Part Two: I Used To________

See Part One here….

So, by now I’ve been an office manager, a customer service rep, and accounting manager all in the span of about six years.

My next gig was as the call center manager for a very small computer manufacturing company.  From there, I became the expediter – and if you don’t know what that is, in a manufacturing facility it’s the person who identifies bottlenecks in the process and works towards resolution of same.  Later, they made me technical services manager.  Basically, I supervised call center employees in the help desk area. It was an okay place, but the day the human resources manager went out to “get some aspirin” and didn’t come back I knew the writing was on the wall.  The CEO literally fled town amidst speculation of embezzling; leaving all of us out of a job.

I guess, technically, I was not fired from that job.  But still, I was jobless again.

About this time I decided I hated commuting and wanted to find a job close to home.  My next job really seemed to fill the bill.

I was office/tech manager for an HVAC company.  When I interviewed with the husband and wife who owned this small business not two minutes from my house I explained that the only time I ever got to see my parents was during the Christmas holidays, and I would be taking off every year to do so.  This was non-negotiable and I made that clear.

First year I was there, no problem.  Second year, not so much.  I was told they were going to Cancun and I was staying at work to run things.

I said no, I’m not.   They said, you are fired… March.  It was the strangest firing, but they said I could stay until I found another job or they found a replacement.  Those things coincided in March that year.

Thus began one of my shortest, strangest (okay Vickie/Victoria was the strangest) job experiences.

I began work as a customer service/warehouse manager for a large distributor of plumbing supplies.  They were expanding in Texas and this facility was brand-new.  It was also a fifteen minute drive from home, and I was excited at the prospect of  creating something from the beginning.  Our main office was in Florida, and during the interview process I was asked about travel.  I stopped the interview, telling them I did not travel…ever…for a job. One reason was I had four kids at home, and a husband, but another reason is physical.  I have a hole in one eardrum and flying makes me sick..very sick.  No problem, they said, you won’t ever have to travel, they said.  The job was okay, despite the regional manager’s wife’s habit of dropping in at all hours and if he wasn’t in the office she’d go around looking in the closets for him.  No, really in the closets.  I found out that is because she had “stolen” him from his first wife as she, as his secretary, and he would meet in closets for their trysts.   Naturally, a relationship forged with such mutual respect would lead to closet-snooping.

Three months later I was called into the office of the regional VP (and total speed-freak I had recently learned)  to be told either I traveled to Florida for a week or I would have to find a new job.  I turned to my boss, who had been summoned as well, and said, “Welp…you got any boxes?  I’ll need some for my stuff in my office.”   The VP’s mouth dropped open, but I got up, packed up and never looked back.

The tally, so far – office manager, customer service rep, accounting manager, call center manager, expediter, tech manager, customer service and warehouse manager.

See why I have a story for just about every job situation?

But wait, there’s more!

From the plumbing supply company I went to work for the in-house counsel and VP of sales for a large retail chain at their corporate headquarters.

My first day on the job, one of the bosses was in the hospital.  He’d taken ill over the weekend with kidney stones.

His wife came into the office to pick something up for him.  However, in rummaging through his desk she got way more than she bargained for as she found nude pictures of his girlfriend, and him, in flagrante delicto.

She came out of his office, screaming like a banshee, and fell to floor.  She continued to wail and pound the employees walked past her.

Apparently, as I found out later, this was her response to everything from “it’s raining outside” to “your husband is schtupping some chick behind your back.”, so people tended to ignore her.   This episode, though, finally got her banned from the office so subsequent days weren’t nearly so eventful.

Until the CEO got caught in the same compromising situation by wife #3, and was shown the door by her.  She came into the office that day, loaded for bear, but he was not in.  The actual break-up took place in their home, and call me crazy but I’m pretty sure that’s where that shit belongs.

Soon, he fell in love with a stripper.  And she, him.  Of course.

Never mind that he was 44, looked like a troll and had multiple health issues. He was a multi-millionaire and she was his “soulmate”.  She was also 22, and I don’t think a single “part” of her was real.   From her big hair to big tatas, she was a sight to behold.  She always wore 5-inch heels and towered over him.

