Culture Suckers


Shortly after I started working in my current position I joined the team of department heads for their monthly meeting. At the beginning of each meeting, they would hold a leadership discussion, which I absolutely loved. And at one of my first meetings the discussion centered around the culture at Sheetz, which is a convenience store/gas station chain around these parts.

According to the information we received, the owner of Sheetz explicitly stated that the highest priority for his organization is to get rid of “culture suckers”:

According to Sheetz, a “culture sucker” is an individual that causes turmoil in the workplace environment. This can be the largest human relations problem and it needs to be eliminated. Sheetz did not mix words during his emphatic speech about the topic. facilities Eliminating “culture suckers” from departments will not management be easy, but it will strengthen the organization and save time on personnel issues in the future. Excellent managers will get it done!

That emphasis on eliminating culture suckers has come mind several times during the past five years. It makes me sad that we would put the Sheetz culture up on a pedestal and verbally praise it but then refuse to take supporting action. We have culture suckers where I work and I’ve brought it up several times to my supervisor to no avail. Our culture of ignoring culture suckers has affected my motivation for work such that I no longer work for a purpose, I work because I have inertia. It’s really upsetting to me. I think about leaving this job and I get the same feelings that I experienced when I ended my first marriage, but then I have to consider the fact that leaving that relationship kicked off the most intense and successful period of personal improvement that I have ever experienced. If there’s a different job I could be doing that would allow me to regain my sense of purpose, it seems like that would be a big win for me regardless of the stress accompanying such a major life change.


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