Endless Reruns

As I get older, I ever more deeply realize that, unless we learn crucial lessons, all anyone ever does is keep repeating the same old mistakes.

Many years ago, I worked for a book bindery. They stopped giving out the perfect attendance bonuses. Then they promoted the alcoholic in my department to manager. The woman who never showed up on Mondays because of her hangovers became my supervisor! When she got promoted, I instantly felt like I was sailing on the Titanic. Just give me an excuse to quit, I thought. A couple months later, they did and I did. I went back to business school. About a year after quitting, a fellow student brought in a newspaper with a two-page spread on this bindery that was going out of business after almost a century in Lansing. My suspicions were validated.

Twenty years later, I am in a similar situation. I was sitting in the break room and the incentives (vouchers for free stuff) were being handed out. I got one and the worst employee in the whole store got two. My respect for the store manager ended at that moment. This employee is never on time, walks away from the cash registers all the time, spends more time than anyone talking, and goes around telling the rest of us how to do our jobs–while not performing his! It was deja vu all over again. I am sailing on the Titanic. The store is only two or three resignations away from closing its doors. One of the cashiers that quit a couple months ago was upset about the unfairness of the way she was being treated. She was correct. Now, all we are doing is training new cashiers so they can work at Burlington or the Meijer next door. Those companies probably love us. People apply there, the background checks have already been done, the applicants already have cashiering experience, and even their low wages are a raise. Everybody wins, except Goodwill.

If the rules don’t apply to everyone, then they apply to no one ever.

What I have learned is that I want to collect unemployment when the Delta store goes belly-up. I don’t need to quit. At this rate, the store won’t survive another couple years anyhow.

Rewarding bad behavior never has a positive outcome. This is Dr. Phil 101. I have read this book before. I know how it ends.

Sometimes, I feel like I am the only person learning. I keep watching others having to learn the same old lessons over and over again. It gets old. Sometimes, this type of stuff makes me feel absolutely ancient.

About cdhoagpurple

I live in Michigan. I was Greek Orthodox (and previously Protestant), but now am more Buddhist than anything. I am single now (through the till-death-do-you-part clause of the marriage contract). My husband Barry was a good man and celebrated 30 years in AA. I am overly educated, with an MBA. My life felt terminally in-limbo while caring for a sick husband, but I am free now. I see all things as being in transition. Impermanence is the ultimate fact of life. Nothing remains the same, good or bad.

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