Play Impossible Games…

, , , , , , | Working | June 10, 2021

I work at a small department store. Our company has a rewards program that has been around for years. This year, however, the company is pushing us hard to get people to sign up. As such, they have put out a new policy; all employees have to get a certain percentage of customers to sign up for the program or they risk disciplinary action or even potential termination. These quotas are set by the company, though store managers can make them higher if they want to.

Our store manager, unfortunately, is one of those people with ridiculously high standards. For a while, she sets the bar at 35%, already a good amount above the company standard, and most of us are just barely able to reach it. After a week, she decides to double the quota to 70%. Considering how negatively received the program is and the very low sign-up rate, this new quota seems absolutely asinine, but our store manager nevertheless enforces it. Four employees at our store get fired and many others get written up because they miss the absurdly high quota.

But it doesn’t stop there. After those firings, the store manager decides that even 70% isn’t enough. Nope. She now wants us to sign up every single customer we check out and tells us that there will be no more write-ups for missing the quota, only firings. The only problem? Many of our regulars either are already members or are just plain uninterested, making it literally impossible to fulfill a 100% signup rate. Even when we point this out to her, she just tells us to figure it out. Our assistant store manager walks out on her.

Predictably, nobody in the store is able to meet the goal of getting every customer to sign up. And how does the store manager respond? By firing the store’s entire staff for not meeting her literally impossible standard.

This attracts the attention of the regional manager, who is very curious about the store’s staff roster suddenly going from over twenty employees down to just the store manager. I don’t know what exactly transpires between the two of them in that meeting, but I do know that it ends with most of us being reinstated with all benefits –aside from the few who found different jobs — the quota-based policy being permanently scrapped in favor of a more intuitive, incentive-based policy, and our now ex-store manager out of a job.

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