Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Moving Forward

Sometimes things happen.

If you read my previous post, you know I was without transportation at the end of last week. I discovered that I would be without my car late Thursday afternoon, while at work, a 20 minute highway drive from home.

I had also just recieved a phone call from a sales exec, who needed something delivered to a client.

My job requires a bit of work with clients outside our office, so there's a vehicle available to my department. I have, in the past, taken that vehicle home--I have had to go on early morning events at businesses close to my house, and it just made things easier.

Sounds logical, right?

On Thursday night, I went to my manager, and explained the situation. I said that my van was not ready. I told him that I would take our van, drop the item off at a client's business, then go home with the vehicle, and bring it back the next morning.

He sighed, then said OK.

Friday morning I had a panic attack. I thought someone had broken into the van. Even though there was nothing in the van worth stealing (I had cleaned it out Thursday night), I just had this unreasonable fear. I looked out the window, and there was nothing wrong with the van that I could see.

Of course, I could only see one side.

When I got dressed and went out to go to work, I saw that someone had smashed the drivers's side window.

I don't wish the panic I had on anyone.

I called my boss, who also panicked. Only his panic had denial written all over it. He went to his boss, and told him what happened. But he left out one part.

The part where he told me it was ok to do this.

And I let him.

It actually took two conversations with people outside of my business to get me to realize I didn't do anything wrong. By that time, I had spent much of the day in a downward spiral of dread and panic.

What would happen to me? My kids? My life?

At the end of the day, my manager called me into his office.

My manager--Al--has been my friend far longer than he has been my manager. Twenty-eight months ago, my appendix burst. While I was in the hospital, my house was foreclosed. My wife was deep into drug and alcohol addiction, and was smoking and drinking away most of our money. Twenty-seven months ago, Al was one of a handful of people who helped me move over a weekend that saw a foot of snow fall during zero degree temperatures. He spent a weekend carrying stuff for me in freezing temperatures while I mainly stood around and watched.

He took the manager's position sort of out of default. The increase in salary was nice, but it required a lot of sacrifice...mostly, spending a large amount of time with the division manager, who would yell at him because our department wasn't making money, then turn around and give our department's services away for free to entice clients to use us.

His job is a friction point. He is grease. He lives his working life in fear of getting fired. Al is married with three kids.

Al told me that at the beginning of the day, I was going to be fired. He spent the entire day working with his manager, and with the corporate personnel office, working the employee handbook, reasoning with people.

Now, he told me, I was not going to be fired.

I was only going to be suspended for two days.

I was fully aware that Al's motives were at least partly self-serving. He was covering his ass. He let me use the van. If they tried to fire me, I would tell them Al had given me permission.

But Al was helping me out by doing that. And it's not his fault that we work in such a fucked-up environment. In many companies, the reaction would be "That's why we have insurance," and we would have all gone on with our lives.

Two days without pay. And I will be paying $735 for my van. And I'm moving again in a month.

I weighed all these things as I looked at the paper I was to sign.

"I'll sign it," I told him. "But between you and me: You gave me permission."

He nodded.

I'll be working his ass of when I move next month.



Blogger Jessica said...

I'll never understand why bad things happen to good people.

12:38 AM  
Blogger Timmy said...

what a messed up situation. know that it will only make you a stronger person!

12:08 PM  
Blogger mal said...

that is a seriously C.S. corporate environment.

You are right, most places would have just sighed and said thats why we have insurance. Also, in this case taking the company van home was a convenience for the company since dropping it would have required you to return to the office on company time.

I really hate pointy hair bosses (if you read Dilbert)

3:14 PM  
Blogger Dear Lovey Heart said...

I am sorry, keep on trekkin my friend, you are in my thoughts

9:05 PM  
Blogger Notsocranky Yankee said...

Wow, when it rains it pours. I'm sure something good will happen soon to offset these things. You know, karma....Hang in there!

11:52 AM  
Blogger Guy Wonders said...

You're gonna have a lot of lemonade to drink at your place, once you get finished with all those lemons . . .

11:42 AM  
Blogger elaine said...

*sends cyber hugs*

(cash would be better, I know but I don't have any myself)

Piracy is the only option.

4:55 AM  
Blogger Rowena said...

God, what a horrible situation BP. And it didn't have to be like that - what's so hard about getting insurance on a van? It's bizarre that they didn't have any.

Hope you are ok x

11:10 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

shitty situation man. sucks your boss did that, but you will have labor for the move. work his ass off man.

and i think you set a record being spammed by the same spammer twice.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Actually, he's hit me up four times now.


4:32 PM  
Blogger United We Lay said...

NEVER sign anything you don't agree with. Though, I guess that's easier when you don't have a morgage or children to take care of. I'm sorry all this happened to you. If there's anything I can do, even if it's just to offer moral support, please let me know.

4:41 PM  
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9:07 PM  

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