Everybody Talks Too Much



I once worked for the Wicked Witch of the Great Lakes. She had hired me to work at one of those nationally-known human resources consulting firms. After I was hired, I realized that my job really was to sell people very expensive consulting they didn’t really need and leave before the results actually became apparent. And to suck my soul out of me. Luckily I escaped before I became too bitter. 🙂

Back to my point. One day, we both came to the conclusion that I did not belong there. At the exit interview, Ms. Witch kept asking me if there was anything I wanted to say. There really was no way to explain what was wrong without becoming equally vile, so I kept quiet. For some reason, my silence totally enraged her. I didn’t realize that following the adage “If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all,” could have that type of positive karmic repercussions.

Unfortunately, fewer and fewer people seem to follow the practice. Perhaps “Better to be silent and seem a fool than to speak and remove all doubt” is more appropriate for the present times. I have been trying to think of the last time I heard someone say something nice about someone else at work. I know I’ve complimented people to their face and to the managers (because I’m perfect, remember?), but from the shocked looks I get, I’m guessing it’s not just my perception that it’s a rare thing.

I unload the pallets first thing in the morning with people from another department. Our stuff is all mixed together. so it makes sense to work together. Most of the time, I enjoy working with them. One day last week, things got a little ugly. There are three of us who regularly work together. We were working when a manager came by and asked where a fourth person (Employee X) was. Apparently the load comes in at his “lunch time,” so I had never seen him there. The manager paged him and told him he needed to get to Receiving.

Needless to say, when X returned he was not happy. He told the other two guys that they were not to touch the stock for the week’s sale. They were only allowed to touch the non-sale boxes. The guys were not happy and commenced to complain about X and his need to control everything. Later X complained about the guys’ inability to do their work in an organized manner. I’m never quite sure what to do in these situations. I let them vent, but no one seemed any happier for the opportunity. So the day began.

Then the chickens arrived. I think I’ve talked about the chickens before. Large quantities of them appear (seemingly) at random and take up space in my cooler. I had room for them (more or less) so they stayed. Later, the team leader was complaining to one of the deli stockers (Stocker A) that no on ever told her when there was deli stock in the cheese cooler. It started as a complaint that she had found three ham dinners from Thanksgiving still in the deli cooler. That is the cooler physically in the deli where they keep their meat.

From there, the team leader complained about how the other stocker (Stocker B) wasn’t doing his job. She might have to hire a third stocker. (Or get B to do his job?) The general consensus is that B is lazy. However, one of the deli people (Employee Y) doesn’t like A because he got to come back after quitting with no notice, when one of her friends didn’t. It seems that the friend had also broken down and tried to hurt someone. Y’s friend also doesn’t like A because she thought he was lazy when he was employed previously.

B was not scheduled this day. Earlier in the week he had posted on Facebook that he was scheduled for Friday which would make a long week for him, Friday through Wednesday. He was really unhappy about it and would have to look for another job. When he had found out about working Friday, he refused to talk to anyone. He has been complaining about how hard he has to work and how it isn’t fair.  I think it’s his first job.

Near the end of the day, someone told me that the late shift at the deli has finally been busted for not working. As long as I have worked there, the day shift and the night shift have argued about who is doing less. Recently it has become apparent that we had a winner. Leadership was receiving complaints during the evening shift about not finding anyone in the deli or waiting in line while one person worked and the others talked or used cell phones.

It seems somewhat appropriate that the end came for them when someone took pictures on a cell phone to show what was going on. Of course, there was much talking and wringing of hands. There wasn’t a lot that could actually be done. No manager was there to document the situation. The team leader decided she should work more evenings, which traumatized the entire second shift. She told one employee, and within five minutes everyone knew.

So what does any of this have to do with me? Absolutely nothing. I may have wasted more time that day than I have the entire time I’ve been at the store. The funny customer stories are good for dinner conversation. Who wants to listen to me recount the employees crabbing about each other?

I have looked everywhere on Amazon for a negative energy neutralizer or maybe a black box that would suck it out of the air. So far, no luck. I wonder if spraying the air with ginger or peppermint or lavender or something would work in a space that big?

2 thoughts on “Everybody Talks Too Much

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