A Crafty Craft Boss

| Cedar Rapids, IA, USA | Working | April 16, 2016

(I work at a well-known craft and hobby chain. It’s been a busy week at our branch, and the district manager is visiting to see how the store manager is handling things. I’m busy checking some counts while the district manager talks to the store manager over in my department. I’m fresh out of college, I’ve only worked at this job for two months, and I’ve never been in charge of an entire department before this. I’m responsible for making sure everything is stocked, organized, and in the right place. I’m already a little bit nervous when the district manager (a physically-imposing 50-something man) calls me over by name.)

Me: “Yes, that’s me.”

District Manager: “I understand this is your department now?”

Me: “It is. I’ve had it for about a month.”

District Manager: “Hmm. Well, I’m going to ask you a question about it, okay? And we’ll see whether you know the answer.”

Me: “Okay…”

District Manager: “Follow me.”

(He leads me down one of the aisles and points.)

District Manager: *sternly* “What’s going on with this right here?”

(I look where he’s pointing, and it’s an empty hook that previously held some items that were on clearance. I can’t see anything wrong with it, but I freeze up anyway and look back at him for clarification, only to see him cracking up.)

Me: “It’s—”

District Manager: “It’s okay! I just wanted to mess with you! I just wanted to say what a good job you’re doing. I was telling your boss it looks great over here.”

Me: “Thank you…?”

District Manager: “I want you to feel comfortable with me, okay? That’s why I do that.”

Me: “…”

(Because giving the new kid a heart attack during a high-stress week is a GREAT way to make her feel comfortable with you. Good going, dude.)

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