Friday, November 02, 2007

Once Upon a Time I - Familiarity

Once upon a time (1989, to be exact) I was a manager trainee at Toys 'R Us. I was 22 and fresh out of college--a skinny thing with a big curly perm. Actually, the personnel trainer who hired me was later fired for hiring too many skinny little girls with big curly perms who couldn't get the job done. I lasted 9 months in that job--those employees chewed me up and spit me out.
The first week I was there I met a storeroom department head named Kirby. Kirby was an older guy whose life's dream was to be a mananger at TRU. He related well to the other employees, he had years of experience as a department head and knew that storeroom inside and out. He also hadn't the slightest chance of ever getting the manager position. Fortunately, he figured this out pretty quickly and was gone a week after I started.
Why didn't Kirby have a chance? Familiarity. The management in that area of the country had seen him as a department head for so long. Every mistake he ever made they remembered. They were never going to give him a shot at anything more.
I don't know what brought Kirby to mind this week. I've no idea where he is or what he ended up doing. I just wanted to share a small piece of his story.

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