The Between-Jobs Buzz: Traded In For a Newer Model.

So. I was fired today. This is… interesting.

Let’s refresh your memories! And then, continue the narration.

The reason nothing was ever said about the ELD yesterday was because they were getting all of their little ducks in a row so that they could fire me, as well as Pregnant Employee. I was running around all day yesterday and all day today, trying to get everything lined up for coverage for the rest of the week. I bent over backwards to make sure everything was done in a timely fashion. I informed the Corporate office about the changes in the coverage schedule when they happened. I should have suspected something when, after months of asking, they finally installed the security cameras.

I was just happy that the cameras were being installed. I wasn’t the only one.

I should have suspected something when Opinionless Employee let it slip that BHOP had called her yesterday… at home… asking what kind of job I was doing. Obviously, what Opinionless Employee said–I was doing a good job, although she felt that not everyone listened to what I had to say–was either (A) a lie or (B) fell on deaf ears. I don’t want to think that it’s a lie, but she’s really good friends with Bitchy Employee who wouldn’t mind seeing me gone (for whatever reason) and likes to make up wild tales (she thinks I was a crack addict because I have bad teeth–no lying) and she’s so without an opinion that she would follow with whatever Bitchy Employee said. And BHOP would definitely lead the questions in the way that attorneys aren’t supposed to, you know?

So.

All right. So.

At a little after one o’clock, I was in the back writing down suggestions for the future of the schedule at the store when a security person came in. I was a little surprised to see him, but I figured he was there to position the new cameras that were being installed. I joked a little with him since I’ve known him, like, the entire time I’ve worked there. He asks if he could talk to me for a minute and it didn’t click. Then he shuts the office door and it clicks. I leaned back in my chair and let him say, “I’m sorry, but I have to terminate your employment.”

No reaction. I think he was expecting one, but I was just like, “Uh huh.”

He continues to tell me that he can’t give me any answers to the why of it, but that I was not allowed to contact any of my [now] ex-employees because of retaliation. At this point, I’m so fucking clueless that I probably had question marks tattooed on my forehead. Then he informed that I have to speak with BHOP’s Boss to find out why I was being “terminated.” I shrugged and started packing up my shit. I’m not going to fucking hang around, you know? Then he goes on about how he has to audit the store now and I’m like, “So? Who cares? I’m not a thief.” He suggests that I hang around in case there’s a discrepancy.

He counts my safe and my lottery: it’s fine. He starts counting the three days’ worth of deposits that were waiting to go out. I start texting the Best Friend, the Hubby, and employees who were NOT any from my current store. Pretty much, I got the “WHAT?!” response to all of this. I’m just like, “Whatever.” Then I hear another one of my ex-employees who turned maintenance out of the door. And then, Corpified Ex-Boss comes in. He says nothing to me. He asks the security personnel a question. This is the same guy who requested to be listed as “my father” on FB. This is the same guy who went on about how he trained me and blah, blah, blah. Not a word. Not a look. Nothing.

And I was like, Why am I still here? I don’t give two shits what he finds in the deposits. It’s all there.

So, I say, “You know what? I don’t really care. I’m leaving now.” And I walked out. I said nothing to the two people at the register. I followed Maintenance Employee out and told him what happened. He just stared at me like I had grown an extra head. Two other maintenance men came up and started asking questions and I was just like, “I don’t give a shit. They just fired me.” And I walked away. I got into my car. I started driving home. And I started to laugh my fucking ass off.

It wasn’t like hysterical or anything; more like glee.

This soul-sucking hell hole had fired me. Me. IT WAS GONE.

I wanted to call up Pregnant Employee and the Child Employee, but I had said that I wouldn’t contact my ex-employees from that store. But, Pregnant Employee called me. I answered her and she was sobbing. “They fired me!” I started laughing, which shocked her out of crying. I told her about how I had been fired, but I didn’t honestly know why since the person who fired me was a peon. She told me that she was fired… over the phone… for harassment, bullying, and failure to follow company policy. … … I started laughing even harder.

Apparently, ELD made it out to BHOP and BHOP’s Boss that we had ganged up on her. Me. Ganged up. On her. I was the one who bent over backwards for her. I was the one who made sure she still had a job. I was the one who counseled patience to everyone who was fed up with her. But she managed to get me fired. Not Bitchy Employee who had made it a habit to call her up and bitch her out for… insert reason. She had me fired and by extension, Pregnant Employee because she had it out for her. Since… you know, Pregnant Employee had asked to have her transferred maybe two weeks prior to this, which pissed off ELD.

So.

