During the first 90 days of any workplace experience, I’m likely to ask my bosses over and over again how I am doing. This is because employers have a tenancy to blindside you with complaints out of nowhere as opposed to communicating these issues up front before they get out of hand. My personal theory is that it’s easier in the minds of some people to build a case than to try to create an effective working relationship, but I could be wrong. After all, sometimes I let behaviors that annoy me slide for a long time until someone complains to me about a behavior they find wrong, so that I have something to throw back at them. So maybe they’re just waiting for me to make the first move?
In the work place and in living situations this can be the most devastating thing to me. Because rather than being comfortable in my environment, I’m forced to walk on eggshells while other people have free rain to walk all over me. The best example of this is the other day at work.
In the workplace, there’s always something to do. My philosophy stems from years of experience, but it also comes from watching and learning from others. There was a store manager at a Burger King where I was ordering lunch a few years ago. My cashier was a new guy and while I was waiting for my order, he asked the manager, “So what’s this place like on a slow day?”
The manager’s reply was, “There are no slow days when I’m here.”
Obviously you don’t become a store manager by being lazy, or taking advantage of idle periods by texting your boyfriend. This flies in the face of a lot of coworkers I have met over the years. For example one of the cart jockeys from Generimart began his very first day with this question, “When all the carts are inside, do we get to just hang out?”
Naturally that guy didn’t last long enough to manage anything but his own steady incompetence. Although in typical Generimart fashion, it took them almost a whole year to get around to letting him go. I’m noticing a similar trend with Saber Save, whereby the management seems content in their ignorance as long as no one is actively calling out lazy employees. Personally, I know of one guy who had the same orientation day I did who was actually fired before he could do too much damage, but it seems that he is merely the example of lightening striking once, which informs this story.
There’s a cart jockey who is probably in his late forties, if I’m a betting man and his name will be Arthur because he sort of reminds me of Arthur Weasley for no other reason than I’m too tired to notice anything else about him. On this particular Wednesday, the assistant manager asked me to get some of the tape off the doors and windows in the entrances. This involved a lot of GooGon and a few skin sells as I spent the better part of an hour making things look pretty. But I got an extra hour out of the day, so it will make the check look pretty too.
As I’m actually doing work, Arthur stands beside me. Just stands there. Just like Generimart, there a lot things a cart jockey can be doing if the carts are all caught up. But Arthur just had ooodles of time to simply stand there, stare of into space, and chat with me. He wasn’t whistling while he worked so to speak; Talking to while away the hours of hard labor, no, he was actually standing there on the clock, while I busted my ass.
After a few non-committal responses to whatever the hell he was asking me he had the audacity to ask me, “Do you mind me talking to you?”
Give me credit. I was very diplomatic as I said, “I wouldn’t mind if you had a spray bottle in your hand and you were do the same thing I was doing.”
I mumbled something about how I don’t like to chat while I’m on the clock. Simple as that, although I’m sure before long a boss or someone will whine about how I should be more sociable, even though I was definitely in the right for not wanting to waste time with something non-business related.