There Is No Night Watch

, , , , , | Working | July 28, 2018

(In the last year, my department at a grocery store has had an incredibly high turnover. It is to the point that having worked there three years I am now considered a department senior, and am the last person out of the department five out of seven nights. Most of the new hires quit within a couple weeks to a month of being hired due to the fast pace or lack of hours, but most of all because the department head micromanages to the point of interference, and makes constant claims of telling “everybody” some change of rule when really she told maybe one person. More recently, we got a new store manager who is doing his best to boost the productivity and morale in the store, which we appreciate; however, his methods at times are far from great. One day, both managers pull me and the only other two senior workers into the back of the department, away from customers, leaving one newbie to serve people. They want to have a meeting about “working together but not doing other people’s work, communication, and not wasting time.” What should have been a maybe 20-minute pep-talk with Q&A turns into an hour-long “assurance” about how things will change and how we should be happy in the new quarter. The ending of this goes as such.)

Store Manager: “Any questions?”

Me: “So, what should I do about people like [Coworker]?”

([Coworker] has been with us three months, but never completes his full duties, leaving them for others. He does not listen to corrections, but complains no one listens to him, claims he was never trained in things he was trained multiple times on, and is in general just a pain in the a**.)

Store Manager: “Ah, yes, someone mentioned [Coworker] earlier, but this is the first time we’re hearing about him being an issue.” *clearly seeing the incredulous look on my face* “[Department Head] didn’t know, either.”

Department Head: “You should have told me.”

Me: “I have.”

Senior Coworkers #1 and #2: “We have, too.”

Me: “And I leave after both of you, which is when he pulls his BS, so it’s not like I can tell you in the moment.”

Store Manager: “You should tell the manager on duty in the store.”

Me: “I have. All of them.”

Department Head: “You could send a text—”

Me: “I have.”

Department Head: “Or pictures of the leftover work.”

Me: “I have, but I have a basic phone with limited memory and can’t save them forever.”

Store Manager: “You could leave a note.”

Me: “Like the white sheets we used to leave on a clipboard for the morning people? I did until we stopped getting them.”

Department Head: “We have a white board.”

Me: “I’ve taped notes there when I have time.”

Store Manager: “Or put things on the nightly sheet.”

Me: “I HAVE. EVERY NIGHT I WORK WITH HIM.”

Store Manager: “Oh, I don’t read those.”

Department Head: “I never even see them, and we throw them out at the end of the quarter.”

Store Manager: “My bad. I’ll try to be better about it. Now, let’s all get back to work.”

(My two coworkers — who had been confirming my every effort to record and draw attention to this issue — and I were left staring at our bosses, absolutely dumbfounded. The nightly review sheets have to be turned in every night; forgetting even once can result in a job-threatening write up. We have been told they are copied to corporate and kept on file so they can be reviewed if anything comes up. And they don’t even read them before throwing them away.)

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