I know you're not really my boss, but you're the boss over everything, a man I hadn't really ever seen before the other bosses on your level were beginning to be questioned on their managerial ability. I mean, you own the company, you and a couple others. One of them got greedy and he's out of here soon, so you started caring again about this place, and I find that touching.

I, like other humans, am a creature of habit. The only way my normal everyday work day has been altered is when the patterns of behavior are changed. Within my department, for example, I have come to expect that each day after a hard rain (you know, since my boss Tom's office has leaked for the last three years and all, and what with us living in the Vietnam of the South) for Tom's face to be red, puffy and broken out, likely from the high mold content in his office. And also, I expect that since our desk drawers have been rifled through by the night cleaning staff before, it will continue to happen until they're caught. This will likely never happen because our office can never seem to attain the level of security that other offices in the dealership are afforded. There's always one door that won't lock or unlock, so we can't seem to narrow down the thieves. But you know, being the good sports we are, we take all this in stride.

When you returned to the front and decided to take more charge of the situations here, all these things began to change. All these systems we came to lean on for consistency began to mutate. Now we're required to order all our office's minor paper supplies through your personal manager instead of just buying what we need and turning in receipts. Now when we need an advance, instead of being able to pay back reasonable amounts each month, we are now required to pay everything back in 30 days, which is hard to do when you only get paid every two weeks, as I do and as does 2 other managers in our staff of 5. Which brings me to the situation at hand that is the most disconcerting: commission.

Commission is handled once a month, usually on the 8th or 10th of each month. It is automatically tabulated based on the gross that was registered at the beginning of the month for last month's draw. We have been getting the same commission for at least the last 9 months. Like salary, it's a pretty simple equation. On Friday of last week, all employees that receive a weekly paycheck were given theirs in a timely manner at 4pm that afternoon. Since I and other workers in my office get paid bi-weekly, we had only our commission check to look forward to. We all work a 10 and a half hour day, 5 days a week. On Fridays, if we have no customers, we usually try to get out a little early, as long as this is not to anyone else's inconvenience. When I began working on salary vs. hourly pay, I lost a lot in overtime, but gained it back plus a little extra from the commission, hence the commission is considered part of my expected income, not a plus, not excess. This brings us back to the idea of humans and habit. Now, for the last, oh I don't know, year that I've received commission, the time in which the checks have been dispensed had become so routine that I had come to expect them to be out at or by a certain time each month. They were always out before the banks closed so I could get them cashed and have money for the weekend. If the 10th fell on a weekend, we could rationally expect the checks on the 9th ot 8th only because this was how it was always done. Perhaps we were foolish to become to accustomed to any set pattern, because when I did not receive my commission check until 6:05 on Friday afternoon, I was alarmed and frustrated. I couldn't cash it, so it was virtually a waste of my time to wait for it. If I didn't have a kind roommate and boyfriend, I would have had a hard time getting through the weekend.

You know how this business is, how every customer wants promises about when his or her car will be done in whichever department if found itself (service, sales, body shop). We are not encouraged to promise anything in this business because when we do and are mistaken, the customer holds us to our promises. We want to make our customers happy because their patronage directly affects our income just as our ability to perform our jobs effectively affects how much your dealership makes. While logic would lead me to think that you wouldn't screw over the people who work and work hard for you, that obviously isn't the standard, judging by the growing dissent between the levels of employment and the resignation to the "evil that we know" vs. "the evil that we don't know."

I know things will not change or get better. We all work here as a team and worry about our own personal happiness, knowing that job satisfaction is often on an individual basis, not contingent upon what our mentors do. And we accept that. Just pay me on time. That's all I ask.

You can go now.

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