I’ve long since abandoned the last shitty job I had at the hotel. By the time I got out of there I was massively glad to be out of there. The signs were all pretty clear that it was a horrific work environment. But the proof that it was awful kept on trickling in even after I had left, and even now (two months after I left) I felt like I really made the right call, even though I am now suffering through another case of unemployment (more on that in another post).
But to give you the full story I need to go back to when I was first interviewing for my night auditor position. They had originally posted for two positions, a night auditor position and the same role with a manager title. I recall that the job ads looked identical except for the addition of the word ‘manager’ to one. I applied to both, because at the time I had racked up some many job rejections that I really didn’t care. When they called me back, I actually had no idea what position they were calling me for. What I didn’t know is that the place was so poorly managed that they didn’t know either.
They actually asked me during the interview. I shot for the managerial one hoping for more money, and I forget what bullshit excuse they gave me. Something about not having the experience. I would later learn that the managerial position payed maybe a dollar an hour more, so it likely wasn’t worth it.
So I didn’t think much of it then, and I ended up taking this shitty night auditor job. But much later, when I was settled into the job and I was talking with one of my colleagues about what a shit hole we worked for, some extra light was shined about the whole situation. The colleague seemed to think that there was no way they would hire me for that managerial position, but mostly out of spite. As it was, I was already doing that job right this minute (this was true: technically I had the most authority in the hotel even though I had the least seniority, and if anyone wanted to do anything they should technically ask me first). I was told that they almost never promote upwards for these positions, but always hired from outside and they did so expressly to spite the employees that were already there. They also told me that when they did fill this position, it would be my responsibility to train my replacement.
That last bit made me well and truly unhappy. But at least I had been warned.
It did come to pass, but thankfully it did so right as I was getting ready to leave. With just two days left at the workplace I was informed that I was to train my replacement, who was also coming with the coveted ‘night auditor manager’ title. She was five years younger than me and showed up 45 late to her first day at work. Forty five minutes was all I needed to actually get pretty much all of my work for the day done, and so there was very little to actually teacher her. I did show her a couple of things, and everything seemed greatly fucking puzzling to her.
At some point she ran off to the bathroom, informing me that ‘Aunt Flo was coming for a visit’. My reaction was one of muted horror. I have no interest in body humor of any kind, and I tend to think that body functions of any kind should be left to the imagination. I’m not sure why ‘I need to use the bathroom’ wouldn’t have sufficed. It was three AM on a Thursday, I wasn’t going to keep you.
She didn’t to have all that much customer service experience either. a customer came up to us as I was going over something and she seemed genuinely annoyed to have been interrupted. Nor did she treat that customer fairly well. At some point over the course of the two days we spent together the hotel was over booked, as it frequently was, and I figured that, training at this hotel or not, she could handle this situation. After all, we had just gone over the issue in detail, and she had years more experience than me in hotels, and much of it in managerial roles. This should be cake for her.
Nope. She floundered and then passed the buck back to me.
At some other point I had her do something that I had shown her repeatedly how to do. It wasn’t all that complicated a procedure either, and she said she had used this particular computer system before, but still she sat there and stared and the fucking computer screen like she was trying to untie the Gordian fucking knot. As we got closer to the morning, this started happening while she was trying to help customers. My very last morning was particularly busy, and watching her stare pensively at screens I couldn’t help but wonder if it wasn’t a ruse to do less work. But I can’t prove that.
In short, the person proved her incompetence at everything she did. But that’s not my problem, I don’t work there anymore.
As I was leaving work that last day I took a look at my replacement and I felt irritated. I should be fair for a moment and say that I have no idea to what extent it is true that ‘they always hire from out, and they do it out of spite.’ After all, they could have hired ME as a manager back when I was still out, and it would have had the same effect. So the reasoning really isn’t there. But lord knows I had the managerial experience, and I could have done the job. And in a working environment I tend to be reliable as they come, which is what they principally need at that job, and at that position specifically. I keep up with people and work places, and so I checked in on how things were going there about a month after I had left. My replacement consistently showed up late for work – frequently coming in after 2:30 am. For those who don’t know, that’s when you have to have the majority of the work done in a night audit. So she was delegating her work to the previous shift, then coming in to do nothing for the rest of the time. But instead of using the time clock like everyone else, she was just manually writing in her hours, and giving herself the hours where she was absent.
I don’t know. This might just be gloating at this point. But I think there might be something else to it. This dumb little child clearly must have had something on her resume that justified to the powers that be why she should be given a position I couldn’t be trusted with. In the resume / job ad arms race, she played a better game. I am starting to think that maybe this whole system just plain doesn’t work.
I don’t think I am very good at that game. That’s something this job hunt has taught me now that it is extending into its third year. But what I do know is that I’ll try a lot harder at whatever job I take on. I write this blog post as I am waiting for a job interview to start (via skype – which is fab. My dress shirt is tucked into my pajamas), and its for a job that I feel at best only partially qualified for.
I think there is something to say for the fact that I might need to just start trusting myself as a person more.