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               As if the post election shit tsunami wasn't enough to piss in my life's Cheerios, the floodgates of crazy opened at work and  life has presented yet another speed bump to navigate around or over.

               My boss has been circling the drain ever since his second in command got himself fired for sexually harassing an employee. This happened almost a year ago, but like Justice itself,  the wheels of HR turn fast then slow then fast again. It all occurred right under boss' nose and although everything was kept very hushhush, theories abound as to  whether he either knew about and ignored the situation or was completely unaware and clueless. Pick one. Either way it didn't look good for Big Boss Man at the time. Especially since we work at a Faith based University with a strict moral conduct code.  Still - he managed to wriggle off the hook and retain his position much to the puzzlement of most of the staff including me.

               I am ostensibly fourth from the top in the hierarchy and at the time I did indeed bring up the situation both to my boss and the perpetrator who was my immediate supervisor.  Once my supervisor/perpetrator found out that I wasn't happy about his having a couple of  "work wives" among the staff and that I had informed our boss AND the home office of the situation; his not-so-subtle but very emphatic retaliation began. I received two of the worst performance reviews I've ever had in my 30+ year career as exec chef at the university. My supervisor set me to task on a list of "expectations" that ran two pages single spaced.

             Mind you, at this time I was performing double duty covering my job and another job for which there was an ongoing employee search.  This hunt was dragging on and on mostly because the salary offer was so low that most candidates who applied begged off when they found out the pay rate was lower than what most McDonald's unit managers make. There was also a benefits package that was equally laughable.  My supervisor came up with a great plan to make the financial pot sweeter though.  HIs brilliant plan was to shift me to an hourly position and cut my annual salary by 10K thereby freeing up more budget money to throw at a job candidate.  At this point I made an immediate appointment for an early morning meeting in a covert location with the VP of the company and told him that if this was the real plan they had all agreed upon then I just might have a problem with it. The VP was, of course, unaware that this was the plan for me going forward and told me to sit tight while he investigated. Months then went by without my knowing whether I was going to remain financially and professionally whole or whether I was going to spend the foreseeable future suing everyone within shouting distance of this ridiculous situation.
            Next thing I know - a friend of mine gets hired in at a decent wage, and even better, we were going to be partners sharing an office and duties. No mention of the aforementioned plan and I remained financially whole. The next few months were bliss. We cleaned up some HR messes in our kitchen that had long been festering. We put new systems in place for inventory control, ordering, etc.  We created committees. We purchased new equipment. We had things under control despite the best efforts of our supervisor, who was busily focusing on nurturing a new Work Wife.

               Then one day, the new Work Wife's husband shows up at work to confront our supervisor. An epic HR conflagration the likes of which I've never seen began.  Did I mention that my supervisor, the guy with the Work Wives, also had his Actual Wife working with us?  Yes - it was like some sort of sick twisted version of a Preston Sturges screwball comedy.  The supervisor literally gets kicked to the curb and corporate HR operatives swoop down on our location the next day like Nazgul from Mordor to pluck the guy out of his office and take him on a one way flight to Mount Doom.  But somehow, inexplicably, our Big Boss keeps his job. In fact, shortly after this whole drama ensued, the Big Boss hired a new assistant (and supervisor for us) who was decades my junior and with less managerial experience than the kid handing out clubs and balls at a Putt Putt park. Obviously this was someone the Big Boss could sit on his knee and feed lines to while he made the kid's mouth move in a life like fashion.
              This situation spelled the beginning of the end for my partner who bashed his head against that wall of stupidity for nearly 18 months until finally giving up and heading out for greener pastures completely away from the food business. He gave his notice last week. Which was bad, in and of itself.

           Two days before this, Big Boss fired a shift leader in our kitchen whom we had been vigorously trying to get rid of for over a year but couldn't because The Boss thought we were "picking on him". Boss told us we had to lay off the guy even though he was rough around the edges, didn't listen to us at all and was terrible to the people he supervised. He was a long time, entrenched and entitled employee who continually blew smoke up the Boss' skirt. Boss was forced to fire the guy because he was witnessed by the entire kitchen staff berating another shift leader to "Sober up and get it together." Trouble was - the guy he picked on is in alcohol recovery and has been sober for 10 years. Everyone knows this - he has been pretty up front about it.  For someone to mock him about it was not only bad form but against corporate policy to the tune of being a Level 1 infraction subject to immediate termination. According to corporate HR - people who are in recovery, who make it known in the work place, are a "protected class" and yelling at them to sober up is creating an instant hostile work environment bordering on hate speech. Big Boss was told to fire the guy immediately before he got us all sued.  And he did - reluctantly.
           And so - that is where it stands now.  The Big Boss is hanging by a thread. My managerial team partner is leaving for a plum job in the office furniture industry and I am, once again, doing double duty - triple duty if I include my own duties in this matrix of excrement - my own duties, the fired shift leader's duties and my now absent partner's duties. Happy Holidays.

The timeline for this debacle looks like this:
               3 1/2 years ago my supervisor starts diddling around with the staff and I call him out. I start receiving a rain of shit.

               2 years ago a person is finally hired for a position I covered for 18 months. Things get relatively better. The fight to rid ourselves of a toxic kitchen supervisor ensues. But both our bosses refuse to back us up in the effort. Kitchen morale suffers.

                1 year ago our immediate supervisor meets his career end at the hands of a Work Wife's husband and HR Nazgul from Mordor.

               1 year to present my managerial partner fights the good fight for control of his management destiny but is thwarted by our Big Boss' willful incompetence, ego and micro managing. He leaves for better money, better job, better life.  I am left holding the bag, pushing 60 and wishing like hell I had somewhere else I could go. Right now, I would work at a zoo hand clearing bowel obstructed elephants if they paid me enough to make my monthly household nut.

               The good news is - I got my kid through college and a 145K education with no student loans and free of debt. So there's that. but it's cold comfort and I'm questioning now whether it was worth it.

              In election news - I saw on a local news broadcast this story about a guy in Grand Rapids who wrote a blog about how he thought the election of Donald Trump was like that time when his now grown son beat cancer when he was a toddler. The kid went through a vicious chemo regimen. This and " lots of prayer" helped him survive.
Trump as chemo treatment for America's cancer.
 As good a theory as any, I guess. Not really though. People are idiots. The guy had over 5000 hits on his blog. That was the segment's hook.
I just can't stand it. 


Nov. 20th, 2016 01:23 am (UTC)
shit hit the fan
glad to read your still going-what is your daughter going to do now she is finished with college? Is she still into dance? peace
Nov. 20th, 2016 03:34 pm (UTC)
Re: shit hit the fan
She's doing well and still dancing - she's presently filling in at a local dance school.

She briefly moved to Chicago for work,and was loving her job and the company she worked for but the combination of financially struggling to make ends meet with a commission sales job and dealing with a poorly behaved room mate caused a situation I wasn't happy with and neither was she. Although she loves the Big City - its tough to survive there. Especially as a young person just starting out. There is lots of work out for her, but its highly competitive and starting at the bottom is a lot harder these days than it used to be.

She is presently back in town, licking her wounds and looking for work around here...her goal is to make it back to Chicago eventually, but now she really has a grasp on what it will take to make it there. As always, I'm there to lift her up and cheer her onward. Its hard parenting days right now, but we'll get through it.
Nov. 20th, 2016 03:36 pm (UTC)
Re: shit hit the fan
BTW I think I saw you on election day - you were in line behind me at the polling place, but you were chatting it up with another person in line so I didn't interrupt. That and once the doors opened that line moved along pretty quick and I lost track of you.