As I continue to work on developing the discipline to create a full-time income online, the traditional work world continues to display it’s hypocrisy and complete detachment from reality.
Recently, our manager finally put in her notice that she was moving on. She’s been unhappy and burned out for well over two years, so it was something long overdue.
I’m a believer that attitude is infectious and that leaders lead by example. In her burned out state, our previous manager simply wasn’t willing to put in the extra hours necessary and wasn’t necessarily that productive when she was there. Naturally, the entire team’s attitude and work ethic eroded. We gradually let our store fall further and further behind.
Only managers are salaried, so the only way we had any shot of catching up was if her attitude turned around and she became willing to put in the time to get things back in order. Like most corporations, ours considers the word overtime to be profane, so there was no way we could help her from an hourly standpoint.
FYI: IMO, much of her demise was due to unrealistic expectations imposed by the company. We remodeled a couple years ago, which led to a significant increase in volume, but we have yet to see an increase in man hours in order to keep up with stocking and keeping things tidy. On the contrary, we actually had hours lowered simply because we aren’t considered a “high risk” store, like so many of our other stores located in high crime areas.
Even though I felt the odds were against me, I decided I would throw my hat in the ring for the vacated position. As it turns out, the odds weren’t just against me, my horse wasn’t even allowed in the race.
Before our manager had put her notice in, a new store manager was in the works. Essentially, I was screwed because I happened to work in the location with a burned out manager. As part of a staff with a “tainted” attitude, there was simply no way anyone at our store would be given a chance to turn things around. Hey, who said life is fair?
While I absolutely accept my role in this missed “opportunity”, it would be nice if those above me had the balls and the integrity to admit their role as well. Never gonna happen, lol.
Every month for the last two years, our DMs would come in for their monthly visit and submit their reports about how behind we were on freight, how signage wasn’t current, how resets were past due, etc. And yet, there were never any repercussions.
During the hour+ long chat with our current DM, I was told that this was because there were always other, more important fires to put out in the district. Oh, the hypocrisy.
Putting my upper mid-level management hat on for a minute, that just sounds like an excuse for not doing your job to me. Letting a good store go down the tubes because you’ve got other stores that are already in worse shape is a pretty lame and weak excuse. Any excuses we would make at the store level to our DM for things not getting done were always shot down. Quite the double standard there, eh?
As a rational, logical human being, I do actually get it. If he had terminated our manager sooner, it would just be one more headache he had to deal with. Same thing for the DM before him. In essence, our manager slipped through the cracks because of the high DM turnover. In nearly four years, we’ve had 8 or 9 district managers come and go.
So, someone like me who has managerial experience and was willing to do whatever was necessary and put in whatever time I needed to in order to get things back on track simply doesn’t get a fair chance to take over. Our store was the only store I was really interested in running. It’s an eight minute commute and it’s not in a terrible neighborhood like so many others are.
The Blessing In Disguise
On the positive side, my first impression of the young lady(yes, I’m old so I’m calling her that 🙂 ) is that she’s a good worker and is willing to put in the time. It’s too early to tell how well she’ll deal with the ugly sides of the position(disciplining associates, terminations, etc.). This is the store she wanted as well and I hope it works out for her.
An additional positive is that although I might be feeling a little bitter and slighted right now, in the long run I have to view it as a “blessing in disguise” as far as my true long term goals go. When I took some time to reflect on what I was willing to do and sacrifice for a larger paycheck, I realized that this “missed opportunity” was actually a big fat reminder of a much larger opportunity that I’ve continued to neglect over the years. Some of my thoughts on that are as follows:
- I would have been committing a minimum of 15 to 20 hours per week to the position. More often than not, it would probably be even more. Instead, I can schedule those hours into working on my websites. Yes, I know, I should have been doing that all along. 🙁 This post is
supposed to bethe beginning of that. 😀
- I would have been committed to a 6 day work week, often 7 days. Now I can keep my tolerable 5 day commitment and even though I may be working every day on my sites, working at home is much better than not working at home. And if I need a day or two off, I can take it.
- Although this affront(lol) will cost me thousands in the short term, I can make that up many times over on the back end in a much less stressful environment.
- If I’m being completely honest with myself, this was really just going to be a short term money grab that might have truly cost me more than it benefited me.
In summary, although I am somewhat disappointed and offended, I’m also thankful that this situation reminded me of what I want and don’t want in life.