May all of your managers be sane,
From Former McHell Manager:
I have a story to tell you of closing my former McStore. Only, it's not the stories that have been told so far revolving around crazy customers. My problems were internal. My store closed early on Christmas Eve and I was always the manager stuck on that closing shift since I was one of the strongest and best managers they had. Yet every single year I would get screwed on Christmas Eve and then get yelled at despite me pushing myself to the limit, sometimes working for 10+ hours on the days I was scheduled for 8.
It's the weekend, so the pharmacy closed at 5 today. The pharmacist (not one of the two main ones at our store; she's one of the floaters) brings up the pharmacy till to the customer service desk, behind which is the door to the cash office, which naturally has the safe in it. Of course, it's 5 o'clock, so we're busy, plus covering a break. Both I and my service desk co-worker are on register. I have about three customers in my line, each with fairly small orders.
Pharmacist, obliviously, has someone knock on the door to the cash office. Yeah, sure, lady, there's some mythical person hiding back there in the middle of a rush, good thinking.
"It'll be just a minute," I call over.
She gives me a look like I just requested a kidney.
I check out the first person in my line, and two minutes later, when I'm halfway through the second, she goes, "Can I just set this behind the desk?"
What? No. No, you cannot set a register full of cash where anyone could just walk up and grab it, especially after like twenty people just heard you announce that!
"Just a second," I say, and apologize to my third customer after quickly finishing the second. "I'll be right back, sir, just need to grab that from her really quick." He nods, and I run over.
"Sorry," says the pharmacist, "I have company at home, so..."
So they're going to implode if you're delayed a whole five fucking minutes?
"Uh huh," I say as I put the drawer away, not even bothering to be polite, because fuck you. Your time is not more important than everyone else's.
At least the guy I had to interrupt to go deal with Her Highness was totally fine with it.
After a year in the location I was hired in (and the move), I spent a year in another store, quite some distance away.
My first WTF moment was arriving there for my first day, and finding junk mail from companies that wanted to sell us stuff, addressed to me by name. Really? Turned out, a year or two earlier, that store had been managed by another person with the exact same name. It was creepy.
Then there was the manager in between me and the other me. He was, apparently, a psychopath with impulse control issues that made a pit bull on crack look warm and fuzzy. I was told that when he found something put away in the wrong place, he would pick it up and throw it. Usually, across the store; sometimes, at the nearest employee. While screaming obscenities. I decided they really weren't exaggerating when I realized I'd been there nearly two weeks before I actually met all my employees face to face. They *hid* from me. I really couldn't blame them.
The store is in an odd community; half the people there are filthy rich, the other half are an artists' colony. Being retail, we hire people who have little in the way of job skills. In short, kids of the rich people, who are only applying because they were told they had to or they wouldn't get their allowance. And were usually pissed off when we actually hired them. And artists, and their kids. In both cases, basically, worthless lumps of flesh, by and large.
I had one assistant who was a meth head, who was fired after we figured out he hadn't slept in four or five days and was having a psychotic episode. And a housewares manager who had to be told that walking around the store with an inflated balloon under her shirt because she wanted to be pregnant was unprofessional. And follow that up by telling her she couldn't do it anyway. They were the best of the lot; that's why they were given keys and alarm codes. (Note: I wasn't actually consulted on the decision to promote either of them, but that's a whole different WTF.)
This was our slowest store, business-wise, and had a pretty meager payroll budget. In fact, so meager that I couldn't actually fill the schedule with three people in the store at all times without overtime. So I (salaried exempt) ended up working open to close Sundays (the shortest hours) because we had to have a sales associate, a cashier and a manager in the store at all times. Fortunately, it was so slow it wasn't a big deal (other than driving home 30 miles or more at the end of a long day). So when one of the assistant spots opened up (I forget which one), I pitched a fit to get an experienced assistant, and I got one, transferred from the nearest store. His name was Jim.
Now, Jim was a hell of a good assistant manager. Would have been a piss poor manager, because he would get so focused on what he was doing he'd tune out the rest of the world, but as long as I made sure he knew what was expected, he was a great assistant. So, in discussing the coming transfer with Jim, I mentioned that I had come to the decision that there were two people who needed to not work there any more, a cashier (who liked to climb ladders wearing very short skirts and no underwear) and a sales associate (who showed up three hours late one day because "I had a flat and had to walk to work" - he lived about three blocks from the store. This was not the first time.)
