Wednesday, August 6, 2014


But Verify.

Have you ever heard that term? I only have in one place.... you guessed it. This little memory came floating back to me today and I decided to share it.

I was in my managers office one week for our normal one on one. This is the only manager who manages to stay at the company since all the normal people they brought in to manage came to their senses quickly and left. So feel free to guess which shitiot this is.

Anyhoo, we're discussing normal business and he wants to know if I entered some information into a spreadsheet we all share to keep track of discipline. I always kept these files up to date because I didn't want to be called out on something so minor in a meeting.

I in turn,  answered "Yes." Indeed it was up to date.

This jagg looks at me with a smirk and says "Trust but Verify." Then proceeding to dig into the share drives to find the file and check right in front of me to see if i was lying to him.

I maintained myself as I always do but all I could think was: This DICKHEAD is really checking to see if I would lie over something so minor and right in front of me.

That's the kind of mentality I learned quickly was the norm in that wonderland of hypocrisy.

"Sure, I believe what you're saying BUT I'm going to check right now because you could be lying to me."

I was told several times I didn't fit in. Goddamn right I didn't fit in. I would never have done something so asinine to one of my employees. Sure, checking up is all part of supervision however 90% of doing that is going about it the right way.  He could have said:

  • "Okay" and checked later.
  • "I was going to open that file anyhow."
  • "We've had trouble with that, I was just making sure."
  • "Mumble mumble mumble" Takes dick out of mouth. "Sorry, I was sucking my own penis again. What were we talking about?"

That defining phrase Trust but Verify will always stick with me. It is an understanding I have of what NOT to say to my co-workers, employees or anyone else on the planet. It's the most back-stabbing phrase and mentality that could exist.

And it thrives where you work. Keep that in mind.
Here's a lovely picture of a duckling.

Monday, July 14, 2014


Am I bitter?

Hell yes. I have several good reasons. One thing I pride myself in is being honest to myself. I know what I'm doing wrong, what can be better and what I'm proud of. During my yearly review I was rated by my manager... who left the company after only 6 months... as "low target." My self evaluation: LOW TARGET. I KNOW. I don't fool myself.

With that in mind I bring up the following points:

1. I was constantly compared to my supervisor peers. That's all well and good. However, they all have years and years of experience over me. During every one of my one on one's with my (fill in the blank manager) it was... you're not doing as well as X, who has 10 years experience. I got hostile when this came up. OF COURSE I CAN'T COMPARE TO X. THEY HAVE 10 YEARS EXPERIENCE OVER ME IN THE SYSTEM. They'll always have that over me! I wasn't a Tech/SME/Trainer. Comparing myself to them with system knowledge isn't feasible. Some of the supervisors have 25+ years over me. Is that something I can compete with?

No. Evaluate me as I develop as I develop as a new hire.

ESPECIALLY When I only have access to..... (Drum roll please) Universal Viewer!

There's a dozen tech systems I wasn't allowed to access and still I'm held in the same light and expectations as my peers.. who had access.

Which brings me to my next point.

2. Management's enormous incompetence. I was hired in April 2013, in July I was brought before some managers and was told I'm "failing expectations." My reply? WHAT EXPECTATIONS? We had a 90 day plan which you ignored. No ones from management talked to me during this time about development or goals. If I'm not given any feedback, how am I supposed to know anythings wrong? I was told to "Go out and learn the system" which I did the best I could with my eyes blindfolded and hands bound (See point #1.)

Your lack of planning ensured my defeat. I think I held out longer than you expected. Why? Because I'm a good people manager.

3. I'm a good people manager. During meetings management constantly preached "Blah blah blah leverage your team." That's what I'm best at. Throw me into an environment where I can't even do the most basic work and I'll become triple the people person I am. Why? Because from cashier to salesman to tech to pharmacists I need the worker. I'm not doing the job. They are. I respected everyone in that building from janitor to Rph because I needed them. They don't need me!  They know what needs done. I treated them all as peers because they are. Supervision/ management should see the workforce as allies and not the enemy.

What I lacked in system knowledge I made up for in my team. It didn't take me long to know who to go for when there was a problem, who to talk to when I was skeptical of something, and who to go for to help other team members.

Was it a coincidence we ran 115 efficient and I had NO ONE on quality write ups? NO. I looked constantly and found help as soon as it was needed. My goal was to keep all of my employees with the company. The ones's I let go were devastating to me... but I did my best to try and make sure they could succeed.

During meetings there was also talk of gaining the employees trust. ASSHATS I was already there. The majority of my employees believed I was there to help them and retain them. How? Obviously by checking and holding them to their basic numbers but also by treating them with the basic decency of saying " HELLO" when I walked passed them.  You know what constant feedback I got:  "Management doesn't even look at me when they walk past." What a fucking shame, a huge failure.

