same old me no longer able to abide the same old me who once abode

          It's not you, it's me (George didn't coin the phrase, but I give him credit anyway). 

          For the last ten months I've struggled finding a comfortable workplace.  A place where I fit.  Six different locations.  Three different employers.  It's not them.  It's me.

          I stopped delivering newspapers last September because 700 days without a day off = insane.

          So I went to work as a driver for a temp agency (BBSI).  They scheduled me, over the next four months, to drive for three different companies:  Brasher's Auto Auction, Manheim Auto Auction, and Enterprise Car Rental Agency.

          After a few weeks, I had the scheduler stop sending me to Brasher's because it was poorly managed, extremely unsafe, and people yelled.  All the time.  At everyone.  For any reason.  Bunch of old grouches who hated their jobs, co-workers, and employees.  When I feel particularly self-deprecating, I think I should have felt right at home.

          Manheim was the exact opposite of Brasher's; clean, safe, organized, and professional.  But every effort to get scheduled more than one day a week met with failure.  From my vantage point it looked like I was too young to be selected as a full-time driver at Manheim.  I might fit in there in ten years (or as soon as all my hair turns grey).

          I drove the most for Enterprise.  Part-time.  The hours changed every week.  And I quickly became intolerant of the vast majority of my co-workers with whom I was trapped in an 11-passenger van for almost every shift.  Impolite smokers.  Strong perfume wearers.  Incessant talkers.  Constant smartphone sharers.  Adult children with broken internal thermostats (cranking the van's heater).  And every one of them proudly a master of the obvious; "It's snowing!"  "Traffic is terrible!"  "It sure is getting late!"

          Once I obtained a full time job cleaning cars for Alamo and National Car Rental Agencies, I quit driving for BBSI.  With all the vacuums and car washes and traffic noises, I thought I might be able to work an entire shift and, maybe, I would never smell or talk or listen to a co-worker ever again.  But after a few months I discoverd the company itself—EAN Holdings—was so corrupt and managers so terrible that I couldn't tolerate working for them and resigned (detailed here).

          Two weeks later I began working at Avis Budget Group.  Same job.  Same pay.  But (just like Brasher's and Manheim) ABG is a much cleaner, safer, and professional company to work for than EAN.  I was much happier.  My schedule was consistent.  My managers polite, understanding, and even complimentary at times.

          So why is it me?

          Why am I, once again, dissatisfied with my work environment?

          Within my first couple weeks at ABG three different co-workers drove into the back of the car I was driving through a car wash.  It must be me.  I must be driving too slow.  Once is a coincidence.  Twice is bad luck.  Three times in ten days?  Clearly, that's my fault.

          My third week I was sitting in the break room with a male and a female co-worker (neither of whom I knew other than to exchange greetings).  They were talking—each from a different country and speaking their own accented English—so, at first, I was unable to understand any of their conversation.  Their accents were so heavy I didn't think they were speaking English.  But (just like the way Antonio learns English in the 13th Warrior) I soon began to understand some of their words and then almost all of them.
          He was, and had been for several minutes, sexually harassing her.  Brazenly.  Openly.  Willfully.  He degraded her and her family and laughed about it when she protested.  He talked about her and interrogated her using the vilest words.
          I wish I could say I immediately jumped to her rescue and forced him to stop his ugly tirade against her and all women.  I didn't.  I was shocked and I thought, 'The words coming out of his mouth can't actually be what I think I'm hearing; I must be missing the context of their conversation; they must be best-friends and this is just banter...dark, ugly, jokes; I just don't get the funny because I missed the beginning of the conversation...which must be a running joke because she keeps saying "How many days have I told you to stop saying these things to me?"
          I questioned her later.  Learned he had been sexually harassing her for months.  Learned she refused to report him.  So I reported him.  I wish I could say he was fired.  He wasn't.  She was eight months pregnant and so she left on early maternity leave.

          Last week, I attempted to provide guidance to another co-worker regarding a policy, which we'd all been instructed to comply with a few days earlier.  In hindsight, I was not very politic (in fact, I was as blunt as silence can be).  He was preparing to work on a vehicle "out of order" and I took it and put it back.  He protested.  So, I pointed at the car which the manager wanted next and said, "that's next".
          He verbally exploded.  His posture was aggressive and, at one point, I was certain he was going to punch me.  He slammed car doors and kicked trash cans instead.  The gist of his yelling was, "you are not my boss, you can't tell me what to do."
          So I reported him to HR.  Verbal abuse, creating an uncomfortable work environment, refusing to comply with company directives, blah blah.

          It's me.  I can't work with people anymore.  And it's not because people at work are any different than they ever were because "people" have always been this way.  "People" fall into two categories: slammers and closers (detailed here) and the vast majority have been, and will always be, slammers.
          The reason I now-know it's me is: I now realize I was once a reasonably-tolerant closer who kept his mouth shut, professed a live-and-let-live mentality, and grinned and bore it.
          Now, I can't.  Now, I say something.  Now, I speak up.  Now, I make corrections where I think corrections are warranted . . . even though I should shut up and keep my feckin' opinion t' me-self.


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