In the weeds

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Another attempt at a “final thought” regarding our old friend (or perhaps enemy) “Ruthless Roger“. I tried it last month and had a meandering post about him as my boss with an introduction to some of his assistant mgrs or as I could call them lieutenants. One can only wonder if they also bristled under him if they viewed him as a d**k who wanted everything his way. It was said he was looking to make his mark and since he got demoted and shipped off to another store as a supervisor, likely safe to say he fell far short of it. In fact it’s safe to say he was in the weeds.

Whenever this subject comes up about Rog, the question continues to come up, “how did he get the job?” My best answer is often he got it the same way I could’ve gotten it, he applied, he interviewed, and they hired him. Of course it’s more nuanced than that, he had experience as he originally came from “Fresh Foods'” flagship location. When I recently told one of my colleagues that he was a supervisor and an assistant mgr at that store they wondered aloud that he came from such a large and profitable location and he couldn’t handle the dept he took over. When you think about it, after learning about his demotion that was my thoughts exactly.

Ideally if you want to move up in the company especially into supervisory/mgmt positions at “Fresh” you should be going through a very vigorous process. It will involve a firing line of questions from a panel, something I’ve only experienced once. One of my colleagues theorized that someone didn’t ask the necessary questions they just used Rog’s history & experience with the company as a reason to just hand him the position. My theory is also that he knew how to play the game and was able to interview well. Of course in light of how he explained why he was hiring another associate buyer now I have to call it into question somewhat. Perhaps it’s a matter of how interested he was in answering a question.

Also bear in mind last year that before Rog arrived it could’ve easily been Rayna who could’ve been the new boss. And let’s just say most of us in that dept wouldn’t have been very happy with her if it had come through. Store mgmt probably agree however they wanted her to stick around as one of the dept’s assistant mgrs. We did have a vacancy after all in that area with everything in dept mgmt leaving at that point.

Remember a couple of months ago I noted that one of my new colleagues Nick had noted that he wanted to transfer to my old dept and a supervisor (which he couldn’t/wouldn’t identify) told him to hold off because they were experiencing issues with Rog. No elaboration from Nick it was said as a matter of fact to him that is in other words “young buck save yourself the trouble you’re just getting yourself into a tenuous situation here“. Of course once Roger finally left the dept according to one of the supervisors I talked after hearing the news that things there have gotten better. The man who tried to make his mark made more of a mess of things there!

I’m going to say here what I’ve already said on this blog before though in a slightly different way. I always noted that Rog was very by the book which isn’t a bad thing, however the reality was he just had no idea how to really manage. You don’t need a book to be a manager, you have to be able to manage without using a book. Make some decisive decisions and sometimes do so without guidance. Granted it could be a double edged sword and however you arrive at your decisions you either got it or you don’t. Rog evidently didn’t have it.

Also you’ve heard variations of the idea that he wasn’t a good fit for that position, rose to his level of incompetence and/or in over his head in the job. Perhaps Rog had no idea about the position he accepted even if he had the necessary experience. My words for this had often been that he was set up to fail. Who knows perhaps the people who gave him the position did it to him or Rog did that to himself. One way to look at it, to be able to move up and manage a dept has to be something you want and I believe Roger did want it. Even if it turns out he had some deficiencies…

Finally, I visited my old store (which from this point forward will be referred to as “The Hole”) and dept last month. I spoke to a number of colleagues who gave me their own takes on what happened in my old dept with Rog. Also spoke to one of my former supervisors expressing some interest in possibly going to that store to help them out. This is something worth talking about at a later time.

Meanwhile, it’s time to lay off good ole “Ruthless” for now…

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May 2014

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Been a while since doing one of these types of posts. Probably will retread on some events already chronicled although here I’ll just note some modern day things as well.

Anyway, this month I had two interviews at two different banks. To start my mother had worked on getting me an interview at her bank. Unfortunately the branch I’d have to interview with was on the northwest side a long way from the south side. I didn’t relish it but I wanted another option from “The Show” where I was just stuck until either they squeeze me out or leave them for another job.