There was also the 18 year old (thankfully) cashier who *insisted* on showing me her new tattoos, even when they were covered by her panties, but she actually quit after having an allergic reaction to grass - across her ass - having sex on the front lawn of her house (she told me this), and couldn't wear pants for a couple of weeks. Some of the artists were performance artists.
So it turns out Jim was trained by his current manager as a hatchet man, and firing people did not bother him in the least. So we planned a grand entrance for him. And in a bit of luck, on Jim's first day in the store, the guy who needed to be fired walked in about six feet behind him. So I pointed him out, and Jim took care of business. On his first day in the store, he literally walked in the door, put on his vest, turned around and offered the kid his hand, and said, "Hi, I'm Jim, the new assistant manager, and I need to talk to you in the office." And fired him. The girl apparently heard what had happened, and never even bothered to show up for her final paycheck.
I never felt the least bit of hesitation in leaving Jim in charge of the store when I was gone. Everybody respected his authority.
Has anybody else ever reverse-sabotaged themselves at work?
For example, a few years back I worked as a rock climbing instructor at a gym owned by an enormous prolapsed asshole. I had gotten myself on his shit list for being vocally annoyed that I had been assigned as the only instructor/supervision for a group of 30 or so tweens who were having a birthday party. I just wanted help keeping these kids alive, since that age group tends to do stupid things anyway, and when you give them access to a 50 foot climbing wall, you're just asking for trouble.
Anyway, Fartbrain McGee was unhappy with me and since I couldn't afford to be jobless right then, I hatched a plan. I filled out one of the waivers we made people sign before climbing for a fictitious person and created a throwaway email account for this purpose. When I got the expected survey I proceeded to give myself a glowing, yet still believable, review. It was enough to get back in his good graces for a while, at least.
I don't always get good reviews, but when I do, I write them myself.
Stay sane, my friends.
The original owner and founder of my present employer (now retired) is an entrepreneur, and a classic Type A personality. Hard driven, and demanding as hell, but as demanding of himself as anyone else, and under it all, a decent human being. (Only Type A I've ever known who, when confronted with evidence he'd made a mistake, would just say, "You're right, I'm wrong, now go fix it." Mind you, he'd never apologize, but he'd admit he was wrong.) Let's call him Bill (because that's not his name).
"You'll be OK. Turds float."
I was truly surprised he wasn't tossed out of the store on the spot, even if he did only have a day or so left. Bill had mellowed as he got older. Or maybe he'd gotten rich enough to have a sense of humor surgically implanted.
But speaking of Bill, there was the day that the store manager (not Fred) in the fishbowl (the store where the corporate office is) got a comment from a customer about an employee who smelled of alcohol. The manager, very concerned, asked which one, and the customer pointed out Bill. "Well, you see, he's the owner, so he's allowed to do that." Customer thought that was perfectly reasonable. (Bill is the sort of guy who is absolutely incapable of walking by a customer who wants to give us money, and not stopping to see if he can convince them to give us more, whether he had a shot before he headed home or not.)
And then there's Abe. Abe has true leadership skills, and his people generally like and respect him. But he's one of those people who can't turn a computer on and off without help, and literally can't read an error message off a monitor screen in front of him because "I don't know anything about computers." (I know this from experience - multiple times) Completely helpless with computers. So he was transferred to a different store. The morning he took over, he tries to ring up a sale, and corporate had forgotten to add his logon to the new store. Phone call, complete panic, and I didn't have the security at the time to fix it. "Have a cashier sign in for you, and <guy who can fix it> will be here shortly." Civilization ending catastrophe averted. A little while later, the receipt printer runs out of paper, and we're in the middle of cash register upgrades, and he hasn't seen the new model before that day. Another phone call, complete panic again. "Have a cashier show you how, they've done it a hundred times." (The new printers, it's a matter of open the cover, drop in the paper, close the cover. No feeding paper through slots you can't see, like the old ones.) Catastrophe averted again.