This mad love affair led to much spending of company money on said “love of my life” – including the hideous $20K painting he shipped from Italy when they were on a cruise.  When the Board forced him out over his mishandling of company funds she stuck by his side, despite his rapidly dwindling income, for exactly two weeks.

A new CEO search was on and all the executives and their admins were shown the door.  I was first, but it was like opening the floodgates as soon after the entire upper management staff was gone.

I contemplated taking the summer off after this job, but a call from a headhunter changed my mind.  In June of 2002 I came to work for the company I’m at now.  I’m technically called an “administrative coordinator”, but for the pay and benefits if they want to call me “Chief Bitch of This Location” I’m totally cool with it.

And, it seems, after all these years if I haven’t pissed them off to the point of firing me yet – and believe me there have been times when I wondered – then maybe I’ve found my (work) soulmate at last.

So, yeah, next time I pipe up with some anecdote about something/place I used to work at, I’m not bragging.  I really have done just about every kind of office job, for every kind of whack-job, imaginable.

Posted on December 9, 2011, in Maybe I'm The Only One Who Thinks This Is Funny, Too Much Information and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. My “best” memory of crazy management is of when I worked at the grocery store. We had 4 managers, two of which were awesome, one of which was really awesome, and one who was a crazy psycho bitch.

    Said CPB loved to make employees cry. She had a chip on her shoulder and a temper so short it would take almost nothing to make her flip out and throw a manager tantrum. The manager tantrum was usually aimed at employees she knew she could make cry, such as the young baggers or register workers who were of the more emotional sort. At the time she worked there (which actually wasn’t that long), I was a bagger/customer service rep, so I found myself working her register.

    I did something that was a small infraction, namely I did not ask a big, strong young man if he wanted help out to his car with his groceries. In general, I didn’t ask young people because A) if I’m out helping them and an elderly or handicapped person comes through that actually needs help and I’m out helping people who could easily load their own groceries I would feel bad and B) I learned that strong, young males often take offense at the implication that they can’t load their own groceries.

    CPB freaked the fuck out. She took me into the back room and proceeded to chew me out for a good 10 minutes. I sat there, in Taco fashion, with a lightly bemused/bored look on my face. After she ran out of breath and started to calm down she finally asked, “Well, do you have anything to say?”

    “Nope. I don’t see as what I did as wrong and I will certainly do it again.”

    The look on her face was priceless. I honestly don’t think anyone had ever called her out on her bullshit. She turned an angry shade of red, stood there stewing for a while, and then seemed to realize that should couldn’t fire me. You see, I was hired by her boss. He was a friend of the family, and he liked me and thought I was doing a good job. The other managers loved me because I did a good job and wasn’t afraid to skip my union mandated breaks when things got busy and I was the only one there to help out (seriously, who needs a 15 minute break every hour?! Bagging groceries, bringing in carts, and sweeping the store is not really that strenuous of work for an 18 year old). She knew should couldn’t do anything to me because the “infraction” really wasn’t one, and that I would easily win the argument if she took it to her boss.

    Oddly enough, from that moment on I became HER bagger. Both because nobody else wanted to bag for her, and because weirdly, my standing up to her put me in her good graces. Whenever she worked register she would make sure I was assigned to her lane. For the rest of her time there she didn’t so much as raise her voice to me, and we even got to a point where we could laugh and joke when things were slow. Aside from being a total control psycho, she was actually kinda fun. The other baggers never really figured out how I did it.

  2. Loved your stories. Hey, look at it this way…the many experiences made you a well-rounded person and gave you writing fodder!

    I had a boss once who told us she was baking cookies for EVERYONE, and showed up the next morning with PHOTOGRAPHS of the cookies she had baked and already given away to everyone other than us.

    I had another who used to bitch at me for not making decisions or taking inititative, but when I did, would complain that I was not to think for myself because she was, after all, the boss.

    Then I became a boss myself. And hopefully there are no horror stories about me out there!

  3. Great stories.

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