Sunday, June 2, 2013

And Now For The Nervous Breakdown

I felt this nervous breakdown coming. After all that happened in my personal life, and how my family situation has been going, it was inevitable. So when someone at work started disappearing, lying to me, backtalking me when I'm trying to train her, talking bad about me to my coworkers, and not finishing her workload at the end of the day when I'm required to get EVERYTHING DONE at work before I leave, I'm not surprised it happened.

Remember my anger post? Yeah, I was considering using my usual tricks to get rid of this lady before she pushed me over the edge. But I didn't want to be that person, so I decided to just play nice and let each of us go our own way.

And then this weekend happened.

First, it was Friday. I find out she's bad-mouthing me. Wonderful. Like that isn't going to infuriate me. And then my (big) boss comes around and tells me I have to finish an impossible workload before leaving work that night, and to get two FULL 3-high (that means it has three shelves that tower over your head) carts gone through, prepped, and binned in the back.

On a Friday. After having already spent 3 hours on the registers up front. With no one covering my department but me from 5:30-10:00 (I work in Jewelry, where they call you for customers every few minutes).

Yeah. That was fun.

And on Saturday they tell me the same thing AGAIN. Only this time, I don't have any easy things to work through quickly and make disappear. I worked all of that stuff Friday. No, all that's left is the hard junk. I'm working my tail off, again, and work like a crazy person to get this stuff done.

But I did it. Four carts are gone from the bins and they look FANTASTIC.

Now, I didn't do it all alone. My coworker, who is causing the problems, is out on the floor covering jewelry and running freight in shoes while I'm in the back. But she disappears again after her last break (for 45 minutes), and I need her to do a few things in that time.

This makes me kind of mad. But I drop it. I don't want anyone accusing me of "not getting along" with my co-worker.

So I go in today. And I am joyfully greeted with the news that I'm working jewelry today while the new girl works shoe freight.

I'm so excited. Maybe today will go better? After all, I'm not stuck in the bins all day today. Just have to get rid of any shoe freight she works that doesn't go out.

My co-worker has about 4 hours to complete 1 1/2 carts of shoes. I have nothing to do with it, and I only tell her that my other co-worker left a note for her at jewelry. She tells me she knows, but never comes by to see. Doesn't come by jewelry to check in. Isn't in the shoe department 80% of the time I go to check on her.

9:00 swings around. I know it's time for her to be gone. So I go to check on what she has finished. She's left 2 boxes out of freight that she didn't get done, and at first I think, ahh, I can cover that. But then I go to the back. And find that she's left all the picks she was supposed to work and the other cart she was supposed to get still back there.

So those 2 boxes are from the 1/2 a cart she was supposed to work when I arrived in the department at 2:00.

Now, if you have never run freight for shoes, you should know: this is ridiculously easy work. You take out big shoe boxes from the bigger boxes they come in. You take said shoe boxes to their designated display. You hang/set shoe boxes on shelves. And then you get rid of cardboard. Anything that doesn't go out, gets stacked in a pile.

That's it.

1 1/2 carts of freight should have taken an experienced worker 1 1/2 to 2 hours. An inexperienced one would take 3 to MAYBE 4. But not to have finished even half a cart in 4 hours? While I'm covering jewelry? And someone else is picking up the floor?

So I find a whole crap-load of work to do 2 hours before it's time for me to close. And she's just gone. Haven't seen her for an hour. 

I lost it, folks. I had to cart back 1 and a half carts full of crap to the back and load them on the carts I have taken TWO DAYS to empty. TWO DAYS of climbing up and down ladders, scanning box after box, moving stacks of boxes around and over my head into uncomfortable places, hunting printers and making boxes for shoes to be put in, all done in sweltering heat because the back room doesn't air condition very well?

Did I mention our boss is coming back from vacation tomorrow and I'm responsible for making the bins look good? Or that I emptied one half of a 3 high jewelry cart while she did this (jewelry is difficult because you're near a cash register and people want you to check them out and it's a lot of small items packaged like nuclear weapons)? And served a whole bunch of customers who just wanted to check out? And did returns? And cleaned the jewelry department so that my boss doesn't come back to a COMPLETE mess?

Yeah, I know what I'm doing and she's only been here a month. Yeah, I expected to have to cover for her. Yeah, I know I'm supposed to have the heavier work-load because I'm actually experienced.

But what did she do for 4 hours?!? Shoes was a mess every time I came by to check on her. Only at the end did it look a little picked up.

So I rant and raved for a few hours. Cried. Stormed around the building like a crazy person. Complained about said co-worker at length. Left a note for my boss telling on her for what she did. I feel a little guilty for it, too. But only a very little. This whole thing has gotten way out of hand and I can't survive it just by sticking my head in the mud and ignoring it. I might lose my job over this, but if she wants to tell people I'm "just being mean to her", then I guess I'll have to take it. I can't believe people who know me so well would believe I'd actually bully someone like that. I can't even say a mean thing to my rapist. Why in the world would I waste my meanness on some random lady I hardly know???

This won't end pretty. I hope this is the only nervous breakdown I have to endure, but it really sucks that it happened at work. With people watching.

I usually like my nervous breakdowns a little more private than that.


  1. It's kinda hard to have a private nervous breakdown really. But at least you can have a justified one. I don't care that she's only been there for a month, she can't just disappear and not do any work. If it's that she actually can't do it then A) she shouldn't be there, or B) she should talk to a more senior member of staff or her supervisor. You really are in a pretty unfair place at work and I hope something can be done about it. Being the more experienced person means that you can do the work faster, and that's why you get the heavier workload, that doesn't mean that you HAVE to have it.

  2. So basically you've been doing all the work while this girl has been doing absolutely nothing? That's absolutely disgraceful and I fully understand why you'd be angry at your co-worker and I think your rant and breakdown was justified. Try to keep a cool head though, I know why you're annoyed but I don't think it's worth losing your job over, I hope everything sorts itself out!

  3. I work for the same evil corporation you do, and you know their goal is to almost work you to death and barely pay you anything for it. The girl you are working with will probably be fired EVENTUALLY. You will just end up working with more people exactly like her anyway, so don't stress too much about that. Don't feel guilty about informing your supervisors she is not working, she deserves it. I just go to work with very low expectations. I expect to be used and abused, and that is what usually happens. When I would go to work with a positive outlook, I would end up being really depressed because I would always end up being hugely disappointed. If I confront the reality that I am just a lowly slave that no one cares whether I live or die, then it is much easier to get through my miserable work day, because at least I am prepared for what I am in for!

  4. I'm probably missing a bit of background here but if you're a department manager or at least in charge of supervising this lazy brat that tells me your manager trusts you and knows that you're capable of getting your work done. Maybe you'll get crap because you can't make this girl do *her* work, but that's only a problem if you're looking for a promotion. I doubt you'd get fired or reprimanded for her failures because then they'd just have to replace you with a lazy brat like the one they already have. And how many shelves of shoes would get done then? Try zero.

    So yeah, I think you're fine. Hopefully you can find some peace of mind there. It's just a job. Take it from me, I've had horrible customers and managers and one time I actually, literally cried at work because of them. It was a damn video store gig, why was I so easily humiliated? Probably because I cared a lot more about them than they did about me. Don't let this eat at you. You have every right to complain and report an insubordinate employee. If they don't like it, or if they create a hostile or uncomfortable work environment then you have every right to take that to HR. Or leave if you can afford to (though job searching might cause equal or greater stress!)