I went home and I chatted up my mother. I cashed my final checks. And then, I went down to the main office to find out why I was fired, ask for a copy of why I was being terminated (in writing), as well as a copy of my personnel file.

The exact reason for my firing, according to BHOP’s Boss, is that I knowingly allowed and took part in harassment and bullying. That I had failed to rectify the situation in a “managerial manner.” (This is all my words for it, you know, making it sound smart.) There is no evidence of this harassment aside from what ELD, Bitchy Employee, and Opinionless Employee have told them. Not that I know what any of them have said. I was not able to defend myself since I was told, quite frankly, “not to deny it.” I don’t know why, honestly, I would want to defend myself. The whole thing smacks of favoritism. Anyway. I was told that I would not receive a written reason for why I was fired and that I could pick up a copy of my employee file tomorrow morning.

And of course, that makes me feel real confident in what they’re doing with it right now. Padding it full of lies, probably. I know for a fact that they’ve done this to numerous employees. I also know for a fact that they have fired no less than three employees for false reasons. So, I am seriously paranoid about what is in that file and why it’s taking them so long to get it ready.

I will file for unemployment next week. I just don’t know how that works or what they’re going to do to fight it.

I have to talk with my previous boss since he told me to call him and let him know what was going on. I have to call a previous employee and inform her of what’s going on. I also have to seriously wonder if I have grounds for some form of legal case. I don’t know. I guess, I’ll just have to ask, right? In the mean time…

I’m not really worried. I have padding and I know I’ll get unemployment. I don’t know what I want to do right now–maybe go to school? Maybe find another full-time position somewhere? I don’t know. I’m just kind of… “Huh.” If that makes any sense.

Again. I think what hurts the most? Corpified Ex-Boss. That’s what stings the most.

Let’s see where this goes.

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The Slave Labor Scene: It’s Time to Start Documenting.

I’ve seriously tried putting off writing anything about my job, further, in this journal. Honestly, it’s not about not wanting to share. It’s merely that I get so fucking pissed off just thinking about it that I want to fucking scream.

Wednesday is my short day. I get to go home at one in the afternoon instead of the usual four/five o’clock. I went home at my usual time while trying to solve an issue that arose from the previous day: one of my employees was out on medical leave. She had been in a really bad car accident (supposedly) and couldn’t come back to work until…? Who knows when at that point. So, I was scrambling to get coverage for her shifts. Luckily, I was able to get that day covered very quickly, but at the cost of swearing up and down that the employee who covered would absolutely get Friday off because she had to get shit done for school.

While I’m doing this, driving home from work, another one of my employees calls: she’s in a panic because someone (supposedly) stole the tires off of her car and took out the window in the back. She told me about how she had to file a police report and would, as quickly as she could, get to work. Silly girl that I am, I assumed (ass out of you and me) that she would call the store, get yelled at by the outgoing cashier who is a fucking bitch, and leave it at that. Well, she didn’t tell them what was going on, so I got a panicked phone call at 2:30 about how she had to leave and Employee Le Dumbass wasn’t there. (Henceforth, she shall be known as ELD for short.) One of my awesome employees (who is six months pregnant and shouldn’t be doing this shit) offered to stay until ELD came in for her shift.

So, that was an hour, right? Two hours. Three hours. Four hours… and no response from this moron. I texted her. I called her from my cell phone as well as my home phone, just in the odd case that she didn’t know the number and was purposely screening my calls. (Possible. ‘Reliable’ is not the word that you would use to refer to ELD.) I had My Two Great Employees Who Will Bend Over Backwards for Me Because They Know That I Care (now known as Great Employee 1, AKA the Pregnant One, and Great Employee 2, AKA the Child.) call the shit out of her phone. They blew up her home phone and her cell phone, to no avail. At five, I called and left the following message: “If I don’t hear from you in the next half hour, I’m going to have to assume that this is a no-call, no-show. Four hours is pushing it for filing a police report.” Five-thirty rolls around so I go to finish out her shift.

I’m practically giddy that I can call Corporate the next day to post her hours because she was such a drama queen and trouble maker.

ALL of my employees are excited about these turn of events.

So. I call Corporate and inform them about how she didn’t come in for her shift. I’m informed that they will post the hours immediately for a refill. Around this time, I get the phone call from Incapacitated Employee (AKA Newbie) that she is out on medical leave until next Thursday. I start scrambling to find coverage for her shift, which I find out is impossible. I mean. Every store is either just full with employees at near-to-forty-hours so OT will not be approved or they just lost one/two/three employee(s). So, I ask Corporate for help in covering the shifts and I’m told that they have nobody. And also that ELD’s hours won’t be posted because she “may have lost her phone.” And she couldn’t find another one to call us?

