26 February 2011

My job: swirling the bowl.

After letting four people go and slashing the hours of the remaining workforce, management is now mystified that morale is at record low levels. In an effort to rekindle some kind of spirit in the store, they have hired some consultant to conduct a team building meeting.  I had thought team building had gone out in the nineties, but no, it's back.  These guys will try no idea until after its time.  (They also wonder why business is going downhill.)

As preparation for this complete waste of time, the 'consultant' has sent out a survey and asked us to fill it out and then e-mail it back to him. I wrote out the answers, then my wife deleted them, warning me that such answers would get me fired.   The survey begins by asking us to rate our job on a scale from one to ten, ten being "The best job I’ve ever had – it’s fantastic – can’t imagine a better job" and one being 'It’s terrible – I don’t know why I still work here – very stressful".  I wrote in a zero in the space provided.  We were then asked to say why we chose the number we chose.  I wrote:  "If you have to ask, then you don't know."

The questions continue on. 

Q: What is an adjective or phrase you would choose to describe the current culture?

A: Poison.

The stated purpose of this survey is, according to the 'consultant', to try and figure out .which needs should be addressed in our single, one day meeting.  The next section of the survey then goes back and asks us to answer certain questions or statements on a scale from one to five, one being "disagree" and five being "fully agree", as though numbers tell the whole story.  I took to writing in answers.

Q:When I wake up in the morning, I look forward to working at the Bookstore

A: You're kidding, right?

Q:We are all treated equally and with respect -- there is no discrimination

A:  As long as you are not a white male, sure.

Q:I feel supported, valued, and appreciated at work.

A:  I just sprayed my monitor and keyboard with coffee.

We are also asked our opinion of management.

Q:Management is open and honest - I trust the leadership team.

A. Yes.  I trust them to screw us up in every way possible.

Q: We have a great internal communication system

A:  Who the frack wrote these questions?

What our answers will reveal, I cannot say.  They ask us to send the surveys back through the e-mail, which means the answers will be traceable.  Most people will not answer honestly.

The survey goes back to asking us to write out answers to loaded, leading and stupid questions.

Q:Who should take 'ownership' of the Bookstore operation? Whose Bookstore is it?

A:  Considering that we'll be going out of business before long, I'd have to say the creditors will own the bookstore.

Q: Give a suggestion that you feel Management can implement, that will improve the overall working environment at the Bookstore.

A: Suicide.

Management does not understand just how bad it is.  If they think there is anything they can do to help the situation, they are wrong.  They want to know how I feel about my job, and what I can do to make it better.  They didn't seem to give a rat's hindquarters when they cut my hours.  I believe I can speak for most of the staff.

I hate my job.  I detest my coworkers and their petty squabbles.  I abhor the managers in every fibre of their beings and in every bone in their heads.   I despise the building in which we work.  I revile the very shadow it casts.  Verily, I say unto you, should a burning stone fall from the heavens and strike it from the face of the earth, my heart would rejoice and be glad, and lo, my joy would pass down even through the generations, yea, even for my children and my children's children.  All that would be wanting to make my joy complete would be salt In quantity enow to sow the crater, that it may be black and barren forevermore, till the span of ages has run its course and time itself is no more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think they would have been further ahead with "team building" if they had taken the money they spent on a consultant and used it for a series of Friday afternoon beer and pizza parties for the staff.