Could it be…denial?

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Read the Observations post it leads directly into this stream of thought.

“The nightmare is over?” I feel as if it’s a question to the only two people whom it’s been stated. I said this to Danny upon seeing him doing his paperwork before my own interview to return to “Fresh”. I also stated this to Wil – the associate buyer – upon seeing him at the store when he got off work one day. The nightmare remark feels like a question to me, however, it’s actually more of a statement. Besides I never understood the idea of a question as a statement, however, this was without a doubt a basic example of this concept if you will.

Wil even wasn’t sure what I had been referring to with that statement. Though I clarified with one simple answer, Roger. Wil’s response, “I thought that’s what you meant”. Danny didn’t need clarification, he knew what I mean and delved immediately into how “Ruthless Roger” was. Simply put the man just wanted his way, just very by the book. As Wil put it our former boss stepped on a lot of toes and it was his way of saying our former boss was just trying to be very strict. According to Wil, Roger wrote him up for messing up some orders. My comments on this was to say  – because I know Roger’s no longer there  – that this was a man trying to save himself.

Now I can discuss Roger or whether or not he knew what he was doing, a lamer, or a man who lived up to his level of incompetence. What never goes away is what happened with yours truly? Why am I no longer there? How did I allow this to happen? As much as my focus has been what happened with his job back in January when he officially left, here’s my account as far as what happened with yours truly and where I went wrong with “Ruthless”.

One day I was about to clock in for the day and this was an odd shift from the ones I had been working all summer. Remember with the previous mgr my consistent schedule was always a morning shift and get off at about 1 in the afternoon. Some weird way with no notice it became a middle-shift every now and then instead of starting in the wee hours of the AM. How this happened? Well I tell you what, if I had made some “noise” about it instead of just accepting it there’d be a different story since well this is what helped get me outta there as far as my job.

Anyway on this day Roger greeted me when I came into the store and he ran into me again he said “Come get me I want to talk to you”. So I clocked in and found him then he pulled me into office with door closed. While I won’t fully go into our conversation, let’s just say I consider this a trash-talking conversation about some aspects of my receiving. He was just looking for something to s**t on and needless to say while this wasn’t a tense conversation my body language suggested that I had a problem with what he was talking about. Yes, I did try to explain myself as it was an issue he decided to have a “conversation” about. While he understood my side I got another bombshell instead and I was somewhat expecting it.

The previous week I was looking internally at jobs with “Fresh” and saw for our dept that Roger had posted for an associate buyer. WTF? We already got an associate buyer who was Wil and then I figured at that point that yours truly has been sunk. I was on an attendance probation anyway so that would be a good excuse. Not only that because of my probation I couldn’t apply for this position and during the course of that convo Roger pointed this out. One way to cull people you don’t want in key positions slap them with a disciplinary action, it’s one way I look at it now.

Funny thing was about a month before and shortly after getting hit with that probation, Roger came to me in the dept and said something about changing some codes and insuring that I would indeed become team receiver. Cool I thought it was time that I had gotten access to the buying system which never happened before he arrived in our dept. I remained in a weird purgatory where I had to depend on Wil and the buyer he installed to be able to make orders and get other invoices I would need. All I asked for – on the advice of another mgr – was ask for the position and besides hopefully a raise will come later.

So back to the bombshell, Roger wanted to pull me off the buy/receive team. He wanted to know what else I’d like to do to which at one point he suggested doing “fresh pack” which I somewhat accepted and he quickly says “Speed and efficiency is key in that role, something to think about.” I view that as him shooting that down as soon as he mentioned it. Ultimately I never gave him an answer, I had little problem rotating as I had been before the previous mgr put me onto receiving.

While at one point it was hard to point a finger for why I wasn’t feeling him. Since he officially departed in January I can say with near certainty that he just didn’t mesh well with the team. I think his mgmt style did it his strictness, his by the book style. He was our boss, however, we weren’t enthused about him nope though one easy answer for that is he messed with our routines. That was his role evidently to shake things up in our dept at the time. Bottom line enthusiasm for anything involving him was starting to get lower and lower!

Anyway let’s fast forward another couple of months, Roger finally put me off of the buy/receive team. I was doing some of the stuff I normally did in the dept before being placed in the receive role by Roger’s immediate predecessor. I ran into my former mgr from when the store first opened and while I didn’t want to tell him about my situation he knew things in my dept was rough. So I was encouraged – though I stupidly wanted to see if things would turn around under “Ruthless” – to find a way out of my current role. I just wasn’t happy there anymore. Unfortunately I was late one more time before I got to work a few days after meeting my old boss.

It was a stormy and wet early morning commute and the train was delayed a bit anyway. No big deal I though I could still have a little time to spare. Then at one stop the train just sat and the only time I knew something was wrong was reading a tweet from the local transit authority stating that there was a sick passenger aboard our train. So when we got moving finally first act was to go to a station agent to get a train delay slip which I left with assistant mgr at the end of my shift who said he’d hand it to Roger to get that last tardy excused. Red flag, but for that moment I just put it out of my mind until two days after this.

Two days later I was more than half-way through my shift when Roger in his nerdy baritone voice simply said “Jack, come with me”. He marched me to the store mgmt office where he ducked right out before the firing guillotine fell on me. Needless to say I was upset, but noticing how “Ruthless” marched me to office and walked right back out caused any respect I had for him evaporate further. His bosses didn’t allow much room for error affirming Roger’s discretion, and I just wasn’t happy when I got the bad news.

To be honest, to this day I still go back and forth on this. I get what happened and the reasoning behind it. This is one of those calls that could’ve gone my way and it didn’t work that way. What does this have to do with Roger, well I sort of hoped that this tardy would be excused. In this case, I think he had no vested interest in keeping me around. His bosses acknowledged the tardies and they also acknowledged that I was a good worker, however, Roger wasn’t around to say anything. And I also figured that if he was still there say by now, I’d probably have a tough time getting my job back!

Of course as with anything job related – especially if it proves frustrating  ex. “The Show”- I tend to remember it. This is one of them, the anger could clear up and I can reason it out however it doesn’t go away. Yeah, perhaps it was a personality thing or an odd vendetta however it could also be that I definitely put a target on my own back. All I needed to do was watch my tardies and watch my schedule. Perhaps I was starting to get too comfortable at the wrong time with that job and in that dept at that moment.

Now, if there is a pattern here, probably. If you remember I had a job at “Gotham Bank”, it was a case of I began not to care for the job that I had accepted. It was a better job compared to the theater, however, this wasn’t the job I wanted  I was at a neighborhood branch closer to home and I definitely wasn’t comfortable there. The theater I eventually figured out over the years and was most comfortable, the bank in comparison was a pressure cooker as time went on. Though this was also a job I lost due to attendance (combined with job performance), no one made me late back then and as time went on I just lost interest in the job. Not that this was happened with Roger, what happened was a perfect storm that I could’ve just as easily avoided for my benefit.

With this said, the final part of this series of thoughts will be coming up after this. I will talk more about the dept under Roger. Perhaps the schedule I had after he officially took over the dept and of course the leadership team he had once he arrived. The point could be to further discuss the changes and how it did affect me in some way. Coming soon!

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