I went up there and ran into a snag with the trains a delay here and infrastructure work on the way there upon transferring to another route. I call the branch mgr up there just to let her know that I was going to be late and never really offered an explanation. That didn’t matter because she found a way to use it against me. She hit me with a quick skills test and then ushered me out of the building saying “we’ll be in touch”. She just had to say to me during interview “you came in almost 20 mins late, I’m not impressed”. I later found out due to the changes at this bank she got let go and it was over two years before this bank would fail costing my mother her job. In this instance I tried to do the right thing and it didn’t matter, and for karma’s sake she’s gone because she directly gave me a hard time for my troubles. Might just have been a stickler for time more than she had an issue with my mother.

My friend Anthony – who likes to beg – kind of wanted to stay on me with regards to a job at his “Finer Foods” store. He had been working on me through the winter to call them back. They did call me but got sidetracked and another store called me which I took advantage of though unfortunately I never heard from them again. In fact I did try to get through to the lady at Anthony’s store asking him if she was there on one day he said no and really had nothing else to add. Just went on to the next thing.

All the same, when I finally got in touch with his store at his insistence I called his store mgr. Set up a date and time to hopefully interview with him. It didn’t go as planned and got sent packing after waiting an hour for him to come out and meet with me. The excuse was the store mgr was meeting with his boss on a store walk around. I was upset txt’d Anthony accordingly and never spoke to him until about two days later. While having to explain again what happened (and I had to explain again over two years later) he chewed me out for not following up with them. I had the idea that they’d call me – well they never did even if the associate who did see me did tell me so – and thus I never intended to call them back and worry them about the interview.

Anthony may never have understood this but his behavior during this time was enough to turn me off on working up there at his store. I never blamed him for the store director but his behavior killed this desire enough where when I called him and he decided to tell me to call his HR contact I just wouldn’t acknowledge and said “talk to you later’. That time I called him I was really trying to call him about something else, however, he just couldn’t let go of what happened with his store the previous month. He just had a laser focus on that and never mind that perhaps I moved on to other opportunities.

Meanwhile I continued to work at “The Show” with nothing really dramatic going on and had one more interview near the end of the month with another bank. I felt it went much better than the other interview with my mother’s bank (huge surprise actually), however, I didn’t get it. Though I went to a theater nearby the branch to watch the latest X-Men movie so it wasn’t a totally wasted trip. I consider this a rewards more than anything even if I didn’t walk away with a job offer.

This was the peak of the “streak era” as things did begin to heat up. In about 5 more mos my time at “The Show” would be drawing to a close the frustration of disrespect from my bosses at the theater and some of my colleagues (well calling them colleagues give some of them too much credit) was going to be at an end.

Updates

img_2339I’ve been keeping up with my old dept since returning to “Fresh Foods”. While my final thought on “Ruthless Roger” seemed to have ended in a whimper – perhaps unnecessary when you think about it – I did introduce three of Roger’s assistant mgrs in that post. One of those managers dubbed Rayna I see on the company’s social network is “on leave”.

What I probably never stated in that post was that she was one of the people who I would expect Larry – the current dept mgr whom for now I won’t be working for – to ease out of her role there. He hired another assistant mgr for the dept and suddenly Rayna is on leave. I couldn’t know for sure what’s going on here – that is she could have a legitimate reason that is personal why she’s on leave such as she’s sick, injured at work, etc.

One the other hand, remember what I said in another thought about Roger. It’s possible that once it was decided that he was going to be demoted and shipped off to another store, he probably was put on leave. When I know of situations where a mgr is probably going to be cut loose or demoted this is what often happens. Another mgr at my former store I noticed was suddenly off his dept’s schedule & on the social network was put on leave. Then he found his way to another store as an associate…

So unlike what happened with Arielle who left for a lateral mgmt position at another store, it’s hard to say what’s going on with Rayna. I did ask a former colleague and he says she was at work on the day I saw him. At this point I was like nevermind, I wanted to turn this into drama I said. So who knows what this was about and why the social network records her as being on leave.

So Rayna remains in her position in my old dept. Who knows what the story was as far as her being on leave. It was probably nothing as it turned out she just wanted some time-off probably. It wasn’t about Larry coming in and cleaning house of associates who just didn’t fit. In my opinion Rayna didn’t fit, yet she remains there! I suppose in this case there is no there, there!

