Give An Employee A Little Power…

, , , , , , , , | Working | September 11, 2020

I work at a retail outlet. It’s been a few weeks since the recent health crisis started, and our store now has a new temporary policy: customers must wait in a line to be admitted to the store by security, and no more than 200 customers are allowed in our store at any point. Employees who are scheduled to work do not have to wait in line, and do not count toward the limit.

This happens a few days after the policy is put in place. It’s 10:55 am, and I’m about to walk into the building for my 11:00 am shift. A fairly new coworker is regulating the line. As I enter the door, he stops me.

Door Attendant: “Excuse me, you have to wait in line.”

Me: “I work here.”

Door Attendant: “Doesn’t matter. You have to wait like everyone else.”

Me: “I’ll be late if I have to wait!”

Door Attendant: “Not my problem. Go to the back of the line.”

Me: “No. I have to get in.”

Door Attendant: *Physically blocking me* “You can’t just go in! You have to wait! Get in line!”

Knowing I won’t be able to get past him, I just go to the end of the line, which is VERY long and stretches around the side of the store. At about 11:05, my cell rings.

Boss: “Hey, what’s happening? You’re running late. Is something wrong? Car trouble? Traffic?”

Me: “No, I’m here, but I’m in line to get in the store.”

Boss: “What? Why are you in line? You don’t have to wait in line!”

Me: “Well, according to [Door Attendant], I have to.”

Boss: “Wait, did you say, ‘[Door Attendant]’?”

Me: “Yup.”

Boss: *Sighs* “For Pete’s sake… Just come in. Don’t listen to what he says. I’ll let you clock in late and stay late to make up the time you lost.”

I get out of line and head back to the entrance. My coworker is waiting there.

Door Attendant: “Hey! HEY! I said you can’t come in here without waiting in line!”

Me: “I work here, and I’m already late for my shift.”

Door Attendant: “NO! You do not have permission to go past this point!”

Me: “Yes, I do! I have [Boss]’s permission!”

Door Attendant: *Screaming* “I don’t care if you have [Boss]’s permission; you do not have my permission! NOW GET BACK IN LINE!”

Just then, my boss comes to the door with one of my other coworkers behind him.

Boss: “First and foremost, [Door Attendant], you don’t ever yell at anyone in this store. Second, she doesn’t need your permission, or anyone’s permission, for that matter. She works here, and because of you, she is now late for her shift! Go to my office and wait for me there. [My Name], come on in. [Coworker], you take over for [Door Attendant].”

The attendant was written up and sent home on his last chance; apparently, it wasn’t the first time he’d made employees wait in line when they didn’t have to, nor was it the first time he’d screamed at someone. He wasted little time throwing that last chance out the following day when he tried to pull the same stunt on the district manager, and he was fired.

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