Archive for the 'karma' Category

Karma Police – This Is What You Get..

Long time readers of this blog will recall that I used to go to work and in that workplace there were some.. hmm.. how shall we put this.. people who didn’t treat me too nicely. Which was odd, given I was the Boss’s Daughter. I mean that’s a pretty bad career move, one would have thought. But for those who haven’t been long time readers, here’s a bit of history so you can understand Karma in action.. this post will be long, my apologies in advance.

One staff member who I nicknamed Birdsnest NEVER spoke to me – no hello in the morning, no conversation during the day, no goodbye at night. That would not have bothered me, had it not been combined with a few other factors -

- That whenever my Dad left the store she and several of the other staff would congregate around a desk, chat with each other, and ignore the customers. I was forced to watch customers walk out without being served and I could do nothing about it.

- That she washed her hair once a week and on the days in between she would not even brush it, she would just put it into a pony tail. Can you say skanky? It looked bad but it smelt even worse when you got up close – cigarette smoke mainly but sometimes with a hint of I don’t even want to know what. When you’re serving customers personal hygiene is a *little* bit important.

- That she was running several at home businesses (catalogs, party plans) and that she would use the phones at work to call her customers and on occasion she would get them to come and pick up the goods from in the shop – an absolute no-no and against her terms of employment.

- That she would deliberately steal sales from the other staff members. There’s a simple rule – if a customer walks in and says “I saw (staff member) and I want to buy one of these” you write the sale up in the name of (staff member). If the customer comes in and says “I was in speaking to (staff member) but I’d like more info” and you spend a significant amount of time with them, its now your sale. Birdsnest was the only member of staff who never followed this rule – and the other staff often would not know she had stolen their sales.

- That one of the staff’s husband went away for an overseas tour of duty, and that girl began hanging around with Birdsnest, going out at night, partying – and soon she stopped speaking to me entirely unless it was necessary. Which did not go down well with me – we’d got along fine previously and I hadn’t done anything to deserve that (which she has admitted since).

- That she befriended one of the very young and impressionable girls who worked in the shop and started taking her out partying at night – and that girl soon stopped speaking to me also, previously we had got along very well. I could see a pattern here.

- That my parents and I would argue about *all* of the above, and they would tell me to let it go off my back like water off a duck and not pay any attention to it. Much easier said than done.

Now I’m not going to pretend like I was a perfect person during all of this. If she were writing this, I’m sure she would come up with a list of things that I did wrong and it would have a lot more things on it than what I’m about to say I did wrong, I’m sure.

- When I realized she was not going to speak to me, my attitude towards her could be called frosty at best, disapproving at worst. I had no respect for her, a 40 year old woman with two kids who acted like a teenager and a spoilt brat.

- When she did things wrong, I marked it down on my mental note card, and you can bet I brought all those things out during the arguments with my parents. I allowed these things to add up to the point that had she suddenly decided to treat me nicely, I would not have been able to return that niceness.

- I was not the only person who was upset by the ignoring customers etc, and when other staff complained to me about it, I cut them off and encouraged them to speak to the boss and tell them how it made them feel – I made it clear I was not there to pass their messages about being upset on to the boss for them however these all got added to my mental notecard as well and brought out – I should not have done that.

- Once, in a post I called her a skanky ho here on the blog, but two weeks later after THREE weeks of those braids not being washed and absolutely feeling sick to the stomach from the stench of three weeks worth of cigarette smoke – you cannot imagine the smell and everywhere in the store I went I could smell it, she was finally called into the office and TOLD to wash her hair before returning to work.. She complained about this in front of me and when she walked away I called her a skanky ho to other people – not to her face. She’d pushed me to my limit that day. I honestly would have preferred to say it to her face, but my parents would have deaded me. The message did get back to her, though.

The whole episode came to a fiery blowup in September when the younger girl who she had befriended hung around a rep that was in the store all day ignoring the other customers in order to get some sales from the rep and there was this big blowup over a sale she stole from one of the other girls – and I did not stop myself from saying what I really thought when she came to me looking for sympathy. All I said was “If it were your sale, your name would be on the invoice”. But it was enough to cause her to have a major meltdown.