I have to wait until THE NEXT DAY to call her in as an auto-quit.

So. I call in the next morning that she’s not there and that I need some form of body in my store to get my shit done. They send me a body and I get my stuff done. It’s fan-fucking-tastic. Except that I can’t get anyone in to cover the Friday shift that I promised my employee she’d have off. She needed to spend time with her family and just get away from the work drama, which I understood. So, I call. And call. And call. And call. And get no response or help with covering the shift WHATSOFUCKINGEVER. I was so upset that I wasn’t getting anywhere with anyone. Then, I get a phone call from Corpified Ex Boss who makes it seem like they’re going to move Heaven and Earth to give me a hand. Then nothing. Then Hiring Corpified Employee calls me and demands to know who I’ve called to cover shifts. I told him every fucking store that has people fast enough or smart enough to work in my store. “I’ll call you back.”

Irate. Upset. Near-tears. I had to call home and tell the Hubby that I was working another double. He’s pissed off on my behalf and starts looking up MA laws about how long you can work in a row. Apparently, you can totally fuck over people by making them work a 16 hour shift, two days in a row, in this state.

So, I get a phone call at around five o’clock from an irate Bitchy Head of Operations. She reams me up one side and then the other about how ELD told her the real story of Wednesday afternoon: she was getting the police report when I told her not to bother coming in. And that she was a horrible employee and whatnot. Apparently, I was rather unprofessional, which is funny because I didn’t send any of those texts to this girl. Whenever I tried to defend myself, Bitchy Head of Operations overrides what I’m going to say with how my store is full of cancer and it needs to be rectified and we’re all bullies to ELD and gang up on her and blah, blah, blah. And let me tell you: this is a complete 180 from the lack of confidence this woman had in said employee at the BEGINNING OF THE WEEK. She then goes on about ELD will be covering her shift on Sunday and that not a single person should say a mean word to her, at all, or else they’ll be fired. So. Then, she says to me: “And the hole you have on Saturday: it’s your responsibility to cover it since it’s a mess of your own making.”

The bitch was punishing me for something that (A) I didn’t do and (B) had nothing to do with the hole on Saturday! That was because of Incapacitated Employee!

Guess what? I found coverage, with OT, for that shift. And wouldn’t you know it? Bitchy Head of Operations’ boss approved it.

And guess what happened next? I got a phone call on Saturday from BHOP (I have to shorten it), asking whether or not I had managed to fill the hole. Isn’t that interesting?

And then, Sunday morning: I get a phone call at ten after eight from Bitchy Employee. ELD isn’t there. Honestly, I’m not surprised by it, but I’m pissed beyond all measure. I scrambled but found coverage because I have two awesome employees who are awesome. And rock. And are awesome. And because I have some very devout employees from my last store. 😀 Anyway. I cover the rest of the shift and wonder how this is going to fly on Monday. And BHOP calls the store at two, informing everyone that they are to call her when ELD comes in to cover her shift… to which she is informed that the shift was from 8 – 4 and not the 2:30 shift she thought it was. And of course: ELD NEVER SHOWS UP.

And wouldn’t you know it? Today? Nothing was ever mentioned about ELD, the meeting I was supposed to go to the BHOP to “rectify” things, or any of it. I spent my day doing my paperwork and covering the registers and finding coverage throughout the week for my open shifts.

The Slave Labor Scene: Live to Work; Work to Live–How About Neither?

I’m at my breaking point with my job. It was only a matter of time: the job sucks. It eats at your soul until there is absolutely nothing left. It makes everyone and everything go nutty. When I get a new application for employment, I want to tell the prospect to run away screaming. This place just isn’t the kind of place anyone should or would want to be employed with. However, most people nowadays are at the “any job is a good job” phase. I can understand that, but my job? Not a good job, no matter if the paycheck is coming in or not.

I think what really pisses me off about how much this place eats my soul is that it isn’t entirely the fault of the corporate fucktards. I mean, yeah. That’s a large part of it. I mean, to use the term “micromanage” is to be a synonym for the company that I work for. That, and they just don’t care about their employees… like, at all. However, the larger problem is mostly the employees: they’re all so fucking retarded. Or, if that’s not the problem, they’re all so fucking terrified of, you know, doing the job and getting into trouble because the company constantly changes its mind…

Sigh.

They call me for everything. I mean, if someone has to take a shit, then I get the phone call. It’s… It’s fucking horrific.

So.

I’m job hunting, I guess.

