“Cheese wit.” Speak English!

And now, something lighter from Philly, the owner of the famous Geno’s, Joe Vento considers himself a great American and in the words of Theodore Roosevelt should “speak English.” So if you want one to order a steak at Geno’s then you must order in English. A patrotic, red, white and blue sign at the window reads, “This Is AMERICA: WHEN ORDERING ‘SPEAK ENGLISH.‘”

Of course the English only sign has upset those minorities who can’t speak English and want a steak in the diverse Philadelphia neighborhood. “I don’t see much of a big deal about learning to say Cheez Whiz,” says Joe. So if you want a steak with cheese, you better say, “Cheese with” not “Bistec con queso.”

Vento has said his staff would be more than happy to help someone order who does not speak English and has not turned away business because of this in the past. Brad Baldia of Day Without An Immigrant [and what a great day that was!] says this policy, “really upset a lot of a people.” So much so, they may respond, “Le gusta Pat’s,” in reference to the competing steak shop across the streak.

Circle of Trust? Are you in or out?

I get tired of rambling on about work. I know we each lead different lives with different jobs and the things that occur in my position as “middle management” probably happens in many other companies. I had made a few observations that I cannot escape, such as those people in the “Circle of Trust” [stealing a line from the Fockers] and those outside it. Also, the fact that rarely are you complemented for doing a good job by your superiors.

Ah yes, the Circle of Trust, as I said you are either in it, or not. But there is also a gray area. I have never been inside the circle, unfortunately. At one time or another, I had the desire to be “in the circle” and maybe was in venturing into that gray area, but never was accepted. In the same position in Los Angeles I could just not break on through to the next level even though I was plenty capable and qualified to do the job. But when it came time to hire, HR turned to the “skirts” [yeah, I know its sexist, but its the truth]. Not one, not two, but three all in a row. I guess this was “diversity in action.” But the “capable” and “qualified” left a lot to be desired.

I left Los Angeles for supposed greener pastures in San Francisco. Initially, the doors were open and arms were wide. It felt good to know I had a clean slate and the possibility to advance within my company. Early on I had that chance, I studying and passed the interview [which was a huge plus in itself], but then was given the mixed news. The good news, I was a “successful candidate and passed the interview.” That was a good feeling, but I was not offered one of the two positions. The reason for not being selected as given to me by my manager, “Steve, many people don’t know you up here yet.” WTF? So who did they hire, some guy from Denver who was an unknown and a woman, who was more less given the job regardless of her interview. This information from a very reliable source and a previous manager [one of only a few I respect].

Again frustration set in, I was so close to getting in the circle I could taste it. But after the interview I was given the chance to temporarily “upgrade” to the manager position I had just interviewed for, but would not get on a full time basis. I accepted on the off chance there would be another opening in the future and I might be considered. That would not be the case due to lack of pay they were going to provide, which was only 10% [maximum] over what I currently make. I decided not to interview, as I felt it was not worth my time or effort. And because I did not look good in a skirt. As it happens they hired another female who happens to not only be in the circle, but on the “fast track.”

But I have accepted I am in a dead end job that will lead nowhere at the company, but what is even more frustrating is the fact that managers do not complement you for a job well done. The last few occurrences I have had with upper management have been all negative. Such as something you forgot, or did not do, or could have done differently. I guess next time at 2am when I have a situation arise I will take the time to call upper management and get their input before I make a decision. Unfortunately, that scenario is a bit absurd, I make decisions by myself on my shift, since I am the only one in the building.

Some of the other minor issues recently include the day and date not matching on an Excel report and the department manager wanted it fixed immediately when she had known about this for a week prior. The company manager wanting to know what I could have done to save [not cancel] some early, important flights in the morning. Of course he is ex-maintenance and does not want to point the finger at a department who still cannot do the job correctly. Information is the key! If I get good information from them, then I can make good decisions, but if that information is wrong or they don’t give me the full story, then we run into problems.

Again, this is not only concentrated on me, my job or position. Things of this nature occur in all companies, but the frustration level is at an all time high and I am doing my damnedest to get the hell out. With any luck, this could be my last month here and then I can really divulge all the happenings behind the scene. It is simply amazing at what goes on, or shall I say what they allow to go on that is considered standard operating procedure.