After that I stuck it out for a little bit longer, before fizzling out to a quiet end in October last year – a quiet end which I never blogged about, but one day it all just got to be too much, and when the other half and I came home at lunch time I simply could not stop the tears, and decided I never wanted to go back. This resulted in the other half calling my parents to tell them I wasn’t coming back and he needed a bit of time but he’d be back later that day.

Within minutes the parents turned up here, there was a quite unpleasant confrontation where they kept telling me I should just let it go off my back like water off a duck, again, and I kept saying it wasn’t fair to ask me to do that and they should sort things out within the store. In the end they decided the best thing to do for the time being was for me to stay home and for them to help us out financially in order to do that – which they have done, they pay our rent.

Really I have never been happy with this outcome – I enjoyed my job, and I felt like they should have stood up for me because all I was doing was going to work and trying to do my job in quite unpleasant circumstances. To add insult to serious injury my mother keeps asking me “Do you think you’ll get a job”. When she does that I have to firmly hold onto my temper and try not to remind her that I had a perfectly good one, it’s just that the employers were stupid.

On the other hand, it has enabled me to do a lot of things I really wanted to do, like read more blogs, comment on blogs, and work on my own blog. I really have no desire to go back to work anytime soon, and am considering my own starting a business options – if we move where I want to live I have a few pretty good ideas.. we’ll see.

So finally Karma has caught up with Birdsnest – as it always inevitably does. If you have doubted that Karma is real and that it exists doubt no more. But also be aware that I get all of this third hand, so I’m not 100% sure on the details of some parts of this.

After I left the workplace Birdsnest has been quite nasty to the other half – he’s still had to go to work and deal with her. For months now he and several other staff members have been hoping, wishing and possibly quietly praying that she would leave.

Birdsnest met a new man who lived about an hours drive away from here. After a couple of weeks she moved in with him. I will not comment! Driving between there and here, she was caught doing over 120kms in a 80km section of road. When they told me which section of road I honestly believe she is lucky she was not in a major car accident – it’s a curvy windy stretch of road where 80 is possibly too fast for most cars.

Not long after that, she was in a serious car accident where she ran the BMW of the new man into the rear end of the car in front of her – what caused this? She was looking at a wedding dress in a shop window and didn’t see the car in front had stopped. The car was apparently not able to be repaired. I’m sure this did not go down well – especially as it was a company car.

I’m not sure what the laws are here but I suspect she didn’t just get charged with speeding for the first incident. I would suggest she may have been charged with reckless driving and that is why she had to attend court. She’s been thinking for the last few weeks that she would be able to charm them into allowing her to keep her license – and she failed. They took her license away, for how long I’m not certain. So today she had to resign because she will no longer be able to drive to work.

Me, I forgot about her for the most part after leaving work. I didn’t have to deal with her and out of sight, out of mind. But there were some days when the other half came home angry or upset about things she’d done and I know the other staff have still had issues with her. My mother has been quietly angry with her since I left but has had to tolerate her and pretend to be nice – something my mother is excellent at. The other half said he and my parents had trouble hiding their happiness at the news she is leaving.

Upon hearing this news, I felt pretty much nothing for the most part – if I had to put a word to it I would call it content. I have no wish to gloat – though the thought of dropping in and congratulating her on losing her license did cross my mind momentarily -but I feel very happy for the staff and I really am hopeful this will mark the beginning of a more positive workplace for all of them.

Karma. Or why it’s bad to be bad.

In my work life, I’ve had to work for people who weren’t related to me from time to time. Working in family businesses does a couple of things for you.

- You tend to work a lot harder overall, because you’ve got a personal stake in the outcome
- You generally trust the people you’re working with because they are family
- You get out of the habit of watching your back because you feel (right or wrong) that your family has it covered for you.

I started out working for family when I was 13. That continued until I was 20, when the family business was sold. A manager who was not related to me was put in. I soon found he was a smarmy evil person only interested in career advancement. I was sent into the head office for 6 weeks, then sent back to my old store where he was now the manager. My first Saturday working for him, he sent me home to get changed. At head office, the staff were all told to wear jeans and a t-shirt for weekend trading, to make the customers feel more at home. He did not believe in this view. I returned dressed like I was about to take over the Presidency of the USA. And I took my time about it, because he’d made me very angry.

