Pay Day

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Well there have been other pay days since I returned to “Fresh Foods“. It just seemed to be a nice title to a new blog post which marks a day that isn’t monumental but very important. Just reminds me of two stories to relay..

When I interviewed in April to return to the company I also had to go through a store mgr who ultimately told me they’re going to offer me the job. During the interview he twice had to take phone calls from associates who were calling-in saying they can’t make it to work. Then the mgr states that it’s pay day no one wants to come in to work. This was actually on a Saturday so the associates got paid the day before on a Friday. It makes me wonder what they were doing.

Oh yeah I forgot some people like to go out and party. I generally don’t do that so I may not entirely relate but I can believe many go get some beer and have some drinks with their peeps. Perhaps they go clubbing or to a bar or even a night on the town with their honey. Who knows but evidently pay day means make a whole display of it by spending instead of just growing your money gradually as I’ve started doing in my working life.

I hate to do this to you, unfortunately the next anecdote involved “Ruthless Roger“…

Last year we had an associate who seemed a bit wayward. Nothing outwardly wrong with him, but some of my conclusions is formed from the hearsay I heard later. This employee we’ll just call John Doe had the tendency to call off although he just started and then at one point he asked Rog about when he’s going to get his paycheck. I was told by Gary – one of the assistant mgrs for the dept – that Rog told John Doe that he would get a paycheck on Friday. So he came to work on Friday and I did see that associate stroll past the dept. He was supposed to work that day and John Doe never even bothered to arrive at his station. According to another colleague, John Doe was reportedly seen outside of the job getting a hit of weed.

Not that I know much about the procedure with regards to paychecks, however, if the pay day is on Friday and the last day of the previous pay period ended on Sunday perhaps you should get a check that Friday. For me I have direct deposit although that went out of the window when I lost my job last year. Once I returned I got a check and I chose to wait a couple of days after pay day before picking up my check at the store. Although at some point when I got on-boarded thru “Fresh’s social network” I input the necessary information for direct deposit.

Just bear in mind in years past I wouldn’t normally discuss the period where I would enroll in benefits. This is normally in November & December however once I was no longer employed with “Fresh” that was out of the window. This time around I’ll just talk about the benefits as I get them and I’m actually off on pay day this week which is quite nice.

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Closure

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As stated in another recent post the final thought proved to end the storyline with something of a “whimper”. Could it have been better? Totally, however, it seems I have more to say on this subject and for the moment this is the post I’m going with. In that recent post I made sure to allude to this future post about how I think “Ruthless Roger’s” role in my firing was greatly over-estimated. In considering this now that I have returned to the company during the course of the past month.

I’ve said a lot of things about Roger such as he was set up to fail, he was a goofball, or he was by the book. Some who read this blog have referred to him as a d**k and said he rose to his level of incompetence. Yet as I sat at home for roughly the past six months and spent time wandering around Chicago it was just in me to blame him for what happened. In part, I was wrong as yours truly was responsible for the tardies that helped get me out of my job at “Fresh Foods”.

I can call Rog a d**k and say that if it was starting to become a major problem for yours truly he wasn’t that willing to work with me on it. He was very willing to let the chips fall where they may and it’s not because he had a weird vendetta against me (this is something I can’t prove). Also remember I had a train delay slip that I had hoped would allow the final tardy to be excused, unfortunately it fell into Rog’s court.

It’s easy for me to say, Mr. Hot Shot likely did nothing with it and kicked it up the food chain to his bosses. I’ll bet his bosses ultimately made the decision and Rog was like OK. Didn’t think much of it. He probably just knew to do what he was told. His bosses told him to send me to them and he did and quickly ducked right back out of that office. A stand-up guy he was….

As for his bosses what did they care? I wasn’t their direct employee even if they run the store. They went through their procedures and made their decisions based upon what corporate said or if anyone else was affected by it. I did think this was a horrible call, but that’s what it is. Roger probably thought nothing of it though I can only imagine what happened when they pulled him aside and told him he was getting demoted. I’ve learned how he had little issue stepping on people – especially using a real reason – and now his bosses stepped on him. Even more interesting that he only recently left the company.

When I successfully interviewed last month to return I had to address the question of why I left the company with my new reports. My answer was to refer to this as a fluke although I also added that this is something I have to take responsibility for. I didn’t want to make this about Rog. The reality is that it probably had little to with him as far as the tardies. On the other hand I was at the point where it was time for me to return now that he seemed to have become a non-factor effectively.

This is my closure that I believe is necessary. Now if you believe Rog was a d**k who couldn’t handle this job or as I would say was set up to fail perhaps that’ll be a future post. How did this guy get into a position where he lived up to his own incompetence. During the past month I spoke to a number of people who had their opinions. It’s probably as close to a story that I can get as far as what happened and why with him as a dept mgr. It could be said he may well have been a d**k for wanting to be “Mr. Hot Shot” however proving that he couldn’t handle it anyway.

