Monday, June 12, 2006

What a fascinating weekend...

Well... I haven't written in a few days. Why? Because things just got weird.
Friday morning, I get to work about midnight and check my email. I have a message sent to me by my "boss" (aka Junior Controller Rod Dugan). I had been expecting this email at some point, but it still pissed me off.
See, with my current schedule, I almost never see Rod (henceforth known as "Dumbass"). That's a problem... for Dumbass. See, he's the type of guy who is full of himself and looks to try and pass work off to those he sees as lesser employees. That way, he can spend more time micromanaging the air that he breathes and not get any real work done.
Dumbass is in his mid-late 20's (26? 27? somewhere around there), a a somewhat recent graduate of Texas Tech. He has an accounting degree. He has not passed the CPA (or even started the process) as of yet. Apparently, he started as some kind of IT guy with the company while he was in school and worked here on school breaks. When he graduated, some other stuff happened and he became one of two JUNIOR Controllers (along with Jared, the guy who hired me). Dumbass refuses to acknowledge that he is a Jr. Controller (his email sig just says Controller) despite the fact that he IS a JUNIOR Controller. Anyway, whatever.
So Dumbass goes down one of our other locations (nicknamed "The Fort") and works his Sabrina the Teenage Bitch magic down there. (Note: The Fort has been notoriously poorly run and has lost money until only recently. The turnaround started when people like Dumbass were less involved).
More exciting backstory. I entered the scene last August. Jared needed an inventory analyst (note "analyst") for the fresh ground meat division of the company (AFF) because the guy who was doing it was also in charge of inventory for the frozen patty division (TAFS) and was working about 75 hours a week and couldn't take it any more. So, we find each other.
Now, during the interview process, I was specifically told that my schedule would be coming in a 6 AM, 6 days a week, but that should be temorary, perhaps 4-5 months. Then, once some procedures had been put into place, I should be able to do 7 or 7:30, 5 days a week (with occasional Saturdays when necessary). Since a big reason I wanted to leave the pub was that the schedule sucked (tired of working nights and weekends, sometimes 6 days... want to spend more time with my wife), a day schedule was very important to me. I figured, okay, temporary... I can deal with that. So I took the job, despite some initial doubts.
It became pretty clear that the 6 days a week, coming in early thing wasn't going to change. The nature of the job prevents it. However, when they started telling me I essentially needed to be in at 4 AM to effectively get reports to them when they wanted them, we had a problem. I am not an early riser to begin with, but I'd have to go to bed by about 8 pm to get enough sleep and still get up and get to work by 4. Plus, school was starting and I had night classes in Denton. So, I decided to try some sort of compromise. I'd come in and work overnights. They could get their reports on time and I'd have a better sleep and home life.
I skipped a part of the story. About two months after I got hired, Jared (who strangely enough, we discovered, used to work with 2-Tons & Nate at some place in Arlington) quit to take a better job somewhere else. Short story for that was, Jared got his CPA and the company didn't want to give him anything. So rather than remaining stuck in a job with little chance of advancement, he left. So, the guy that was supposed to teach me what I needed to know and help me become effective just up and left.
After about a month of not really having a boss, they finally (we all knew it was likely) installed Dumbass as the JUNIOR Controller for both AFF & The Fort. Thus, he became my "boss."
It started going downhill pretty quick. He bagan making noises about how he needed "time" with me and then started giving me the stupid assignments that were accounting things and had nothing to do with our inventory. It made more sense when we had a discussion one day and he, in an attempt to throw his perceived weight around, said, "Now, what's your title? Inventory Control Clerk." I very quickly corrected him. I'm an analyst. I have nothing against clerks. They manage to keep business running because they have to do the crap work. But I'm not going to be called a clerk for the same reason you don't call a sergeant "private."
So this went on for a bit. I had a yelling match with him one day. But mostly, he'd try and make me do his crap work and I just generally ignored him. Then the schedule change came and he was surprisingly okay with it. Of course, he still wanted some "time" with me and we'd look at my schedule again later when the semester was over.
The three problems with this are:
The schedule change wasn't just about school. Production needs their reports very early and I'm not willing to go to bed an hour after my wife gets home in order to get them what they need on time.
I'm planning on being in school year round
Dumbass doesn't usually show up until 9:30 in the morning. Everybody else is here by 8, but he justifies his late entrance because he "works late." Of course, it doesn't help that he goofs off for the first 2 hours and then goes to lunch, so he never really gets any work done before mid-afternoon anyway. That, and he loves talking to people on the phone. he's one of these types that will take 5 minutes to tell you something that should take 30 seconds.
So anyway, everything is relatively okay for a few months. then as May comes (end of semester), he starts yakking about changing my schedule. He needs about 4 hours a day with me so I need to come in later and stay later. Well, do the math. I have to be in a 4 AM, he doesn't get in until 9:30, lunch at 11:30. So to have 4 hours with him, I'd be at work until 2 PM. 10 hour days? Bedtime at 8 pm? Screw dat!
