Is this all that surprising?

A repressed gay blockbuster star. Don't get many of those these days, do we, Tom?
Which Famous Homosexual Are You?
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Notoriously, you’re Cary Grant!

You churned out a bunch of high quality movies from an uncredited role in Singapore Sue (1931) to Walk Don’t Run (1966), working with everyone from Alec Guinness to Alfred Hitchcock, through Katherine Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. Your birth name was Archibald Leach – but that didn’t stop you from being a mega-successful, international movie star.

You were also as gay as a Cornwall beach house; a long-running fling with fellow article Randolph Scott, who you lived with for many years, was followed by five unhappy marriages. You always denied your homosexuality, but being gay wasn’t acceptable to a mainstream audience back then – and let’s face it, you’re pretty much a repressed stereotype.

Argh, part two

So I went into work today and all that the manager said to me was, So (the guy you closed with–whose name I won’t bother using and who had never closed before) isn’t the best closer. My response was, Actually, I think he was great all things considered. The manager complained to me that he had to scrub honey or possibly hardened sugar water off the condiment station this morning before opening. I should have thrown in his face the fact that he had told me not to worry about too much about closing last night since he knew it wasn’t going to be perfect. I didn’t, though. I just said, As you can imagine, the condiment station was a disaster for most of the day yesterday.

Given the frustration that it’s clear that this is causing–I’m still as frustrated about it now as I was last night–I’m trying to figure out what I need to do about it. In a conversation with one of our regular customers (someone who comes in three or four times a day!) I said that, basically, my bottom line is that I want to do a really great job and that I don’t feel that I’m getting the support that I need to do that. This isn’t a career choice for me, but it’s what I want to be doing with my life right now. I’m not going to quit, but I can’t do the job to the standard that I’d like to do it without some help from others.

My roommate, whose ear I bent for the better portion of an hour and a half about the situation, thinks that I should just go to the owner. It’s a very flat management structure and it’s certainly not out of the question for me to do that. At the same time, I feel like I owe it to my manager to give him the opportunity to respond to whatever I might have to say before taking it up the chain of command.

Which isn’t to say that I know exactly what I would say. I guess I would just lay out on the table the various issues that I’ve realised I have with the management of the store since the new manager came on and since I got my promotion.

Bah. I just know that this is going to be another bad night’s sleep.

Argh!

So, work was basically a free-fall to disaster from 2.30 onwards. I started at two. Generally, there are three people between 8 and 4. We open at 6.30 and close at 8 (Fridays and Saturdays we close at 9 and Sundays we open at 7, so those are slight exceptions, but the basic principle of having a mid-shift 8-4 person stays the same). I was closing today, so I started at 2. At 2.30, the other closer turned to me and said that he wasn’t feeling very well–which, when I looked at him, was very evident. He was pale as a ghost and clearly needed just to go home. I phoned the store manager, who was off today, and then phoned my first choice for a person to come in to replace the second closer.

I got the manager’s voice mail and my first choice couldn’t come in because he was working at his other job. I went through the phone list of potential people who hadn’t already worked today to come in for five hours between 5 and 9 (it takes about an hour to get out usually after we close) but no one could do it on such short notice. Not surprisingly.

The store manager phoned back 15 minutes later and asked to talk to the sick guy. After he got off the phone, the sick guy told me that the manager had said that he’d be in in about an hour but that he should still try to find someone to come in to cover us until the manager came in. That seemed silly to me, considering that I’d already exhausted the immediate possibilities. It seemed silly to start phoning the staff from the other store to come in to work for 45 minutes. So I sent the other closer home knowing that the mid-shift and I could deal for an hour, even if it wasn’t ideal.

The manager phoned back about 20 minutes after this and asked to talk to the other closer. He was not happy when I told him that I’d sent him home, since apparently there had been a mis-communication. He had told the other closer to try to stick it out and that if he wasn’t able to stay after 3.30, to phone him back and that he would figure something out. I was frustrated, because the store manager made it clear that he basically didn’t trust my decision that the other guy needed to go home. I told him that I would never have phoned him to begin with unless I truly thought that this guy needed to go home.

The really simple solution would have been for the manager to come in for five hours to help me close. He never directly said that he couldn’t come in. I know that he’s been really stressed out and has been jealous of his days off–especially considering that he didn’t get any days off in September for various reasons (mostly because one of my co-worker’s wife had their baby a month early) but at the same time, my manager has been doing this kind of thing for quite a while (i.e., working in and managing coffee shops). One would assume that he would have known better before accepting the position as manager. All the same, what ended up happening, after he suggested that one of the openers might come back to close was that he sent this opener on a 20 minute (without traffic) drive out of the city, during rush hour, to pick up a high school kid who could have worked, but who would have preferred not to and who, as it turned out, didn’t have access to a car to get himself to work, and drive him into town to work. The mid-shift girl had to stay an extra hour and was, understandably, pissed about this.

I was really pissed about all this too. What ought to have happened was for the manager to say, Oh well, I’ll have to come in for five hours to close with you. Such is the life of the manager. Instead, he sends one of his openers (the other shift lead who was on today) to pick up the high school kid and bring him to work. Without a ride home. He did get one of his friends to come pick him up and give him a ride home. But that’s obviously beside the point. The manager could easily have made it in by 4, when the mid-shifter was due to leave thus alleviating all the issues that have led to this long and probably convoluted post.

Now I’m super-stressed out and don’t know what to do when I go into work tomorrow.

I left the deposit in shambles because I had stressed myself out so much that I didn’t have the energy or the time or the desire to figure out what went wrong. I basically left the manager a note for when he opens tomorrow saying, ‘Sorry, the deposit is all fucked up. There is approximately what there ought to be in the drawer, but things aren’t adding up with the deposit. I can’t deal with this right now because the high schooler has to get home and so do I.’

I want to say to the manager, You were a real fucking ass yesterday as far as I’m concerned. But of course I can’t really say that, can I?

I don’t get paid nearly enough to worry about these things.