For the sake of preserving anyone's dignity involved in this, I won't name names or point fingers at specific persons, places, or things. However, there's a lot of people I love here, and with the devotion I put towards my job, I felt like I'd just put this out here.
For almost a year now, I've been working at a retail establishment as a salesperson. I've weathered plenty of turmoil, I've met some great people, and I've proven that I'm worth a damn. I've ascended from part-time to full-time recently, and I've garnered more and more responsibility and ambition along the way. Having just gotten out of college, I've kept it in the back of my head that this is not a career path, and I've been hanging in there.
Past my optimism, the sensation of intolerance has been growing insidiously. In short, I feel like I'm trapped in some kind of warped hybrid of Glengarry Glen Ross: rampant sniveling and opportunism, with the added insult of high-school-level archetypes who gossip and deceive. Lying through my teeth and playing the role of con artist to impressionable clientele to help achieve "the bonus." Leadership of which I've never seen in such an aberrant and unlikable manner, bullies and sociopaths who masturbate to the idea of perfection and financial gain.
They represent a gamut of personally deplorable qualities: a douchebag who never assimilated his flippancy into a tolerable, mature skin. Someone who's probably a nice guy, but has a hot-and-cold persona that's impossible to decode or tolerate. Another who abides the rules strictly but is insufferable in how he does it.
A few exceptions aside, my co-workers are a motley crew whose success is only skin deep and have no other ambition other than to make a living through sniveling and opportunism. One of them in particular is a comically aloof schmooze who plays like a human ED-209, a bull in a china shop that management loves so much that they forgive his pettiness because he makes the store money. Another is a good-hearted milquetoast who takes off one weekend a month to LARP. There's a few wide-eyed college kids, much like I was at first, who see it as a stepping stone but don't muster the enthusiasm the powers that be want, leaving my charismatic self to talk sense into them.
Recently, my dislike of it all has been awakened by a number of events and behaviors: increasingly condescending delivery of comments and tasks, idle threats, purported sexual harassment, desperation that ends up equating to poor business ethic, and more. A manager who's since left wanted to fire me in my first month because I didn't mesh well with him and had a different way of processing my job. Four months later, he still supposedly complained about me as "some new guy," then complained about how a pickup slip wasn't taped to something.
My response: "Are you saying I'm losing my touch over a piece of paper?"
This was management's golden boy, a spoiled brat who might as well benefited from nepotism. Easily the John Williamson of the whole thing, but now he's gone.
Another moment involved one of my other managers moping that a co-worker had sold a customer a lesser item than he should have over "the bonus," when they should have viewed it as inching closer towards a long-term goal.
Several employees have begun wearing Members Only-esque zip-up sweatshirts that have "The New Jersey Shore" on them, as if you'd want to be associated with planning in acronyms and fist-pumping debauchery.
The biggest clench, however, is that this month, management has decided to have a free-for-all sales "competition" where the highest sales of one of four teams will get a free lunch, which is after repeated ploys by them that we're not in a "commission-based" environment and "in this together" and using nonstop sports analogies. Today, one of the only co-workers I fully trust, and who's become a close friend, put in their two weeks' notice over the mockery and unprofessional demeanor they showed. I still need to find out the full story, but it involved denying a promotion when one wasn't being sought. That was the breaking point, which was met with a "you don't have to do this" response.
Mind you, this is probably great training for the real world, but I'm not in a shark tank yet. I'm in a small-time community pool that hasn't been cleaned, hinging on a green tint and filled with dead leaves and bugs. The management all came from a company that went out of business in the past few years, and the cracks show deep and clear. I've played this game, and I'm amazed at how much shit I've taken. The reality is, it's not a career choice for me. I'm only in it for the money, yet at the cost of sacrificing so much time that I could be writing during. That's where I want to succeed, and I'm struggling to not let this farce cut into that. At the very least, this will be easy to spin into my creativity, but at the moment, I'm burned out, and I'm at a loss at where to make myself feel cohesive.
Management keeps talking about how they want to have a meeting on professionalism. That's why I went to college, asshole.