Nate's Work Place Survival Guide: Jerks and Morons in Management
When you're at the bottom of the totem pole you answer to many people. Even the owner of a store can't be there every day so you may have a direct supervisor or an assistant manager running things while you're away. We've been over the concept of the hierarchy before and by now you probably know all of the names and faces of your managing body. But we're going to focus on dealing with the people who shouldn't be managers of a Sims family much less someone else's investment of time and money.
Who are these people and how do they wind with supervisory positions?
There is no one perfect answer. Sometimes you have to be very good friends with your manager. Whatever your theories are just like your co-workers, you will have members of the managing body whom you will have to deal with.
I Was One Of Them
Up front I will tell you that I was one of those lousy supervisors. During my time as a detailer at the airport I had to pick up a second job so I could make ends meet with the place I was renting. I began working at Brooks Pharmacy and three months into my job there I was offered a position of supervisor.
I gave my two weeks at the airport and while I waited for my time there to end I was trained to count drawers, give out change, and handle the deposit, all of which absolutely puzzled me. There were so many little things to figure out and fifty different people telling me fifty different ways to do a certain task.
So up until the end of my two weeks I had most of it down. But when I was done with the airport I was moved to the night shift at Brooks where I would be in charge of the overnight cashiers.
There were three other night supervisors. An assistant manager named Nathan, and two other supervisors, Irina and Justin, all of whom had worked in Brooks for a while.
A week or two in my first big mistake was not being firm enough with the two or three cashiers that worked the evening shift. Tiffany, an older woman in her late forties with a penchant for showing up for work drunk off her ass would take advantage of my young age and my obvious inexperience and do her shopping after her lunch break and not during like she was supposed to. When the drawer was over a thousand dollars and I had to perform a pick up she would try to decide how much I needed to take out. I put my foot down on that one but not much else. Oliver read magazines on the clock, Vincent put out “tip jars”, neither of which was company behavior but I allowed anyway.
I was still too focused on being liked by my coworkers as opposed to being their supervisor. It was so bad that even though I was responsible, in part, for getting Tiffany fired the other cashiers stopped taking me seriously, even when I was the only supervisor in charge.
The biggest problem I had was that Irina, one of the other supervisors was getting quickly impatient with me. It wasn't like I was deliberately not listening to her. I made mistakes like everyone does. But rather than trying to help me Irina got extremely upset. And it wasn't enough for her to point out mistakes, it was like she had to grind glass into my hands just to make sure I didn't forget it.
She would rip into me right in front of the other cashiers and then leave at the end of her shift, which had the same effect as a parent yelling at the babysitter before going out for the evening.
Finally I just gave up. Sometimes that's all you can do. I wasn't receiving any support from the store manger or my coworkers and I decided that I would rather work for two years as a cashier than get fired in a week as a supervisor.
The Dumb Ass
I shall refer to this one assistant manger as The Dumb Ass. Because truly it was his Dumb Assery that got him fired. Well, okay, I'm sure it had to do with my testimony of his abilities to the Loss Prevention Officers who were performing an investigation on our store. But my testimony only added strength to The Dumb Ass.
You see, the Dumb Ass started out as a cashier at Rite Aid. Very quickly Sarah, who was still the manager at the time, promoted Steven to supervisor and then to assistant manager in less than a few months.
The Dumb Ass would perform replenishments on drawers so he could cash his own checks. He would perform returns that he didn't need to do and he would frequently give out his numbers that would allow cashiers to perform voids while he was away.
Well, time went on. Corporate cracked down and The Dumb Ass stopped giving his number out. But alas he was the only manager on duty one Sunday morning when he decided he needed a book very badly. So he left the store with no one else in charge and went down to Borders.
Meanwhile, myself and my coworker who were the only cashiers at the front suddenly needed a void on our registers, which required...tada! Manager numbers. And the line just kept getting longer while we waited for The Dumb Ass to return from his quest for literary indulgence.
Bullying Doesn't End in High School
It was a few weeks before I stopped being a supervisor.
Rite Aid bought out Brooks and our store was completely converted to a Rite Aid store. The store was no longer open 24/7 and Irina and Justin, the two supervisors who worked the night shift with me were now Assistant Managers and they were currently living together.
Irina and I stopped getting along. I was tired of the way she treated me so there were no friendly terms and I used every moment to badmouth her when she wasn't around. Unfortunately Vincent and Oliver still worked evenings and as I was stuck doing the evening shift for a while, that meant that I also had to deal with Justin, Irina's boyfriend.
Justin would raise his voice to me often, trying to intimidate me. He would yell at me for things that he would let the others slide for. He would report how I was being rude to customers, trying to get me fired. He even got Oliver and Vincent to say that they had “heard” me saying something illicit to a customer that got me written up.
Sarah, the store manager, refused to believe Justin was doing anything wrong. I reported him, I wrote letters about his behavior and made calls to the human resource manager but nothing was done. I was told that I needed to watch it or I'd be out of a job.
Fortunately Justin and Irina ended up getting married which meant that he had to transfer to another store. Sarah gave her two weeks notice and we got a new manager. Things quieted down and for a while I was back to at least being appreciated for doing my job correctly. But Irina still had a problem with me and dealing with her was still a challenge.
In the two years of working at Rite Aid I could write an entire novel about the way myself and my coworkers were treated. The point is you will deal with all sorts of management types. Power hungry, annoying, outright stupid. It's what lead me to finally snapping one afternoon and shouting, “F--- Rite Aid” as I left.
Like me, no one will be holding a gun to your head. You'll stay if you need the job that badly but eventually you have to make a decision as to whether or not being treated like the company punching bag is worth the pay check.
More by this Author
Kate and Leopold holds a special place in my heart. It’s a unique love story that’s well written, with a great cast of actors right down to the doorman, who only has one line. Director James...
It’s funny how of all of the workplace related manuals and instruction books I’ve come across; I just haven’t seen one that tackles that precarious subject of the third shift. And I...
Since people have been known to take things horribly out of context, let me clear something up: This is not encouraging people to take up robbery as a means to support themselves. Although robbers sometimes do...