Well, it's been a while.

Almost five months since my last post. Situations have changed a little bit, too. In February our store got a "Royal Visit" from the regional and district managers. The inspection tour, meant to find anything not being conducted to the highest of Company specs, was passed with flying colors, thus securing our Store Manager's job for at least several more months until the next such visit might occur. Not long after, the twice-yearly event of the assistant managers switching positions occured, meaning we got a different assistant manager over Pets. A few weeks after that, we got rid of our fish tanks, and while I was certainly not sad to see them go, I was not especially happy about having to perform the task of draining the damn things. After that, things pretty well went without much incident. The new Assistant over Pets and other areas had a much different style of management than the previous. And while I like this manager, I don't like the way she manages. I can stand and talk to her quite easily, she's a very nice person and easy to get along with. I just don't like the way she runs the show.

On the other hand, this turned out not to be a problem for long, as a long-held goal of mine was finally reached. Through other personnel shuffling, an opening was about to become available in Toys, a fact I knew was coming for weeks ahead of time. So obviously I was expressing my interest to every relevant manager at every level, with sole exception of the Store Manager himself. I try not to bother him, else he might eat my soul or something. But in the end, the squeaky wheel approach paid off, and I got my wish. I'm now one of the second shift Toys associates. I think it helped that the assistant manager over toys now is the same one who used to be over Pets. She knows my work. Plus I impressed her further by taking it upon myself to cover Toys one night when for some reason or another nobody was scheduled there, after finishing up my own department way early. Nobody told me to go over there and do that, I just did it because I knew it had to be done and I was arguably the best-qualified to do it. And I did it right. This would be the first of two such occasions, the other I was actually told to go over there and work because nobody was there, but the result was the same. Plus I'd had a history anyway of going and helping to finish up fairly often. The good job I did earned me the praises of the one I eventually ended up taking the place of, another factor I think helped push me over the top when the time came for the decision. I had both second shift Toys people championing me as a replacement.

But after actually getting over there, I realized there was one significant problem. I came to work at 4:00. And with a typical load of projects to finish before zoning, I'm right up to the deadline of 6:00 before I can start zoning most of the time, and that's just not enough time. Management gets antsy if Toys isn't pretty damn close to finished before 9:00, and on an average night it's just not possible for one person to get most or all of the department finished in less than three hours. My personal best is about four, and that's under totally ideal conditions. Second shift in Toys, me or anybody else, really needs to get in at 2:00 in order to finish projects early enough to get the time needed for zoning. The only upside is that management understands this, and apparently doesn;t think I'm just lazing around over there all night until they have to send me help. I've talked about this subject directly with the assistant manager over me, and she seems to understand that I'm giving my all over there every night but that it's just a really, really formidable task for even the best workers. Even my predecessor, who is very well regarded as a hard worker probably wouldn't be able to pull it off under the conditions I'm often faced with. Such realizations have made me feel better about the whole thing. That and reassurance that a third person will be added to the department, at which point we can start playing with scheduling to get the best effect out of everybody. My ideal result would be a four day week for each of us, where we all do 2-11 closing shifts, and equivalent opening shifts on the weekend as applicable (likely 8-5). It'd make everything go so much smoother.


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