They “Fired” Themselves

, , , , | Working | February 14, 2018

(Not long before this story, I took over as store manager. A kiosk opens up in the mall directly outside of my department store. The salespeople are rude and loud, and they aggressively harass customers passing by. They escalate to actually coming into my store to try to sell to customers shopping inside. After several emails to the mall management about this issue go unanswered, I go speak to them myself.)

Me: “I have a written report of every incident. I’m not going to put up with this any longer.”

Mall Management: “Quit pretending this is a big deal. They are only there for six months. Work it out between you and them.”

Me: “This is your responsibility, not mine, to fix.”

Mall Management: “No, and frankly, I don’t want you coming back here to whine unless they set your store on fire!”

(I forward a complaint to my higher-ups, and instruct staff to alert us when there is an issue. I find out that one of the kiosk workers has been using the men’s room downstairs, but I am not allowed to bar them from doing so. The whole time, they are still harassing my customers from the kiosk, yelling into the store. Then, a few weeks later, a smoke alarm goes off. An employee responds to find a small fire, which he puts out with an extinguisher, but the fire department still has to respond. A half-hour later, I walk into the mall management office.)

Me: “I need to complain about the kiosk employees.”

Mall Management: “I told you not to bother me unless–“

(His eyes go wide. A fireman is walking in behind me.)

Me: “Right, and it turns out one of the employees was smoking in our bathroom, set off the smoke detector, panicked, and threw the cigarette into the waste paper basket, catching it on fire. Now, can we discuss how you are going to solve this and the costs incurred?”

(The kiosk’s lease was terminated.)

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