Being the Bigger Person

So lately, basically since I started my new job, I’ve been slowly, but increasingly, having issues with my assistant manager. Now, generally, I’m not one to have issues, and even if I did– I manage to make do by being civilized and never had to verbally tell somebody or have to discuss my issues with anybody else, not on a serious level, anyways.

Well, needless to say the last month or two has just been getting worst to the point tomorrow I’ll be discussing my problems with my manager, before she says something about needing to talk– I will get to this part shortly.

I work for an International airport and when it comes to working independently, without an escort with the proper pass, you need to apply with one of the offices and then they’ll send my application to Transportation Canada, which in turn they’ll either deny or accept my request, and then the airport will print out a pretty blue pass with lots of little security features and my picture, which in the end means I don’t need to be escorted to do my job. Which is nice.


After a month, my blue pass approval was made and my manager tells me I need to schedule an appointment with the airport pass-office to finalize the paperwork. So I schedule, so I call and  get the time and date scheduled for the following week.  The following week rolls around and my escort and I go upstairs to the office, I’m handed a sheet of paper to fill out and then they check their date-book to tell me that I wasn’t scheduled until the next day. Ok. No problem. I told them I could come back, that one extra day wasn’t going to kill me. However, they tell me that they’ve been doing really well with processing passes and that could come back around two that afternoon. Awesome!

I go back, get processed, and voilà! Brand-new-blue-pass à la me.

Figuring that everything was done, I guess it became more of an issue the following day.

The following day, after coming upstairs from my “cage in the basement” with a book-cart full of stock, my assistant manager confronts me and asks about what happened at the pass office. Here’s that played out:
** Please note, none of this is quoted word-per-word**

Her: So what happened yesterday at the pass office?
Me: Oh, somebody scheduled me for the wrong date, but they told me to show up at 2 and they would process my pass. Why?
Her: Oh. I received a phone call from the pass office in a panic about a missed appointment and they had to call security to figure things out.
Me: Well, that couldn’t be my fault, they looked at their schedule. They must of just not scratched it out or something.
Her: I told you, you should have bribed them. (Yes, she did tell/suggest that I bribe some of the airport staff so everything goes smoothly)
Me: I’m sorry *insert name of ass. manager*, I don’t believe in bribing people in order for them to do their job properly.
Her: It’s not bribing, you can call it what you want, just next time I tell you to bring a little something to them, you should.
Me: I won’t. I will not go against my beliefs to use treats as a way to get people to work properly.
This is the part of where I pretty much walk away from her mid-sentence, which upset her very much, which she made sure to voice in that “mom-tone” of telling me not to walk away from her while she’s speaking.
I basically apologized- non-affectionately- which caused her to continue talking about using “non-so-called-bribes” to help smooth things out after some really bad issues had occurred before my manager had taken her position and they were trying to “make nice” with associated parties of the pass office.

Well, needless to say, I wasn’t impressed that I was being told to help smooth things out with the pass office when it had nothing to do with me. Personally, what my manager and her assistant store operator (ASO) do to make nice is completely up to them, but it doesn’t involve me and if I do not want to do this, I shouldn’t have to.

After that I thought things might’ve been done. The following day she subtly made an apology for confronting me the way she had the day before. Subtly meaning: she didn’t actually say “sorry”, just acknowledged the mistake. I said I wasn’t offended by the conversation and left it at that.

My manager goes on a week-and-a-half holiday which meant the ASO goes on a I’m-the-boss rampage.  She tried so hard to try to get involved in my day-to-day tasks. Never otherwise saying much else. I had told her I didn’t need her help, even though it looked like I did. It was the fact that we were both two big hipped women in a very small space, very little would’ve been done since we’d spend more time in awkward silence and bumping into each other.

And then there was last week which became my final straw.

Last week our store was given a thousand-plus unit return list to help reduce our inventory size to aid in the move that will occur next month. This list contained 100% CDs and DVDs. I was given the DVDs about 3 hours before the end of my shift. My main goal was to finish the DVDs and start creating handling units to begin the return to ensure that the items were shipped out Friday. So, my mind is in go-go-go mode, but who decides to get involved in my task once I finished the portion of the list that I was able to collect from my basement? My ASO. I had been upstairs and was pulling DVD titles left, right, and center off our shelves and to avoid the piles from collapsing and cluttering the floor I would move the piles onto a CD filled book-cart (also to be returned) without any regard as to how it was organized. The ASO decided to move the piled movies on to the bottom shelf and then with an annoyed voice tells me to put them there [on the bottom shelf]. I sighed, said fine and kept going trying not to lose my mojo. Once again the titles were starting to birth all over the floor so I moved them again to where I piled them last. She comes back and tells me again where to put the pulled movies. I ignored her and instead of moving things to the cart I just let the piles build around me until I was finished and once I was finished put them all on the bottom shelf. Without thinking I left the mess of DVDs on the shelf and took the full book cart to the basement to start processing.

Almost exactly on the hour I come back to leave and my ASO weaves around a few shelves and practically corners me at the door to our staff room and with a tone that makes it sound like she’s talking to a child she tells me I need to clean up the mess I left behind. I told her I was done. She said she didn’t care and wanted me to fix it before I left. So, I’m pissed and said “fine, you guys are paying for it”. — Before you jump down my throat, I’ll get to this later.

Whilst fixing the shelves she hushes that she would be telling my manager about my attitude. So, I fix the shelf. Grab my stuff. Avoid the ASO and have another associate do my bag check, and leave.

Now the weekend is here and I’ve acknowledged the phrase “fine, you guys are paying for it” was the wrong set of words to use. This is where I’ve come to the decision that I need to talk to my manager before she tells me that we need to talk. First thing Monday.

All because I don’t know what I’ve done to set my ASO to the point where I dread working with her. I’ve never had this kind of issue with any coworker or manager staff and I just need to know what to do or how to deal with it.

In the beginning I would basically apologize for the things I’ve said, acknowledged it was wrong and that I’ve just been pushed too hard and that the way I’m being treated could’ve been avoided if the way she asked things of me would be different because that would then cause my own vocal tone to change.

I’m hoping I can get my point across without getting fired.

Moral of the story? I don’t know if I have one. Happily ever after? I’ll let you know on a later note.


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