George and Lester

I was on the forklift bringing down a pallet of topsoil when a hefty man wearing glasses stopped me.

“You’ll need to bring that pallet down. Then you’ll need to bring down these others.” He was holding a clipboard and read off the SKU numbers to at least 25 different products.

“Yes,” I said. “I know.” I found it interesting he believed I could recognize which products he was talking about from just their six-digit SKU numbers. There were approximately 45,000 individually SKU-ed products in the store.

“Then you’ll need to replace that pallet of Moisture Control at the sliding doors,” said the man with the clipboard.

“Yes,” I said. “I do that every night.” I had never seen this man before.

This guy with the clipboard then called out to a thin older black man who had been standing in front of the wall of decorative urns since I had come to work. The old black man he called Lester and he motioned him inside. I watched the black man shuffle off after the man with the clipboard and I went back to bringing down pallets.

Later on Paul told me who the man was: “Oh, that’s ‘Clipboard George’. He’s a daytime manager. He just walks around with a clipboard telling people to do things. He’s useless. He always has that clipboard.”

During the night Clipboard George would call over the loudspeaker for Lester to meet him at certain parts of the store. They would stand together looking up at a wall of shelving and Clipboard George would check his clipboard and point. Lester would nod his head in agreement. When Clipboard George left, Lester would move a few items on the shelves and then he would wander off. Clipboard George would return later and look at the shelving and look at his clipboard. He would call Lester back over the loudspeaker and do more pointing at the shelving. Lester would nod in agreement. Then Lester would do a little more work and wander off again. Clipboard George and Lester were working together.

1 comment:

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