Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Meek Endeavor of Survival...meets resistance

Without offering brutal analysis and editorial on the plight of fledgling college graduates trying to manage their lives in the current global economic environment, working in jobs for which they are grossly overqualified, surviving somehow, I’d like to offer the following description of what was recently tolerated, by this journeyman survivor. I landed a job, toiling in the fields of corporate nonprofitism at Goodwill Industries; perhaps you’ve heard of them.

Having been identified from the start as a probable highachiever in a pool of otherwise less-than-employables, my goal was to see how far up the corporate ladder someone like me could rise, from the 8 dollar and however many cents an hour commencement of my Goodwill career. Well, I had a key to the building in 10 days. And the general manager was systematically tasking me to learning every functional aspect of running a location. So then imagine being a regular, non-key-holding employee, and watching the new guy get all these responsibilities; jealousy would become almost a palpable energy as we moved forward. And not being a conformist, nor a very corporate dude, there were some unsettling observations from the vantage of teacher’s pet. But otherwise, things went well for weeks, until in the thick midst of the Christmas shopping season.

This would be a good time to start introducing some of the characters in this anecdotal summary of events. Emma is the general manager, Freda works as an assistant manager, and Gourda is Emma’s boss, an area manager. Freda has been noted as being quite unproductive in her position; she spends more time shopping for herself than actually working. My working presence had threatened the territory of the well-settled and comfortable confines of this store for Freda. And Emma had informed me that Freda was likely on the chopping block, opening up a slot for my new assistant position. And then Freda got busted, an official write-up, that admittedly, I caused by telling Emma that Freda had left the building, on the clock, and not just to go smoke a cigarette. And telling on her hadn’t even been intentional, but it happened. And Freda took that very personally, and sought to retaliate against me from that point forward; Emma told me so.

Let’s stop right there. What’s going on around here? A thoroughly expendable and otherwise useless assistant manager is threatening to get back at an employee for having tattling on her, and causing a formal reprimand…? The inherent conflict of interest makes me nauseous, even now. Freda enlisted the help of Bert, a long-time foot-dragger, and one of her minions to help her set up an apparent confrontation that would involve me, thus marring my meteoric rise. It went like this: Bert and Freda came back to my dusty area, stealthily, and separately. Bert engaged me in a verbal assault, while Freda pretended to be working at a nearby label-making station. Bert instigated and prodded, trying to get me to react, literally challenging me to fight, right there in the backroom; and all the while, Freda observes as her dimwitted, yet successful plan was unfolding. Except that I didn’t react. Well, to not react would have been to be stoic, and say nothing, do nothing. But I did say something. I told Bert to “F@*# off”, a few times, and not really all that loudly. But those two, Bert and Freda went to Emma to complain that I had verbally assaulted them.

Now, dear reader, please pay attention to the fact that after trying to start a fight with me, Bert goes and complains, with Freda that I had said a bad word to him. Get the picture? The two wily conspirators were framing me. And it wasn’t even apparent because of the absurdity of what had happened. Needless to say, but since this is a story, description is desired, I’ll point out that for the next couple of days, my mood around the old workplace wasn’t its normal self after the challenge to fight. And I was not satisfied in the least at the state of affairs given all that had transpired. I had been misrepresented as the bad guy, but it was just beginning. And I had been antagonized, right there on camera; I figured I was golden. But I did withdraw from interacting much with others at work; I didn’t know whom to trust anymore. My phone call to Emma to discuss this went unanswered. Then I didn’t wish to bother her on her day off prior to the big sale on Saturday. And further, I couldn’t exactly talk about it on Saturday. By the end of the day Saturday, I was mentally exhausted from the negative energy, so I went home a little early, and without telling anyone. After resting on Sunday, returning to work Monday didn’t last long. Emma sent me home after I had told her that I was going to go over her head, to corporate, bypassing Gourda, seeking resolution to the matter with Bert and Freda. By the time I had gotten home, I had been fired, for leaving work early on Saturday, and perceived insubordination on Monday. This wasn’t how conflict resolution was supposed to go. There was a hierarchy in place. But now my final paycheck was hastily issued, and I was fired, at Christmas, for nothing.

I finally tell the story, now that the afterglow of the holidays is gone, and spring is around the corner. And I have started to rebuild, feeling hopeful, and peaceful, however, still slighted, after having my meager livelihood taken away at Christmastime, forced to scramble for survival. And whilst I squirrelled around, trying to find anything to earn, these jackals got to keep their jobs. So I am jilted. I was the victim of some really disgusting stuff here. And it all happened as a result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In the original draft, I did have some rather colorful character developments, but that would be personally disparaging, and that isn’t the aim of this piece. Rather, I still don’t understand how I could have been dragged like that, through the mud, at Christmastime, by a charity. But by now most of us know that we can’t take everything at face value, even Goodwill Industries. The daily dose of dust from donations, I wonder if that is causing anyone to get sick. I wonder if muckraking good employees is part of the operating plan; I doubt it. This article should be considered as a penman’s sword


Anonymous said...

If someone gets over on you, blog em!!!!

Anonymous said...

The problem is they aren't grossly over qualified. The US education system has been so dumbed down due to democrat interference that it's shameful. Graduates of the US public "education" system can't compete. Big companies have to go overseas for qualified graduates and it's not because they will work for less money-quite the contrary. My friends' in Spain their son-electrical engineer was made an offer by a US auto manufacturer that he couldn't refuse. Salary and perks like housing came to double to what it could have been had a qualified American been available.

Anonymous said...

Who cares?