Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tales from the Trenches: Get back in the box!

Sadly, the conversation that my boss had with me a few months ago was re-visited with me. It appears that there is hub-bub going around from three co-workers about my having an anti-Chinese made product sentiment. Now, we discussed this at length two months ago. In fact, I asked L-, "Didn't we already deal with this?" I told her that we've done much research in our portion of the gallery on commercially crafted items so that we can discuss things with the customer like if it is a fair trade item, cottage industry thing, made from recycled products and so forth.

Then she brings up my quality control issue. I am a main display person at the store that I'm at. If I run across sub-par items, I reject them and either return them to the receiver or the receiving manager. Seems fair enough. Well, by doing this I've created more work for a few people, thus making some folks unhappy. I tried to explain to the receiver that to keep damaged or incorrectly manufactured items is to basically pay full wholesale for something that I'm going to need to dispense of at sale later on. This was brought to the attention to the owner as I wasn't putting the product out at all. I told her, "Of course not. I put out the first quality items first." She seemed to understand and nod her head at that.

Another issue she brought up with me is my having come in the day after Memorial Day, having seen the place a mess and essentially nothing touched from when I worked last (I work M-W, we had Monday off and I had returned on Tuesday) and I exclaimed "What did -- do last week?!" Well, that went over like a lead balloon. It appears as though the one female that I work with is a bit two-faced. Oh, she seems fine and dandy as you work with her but she'll stab you in the back quicker than you can turn around. You see, our store doesn't have a floor manager on staff in the building. My other co-worker and I essentially manage the store, jot odd jobs down on a sheet of paper and stick it to the counter for all of us to tackle. I explained to L- that yes, I had said exactly that. I said that when I came back in from Memorial Day weekend, several lights were left on, the public bathroom fan was left running all weekend long (which I stated that I fear is a fire hazard since the building is older than dirt), the front end was trashed and a display was left sitting in the same spot on the floor as where I left it the previous week. (I forgot about it, but heaven forbid that someone else picks it up.) I told L- that J- and I work together and neither one of us stand on formality. We make a list, divide and conquer and that is that. I told her that the part timers don't appreciate the lists that are made and look at them as slave labor. I told her that one of them told me that she was "so bored," but when I suggested "there is always cleaning and dusting or polishing jewelry" I was told that, "Well, I polished jewelry for 3 hours the other day."

We met for probably 45 minutes or more discussing all of these things. I think that L- was able to walk away with a clearer understanding that though, yes, I can be a pain in the butt and I know it, I'm not out to damage the company. (A few previous co-workers read my blog and know that I can be a pain in the can.) She told me that yes, she realized that I was opinionated and sometimes that is good and sometimes bad. I agree. Occasionally my honesty is misconstrued as opinionated (I've always thought of honesty being with the heart whereas opinionated can be just flat out bull headed), but truly I'm just trying to do good things.

I know that L- doesn't question that I'm a hard worker. When discussing the lack of motivation of co-workers, I told her that I know that she and her husband know that they aren't going to get 100% out of 100% of the people 100% of the time. I told her that I know that I don't always give 100%. We're human. They know that and accept that.

What did I learn today? Get back in the box. Having an opinion or sharing honesty with co-workers is biting me in the butt. Watch who you speak anything other than "hi" and "bye" to. I know that there are 3 that I must keep only on fluffy speaking terms on. No in depth conversations on anything, particularly the craft country of origin.

Why do people have to be mean and back stabby? I mean really. Can't we all just be glad that we have jobs, bosses who let us be ourselves and don't fire us for stupid things that people say about us?

Don't think that I end this post thinking that my halo is glowing and shining like the top of the Chrysler building (only now it would be the Fiat building, yes? Well, it was an Annie reference anyhow.) At any rate, I don't live in some illusion to think that I'm a saint. However, I wished that if someone had a problem with me, they would just tell me. Going around to everyone but me isn't going to fix the issue.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take my own advice. I've taken it in, I've processed it and now I need to let it go.


ChupieandJ'smama said...

So sorry. I know how that goes. Enjoy your box. I hope your boss understands things better now.

Rach said...

Oh for Pete's sake.

Hang in there. I'm so sorry this has happened. I HATE it when things like that happen at work.