Hi everyone! Great place you have here. Love the coffee. Let me tell you a bit about my life and work. The best way to do that might be to utilize the intro piece I had at a different place. :) So here it is.
Let me tell you a bit about my workplace.
I do manual labor in retail. (Note: Some details here are deliberately changed to obfuscate my workplace. Because the last thing I want to do is be unemployed right now, but all of these things about the workplace have actually happened either to my coworkers or myself.)
Our work day is challenging. One of my coworkers cries and hides in a stockroom for the entire break period. Another had a nervous breakdown and is in therapy because the stress of the work got to him. A third co-worker who is now switched to On-Call, has lost their home and moved in with the newly married adult child. Another was out on official leave, because OSHA compliance is a joke and he was injured very severely. Our stock rooms and our dock areas have never been painted, much less heated or air conditioned and all environmental controls, including lights are controlled by computers out of state. You don't know fun until you're trying to unload stock and the lights go out mid-lift. The fire department actually came out once and made Retail Store hire an electrician so that our emergency lights would work. Yay for fire departments!
There's no middle class workers here at my Retail Store. Well, there might be, but I've never met them. There's us, some salespeople who are fired if they don't make quota (lots of turnover there), and Senior Management of Retail Store. If we have a work problem we can't resolve, we go to someone with the title of Vice President. We've never met anyone from Human Resources, because Human Resources is run out of another state. Our performance review is based on a computer generated set of statistics that have absolutely no relation to how effective we are. For example, one of my coworkers (I'll call him "Dude") had a performance review a couple years back that commended him for his highly productive work in spring of 2008, but criticized him for his lack of efficiency during the holiday season of 2008.
Difficulty: Dude wasn't hired until 2009.
It's a fireable offense to share our performance reviews and raises, if any, with each other but Dude thought this particular one was so hysterically funny that he did share it. Even the VP had a laugh and said "I don't control how the performance reviews are done."
Every morning Vice President stands by the employee entrance to let us peons in the store. We usually share fun stories about how many rodents we saw the previous day and or how many dead rodents we stepped on by accident when the Fire Drill was called.
Ah, yes. The Fire Drill. This is Senior Management's way of telling us They Care About Us and Do Not Want Us to Die in A Fire.
Our fire drill requires us to meet at Popular Coffee Shop in the neighborhood when we evacuate. Senior Management take attendance, and also take turns popping in for Fancy Coffee Drinks that cost more than we earn in an hour. Usually a few of us Peons will go in to buy a large coffee with two espresso shots. Any of us Peons buying "One Large Coffee" when we're there as a part of Fire Drill is served exceptionally well by the owner. The Peon purchaser ordering a simple iced coffee will receive: A very large iced coffee usually used for sodas, four empty cups, a cup of milk "for creamer", enough sugar to excite a class of children, and a zillion napkins. The coffee shop owner will ultimately charge Peon only for "One Large Coffee". That way, it can be shared among us at a price we can manage. Senior Management gets a glare from this owner, and a Fancy Coffee. Senior Management doesn't notice because they don't pay attention to service people. But I tell you, we notice it.
So that was my introductory post about retail. Hasn't changed much, unfortunately.