A Lesson In Career Mobility From A Dollar Tree Associate, Part 1

I love dollar stores.

More specifically I love the Dollar Tree chain of dollar stores.

They are usually chock full of things that you need but don't want to pay an outrageous amount of money for.  Batteries, candles, pot holders, cleaning products---you name it, Dollar Tree has it.

With the holidays upon us and my increased consumption of glitter due to wreath making, I found myself at my usual store picking up a few items.

That's when I heard Timothy's pitch.

Timothy is one of the workers at the Dollar Tree that I frequent and he was making a very persistent and vocal pitch to be made a full time employee.

And let me tell you, he was making his case---a very loud one---on why he should be made full time.

He cited the cost of living; the cost of entertaining young ladies and more importantly his record as a punctual employee.

Or at least that's what I heard him discuss with the lady who seemed to be in a managerial position busily working on the store floor.

This nearly one sided conversation continued for the entire time I was in the store and it continued as Timothy opened up an additional checkout lane.

He continued extolling his many positive virtues---He always showed up for work and being on time were his frequent talking points.

He was still making his pitch to the manager/supervisor when I said to him, "Aren't you supposed to show up and be on time to work? Why does that merit as excelling at your job?"

Whoo boy, I should NOT have said that.

While Anthony mounted his defense, the manager/supervisor behind him gave me that look that someone gives to another person when they've found a kindred spirit.  It was as if she was saying "Finally, someone who get's it."

But make no mistake, Timothy wasn't happy with me.  His attitude changed on a dime.  He was starting to shut down.

Yet me being me, I hoped that I could get through to the young man and perhaps help him achieve his goal of full time employment.

I'm a helper.  What can I say?

I suggested that doing what you're supposed to do is not the way to advance in a job. He's supposed to come to work when scheduled.  He's supposed to be on time.  These are not selling points to achieve a promotion.

It was too late, Timothy had shut down and moved into full pissed off, entitled teenager/twentysomething mode.

So much so, he actually said to me that he would of "told me something" but didn't want to be disrespectful.

The fact that he even voiced his growing resentment about my comments was disrespectful.  Just in a way that wouldn't get him fired for cursing at a customer.

Hell, you may even argue that I was completely in the wrong for adding my two cents to a conversation that I wasn't a part.

But I'll tell you this, I had another career epiphany as our pointed conversation was ending.

Timothy may have been entitled and mouthy but this was a teaching moment.

A career eye opener right there on Stony Island and 87th.


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