end of my shift... and given the fact that Jewelry was only about a 10th of my total zone for the day, it may have looked to others like I was utterly and completely slacking.

During either shift the team lead will notify the various departments that they have "pulls", which is product that the stock room pulls out that needs to be stocked. In the middle of cleaning the jewelry department, I heard team lead say that there was pulls for basically clothing, meaning it could have been womens, mens, children and toddler/infant. Being that I wasn't horribly busy, and feeling confident that i could do the pulls after I finished cleaning in about 15 minutes, I volunteered to get the cart of pulls- which BTW only consisted of about 8 items at the most.

Here is where my own personl logic and work ethic comes in, my peeps: I decided that since I was actually given tasks that I had to do before I left for the day, that I would finish those tasks (which I had already done 3 out of 4 at this point), THEN restock the pulls. There was no word of any customer needing any of those items, so I figured that this was a good plan.

To recap, finish the tasks that were actually assigned to me first, then do pulls- which happen several times in one shift, and are pretty common... and there WOULD be more pulls later for sure, so what was the rush? It would get done, I would have it done as soon as my tasks were done.

See my logic? Let me just say that I pride myself in my work ethic. I don't slack, and I do my tasks until they are completed. I used to be a nurse, and was faced with life and death situations every day.

Anyway, one of the ladies that was helping me out during the day and showing me the ropes, asked me what the cart was. I said pulls. She glared at me, "You know, by the time it took you to walk all the way up here, you could have had them done."

I politely responded," Yes, I just thought that I would do the tasks that I was assigned, and then do the pulls."

"YOU COULD have had them done by the time you got up here. You'll learn," she says with a smirk and fake smile, while speeding off with the cart.

"What I have learned is that these people tell you to develop your own way of doing things, but what they really mean is do it my 'old and crusty assed' way of doing it, whether you like it or not, and eventually it WILL be your way," I thought to myself. GRRRR!

I still feel as if I was right, and I still feel as if her tone and snarkiness was not needed. I guess I'm still the new meat, so it's OK to hang me up on a hook and use me as a punching bag if your having a bad day. Sons a biscuits.

I was due my 2nd 15 minute break, and heard the team lead tell her she needed to go on her break. I knew I was due my break so i told the team lead that I was going too. While on my break, Miss "You'll learn" asked why I was taking my break and asked me who was on the floor in clothing. Basically she accused me of abandoning my post. i shrugged, trying not to show anger and seem insulted. I pulled out my work sheet,"It says right here 2nd break 2 pm."

"Ohhh," she said, realizing it was her and the team lead's mistake,"My break isn't until 2:15." Now the team lead is paging me on the walkie, not sounding very happy. I was annoyed and was about to respond, but Miss had realized the mistake and called her on it. Thank goodness I didn't need to respond, I was REALLY annoyed at how I was being treated.

15 minutes flew by and I soon back on the floor.

After I finished my mandatory tasks, I employed another bit of personal logic, which was this: "rezone" your light weight areas (cleaning, straightening etc), such as purses and cosmetics, which should take you 15 minutes tops, THEN do the disaster area that would be womens/juniors. At this point it was 2;20 pm, and I was stressing that I had barely touched my zones all day but resolved to make sure to do as much as humanly possible before the next shift came on. I am never one to leave work for other people if it can absolutely be helped, but I also feel that I need to at least to a cursory clean up in each section so that I know no one zone is a complete disaster, and so I can honestly say I walked though each and every zone.

So, less messy/barely touched zones (quickly) first, finish the shift working my booty off cleaning womens/juniors.

Miss "You'll learn" walked by while I was speed zoning cosmetics and snapped,"You MIGHT want to start walking your zones."

"Yes, I'm doing that right now," I said calmly, trying not to grit my teeth.

"YOUR TABLES ARE A MESS," she said as she stomped by, meaning that the clothing racks that hold shelves of folded clothing.

I was so angry at this point for being treated like I was a child, and said,"Can I do anything right today?"- not caring if she heard me or not at this point, luckily for me and my hot head, she was already pretty much out of ear shot, that's how hard and fast she was stomping.

Fine, I thought to myself, cheeks ablaze... I'll do Women's and Juniors and screw the rest. At 3:30 I'm outta here. I walked over and started refolding a table of completely screwed up juniors shirts and tanks. I secretly hated myself for letting her get to me, and for feeling like I was justified in not doing my job to the best of my ability, in my own organized way.

Luckily, there was a girl that came on shift at about 2, and neither of us knew it but our shifts were overlapping in Jewelry/etc. She asked me with a puzzled look if I was working there, I said yes... and that i was just chewed out because "my tables were a mess". She gave me a sympathetic look and said she would start at the other end and not to worry about it (as in, relax, it's going to be OK). Thanks Shelby!

I was telling John after we left The T property that i don't have a problem with people telling me I'm doing something wrong... and I actually appreciate it when someone tells me this without resorting to tattling on me to the supervisors/managers about it. I don't mean that i am afraid of all that, and/or being confronted by the higher ups... i'm an adult, and I have seen tougher stuff than a little talking to, whether it be professionally or personally.

What i would love and expect from anyone, including myself is a little professionalism, and to not be given verbal lashings because I lowest on the totem pole, therefore in effect deserving less respect in their eyes.

I would and do expect that confrontations be done in a respectful manner. How about this: Hey Mary, I was walking by and noticed that your tables are a mess. If Corporate came through right now, they'd be having a fit over it. you might want to go do that first and not worry about the other stuff right now."

See how that works? I could understand possibly being treated like that if say... i had been working there for 6 months, and if my work was consistently a mess. This was my 9th shift, only my 5th shift off of orientation, and my first day shift. Cut me some freaking slack, anyone?

So, there you have it. I hate my new job. The only thing i have going for me is the fact that almost all of the younger people I work with are more than willing to answer any questions, and even volunteer help when they see that "Oh crap"/puzzled/constipated look I probably have on my face.

Yeah, I think SUCKTASTIC sums it up pretty nicely.


kailani said...

OMG! Isn't there anyone nice there? How can you work in such a hostile environment? You have a lot more patience and tolerance than I do!

Not So Anonymous Michelle said...

I am amazed you didn't sap that "miss" by the end of the day or walk out! I give you TONS of credit for sticking it out and I truly think and hope it will get better! I'm glad to hear you do hae some people that are helpful for you and not EVERYONE is sucktastic!

That kind of crap is enough to drive someone to alcoholism!

~Virginia~ said...

holy crap! that's insane! hope things get better or at least less sucky! :)

Factor 10 said...

Hang in there, girl!

I worked in retail all my life, and when I switched to an office job I could not believe the backbiting. I think it's not the biz, it's the freaking people that suck. sigh.

Fight the good fight and show 'em how grown ups do it!

Daddy Forever said...

I would resort to my bag of immature pranks. No one messes with me, no one!

slackermommy said...

I'm with Daddy Forever, I would have to do something to her. I'm immature like that.