I said "Hi" to people I never seen before or since as soon as I was hired. Why? That's human decency. Up until I was let go I'd have employees say " Hi Dino" to me as I walked passed. I held doors, I made small talk. The union reps who gave me shit when I was hired in the end understood if I made a mistake it was a true mistake. I wasn't trying to hurt anyone and I would fix it. I already had the employees on my side at the end.... all except for one...

4. I can't and won' t play office politics This was my one and true downfall. There were minor squabbles the whole time which I think I worked through effectively except for one certain individual. I won't name names or go into too many specifics but I worked with a true devil.

This person would be extremely nice to my face but (as I found out) held weekly meetings with my managers for months about what they didn't like about my activities. By the time I found out I was defenseless. The "evidence" was so built up that anything I said seemed like a cover up. Now, keep in mind none of my managers ever worked my sift. They were tucked away in bed and dreaming at 12am when I was still sending emails and being productive. Even after I was confronted did they stay after 5pm? No. Of course not. Again with the incompetence and mismanagement. They just took the word of one poor victim and I was obviously the bad guy.

Actually, when I raised a giant bleeding, neon red flag about that person it was ignored. Again and again. I reached out to HR, my manager and resources outside of the building. I didn't get one response. I wish this person all the luck in the world. Icarus flew too close to the sun as well...


Bitter. Yes. I just wasted over a year of my life.

Did I expect to retire from there? HELL NO.

I limited my time there. I told myself I wouldn't stay past a new hiring phase. You see, they techs on my shift got paid $20 per hour. The new contract was more or less $12 per hour for new hires. Eventually we would have to hire new folks I wasn't going to deal with the attrition that was going to follow.

Yes, our staff was paid far above market average but they went above and beyond what an average tech could to in a workday. In retail a tech would do 150-200 scripts per day...... that's shit compared to out most basic POC production of 1,100 per day! Despite being a lower cost our company was producing far more and profiting more than retail with that one worker... they can afford to pay more.

I wasn't going to deal with some scrappy new hire yelling at me and quitting our company for a comparable wage anywhere else. The new company accepts that. For the work, training and support we do... no.... I don't. Retention should be key. The new company doesn't have that in mind and I was going to apply out as soon as we started hiring.

Wow. That was a hell of a rant. Hopefully it makes some coherent sense.

I'm going to reopen Avoid-Me to anonymous comments. I had to close them because too may specific where being revealed last year. Please keep comments general... don't name names and places. I'll have to edit those out.

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Fairy Tale

"Gather around the fire" The old man said to his grandchildren. One by one seven cousins brought their blankets and snuggled around the old man's chair in the country cottage he built long ago. The winter air howled outside and circled the cabin causing snow and ice to build up around the windows. "It's a perfect night for a story" the man thought to himself. He was head of the family, and handing down lessons was part of his role.

The Town and The Mayor.

Not to long ago and not very far away there was a quiet little town. The population was only around 500 but the people of this town stayed very busy and worked hard to keep the town running smoothly. There were several groups of workers: farmers, hunters, gatherers, woodworkers, etc which kept the town well maintained and comfortably wealthy. 

Each of the work groups were overseen by a city planner which were in turn overseen by advisers to the mayor. 

The mayor of the town was a spoiled little brat named Joff. Joff would peer outside of his manor over the happy little town and boil. He was unhappy everyone else was happy, for Joff was only content when he was gaining personal wealth and power. Joff slithered his way to town hall and called for his advisers and city planners to meet with him... Joff had a plan that would make himself very happy indeed. 

"We are a very well-to-do town" Joff explained to the group gathered around the table. "But we could be richer!" He stated with a smirk.

 The city planners looked at each other and after some unsettling murmur one spoke up. "But Sir....everyone is happy here. The hunters bring in plenty of game to eat and sell. The woodworkers create excellent buildings and sell quality goods. We go home each night tired but satisfied in our work and feel the pride that keeps us motivated for another hard day in the morrow."

Joff was prepared for this. "We need to ensure we are the strongest town in the country. Without increasing our production and prices at market we are at risk of collapsing. I order the huntsmen to bring in extra game! The farmers shall increase their yields and everyone in the town must do more!"

"But sir..." The city planner spoke softly "How are we do do this."

Joff replied, "Figure it out."    

And with that the meeting was over. Each city planner went to their respective workforce and worked it out with their team. Over time farms did increase their yields, the markets sold at higher prices and each work group contributed more then ever before.

Joff gathered his advisers and planners once again. "More."

This cycle continued for considerable time. Each time the planners thought Joff would be satiated his reply was to pull in more. The towns people grew more and more tired. Each day they went home with heavy hearts and pride lower and lower. They were doing the best they could but it wasn't appreciated by the mayor or his advisers.  