Positivity

img_2067The news so far keeps getting better for me, I was told I’m a full-timer again. I started off again at my new job with “Fresh” as a part-timer and now with little or no process I’m working full-time again. It’s almost as if “Ruthless Roger” was willing to knock me down and well I got right back up again. They tell me this all happened because it’s almost as if I never left for 6 mos a small amount of time passed before I had to start all over again.

With this said and I mentioned this in another post – that I had taken down however it will return at a later date. Rog is no longer with “Fresh Foods”, I just couldn’t find him on “Fresh’s social network”. Remember last month I found him listed as a supervisor at a suburban store and now he can’t be found out there at all. Who knows what happened? I don’t plan to dig much further beyond this though I do wonder if Kent knows this and he was at work at the time I saw this.

Anyway, keep the good news coming!

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.

Spring

The weather has been horrible here in Chicago. Most of April was cold and before getting hired again at “Fresh Foods” I came down with a cold. My nose still runs, however, I didn’t feel as bad the weekend before reporting to my new dept the next Monday. Regardless I actually accomplished a New Year’s resolution, and as stated the easiest one to fulfill.

I’m looking forward to this new beginning and the new attitude I’ll have with my current job, that it’s nothing more than a means to an end. This summer will again be a period of great self-improvement. Besides earlier this year I did consider returning to school, perhaps learn a new skill. This is something that’s worth doing this year. Especially something that might help with future job (or even entrepreneurial) prospects.

Although I did express interest in learning something new taking some art classes for example – besides I do want to become adept with photoshop. Of course those aren’t the only activities to take advantage of where hopefully I can meet people. This is one of my goals this year is to go outside of my comfort zone and meet people outside of work. Which is key an old friend once said don’t s**t where you eat (lol). Meaning perhaps it’s not wise to date people from a job….

All the same what type of trouble should I get myself into this coming summer. Especially now that the weather has warmed up finally!

“Editor’s note”: Been thinking about changing the title and url of this blog. Perhaps just trend on the side of the positive. Even though on occasion this blog could trend towards the negative. What do you think? What could I rename this blog?

Perhaps “The life and times of Jack V” a bit long, but a nice ring to it. Perhaps just simply “Jack V” and make this blog pseudonymous & eponymous. A few ideas to consider. 😛

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. 😛

Updates

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My last stream of thought on “Ruthless Roger” will have to wait til next week. As stated my goal is to wind down this latest work drama storyline. Now that I’m back at “Fresh Foods” though not at my original store, it’s just time to turn the page. This means I get to look through “Fresh’s” social network and see what’s what.

Within days of my interview and rehire I regained access and this enables me to set my direct deposit and look over my benefits (it seemed to be something of tradition to discuss my benefits). Of course another background check which is always an ugh!

First, what’s the story with Roger? Is he really gone from “Fresh”? The answer is no. While I may not entirely be certain what happened between January and now, he’s on the social network. He indeed got bumped down all the way to supervisor at a suburban store near his home. Who knows if he actually got demoted and who knows if he really thought he was likely getting s**t-canned. His time as my dept mgr was definitely a rough period for yours truly and anyone else who bristled under his style.

Larry took over the dept in March and posted two supervisor positions. Neither of the two supervisors Rog had brought on the team (through what should’ve been rigorous circumstances) remain with the team. He brought in one from his former store. She got went to another store however it’s not in a supervisory position. The other supervisor who was actually an external hire is no longer with the company as I can’t find her at all on the social network. I’ve only had the opportunity to work with one of these new supervisors and she seemed OK, but then beyond that who knows?

Rog that summer had hired a buyer who quit that fall for another job outside of “Fresh”. He seemed cool, though not entirely what I was used to – or actually what Wil as associate buyer was used to. People seemed to complain about him, however, I had no issues with him. Not to say he didn’t earn his job, I could view him as  a political hire.

One reason I got bumped off the buy/receive team aside from the tardies – if that was the deciding factor as Rog never said for sure – was that he decided to hire on another associate buyer. We already had an associate buyer in Wil so his reason for posting for another associate buyer: “because this was how it was supposed to be done and he wanted to get one before they took it away from him” (huh?). The person Roger did hire according to Wil is working out in his role so another who earned his role.

Arielle is someone you’ll hear more from in a later post. She was brought to my old dept last year to become an assistant mgr. We spoke briefly at my new store as she was on duty moonlighting for this personal shopping service whom “Fresh Foods” contracts with. She used to work at the store where I will be as a supervisor before joining my old team for a promotion.

Most of the cast of characters that I knew when I got s**t-canned are no longer there. Some may have been let go or moved on to other jobs outside of the company. If Rog was proving to be an awful manager who wasn’t looking out for anyone then why stick around unless you really liked it. That would’ve been me, but I certainly was getting ready for other challenges within “Fresh” and outside the company. Besides I hadn’t entirely let go of the idea of being a movie theater mgr.

At least now I know some further facts from Jill’s FB post. Now I know the extent to the changes at my old dept at “Fresh”. Meanwhile as I continue to write and edit the final “Ruthless Roger” post, now is the time to focus on today!