This isn’t the post I planned to write, or even the one I really wanted to write, but the Other Job has once again eaten my week. Now I’m staring down the barrel of a short weekend crammed with writing obligations. (Not that I usually spend the weekend doing anything else. But it’d be nice to at least have the option to take an afternoon off.)
Those of you who read my last post might be wondering what became of the mutiny. Was it successful? Did HR and upper management listen to the many well-corroborated complaints against the supervisor? Has this toxic individual been removed from the company?
Well, no. Of course not.
You see, my company has one rule above all others: “We don’t throw away trash.”
When I came to work here, I learned that it’s not just individuals who can have a hoarding problem. Companies can too. Is it obsolete? Hasn’t worked in decades? Unredeemably broken? That’s okay, we’ll give it a forever home!
The lot where freight is stored awaiting pickup looks like a junkyard. It’s littered with piles of broken pallets, ancient equipment that hasn’t run in decades, corroding drums of hazardous substances, propane cylinders that haven’t been safe to fill in ten years, and heaps and heaps of miscellaneous junk.
The racking in our warehouse is about 50% full of trash. Freight, often of little or no value, that’s been abandoned for years. Office furniture from the 70s that no one is willing to throw out. TVs and computers from the pre-2000 era.
The company has a similarly counterproductive approach to employees.
Management is absolutely cluttered with people who can’t or won’t do their jobs, and all of the lower echelons that I’ve worked with are as well. During my two year tenure here, I’ve watched my department slowly gather more and more employees who can’t or don’t want to work. While management occasionally makes some of their lives uncomfortable, it’s essentially a free ride. Clock in, goof around for 8 hours with little or no repercussions for your lack of productivity, and get paid.
The rest of us pay for this by picking up these employees’ slack. I’ve been fight an ongoing battle to get rid of two under my supervision. A successful airline, especially one that is as perpetually short-staffed as we are, does not carry dead weight.
Earlier this summer, in response to my repeated urging and ongoing documentation of the problem, I was told by middle management that “as much as I’d like to remove these people, we can’t. This company doesn’t let people go.”
With that in mind, the results of the mutiny should come as little surprise to anyone. After a few days of half-hearted investigation, Human Resources and upper management called a meeting. The toxic supervisor would be stepping down, but remaining in the department as a load master. Furthermore, he’d be continuing in his current capacity until a new supervisor was found and fully trained– ensuring that his toxic behavior is perpetuated and continues to have the same influence on our department.
In other words, nothing has changed. All they’ve done is shuffle the deck.
I’m disappointed, but not surprised. The signs were all there that I’ve been working for the kind of grossly corrupt company that refuses to excise toxic individuals.
In the wake of the announcement, several of our best cargo agents turned in their resignation letters. I’ve been asked if I will too. It has also been pointedly suggested by leadership that I need to put in for the open supervisor position. But I’m not going to do either.
Knowing what I know about this company, I’d be insane to accept that position. At the same time, I’m not going to be bullied into quitting– not because I have any hopes and dreams here, or because of my loyalty to the few remaining reliable employees in my department, but because this job means nothing to me. It is a means to an end: a way to pay my rent and put a little money aside until I can go back to writing full time.
With that in mind, I want to thank the exceptionally kind folks who followed me on Patreon after my last blog post. You rock! And you give me a lot of hope for the future.
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And as always, whether you’re a Patron, a follower on Facebook or Twitter, a fellow blogger, or just someone who swung by my blog after reading Necrotic City, thank you for your support! I’m immensely grateful for all the awesome people out there who read what I write.