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All Talk And No Trousers

| Working | February 24, 2017

(My shift has had their ears chewed out by the duty manager, due to recent thefts during our shift. Because of the thefts a policy change is made that only a maximum of four items can be taken into the fitting rooms at any one time by one person, and it is stressed to us that there are absolutely no exceptions, and to notify the duty manager if there is a problem. Failure to adhere to the new policy will result in disciplinary action. I’m on the fitting room for the first hour of my shift, and the duty manager comes up.)

Manager: *holding several pairs of trousers* “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. It’s work wear!”

(Before I can say anything she walks into the fitting room. I have to yell to get her to come out.)

Manager: “What is so serious that you have scream?”

Me: “You told us not half an hour ago that it’s a maximum of four items.”

Manager: “Yes, but I’m not a customer—“

Me: “You said no exceptions.”

(She gives me a stern look and walks back into the fitting room. I expect her to come back out, but she doesn’t. I yell for her again and she ignores me, so I decide to have an announcement call for her. She comes out.)

Manager: “What’s happened!?”

Me: “You said if I had trouble I had to call the duty manager.”

Manager: “But that’s me!”

Me: “Exactly. How am I supposed to work to a policy when the one breaking it is meant to be the one enforcing it?”

Manager: “I’ve had enough! Go down to the reception and have [Coworker] switch with you. You need to respect authority.”

(We switch and not even five minutes later another worker is called down. Within the remainder of the hour she has gone through the entire staff. We’re all called to reception, where she is standing in front of the counter, red faced and furious.)

Manager: “This is unacceptable. All of you have undermined my authority. That policy is for customers, not me!”

Coworker: “But the policy said nothing about customers. It said no more than four items per person, that’s it. You had a whole rail in there!”

Manager: “ENOUGH! I’ve had it with this insolence. You pull this one more time and it will be disciplinary action, for ALL of you!”

Other Coworker: “So it’s disciplinary if we follow the policy, and disciplinary of we don’t?”

Manager: “EXACTLY!” *storms off*

(We all launched a grievance against her and in our next shift the store manager thanked us for sticking by the policy, which she confirmed we had correctly adhered to. The duty manager ended up having the disciplinary, and while she still works here, she isn’t allowed to shop for work wear without another manager present, and she hasn’t been on our shift since.)

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