Under The Banner Of Panic

, , , , | Working | March 4, 2019

(My general manager is a very nervous woman. I can’t say that I blame her; she has a lot of unfair pressure put on her by the company to change things that nobody can control. The guy above her, the district manager, is visiting us before the store opens. He absolutely terrifies her, and she typically responds to that fear by yelling at us or micromanaging. I am helping the copy center lead with some jobs that needed to be completed by the time the store opens for customers to pick up. A few days ago, corporate sent us files with sample banners to be printed and hung up in the vestibule to push some sale on indoor and outdoor banners. Corporate stated in their email that the banners were to be hung up by this day at the latest.)

General Manager: “[Lead], where are those banners? They need to be hung up today!”

Copy Center Lead: “They’re printed. I just need to finish these orders before 8:00.”

General Manager: “Well, they need to go up before we open.”

Copy Center Lead: “We’re working as fast as we can.”

General Manager: “They’re supposed to be up today.”

Copy Center Lead: *calmly* “They will be, but I have two customers coming in first thing and they need these orders done.”

(The general manager scurries away and we continue working. A few minutes later, she returns.)

General Manager: “Are you done yet? Those banners need to be hung before 8:00!”

Copy Center Lead: *still calm, as if soothing a child* “[General Manager], we will get them up; we are almost finished with these orders.”

General Manager: *half panicked, half bossy* “You have to do them now. They have to be up before the store opens! You had days to do it; they have to be up today!”

(She’s right; they did have several days to put the banners up, but the copy center is the most understaffed and overworked department of all. All of our customers love the lead and she has personally turned the department from a slow, money-losing department to an extremely busy, always profitable one. Unfortunately, the other people in the department either cannot or will not keep up her pace, so she is often left rushing to finish orders.)

Copy Center Lead: *slowly* “What would you like me to do? Make the customers wait, or put up the banners when I’m finished?”

General Manager: *really panicking now* “The banners need to go up. I don’t understand why you are always rushing at the last minute to get these orders done. Isn’t anyone else doing anything at night? I don’t understand why this is always an issue. The banners have to be up before the store opens.”

(Little does the general manager know, the district manager is standing behind her, mocking her with a “talking hand” and a screwed-up “angry face.” She turns around and he drops the act, keeping a neutral expression on his face.)

General Manager: *sees him and scurries off again*

District Manager: “What the f*** is her problem?”

(The banners went up, the orders were finished, and the store somehow avoided bursting into flames when we hung the last banner up at 8:01. If the general manager hadn’t always been so freaked out by anyone with authority over her, she could have seen that the district manager was a really chill guy who wasn’t out to get her. Yes, he’s had to be tough on her before, but that was after his superiors were screaming down the line at him.)

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