Working for him was not very much fun. He was the biggest ass kisser I ever met to anyone above him but the staff below he treated like dirt. He forgot the rule of do what you’re told.. He was fired soon after I told head office about the Saturday thing – several months later during a training session. I actually was kind of joking about it, but I’d made very good friends with the main boss and he had sent out a memo about this Saturday thing stating the dress code, and he was NOT happy with this manager going against his express wishes.

The second boss I had who wasn’t family didn’t know who I was when he hired me. My Dad had actually given *his* Dad a start in the industry. After sitting down and filling out the paperwork, I thanked him for hiring me even though I was the daughter of… The look on his face was horror. He said “Excuse me” and ran off to call his Dad right away. When he came back he had clearly been told that he couldn’t fire me having just hired me, so he was all nice again. He’d already made the decision to keep me on a couple of weeks then get rid of me. Two weeks later, I was politely shown the door. Two months later, his store figures were terrible, and he was replaced by head office with a new person not related to him in any way. He ended up going back to his Dad’s store with his tail between his legs.

What he didn’t know was, I was always loyal to my employer, just like I was loyal to any family employer. I think that was the major concern – I had several family members working for opposition stores. Whether he thought I was going to “steal” information or something, I don’t know but he misjudged me completely and karma bit him in the ass for acting like an asshole, not just to me but to many other people.

I wasn’t out of work for long. The next place I went to was a mobile phone store. I’d always sold mobile phones and had in fact won many awards from Telstra (our major phone company) for being mystery shopped in the past. The store I went to work for was a Telstra store. There’s about 200 of them in this country, they’re everywhere. This one was owned by a family business but they also had several other Telstra stores around the country, so I was in a store with a manager.

Managers can be excellent, or not. This one seemed to think every day was time for him to take time off without ever telling anyone where he was going. He’d open the store in the morning and then go out for coffee and a cigarette. That generally took an hour, putting him back in the store around 10am, where he would get on the phone and sound intelligent for all of 15 minutes, at which point he would duck out for morning tea coffee and a cigarette. This event usually lasted between 1-2 hours, at which point it was time for lunch. Lunch led into afternoon tea. He’d return to the store about 5pm for closing and general staff chit chat. By the end of the day he would have spent maybe 2 hours in the store, if we were lucky.

I worked pretty hard there, and the deal was you worked for three months full time on probation without being paid your commission. When they ended your probation, you were back paid all the commission. I had racked up a princely sum (especially for mobile phone sales, where you get maybe $5 per phone) which was enough to put a deposit on a house. Over $10,000.

The day came for the ending of the probation, and I was told that things weren’t working out, and they would not be employing me further. I felt like I had been hit with a truck. What was worse, was the guy LIED, saying he’d discussed issues with me. He’d barely discussed the *weather* with me, ever. He was never in the store long enough! I was so angry. He told me I was no good at my job blah blah blah. I left completely shattered.

However I did get a nice new shiny job earning a lot more $$$ working for Telstra who at the time were an excellent employer. He did not fare so well. The family behind the business decided to sell all their stores except the one he was in. They moved their head office into that store. That guy can’t even go to the toilet without it being noted now. No all day long coffee breaks, no long lunches, and he has to actually work!

Some months later a very good friend of mine at Telstra went to work for the same company. I warned him and told him what happened to me, in fact I begged him not to go there. He was a fantastic salesperson and worth much more than they would pay him. After three months, he was also told seeya later, he got in touch with me, we found out this was actually something they did to a LOT of people in order to make more money. My friend reported them, last I heard they were being investigated for several things. I should have sued to get that commission. He did get his, after taking them to court.

I do believe that Karma does come back to bite people in the rear eventually. Sometimes it might not be in this lifetime. I’ve not been a perfect person in my life and I have seen the Karma due to me actually come to me in some of the things I have been through.

I really wish that more of us explained the concept of Karma to our kids, because maybe there would be a little less unpleasantness, a little less bullying, a little less of the things that go on in school. Many of the people who were unpleasant to me in school have seen that Karma come back to them and I am sure if they knew then what they know now.. they would have chosen a different path. I would have chosen differently myself.