November 13th, 2020

Random Entry for November

Prediction: I'll end up becoming too tired to stay awake before I've finished writing, and by the time tomorrow gets here and I'm sat with my laptop in front of me again, I won't be in the mood to continue. Still, it's after the time I'd normally go to bed, I'm not feeling tired yet, and there are things I could write about, so why not at least give this a try.

The first topic is work. I feel like the last time I wrote anything in here, the bulk of my problems there were centered around a supervisor who I referred to as having a stick up his butt. Since then, however, either I've become more used to how he comes across, or he's got used to how I prefer to work, because he seems to have eased up alot. I still get the "I would like you to..." from time to time, but I try to remind myself that's just the way he is. So that's good. Work was actually going really well for a few weeks there, for one reason in particular to be revealed shortly, but now there are two other people there who I'm not really fond of, being the other as-of-now full time grocery person, and the grocery manager himself. What happened? The story (probably lengthy) is thus:

Back near the end of September or beginning of October, I was working a shift where the grocery manager and me were the only ones working in the grocery department that day. Unlike when I wrote about work at Taco Bell years ago, I don't want to use his real name, so we'll call him Jeff. Jeff was in the back working on whatever he had to do, and I had just finished working a cart of overstock or something, and was returning it to be back room. Upon coming around the corner, Jeff said he had a question, and asked if I would be interested in being a supervisor two nights out of the week, covering the other grocery supervisor's days off. I asked what my extra duties would be if I said yes, and he explained that I would mostly just have to clean up at the end of the night, also adding that I would have to have a key to the store, and code for the alarm, etc., which is / was a no-brainer. I said that sounded alright to be or something similar, figuring it didn't sound too far removed from the kind of stuff I was doing as I had time already, and after finishing by saying that he'd talk it over with the store manager and let me know, we went back to our respective tasks. I rode that high for a couple days at least. I was thinking I really liked my job to begin with, and to be approached about being a supervisor after working there less than half a year was a really big pat on the back (I'm sure there's a better way to say that but I can't think of it), as was even just the idea of being trusted with a key and so on. Things went back to normal for a week or two, because I didn't want to seem too eager or anything, but every time Jeff mentioned something about the idea, it seemed positive. The store manager was on board, I was excied, and all seemed quite promising. Still, there was a shred of doubt at the back of my mind, because of how new I still was, and my relative lack of experience, and in order to not jump the gun, I kept it to myself, not even telling anyone else at work. That lasted until near the end of the month, when Mom, Adam, and I were out to supper for Mom's birthday, and I spilled the news then, figuring the idea had been on the table long enough that it should be safe to share. Around the same time, I also told one of the part-timers who normally works day shifts, but that's largely insignificant. Back at the beginning of this month, I started doing the end-of-night walkaround with the current main supervisor shadowing me, to make sure I knew everything to look for / check. I got to know the code to the office which was neat, as from day one I wondered if I would ever be told how to get in there, which provided even more positive reinforcement that things were on the up-and-up, and it was only a matter of time 'til I would be closing the store two nights out of the week. To recap, I was offered a supervisor position, kept it to myself because part of me thought it felt too good to be true, but shared the information around with a few people once it seemed safe to do so. Following that, I was guided through what I had to know, and even wrote a list of everything, so I was feeling pretty confident in my ability to not let anyone down. I still hadn't received a key or any of the other necessary credentials, but I told myself they probably didn't want to had those over until it was actually time. Can you see where this is going yet? I'll give you a hint: I'm still extremely salty, and maybe even a little superficially depressed.

