In Memory of Bob...

This is my first thread, and I never thought I’d even start one, but after the events of Monday, (which I am still pissed off over) I must Vent.

For the past year and 4 months or so I have worked for Babies
“R” us. About 7 months into my working there, there was a change in store managers, that’s when I met Bob. Bob was the best manager anyone could ever ask for, or even hope for. And heres why…

Bob Wood, wasn’t your typical manager in so many different ways. One of the biggest ways was he that he didn’t bark orders and sit while others did the work. This man was not to far up on the food chain to not pull freight and work like the normal Joe Shmoe part time employee. Whatever he would ask someone to do, you would always see him doing the same. He would jump right into any department and pull freight, downstock or help out in any way possible.

Always fair and understanding, Bob would never pass judgment. He even mediated a few arguments I had with other employees. Getting both sides of the story and suggesting solutions to the problem. Bob didn’t just listen to store related issues either, there were many times when he would talk to me about, well, me. What was going on in my life and the personal issues I was having and offering solutions to my problems. Even if he had nothing to say in the moment he would come up to me after the fact and be like “Karen, You know I’ve been thinking…” Bob was never a passive listener, yet he was an active listener. Never just listening because he “had” to, but because he actually cared about us…the little guy.

There were days when even Bob would slip and snap at me…but I knew that I could go to him and tell him about it. One morning Bob snapped at me and I got really upset. 2 hours later I went to him and said “ you know what Bob you were a real Asshole to me this morning….” He listened to my beef with him and actually talked about why he did it and apologized…I was always honest with the man, he deserved that respect and received it from every employee there.

Always free with a pat on the back and a smile. Bob wasn’t bashful about saying thanks for a job well done. And constructive criticism came easily and never hurt. Even if something wasn’t done the way he particularly wanted it, he would say it looked great, and then would have me change it. But he always would validate us. I always felt like what I was doing was appreciated when I worked with him.

Not only was he a great manager in all the ways I’ve mentioned but Bob was a great guy in general. Extremely intelligent, you could talk to Bob about anything, music, movies, cars, the man belonged on Jeopardy. And was just a lot of fun to be around, but when it was time to work, he would let you know and that would be that.

Bob would come to work practically on his death bed. There was one night he came to work feeling so sick, he actually threw up all over himself, he changed into another work shirt and put on some maternity pants that we sell and he kept working. Bob was hard core… When we were re-modeling the store he didn’t sleep for about 3 days, and physical inventory was the same, if there was something big going down the man was living at the store. He cared so much about his job and his employees. I used to joke with him about how he was the Babies R Us Encyclopedia. You could ask him a simple question on something and get a 15minute dissertation on the answer. He would catch you doing nothing and ask what you were doing, and you could honestly say, “nothing” and he would say well you want learn something? And take you over to the computer and teach you how to do something that was usually quite interesting. If you ever asked Bob a question and he didn’t know the answer, he would say “lets figure it out together” Bob never would pass the buck. At our last meeting I overheard him talking about how he was a “lifer” one who will work for the company forever….

Bob inspired me to keep trying. I hated my job, and actually tried to put in my 2 weeks notice. Bob was actually the one that talked me out of it, and I’m glad he did, but now I can’t wait to leave…

Now, to why I’m soooo pissed off….

When I went into work on Monday Aggie and Frannie were talking at the Baby Registry desk, I heard one of them say “….it’s such a shame, I just can’t believe it…” I was like what, what are you talking about? They looked at me and said, “you don’t know do you…they fired Bob…”

My Babies R Us has one of the worst attitude problems, even though Bob did as much as he could for the overall moral of the store, 60 to 1 isn’t good odds… He wasn’t really getting any help from some of his assistant managers and it’s all downhill from there… It’s all of our faults really. But it wasn’t his fault, he was doing the best he could with what he had….and for them to up and fire him for something he really couldn’t control isn’t right.

I started to cry. It feels like a friend has died…without me being able to say good-bye. To tell him how much of an awesome guy I thought he was…I never got the chance to tell him that he was the best manager that I have ever had. I didn’t get to say I’m sorry for not trying a little bit harder. And I never got to say thank you and give the man a huge hug for being there and actually listening. They tell us now that Bob wasn’t fired, he “resigned”. I don’t doubt that they gave him the option of going quietly or making them fire him…either way, Bob is now unemployed with a baby on the way…

We are all still in a daze at Babies R Us 6372, all over the loss of Bob, posting signs like “we miss you bob” over the receiving doors and various different places around the store. It’s always the great ones that get shit on. Corporate has made the biggest mistake, I really wish I could make them listen…if they could have taken a moment to not look at numbers on paper but actually watch the man work, if they only knew…Damnit…

Thank You everyone for listening….I just wanted to share with the world…how much of a great guy Bob was, because I never got to tell him myself…
Karen Lyn

Amazing. Rant? Not until the end, and then it’s more sad than angry. Plenty of great backstory on why Bob is a great guy, why he made a job that could have been hellish (ask Guinistasia about her experiences at K-Mart for Retail Hell) into a good experience.

8.5, but certainly not on the same scale as a normal Pit Rant. (Stylistic points, like not marking quotes correctly, made it a bit harder to read. Otherwise very good.)

I suppose the best thing to do is to remember that Bob resigned. He’s still alive (hopefully) and still the great guy you worked under. Look him up, perhaps? Get to know each other better in your off time? People like that don’t come around every day, and losing one of them because of PHBs (pointy-haired bosses, or stupid management drones) is, in itself, a waste.

(Welcome to the SDMB, by the way. I don’t know how long you’ve lurked, but I hope you realize that this thread is not suited for this forum. It’s MPSIMS material, really, and it would get a better response there if a Moderatorial Deity were to move it (hint: email). In MPSIMS, Dopers will help you through the grieving process and give hints for getting back with Bob. (We’ve got long experience with various levels of grief, sadly.) In The Pit, we might just as easily call the managment who fired Bob yak-felching ass-mungers who wouldn’t know a good thing if it tied them up and dressed them like Queen Anne. :D)

I hate to be a Negative Nellie, but if, after having Bob run the store for 10 months, your location still has massive attitude problems, and ineffectual asst. managers, there is something wrong. As the manager of the store, everything is his responsibility, and it all should be under his control.

If decisions from above (such as hiring and promotion decisions) made Bob unable to fix the problems, I’m right there with you. If he had the ability to hire who he wanted, and promote his people to management roles, the problems in the store were his to solve, and he didn’t. Nice guys don’t always make the best managers.

Best of luck to you, and to Bob, he does sound like a good guy, hopefully his next job will work out better.

Bob’s are good people, finally the world is starting to recognize that.
But, somehow, we find ourselves unemployed from time to time. Things will work out for him.
Bob’s always find a way.

well, i definatly feel everything Karen said because, well, that pretty much sums up everything that Bob did for all of us here at Babies R us 6372(or whats left of us…)…anyway, i hope that fucking wheat chewer who fired Bob gets his when he gets back home to Texas…I miss when Bob would make the work fun, and i worry about him because someone told me the day he “resigned”, he was just sitting in his white Neon, just sitting there…I hope hes doing alright

He was an asshole, what is your real name by the way? I worked there for two years and there wasn’t a “Karen Lyn” or “Brena Marie” working there.

I do remember old lady Frannie and her dried up c*nt.


This thread is almost 12 years old and BrenaMarie hasn’t posted here in about 11 years. Most people wouldn’t answer that kind of question anyway. In any case I’m closing thread due to its advanced age.