So, I managed to avoid the issue for the next month. Another problem though, is that Dumbass doesn't listen to anybody who tells him something he doesn't agree with. So, when I say "I'm in school year-round AND I'm not going to come in at 4 AM because that screws up time with my wife" he pays no attention whatsoever.
Which brings us, finally, to Friday's email.
The email said "I will be in at 7:30 so we can discuss some projects and your schedule." And I went ballistic. We have one less stack of styrofoam cups in the office, by the way. I was pissed off.
So I talked to Joey later on (Joey is the TAFS inventory guy... the 75 hour a week guy). Joey sits next Dumbass so he gets to hear most of what goes on. He warned me that Dumbass was pretty adamant about me coming in early. Later, I talked to the wife and discussed it with her. It was decided that either my schedule didn't change or I was quitting.
So 7:30 rolls around. Dumbass calls me to tell me he's ready. I take another ten minutes to finish what I'm doing and finally go upstairs. On the way, I try and calm myself down. I just want to make my position known. Be firm without going nuts.
He ushers me into the conference room and shuts the doors. He motions for me to take a seat and he sits down. I remain standing, arms crossed looking down at him. He begins with blah, blah, blah schedule. I said I wasn't going to do that. It messes up my home & school life. I counter with "Why don't you come in earlier?" Dumbass says he can't do that. At this point. It's pretty obvious how this is going to end.
I ask him how vital my spending time with him is. He says very vital. So I tell him that since he's insisting that I change my schedule, then he can consider this my 2-week notice. He sits there with a smug look on his face staring at me, dead silent. The smug look is always on his face. The silence means I nailed him and that he never saw that coming.
He tries to start talking. "Now, I came here to discuss your schedule..." at which point I started yelling at him about how I wasn't going to change my schedule. There were things about how I wanted to spend more time with my wife and not him because I wasn't married to him, how I felt like the company had sold me a bill of goods with the empty promise of my desired schedule, and how I was done compromising. Somewhere in there I told him to shut up.
Then he said some stupid bull about why he needed me to ruin my life to help him out and that was it. I tore into him. I made it a point to jam "Junior Controller" down his throat, told him he was useless and lazy, how he just tries to give the work he doesnt want to do to other people, how he never gets things done on time and how all I ever hear about is how somebody is waiting for Dumbass to finish something because it's late.
He interjects that I need to stop belittling hima dn show some respect. I immediately counter with the fact that he's never done anything to earn my respect. I think I told him to shut up again and continue to smash his ivory tower to bits. Eventually, I got tired of yelling at him and told him again, this was my notice and walked out. He said something like "Fine" and came out behind me.
I went down to my office and started packing up my stuff. I called the distribution manager (who I like) and let him know what happened. The raw materials manager works in the same office as me and overheard. He wasn't happy and started talking to me about it. Then the florr manager came in and found out. Both of them we're trying to get me to rethink quitting. Just take some time over the weekened and maybe come in Monday and change your mind. I said no way. They really seemed kind of in a panic. Floyd, the overall production manager was out of the office, but I said if they wanted to call Floyd and tell him to call me, I would talk to Floyd.
Anyway, I went home. Talked to my wife for a bit until she went to work. Ate some cereal and watched some TV to try and unwind so I could go to bed. The phone rang. It was the HR director.
I had a nice conversation with her. She said dumbass had been in and she wanted to get my side of the story. I related what happened, explained why it happened, and my overall feelings on Rod and the situation. I said I probably shouldn't have acted the way I did, but I'm not apologising to him and I meant everything I said. Amazingly, she starts asking me if there was anything she or anyone else could do to convince me to stay. I was stunned, but I said that first off, I had to be assured that I would have no contact with Dumbass whatsoever. That was non-negotiable. that had to be on the table before I'd even think of coming back. She said she'd talk to some of the other manager types.
I came in Saturday morning and talked to Joey. Joey just started laughing. He said apparently I really hurt Dumbass' feelings since he just kind of sat around all afternoon looking like he'd been beaten. And, apparently, I caused quite a stir as everybody up the chain of command got involved and there were quick little meetings all morning. Floyd talked to some people and indicated that they couldn't afford to lose me.
I don't know what, if anything, will come from this. I'll be glad to tell anybody here anything they want to know. I've got plenty of opinions and observations about how this company works. As for me staying? Well, I've got some demands that I doubt they'll meet so I'm planning on being unemployed in two weeks. I'm already looking as hard as I can (so if any of you know of a job I can have, let me know).
Yep, I lived the dream. I yelled at and insulted my boss to his face and then quit. It felt good. Despite the incredible anxiety I have about not having a job, it was definitely the right thing to do.

No comments: