Thursday, February 19, 2009

Jesus Died For Somebody's Sins, But Not Mine

They did show up today, and I was outmatched. They had legal counsel. All I had was a packet on how to represent myself. My main argument was that they gave me no written warning prior to my termination.

The Bad:

  • According to Wegmans' employment policy, if I don't deliver good customer service, they reserve the right to terminate my contract at any time. I don't recall reading anything of the sort. I imagine I did, but it was probably a long time ago when I read it.

  • The complaint the prompted my termination involved me throwing a package of cookies. Apparently, they had asked me to bag the cookies seperately, and I didn't want to, so I threw them.

    BULLSHIT. The customers in question behaved in a very patronizing manner toward me, I'll admit I behaved inappropriately. I was hesitant about packaging the cookies in a seperate bag because I felt they did not need a seperate bag. But I threw it at them? Puh-leeze.

    When counsel made their closing argument, they said that I represented myself poorly, and that if I was in a bad mood that day, I shouldn't have showed up. I was tired, but I didn't show up in a bad mood.

    The Good:

  • The original reply by Wegmans stated that I had recieved three warnings dating back to July 7, 2007. In fact, two of the "warnings" stated on their claim were, in fact, "conversation notes". I mentioned that I had recieved a warning on November 10, 2006, and that I had recieved no other warnings in writing prior to my termination. The judge asked my ex-supervisor if "conversation notes" were the same as a warning. The supervisor said "no".

  • When I initially filed for unemployment, I put "discharged/let go" rather than "fired". Oops! At least I was allowed to admit to making a mistake, and I did.

  • The judge asked my former supervisor if the company had a department where I could file a grievance and an appeal. My ex-supervisor was reluctant to admit it, but he said "no".

    I will not know for sure the verdict for at least a couple of weeks. As I mentioned, though, that they had legal counsel, and I felt that they were at an unfair advantage. I did my best to represent myself, but I was very nervous. With the money they spent on legal counsel, they might as well just given me unemployment.

    Obviously, I'm hoping for the best, but if they rule against me, I'm not going to file for an appeal. All I know is that I made a point to be honest, and had a chance to tell the judge that I didn't lie (which was one of the accusations). If I don't win this, I can always be comforted with the old rule of karma: What goes around, comes around.

    This weekend, I'm going to start preparing for an interview I'm conducting next week for The Film Panel Notetaker and my zine. Also, I have the Patti Smith documentary Dream of Life coming this weekend, so I'm looking forward to watching that as well. And of course, tomorrow night, the final show of Late Night With Conan O' Brien. I'll post more about that in the morning.

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