Today, I get to work, and my boss tells me to hurry up with certain duties, because, in an hour, Manager, my old boss, wants to see me. I can't imagine why. After all, I haven't told anyone the real reason I'm glad I switched departments (she's an asshole). I've told them about the chest pains and such, mostly because her husband is a second shift supervisor and I'm all too paranoid about word getting around to him. Gibb's Rule #40 -- if you think they're out to get you, they are. Then, partway through, a thought hits me. It's no secret that Carlton is not keeping up and is really unhappy. Oh, fuck! Don't tell me they're removing him and putting me back!
I get to Manager's office. Chucklefart is in there with her. She wants my help with only some duties to give Carlton a chance to get caught up. I tell her I don't want to -- I'm too worried I'll get fired if I do something wrong. She tells me to go, she'll think of something.
On the way, I stop to talk to my current manager. I explain the situation to him and my concerns. He tells me not to worry. Technically, I'm only on loan from his department, Manager can't do anything to me. I say, Well, obviously, that changes things a bit. He states, "You were moved to protect you. We like people that are hard working and dedicated." Given that I basically have immunity, I say I'll do it. He calls Manager to inform her of my change of heart and mind.
So I get busy. Everyone is shocked to see me at my old desk. Still there, nothing has changed there. NOTHING. I start using my old tricks to complete the orders and to watch out for problems. I need them. Turns out, that beta system I was making fun of? Gets worse. There's a separate system for adding certain orders, and the two do not interface. As a result, Chucklefart has to use two different web sites to learn what the orders are. He brings me the information, and I sort it.
I'm thinking I have more Holly Faraday in me than I realize. Chucklefart offered to teach me how to use the web sites. I declined. After all, I'm just on loan. He gives me a piece of paper with his user name and password, "just in case you need them anyway." As he leaves, I look at the paper and realize I could go into the web sites and change his passwords, locking him out. The level of trust he puts in me considering all the bullshit he put me through is mind-boggling. (I still have the paper, just haven't decided what, if anything, I'm going to do with it.)
Find out cracks are forming in the coallition. Chucklefart is being forced to keep his distance and his influence is reduced. He was told to butt out. Turns out, it was Manager who did it. As things have fallen apart, he's become more bossy and insisting Manager do things beyond the call of duty. She gave him a little talking to. Although she still regards him as a buddy, it's obvious she has serious misgivings.
The people in customer service are thrilled to have me back, even for one day. Carlton has made such a mess of things, with orders scheduled for the wrong day, including one he misscheduled by over five days. But, as I'm just on loan, I have some perks. Chucklefart is having a problem with an order Carlton left off a truck picking up today. While I'm in his office, he decides to forward me the e-mail to "see if there's something you can do." It immediately bounces back, as I no longer have a company e-mail account. He has to take the problem to Carlton. One customer service is on the phone as I'm waiting for her to finish so I can research something. She say, "Oh, wait! I have someone from that department right here!" No, you don't. "You're in that department, right?" Nope, I'm on loan, send it to Carlton. She did not like that suggestion at all.
I can tell I'm already having a positive impact, as everyone is a lot calmer, happier, and more at ease. Manager is actually smiling, saying, "Thanks for the help, Pete", and even joking with me a little. I don't trust her, but at least she wasn't on my case. (Carlton blew ANOTHER order that day while I was in her office. She explained what he did wrong, but at no point did she try to write him up or repremand him. Me? I'd be out on my ass.)
I get things as caught up as I can. Turns out a couple of the customer service people are lobbying hard. Let's call the woman running the place The Big One. They've been urging her to overide Manager and bring me back, Carlton is not only an idiot, he's rude and bossy, too.
However, the fraught with portent section occured later. Once again, I found it interesting that my desk is still as it was, nothing has been moved, changed, nothing, not even my last scribbles on my marker board. Towards the end of the day, a call comes in. There's a department meeting. I'm told to come with. Me? I'm not in this department anymore. But I know better than to argue with The Big One, so off I go. Turns out, Manager is getting promoted.
1) Manager is getting promoted to Administration, a certain subset of it. In other words, the duties she already has. Her regular title is all operations, this cuts it in half (remember, she's a figurehead, the real decisions are being made by corporate). It's possible that she's going to be moved to being one of the big names running the place, but that runs into problem #2.
2) When the announcement was made, Manager looked at Carlton and silently mouthed, "You're coming with me." NO ONE in the building has an assistant, not even The Big One. If she is serious (and she would know), this implies she's moving out into corporate administration.
3) A new manager is being brought in, hired from outside the company to take over her position. Not the duties not assigned to her, her position.
So, if we take all this as read, the Manager is, at the very least, going to create a position for Carlton to move into...the only person in the building available to do my old job is...me. With a new manager. And Supervisor freaking out because Manager who protected her isn't there anymore and her buddy Carlton is also gone.
Oh, and there's #4 -- Manager is due for maternity leave in February. A new position for someone jetting out of it for a significant amount of time?
Something smells really really wrong here.
At the end of the day, Manager once again thanked me for my help and warned me I might be pulled in a few more times just to help. Whatever. I'm not making any waves until I know what's under the surface of the water. There's an old Polish proverb that says, "The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese."
Stay tuned, we'll see what happens next.