To describe Rayna at least somewhat better than in the “Reflections” post, she had almost two decades experience at “Fresh Foods”. She came from another store last year and initially she was interested in becoming our new boss. I don’t think she got interviewed and by the summer Rog had snared the job.

My understanding of her rise in the company was that she worked to move up to leadership meaning she took advantage of any training so that she could move up. However, most of her two decades had been at one store where everyone basically knew her. In other words, it had been alleged that no one took her seriously. With this in mind I felt as if she was tougher on us, and it helped that she really didn’t know us nor we knew her.

When she did arrive as support for our dept she was not well received. Some would characterize her behavior at trying to learn our systems as arrogance with her showing little interest in how we did things. Even our acting mgr said she’d talk to Rayna about her behavior showing such unfortunate behaviors as “micromanaging”. Somehow even though I don’t think she even interviewed for the job, she was allowed to stay in our dept and filled one of the vacant assistant mgr positions in our dept.

One time Rayna called a huddle and during this huddle most of us went about our business as if she wasn’t speaking. It’s was pretty hilarious though certainly disrespectful to her. For my part as she spoke I was trying to get my work done as she spoke to us about dept news. Another time she gave an edict to reduce the breads we were prepping and having asked another colleague who has more experience with that venue he simply told me to just keep doing what we’ve been doing. Basically I ignored the edict and she likely didn’t follow up.

Well now we’re done with Rayna. In a future post I want to further turn my attention back to Roger. And I’ll give you a spoiler, I wonder if many of you believed that I pointed a finger at Rog for being let go from “Fresh Foods”. Perhaps with my tone, that’s true even if I avoided directly answering that question. So the next post it’s necessary for me to just admit that I probably over estimated his role in me getting s**t-canned.

Reflection

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I saw the new Avengers picture and it put me in the mood to finally finish and publish my final thoughts on “Ruthless Roger”. That picture left me a bit depressed because it wasn’t a good ending, but what can I say that’s life. And yet, there will be a sequel to it next year. 😛

To start, the last day I worked for Rog he came in and spoke to every one especially me. Of course this was before he pulled me to his bosses to be s**t-canned. Later that morning he called a huddle where he mentioned the two supervisors who were coming onto the team – he said they’ll be great. Of course as it happened by the time Larry arrived onto my now old team, they were no longer there. Both had moved on.

I remember that for some reason I felt he was just looking at how I was cutting some brisket. I usually do the best I can with brisket as there is no easy way to attack this tricky of meats to prep and cut. In his case he was just looking not saying a word and while I could just be like “WTF are you looking at?” I tried to fish for a comment. He’s the boss he could criticize me, bottom line don’t just stare at me and my work you creep! 😛

For most of that day he didn’t really say much to me other than hello when he came to the dept in the AM and not saying much of anything before the huddle looking at me cut brisket. We’d pass by each other around the store we looked in each other’s direction but nary a crossword between us until it was time. I won’t say our interactions were rough, but as time went on especially with his dumb explanation for why he was shaking up the buy/receive team by taking me off it was rough going.

One reason I wanted to write this post was to show in what ways his position could’ve improved there. He didn’t have to step on people and write people up just to make himself look good. In as a mgr one of the things he used as bullet points on his LinkedIn was corrective action. He used that to document his expectations. Of course as to why he’s no longer a dept mgr and got bumped all the way down to supervisor I feel as if he didn’t have a team around him that allowed him to be successful in that role.

* I said I was going to talk about his mgmt team – his assistant mgrs or lieutenants if you will. I spoke about Arielle who was at my new store when I got onboarded again at “Fresh Foods”. When the previous dept mgr left Arielle who just got promoted as an assistant mgr for our dept in the spring took over the schedule.

Not to blame Arielle for the conduct of the schedule but with her doing the schedules it was more random than it seemed to have ever been. It’s one reason why I’m gone, for a while I had nothing but receiving then all the sudden oh yeah you got to do a mid-shift instead of mornings! WTF?

