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Acting Like More Of A Dictator Than A Manager

, , , , , | Working | December 21, 2020

I have worked at a well-known pizza chain for five years. The store I work in is very small so I am hired to be the only full-time cook on staff. Over my years working there, I have become very close to the store’s general manager; she is almost like a second mom to me. Unfortunately, it is discovered that she has a mass in her breast and she is going to need to be out for a while to recover after surgery.

She is temporarily replaced with an acting manager, a young woman who has never run her own store before. This is to be a trial to see if she is ready for a promotion. 

Before leaving, my general manager tells the acting manager that the schedule is pretty much set and she doesn’t need to make any changes to it as it has been the same for months. 

Her first week in the store, the acting manager takes an immediate dislike to me. She hovers over me while I work and questions why I do anything. She follows me around the store making snide comments about me and even makes me go home on a couple of shifts where she feels I’m “not needed.”

The second week, I come in to find a completely revamped schedule. She has dropped me from a six-day, forty-hour week to three days, sixteen hours.

Me: “Why has my schedule been changed?”

Acting Manager: “It isn’t fair that the other cooks don’t get the same amount of hours that you do.”

Me: “I am the full-time cook and the other two are just part-time.”

Acting Manager: “Full-time employees don’t exist unless they are management. If you don’t like the schedule, you are free to quit at any time.”

I call my general manager to complain. I really can’t afford to lose that many hours for the next three weeks until she comes back. She complains to her boss, who tells her that it is the acting manager’s decision and I will have to deal with it.

Within twenty minutes of that phone call, my general manager is at the store entering in paid time off for me so that I can still get paid for my forty hours.

I did not ask her to do this, but I am pulled into a meeting with the district manager the next day who screams at me for disturbing my general manager while she is out sick.

On the first day of the third week, I get my new schedule to see that I’ve been dropped even further to two days, ten hours. The next day, my general manager shows up in uniform.

General Manager: “I’m coming back early. [Acting Manager], you are no longer needed.”

It turned out that the day she came in to fix my paid time off, she had received complaints from nearly every other employee in the store. Three people had even threatened to quit over the poor treatment they’d been given by the acting manager. The district manager tried to talk her out of coming back early, but my general manager was stubborn and said she didn’t want to come back to a store with no employees because some “little girl” ran them out.

While I was able to easily get my hours back, this whole thing had left a bad taste in my mouth and I began to take a hard look at the company and how it treated its employees. Over the next few months, my general manager’s health became worse due to the radiation treatments, and she begged corporate for help. They denied it. I had enough and put in my two weeks. I was able to find a job that paid almost double what I was making, guaranteed my hours, and even came with benefits. My general manager also quit not too long after, and I’m happy to say she’s now living cancer-free.

The acting manager was actually given her own store shortly after this. Three days after starting there, her entire staff walked out… in the middle of the dinner rush.

This story is part of our Best Of December 2020 roundup!

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