Had to fire my Uncle


My Uncle Chin was a good man, who gave me my first car when I was 18 (A Monte Carlo, 1975, built like a tank). He also got me my first job in Edmonton. I even stayed at his place until I had enough to get my own place. He loaned me his pickup to get lost in the city, he said it was the best way to get to learn the way around the city, he wasn’t wrong, it was a big city but luckily it was a city of numbers (streets were odd, and Avenues were even and the went in a row, so if you were looking for any street or have, as long as you could add, you would find your way around very easy).

I worked with him at Grinnell (formerly Tyco) until I injured my back, we used buggies with little ladders on the back, so you could climb up and grab stuff 10 or 11 feet in the air, only problem with that was you had to grab very heavy boxes and twist around sometimes, which was how I had hurt my back, grabbing a box of fittings off the shelf. Then my cousin Steve was the warehouse manager at Dominion Oilfield Supply, who then coaxed my Uncle Chin to come work for him with the promise of getting 2 weeks vacation the first year, rather than the usual waiting time (more about that later). He then hired me as a receiver, it was tedious work unloading a full container of small fittings, counting and sorting then putting them away).

Dominion Oilfield amalgamated with another company and the plan was to merge both warehouses into one, the only problem was, the warehouse was not much bigger than where we were and we also had to fit the stock from the other place as well. I was told that the big guy had hired a computer programmer to do the layout (Red flags fired all over the place right away), I managed to get my hands on a printout of the layout and I spotted many problems withing minutes, he had put 10 inch fittings (which we carry about 6000 at a time), on a shelf that was 10 x 30 inches, and there were many, many more things like that, Chin said I needed to take it to the big guy because we would have a lot of problems with the move that was to take place in a couple of weeks, and for some stupid reason, they wanted to move both warehouses the same day. So we hopped in the truck and went to see the bosses at the new warehouse, luckily, the programmer was there plugging away putting 6000 fittings on a shelf. I pointed out a few discrepancies, and after we left, he fired the programmer on the spot and they scrambled for the next couple of weeks to straighten out the mess, when the day came, the managers decided to do it all on the fly, and it was the biggest shit show I have ever witnessed. More about that later.

So, after the infamous move, and now we were known as DOSCO, the big guy that Steve had made the arrangement for Chin to get 2 weeks holidays got fired, then shortly thereafter, Steve was let go, which they moved me into Steves position, in charge of 10-12 guys in the receiving department It was a while later that Chin found out that he wasn’t going to get his 2 weeks, and was only getting one week. He pouted around the warehouse for a week or 2, then we had inventory (another shit show, with product scattered everywhere from both warehouses), a couple of guys (lets call them the long-hairs) decided to bring some beer and smoke to the inventory session, and as they were smoking and drinking in the parking lot, the new boss showed up and caught them outside. They were fired immediately, and the word came down from the Big Guy, that all long-haired people had to go, no, ifs ands, or buts! Unfortunately, Chin was a long hair and despite me telling him that there was nothing I could do as I wasn’t part of the initial agreement and both parties who made it was no longer with the company and both had left on bad terms, my hands were tied. So, as I said, he went around the warehouse pouting, hiding, not doing much in the way of work, and when break time was over and everyone went back to work, hed come to the receiving area, stand around, smoking cigarettes for at least 20 minutes to a half-hour after break was over, and wouldn`t you know it, every time the Big Guy stuck his head out the mezzanine floor, he would see Chin there standing around with his thumb up his ass. So, now, the calls from upstairs to me to fire all the long-hairs (I don’t believe he knew we were related), I stalled as long as I could, until one day, the final call came from upstairs, either he was let go, or we both were gone. If I had known then what I know now, I would have left with Chin, but instead, the warehouse manager gave him his walking papers. I should have left with him, and we could have had a wrongful dismissal as well as a Human rights case at the very least, but after the battle I had with Grinnell when I hurt my back, and they went as far as to have people sign off that I hadn’t even worked that day, they changed the punchcards and everything, so, I guess I never really wanted to fight another corporation. I knew in the back of my mind that he had another standing job offer with another company, so I knew he’d be ok, although, he never spoke to me again, and rightfully so, I had to stab him in the back, one of the hardest things I ever had to do. I am forever remorseful and sorry we didn`t speak again, it was only a short while ago I found out he had come home to die of Cancer. As per usual, nobody informed me.

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