I’ve Been Working On The Railroad

January 15, 2008 at 4:31 PM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | Leave a comment
  I have some interesting things going on at work.  I guess when I say "work" I need to be more specific; I do have three jobs.  Of course I haven’t started at Domino’s yet . . . I’m looking forward to that.  At Scooter’s, not a lot is going on.  Someone did break into the liquor store next door to us.  It was Saturday night after we were all closed.
  And we have had some money issues in the restaurant.  Scott finally took action after being short 120 dollars last Tuesday night.  We do everything on the computer, however, there was no form or place to enter the daily cash information.  It’s like flying blind; I never had any idea if we were over or short, or what.  He could have created a form to fill out on the computer.  Instead, he created an excel form and printed it out, and made copies.
  It is probably the easiest way.  This way I can see the cash over/short.  So, since that’s been in play, we’ve never been off more than a dollar.  Not bad.  Plus, Saturday, Blond Sean (BS) found a check under a cooler for 80 bucks from the night in question.  That’s a big chunk of the money, and most of the rest is accounted for from receipts for cash out that Scott himself didn’t take into account.
  The reason I got a second second job is because I didn’t want to pick up more hours in this one, only to cut them back again later.  And I didn’t want my performance to slack off either.  I figured it would be better to spread myself thin; that way, no gets too big of a dose of me.
  But according to my timeline, I’ve been at Scooters for nine or ten years.  Hell.  That’s a while.  No wonder I know where everything is. 
  Then there’s the bank.  Our main business is mortgages.  We produce a hell of a lot of them–more than anyone else in the STL or KC area.  This is in large part due to our Loan Officers.  They are the rainmakers.  They have connections, they know people, they know how to schmooze.  I’ve seen what some of these fuckers make a year, because occasionally one will have a loan that I scan into the file system.  They make so much in commission that their entire regular check–a paltry sum–they committ entirely to their 401k.  These people are all making well into the six digit range.
  Many of these clowns are prima donnas. . .but they do make it happen.  All of the rest of us are technically "support staff."  They work we do is based on the sales they generate.

  There was a row–a difference of opinion–between the CEO and the head of the mortgage division.  The long and short of it is the CEO wanted to concentrate on the commercial lending division and grow that.  Mortgage is alive and well, let’s grow commercial.
  To do that, however, would cut off some of the toes of the mortgage division.  Less of a priority on financing, higher rates.  Other technical things that I am aware of but can’t explain well.  Because of this, our head of mortgage quit.  He got an offer from a competitor.  An odd one.  This is not a competitor per se:  they do investments and so forth, like Edward Jones (but I’m not naming companies, and it’s not Edward Jones).  They don’t do mortgages.  Yet.
  They hired our guy to build the mortgage division.  Nation-wide.  Maybe this is a good move; it seems like a gamble to me.  This is the exact wrong market condition to open a mortgage company, when others are closing left and right.  I’m no expert.  But I am a thinker.  ….
  Shortly after that, the guy under him "got the call."  He quit.  People were starting to get scared now.  Rumors were flying, futures were seeming to be uncertain.  There was a meeting to quiet the fears.  Not sure how well it worked.  The guy under that guy is Chris, a fellow I know from Domino’s from the past.  Under him is Kim, my best friend.
  The two top spots above Chris were open.  He could move up one, but not two.  He moved up one.  Then the CEO called upon Matt, the guy heading KC, and he was "promoted" to be in charge of STL and KC.  I am, as we speak, scanning the file for the home he purchased here in the St Louis area.  It’s a 400,000 dollar house.  I’m in the wrong–
  I’m in the wrong fucking world.  I’m not a dumbass.  But I’m working three jobs to barely get by?  Motherfuck anyway.  I just. . .fuck me.  What’s it take?  Huh?  What’s it take?
  So all of this has been since October or so.  Then, one by one. a few other people leave.  People who "got the call."  People who the real go-getter–the first one who left–thought were the best ones to add to this superstar team he was building.  Someone remarked, "I wonder how Chris and Kim feel about not "Getting the call"?  Who’s to say they didn’t, but turned them down?  I should ask Kim. . .
  Everytime one or two people would leave, it would start the rumor mill going again.  But Friday–Friday was the big one.  Four LO’s–four rainmakers–resigned.
  And took fifteen other people with them.
  People were walking around, gathering, and talking.  Usually a sign that something is up, but I didn’t notice.  My computer faces away towards the wall, I’m scanning and listening to the radio with my headphones on.  I live my life oblivious. 
  I get up for some reason and happen to see what’s going on.  Everyone is speaking in hushed tones, and seem to shut up when I draw near.  Are they talking about me?  If not, why are they so quiet?  Why is this a secret for everyone to know but me?
  Eventually I find out a little.  A very little.  It’s almost three, time to go.  Today I heard they had a meeting about it around 4 oclock.  After I leave, of course.
  I talk to some of the young people in "the pit" that I work in–instead of individual cubes, we have a big section with cube walls for all eight of us, because we do similar work.  They do, anyway.  It seems my work is different from theirs and requires little human interaction.  A fucking monkey could my job.  I realized that long ago, and grudgingly accepted it.  However, this morning I had an epiphany:
  For a monkey to do my job, there are special considerations.   A trainer or someone to watch him, and special facilities would require remodelling, not to mention permits within the city limits, and there might be some insurance or liability issues.
  Yes, a monkey could do my job.  The only reason I continue to do this is because, at this point, I remain cheaper than a monkey.  There is not much that is better for a person’s self esteem than knowing you are more cost effective than another primate.
  So I leave for the day.  Before I do, I talk to the other people in the pit.  I said, "Listen, I just want to say that–I hope if the building is ever on fire, someone will tap me on the fucking shoulder and let me know.  No one ever tells me shit.  At any given moment, I have no idea what the fuck is going on.  Can you do that for me?  Please?"  I left.
  So, these are the choices:  I can stay here.  Or I can get a new job.  Well, that’s simple.  Honestly, I may at one point be forced into a new job, via an impersonal layoff.  I swear to God I don’t need much money, but I do need just slightly more than I have. 
  If I stay here, I still have to work all the extra jobs.  But I do get great benefits and holidays and so forth.  Plus, I’m paid more than this job is worth by about 4 bucks an hour.  It leaves me little free time ("What do you need that for, Dude?")
  Getting a new job is a scary prospect, but I’ve done it before.  All I really need is decent money, decent benefits, decent hours.  I’m not asking too much, am I?  I guess ultimately I’d like to not work a second job, and be able to write and perform instead to supplement my income.  Some regular freelance writing for pay would be ideal to the point of giving me wood.  Is it possible?  Is it likely?  Can I make it happen?
  As I said before, I like it here.  But I am not challenged at all.  In fact, what is the opposite of "challenged"?  Plus I barely seem to be getting by, and my self-esteem . . . has left.
  So I can see what’s available here, or look elsewhere.  Maybe a little of both.


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