What’s unclear to me was if this was partially Rog’s direction. The previous boss would tell us if she had to tweak the schedule not much communication from the assistant mgrs on this. The schedule was going to be the schedule, Rog himself had to tell me he’s not going to give anyone set days though gave another lame excuse. His words, “make the schedule more normal”. He did discuss a predecessor who gave people weekends off which apparently Roger had an issue with. Also he complained about having two days off together he prefers them broken up, he complains as if he doesn’t write his own schedule (you know who does write dept mgrs schedules?).

Anyway back to Arielle, she was cool when I saw her any my new story but I have a different idea of her as one of the lieutenants. When she got promoted and as time went on I felt as if she gave an air about her. I could term it as she felt she was above us, although that’s not the best way to put it. She may well have been cool with other members of the team who knew her from other stores however I got a different vibe from her. I wasn’t feeling this vibe.

Of course, allow me to be fair to her. She was newly promoted to mgmt – she had been a supervisor at another taking that beginning step. To start since she was somewhat green she probably needed a mentor the previous dept mgr was on her way out of the door. Roger was just coming in and as it turned out he wasn’t the one to mentor her. Remember, he doesn’t entirely have the slightest idea of what he was doing. So I will say this for her, if she had anyone else but Rog it wouldn’t have been so rough.

* Before Arielle we had two other mgrs come to our dept to become lieutenants. The first one was Rayna and the other was Gary. Both had come from other stores and were already assistant mgrs at their respective stores. Rayna had almost 20 years experience at “Fresh” coming from a nearby location. Ironically she came to our store looking into being our dept mgr long before Roger had arrived on the scene to take the job.

She didn’t get rave reviews upon arriving to learn our dept. Rayna seemed resistant to learning the systems that worked for us. If we had a way of doing things and someone tried to tell her how it’s normally done reportedly she’d just shrug her shoulders and express little interest in what we do. It sounded like arrogance in some respects, however, in the long run I don’t think she interviewed for the now open position. Somehow she was transferred to our dept, and from some who know her it was rumored that her old store was trying to get rid of her.

It was said Rayna had stayed at one store for most of her two decades at Fresh and when she did get promoted to mgmt some of the people who worked with her long enough really didn’t take her seriously. Reportedly she did what was necessary to move up in the company especially any trainings so it’s not like she kissed butt all the way to the top. At the same time she had the whole respect thing going.

As a matter of fact one time she called a huddle and most of us while she was conducting it bascially seemed to go about their business as if she didn’t exist. Rayna was tougher on us just to be a mgr and likely because we didn’t know her, however, we didn’t entirely have much respect for her either. It was just funny how people including yours truly just focused on getting some work done as she talked. Beyond that she’d just give an edict we’d ignore like for example how much breads to prep to make sandwiches. We’d just realize what she said made no sense and just do what we already were doing.

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* Finally we have Gary who came from a store that had closed. It felt like an odd fit at first, however, he kind of mellowed out and was actually cool. Of course he was still a mgr and we still had to be careful with him. Remember our situation was changing and many of the people we knew were being replaced by Arielle, Rayna, and Gary. As a matter of fact I handed Gary the transit delay slip only for him to give it to Rog who in two days time I learned meant nothing to excuse the last tardy. Of course this is assuming this was Roger’s call and not his own bosses.

Anyway Gary’s experience was that when his store closed he was running his dept. His store was small sales wise and his dept had no full mgr if you will. Perhaps he could’ve ran our dept instead of Rayna or Rog, but one problem was our store was too busy for Gary. He’s in his 20s and I’m sure even for him changing his environment meant that he’d have to adjust to more activity than exists in his former store.

One thing I would say for him is that knowing I formerly worked at a movie theater, he would recommend movies. He bugged me about It which thanks to my lack of interest in horror I just avoided. He even suggest I get a pug for a dog, and that’s one suggestion I would take up. Furthermore he expressed concern about my attendance probation unlike Rog he wasn’t ready for me to go yet, of course this was before that last tardy.

* When I interviewed for my new team they did ask why I left “Fresh”. I admitted that I had pointed out – my company used a points system to track attendance – and they were mostly due to tardies. I made sure to explain that what happened was a fluke in my mind though they knew from speaking to other mgrs who knew me like Larry that well they said I had some issues with tardies. So hey no big secret to be had there. I was highly recommended apparently by a variety of people.

