A Topsy Turvy Goodbye
Since I can’t stand the dastardly thought of accountability, I’ve concocted a list of over one million excuses as to why I haven’t made a blog post since May of 2018. But since this isn’t Buzzfeed, I won’t actually bore you with the reasons of why I haven’t been writing. Instead I’ll inform you about something that actually matters.
I recently left my job of three years with Tops Products, an office supply manufacturer in Union, MO. There I was what they used to call a “multi-skilled machine operator.” Unfortunately, they took away that title from people who can operate every machine in a department, so I left as a meager “machine operator.” In fact, that company likes to take away a lot of stuff from the hard working employees that struggle to hold that place together. In my three years there I watched them take away entire shifts, add people to shifts with far too many people, and hire temps when there wasn’t even enough work for the long-time employees. And let’s not forget to mention the decision to take away the company grill, picnic, and even the essential cold water bottles during the hot summer months. But hey, at least they still have the budget for t-shirts that say “I am dedicated.”
The piss-poor management style was apparent on day-one. That’s not to say all supervisors were bad, as there were a few who honestly tried their best, but one good egg for every rotten dozen isn’t going to make a difference. Priorities lied with production numbers over everything else - unless you actually go over your expected production goal - then you’re reprimanded for running departments out of work.
When I started as temp, it was my job to put folders in boxes and then put those boxes inside another box and put that box on a pallet. One of the last things I did at Tops was that very thing, despite my ability to run every machine across two departments. Imagine how it feels to rise though the ranks only to get knocked back down to square one due to managerial incompetence. After turning in my two weeks notice, I was immediately placed back on a machine, as if treating me like a “big boy” in my final days would convince me to stay. That decision caused me to leave early and never look back.
My only regret with how I left was not saying goodbye to the majority of people I’ve worked with. Honestly, the diverse personalities of everyone on my shift made coming into work a little easier. From those who are far too smart to be working there, to the convicted felons who have no other choice, and even the “town drunk,” it was an interesting cocktail that is surprisingly going to make me nostalgic for quite some time. If there’s any advice I could give the people of Tops Products, it’s to get out while they still can. The “lifers” are a lost cause, but if you have under 10 years there the best thing you can do is show yourself some respect and leave - because we all know that the company is incapable of showing anyone the slightest ounce of respect.
So what does life after Tops hold for me? A week and a half vacation before starting an exciting new career as a field technician for one of the world’s leading internet, cable, and mobile providers. I haven’t been this excited to start a new job in…well…ever.