When You’re Acting Like A Boss

, , , , | Working | March 15, 2018

(I have been working at this very small, family-owned store for a year now, and it’s time for my review. Because our only manager quit several months ago, I have personally taken on many of her old responsibilities just to keep the store afloat. The owner hasn’t seemed to notice and, in fact, has been treating me fairly poorly. I assume this is due to stress. But he’s refused to promote any of his employees to manager roles or to hire a new manager. He claims he is now the new manager, despite losing his temper any time I attempt to pass him management duties that aren’t actually part of my job description or pay grade. We finally sit down for my interview, and I am hoping for a good review so I can ask for a raise based on my increased responsibilities.)

Owner: “Okay. Well, I like to keep this process very formal, just so you know, for paperwork reasons and clarity. I rate everything on a scale of one to five, one being grounds for termination and five being excellent. Don’t worry about the grade, though, if you don’t get a five. Nobody gets a five. Two to three is pretty average; it means you’re doing okay, but there’s room for improvement.”

Me: “Uh… Okay. This seems a bit formal for our usually informal systems.”

Owner: “Well, this is important, and I like to keep it very orderly so there are no questions later, and for the paper trail.”

Me: *wondering if he’s about to fire me now* “Uh… Sure.”

Owner: “Here is my list of the various areas of the job and your mark. You’ll see you’re a two to three on everything.”

Me: “Oh.”

Owner: “Do you have any questions?”

Me: “Well… I guess I don’t understand why I am not doing well in the store. I did not expect to rate this way.”

Owner: “Well, two to three is actually very good. A four would be management, and nobody who works for me is management. And five, nobody gets.”

Me: “Nobody?”

Owner: “Well, if you get a five, then I might consider making you partner.” *laughs* “It’s the top ranking!”

Me: “Uh, okay. Well, can you give me specifics on what I can do to improve my… rating? The things you’ve listed here seem very minor. I feel as if I’ve taken on most of the managerial responsibilities since [Old Manager] left, and I’m surprised you feel I am not up to the task.”

Owner: “Oh, really? Huh. Like what?”

Me: *lists duties*

Owner: “Really. Well, I’ll do those from now on; don’t worry.”

Me: “You know, I don’t mind doing them, but I was kind of hoping for a raise.”

Owner: “No, no, it’s okay. That’s my responsibility now, as the store’s manager. Anyway, the stores aren’t doing very well, anymore. We’re pretty down from the last month. I have to figure out a way to fix it. I’m sorry; I just can’t give out any raises right now.”

Me: “I see.”

Owner: “Any other questions about these sheets?”

Me: “I guess not.”

Owner: “Great. Thanks for meeting me so late! I wanted to get this done before we head off to Italy tomorrow for a few weeks. I left you a task list. If you could make sure to delegate the duties to everyone else tomorrow when you come in, that’d be great. Have a good night. See you when I get back!”

(Then, he actually left for Italy for three weeks. Guess who ran the store?)

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