Scouting For An Argument

, , , , , | Working | March 10, 2018

(A year ago, I had a substantial number of my employees selling some multi-level marketing item. Things were getting ridiculous, with employees hassling their coworkers, catalogues covering the break room, purchased items brought in for pick-up and left in lockers. Finally, I set a hard rule that no one was allowed to sell anything on company property. Period. One employee, who sold diet shakes and vitamins, had major issue with this, protesting to corporate, but my rule was upheld. I know he held a grudge for it. One day, he approaches me.)

Employee #1: “So, the no-selling thing is only for some of us, then?”

Me: “It’s a store-wide rule. No one is allowed to sell anything on company property. Why? Who is breaking it?”

Employee #1: “[Employee #2] is! Back in the break room! Girl Scout cookies!”

Me: “All right; I’ll head there.”

([Employee #2] is sitting there, eating her lunch and scrolling through her phone. I don’t see any order forms or boxes, so I’m a bit confused.)

Me: “[Employee #2], are you selling Girl Scout cookies?”

Employee #2: “No… I mean, my granddaughter is, but…”

Me: “But have you tried to sell any to another coworker?”

Employee #2: “I thought that wasn’t allowed?”

Me: “It’s not. Thank you. I’ll let you get back to your lunch.”

(I pull [Employee #1] to my office.)

Me: “Okay, I need you to tell me exactly what happened.”

Employee #1: “I’m minding my own business at break and [Employee #2] asks if I want to see her granddaughter. She shows me a picture and the kid is wearing a Girl Scout uniform.”

Me: “Did she ask you to buy cookies, or attempt to take money?”

Employee #1: “No! But why would she let me know she had a granddaughter in Girl Scouts unless she was subliminally trying to sell me cookies?”

Me: “Girl Scouts aren’t Psych Ops. No one was doing subliminal sales. Please go reset zone two.”

(Since then, he has been telling people I’m unfair and unequal with my rule!)

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