Never give up hope!
Originally posted on Craig Hill:
Currently night-night time is 8:00pm, with quiet talking allowed until 8:10. But that could all soon change.
The story begins here…
And now, the thrilling confusion. I mean, conclusion.
Part 2: Satisfying, yes. But smart?
Gutless had another reason to be sore. I’d put my notice in while he was on leave and another manager had seen it. The stand-in manager reportedly described my letter as ‘impressive’. Ambiguous praise under the circumstances
and I certainly wasn’t without my own doubts. Right up to the day that I handed the white envelope across I was asking myself Do you really want to go through with this?
A quiet exit would have been the sensible option. Apply the usual phrases – time to move on, needing new challenges, growing stale in the current role.
The sensible option. I would have hated myself in the morning.
I wanted to stand up and call BS and risk the consequences. And the Dangerous Idiot was overdue for a taste of his own medicine. He’s become notorious throughout the firm and indeed the industry for an aggressive lack of courtesy. A quiet exit would have been a courtesy that he did not deserve.
There can’t be much that’s more unhealthy for future prospects than ending badly with an employer and making it public. I’ll risk that too. The story here is not so much the resignation; it’s the reaction.
Management could have left me to work out the four weeks in peace. Or they could have said, ‘Sorry you feel that way. Here’s what we owe you, and there’s the door.’ With either course they could have maintained their dignity – in which case I’d now be feeling foolish. Instead they threw their dignity away with petty intimidation and harassment. At the same time they were worried sick that I would hit the emails and blow the story open to everyone in the company. Alternately fretting and stirring.
I accused management of being cowards and idiots and they behaved like cowards and idiots.
Whatever my other shortcomings, you can’t fault me as a judge of character.
Part 3: If all else fails, I’ll follow the band.
After Gutless made his play and failed I half-expected the Dangerous Idiot himself might show up for a confrontation. Alas, it was not to be. Although he’s headquartered in another state the Idiot visited Perth at least twice after I resigned. He was in town just a couple of days after I did the deed.
I daresay he was too busy to contact directly a staff member who held him in such low esteem. Or perhaps he simply lacked spine and preferred fobbing the dirty work off to his underlings. A face to face would have been a very special treat after Gutless; although I stayed calm during our conversation, I was rather fired up afterwards. Had the Dangerous Idiot shown up I would have said – quite truthfully – that Gutless had told me I was wrong on many counts.
But he didn’t say I was wrong about you being a dangerous idiot. In fact, he didn’t say a single word in your defence. Not one. And that surprised me… because you two make a very lovely couple. I hope you have many, many happy years together.
If only! Ah, well – better to have a weapon and not need it than the other way round.
So where from here?
I’ve moved about considerably in my working life, but most of the roles I’ve taken were connected to warehousing, ie, receivals and despatch. Sometimes this was part of a larger role but mostly I’ve been in the warehouse.
Time for a change. Records management, here I come.
My stores experience will be useful. There’s an overlap between the two roles in the area of storage and location. Also, filing and such activities aren’t regarded as glamorous – which means there’s usually a need for someone to step in and roll up their sleeves. A few people have said good choice – nobody in my office ever wants to do the filing!
At 53, with the country’s demographics shifting as they are, I’m probably looking at another 20 years of work. I need to stretch my brain in new directions, and there’s good potential for job satisfaction in records management. Though I might seem a dangerous character at times I enjoy pulling a little order out of the chaos too.
And like I say, if all else fails…
(Save that link until you’re alone. No point both of us being unemployed.)
When you label the top man a dangerous idiot and his senior managers gutless, you can’t expect a completely friendly response.
Part 1: I declare my position. The other side responds.
The other side’s position had been clear from the day the Dangerous Idiot took control two years ago. His first visit to every branch and division had been the same: walk in, ask a few cursory questions, find an issue. Issue found, he could then berate the manager in front of his staff. It was embarrassing to witness. A less than ideal start to the relationship, and it was not destined to improve much.
Some of DI’s moves made sense. The company as a whole had grown complacent about workplace safety; he tightened up procedures. And management in the uppermost ranks was carrying a lot of dead wood. Very expensive dead wood. Unfortunately DI had the people skills of a housebrick to the cranium. His management style was pure I Know I’m Right, Don’t Argue. He beat down disagreement through sheer force and the company began losing competent people – the sort of people who were ready to raise questions.
As the first-raters disappeared the second-raters moved up. Their talent lay in following orders, not giving them, which suited the Dangerous Idiot. For the rest of the company it created hell. By late 2013 there was practically nobody left in senior management who was prepared to say ‘Hey, wait a minute – let’s just think this over.’ Stupid decisions got through unchallenged. The fallout landed heaviest on the people at the bottom.
We had enough to struggle with. The Dangerous Idiot had cut our numbers to the point where we simply couldn’t do what had to be done. There were times when the phone was left to ring for half an hour because there was nobody free to answer it. The customers were generally understanding – but the DI was giving them the treatment too. Pricing became a common complaint. Familiar faces became less familiar. I worked with a good team at my branch, and many customers said they’d rather drive across town to use us rather than other branches… but we were being stretched too thin.
Finally, just before Christmas, the Dangerous Idiot’s latest grand strategy was unveiled. A company name change.
