Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I Come From Nowhere

My recent yearning to seek new employment brings up a problem. A minor one, mind you, but still it could have employers raising their eyebrows in question of my credentials. The thing is, of the last three jobs I've had, not counting my current one which I've worked at for 9 years, two of them have gone out of business and the third has changed ownership. The last one still has my records, I'm sure, so no problem there, but the other two jobs totaled thirteen years of labor on my part with no way for a future employer to truly check my work quality when I put those on a resume. There are people who were my superiors back then who can be called, but as the years pile up their memories might tend to be a little fuzzy when asked to recall my attendance record, or whether I contributed to the company or not. This is a bit of a worry for me because of one manager in particular. He had a tendency to get confused when he was at work. For example; one day he came up to me and really chewed me out, threatening to write me up the next time I was late clocking in from my breaks. I was dumbfounded because I was never late, and a lot of times didn't even take a break. My supervisor was standing there at the time and backed me up. A few minutes later the manager came up to me smiling and said he made a mistake and it was the other Tim who worked there that he was looking for. He's the one who would be called for a reference from that company. Umm... yeah, he'll remember me... sure.
The only person left alive from the other place-which was a furniture store- is the owner, who didn't do much work there because he also owned the adjoining real estate company which he worked at full time along with running for various state and national congressional seats. He knows me, but to give me a good reference..??
Oh well, as I said, it's only a minor inconvenience not to be able to prove that you weren't a dumpster-diving street dweller, or holed up in prison for thirteen years but that's life.

Ok, to sidetrack just a bit... thinking back to my days at the furniture store I can't help but mention a little more about those four years. The owner I mentioned was a Republican who had held city council seats and had run for mayor at one time. When I first started there he was running for U.S. Congressman ( he would be defeated) then two years later ran for State Senator (he won that time). The store manager was a very well-liked man who was also heavily into politics, but on the other side of the fence, being a Democrat. He was city council president when I started and would become mayor later. Needless to say, the few times that the owner popped his head in always turned into a political debate between the two of them.
The manager, in addition to being well-liked, also had common sense which gave him an edge when those verbal bickerings ensued. I grew to love working with him. He was someone who was just as comfortable talking to the poorest hillbilly as he was chatting with the doctors, lawyers and wealthy folks who frequented the store. The store was open late on two nights, Thursday and Friday. He and I always worked Thursday night together and, in the summertime when business was slow, he and I would sit outside on the patio furniture watching people go past. It seemed he knew almost everyone, and called them by name as they drove by. This was a city of about 30,000 people, so it was no wonder people were so fond of him and elected him mayor for two terms.
I think the owner finally tired of having a manager who was more popular than he was, although the official reason was that business was slow, and terminated the manager position, bringing his wife in to run the business. Sales immediately dropped through the floor, as I think they underestimated how many people came in who were friends of the manager. I stayed for a few months longer, but it was a place that was definitely not pleasurable to work at anymore, so I moved on. All in all, the furniture store was the most fun job I've ever had. The manager who I got along with so well died about three years ago, and there were more people at his service than I ever saw at anyone else's.

Well, I think I did sidetrack more than a little bit, but that's the way my mind works.


Blogger Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Tim,

Good luck on the job stuff. I hate the whole interview/reference process. Love the furniture store story!

6:10 PM  

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