I just applied for two jobs. I applied at S&S and Kohl’s. I feel like such a kid. I have to apply to all of these places and flood my resume on the market. I really feel like such a miserable kid. I also feel like what’s the point in hiring me?

I know; I know. Being a “Negative Nancy” is probably not the best way to go about getting a new job. I’m just… nervous and frightened and feeling pretty much no self-worth whatsoever.

Le sigh. Wish me luck.

Dear Diary: Let’s Jump In the Middle.

I think the worst part about everyone forgetting my birthday–no really: everyone–is that I told everyone that I didn’t want anything. And in reality, I didn’t. I was hoping, though, that the Hubby would surprise me with something big and huge and off the hook. I mean, I bought him his MK thing and a TV for the last two major holidays. I got some flowers… and some flowers.

I know this makes me selfish and bitchy and selfish, but… I was just hoping.

The Slave Labor Scene: The ‘Appreciation’ Is Totally Bogus.

So today, there was an “appreciation” of all of the “partners” that work for the company I work for. At first, it was just a “you guys should go” kind of a thing until they made it mandatory for all managers to go. Insert irritated eye roll. I had no problem going, at first. In fact, I thought it would be kind of fun. Then, you know, this week happened and, as though I needed it any more, the blinders had been ripped from my eyes.

The fucking company does not fucking “appreciate” us or anything we do. And this is why none of my cashiers went to the “appreciation” day.

Last Friday, the air conditioner in my store went down. Well, we figured it had frozen. It had frozen up a few weeks back because it had been “turned down too low.” I know that that was not the case. The reality of it is that my unit is too small for the store. This is how the owner cheaps out: buy a unit that isn’t sufficient to cool the place and that has to be left on a higher degree so that it won’t freeze up (the degree tends to be at 75-76). Okay, so. It’s frozen; whatever. However, the tech who came by to look at it told me that it never shuts off: Never. Shuts. Off. I’m a high volume store (think lowest gas prices in a twenty mile radius). The door is always opening and closing. The only time it takes a break is at night when no one is in the store. And we were giving it an added break by shutting it down at night so that it wouldn’t freeze up again.

So. It “froze” up late Friday night. I told the girls that I was sorry about that, but they had to shut the whole unit down. I told them to start it back up in twenty minutes. (That’s how long it took the last time for it to unfreeze, but that was also when it was a hundred degrees outside. So.) After twenty minutes, the unit did not kick back on. All right. No big deal. There really isn’t a lot you can do about it so, I said too bad; just deal. I had no sympathy since I figured one of those arrogant fucks had fucked around with it and this was their just desserts.

Then the next day, after twenty four hours, still nothing.

Then the next day, after forty-eight hours, still nothing.

Then the next day, after seventy-two hours, still nothing.

And you know what? They were still going on about how it must have been frozen. Why didn’t I try turning it back on? …How dumb do I look/sound/act? Why in the fuck would I call this issue into maintenance if I hadn’t already tried to fix it myself? In the mean time, while waiting for maintenance to come out and tell me that I’m a dunce (or so I figured), we were fucking dying.

The thermometer was reading a steady 96 degrees and it wasn’t even entirely that hot up on deck where the registers are. Take a step back and envision this: a pre-fab metallic building that’s half windows. Yeah. That’s right. The entire front half of my store is floor to ceiling windows. They let in all kinds of light. And the sun shines in all morning long and into the early afternoon. So, never mind the fact that we didn’t have any AC. On normal days, with the AC set at the 75 mark, it’s so fucking hot up on deck until mid-afternoon. I mean, you just need to keep drinking drinks to get through the intense heat that is up on deck. We figure–depending on the day–that being up one deck is anywhere between ten to fifteen degrees hotter than what the thermometer was reading.

So. The thermometer was telling us that the small hallway that leads to the back room was ninety-six degrees. And it is ten. to fifteen. degrees hotter. where my cashiers. were all. day.

On top of this, I have three employees who should not be in the extreme heat: I’ve got a newly diagnosed diabetic. A six-month along pregnant woman. And a second diabetic. Well, there’s nothing we could do except send the new diabetic home early. This was mostly made apparent when, you know, her blood sugar was at a whopping 52. I don’t know how low that is but it’s fucking low. So, yeah. I sent her home early and snarked about the company to myself. (No use being bitchy about things in front of my employees and our customers. It would solve nothing and only get me in trouble anyway.)

So, we plodded through the extreme heat to have the AC tech tell us… Yep. It’s dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. And not only is the AC dead, but my slush machine can’t freeze because of how hot it is in my store. So, I had to shut that down and that’s one of the big focuses this summer. Then, the ice maker on my soda fountain goes down because it’s so fucking hot in the room that the ice is melting. in. the. unit. But, the AC is dead. And guess what? It’s so old that they don’t make parts for it anymore. And even if he could get the parts, it wouldn’t solve a fucking thing because the unit is so damned old it should be taken out back and shot like a wounded horse.

