Friday, September 9, 2011

Day 50, 51, and 52

Woah. What a whirlwind of days.

Day 50 was my day off. I spent a disproportionately large amount of it trimming my beard in preparation for my interview at a major national organic grocery chain. I also spent almost the whole day thinking it was Wednesday, and not Tuesday, so if one of my co-workers hadn't corrected me, i very well could have showed up to my interview 24 hours early. So...thats the kind of week it's been.

Day 51, well the horror started before I even left my house. Borders was kind enough to send out a message to it's facebook fans letting people know when the closing date of all of the stores were. Heres the funny bit though, they hadn't told US yet. So lo and behold my surprise to see that we were expected to be closing in 5 days. Wha? No....that can't be right? So i called My GM and spoke to her, she spoke to the loris, and it turns out that it is in fact not true. We will not be closing on Monday it's another Jedi Mind Trick to get people to panic and come out and spend money.

That was until about 9:00 that night. When the Loris asked to speak to me in private. I followed her to the cash office and she said to me.

"We just heard that Monday IS going to be the last day for this store." She seemed genuinely surprised.


"Your Gm has asked you not to tell anyone until tomorrow, because she would like to."

As well she should. This is still her store, even though it's unrecognizeable, it's still her staff, and there are still people here who deserve to find out from their GM and our GM deserves the opportunity to tell these long serving people in her own way. This is a matter of closure both literally and figuratively. So i basically went into media shutdown mode for about the next 12 hours.

But honestly, what scumbags. Ultimately i suppose it's the liquidators who make this call, but according to the Loris, who i'm not entirely sure I believe, they always give 7 to 10 days notice. Well if they gave that notice to the home office, they sat pretty tightly on it. And sent it out to the customers first via facebook. Which, I'm sorry home office you know i love you, makes them enormous assholes. 5 days? Really? I've worked for this company over 8 years, and i get 5 days? I get informed by facebook? This is peoples lives here. It's bad enough we are being forced to sell off our floor tile, but honestly, no one in this organization or theirs has enough respect for us to make sure the lines of communication for at least this ONE issue, are clear! This is not how you close stores. Every bit of goodwill a company has garnered can be undone by what is either stupid drop-the-ball shenanigans or a blatant disregard for the hundreds of years of service we field workers have. I have to believe this is the result of liquidator malfeasance because i cannot believe that anyone whose ever cashed a grey paycheck from ann arbor would be this thoughtless, i won't believe it.

But no, no, by all means give Mike Edwards and Jim Friering $125K. They totes deserve it.

An interesting side note here, The Loris said to Moonshine, that i was so angry she though i was going to strangle her. Ha! I would never strangle someone. I've seen Dexter, waaaay too much evidence if you strangle someone.

Day 52 brought with it my much anticipated interview at the National Organic Grocery Store (henceforth called NOGS). First of all, my beard looked perfect, my doc martens instantly make me a tall guy, and my braces kept my pants exactly where they should be. I was instantly comfortable in the interview. I traded fun stories, talked about my back ground, watched as the committee of three kept looking back and forth, trying to be subtle about their approval of me...or maybe not, three really genuine people, so maybe they weren't about the political nonsense of an interview. Either way, i shook all three of their hands, showed myself out and 2 hours later got a call with an offer. The offer didn't exactly live up to my hopes financially, but i really want to work for NOGS, i like everything about it, and guess what...they still give raises, remember those. So yeah, I am now the new Coffee Bar supervisor at NOGS. I start toward the end of september, so i even get a little vacation out of the deal.

Now I'm in this weird place where quite literally the only thing keeping me going to work for the next 5 days is my fidelity to my co-workers, and a little extra money. Also, i want to see this through to the end. I've said from the beginning i want to be there on the last day, as the key gets turned. I couldn't be at borders for the beginning when it was glorious, so i'll settle for being there at the end when its...not. And I'll help some arrogant jerk take their crap away in the early morning hours. And I'll work with my co-workers one last time. And then I'll wait for that last grey paycheck from Ann Arbor, and I'll cash it. And I'll try not to let the last few days ruin 40 plus years of good, hard, work.

I'll try.


  1. Tomorrow is my last day at #461. Any work I actually get done thru my sadness, a little bitterness & an aching body, it will be for our GM. GM has put so much into the company & has not received nearly enough back. And this liquidation has obviously been very difficult for her.
    It's a shame what has happened to this once great company. Though the company when I came to it as an employee was not what it used to be, at least the people I worked with & a good number of the customers were pretty cool people. It was a pleasure to be around smart people with interesting stories & good work ethic.

  2. I completely agree with you. Congratulations on your new job. I hope I can find one. It took me two years to get into the store I am in now. I wasn't there for the beginning but I def. want to be there for the end as sad as that is going to be.

  3. Congrats on the job - your new co-workers are lucky to be working with you!