Yesterday I went into work for 'a few hours'. I did get some of the training I wanted, but not nearly enough of it. At one point in time a sales person grabbed a set of keys off of my desk, I challenged that, and ended up letting him grab them for a test drive. I have been in his position, you want and need to sell, but what the customer wants isn't readily available to you from the inventory that is availabel to you, so you start expanding your circle. I was pretty upset about this blatant disrespect so when one of our sales managers, and my former boss walked by I asked if he had a minute. He didn't, Saturdays are crazy around that place, and yesterday was no exception, so I'm going to give some major credit to our GM who told me to come on into the office he was temporarily using when I asked if I could talk to him. What started out as me wanting to address one particular issue led to him telling me he had wanted to talk to me, all of a sudden I got really nervous, was I going to be in trouble? I shut the door, and sat on the edge of the chair wishing that I had stayed at home instead of throwing on jeans and a baseball cap to wear into work on what should have been a day off.
Being incredibly honest and authentic comes with a price tag; when he asked how things were going, I really didn't hold back. There were occasions when I chose my words more carefully than at other times, when I was sharing the incident that led to me and others searching the lot for a vehicle and keys that we needed after a different sales person backed it out of the service drive and failed to return the keys to my department, I felt that at the very least I (and others) were owed an apology rather than a self satisfied smirk and an explanation that the keys had been boarded (we have an electronic boarding system which is all fine and good until the keys to the vehicles from my department go there when they shouldn't). We were talking about respect, recognition, and appreciation; I had given kudos to the shop and the parts department, and several employees who had helped us greatly the day we were down an employee; I said that when I walked out back I felt respected by everyone, and said that even employee X (who has worked there forever, and is not the most talkative of people) says; 'good morning' to me.
I said that I felt respected by most; with the exception of this sales person; our GM sat back, and gave me a look, he has these very large blue eyes, pink skin, and tufts of grayish white hair that give him a grandfatherly air, but in my experience he can be a bit tempermental, and who knows what I would be like given the stress levels he has on a daily basis. Anyways; he said that he knew that there had been an initial conflict, and I agreed, but I said that there were also minimum behavior standards that needed to be met, and he wasn't meeting them. Another employee had gone with me to speak to a sales manager when the incident first occurred, he had readily offered an apology, and admitted his role in the ordeal, that's really all I was looking for; an admission of wrong, a subsequent apology, and some reassurance that this would never happen again. Thankfully our GM agreed that I was the injured party, and I do feel like action of some sort will be taken which helped calm me down a lot. Another good thing that came out of the meeting was hearing that the guy who sits behind me has been complimentary, this is nice to hear regardless, but especially so since he is not given to effusive praise.
We went over my work day, and perhaps I should have been less candid about describing my handle on certain aspects of my job; however, I feel like management has to know what is really going on at a granular level so they can get a better idea of what the true problems are, and what can be done to implement solutions. I got a compliment out of the meeting that I didn't expect; he said that he admires how organized I am, I was flattered by that since it felt like a true, genuine, and authentic statement; not that I am in any danger of anyone pointing the disorganization finger at me, but as I told him later, I could really use and need more appreciation, recognition, and praise (not my exact words, but you get the idea). After the meeting I drove to the dollar store, and made the decision to go back to the place that had fired me to pick up a gift card. I was so nervous, felt all sorts of conflicting emotions, reminded myself that I could walk in, and walk back out, I didn't really think too much once I parked my car; the steps that carried me there were very familiar, I saw a woman who had been kind enough to let me use her as a reference after the firing, and that helped me tremendouly.
I walked back to the department where I used to work, saw my manager, said her name, and walked right into her hug. Years faded away as we stood in the aisle talking. They are down to three full time people; and that is not enough to make that department into what it could be. That means people are doing the minimum, and probably not even that at times. She was really happy for me; she said that everything happens for a reason, and that firing was the start of a chain reaction that led to the situation I enjoy today. It was funny feeling to stand there thinking about how I thought I wanted to be there, and from a management perspective that is still true, but a lot of the same bullshit, petty fights, lack of a solid business plan, and the ongoing 'tighten the belt' and 'reduce inventory' ridiculousness along with a complete oversight when it comes to proper staffing that drove me crazy way back when. Maybe I should go back and read some of those posts, but I have a feeling that the past is better left to the dust and decay of time, I'm much more concerned with the future than I am the details and events that led to where I am today.
Yesterday our GM said that he worries about me because I seem so stressed. Others have mentioned that and I took his words and concern to heart rather than brush it off as a mindless catchphrase because I know that I have neglected myself and my health lately. It bothered me that he said this at least twice, and possibly a third time, but that this was the first I was hearing about it, and it made me angry that he hadn't thought to do anything about it, but I put that aside since the way he handles things is very different from the way that I do, and I am aware that diversity in the workplace helps it thrive even when there is an ideological clash. He has his view, and I don't always disagree with it since he has some very legitimate concerns. I can see ways that he contributes to the disarray, but for all of my 'let's appreciate people' philosophy, I haven't taken the time to give him much positive feedback or encouragement. Mostly it's because I rarely see him, don't understand him, and am not really sure where I am on his radar, and have had some unpleasant encounters mixed with the occasional positive one, he makes me uneasy, and I'm glad that I knocked on the door yesterday because I felt like that did both of us a world of good.
I have so much more to write, but I want to get some other things done, so this is where I'm going to sign off for today.
P.S. I can't believe I walked into a place that fired me! I am super proud of myself for doing that!!