Scheduling Your Own Termination

, , , , , , | Working | January 9, 2018

The office supply store where I used to work had a high rate of turnover for management. The store manager had horrible luck finding competent people to fill roles and refused to promote from within. One of the managers she hired was absolutely convinced that, as assistant manager, she was exempt from such tasks as helping customers, operating a cash register, or doing anything other than sitting all day long in the front office.

One day we were shorthanded by two or three employees — due to her scheduling failure — and she was the only manager in the store when there were usually two. This meant we were constantly requesting her to pull items from lockup, handle returns, do price overrides, etc., and at some point during the afternoon rush, she vanished.

We were so shorthanded, we couldn’t even spare an employee to try and find the woman, so we managed the best we could while constantly calling for her on the walkie-talkies, the store PA system, and even her personal cell phone. Then, we noticed that one of the store supervisors, who has limited authority in the store but no keys for lockup, was gone, too.

Customers who were waiting for items from lockup were getting angry and leaving. Lines were building up because we had only one cashier and the salesperson was busy assisting people on the floor. The print center was swamped because I was the only person working in that department. We were all repeatedly calling for either the assistant manager or the supervisor.

Finally, there was a lull in business, and the salesperson ran to the back for a stock check, only to find the assistant manager and the supervisor sitting on desk chairs, chatting it up like they were at home instead of on the clock! Furious, he demanded to know why they had left us high and dry out there and caused us to lose business, and what was her reply?

“I turned off my walkie because I got tired of everyone bugging me all the time!”

The employee herded the assistant manager and supervisor back out onto the floor, and the rest of us requested a formal sit-down with the store manager to discuss the incident. This wasn’t the only time she’d pulled a stunt like this one, but it was the last straw. After confirming the event on the security footage and watching the two employees kick back and chat in the warehouse, the manager was let go. Thank goodness.

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