“Showed me up”

Alright let’s try this again! This very post got deleted because I had failed to save this on the wordpress app and closed it out. As a result an older unedited version overwrote the post that was published. Dang it!

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I found myself telling this story recently after arriving at my two year anniversary of my “retcon” at Fresh Foods. I started with the company over five years ago and have seen so many changes which also included my 6 mos. hiatus.

At some point during my first summer in 2015 with the company I ran into a man who’ll be dubbed Harrison or Harry. For the remainder of this post we will call this individual Harry as in real life he shorted his real first name to the first three letters. It was sort of cool how he identified himself it was simple and short. In some respects it help to somewhat reinforce his personality as I saw it at the time.

The first time I recall Harry was when I arrived for my night shift and probably within an hour or so he was going home for the day. He and another young man was there helping us out from another store. In fact the store I often shopped at when I still worked at The Show. There would be another shift where I’d have to work with Harry.

I had opened our deli case one morning and doing my usual routine. We often put product in the case and it takes us a minute to garnish. I’m usually a minimalist when garnishing however my learning curve with that wasn’t that good I’ll admit. Perhaps it’s not good to admit that my goal is to do just enough and make minimum effort to make the product look good.

So I opened that particular morning and I see Harry come in past the department. He may well have peeped the case on the way in. He reports to our department and then I see him go to the front of the case and he’s grabbing items from the back. In my head I’m thinking what is he doing. What he was doing is he was going to work re-garnishing the case to his standards. It just wasn’t good enough for him.

Once he was done he went and got one of the supervisors who was in the kitchen behind us. Then one of the assistant mgrs walked by he was so impressed he took out his iPhone and snapped some shots of the case. And then he came and pulled me aside not only to show-off the wonderful job he just did for yours truly, he also wanted me to know this is how you’re supposed to garnish. That man just showed me up, he just had to!

Harry just couldn’t resist taking this one opportunity to show off his skills. He often spoke not only to our management to show off what he did, he even talked to even store management. Look at this wonderful job I did and did it all by myself!

I’m going to give him his due though he does a great job and takes the effort to present the food. Yours truly just did what he knew to do at the time, however, was Harry the right teacher? I find that he just likes to bust you out if it wasn’t done the way he thinks it should be. Not so sure that’s a good thing to insure people learn the lessons you want them to learn in the long run.

Because Harry just enjoyed showing off his skills and was shamelessly promoting I just had to ask him why wasn’t he in mgmt. His only response was to state that it’s in the cards. Another coworker who experienced behavior I considered very hyper at the time just thought that Harry was just too comfortable in the role he had to go for a higher position like that. I could read his actions as that of a person who was taking control of a situation, however, he really doesn’t seek a position with those real responsibilities.

The next episode I remember where he really made a spectacle was one day he designed to rearrange the deli area to his liking. The people who already knew him working with him for years noted themselves that he’s trying to turn our department into the department he worked at his own store. However, what he did at this point wasn’t entirely wrong my issue was how he went about it.

I would say his goal was to make our workspace more efficient and he was going to fix it. He was empowering himself to make the changes that he deemed necessary to make. He rearranged the furniture and got upset when he saw the filth behind the furniture. Harry had enough of a sense of entitlement to try to get a supervisor to look at this. At this point he was just looking for something to complain about.

He tried to tell one of our assistant managers of what he saw and that mgr took Harry to the back for a quick word. One of the supervisors – actually Larry who later got promoted to dept mgr for my now old dept at the Hole – showed no sense of urgency when Harry got up in arms over the dirt. By my eyes, I got the idea that he was finally giving our dept mgmt a headache in that time.

I had later heard little things about Harry such as he got himself to the point where if he wanted some OT he never had to call our store to ask, he could just come in. That lasted until he did come in one day and mgmt told him they had no more OT to offer him. So it seemed we could expect to see him at least once a week and then at some point we hardly ever saw him again. I would go to his store sometimes and see him working with me usually avoiding him. I don’t characterize our interactions as clashing, but our styles weren’t going to mesh. He might stress himself out, however, based upon how he was it was nutty working with him. Although admittedly I picked him brain on somethings, however, did a lousy job implementing them. Yours truly was still learning.

I was gone from Fresh Foods for six months and not long before the “reign of error” I saw that Harry had finally left his home store and found a position at another Fresh store in another state. Once I returned I couldn’t find him on Fresh’s social network and that likely means he’s no longer with the company. I suppose that mgmt opportunity never materialized for him or he didn’t want it anyway.

Once I arrived at my new assignment after my brief hiatus I asked a couple of colleagues whom I figured worked with Harry about him. Only one agreed that he could be annoying, however, I told both about his behavior. One was a bit more open about how he was as a coworker, the other hardly commented. They both were unsure about what happened with him later, one even thought he got promoted to a supervisor.

Hmmmm, while it’s great that he can show what he can really do in that role I get the idea he would be an absolute headache for not only the people he’ll supervise, but the mgmt team as well. From what I can tell through my own digging he never rose to that role, however, only he knows and I have no inkling to talk to him in the near future.

I just wanted to add that in passing two women at work were talking about him one day years ago. One lady not from my department though helped us out occasionally could not remember his name was talking with one of my dept’s supervisor about how he was busting his moves on her but she already knew it wasn’t going to work. Saying some key words like he didn’t work at the Hole, but another location and the supervisor asked “Harry?”. They both agreed that he was making some bad moves as far as how he related to the women he worked with even briefly.

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