Friday, November 16, 2012

The R Word and the Day I Nearly Lost My Job

Let me start this post by saying I used to tell people I didn't have a problem with the R word. You know the one, rhymes with guard.

Well I found out a few days ago I have a real problem with it. I still say I don't have a problem with the word used in a clinical setting to describe the proper condition. Mind you I still bristle a little at it being used as for Tommy, because it won't fit properly once he can tell us what he knows.

Anyway on to the real story.... At work there is a young kid (well he told me once he's 25), but he's still a young kid. Let's call him Mumbles. He and I don't necessarily get along well, but he stepped way over a line. Before we start work we do a little stretching and whatnot.

We were doing that as our supervisor was handing out some of our daily paperwork. Supervisor guy said something that I felt needed a wise ass remark (hey it's what I do, especially at 5:30 in the morning). My remark led to some sniping back and forth between Mumbles and I. Fine whatever it's a warehouse this happens, no biggie. Well after our stretch and meeting are done I go over and bring some carts. Quick job overview basically what I do consists of filling big totes of food, putting the totes onto carts, which loaders then put on trucks.

So anyway I come into the cooler and see Mumbles peeling load stickers and filling his rate sheet. (That's how they track our productivity). I look down the aisle in the cooler and see that I won't be able to pull the carts where they need to go because there are six or so pallets of totes blocking everything. My mood of being a little aggravated shoots up a couple notches.

Still no big deal but since I am already angry I jump on Mumbles... "Why are you peeling stickers when we can't work until those pallets are moved. How stupid can you be to not notice them, or are you just being lazy."

He came back at me, funny thing I don't even remember what he said here just that it certainly didn't defuse my anger. We continue going back and forth only now I had to step off my tugger (The machine we use to pull our carts) and get the pallet jack and move stuff. Seriously angry now. Probably continuing to chew his ass out more than I need to, but I am pissed.

So I'm pulling a pallet along wondering aloud how he can breathe and walk at the same time, when he drops the bomb. The R word. Ok, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

Why did he have to go there.

Verbatim this is what he said. "Mike, don't be a retard like your son."

I drop the handle on the pallet jack take about a step and a half to close the 10 feet between us to about two. "What did you say? What the F (Oh I used the whole word) did you just say?" He repeats it, thus ensuring I was right he had just laid that word down. "Don't ever let me hear you say that word, ever again!!!!!" I was hot.

My hands were at my sides but my fists were clenched and ready. "Mike are you going to stop trying to intimidate me so we can get to work. Because if you strike me you will be fired."

What kind of weasel says strike in that context, anyway. Say hit. Let me tell you it took everything I had to keep from "striking" him.

Even now a week and a half later my fists clench as I write the story. I almost wish I had hit him, if for no other reason than when I got home and told the story to Traci, Tommy became visibly upset. I let it go that day, should have turned around and went right to my boss, but I did tell him and HR the next day.

Mumbles still hasn't apologized, further proof he is a little boy not a man. A man would nut up and say hey what I said about your son I'm sorry. So ultimately, I guess I do mind the R word. I mind it very much.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Still Alive...

Just wanted to say, I'm not dead just been seriously busy. Have a post or two on the way soon.