Yeah. That’s right: shot.

So. It’s dead.

Where do we go from here?

A BIG FAT FUCKING NOWHERE.

The thing is that on top of this we have a replacement AC in the basement at the main office. He just doesn’t want to schlep it over because it would be a waste of money. He had bought it for when he was going to expand our store. However, the city that houses my store is barring him from doing the expansion. So. In the mean time, my cashiers and I are stuck in the middle. And you know, it’s not like we need it for much longer: just two to three weeks more.

Because, you know, Indian Summer. That never happens.

So, yeah. On top of this horse shit, we were supposed to go to this thing and be “appreciated.” You want to know how appreciated we were? Four of us (myself, the new diabetic, the pregnant girl, and my high-blood pressure woman) got a piece of paper that says, “You worked here anywhere between 1 to 4 years! Yay!” And a tiny little pin with a star and the name of the company. A. Tiny. Pin.

Yep. Real appreciated.

Honestly, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t know how to protect the kids from this horse shit. And I don’t know how to protect them from themselves. One of them is going to do something stupid and that backlash will be felt all the way down the line… I don’t know what to do.

But I can tell you: I sure as fucking don’t feel appreciated.

Dear Diary: You’re At the Crossroads; Which Way Do You Go?

Okay, so. I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I want my life to be like. And, honestly, how things are now is not what I had ever, ever, ever envisioned for myself as a child. And that makes sense, right? I mean, what kid would want to envision themselves divorced, living long-term with “the baby daddy,” owning no house, a second rate car, and managing a dead-end job at my age? (Twenty-eight. Grumble. Grumble.) Not a one! When it comes to the future, I had wanted a career (doctor of some form). Marriage and kids never figured into my [childhood] plans, but I assumed they’d be there.

I’m really good at my job. I mean, it’s customer service and I have the personality for it. I don’t like to admit that I have the personality to do customer service (I prefer to have the prickly pear persona, but alas, I do not.) but I do. I know how to make people smile. I know how to make their day. I know how to get them in and out as quickly as possible. I know how to make it so that they come back. I know how to do all of that and more! I can juggle a thousand things at once and still not have a single complaint in a single day! I can re-arrange items so that they’re in your face and you’ll buy them, simply because I want you to. What a person wants is my top priority. And that’s how it is.

But, you know, I don’t want to do customer service. It’s okay. It pays the bills, but I’d rather do something else.

I keep thinking about the history degree I was supposed to get. If I hadn’t gotten divorced from The Asshat, then I would either have already graduated with it or be on the verge of graduating. Of course, if I had to do it all over again, I’d choose the divorce every time. There’s a reason he’s called “The Asshat”…

In reality, the history degree should have been a degree in Egyptology. If not to study the very thing I am obsessed with, then what the hell is the point? And the major specification of my history degree, I had hoped, would be the Amarna Period of ancient Egypt. If I couldn’t get that without having taken Egyptology courses (the only college in this state that has that is in Boston and I ain’t moving for my education), then I’d just be a generalized history degree… person-thing. Anyway. I just wanted the degree. It’s not like I wanted to, you know, go to Egypt and like dig for stuff.

I just wanted to have that behind my name. It would kind of be like, “HEY! I ACCOMPLISHED SOMETHING! SEE?!?!?!?!” It’s the equivalent of a kid setting fire to his house so that his absentee parents will pay attention to him. Er. Um. Okay, maybe that’s a little too drastic of an analogy but it’s along those lines. I didn’t really give two shits, one way or the other, if I ever actually used the degree, so long as I had it.

I mean, honestly? There really isn’t a lot you can do with a history major. You can fact check. You can be a paralegal. You can do some analyzing and some editing and some archiving. All of the rest of the things you can do with your degree, like being a paralegal, have little to do with the degree itself and more to do with the fact-finding/checking. I mean, a paralegal is a fact-finding gopher. So is editing or analyzing or any of the other non-related-to-history possibilities that are out there. The last possibility is that you could teach with it, but you know what? I wouldn’t want to get my teaching accreditation for the life of me. Teachers are put through hell and back and I would go absolutely inside against one of my students, I’m sure.

So. I just want the degree. And I’d love to go back to school. Honestly? I’d love to ditch the job and go to school full time. But, again, I come back to being the bread winner. I’m the one who wears the pants and makes the bacon. That’s me. The head of the household. Yay.