New name. New colours. New signage. New uniforms. New stationery. New paintwork for the company cars. Money for all of this and God knows what else. I couldn’t imagine a more contemptuous signal to the staff. Hell no, we WON’T hire. There’s no money for that. We can finance a heap of cosmetic changes, though, you betcha!
Change everything on the outside. Change nothing on the inside.
I was not impressed.
The corporate facelift was a surprise but it didn’t alter my thinking. As far back as August last year I had advised the company of my general plans. The annual review form asked ‘What are your career aspirations?”To not be here for much longer,’ I replied.
With Christmas gone and the new year begun I set my exit date. I didn’t spare feelings in my resignation; I was prepared for trouble, and I certainly got some. Just not the trouble I expected.
A couple of days after I submitted notice my boss came to me. The personnel officer had called to offer two possible courses of action: I could work out my obligatory four weeks, and be paid for that – or I could leave on the spot and get nothing. Except the holiday pay I was owed.
I asked my boss ‘Are you sure you got that right?’ He agreed that it was crazy; he’d asked the HR officer to repeat it too, just to be sure he was hearing her correctly. I said I’d work the four weeks.
We talked about it later, shaking our heads in disbelief. The holiday pay aspect made the deal even more offensive. To keep in line with the DI’s new leave policy, I’d had to go into deficit over January. I’d LOST a piece of my first 2014 pay to cover that. My manager was as shocked as I was that anyone would suggest such a cockamamie plan – he hasn’t fallen prey to the company’s toxic culture. When the last customer was served we closed up and went home. We probably cracked a joke or two about what they’d try next.
Nothing happened for a couple of weeks. It seemed that the Dangerous Idiot had had his one brilliant idea and given up. And then my boss’s boss dropped by for a chat. He was one of the managers I’d had in mind when I used the word ‘gutless’, and by God he knew it. ‘Hey, Greg,’ he said, ‘Got a moment? Your gutless manager wants to talk to you!’
‘Those are fighting words,’ he said when we were alone in the warehouse. ‘Do you want to have a go? Do you?’
I brushed him off, replying that I’d said my piece in the letter. I thought that sounded weak and I expected him to come back with a sneer. ‘You’re all talk, you pansy.’ He was angry. He just wasn’t angry enough to throw the first punch himself. Nothing more was said about fisticuffs. Instead he gave me what he thought was a brutal dressing down. I was only a mediocre employee, I’d had conflicts with all my managers, made lots of mistakes – Gutless didn’t say outright that he’d been protecting me all along but he came damn close.
I let him roll. At the end of it I said, ‘Problem solved – I’m leaving!’
‘You’re leaving,’ Gutless agreed – but not with any relief. His shoulders fell. The steam went out of him.
I could guess his situation. Just as the Dangerous Idiot would have given the HR lady her script, he had now ordered Gutless to provoke me into a mistake. He wanted me to either to take a swing – instant dismissal for misconduct – or to just walk out. Fuck you, I quit! The Idiot didn’t want to pay me a cent.
Gutless had failed in his mission. Master would not be pleased.
Read on here…
It’s kind of weird to read about your own city as a tourist destination… and do we really want to be known as ‘hipster heaven’?
Via Tim Blair, who thinks that a stamp of approval from the NYT is more damning than that black mark on Cain’s forehead. ‘Destroy it. Immediately,’ he says. He could be right.
Still, our Manhattan correspondent obviously made one group of people very happy.
Jamming flier after flier into my purse — comedy series? film festival? eco-market?
People waving bits of paper at you is a new experience for a Manhattanite? Too bad we didn’t have a penguin-scoffing kangaroo on every corner.
WA Liberal Senator Michaelia Cash takes a few chunks out of the ALP sisterhood.
Vote for this woman? Hell, I’d marry her!
It’s kind of embarrassing that we look down our noses at the ‘democratic process’ observed in other lands when the Australian Electoral Commission is so sloppy that it can lose nearly 1,400 votes.
The Senate result in Western Australia has been contested since counting finished last September. The AEC finally admitted that the ballot papers were gone with no hope of recovery, and today a new election was declared for the west on April 5.
Commission head Ed Killestyn and local boss Peter Kramer both resigned this week.
Only those candidates who stood in the original election are qualified to run again. This might seem an obvious point – but reports previous to the announcement implied that the field would be wide open to any comers.
The result of course will be altered by the overall results in the main election. The question is, how will it be different?
The original breakdown gave the Liberals 3 seats and one apiece to Labor, the Greens, and the Australian Sports Party. The inconscionable hypocrisy of the LabGreen axis in Opposition over the illegal boat arrivals and other policies generally has left many voters shaking their heads in disbelief.
The Circus of Ineptitude has learnt nothing from its long list of disastrous moves during its six years on the Treasury benches. On the other hand, the voters may be unwilling to give the Libs control of the Senate. Australians have long taken perverse delight in giving one party control in the House of Representatives but tying its hands in the upper house.
April 6 is going to be a very interesting day for all of us, one way or the other.
Assuming those AEC dipsticks can get it right this time.
Australians were left in shock today when one cute cuddly native beast turned another cute cuddly native beast into lunch.
Children across the country have been traumatised by the video of a kangaroo eating a penguin. One little girl screamed ‘No, Skippy! NOOOOO!’ at the top of her kindergarten-sized lungs and shattered every window for three miles around.
Greenpeace blame Tony Abbott.
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