Friday, September 18, 2009

Et tu, Brute?

This is going to be long. *sigh* I have a lot to get off my chest.

How do you get over the feeling of being betrayed by someone you perceived as being a friend? When you have to interact with this someone EVERY DAY? When that person is your boss as well?

I've been with my company for 10 years. Yes, a whole decade. Yay for me sticking it out...but there's been some rough patches, for sure. I have dealt with some really bad managers, gone through both clinical and post-partum depression, gone to work sick, had deaths in the family, had a miscarriage, been dependable and all that through everything. Never missed a beat. Rarely ever used sick days. I even lost vacation time when I couldn't take it. I should have known that it was going to be a rough ride 5 years ago when I had to fight and claw my way to get promoted from "Assistant Manager" to "Executive Assistant Manager". After that, I was promptly put into a new-store opening (which is a ridiculous amount of work), had a baby, came back to a different store that had to be relocated (which is a ridiculous amount of work times 100). Was then moved to a store that was being remodeled. More crazy work. I figured this meant that I was doing well. I really should have known better.

Last Jaunary, when our company announced that we were expanding to Erie, my hubby jumped at the chance to move back to his hometown. I didn't mind either, since I lived here before as well. Our District Manager approached me about taking a lesser (read: non-management) position and I declined. I really like my job and honestly thought I did it well. So I transferred in my current capacity. I was working for a manager whom I'd worked with before, and had known for a while. I was excited! I had the opportunity to train new people, it was such an awesome experience. Since there are only 2 stores slated to open, and my husband manages the other one, obviously I'm "stuck" where I am. The District Manager moved some managers around (they do that occasionally) and we wound up with 2 "seasoned" Executive Assistant Managers. I don't have a problem with this, but when this happened, my boss essentially took all of my duties away and gave them to the other guy. I suddenly became the reset/revision bitch. All I ever was assigned to do were the resets, hanging tags/making signs, and that's basically it. No merchandising (except for putting away the stock on our weekly delivery truck). If I'm lucky, I'd get to pull the overstock out of the stockroom and attempt to put it out.

So yeah, I got to be a tad bit embittered about things. Honestly, can you blame me? It's been since VALENTINE'S DAY that I had the chance to really help set the seasonal aisle. ALL I DO are the weekly resets. It's gotten quite old.

So about a month ago, I got my annual review. I expected to take some lumps, but what I got felt more like a blanket party.

Needs Improvement.

Say what?!? Yes, you heard me right: Needs Improvement. So, how, over the course of a year, does someone who is supposedly a friend let things degrade to that point? Without EVER mentioning displeasure in job functions (passive/aggressive notes not withstanding)? To actually tell me that I have a "disrespective attitude toward the employees," which is laughable at best?? I'M the one they all come to because none of the other management team bothers to listen to them, for chrissakes. To tell me that I don't get the notes done in a timely manner??? (I'll repeat it for emphasis...ALL I WAS EVER ASSIGNED WERE THE RESETS/REVISIONS. Last I checked, magic wands are not real, and it's not that easy to complete them all in one day, especially when they're getting done by one person.)

I got hosed. Big time. By my "friend" and I now am using that term loosely.

I feel hurt. And angry. My options were left as this:

*continue in my current position and get re-evaluated in 6 months. For those playing at home, that means 50+ hrs/wk salaried, doing nothing but resets and other menial tasks that a clerk could easily do.
*step down to a brand new pseudo-management position and take a HEFTY pay cut. Essentially I would be doing inventory control and a few management tasks (refunds/exchanges, money when necessary) and would have keys to the store. Pros? Set schedule. Fewer hours, and only ONE night a week. Cons? MAJOR paycut. Doing a lot of the same things I do now. And I'm afraid that my boss will take advantage of me since I already have been a manager and know everything in the store. Oh, and essentially kicking someone else out of her job. I feel like giant jackass because of that.

I agreed to take the new position. According to Dr. Phil (I'm sorry for pirating this phrase), the definition of "crazy" is to do the same thing repeatedly and expect a different outcome. I'm not going to play crazy anymore. Honestly, if they thought the store had some morale problems before, they've certainly got another thing coming. Once this gets around the store, it's gonna get ugly. The employees LOVE me.

So, I'm going to try and stay positive about this, I mean, there's more time with my daughter and husband now. I'm going to do the best I can and make it known that I won't be taken advantage of. And I'm also going to try and remove the knife from my back and mind my P's and Q's.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Close, but....

We seem to spend a considerable amount of time in the car. This is when most of Sami's verbal "gems" make their appearance. A while back, she was all quiet, then said, "Mama, I'm not old enough to drive yet." *raises eyebrows* "No, you're not old enough yet. You're right." She was quiet for a few seconds, as if pondering this thought, then said, "Yeah. I have to be 5 before I can get my own car."

Haha! Right, 5 is so old. That might impact my auto insurance just a bit, methinks.

