Phil Of the Future

These days I never jump to conclusions about people. All of my observations are based on actual experiences and it’s important to remember that some people simply never change. If they’ve been locked in a certain pattern all of their lives, no amount of amiability or patience is going to change that. You can either choose to ignore them or you can expose their mannerisms to the world and get it off your chest once they’ve gotten too far under your skin.

As a new employee at Sabersave or in any company, I try to find some equilibrium with the rest of the seasoned employees. Even I think I know what I’m doing, I always ask so that I don’t unknowingly violate some rule that a specific company has in place. Two different front end employees gave me a rundown of how they do things. So when the glass bottle machine needed to be empties, I went to Phil, who does general store maintenance as well as bagging groceries. Again, this was simply to make sure I knew how they did things here and I was simply looking for confirmation about what another employee had already told me.

Me: Phil, do we use the Uboats to change the glass bins.

Phil: What?

Me: Do we use the Uboats to change the glass bins.

Phil: No, you use the little blue bins.

Me: *Patiently* No, what I’m asking you is if we use the U-boats to bring the bins back.

Phil: *Oblivious, like he hadn’t heard me* You use the U-boats to bring the blue bins back.

Me: That’s precisely what I just asked you.

One occurrence right? No big deal, I need to be more patient with people? Is that your first reaction. Fast forward to last night. The cart wipes we keep in the vestibule for customers to alleviate their germophobia (While handling fruits and vegetables that have likely been manhandled by transients). So I took the empty bag of wipes out of the fixture and since Phil was in the vestibule vacuuming the rug, I asked him what I already knew. I don’t know why. Blind optimism?

Me: Phil, are the cart wipes in the supply closet behind the break room. I just want to make sure before I run all over the store.

Phil: *Again, oblivious* You put it (the bag of wipes) in the fixture.

Me: *taking a deep breath* Phil, are the cart wipes, in the supply closet. The closet behind the break room.

Phil: Yeah, you need to get another thing of cart wipes.

Me: I’m aware of that. I need to know where they are. Never mind, I’ll find them myself.

Phil: No I’ll show you where they are.

So he takes me to the supply closet behind the break room. All he had to do was say yes but then, I suppose all I had to do was just not assume he was going to be helpful at this time.

Understand that Phil is not mentally challenged or disabled in anyway that I can tell. And I might have more patience with the guy, except that he is clearly one of those people who is oblivious to his own idiocy. This became clear to me when he started running his mouth to me about emptying a trash barrel, which I’ve been doing pretty competently for two straight weeks. I also pointed out to him that he is not a supervisor and that he shouldn’t be telling me what to do period. Later, in the checkout lane, I saw him talking to another employee and I overheard this exchange:

Phil: “That new guy with the glasses, does he have something wrong with him?”

That is where my patience for the moron ends. I didn’t make a fuss about it right then and there and I didn’t say anything because I couldn’t prove what he said or what intent was behind it. All I know is that if I wasn’t going to make excuses for stupidity at Generimart, I’m not going to excuse it at this or any other place I work.



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