Thursday, April 30, 2009

My Old Boss

You know, these times are funny. They sort of remind people what's really important in life. Sometimes they even humble those who talk a little too much but lack the walk. Minus being financially down in the dumps I think this is a fantastic time for America. A good ol awakening smack in the face if you will.

At my last job, which was seriously a joke, I had quite the interesting boss. There was nothing remotely attractive about him, so he couldn't use looks as an excuse. He still had that obnoxious New Jersey accent though he has lived in the south for roughly 15 years. He thought he was the shit.

Working at this store taught me a lot but not in any life altering since, rather more in that I got to know a product I had personal interest in a lot better. That's as far as my loyalty to this company went however because of my interest I became a good salesperson which I had hoped would land me a full time position after my seasonal spot was up (no such luck). This job was probably the easiest I've ever had which may be due in part because I was a seasonal position with very little responsibility placed on my shoulders. I got to show up, talk with customers a little while, and get a better paycheck than I did at my previous job I had loyally worked at for two long years. I could not complain but couldn't put serious effort into it either, this was not my dream job.

Apparently to my boss this was his ultimate rollercoaster. He boasted about knowing the CEO of the company, how his skills kept his store in the top percentile (not the fact that this location was a main hub, the only one within 100 miles of a major city), and he always knew the answer. To everything. His employees hated him. Upon walking in the door for my first day a lot of chatter swam around the store about their disgust so openly. A little shocked I kept my opinions under wraps as I didn't know if they were reeling me in to spit me out. They weren't and as time passed I began to learn exactly what they were talking about. They even used his last name as a verb to describe all things evil. Like for instance, getting belittled out on the sales floor in front of other customers for ridiculous claims, or being dragged to a spot on the salesfloor only to be told to rearrange a perfectly good saleswall, or maybe even to have a small meeting, again on the salesfloor during operating hours, about something in detail we all already knew about. I can't imagine how big his ego felt during these moments. I wondered too if he got knocked down a few pegs when customers would call to complain about his poor choices in reprimanding employees on the floor. He never hinted either way.

His ultimate goal was to become District Manager. They make a lot of money but it doesn't matter because he's not married. He's written his family off for good and has one friend he calls on infrequently. Everyone else is a polite and very tolerant acqaintence. However, he wanted to leave his mark on this company. Sadly, his knowledge on the product he sold was severely lacking. He would confidently tell his customers he was the store manager and could help them out in any way only to have a customer return unhappy about something he told them that was a lie, or flat out wrong. In the meantime he was sneaking into his employees commission when selling to customers. He could do no wrong though and thought District Manager was the top dog position for him. During my short stint rumors flew around the store that this guy snagged the position.

He did. It just so happened that someone had left the company and now a hole needed to be filled. Some blind leaders thought my boss was a great fill in. We still celebrated thinking it would get him out of our store, free at last. It didn't. Instead we got two bosses, luckily the new store manager from South Carolina was a doll. She moved her life to a new state, her husband quit his job to join her, and started anew at this bigger store. We liked her a lot. Unfortunately, my old boss the new District Manager had a home store which was ours. So now we had a boss to boss our boss so she could in turn boss us. It got old really quick but I got laid off before anything amounted.

The Good Boss and I kept in contact (good ol facebook) and just the other day she mentioned she was back in SC. Apparently the company is doing some restructuring and she had to go back to her old store while the old boss/new district manager went back to store manager for the place I worked at. Though saddened for her I was pleased to hear he got knocked down a few pegs. I just hope this economy has made him humble and maybe, just maybe, put life into perspective.

Until next time...

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