This helps me realize what happened last year with Rog was just a perfect storm. Perhaps it was meant for me to leave and yeah I got myself in this situation and unfortunately it wasn’t so easy to adjust to it. As much as I could look at this as a situation of incompetence it really was a situation that’s correct. Yes a different outcome should’ve occurred but it didn’t work out that way. The reason why I may go back and forth on it is based on whether or not Rog was working out as a boss and it turns out he wasn’t.

As stated anyone who talks about him, doesn’t have much good to say about him. After my situation I definitely didn’t have much good to say about Roger. It’s not important to make this about like or dislike because for all I know he didn’t make it personal. I’ve had mgrs make some situations personal – i.e. they for some dumb reason didn’t like me. However, it did become clear that he was a terrible boss. I got let go by a terrible boss, especially one who just never strayed too far away from the rule book.

Finally this sums up some opinions of his period on my former team. I have no respect for that man, he’s nothing more than a place holder, he’s controlled by someone else, he’s all for show, he wasn’t going to last long, etc. I wonder how many people were sad that he was gone?

If you want to know what would’ve been my reaction if I had remained there to see him get cast aside and potentially shipped off elsewhere I don’t know. I do know that although the opportunity to return to my former team didn’t pan out, I’m glad it didn’t. As the team tries to move beyond that drama of Rog’s reign I’d only serve to re-awaken it trying to get a more complete story. Perhaps that would’ve been a bad move on my part and perhaps I’d have been as bad at Roger.

However, I can only imagine what would happen if I do run into Roger again. This time Rog is nothing more than a supervisor or associate who was formerly my boss. I don’t know if I would just be seen smiling and he’d report me for a hostile work environment (I can see that happening if he is a s**t talker). I don’t know if I’d just ignore him and just shake my head at him. Hopefully it’s not an answer I’ll ever find out later.

Now is the time to put that odd era to rest!

The return

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The final thought on “Ruthless Roger” is coming this weekend. This will ultimately end the chapter on the odd period which has just ended as I’m currently employed again with “Fresh Foods”. Just more observations and I work with someone who worked with Rog at another store.

* When Roger first started as our boss, he decided to work on a drain near my venue. This was during the day and at that point I was starting to get those weird mid day shifts – remember I had been doing receiving for about two months. My venue had food which is to be served to customers. As he pulled a brush out of drain he pulled a lot of debris up and warned us to back up because of airborne spores. He says these spores could make us sick. He says if he calls in sick we’ll know why.

I feel as if Rog let his OCD get the better of him on this particular day. Who knows if somehow he was already picking on the smell from the drain or it was in an e-mail and he just decided to do it during the day. For the most part when we have to clean drains like that we would normally wait until almost closing to get it done.

I don’t know if this was incompetence or just bad timing, but I thought about this fairly recently. Whenever I talk about Roger – mostly with people outside of the company – based on the tidbits I note it has been said that he “lived up to his level of incompetence”. For some it was based on this one thing I noted from one of my former supervisors, he just didn’t know how to run a kitchen.

* At my new job one of the new colleagues I work with said he tried to get on at my old store. I told him what happened with me and why I’m there and while it’s far easier to say oh my tardies got me out instead my answer was about Roger. The reality was that there were some issues with him, even if I couldn’t know how bad it was other than the morale. I could definitely say with him in charge it wasn’t very good, even if his LinkedIn profile says he improved it.

This new colleague we’ll call Erick said that he came to our store one time probably while Rog was still there. He inquired as far as whether or not the team was hiring anymore people. According to Erick, he was told by a supervisor that he should hold out as they were having some issues with their boss – with Rog. So he remained at his store for the time being. I tell him he should try again now because the new boss there Larry is proving to be a better fit than Roger.

Then I began to go back and forth near the end of my first night on the new team with a young man named Kent who wanted to know how my old dept was. I told him it was dicey towards the end even though it was cool working there before Rog got there. Erick quickly figured out why my then boss was such a problem anywhere.

* Kent seems like a temperamental young man and was really fired up about Roger. He has more history with him than I did as Kent worked with Rog at another store. In fact, the store where Rog was an assistant mgr. Kent claims that on a job review, Rog had put down that he looked confused. I’ll bet it’s because he said something confusing and Kent just made it clear he had no idea what he means.

