Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Patience is a Virtue

Someone very close to me is having serious issues at work. He vents to me, and I vent to you.
R works at a local furniture store as a warehouse and delivery guy. His job includes unloading furniture from semi-trucks, stocking the warehouse racks with inventory, moving and setting up the displays on the floor, loading purchased furniture into people's vehicles, and delivering to towns up to 3 hours away. He also has to do "general maintenance" like sweeping, mopping, and yard work. R has been at this job for 3 1/2 years and somewhat enjoys it (he's good at EVERYTHING). The building/business is owned by his boss JC. JC is out of town a lot for business, so CG is the "lady in charge." This spring, a new guy JH, was transferred from another store (that JC also owns) and given the position of "warehouse manager." Practically from day 1, JH has "had it out" for R. We'll just sum it up to a "personality conflict," because R has NEVER had a problem with a previous manager/boss/coworker (at this job, or any other), and JH doesn't fight with any of the other employees.
Let me also say that R is a VERY hard worker. He's polite to the customers, considerate of his coworkers, doesn't miss work or request off (very often), and does his job without needing constant supervision. Besides the salespeople and CG ("lady in charge"), only one other employee has been there longer (by a few months) than R. There are also between 3 and 6 "part-time guys" who tend to be college students.
Okay, back to JH. I don't even know where to start, so I'll just give you a few examples of the "Wrath of JH." One time R and another guy were getting some stuff together for a delivery. They were pulling and organizing boxes and getting ready to load the truck. JH came along and TOLD R to put some labels on some other boxes. R said "Okay, I'll do that as soon as we're finished." JH walked away. He came back about 5 minutes later and asked why R hadn't done what he asked. R explained that they were "almost finished" and he'd do it in "just a second." JH got very close to R and told him that he NEEDED to do it RIGHT NOW. And, if he didn't want to do the job he was told to do, he could just get in his f***ing truck and GO HOME! (Yes, those words!) A few more words were exchanged, and R said that they should take this conversation to JC (he was in town that week). JH kinda got nervous, but managed to explain that he knew he was "out of line" to JC and apologized (to JC, not R--he has NEVER apologized to R).
They've had a few more little run-ins since then, but nothing big... until last week. R pretty much goes on every.single delivery. In fact, one of the salesladies personally requested that he be on all of her deliveries. Well, this day R was supposed to go on a delivery, but JH told him that two other guys were going and he needed to "go do yardwork." (For these guys, yardwork=punishment. I mean, WHO mows their grass and weedeats in November?!) R didn't argue or say anything (although he was surprised). When lunchtime rolled around (11:30) JH told R that he HAD TO take lunch. Usually, the guys who are on delivery will stop somewhere in the town they're delivering to and grab lunch on the road. Also, the furniture store is about 10 miles from the closest town, so they would have to drive a little ways (through town, in lunch-hour traffic), eat, and be back in 30 minutes. Anyways, JH "explained" to R that he didn't want R on the truck anymore because sometimes the other guys didn't want to eat on the road, and it was like R was "forcing" them to stop (does that even make sense?). THEN, he said "Besides, once you're on the truck, you go and JACK OFF all day and don't get back until 4:30 (when they close)!" He said this in front of TWO other employees!
There are other stories I could tell, but these will do for my purposes. So, the problem here is obvious, right. JH and R just can't get along. What's worse is that JH may be "demoted" when the previous "warehouse manager" comes back in January, and I believe JH will do everything in his power to "take R down." I think he's pushing all of R's buttons to make him QUIT. But, when he realized that won't work (R is very, very stubborn), I don't see any reason he wouldn't just FIRE him. JH has told R several times that he has a "problem with authority." (He could be telling the boss all kinds of crap.) I just want R to tell him (heck, I'D tell him) that "I don't have a problem with authority, I have a problem with YOU!"
Right now is NOT a good time for R to not have a job. I mean, after December I won't be getting a paycheck (unless by some Miracle I find a job SOON), and we'll be moving (eventually). And, R gets paid pretty good for what he does. And, you'd hope that 4 years in a job would provide you with at least some kind of References (for future jobs). So now the debate is if R should explain to his boss (JC) that he likes his job, and honestly can't afford to leave. Or should he just "wait it out" because we'll be leaving soon anyways (he can tell JH to go to hell and just not use his boss as a reference)? I feel so guilty when R come home mad (or calls in the middle of the day to vent), because I'm the reason he's stuck at that job with that idiot! I'm the reason he has to put up with JH's attitude.
So, what would you do? Do you think a 4-year employer is that important as a reference? Should R just focus on the people there who do appreciate his work (the salespeople like him a lot, as do several of his coworkers)? Should he just look for another job here, knowing that we could be moving at any time?
Sorry this turned out so long, I just needed to release some of my frustrations. Remember, I've had my own issues with personality conflicts.

3 Comments:

At 2:29 PM, Anonymous justrun 's valuable input...

Phew! That is a tough call. I have waited out a rotten job for about four months before and it was miserable. Sure, I had reason to (much like yours: moving, references, etc.) but it sure is miserable at the time. Being that it's 6 weeks or so till the real boss returns, I'd probably stick it out if only to tell the real boss what's been going on. If he doesn't believe me, then fine but that's just how I am. I have to get my side of the story heard on things like this.
How difficult would it be for him to get another job? I would think that work alone could take some time. Also, could he use for reference some of the people that he does get a long with, the sales people? That might be an option for down the road. You call them "personal references" on your resume but then they totally back you up on work ethic, dependability, etc.
Anyway, just my thougts. I know the frustration of personality conflicts.

 
At 3:41 PM, Blogger Mon 's valuable input...

Wow, what a rough situation to be in! My motto is always not to burn bridges with work. It's also better to find a job while having a job. If he could find a new job while still employed, and use someone other than the jerk with an attitude for a reference, he would be much better off. 4 years is a good amount of time to be employed, and they actually do call your previous employers if you say they can. I've had a lot of that latley! Good luck!

 
At 1:05 PM, Blogger ccw 's valuable input...

Ouch! That's rough and a very tough call. Mr. MFBA had a boss from hell for several years and it made him miserable. It wasn't until Mr. MFBA refused to sign his performance review b/c his boss had called him a dick during the review that things got better (a little). We were both thrilled when he got a new job within the company.

I understand your guilt. I felt that way too since he works to support us.

If R can ride it out a little longer he will have a good reference without the gap on his resume.

 

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