1517 Back Issues.


It’s the Mike & Edward show!

Many years ago I had a manager who was either my age, or maybe a bit younger, who bought into the corporate bullshit completely. He was very keen to do well and, in one of the biggest mistakes I’d ever made, thoughtlessly told him that there were empty apartments in my block of living spaces. He moved into the flat directly opposite mine. DIRECTLY OPPOSITE MINE. So, whenever something went wrong at the store he’d knock on the door so I could go with him to sort it out, since I was so much more capable than the average bear. He was a nice guy, but we never clicked as friends either, so it was always awkward when he wanted to just hang out. He studied bugs in school and that was the field he’d really wanted to be in before life kicked him in the balls and explained that the world needs a fairly limited number of entomologists. He kept bugs in little terrariums. The only ones that were alive were spiders and scorpions though. I very much believe that all creatures should be allowed to live as long as they aren’t harming me directly, but that doesn’t mean I was to watch Murder She wrote with them.
Anyway, he never made proper friends and the longer things went the weirder he got. Eventually some members of the female staff took it upon themselves to relieve us of him by way of falsely accusing him of sexual misconduct. At that time the concept of sexual misconduct was practically brand new and the home office was incredibly watchful for it. It had been a big subject in the news and views about it were finally shifting to a more reasonable standard. Unfortunately the zeal was taken advantage of sometimes. I was questioned about his conduct and had nothing to tell at the time. I only found out the allegations were a setup after he’d been removed. (In fact, the man who asked me about his conduct was out district manager, who I didn’t particularly like.) I was sorry for him on the one hand because he really believed in the home office’s bullshit, but relieved that I wouldn’t be essentially living with my supervisor anymore. They came to town and fired him on his birthday. I still remember how manic he looked as his plans crumbled around him and he used the last of his power to take a few parting shots at people he felt had wronged him. (They had, so fair enough.) It was one of the cruelest things I’d ever witnessed in all my years in retail. The workplace equivalent of kicking a loyal dog until it reluctantly runs away, still wishing it could sit by the fire with its master.
Later on he came back to attend the wedding of another coworker who he’d been able to bond with better. He was a trucker then, and strangely judgmental about my philosophy on how the law of the jungle applies to the workplace. I never spoke to him again after that. (The DM from that story was fired a few weeks later for the same reasons as the manager I described, as a wave of sexual misconduct firings went down across the company. I was more willing to believe the allegations about him were legit because he struck me as a bit of a douche, but who knows? He may have been a victim too for all I know.)

Mike is sort of a tolerable version of that guy. (Although he looked a lot like Ed…) The store I worked for had rules against managers hanging out with staff of lower pay grades. My understanding is that Target, of whom many managers lived in my apartment complex, has rules that managers of certain pay grades can hang out but only one above and one below. SO you have to keep to your lane. Anyway, I understand the logic of those rules and experienced why they exist first hand.