Amazing Journey: 3.3

Sometimes You Just Gotta Say......

138

Meet the new boss

Same as the old boss 

~ The Who

As with all jobs, my time working at Burger King was marked with numerous changes. Not only did I see a multitude of people come and go; even the management team changed. When Mike was rather unceremoniously “relieved” of his assistant manager position, Lynette was chosen as his replacement.

That’s right, my old nemesis Lynette became assistant manager and became an even bigger thorn in my side. The increase in her authority and power didn’t bode well for those of us that had dared to challenge her in the past. From that point on, Lynette was the bane of my existence.

Things were never quite the same after she became the assistant manager. It didn’t take long for the wrath of Lynette to wreak havoc on my idyllic Burger King world. Her reign of terror was legendary.

Under her jurisdiction, nobody did their job well enough to meet her stringent standards. What was good enough in the past, no longer was. There was a new sheriff in town and her name was Lynette.

If you wanted to work at Burger King you did things her way. Your days were numbered if you didn’t march in lockstep with her new regime or if you were foolish enough to question her supremacy.

Some employees embraced Lynette’s new “system” and kowtowed to her oppressive dictatorship. They did whatever she said, no matter how senseless or pointless it was. The faithfulness of this throng of mindless minions greatly delighted her.

Then there was the other group who had a problem accepting Lynette demented style of management and often challenged her demands.

Life at the “Home of the Whopper” wasn’t particularly pleasant for those who chose that path. And I, as you might have expected, could be included with that faction.

It wasn’t long after Lynette was promoted to assistant manager when that little incident would come back to haunt me big time.

*   *   *   *   *

It wasn’t unusual for us to hang out at Burger King when we weren’t working, especially if Lynette wasn’t there. It was fun to socialize with co-workers, many of which had become friends. We would sit around talking while enjoying a soft drink.

That’s what I had planned to do on a late Sunday afternoon. Having closed the night before, I decided to stop in, get a Coke and see who was working. That was the beginning of the end.

When I walked up to the cash register, a sullen Janet looked at me uncomfortably and said, “You better go look at the bulletin board, Paul.”  Noting the uneasiness in her demeanor, I quickly made my way to the backroom to see what she was talking about.

The bulletin board, located next to the time clock in the backroom had the usual things posted on it. You know, things like the work schedule, company policies and any upcoming announcements. That was usually all it ever had on it.

But on that fateful day there was one more item pinned to the bulletin board. It was a note written by Lynette on the back of a slip from an order pad. Although it was addressed to me, it did not start out with “Dear Paul.”

No, the purpose of the note was to blast me for the job that Marty and I had done while closing the night before. And she wanted everyone that worked at Burger King to see it.

The note was spiteful and malicious, pointing out any small detail that we might have overlooked the previous evening while cleaning up.

Although she was mean and vindictive in the critique of the job I had done, she took it fairly easy on Marty. Thinking back, that shouldn’t have surprised me. You see, Marty was an ass-kisser, one of Lynette’s faithful suck-ups. Plus, he had never made the egregious error of mentioning her glorious flowered panties in front of everyone.

After carefully reading her nasty public evaluation of my work performance, I decided that it was in my best interest to respond in kind. Borrowing a pen from Janet, I proceeded to write a rebuttal to the review she had written.

My reply was factual while being concise. It might even have been a bit sarcastic. Okay, it oozed sarcasm, bordering on being sardonic. But I was careful to avoid being contemptuous. After all, she was the assistant manager.

Satisfied with what I had written, I proudly signed and pinned my note right next to Lynette’s on the bulletin board. At age 17, I figured what was good for the goose was good for the gander. With a contented look on my face, I returned the pen to Janet and left. Take that Lynette!

Well, she took it all right. The next day during lunch at Tremper, Hayes, a fellow Burger King employee, found me and related some rather alarming news.During his free period he had gone over to Burger King to check the new work schedule. He found his hours for the upcoming week, what he didn’t find were mine.

Evidently, Lynette didn’t appreciate my response to her public assessment of the job I did on Saturday night. In fact, it enraged her enough for her to cross my name completely off of the schedule. I guess she didn’t want me making Whoppers anymore.

After school, I drove over to Burger King to see what was going on. Upon arriving, I discovered that Lynette had indeed put a big blue line through my name on the schedule. She had fired me. As I turned from the schedule, there stood Lynette, the antithesis of all that is good and fair, displaying her diabolical grin. I brushed by her as I went to talk to George in the manager’s office.

George, after all, was the head manager and I wanted was to get his take on this situation. I knocked on his door and he called out feebly, “Come in, Paul.” He was obviously expecting me. When I entered, he was sitting at his desk with his head in his hands. He was distraught and looked more disheveled than usual.

“Paul, why did you have to write that note?” was the first thing out of my troubled manager’s mouth. When I replied that she should have never posted her note on the bulletin board, he agreed, saying, “I know, I know.”

But he wasn’t happy. He explained that he was in a tough predicament a real conundrum. While what Lynette did was very unprofessional, she was his assistant manager and he couldn’t undermine her authority. However, on the other hand, he valued me as an employee and didn’t want to lose me.

While this was going on, a small contingent had gathered outside of the office. The walls were paper-thin and didn’t quite reach the ceiling. The people out there had a good idea what was happening. I am pretty sure Lynette filled them in on anything they may have missed. She was good at things like that.

Finally, George cleared his throat, put his glasses back on and told me he had a solution. If I would apologize to Lynette, everything would be forgotten and I wouldn’t lose my job. It would be like none of this had ever happened.

After pausing ever so briefly, I said to George, “You mean all I have to do is apologize to Lynette and I get to keep my job?” For the first time that afternoon, George smiled. He nodded his head and said yes, that’s all it would take.

That smile left his face just as fast as it had appeared when I grabbed his hand, shook it firmly and told him, “Thanks for everything, George, it was great working for you.” His face went colorless as he slumped back into his chair, his head back in his hands.

Greeting me as I left the office was a smirking Lynette and her witless minions. They were waiting for my apology, like I was some puppy with his tail between his legs. I then spoiled their feel-good moment when I lied and said, “It was nice working with you, Lynette.” As their jaws dropped in unison, I left the backroom at Burger King for the final time.

That was the first time in my young life that I stood up for myself and it felt good. I have many fond memories of my time at Burger King and there might even have been more it wasn’t for Lynette and her damn panties. Regardless, this was something I had to do and I am glad I did.

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