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Sunday, February 4, 2007

Another Boring Work Post ...

... I've been losing it at work. Bad. I've been angry, emotional, even crying at times. I can't help it. I'm extremely overworked and I can't stop it and I am incredibly ashamed of myself for feeling so emotional about my job.


My dad always used to say never to take your work home with you. Of course, he would come home with a briefcase full of papers and plans and his blueprints would often cover the dining room table, but I still tried hard to remember my dad's words. To think I've been so empotional at work and at home. I try to live my father's words but it's impossible when my job is continually screwing me over.


See, the employees I'm supposed to have in my department are being used to cover breaks and lunches and the info dest and the registers and they're also being used for various non-childrens department tasks and all this adds up to me being forced to do the job of three, four, five, or six other employees. Essentially my children's department has become a one man children's department.


That's nothing new. The management has been screwing me ovber for almost two years now. My section used to carry that store and now it's the first one hit and the one that's the most damaged. And what's worse is that it's now starting to affect my health. My antidepression pill problem, my IBS, my popping joints, my depression, my anxiety, my stomache in constant, extreme pain, I fully believe that ALL OF IT stems directly from work, from the stress and the pain and the intense work load that comes from being a one man kids section.


So due to kids people covering breaks I've been essentially the only person in kids this entire week. I come in, do my huge workload, go home, then come back the next morning to learn that I'm covering the info desk's breaks AND no one was in kids the night before SO in the small amount of time that I'm allowed to be in my own department I have to do today's work AND yesterday's work. Repeat that over and entire week and you'll see why I'm constantly tired and my stomach is constantly bleeding and I am constantly depressed, except for my storytimes.


So we were having a morning meeting and I looked at the schedule and I saw that the closing kids person was going to spend most of the night behind a register. And I sighed. And Tami asked what's wrong and as I tried to explain to her how I felt overworked and exhausted and stressed out, I started crying. There I was telling everyone how stressed out I was from being the only employee in the children's department and my voice was breaking and my breath was coming in at short bursts and I could feel the tears starting to build in my eyes. I hid it pretty well and I'm pretty sure no one noticed but that doesn't change the fact that I started crying at work.


Two days later I was leaving a note on our kids binder for the closer that I knew would only spend five or ten minutes in kids and Lance came in. I told him that once again I'd be the only person in kids all day and he sat down and asked me what was wrong. And I started crying again. Bad. I gave him full disclosure about my work problems and my health problems, something I hadn't expected me to do, and I even heard myself say something that I had only told my wife before, that I would have quit a long time ago if it hadn't been for storytimes and the Harry Potter club and all the little kids that look forward to seeing me and having me entertain them. My stage may be little but it is big on love and laughter and affection and if it wasn't for that, I would have taken off quite some time ago.


That was a secret that only me and my wife and maybe Marisa knew about. And now Lance knows. And after tomorrow's morning manager's meeting every manager will know all about my depression and my anger and my health problems. I told Lance everything and he got all Lance pissed off and now he's going to take everything all about my massive health-depleating burnout and he's going to take it to the manager's and to the store manager and even to the district manager. He even made me go through the kids binder and type out every time someone wrote something about not being able to do their job. Now, because we only keep the kids binder forms for about a month, what I typed out was from December 29th until February 2nd. And it is HUUUUUGE!!! It's so incredibly huge that I had to do some serious work to type it out and to shrink it to fit in one page. It took be about 50 minutes to write. And it depressed the hell out of me.


Here's some highlights:


"Once again I apologize for not doing frontlist but I didn't get back into the kids department until 9:40 pm." -Diana

"Sorry for the bad news but I didn't finish my v-cart. I had to cover cashiers and customer service. When I came back to the kids department it was destroyed." -Zin

"Tonight I was in kids for less than one hour total. Now the section is a bigger mess. I am so sorry to leave kids." -Pam

"Started by putting away the four hundred books left over from last night's signing. Then I covered breaks. First stepped into kids at 12:40 pm." -Les

"I got in at 5 and was put on CS so there was no kids closing person." -Les


Lance is going to go to bat for me tomorrow and let the management know that if they want me to continue working there that they would need to solve this problem. I don't want to go to the district and the regional manager and tell them about how my deteriorating health is the direct result of bad scheduling. In our neck of the woods that is called a "Kai." I don't want to become a Kai. I want to entertain my kids and make my section look good but in order to do that effectively I would have to have help which I do not have and Lance seems to be the ONLY MANAGER who gives a shit about me and my disappearing stomach lining and my depression problems and my starving family. Evey other manager just shrugs and says oh well. Lance is going to go to bat, though. I don't know what the results are going to be. I hope that when the dust clears that I stop becoming a one man kids department because I honestly do not know how much longer my body can keep this up.




I wrote this whole post not really thinking about what I was writing about. It was just a full on, balls out, total spontaneous stream of consciousness sort of thing. I hope it didn't frighten anyone.


And NO POSTING about how I should quit and become a teacher and move or any crap like that. I have a feeling that any of that talk would just succeed in depressing me even more.


Thanks for listening, y'all.

4 comments:

jessecoombs said...

I don't think you should quit. I mean, it seems to me that you love working there, well when things are going better. Maybe a different store or a different postion might change things, but if you're sticking around you've got to detach a bit, even when you're there. The only way I didn't get stressed out every single day I worked in receiving was by realizing that not having enough manpower or space or anything else like that wasn't my fault. The store is given a small amount of resources, definitely not enough to get the job done to the standards that the company requires in the handbooks. You can't fix something that you don't have control over, like hours and people who are available. Don't kill yourself over this. If you didn't have a family, I wouldn't care if you wanted to break your neck to make the best kid's department on earth. You do have a family, so your main responsiblity is to them. I know this is some obvious shit that you know, but it's just what I think. When the kid's department starts to crumble, you're not going to be blamed for it. Everyone knows that. I'm kinda just rambling now, but I'll give you a point. Go in, do your eight hours, take your lunch and all your breaks, and go home. That's it. Do what you can while you're there, but don't worry about it when you're not there. That's the time you get to be with Bela, Emerald, and Natasha. That's your fucking time; don't let them have it.

Reverend Steve said...

YOu make me cry again Jesse and I swear I'll cut your fucking nutsack off.

And thanks.

jessecoombs said...

That's fine, it's not like I'm using them.

gwen said...

I hope something comes of Lance standing up for you. I do understand your attachment to that store. Even though we were short handed a lot of the time, I still consider it my all time favorite work place.

Good luck, Steve, and like Jesse said, your family is first. There is only so much you can do in one day. I know you take pride in your section, but you can't keep physically killing yourself trying to get/keep it that way.