Just Zip It, Manager

, , , , | Working | April 9, 2020

(The company I work for wants each of its stores to set stock up in a particular way so they send what is known as a planogram — POG — basically a map of where and in what order to place stock. Each week we get a different section to do; this time it’s zippers.)

Manager: “We can’t make out how to do the zippers; I need you to try.” *hands me several pages with just rows of numbers written on it them* “We are so far behind and it has to be done but we have no idea what these random numbers are. We have made a start on the job but you need to finish it; you also need to serve customers.”

(I enter the aisle and groan as the zippers have been removed from the first two sections and dumped into baskets, unsorted, making my work much more difficult. After taking the time to read the POG, I realise that the numbers match numbers on the zip packaging, so I start sorting and placing zippers on to the correct hooks. Five hours later, I have almost filled two panels and have noticed that the third panel is mostly correct but has some colours that need swapping. It’s after closing time, but I keep working until the manager comes over.)

Manager: “How is it going, [My Name]?

Me: “Pretty good now that I have worked out what the numbers are. Here, I will show you.”

Manager: “No, I don’t want to know. Just leave it for tomorrow.”

Me: “But you need to know, if you are going to work on this before I get in. I need to tell you that the colours aren’t in our standard order but the numbers are.”

(I pick up a zip to show her how to match numbers but she cuts me off.)

Manager: “l don’t worry about it. As long as you know what you are doing, I will get [Coworker] to clear space”

Me: “No, please don’t do anything. Leave the third section; it doesn’t need to be completely rearranged and will only take about 15 minutes to do that and finish panel two before I move on to the last two sections.”

Manager: “Okay, if that’s what you want, but this needs to be finished tomorrow as [Boss] is inspecting the next day.”

(I get in the next day to find the manager angrily waiting for me.)

Manager: “I can’t believe you did this all wrong. You got the colours out of order! Can’t you do anything right? I had to pull it all off and try to start again”

Me: “You did what?”

Manager: “I started again because you couldn’t do it right. Now there’s no hope of completing before inspection and I will lose points because of you! [Boss] wants it done a specific way and I am not getting in trouble because of you.”

Me: “I tried telling you last night it goes by number and not colour.” 

(We turn into the aisle and I find that the first three sections are empty as is half of the fourth.)

Manager: “Hmph. How do you know that?”

Me: “By actually reading this–” *shakes papers* “–paperwork that you told me [Boss] wanted the zippers laid out exactly to. Make sure you tell her that you pulled all my work apart because you couldn’t be bothered following the instructions.”

Manager: *gasps and goes pale* “Oh, um… I’ll help you put it back.”

Me: “Okay, so, this is how to follow the numbers.” *starts to show her*

Manager: “I still can’t work that out. How about I leave you to do this and make sure you aren’t disturbed?”

(The work wasn’t completed for the inspection, the manager distracted her boss and purposely avoided that section, and I quit a week or two later.)

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