Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Just Sign Here Please

Since my date of hire, I was designated the inventory queen. I always perform the inventory which takes several hours. Our corporate rules require that someone outside of the department perform the inventory. I work in the department, so I'm familiar with the products, but my official position in the company is unrelated. This makes me the perfect candidate. The job takes me about 2-3 hours and it must be submitted to the corporate office monthly. My supervisor (the crazy screaming lunatic of last week, if you're following the blog) oversees this duty, but cannot interfere or participate in it in any way. After I enter the inventory count into the computer, several reports print out that I have to sign.

Well, due to some cut backs, I am only allowed to work in that department for 8 hours (1 day) per week. They used to allot more hours for me to help with inventory, but that ended.

Last month, my supervisor approached me and ordered me to sign off on the inventory. I told her that I had not performed the inventory and that it should be signed by whoever physically counted. Well, a member of the department had counted and entered, but corporate will not accept the inventory signed by a department member. (Might have something with Sarbanes-Oxley compliance; I'm not sure.) At first, I refused to sign. I spelled out my reasons: it was dishonest, and I felt as if she had cheated me out of 2-3 hours of wages. She begged and enlisted another manager to pressure me into signing, and I finally caved under the pressure. I signed. And I haven't quite forgiven myself for it! But I soothed my conscience by reasoning that at least I had made the conversation uncomfortable enough that I was certain she would never dare to ask me again. And I resolved not to turn into a spineless jellyfish ever again.

Yesterday, I noticed that inventory was marked on her calendar for the 9/21/10, but she had not requested that I work that day. I mentioned it to some coworkers, who said that she was having the same person perform the inventory as last month. The same person who isn't allowed to do it. So, I prepared myself.

This afternoon, when I passed by her office on my way to the lunchroom, my supervisor hollered out, "See me after lunch! I need your signature on some paperwork." (Not in itself a remarkable request since we probably sign our names several hundred times per day in our line of work.) I promised to stop back by after lunch. I calmed myself as best I could. Before my lunch was finished, she tried to create a hurried rush, hoping I would sign something shoved under my nose without really looking, "Oh, I'm sorry to interrupt your lunch, but I've got to turn in this paperwork right away!"

"Oh, this is the inventory. I'm not signing that."

"Why not?"

"Well, I thought I was very clear when we discussed this last month. I'm surprised that you would even ask me to sign, knowing how I feel about it."

She started to get really pouty and apologetic, "I'd love to give you the hours, but you know my hands are tied."

"So are mine." Then I got very composed and said, "I am not signing that." Then resolutely, "I'm not."

"Fine." She grabbed up her papers angrily.

As I left the area (I only had 5 minutes of lunch left by then), I noticed a quiet employee sitting nearby. I wondered whether she had witnessed what had transpired. Then I noticed that my supervisor had left her station. I walked down a hallway until I was out of site and called the quiet employee on the phone, "where is our boss?" She answered, "she went to find someone to sign your papers for her." I said, "So you heard that whole thing?" "Yes, and I have your back! As soon as you left, she asked me to sign, but I told her that I didn't want to get involved. I refused to sign too."

Tomorrow, I have to work in that department again. With the HR manager in her pocket, I really do fear reprisal. But I certainly didn't giver her any reason to punish me. I was controlled and even nice. My supervisor had better be kind to me or I will be reporting her. And heaven help the person who signed those papers!

1 comment:

  1. omg- my heart is pounding just reading this! way to go! you rocked it!


We welcome your thoughts and experiences. Comments containing profanity will not be published.