Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A fitting end to 2014?

Lately, I've been feeling really down at work. There are a few things that have contributed to my complete lack of interest in my job. There was a debacle with Christmas and my turning down a request to dress up as Mrs. Clause. I received two separate lectures that equated to my needing to put aside my beliefs if I ever wanted to move into management. (I've been clear with my management team that my goal is to work into management.) At the suggestion of my assistant manager, I went to the head manager and told her my goals, so that she knew them. Her reply was one of the lectures about my personal beliefs (she said I can't have political beliefs and be a manager) and then she went into a long lecture about what a difficult employee I am. She actually said, "I mean, if you had to manage a Fenna, would you want to manage a Fenna?"

These are a couple instances on top of a long line of no training, being used like a cog in a machine, receiving lectures on my attitude when I have the one bad day out of several months, and just a general lack of morale in the entire crew. I'm the kind of person who needs to feel you value my work. If you tell me I have a shitty attitude, all of the leaders are tired of my complaining, and that no one on the crew likes me...I mean, I may understand that you don't have it all right, but I will feel discouraged and undervalued. Maybe it's a flaw, but I need to feel valued. I get discouraged easily. If I feel undervalued and disrespected, then I also feel completely unmotivated to do anything...especially work for $8 an hour. If you pull me into the office to berate me, if you constantly find something to pick on me about, if you tell me I'm a difficult employee who doesn't listen and is impossible to manage making it impossible for me to move into management, well then, I'm just not going to have any desire to work for you.

Maybe it's a personal flaw. Certainly, friends and family have suffered through similar situations and never taken them as personally as I do.

Today, I went to work with a bad attitude. I'll just be up front. I haven't felt the job for a few weeks. I've given up a couple of shifts or called off. Yesterday, I was sick all day with an intestinal thing, and I couldn't run, and I was tired all day. Add that to my complete lack of interest in my job, and I just wasn't having a good attitude today. I walk into work, and I'm talking to the assistant manager, waiting to be checked in. Another manager interrupts us to give me a quick break down of the day and to tell me I need to "hop on" register two because I'm the only cashier for the day.

Fucking great! Exactly the position I hate. I'm being used yet again in the manner I hate being used. I feel like such a fucking cog in a machine and not an actual person. So, I roll my eyes as I turn and go to the register. At the register, I'm doing the bare minimum to get my job done. I can feel my phone vibrating against me and all I want is to be anywhere else. There's a break in the customers, and I realize I'm standing, staring into space. I start doing other tasks, trying to tell myself that I need to get into this shift, make it through the next four hours, and have a smile on my face while I do so.

That's when the training manager calls me back to the office. I know what's coming, and I'm fully prepared not to budge. My attitude is set and I intend on telling her that I cannot force myself to be happy when I'm being used in such a manner. To her credit, she starts with, "What's going on?" or something similar. I admit I hate cashier...and then the lecture begins. It's the same lecture she gives, like a fucking retarded drill sergeant, always needing to drill into any employee the same bullshit about attitude and numbers. This manager sees her job as a list of numbers she needs to reach in order to be promoted. She admitted, in my training session, that she was new at the job and didn't want to do it and wasn't good at it. She gives pep talks that are all about reaching goals and is frustrated with any employee who can't simply meet the numbers. She believes that everyone should be able to reach their goals, though she doesn't seem to believe in actually training her employees...and on my end, she never trained me. She read from a book for one day and that was it, never once did she ever train me again, even though I asked for training. She lectured me, she told me to change the way I talked to customers, she never followed up on any of my goals and has never complimented me on any accomplishments.

So there we are, in the middle of a lecture, and I'm tired. And so, I exploded. When she said something like, "If you don't want to be here, we can find someone else to be here. It's January, everyone wants hours." I said, "You know what, then find someone else!" I said more...I said I was tired of being lectured and that I can't give 100% today, that I've given a million percent many times with no support from management, and I couldn't do it anymore. I told her I was tired of the tattle tail environment of the place. And as I clocked out, I told her that if they wanted me there, then they needed to figure it out.

The tattle tail environment... The manager who assigned me to the register, and at whom I rolled my eyes, immediately told the training manager what had happened. The training manager brought it up in her lecture. Last week or the week before, this immature manager had given me a task to complete. It was a pretty big project involving signing all the promotions in menswear. Halfway through, she comes at me, asking me how I'm doing it. When I explain my process, she tells me to do it another way. OK, 1. her way makes no sense and wastes time and 2. I'm already halfway through this way, so I'm not changing. I basically told her that, but nicer. She turned around and told the head manager...this is what led to the lecture about me being a disagreeable employee.

On my way out, I walked to the register with tattle tail manager and I said, "If you have a problem with me, you come to me. Tattle tailing is for five year olds."

And then I stormed out into the glorious sunshine of this cold winter's day, proving yet again that I just can't fucking make it in this world. Whatever it is that makes attitudes change, that prevents people from losing it, that let's things roll off your back, whatever it is that makes other people manage to fit into shitty environments or not be discouraged by poor management...I just don't have that. As I texted the boy, asking if I could come over, as I drove way too fast and dangerously on the highway, as I tried not to start bawling like a baby, I tried to figure out where I had gone wrong. I mean, obviously my attitude was the problem. Obviously, I should've kept my shit together and smiled through this stupid day and not exploded and walked out on my shift.


Anyway, this is yet another job at which I mostly failed miserably and yet another example of how I just can't fucking figure out how to fit in this world. Sometimes, I feel like I know I'm the problem and if I can just learn the skills needed to get through situations like this, I'll be able to stick with a job. Sometimes, I feel like fuck the whole fucking world because I'm awesome and it really doesn't take anything more than a little respect to keep me as the most amazing employee ever. Probably the truth is somewhere in between. I don't have any real answers tonight, just a strong desire for lots of tequila.


  1. Here's the thing. The ability to survive in a shitty environment, and get along with horrible managers is not a gift or talent. It is an attitude drilled into you from birth. It is the result of low expectations, a feeling that you don't deserve more, and being resigned to the fact that the world is just s shitty place. It's why people drink to excess, do drugs, become obsessed with some activity that removes them from the world for a while - video games, the Internet, whatever. They feel helpless do change any piece of their life situation.

    But for whatever reason you are BLESSED with knowing and believing in your own awesomeness. So of course you don't fit in with most of the world. Yes it feels shitty but you have NOT failed - at least not in a bad way. You have failed to sink to the level of most of us, accepting a life of just getting along, denying our ability to live life how we'd like, full of regrets.

    DO NOT stop expecting more and pursuing it.

    1. Thanks. This is good to know and to remember.