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One Of The Worst Managers You’ve Ever Produced

, , , , , | Working | January 6, 2019

(It is January 1988 and I am the general manager of a local grocery store. Long story short, my produce department manager has wrongfully fired our employee of the month, who works in his department, for refusing to handle produce crates in an unsafe manner. I am talking with him about it.)

Me: “What I want to know is why she deserved to be straight-up fired over this. You know that what you were telling her to do was unsafe.”

Produce Manager: “It’s not my fault she can’t do her work the right way.”

Me: “I don’t care what you say; that is not the right way to handle crates, and there is even a poster in the back room saying so. It is unsafe, and I cannot have anyone forsaking safety to get the job done faster. I’ve already written you up once before for making employees in Produce carry them like that, and I will be doing that again right now, along with a five-day, unpaid suspension. I will also be reinstating her back into your department, but before any of that takes place, I want you to call [Employee] and personally apologize to her.”

(The produce manager picks up the phone and sheepishly dials the employee’s number. After the employee answers, his face turns red with rage and he immediately begins screaming into the phone.)

Produce Manager: “Listen here, you stupid cow! I am not sorry for what happened! You deserved to be fired, you piece of s***! You are a failure at life and can’t ever do anything right! You deserve to be jobless! You deserve to die on the streets like the worthless s*** that you are! F*** you, loser!”

(He slams the receiver down, and I stare at him blankly for a good fifteen seconds afterward.)

Me: “Please tell me you did not just do that.”

Produce Manager: “She deserves it for being a lazy, worthless cow!”

(I won’t say my response to that statement — only that I promptly fired him after he said it and banned him from the store for life. He had a long history of issues, but I drew the line at this episode. I called the employee myself afterward. I profusely apologized for what happened and offered her a promotion to the newly-vacated produce manager position. She gladly accepted, and 30 years later, she’s still the friendliest and hardest-working of my department managers.)

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