Back To Off on a tangent
Back Toppers-Tap

Page One  
Page Two Final Chapter, Not
Page Three A Nice letter
Page Four Boise Cascade/OffficeMax
Page Five Suddenly Very Cold
Page Six Something To Understand
Page Seven I've Never Been So Angry


An analysis into the works of OfficeMax can take about as many directions as the company has in the last two years. I’ll start with the last two and not the earlier two. Yes I did take a year hiatus. I received a call from another company and thought it would be a great thing, that company was Gateway, and it wasn’t. I will now proceed to the topic at hand.

Let us first entertain the definition of the village idiot. I like this analogy because I liken the management staff to same. I have often stated in jest to my other associates that villages have called and they have been looking for their missing. Seems OfficeMax has hired the lot as upper management. We’re talking the top here. It’s funny but the District Manager has always managed to leave them here. It is our loss. I refer to the General Manager and at present his direct silver toting Assistant Manager.  

Like any good thesis I’ll start with the living end, which was very recent and take it from there. In recent events Satan has had a hand, not an idiot but an incarnate. It is a devastating blow from below, a wind so foul that it can choke the smelliest of pigs. I speak of one that assumes the role of leader but doesn’t lead at all. This being isn’t happy till it has sucked the very essence out of everyone. When the company cut back with pay cuts and positions, I can’t tell you what a smile it put on this fiends face.

I am one that believes in safety. This “idgit”, as I personally called him, put heavy over stock machines on a top rack. A rack that if you need to you have to use a rickety ladder to get to them. This struck me the wrong way as most everything has. I guess this was to accommodate his hell fire cohort, our ever so blind sided District Manager. I refer to her as blind sided because as far as employees are concerned she might as well have blinders on. Be a cold day if she would stop and talk to any one of us.

But I digress, as I often do. There is the simple topic of business administration. In retail you have to question if ANYBODY was awake for that class. Apparently none of these people were.

Being me and my personality I would like to suppose a scenario, me in the position of the District Manager. Knowing the DM, well the following will never happen I assure you. But the conversation after being taken outside, less not to offend would go something like this, however cleaned up: “What in the wide world of sports are you doing?!” “What in the blasted Sam hell does moving the break room achieve when there is freight to be put out!” “How much do those boxes on that top stock weigh for crying out loud, what the hell, do you think all these people are made of muscle!” “Not to mention, that they are here, make an effort to make them feel that they ARE here”. “Further more, what are you anal or something, my god, how often do you have to move your own office around, it’s ridiculous, and get the hell out of there once in a while, you can’t run this place from in there, let alone the fact that I don’t allow it!” That last part there? You bet, used to be a cardinal rule, now the General Manager lives in there. Well to be fair he can actually be found three other places.  

To continue: “And, these people have duties to perform, now damn it, quit sucking up my poop shoot and get them the tools they need!”  “And this circle of friends of yours has got to go!”

I define an anal retentive as a person that has a certain character trait. I have mentioned this elsewhere within the pages of toppers-tap, but seriously the trait is moving things. Knowing what I know now, and watching these people I can conclude that it has degrees. I worked with one at Gateway, also the GM of that local store. His was less effecting; he would move little piles of paper at your workstation. You see I was the customer service rep at that location, and I had a special place to perform that, however they ended that quickly and made me a salesperson/customer service, needless to say since I couldn’t perform a duty to its needed level, I quit. At my current location, this anal retentive moves things quite larger. As a matter of fact, up there where I mentioned moving the office around? That he has, countless times. The latest last straw and the one that had me telling him to go away, was moving our break room, the bedrooms in my house our bigger than this. The previous break room?, well there really is no earthly reason to move it from that space. Since our store is a corporate Mecca, we’ll more than likely be ousted when they come to town and use the adjourning area for their training events. Another trait of the anal retentive, thinking, they do not do it.


Training events? Check the "Sales Leader Program". Nine times out of ten that is the reason of the training events. Something so over thought that to be almost redundant. With this we used walkie talkies however they used that as just another thumb over us, sit outside in autos and listen in and make sure we’re constantly talking, chatter to the point that if someone really needs anything, they can’t get through. I mentioned “tools”, well we are supposed to have a "sales leader" and a tool we call the sales leader board, a sheet of paper that should have (when made available) the prior days totals. That is when the GM sees fit to have it available. Priorities are not a strong suit. Not to mention that the sales leader board has an area for notes from the morning huddle meeting, frequently I put something there regarding the lack of ever having any.

I know we’re understaffed and I figure the reason is that the GM would like to bonus out of the profit and loss numbers at the end of the fiscal year. What better way to have a better profit than not put anything back into the store. That’s about the size of it.


On another note: Sexual Harassment. Ugly word and OfficeMax does have a (pseudo) policy about it. The rest I’ am not at liberty to speak of. However I can say that the victim is no longer with us, but the perpetrator is. It is just business as usual in your corporate boys’ club environment. I’ll mention here too that the perp is a manager at another store. Slap of the hand, and a “don’t do it again, by the way, you go boy, here’s a promotion”. It is odd about the District Manager being a woman. I consider her to be amongst the circle of friends I mentioned earlier . It is a circle of friends well to the point of making one sick.

I think at this point I have said publicly enough. But this has been extremely therapeutic.


Legal: Opinion is still protected speech under the First Amendment, although the Supreme Court limited the formerly broad reach of opinion protection in Milkovich v. Lorain Journal.  The court ruled that there is no separate opinion privilege, but because factual truth is a defense to a libel claim, an opinion with no "provably false factual connotation" is still protected.

Could cost me my job but that may well change things around work.

Thursday 12 June 2003