A couple weeks ago now, Jeff and I were in the back room once again, and I asked him, just to be certain, if the 14th of November would be my first shift as supervisor / to be closing the store. I can't remember exactly what he said, but it was along the lines of them figuring on giving it to that other full-time grocery person, because he'd been working there far longer than I have (11 years, I think), and that the store manager would prefer to wait until I had more experience. To say it took the wind out of and simultaneously pissed me off would be an understatement. Like, the first time we talked about this was more or less an entire month ago, Jeff. All this time, you've led me to believe that both you and the store manager were on board, and it was just a matter of time, and then with two weeks to go, you tell me you've changed your mind, AND offer no indication that you were even going to say anything if I hadn't asked? Seriously?! Do you understand what that means for me? I know my personal life doesn't have to be even one bit your concern if you don't want it to be, but work is a big thing for me. My social circle is more like a pinprick, and that's being generous. I see my brother, sister in law, and niece a few times a month, my mom on a more or less weekly basis when she comes over for a movie, and my dad either when he comes along, or when I go over to their place. I don't exactly have alot going on in my spare time. Work has alot more of an effect on my emotional state than I imagine it does for other people, and if you can imagine the high I was on when you first offered me the position, imagine how it made me feel when you turned around and gave it to someone else out of the blue like that! Needless to say, for the res of that shift, I was pretty miserable. All I had left to do in terms of work was facing the dry grocery aisles, which would've been a straightforward and relatively easy task on any other night, but imagine crushing a person's excitement and motivation like that, and the results aren't promising. I tried, but the attempt was no good from the start. I saw Jeff here and there a couple times after, and it wasn't until the third or fourth that I finally got the words out to ask him what had changed, and tried to explain from my point of view how excited I had been, with that being the first time anyone had ever offered me that level of responsibility, and how much of a letdown it was. He definitely felt bad, and I appreciate as much, and he tried offering that there would absolutely be more opportunities for responsibility, as vacations would eventually have to be covered. As for what changed, what he said was that the other guy - we'll call him Lee - had alot more experience than I did dealing with situations outside of the norm, and that he had been a supervisor before, so really, they were just giving the key back to him, and so on. Now, maybe you're asking youself "Why didn't Jeff ask Lee to begin with then?", and the answer to that makes the whole situation even more frustrating. Back at the beginning of the pandemic, Lee took some time off. Fine, whatever. When he came back, either Jeff or the store manager asked him if he wanted to be a supervisor again. Lee said no. Then, presumably, when word got around that Jeff had asked me, Lee went to him questioning "Why didn't you ask me?" Jeff said the store manager was going to have a talk with Lee (not sure what about), but didn't offer any hopes that the position could still swing around to me again. A little while later, when I was in another aisle, he came up again and said to think of this as a learning experience. There've been situations at the store here that he never would've imagined at the location he worked in before. Apparently on one occasion, he went into the back room and found a non-employee peeing. Without explaining how he resolved that, he asked what I would do if two customers were fighting. I told him "I don't know", and his response was an unhelpful "Exactly", followed by something about how maybe he would have the main supervisor start calling me up when those sorts of situations arose, so I could see how they were best dealt with.

I just can't. Where do I even start?

Is it wrong to feel like they're partly just trying to make Lee happy? I feel like what should've been said is "We asked [inacu] first, so we're going to let him have a shot. If it doesn't work out for some reason, the position is yours, but we're saying no for now, because you told us you didn't want to be a supervisor when you came back". Like I said to the couple people I shared a short version of the story with since then, I get that I don't know nearly as much as he does, but I don't understand how I'm supposed to learn if I'm not in a position to do so, or what the point to learning is if it's not going to amount to anything. I mean, I like to imagine that there's some position above pleb grocery clerk (this is how I've been pessimistically referring to myself) in store for me somewhere in the future there, but I do not see it. The main supervisor has been working there for six years and some change. Lee, eleven. Above them is Jeff, and above him is the store manager. Opportunities for advancement are practically nonexistent, and I feel like it's going to be that way for a long time.

Needless to say, since all that happened, work has gone from new and mildly intimidating, to decent and even enjoyable on the right days, to irritating, and I'm looking for where to go from here now. I like truck days the most currently. Give us a load to work for the night, which is something I can do without having to interact with other people, face with the last couple hours, and go home. The other shifts - ones that I work twice a week usually - are far more hit-or-miss, as I usually see Jeff, and soon enough will always be working with Lee, who will be doing the job that I'd previously hoped for. I know I need to get over myself, so I guess the best way to do that for now will be to continue moving forward, frustrating as it may be, and adjust to whatever changes with time.

...work is so much fun, huh? I do have my good days there, like I said, and I know this job is still alot better than where I've come from, so I'm not going to do anything stupid, but sometimes...

I think that's going to be just about all for now though. I'd wanted to write more at first, because there is more going on in my life than just work, but it's well past my normal bedtime, so I don't know. There's a situation going on with Dad, Adam's and Ericka's birthdays are coming up very shortly, I picked up a special package for mine in a month earlier today, which contains something I've never tried before, along with some more familiar contents that I haven't had since Spring, I started working on a new project, after not touching anything like that for a long time, and whatever else that isn't coming to mind right now.

So I'll just stop here.

For now, anyway.

I'll try to have something more positive to say about work next time .w.