Sinking the Leader Ship

June 1, 2017 at 9:11 am (Cussed Dumbers)

I’m a pretty straight-up guy. I will tell you honestly what’s going on, sometimes painfully so. I understand discretion, and omitting details to spare feelings etc… But I’m not a big fan of deception, and really hate being lied to.

So when I have to play games with a supervisor, it gets on my nerves.

I’ve known Uncle Cliffy for fifteen years. We worked together at the store I worked at before Master P’s. I recommended him, vouched for him, even applauded as he passed me in the ranks to become my supervisor. He claims we are friends, so it’s nice to have friends at the top, right?

With friends like these…

Eva Braun has been taking an active role in day-to-day operations; in charge of scheduling as well as managing the Nightclub Store. We got along at first, then she was kinda down on me, then we started working together and now we are best buds, workwise. I realize she’s still my boss, and I have to mind my Ps and Qs, but if I need a favor, or a day off, she’s right there to make it happen.

Then we have Uncle Cliffy, who has been named manager of the Waterfront Store. When Dr T was manager, Cliffy complained endlessly about how Dr T “never did any work” around the store. Now that Cliffy is running the show, nothing gets done at an even slower rate!

Understand, Cliffy is past 60, has had a toe removed, is diabetic. But he’s also in not-bad physical shape. He looks in his late 40s, can walk miles if a video game drops, but can’t bother to walk cardboard to the dumpster.

His mantra: “It’s not my job.”

Granted, he’s been told he gets no overtime, being on salary. I understand not being interested in exerting yourself when it’s plainly not your responsibility, but as manager everything is your responsibility. If you don’t do it, you tell someone who will. If you tell someone to do your work for you and it doesn’t get done, that makes you a bad manager. And lazy, cuz the shit never gets done.

Mrs Brady was the first to confront him. Empty beer and pop containers filled the back office, and the weekly pick-up hadn’t happened in over a month. I offered to call, to get things happening, but he “had it under control.” By week six, Mrs Brady was calling the bottle company every day. Within three days, we were cleaned out.

Little things like this are forgotten. Stuff usually gets done, because the manager does it. They make $3-$4 an hour more, have guaranteed wages, and agree to come in when no one else is willing to work. Cliffy has yet to come in for a no-show, and it’s bordering on a miracle that he stays past his scheduled time when people don’t show. He’d just as soon lock the door and go home. “It’s not my job.”

Dr T, tired of the hypocrisy, retired abruptly. See ya! I’m sure he’s happier without the stress, but I’m guessing he misses the fun parts of the job. I know I miss having him as a sounding board and confidante. He had the best feel for the atmosphere of the job; I could get an honest “weather report” on my way in, and know whether I should be front and center, or if I should avoid Grinder for a day or two. Since the Doctor has a new bride and a fixed income now, I will miss him but wish him all the best. And just because he’s retired doesn’t mean I can’t profit from his advice.

Cliffy’s unwillingness to work has been good for me. Last week I got a call from Grinder. “The alarm is broken at the Mothership. Want some easy overtime? After you finish your shift, lock up the Waterfront Store and head to the Mothership. You will spend the night inside the store. You can sleep, read whatever. We just don’t want the windows busted out and all the product gone.”

I can do that.

But first, I had to close the Waterfront Store. It was Wednesday, a freight day. I stopped for coffee, and Eva said, “Good, I need you to help me for a minute. You toss groceries and watch my till while I make a few calls?”

“I’m expected by Uncle Cliffy, he’s probably already nervous.” I am almost always fifteen minutes early.

“I’ll take care of that.”

I shrugged, and began putting freight away, occasionally ringing someone up. Eva had me check a couple of references, (her thick accent can be a challenge to strangers) I finished her groceries, and left to relieve Uncle Cliffy. I walked in at 3:05, technically ten minutes early. His lips were a thin line, and he was cussing into the phone.

“According to Eva I was due here at 3:15. Did you know I’m pulling an all-nighter?”

“Yes, but I didn’t know until just now. They were supposed to tell ME, BECAUSE I’M THE MANAGER!” His last sentence was said in a Stewie Griffin voice; I fully expected a “Waah, waah!”

“Have you done any groceries?” I was being sarcastic. I knew they had been delivered at least three hours previous. He’d put away a case of cigarettes.

“It’s a GIGANTIC ORDER, and I didn’t have a helper! I can’t be on the till and putting up freight at the same time!”

Funny, everyone else does. How does he expect me to finish?

Later, I heard from a co-worker he’d tried to call in, that he was not going to let me work if someone got there before I did. I kinda wish it had come to that.

He hurried up and left, grumbling about his lost hour. I’d already put in a fast hour doing Nightclub’s freight. It’s gonna be a long night.

Fortunately, the Waterfront is slow after 6 PM, and Voorhees, while I took lunch, put a hefty dent in it. I ended up staying an hour past closing. It’s much easier when you don’t have to glance at the door every three seconds. Focus. At 1:45 AM, I rolled into the Mothership. Carlito was buzzing around, already done with freight. (More than mine, even!) After he locked the door, I stretched out on the floor, and let the joint I smoked between stores do its thing. I fell soundly asleep, flat on my back with a hoodie for a pillow and a milk crate for a leg-raiser. It was massively uncomfortable, but I was so tired. At 5:30 AM, the Mothership manager popped the door, and thanked me for my service. I moseyed down the hill, stopped to say hey to Eva, who hadn’t arrived yet. I high-fived Antknee, and beelined for home, and bed.

After a three hour nap, I was back on the road. Uncle Cliffy was off. Eva felt it only fair that Cliffy work the opening of Rose Festival, since all the other managers had to. This brought out all kinds of corny schemes from Cliffy, trying to get out of swing shift. (He really hates having his routine messed with.) Finally Eva took a photo of the bus schedule and mailed it to Master P.

Now, instead of working until midnight, he’s stuck until one AM, because the MAX runs its last train at 1:30 AM on Friday and Saturday. He doesn’t know this yet.

I hope I’m there when they tell him.

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