In the car is also where I first heard the song "Jesus is a cool dude" . . . sung to the tune of "We Will Rock You" and complete with the hand clapping, naturally. (She goes to a Christian daycare, hence the theme of these little gems)

Jesus is a cool dude,
40 days without food.
Then he wrote the Golden Rule, and that's OK.
He's got blood on his face (?!)
Thanks for His Grace
Spreading his love all over the place.
(sing it) We will, we will serve Him!
(or Love Him, or Praise Him, whatever she feels like saying lol)

I actually had to google that, because I just couldn't understand what she was saying during the Golden Rule verse. She's so cute when she sings it. lol. I still giggle when she sings it!

Then, the other day, we passed by a big church. Here's what happened.
S: "Mama, is that a church?"
M: "Yes. That is a church. A really big church."
S: "Yeah. That's where Jesus lives."
M: *smile* "Right. But Jesus also lives in all of us."
S: "Olives are really yummy."


Close. So, so close. I just love her so much. :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I wish, I wish...for peaches feet?

So, Sami has recently started wishing on stars. It's so unbelievably cute! Although, at times she's tried to wish on airplanes, but I never have the heart to tell her that it wasn't a star. LOL. Anyway, when she sees a star she says, "I wish I wish for [enter random thing here]." For the past week it was, "I wish I wish that I could have some bunnies." Bunnies? Yeah, we constantly have bunnies in our front yard, so I'm guessing that's where this particular wish comes from. But sorry kid, the wish fairy is not going to be bringing you bunnies! I really don't think that our cat would appreciate that, lolol.

Anyhoo...we went to the Niagara County Peach Festival (in Lewiston, NY) yesterday. It was so much fun. I remember the parade being the Best.Thing.Ever when I was a kid!! Parade started at 11... and it was nearly 1 by the time it was over! WTH? It had every police department, sheriff, fire department, and political figures from the entire county, I swear. And every other group was throwing candy! It was like Halloween!(**note to self: if we do that again next year, bring a bag for the insane amount of loot we'll be coming home with**) And on a side note, there were surprisingly few marching bands in this parade. But a lot of dance studios. Weird.

However, we did a LOT of walking. I mean, a whole lot, and I'm not being overly dramatic. We drove into town, ate breakfast, and left our cars to walk up to the main street to watch the parade. It was only like 3 large blocks, but all uphill. Stood and watched a nearly 2 hour parade. Walked back to the car, only to realize that traffic was so insane that it'd be much easier just to walk to my dad's rather than trying to drive it. So that was another 4 large block walk. We rested for a bit and spent some time with my dad, then walked back to our cars. We then had the brilliant idea of driving up to Niagara Falls so the girls could see this impressive Natural Wonder of the World. So, we get to NF, park, and embark on another walking adventure. This time, at least, I was smart enough to change from flip-flops into my sneakers! We walked to the falls, which the girls didn't seem to be all that impressed by, walked over to Goat Island, walked back, walked walked walked. Got back to the car to sit in the blisfully comfortable car seat! We drove back to the room, when I had to drive up to the festival to get 3 things that my dad wanted:

1. Fresh peach shortcake
2. an elephant ear
3. a Melloni's sausage sandwich with peppers and onions

This involved me driving into town, finding a place to park, walking to the booths to get these items, walking back to the car, delivering it to my dad, going back to the room to get my daughter and my husband, his brother and wife and 2 daughters, so we can go to dinner (which my dad so generously paid for).

This was not as easy as it sounds.

I had to park about a quarter mile away from the festival (there were soo many people in town it was crazy), and walk UPHILL to get this stuff. Fortunately, I didn't have to look for the various tents since they're in nearly the same exact place every year! Then, I had to walk back down to the car. Awesome. When I met the rest of our party, I was tired, dehydrated, sunburned, hungry, and sweating in places that it's just wrong to have sweat. Only to realize that it'd be much easier, logistically speaking, to walk up to the restaurant and then on to the festival since parking was at such a premium. From the room to the festival was about .6 miles, give or take. All uphill, naturally. Why on earth did it feel like we were walking uphill all day long? How does that work, exactly? One would think that with so much uphill walking, there would be some downhill too...but it sure didn't feel that way!! So anyhow, that's what we did. Walked up to the restaurant (had a WONDERFUL dinner, btw), and then walked on to the festival. Walked around there a few times, let the kids ride some rides, then it was time to walk back to the room. I know I sound like I'm whining, but honestly...on the last leg of our pilgrimage, I had to carry Sami for quite a bit, and she weighs over 40 pounds! She was exhausted. With good reason, I might add, we'd been walking literally all day long with no nap! At one point on the way back to the room, she looked up and saw stars and said, "I wish I wish that I could go to bed now." Awwww!

Yes, that was the sound of my heart breaking for this poor child. Or the sound of my feet shattering into a million pieces. Could be either. Maybe both. Who knows?

We finally got back to my dad's at around 8:30 or so. I took Sami upstairs, got ready for bed, and she was OUT before I was even done in the bathroom. Poor baby! Things start to get fuzzy right about then...I remember getting pajamas on and sitting in the armchair to watch the OSU game, but I never saw any of it. I stumbled upstairs before the game was even over, and slept like a dead person until 7:30. And my feet STILL hurt this morning when I woke up!!