Minister's Study

Ministering, writing, and wrestling in a land flowing with sweet tea and deep-fried food

Saturday, March 04, 2006

My dysfunctional work family

January 28th

I guess an explanation is in order for the rarity of updates to this blog. My apologies to those who check in expecting to find out what is going on and see only silence. I assure you that this is not an accurate description of what has been going on here.

In the last four weeks or so, I've been out of town three times. The whole family (the whole island, actually, but who's counting?) is coming off a nasty cold. At least I've stopped coughing up blood. That's a good sign. I realized that today was my first real day off in the last three weeks, I think, between the bookstore, the church, and our visit to another church. Dr. Stagno is out of town for two weeks on a much-needed vacation, so all I can say is "Praise the Lord for Paul Funchess." And I will likely have another day off in a little over two weeks. I can't wait.

As for my bookstore job, that is the titular dysfunctional work family. We may have the most messed up situation on the island at the moment, and that's saying something. We've lost almost everyone we hired before Christmas (we really needed most of them to stay around for another week or two at least). We've also lost a couple of the regular crew who were here beforehand, including one of the lower management crew. It looks like our associate manager is manuevering to get the store manager fired, while simultaneously looking for a position outside of the company. That keyholder who quit, didn't serve out his full two weeks notice, primarily because he wanted to make problems for the store manager. Another keyholder is quietly interviewing for another job (she would like to quit on short notice also, I think, to cause the store manager more problems). One of our regulars was out sick for practically all of last week, in the hospital and out. Another missed Monday to the flu, but came in Tuesday to work a double shift. I had to run out to her calendar kiosk to cover for her while she went to throw up. Not quite recovered yet, I guess. As for the store manager, there is reason for all the ire directed her way. During Christmas, I think she broke a couple of labor laws, while finding ways (inadvertently, perhaps) to treat just about everyone on staff pretty unfairly in some way or another. She systematically lies in any situation in which it might be to her advantage, and has by now done this in front of probably every worker at some time or another -- so no one in the store trusts her whatsoever. Her vindictive approach to problems with workers hasn't helped anything. Word has come down the pike that she thinks that most of the store staff is overly loyal to the associate manager (who has been here far longer than she has, and is in the store far more), and that she is therefore beginning to seek excuses for firing all of us. Her deliberate disregard for company policies now leaves her quite vulnerable to the scheming of the people who remain. All of this adds up to me being in the store an awful lot, because not much of anyone else is left to be there or willing to show up. Outside of all that, it's still not a terrible place to work. I've maintained my firm insistence on always acting honestly, and on being discrete about not repeating what I hear as rumors. I also continue to refuse to sell material that I regard as pornography. Although that last is an inconvenience to most of the staff, I'm in pretty good standing with most everyone, and get along fine with everyone. And I get to work with all those pretty books. But I still look forward to being able to do away with a part-time job completely, regardless of that employee discount on the purchase of books.


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