Sorry. Gotta vent somewhere. This is a BIG part of what anonymous blogging is FOR.
I almost didn't write this post. I'd made up my mind within fifteen minutes of arriving at work to write a little something, but by mid-day, the thought'd dropped out of my mind.
It took "the girls" to remind me.
They pulled something that completely poisoned what was left of the relationships--well, some of the relationships--around here. I will explain, to a limited degree.
We have gone from having a relatively deep bench, experience-wise, to having a very thin one, and all in just the last few months. And all of it--all of it, as far as I am concerned!--directly traceable to the jackanapes in charge. We have three ladies, Customer Service Reps, up front. They are unsupervised the vast majority of the time. Only one of them has more than a year of experience in this surprisingly complicated business.
I do not entirely blame them for what they do. As I said, they are largely inexperienced and unsupervised and do not have nearly as much to do as the boss thinks they do. I sometimes wonder if he really knows what they are often up to and is just scared to confront them for fear of not being able to replace them. Such a fear would not be entirely unfounded. We have found that, even in the Obamaconomy, it is next to impossible for us to hire people. In such circumstances, people do things they might not do under closer scrutiny.
"The girls" are getting away with bloody blue murder. They make mistakes that CLEARLY show that they are not paying attention, or--often!--not even attempting to execute the fundamentals of their jobs. They lie about it, too, repeatedly claiming in meetings that they ARE TOO executing those fundamentals, even when evidence to the contrary is staring them in the face. Most maddening of all is the fact that they spend enormous amounts of their day texting and Facebooking on their cell phones. They KNOW they're not supposed to be doing that when they're supposed to be working. You can tell by the startled reaction they have when the door opens. They are wondering if they've finally been caught.
I swear, to walk in on them is to catch them goofing off. It's maddening. If you drive a hundred and fifty miles and find that you've been given the wrong, out-of-date-for-years address because someone didn't do what they claim to do, and call and check it, it's maddening. And this goofing off goes on most of the day!
My other driver and I are slowly being driven insane by this situation. Our boss is completely ineffective. It is certain that the only three people whom he holds accountable to any sort of standard are the two of us and the warehouseman, the only three people who keep showing up and more than getting the job done. It's as though he knows we will take it and keep coming back, but as far as I can tell, he hasn't the nerve to confront "the girls" over anything they do wrong, no matter how outrageous.
Recently, one of them was caught--I won't say how--at the casino when she'd called in "sick."
How many places do you know where you could pull THAT stunt and remain employed?
Three guesses how long I'd last if I tried that?
Three guesses how grateful my boss is that neither I nor my other driver ever do such a thing (and for that matter, the warehouseman, who has greatly improved his attendance in the last couple of months)?
At any rate, today, "the girls" made it abundantly clear that my other driver, the warehouseman, and I cannot trust them. They will stab us in the back without hesitation, and the three of us--well, at least my other driver and I, and I think the warehouseman, too--have made up our minds that, so help us, the Devil will be eating snowcones before we say one unnecessary thing to anyone else there, especially "the girls," ever again.
All this could be avoided with real leadership on the scene, but that seems to be sorely lacking.
But, as I said, that situation isn't what I made up my mind to write about this morning; it just reminded me to write.
What got me goin' this morning was my boss telling me to Febreze myself.
You may recall that I am a light pipesmoker, not meaning that at around 200 pounds, I am light in weight, but that I do not smoke very much. Right now, I typically smoke about a quarter-bowl on the way to work, and a bowl before I go to bed. Hardly anything, really.
I don't know why, but for some reason, it seems to occasionally drive my boss clear 'round the bend. It's not like it's any of his darned business, anyway, unless I'm breaking company policy on smoking, which I'm not.
All this week I've been smoking Stokkebye's Aroma Dutch Slices.
Smoked it Monday morning. Not a word. Smoked it Tuesday morning. Not a word. Smoked it Wednesday morning. Not a word. Smoked it Thursday morning. Not a word.
But THIS morning, the boss told me to spray myself down with Febreze, as it was "really strong."
Whiskey Tango ARE-YOU-FREAKING-KIDDING-ME?
I asked my other driver if she smelled anything unusual. She leaned over and sniffed and said no.
I put it down to this being, after all, MY BOSS, a man who, when he drives my other driver's vehicle, rips off the window tinting that she very neatly put up at her own expense and just slaps it back on when he's done, with all the neatness of a drunken, two-bit hooker, on the grounds that he "can't see through it," the man who, back when I was using Bluetooth (you'd think he'd be GLAD I was using hands-free technology!), used to tell me that he couldn't hear me (all the little old ladies could!). I put it down, in short, to him being both a little bit nuts and determined to aggravate me.
Well, my first stop was at our local facility and I decided to relay this little bit of insanity to the...well, the senior non-commissioned officer, let's put it that way...as I knew she would enjoy it. She always has plenty of her own "Deranged Boss" stories to tell; this is the lady that got raked over the coals for having a purple streak in her hair--say, that reminds me...
...One of "the girls," at this point, has so many tattoos it is not possible for them to be covered up and she displays them proudly. But if I come in, covered with dirt and sweat from actually having had to do something, I'm the one who gets told I look unprofessional. But I digress...
Oh, by the way, I asked this lady if she smelled anything unusual, and she, too, said no.
At any rate, as soon as I got started, it was, "OMG! So-and-So is ALWAYS telling me I smell like smoke!"
"But three-quarters of the staff here smoke, and you don't smell any different from them."
"I know! Why does she keep picking on ME?"
"I think I know why. It's because you're a leader, and the people in charge of this organization think that their leaders (and those in the public eye, like me) should look and act as though they just stepped out of the pages of BAPTIST LIFE. They're not supposed to drink (even in moderation), smoke (even in moderation), have purple streaks in their hair, or wear knee-high boots."
And you know, it IS it. It's not enough for our leaders that we show up on time, or early, or stay late, get the job more than done, go above and beyond, live respectable lives, take care of our spouses and children, stay active in church, and so forth. They want us to look and act like THEY think Christians should look and act, and lately, they seem to have decided that it's a job requirement to which they can hold us accountable.
Saying that they can go pound sand is putting it mildly.
And "the girls" can go pound sand.