What a difference four years makes…

And I’m not referring to politics!  Isn’t that amazing?  Nope, I’m referring to the whole “time-of-life” thing this time around.  Four years ago, I was contemplating turning 17… I had just gotten my first job (in November of the previous year… Subway), I was about to get my driver’s liscence, and I thought I was to cool for my dorky parents.  Turns out that four years later I would be working for my third employer, I would be on my second car (with two accidents on my record),  and I would be realizing just how much I am, in fact, like my parents.  In those same four years, Iraq has changed leadership, the President of the USA has gone from being one of the most respected individuals in the nation to one of the most hated, the price of oil has doubled, and the minimum wage has gone up $1.10 an hour.  What a difference four years makes…

So… at my current employer (for the record, dog’s and bullseyes don’t mix), they like to give the employees… uhm… TEAM MEMBERS (peons) the feeling that the giant nipple in the sky (otherwise known as “the Corporation”) is watching out for their feelings.  To accomplish this sense of self-esteem, every year they pass out opinion surveys… surveys with questions like “How much do you agree with the following statement?  ‘My supervisor is fair'”.  Well, that was two months ago.  Today, I found out that they actually compiled the answers into percentages of “favorable response”, “unfavorable response”, and “neutral”, and want to hear specific feedback from the grunts Team Members about those answers so that they can improve them.  Sounds nice, right?  Well, it is… provided that nobody’s mouth has a death wish for their career.

So, they seperated four of us from the herd and rounded us up into a little room for their experimental group therapy.  So, the HR manager at my store would tell us one of the questions from the survey, what the store overall thought, and what we thought specifically… thereby giving us an opportunity to give specific feedback to the store leadership.  Now, I will say that my mouth has mellowed a tad with my age (not that you would ever know it from reading my blog), and being at the staunch age of 20 (almost 21) I can tell anyone with impunity that every time I open my mouth, my foot usually flies in to fill up the open space.  However, one of my coworkers has failed to learn this knowledge.  One of my fellow guinea pigs for this “shout it out” session happened to be 17 years old, and this is her first job… poor kid. 

Things I have learned from aging past 17… 

(1) Summer break is not as much of a big, screaming deal as I used to think it was.

(2) You don’t need three months with tons of free time… especially if you have got bills to pay.

(3) Never, EVER, refer to one of your bosses as “hypocritical”, “lazy”, or “annoying”… particularly when speaking to the dude who is in charge of keying your time-off requests and availability changes.

Amazingly, I was reminded of and reflecting on these truths during this semi-interview process.  It got very apparent that some people don’t know how to talk to the boss… For instance, you NEVER tell them that you “used to love coming to work and look forward to it, but now I hate it!”  Sounds like a great way to not get hours to me…  The part that scared me is that I used to be that age, and I’m 100% positive that I said some dumb things that sounded exactly that bad to my audience.  Oh what a difference four years does make…



~ by xristosdomini on July 29, 2008.

One Response to “What a difference four years makes…”

  1. I’m impressed by your wisdom. Some folks never learn how to use good manners, tact, and a soft answer to make their own lives more pleasant.

    I’ve heard lots of “ranters” excuse themselves with “It’s a free country,” and “I have a right to my own opinion.”.

    Funny how hollow and unimportant those excuses get when someone hits you back.

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