Kent even gave me another nickname for Rog, “minuteman”. I think I have some experience with this especially when I was doing receiving. Remember on two occasions I had been pulled aside for the receiving. He wrote me up for some of the later tardies. Of course now that I know is m.o. I recognize that anytime anyone is  led to the office with him nothing good comes of it. Roger was looking for excuses probably found some with Kent and of course yours truly.

Anyway that’s how he got his nickname. He always comes to you and says “got a minute”. And I’m sure at some point many of them realize he’s pulling you aside for some BS. At some point many who have been subjected this realizes that nothing good comes from this minute. I was told that he never really says anything to you unless he needs to pull you aside.

Kent told me that Rog had little problem sending everyone home because he likes going home early. In fact one of the supervisors said that about him, he seemed to prefer going home early. He’ll just announce to the crew that they’re all good and they’re free to go home. So in other words, I’ll bet that you could have dirty floors and may not have finished all your tasks before he decides he’s ready to go home.

Kent’s read on Rog. He got what he wanted and it turns out he’s not cut out for this. He probably was on the verge of losing job or getting demoted because he wasn’t making any money or labor was high. I’m not familiar with labor but perhaps it’s not a good thing if you let people go, hire not very good employees, and morale is bad people may not want to come to work. Meanwhile you ask people to stay later because you created a situation where you are understaffed chronically!

* My read on Roger. I think he tried to make his mark thinking he had it all figured out. Instead the situation became far more chaotic which I noted before I got s**t-canned last year. When I asked about the new regime to one of the supervisors his only answer, “they’re working on it”. He hadn’t gone full on negative on Rog, but even he figured out something was up.

What I never minded saying in past posts was he was set up to fail, he didn’t know what he was doing, he just wasn’t the right fit for the team we had, or and this is a bit more subjective most of us just wasn’t feeling him. I found articles that gave list of horrible boss behavior and some of those lists told me as much as I needed to know about Roger. It’s between what I’ve experienced and what I suspected.

As Kent stated, Rog got what he wanted and he didn’t last having been shipped off to a supervisor job in the suburbs. Who knows if I’ll ever run into him again? Would I just be another forgettable person who he made an enemy of unnecessarily. Kent says there are only so many times you can continue to step on people. Hopefully someone at “Fresh Foods” can recognize this.

Meanwhile what if I can reach or exceed Rog’s current level in 6 mos. 😛

Virgins

The Formerly Unfortunate Virgin Male recently had an interview with Eve from her blog Unleashing the Cougar. A comment she made on this blog made an appearance as one of the questions for Tommy (the former unfortunate virgin male) to address to which he gives a pithy answer.

I recommend you read this month’s entry to his blog. It’s spring well he might have more of a spring than I am in Chicago, however, he’s still doing things for his enjoyment. That’s what life is about you have work and then you have play. And as happened with Tommy, things happened for him as he explored on his blog. If you haven’t checked him out lately plz do.

On the virgin front, I haven’t really found many blogs on virgin women. And while it seems far more acceptable for a woman to remain “untouched” if you will some may view it as a little strange especially if you go beyond a certain age. Just take this segment from Steve Harvey.

With this said, even though she hadn’t posted in a while Krysta is a virgin who has a blog. She admits somewhat to why this has happened in this post – I’m an adult virgin. She does in other posts talk about her relationship history and if she’s face with situations such as this, I understand why she remains if you will “untouched”. Perhaps Eve should find a way to be in touch with her.

Another record….

That last post as of now has 12 likes. Also I got a notification of that which is screen capped below. Whew in a short period of time got a lot of accomplishments and it seems some of those accomplishments were caused by noting other accomplishments. Or just updates that including changing the creative style of this blog.

To which I must add that I have some posts in the pipeline. One of those is more about my former job at “Fresh Foods” which I hope to be able to return. I wrote about that briefly earlier this past week. Then perhaps I need to hit the “virgin beat” so to speak which would include posts about “migtow”. Those hopefully are what you’re looking forward to beyond these accomplishment/milestone posts.

Again thank you all for your support.