It was great having the Duke football team in for their shopping spree (Cincy came Sat.) Sunday night, and maybe that’s because they looked an awful lot like what I remember about myself as a college athlete. Duke isn’t sporting a half dozen 6’9″ 347 pound linemen, and having met three of the running backs, including identical twins Jackson (generally fullback) and Christian Conway, I got a flashback to what being young and in primo shape looked/felt like. I won’t go deep on similar getting old and slow blast with all Ryan’s and Ian’s pals around at oyster roast, not when event set whole Christmas vibe up so wonderfully.
Duke provided a Belk Bowl crowd with all the excitement one could expect, a late fumble inside the 5-yard line while driving for a score in a tied game derailing a terrific effort. The final 48-34 score was enough to mark me down as someone who believes the rise of a new force in the ACC is coming. As one player laid it out, “Of course you start each year thinking national championship, but we took a major bite to make a bowl game after so long. I’m a junior; I’m looking forward to what we accomplish next year.” That’s legit, as was the player bringing over a sweater with a small broken button and asking if that might get a little further reduction. Suuuure–and its still not my stuff we’re shoveling out the door at 50% off (plus a 10% coupon on clearance).
The true Devil coming is an 11% reduction in fulltime associate hours. “Ho! Ho! Ho! peasants,” says store manager MiniMe after gathering all closer, “be glad you’re not being slashed like the maintenance and display people!” Calling for superior effort from those taking *NOT* the 5-6% cut he sorta-kinda tossed on the table as necessary to making budget is bulls**t when nary a single deposit has been made in the Trust part of a relationship. That shows a real cluelessness about personnel/personal concerns, but LYING about it adds an undeniable stench. To wit–hacking 4 hours from standard 36 is 1/9th or 11%, not 5-6– implies a mentality about everyone having STUPID tattooed on foreheads that he sees clearly. There was literally only ONE dips**t shouting ‘Allright you guys, yay! We can do $530,000!” at Friday meeting. Manager apparently feels he doesn’t have any legs (true enough) to stand on about ask/demanding more than starvation budget for hours, which he blew away with almost totally useless ‘extended’ times during December.
DUKE football sent a solid message of hope to many fans, and because becoming as big a deal as Coach K’s hoopsters isn’t a rationale goal, they’ll just build on this year and maybe become another Wake Forest, which suffered MANY years of beatings before getting into spirit of having a ‘real’ ACC program. Every message sent by TPTB is that the accounting unit each employee constitutes is going to be denigrated and abused more thoroughly in at least the short term, because if it works to balance things now, why change back? Managers are reworking their resumes, anyone having alternatives of any kind will be exploring them, and even if Duke returned in 6 months, there might not be anyone to serve them. Customer service numbers be damned-ignored-reinterpreted might also become basis for cutting hourly rates, but I’ve definitely been warning regular customers they’re in for more inconvenient questions than, “Do you work here?” and “Why doesn’t anyone have boxes at Christmas?”
And FYI, I have terrific personal/executive assistant skills…