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2005-02-07 - 10:25 a.m.

I also had Evil Job on my mind all weekend and I’m not sure why. It may have been because of the Dooce archives I was reading, but since I haven’t had to work for Icky Company since October (and I’m completely satisfied with my job now) I was a little disturbed to have to listen to my brain freak out like the old days. I started getting angry at old bosses over old things that I know don’t matter at all. So I guess I’ll have to go with the flow and tell the exciting (ha!) stories.
-Background info: This was a retail job I was in for three years, from the fall after I graduated from college until fall of 2004. A year and a half was while in Colorado (Evil State - my apologies if you like it there, but two years of living there was two years too many!), and a year and a half was in one of Barrington’s quasi-suburbs. So for those keeping score, I was commuting from Bridgeport to Barrington (averaging about 1 ½ hours of driving each way) to work retail selling products I cared nothing about just to have health insurance. Apparently, though, no matter how much I hate something I can still manage to at least act good at it as I started as a temp and was assistant manager by the time I left. And now for the boss stories...

-First Boss: He was the assistant manager and wanted the (then) vacant managerial position. Around 50, heavy smoker, emotionally 13 years old. He did almost nothing but play on the internet, but for some reason (oh, wait, I know the reason – more on that later) managed to have the rest of the staff solidly behind him. He did many different insulting but not particularly interesting things (like conspiring behind my back to get the staff to misbehave enough so that I would quit), but my favorite was when he managed to jack up the inventory by bringing the stock of a Christmas kiosk store back to the main store – and then not actually running it through the computer. He was scared of computers (except for the aforementioned internet games) so expected me to do it (without telling me). Then he was surprised when he was fired after we were off nearly $200,000 at inventory.

-Second Boss: Took the managerial position that First Boss had so badly wanted. He was a nice human being, but was annoying. And not just any annoying – so annoying I ended up calling in sick a few times so I wouldn’t have to work with him (and this from the person who barely ever calls in sick when I am sick!). Just a few of his unfortunate tendencies:
1. So obsessed with ‘Star Trek’ he puts the Comic Book Guy from ‘The Simpsons’ to shame. Now, I enjoy sci-fi every now and then. I’m not saying that it’s inherently evil. But a collection of ‘Star Trek’ decorative plates that covers the walls of a fairly large basement? A teddy bear in a ‘Star Trek’ uniform that rides in the passenger seat of his SUV while buckled in to the seat belt? And that’s just scratching the surface.
2. Very short (my height, which is sad for a man!), somewhat effeminate, and violently homophobic. Latent what? Huh? So much potential for psychological study...
3. Gross (chews with his mouth open, overly sweaty, makes jokes about sex far too often), but insists on hugging me periodically. And I’m not a huggy person – I love hugging close friends and family, but I’d be fine in a world without handshakes as they are a bit too touchy for me.
4. Used the excuse, “I need to teach you how to do this,” in order to get me to do everything that involved a computer for him. Including employee reviews (that I was not supposed to even see!).
5. Obsessed with ‘Big Dog’ clothing, knickknacks, catalogs, and so on. First of all, when you’re 5’2”, there’s not much sense in wearing something for large fat people. Second, IT’S NOT FUNNY!!!! “If you’re not the lead dog, the view never changes.” So witty. Never been done before. I can’t even write about it – it’s too frustrating. (I think this is the lightning rod for all of the different annoying parts of his personality. It makes me crazy.)

-Third Boss: The new district manager who seemed nice until I actually had to work with him. Telling anecdote: One of the few-cars-short-of-a-train kids who worked there sold a large electronic appliance worth approximately $6,000. We did not have said appliance in stock, but the customer wanted to avoid going to another store or coming back in to pay, so he told the customer to pay and we would get the appliance shipped from another store. Somewhat against policy, but Icky Company has a do-whatever-possible-to-make-customers-happy policy as well. I came back after having the day in question off, and had to take over getting said appliance for the customer (yes, it wasn’t my responsibility, but it wasn’t a surprise that I had to do it either). I called Downtown Store to ask them to transfer us the product. Downtown Store’s manager owed me. (why did he owe me? – he had come to a meeting at my store, left his briefcase, and begged me to bring it back to him since I lived closer to downtown. I asked my husband to take it to him, he went through the pain in the @#% downtown traffic to do it, and didn’t even get a thank you.) But in this situation, he refused to transfer because it was against policy and he needed BOTH appliances for the coming weekend. (said appliance sold perhaps once a month.) I called District Manager, and he got angry at ME for violating policy and causing the appliance to be returned when the customer decided she had waited too long. Ack!

Ahhh... That felt good. I’ll try to whine less next entry!

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