Sunday, November 06, 2005

Can't depend on anyone these days...

- I don't regret taking that promotion to management a few months ago, but man does it ever have its drawbacks. Foremost among them is my disillusionment with the majority of my theatre's staff members. Problems that would have seemed miniscule to me back when I was a staff member have become glaring. The issues have been there all along, far as I can tell, but the difference is that I can no longer ignore them. When someone continually shows up late for a shift, I have to deal with it. When someone consistently wants to take off on Saturday (as a rule, our busiest day) I have to convince him to change his mind. Or at least TRY to convince him. The problem I have with so many of my staff members is that they're so damn ungenerous. They whine and whine about how they don't make any money, how we don't give them enough benefits, and waa waa waa. But they don't really want to work unless it's on their terms. They want a 40-hour work week, but they don't want to work the peak hours. They want to be scheduled, but they can't be bothered to keep busy when they're on the clock. Perhaps they didn't get the memo, but working a service-oriented job like this is about being a member of a team. On a team, you have to think of everyone, and it's about give and take. Which does NOT mean that everyone can keep taking without giving anything. Because the giving has to come from somewhere, and more often than not it comes from me and the other two managers. And frankly, I'm getting sick of it. Something is wrong when I get annoyed just from SEEING almost every single person on the staff. I'm working on hiring some new people, but until that time I can't get rid of the old ones, barring any really problematic behavior (stealing, etc). And we really need to get some people out of there- one of the most popular staff members among his peers is a lazy, whiny asswipe who flaunts the rules and regularly guilt-trips managers, trying to make them feel bad for disciplining him. Yet this same non-worker is beloved by most of the other staff members, to the point where if we let them vote for staff member of the month, he'd be a shoo-in. I'm also reckoning with the conflicting impulses which are inherent in a job like this- I want to be a nice guy (I'd like to think I am a nice guy), but I also need to be a good manager, commanding respect and not allowing staff members to walk all over me. ARGH!

- Work isn't all bad, I suppose. Last night, we were paid a visit by none other than Tommy "Tiny" Lister, who was in Akron making a personal appearance and came to see a movie afterwards. I saw that he was here, but was inclined to leave him alone until he and his manager approached me and asked if they could have something sent to our fax machine. Naturally I said yes, and after the fax came through I took the liberty of asking for his autograph. Turns out that earlier that day I impulse-bought a copy of JACKIE BROWN (it was on sale), and since he's in that awesome movie playing Max Cherry's assistant Winston, I couldn't not ask. He was pretty cool in person- a big guy, as you might expect, but soft spoken and genial. The biggest surprise was that he wears glasses, which I guess shouldn't be a surprise since he is cross-eyed, but it was still a little odd to see. He signed for some of the other staff members and got a picture with my boss, whose head came up to Tiny's chest.

- Ladies and gents, the battle rages on. It's Irony vs. Sincerity- the Merchandising Years! In this corner, wearing the white trunks... Mr. Dick Van Patten! And in this corner, wearing the blue trunks, the People's Champ... Mr. Vincent Gallo! Who will win? My money's on the spooge.

- I took the GRE on Monday, and now that it's over my mind is at ease. I did well (610 verbal, 760 math, with writing results to come), but I really had to work for this. I took a fair number of practice tests to prepare for this, as well as checking a bagful of GRE-prep books out of the library. Remember when I could do well on the SAT and ACT without breaking a sweat? That was awesome. I guess it's like when you don't lift weights for a long time, and then you have to pick up something heavy- the muscles are still there, but you haven't used them and they're out of shape. That's how I felt during the test. Ah well, glad it's over. Now I can move on to applications. Oh yeah, I decided to apply to film school after all. If I don't get in, I'll try again next year.

6 comments:

Joseph said...
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Lee Walker said...

I think you have the "irony" and "sincerity" links backwards.

Also, you should stop trying to be friends with your loser employees and be more like Mr. "Don't gimme no backtalk, sucka" T.

Also, you should post more about instant road repair. Especially the buying and selling thereof.

Paul C. said...

D'oh. You're right about the links. I'll adjust accordingly.

Also, I'm often tempted to yell out "stop whining! You lack discipline!" in my best Arnold voice.

Lee Walker said...

You didn't have to change the links, bud. I was simultaneously being ironic and sincere.

Paul C. said...

Yes, but at the same time, better to be simultaneously ironic AND sincere, by keeping the wording more ambiguous.

I'm still trying to figure out what a Chinese blogger's site getting shut down has to do with instant road repair. Or was that meant to be ironic?

Champaign American said...

Don't try to be the "nice guy" manager. You'll get screwed every time..Trust me, as an HR manager I see it every day. Your logic is very good on that. Consistency is key.

By the way good GRE score...