As this went on the population began to slowly move to other towns. The fields began failing from over production, the game in the woods was scarce and the wood workers bodies and tools were worn down. The city planners could no longer keep the population motivated. 

Eventually the people moved away or did as little as they could to get by. All the pride that the little town had was dashed. It would continue to limp along but it would never be as strong as it once was ever again.

Joff was the lone proud figure. Even though he had left the town beaten and in shambles he was rewarded greatly by the country leaders. They looked upon him with respect because each of them left similar wakes in their destructive rise to power. Joff was eventually made mayor of a larger city where he would undoubtedly begin the cycle anew...

"Well children." The old man's face was lit warmly by fire light. " Is this a happy tale or a sad tale?"

There was confusion on the faces of his grandchildren. The oldest spoke: "Grandfather, I think it's a sad tale."

"And why is that?" Grandfather replied.

"Because the town was ruined by Joff"

The Grandfather challenged. "But Joff was greatly rewarded for his deeds and prospered."

"But it wasn't worth the cost of hurting the townspeople so badly... there was once so much love and happiness. Everything was going okay but Joff wanted too much. He hurt so many people to get what he wanted. Men like that shouldn't be respected.... they're only in it for themselves...."

The old man stood up, smiled and rested his hands on the boy's shoulders.

"You'll make a fine man someday"

The End

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Work In Progress

I haven't forgotten my promise. I'm prepping a few posts in the background while some things line up.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Goodnight, Goodbye.

After much deliberation I've chosen to close Avoid Me. It's been an influential part of my life since 2009. I have written 231 articles that span all I've been through since then.

The point of Avoid Me is to be honest to myself. I work out my problems here. I try to gain an understanding of who I am and what I've been through. The increased spotlight isn't my thing.This isn't for you. It's mine.

Will I continue writing ? HELL YES. Will you be able to pin point me? No. What did you accomplish? Nothing.

Over the next few weeks I will start to back up all my files and hope to publish a book at the 10 year mark or so.

I look forward to a new forum where I can be honest to myself....

 I leave you with 2 phrases....

"I'd rather be able to face myself in the bathroom mirror than be rich and famous."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I Turned Down

Soundgarden tickets.

Which is a load of bullshit. Soundgarden is the 90's band of choice for me. Not Nirvana. Soundgarden. Chris Cornell is the voice of grunge as far as I'm concerned (which is all I give a hoot about.) So, when the opportunity for a FREE TICKET fell on my lap what did I do?

Said NO.

I said no to THAT.


Because my damn family isn't broken anymore. It's such a shame I had to prioritize good family over a selfish need. This mother's day all Ma wanted was a good family dinner. How could I blow her off? After all we've been through and my parents amazing transformation I couldn't. It would have broke her and my father's heart. I'm more concerned with that now that ever.

A few Saturdays ago my pop asked me to take him up to the gun range. He just bought a new old school shotgun and was dying to try it out. Let me back up a second here. My father hasn't asked me to do anything with him in.... let's think....still thinking..... hmmmmm......   Since we worked on my house when I was married. So let's say 5 years. In 5 years my dad has had no interest in doing anything for me.

Did I care at the time? No. I was used to it. It took me a while but I knew he was always drunk and high. So what little time we spent together I appreciated but it wasn't quality time.

Now that he's in AA and working everyday to better himself things have changed. Like completely. I always believed people could change but had never witnessed a transformation myself. So this time when he asked me to take him to the gun range and for me impart knowledge to him on how to use his weapon, it meant something.

We had a blast. He fired everything myself and my buddy brought up to the range. He gave me first shots on the 2 firearms he brought up. "A christening from his son." We had a fun conversation with a Iraq vet ( about shooting war prisoners no less.) He was impressed that I actually knew what I was doing. He had the entire range laughing when he discussed what ammo he wants to use for home defense.

Side story: Before we went to the range I showed him a few amusing online videos of FPS Russia. In one, FPS fires a variety of shotgun rounds ending with dragons breath... the totally crazy shell that lights EVERYTHING ON FIRE with phosphorus.

To me it's useless. He wants to use it for HOME DEFENSE. Nothing like burning down your house to stop a robbery! To quote the old man:

" When you light one of those motherfuckers on fire ain't nobody gonna mess with your house anymore." "That guy ain't shooting bullets he's shooting FIRE? Fuck that, I'll go to the next house."

Well dad, you do make a point. The whole range thought so too when he brought it back up. Dudes 5 stales down were laughing. I was proud. It was a comment you thought I would make.

So why did I turn down Soundgarden tickets and not hang with my friend and rock out? My family is healing. It's rebuilding. It was more important to me. I couldn't let my parents down. I haven't felt that way in a long time. It's different. It's different now that I'm a man and can look my dad in the eye and say I'm proud of him. I tell him that every-time I see him now.

Now, if the bastard would only give me my grandfather's rifle he's hoarding!