Monthly Archives: August 2010

Incompetent Employees

The following hypothesis might explain why an employee at a bathing suit store recently asked me, as I was perusing a rack of bathing suits, if I was shopping for a bathing suit.

I have mentioned before that I got fired when I was fifteen from an athletic shoe store. The manager told me that I wasn’t outgoing enough. If I’d had the balls I have today I’d have asked him to compare my sales numbers with my co-workers’, but maybe that’s just because in my older years I’ve come to enjoy making people uncomfortable.

I bring up the fact that I was canned to express frustration over how many people DON’T get canned for doing really, really bad work. I can’t tell you the number of times I have seen how shoddily a co-worker has performed their duties only for them to skim under the radar or get lucky time and time again with the lack of oversight from their supervisors.

My husband and I have talked about this at length and have come to the conclusion that most people are fairly incompetent. That is, most can DO their jobs, but few can do it very well. Just think of all the companies you’ve done business with to order an item, retrieve information or request a service only to have the employees seriously fail to do what is very likely their only job description.

In most places of work there is a three-month probation period that I have yet to see taken advantage of. I don’t know if bosses hate the hiring process so much that they just let it go and hope the idiot employee just gets better, or if they are so incompetent themselves that they don’t see it in someone else. I would venture that it’s a combination of both, plus the embarrassment at having to admit they’d wasted company resources hiring and training said idiot due to a serious lack of good judgment. Anyway, it’s unfair for all those people who need jobs and can work well.

I think a lot of people fall into jobs out of pure chance or necessity and perhaps weren’t created specifically for it. In fact, I would call that the majority given the number of people I have met who would say they are not working in their dream job. This isn’t a particularly bad thing. However, it becomes a terrible waste when a person lacks the work ethic and integrity to at least make their best effort on the job.

I know the reason many people keep their jobs or get promoted despite not being good in the first place is often because they are either well-liked, or because they are unethical. Being popular and/or having no scruples often does wonders for one’s career.

I would switch with Stephenie Meyer any day. That is, mine isn’t my dream job. But I hope that most days I come into work I take pride in what I do, both for my own fulfillment and for the satisfaction of those who pay me well to do it. I don’t want anybody saying “CRACKERS, that Laura sucks ASS” behind my back, because if they did then I’d have to take a good long look at how grateful I am for having a job at all.

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Indignant Smokers

This may be the rantingest rant I’ve ever ranted. So help me, today I HAD HAD ENOUGH AND I DON’T CARE WHO I OFFEND. A warning, I am using expletives.

We live in a townhouse with units on either side of us. The only windows in our place are at the front and the back. The woman on one side smokes, mostly in the front. About a year ago when I had my baby, my husband and I moved our bedroom to the back side of the house to avoid the smoke seeping in at all hours of the day and night. My daughter was still sleeping in our room and I couldn’t have her breathing in that stuff under an open window (which we couldn’t close because it was uncomfortably hot last summer and fans just didn’t cut it). I woke up very early in the morning days later to smell smoke in our room. Alarmed, I stuck my head out the window and saw my neighbour smoking in her backyard. I was irate. We had MOVED OUR ROOM to get away from her smoke.

Pissed off, I wrote a letter. Yes, I took the pussy way out, but I don’t care. Because, you see, smokers should know that their smoke carries much farther than they think. My neighbour should be especially privy to this given that every time she lights up she must hear the SLAM! of our windows sliding shut. So, I didn’t think I owed it to her to talk to her face to face. Plus, I didn’t think I could keep my cool.

I asked her if she could relegate her smoking to the front of the house only. I told her that I had moved our bedroom because of her and that I couldn’t have my infant daughter breathing that in. Surely, she understood. And so I thought she did. She never mentioned it, but to my knowledge she didn’t smoke in the back again.

Until today.

I’m sitting in my living room at the back of the house and I smell the telltale odor. I run over to shut the window. I look outside and see my neighbour, smoking in her backyard. What the hell?

Oh, did I mention that last week we got new neighbours on the OTHER side of us and the man of the house smokes out back, too? So, I can’t open my windows in the front OR the back of my house? In the middle of summer? I’m getting that crap in my house all day every day from all sides? This is BULLSHIT.

My husband is not put out like I am. Like most former or current smokers, my husband either can’t smell it or it doesn’t bother him. Plus, he doesn’t think it’s all that bad to breathe in when it’s so dispersed. After all, people used to smoke around their children all the time, back in the dark ages. I was clearly making a big deal out of absolutely nothing.

So I wrote a letter to both neighbours asking them both to kindly only smoke at the front of the house. I will, with great annoyance, surrender the use of my windows at the front SO LONG AS THE BACK IS FREE AND CLEAR OF THAT DISGUSTING SHIT.

I should NOT have to suck back somebody else’s bad habit in the comfort of my own home. Several people have told me that I’m in the wrong because it’s a smoker’s right to smoke on their property. Well, smart asses, I also have a right NOT to be subjected to smoke. My neighbours are FORCING me to smoke. So whose right supercedes whose? MINE DOES. I wish caps could emphasize just how loudly I’m making this point. You have the right to shoot a gun, too, but not AT me. What about my right not to suffer ill effects from your poor choice?

I understand it’s hard to quit smoking, but that’s not my point here, so don’t comment about how hard done by smokers are, or how terrible it is that they can’t go anywhere. I also don’t dislike smokers. My position is that smokers need to be considerate of the people around them and stop having such an indignant entitlement complex that tells them they have a right to impose noxious fumes on me and my baby daughter.

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