Thursday, March 23, 2017

lifessteppingstones@gmail.com








I was once asked during a job interview, "what makes a good company run efficiently?" well, I have to admit I was never asked such a question during many other interviews as well as that particular interview. 


As I paused to think about what actually makes a good company run, the interviewer could see I was pondering on such an uneasy answer. I began to think of structure, I began to think of backbones, I began to think of what defines a great team.

As the wheels of my mind began to turn and think, I knew exactly what makes a company run yet, I struggled with the answer. Would he understand my thinking, would he entertain the logic behind my thinking? So, I dove into my answer.

"I believe what makes a company run, not just corporations, but any company is the spine."

Well you should of seen the puzzled look on his face as he leaned back into his chair where he began to chew on tip of his pen. His winced eyes showed he was intrigued by my answer and then instructed me to continue with my logic.

"Well, the human body needs the spin in order to function, it needs all the bones, tendons, the flow of blood in order to walk, sit, run, basically to function in everyday life. I mean, imagine if your spine began to slowly deteriorate, your body wouldn't function very well then would it?"

"Go on, now I'm curious just where this is going." he said.

"Well, any company, corporation, a mom and pop company, a company just starting for that fact, needs a good strong spine which represents your company. The extensions of that spine is the employees and  if one certain area of these extensions begins to not work efficiently, well then the spine begins to get weak, it will over time suffer, it will at some point cripple you don't you think so?"

I have worked in the customer service arena my entire career. There are certain demands I put on myself from the millions of faces I see daily. One of biggest demands is management. If there is a massive turnover in jobs within a company, then it is management that is deteriorating the spine of the company. Number one, they do not have the skills and trade needed to keep the spine in good health, they do not have the much needed understanding of these extensions (the employees)  in order to run a company.

Here is a good example, I was inside of Goodwill Industries within Washington State. The manager who is the "spine" of this particular store of course works side-by-side with the employees (extensions of the spine) and when one person decides they no longer want their job, or are sick and tried of their job, that certain extension of the spine will in fact cripple the spine.

December 2016

It was just about closing time and Goodwill Industries often receives flat screen televisions from many who have upgraded to a bigger and better television so they donate their perfectly good working older version of a flat screen television. I was searching for one for sometime and came across one that I was particularly interested in. I found this man who's name is "Danny" he was dressed very well, had a mustache and what seemed to be kind eyes.

I had approached him and kindly asked him, "I was interested in this television, I was wondering if you could please find someway to turn it on so I can make sure it works properly."

And Danny's reply....

"Why on earth would I do that for you, (crippling the spine) we do not do things like that for anyone else, why would I do for you?"

I was shocked and taken back by his horrible demeanor as well as his totally rude answer. There was hardly anyone in the store, maybe three people. So, I had my answer.

"Well, they have done it for me several other times and I was hoping you could do it once again. I mean, all of my televisions came from Goodwill and the employees mostly the men, would find some cables and turn it one to ensure I was buying a working television."

"You mean they have done it at this store? Who, I want to know names and when. They need to be reprimanded and trust me they will. I do not have time to entertain your wants and desires at this time."

I was just taken back by his rudeness and ugly tone to his voice. The way he stared at me, he glared at me with his once kind eyes now turning to horrible ugly eyes, I felt like I was dodging the hands of "Edward Scissorhand" I shared with him how all the employees often help many people here and he just continued to look bored with our conversation and then demanded for me to be quiet and then turning on his small little feet, he zoomed away from me. I quickly approached the cashier sharing how rude he was with me and she just stood there as if she was a deaf mute. Of course I left and empty handed and no television to speak of.

March 2017


Sela and I had sometime to kill before her doctors appointment across the street. I asked her if she wanted to go to the SAME Goodwill and she agreed so we went. Once inside I made a darting motion over to where Goodwill often receives furniture from Target that either never sold or because the box was damaged they disposed of it to Goodwill. I found a box labeled as a "black desk" in which I tried to pry open a certain corner to ensure that it was in fact a black desk.

That was where I met my fate with "Danny" once more. He cam barreling out of the back warehouse pulling a dolly in front of him when suddenly out of his mouth he ordered for me to "MOVE" he didn't bother to say "excuse me please" nope, he just ordered for me to move. I apologized rather quickly and moved out of his way.

When he came back into my direction I asked him quickly if he could help me with the desk.

"And what kind of help do you want or need?" it was a sarcastic answer, it was cold, uninviting, and so unprofessional.

"Well, I was hoping that you could open it to make sure all the screws and parts are there but most of all, to see if there was any damage to the desk being that the corner of the box is damaged." I felt it was a logical answer and much warranted.

See Goodwill's policy is "NO REFUNDS" so if I were to buy that desk and take it home sight unseen only to find out that in fact screws were missing or there was in fact a damaged leg, then I was out the cost of the desk $49.95 I would be out fifty-bucks!

Danny immediately told me, "NO, I am not going to help you, and if I were which I am not, where do you plan on opening this box so your precious little mind can be reassured that everything is there?"

The box was maybe five feet by three feet so its not like I was trying to get him to dismantle a car right there and then. It was a simple box. All Danny had to do was cut the tape let me look in the box and if all the parts were there great, I walk out with a brand new desk and if not, well, no harm done.

I told him how many times others who worked there would do that and once again he demanded to know who, the names of these people and how they would be reprimanded. I was shocked once again. Okay, I was willing to overlook December's mess but not this time. He Danny, is a bitter angry man. He is a man that is crippling the spine of this particular Goodwill. Oh sure, I could of gone to the other five Goodwill's but not every single Goodwill has brand new stuff. Finding good stuff like a brand new desk in good condition with all the working parts is like finding the Leprechaun's Pot of Gold.

Danny proceeded to take back several employees and be raid them yelling at them at what a horrible job they are doing. One lady that I have come across who is sweet, kind and ready to please any customer happened to cross path with Danny and myself. I said hi to her and she returned with a simple gesture of kindness when suddenly Danny attacked her demanding her to have no conversation to me and if in fact she had spoken to me at all during my recent visit. She quickly replied NO and right then and there he took her to the back warehouse where he also yelled at her and told her to have no further conversations with me ever again.

So, out of the mouths of babes...Sela perked up..."I think you need a new job because your such angry short man aren't you?"

I did call corporate and talked to Matt the district manager for Washington. I filled Matt in on what happened and how Danny treated me. He Matt, was floored at how horrible I was treated Matt then called the store manager where the store manager then called me. She the store manager, defended Danny telling me how shocked she is.

"If he is treating me like this, then you need to ask yourself how he is treating your employees and other customers within your store."

No answer from her end of course. She did return with she would look into it and then call me back to let me know what action was taken. She never called back, she could careless what happens or how Danny treats others.

The crazy thing is I have been several other Goodwill's since this mess just last week, handfuls of other customers know of "Danny" and have shared this anger towards this man. How rude he is, how nasty he is. Managers of other stores do not understand why he is still working for Goodwill.

So, some big fat man who sits in a $900 leather chair who makes $500,000 plus each year for the Goodwill Corporation could actually careless how people are treated, how his staff treats customers. As long as his fat pocketbook keeps getting fatter and he is able to upgrade from a $900 leather chair to a $2,000 dollar leather chair, why would he care what happens?

Sure Goodwill Industries have helped several individuals, but when was the last time Goodwill Industries took the time to actually find out how the employees that makes this man so fat and rich are being treated?