I could not stand my new boss.
Joe was so “by-the-book” it drove me crazy. He never gave his team a break, and he would watch us like a hawk. I mean really? All we are doing is putting Febreeze and Friskies cat food on the shelf. How can we possibly mess it up?
The ICS team took breaks together. Joe would literally be outside with us, on a 15 minute break, talking about work, while looking at his watch. Call me crazy, but this was not a break! I cannot take a 15 minute break, if on said 15 minute break, I have to talk about which pallet I would stock next.
He would never give us any playing room. I missed the days (like last week) when he was on vacation in Florida, and I was able to have my breakdowns, and the ICS guys were there to tell me “You will be fine,it will be okay.” None of this was happening on Joe’s watch.
I will say, that when my boys had a doctor appointment, or school function, Joe gave me the day off, or worked around my schedule. That was a nice change of pace from my previous boss’. In the past, I would pretty much have to offer up my kidney if I needed an unscheduled day off. Still. He was just so professional, and by-the book, it drove me crazy. I started to question if this guy ever laughed.
One day in particular, Sean and I were working in “Chemicals” which is just a fancy word for the cleaning supply aisle. We had a pallet of freight we needed to stock within the hour. Sean and I always worked well together, we would talk, and gossip, while getting the job done……or so I thought. I will never forget it, Sean and I are literally on the floor, making sure the UPC code on the shelf matches that of the Windex we are supposed to put on the shelf. The UPC did not match up, and at the very moment Joe walks up.
“Does it really take two of you to do this? It’s very simple. If the code matches, you put it on the shelf, if it does not match, it is overstock and you take it to the bin.”
And just like that…..I am pissed. Like really? Does he have to talk to me like I am a 5-year-old.If the blasted code did not match then we would get in trouble for “plugging.” I took the box of Windex that I had, and threw it in Sean’s arms.
“I am done, I do not get paid to be talked to like a child.”
And in an Oscar worthy moment,reminiscent of Joan Crawford I walked off, leaving both Sean and Joe in the dust. I went to the back room and started to set it up for the unloaders, who were due in within the hour. Joe eventually comes to the back room. “Do you have a minute?”
“Nope! I am setting up the dock! Maybe you should go make sure the cat food is in its proper place.”
I know, I was a bitch, but trust me, he was like the Wal-Mart Nazi.
Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and I was finally doing better. I dealt with the break-up. I dealt with being stood up by a vendor (actually, I am still kind of bitter about that one) and I was on my way to working on my confidence issues. Dr. Phil would be proud. Jessica and I had a good roommate situation going on. There was always one of us home to watch the boys, which saved both of us on daycare expenses. Sean would come over for dinner, and we would talk work stuff, while him and Jess talked relationship stuff. They were becoming more serious, and it would not surprise me to hear that sooner or later, they would be moving in together. Damn fools.
I was doing quite well at work. Honestly, I was. You could not find more of a girly girl than I was, yet you stick me in a back room with a bunch of guys, and through divine intervention or some kind of paranormal activity, I was kicking butt!
On “Bring Your Kid to Work Day.” I was able to bring AJ in. He was in the fourth grade at this time, and it was a nice experience to see him in my “environment.” Of course he excelled and made me proud. Joe had all the kids with him on the sales floor. At that time, we could not have the kids in the backroom. This was probably the first time I saw Joe smile. He enjoyed working with these kids. Which was only AJ and Sean’s three kids. Joe put them to work, but made it fun. I made the comment to Sean “Oh look at that, he enjoys working with the kids better than he does us.” It was weird, but nice.
A few weeks later, Joe called an informal meeting in the backroom for all of us on ICS. I knew as soon as he made his way to the middle of our inner circle, and did the “clearing of the throat,” He was about to drop something on us.
“I feel like team morale is down. We are not working to our potential. People at other stores are talking about how bad we are doing. To build team morale, I had a thought. How would you guys feel about a bowling night? Just our team, we get together outside of work, and get back to where we are supposed to be.”
Are you kidding me? A bowling night? I do not know how to bowl. And, what about a babysitter? The thing is, I felt we all had great team morale. It was Joe who did not know how to relax. Many of us would hangout with each other outside of work. Everyone except Joe. He would come to work punch in the time clock, work his nine hours and punch out. I mean for all I knew he had no life outside of Wal-Mart, or, he wanted to keep Wal-Mart separate from his outside life? I do not know what it was, but it was annoying.
We all left the meeting and went to our respective departments. As I was walking out with Sean, he told me not to worry about it, Jess would watch the kids. Fine. Whatever. I mean why couldn’t we do dinner or something? Bowling? I mean what does one even wear to bowl in?
As I left the back room, and made my way down the action alley aisle. There she was. I saw her, but was uncertain if she saw me…..Okay, who was I kidding, of course she saw me. We were the only two on the aisle, and quite frankly, it did not look like there was a way for me to get out of this. She was walking straight towards me, although it looked like she was also looking for her out.
Christin. There was Christin.