The workplace always allows for a vast array of characters. Like I have told you before, I found a job, very unexpectedly, working in the local True Value Hardware Store. After my first ten weeks at the store, the management was all over me to get the special monogrammed shirts with the store name upon the left breast with my name on the right. I was very reluctant to do so because I believed that I would be there less than ninety days.
Today marks the first day of year four.
The store is divided into two departments: hardware and lumber. I work as the paint manager. This means that I order and maintain the department. When I was hired it came as a complete surprise to them that I knew all that I knew regarding paints and coatings in general. When I applied for a job there I dumbed down my application just to find a job. Any job. They hired me to stock shelves and act as a cashier. It was only later that they discovered that I worked over twenty years formulating and color matching inks, stains, paints and most other coatings. So now I considered as the "Paint guy."
There are three others beside me that are on the full time roster. Larry, the hardware manager, Cheryl, an associate, and Dave. aka Barney Fife.
Dave is the stereotypical small guy. He wants to be the big guy. He always sucks up to the hardware manager and up to the store manager like an Eddie Haskel. When the store needed someone to step up and become the store "safety" guy, Dave was there. And that's when Barney emerged.
"Well," he sniffed. "They're really gonna take safety serious now."
He proceeded to take the job on like a crusader for Christ.
"If everyone wants to think of me as an asshole, that's okay. Everyone at the last place I worked thought I was an asshole too. They just didn't want to do things the way that they should be done."
He often seeks me out as a sounding board. Based on many of my responses I don't know why he keeps coming back.
"Dave, I said, taking a slow breath. As I see it, your job is to attend the safety meeting each month, gather the safety material, return to the store and disseminate the information to the department heads and let them police their people. But if you want to stand as some legislator of safety and act as the safety police, I can't see taking joy in people thinking that you suck. Its not that they think you suck because you're so good at your job, it's because you really suck."
"Like I was saying, Dave continues. If I see someone doing something that they shouldn't be doing, then I think that they should be written up. Second offense, disciplined. Third, dismissed. Let go."
O boy. Let the entertainment begin!