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Tale of Two Nightmare Retail Hells

Management Hell: Douchebag Maintence Manager Gets Told

BallsawardAAALaughing Barista gets a Retail Balls Award for standing up to a lazy, lying, asshole Regional Maintence Manager:

LaughingBarista here again with a story that I hope you will all be proud of.

Recently I was promoted to the assistant manager position after the former one was as useful as a broken car. I've realized that this has taken me away from the clientel more and has forced me to deal with the annoying idiocies that go along with a managerial position (ordering items for the store, dealing with useless employees, dealing with complaints that have no rhyme or reason, etc etc). It also means that I deal a lot more with the owners and other people surrounding the store (main office, maintenance staff, etc).

Because there are nineteen stores owned by the same owners, we have a central maintenance staff that fixes all of our problems. The issue is that the stores are divided in two and the maintenance staff loves one of the owners and hates the other one. The one that owns my store is hated by the maintenance staff (at least the head of the maintenance staff). The reason behind this is really stupid and related to familial issues that have to do with the owners that I'm choosing not to relay here in order to mask my identity.

Anyway, I have a lot of issues with the head of maintenance. The number one being that he's never at our store to fix things because he's at the other stores. Now while it is true that his offices are in the same city as the other stores (we're about thirty minutes away), our store makes twice as much money as most of the other stores there. On a busy day we will make up to $6,000 while their other stores may only make $2,000 on a busy day. This is because of our store's location (on a main road in town with the next closest store being about ten minutes away) and size (it's rather large with a nice seating area with cafe tables, chairs, tvs and even a couch). My other issue with the head of maintenance is that he's an asshole who has an opinion about everything that doesn't relate to him.

Apparently before I was promoted he made a crack at the manager about how he thought our office was a mess (it's organized and definitely not a mess; we just have a small space to work with and this means that all of our stuff is in one place, making it look fully occupied). Unless if something is broken in our office, he should not have been going in there in the first place as he has no right to do so (and we have money in there that is easily accessible for anyone) but he let himself in just to make a comment.

All of this is important in understanding the rest of the story.

So we had an inspection last Thursday and a few days before our oven decided to stop working properly by dropping the temperature way too much, causing the bagels to take too long to bake and they came out the wrong size and shape. I immediately faxed the head of maintenance and got to response, per usual. I kept faxing him the next few days until he decided to arrive one day, without warning, on a very busy day to fix the oven. I was just relieved he was there to fix that and the other problems we were having that I didn't say anything.

The manager was out sick so I was in charge. I walked up to him to introduce myself and ask him if he knew what was wrong with the oven (one of the owners was there, by the way) and the first thing he said to me was "Don't you think you should button up your shirt more?"

Now I had on a long-sleeved tee-shirt underneath that went up to my collar bones that was the last thing from being inappropriate and there was absolutely no reason for him to comment on my attire as he is the fucking maintenance guy. I don't let bullshit like that slide so I responded in typical LaughingBarista fashion:

"No, I don't think I should do that as it's hot in here and I refuse to turn on the air conditioning which would cost the owners money. Besides, it's too cold out for that. But thank you so much for your suggestion and I will file that under consideration for future days."

The owner thought this was hilarious and didn't say a word.

I didn't stop it there because, well, I never do.

"Have you been getting my faxes? (He nodded yes) Really? You've made no inclination to this and I have machines breaking left and right that need fixing. Are we not under your umbrella of stores that you need to come to when they have broken machines? I think you should be focusing on that instead of other things."

The owner (the one that the maintenance guy likes) made a comment about how we're the furthest store from the offices which is why he's not there as often.

"More the reason for him to be here faster as he can start here and channel back to the other stores that are closest to his offices. The longer he puts off fixing our things is the more money that you guys lose out on because not only will you lose customers because our machines relate directly to our products, but it also puts our machines further into disrepair, thus causing you to have to spend more money in replacing them. Also, it makes sense for him to fix everything here since our store makes you guys more money than any other store. A faulty product will only effect a certain amount of customers, but the more customers you have the more will be pissed off. He should have called as soon as he received my fax so we could have come up with a plan to fix this."

The owner stood there, a little baffled at my ability to stand up to him, and slightly nodded in agreement.

The next day the other owner was there (the one that really owns our store) and he informed the manager and I that he talked to the head of maintenance about everything and that he shouldn't be a problem with us anymore and that he told him that what he said about me was not only inappropriate but also none of his concern.

I'm very glad I stuck up to that pig and I'd love to hear your similar stories.




*Applauds* You go girl! Way to stand up for yourself. I haven't been in a situation like that, but I love the way you handled it!


Goddamn do I love stories about standing up to hideously inept management, ESPECIALLY when they don't end: "And that's how I lost my job."




or, you know, a repost is a repost of a repost.


Yes, why did this show up again when it was posted two days ago?

Not that it isn't awesome enough for a replay... ;-)

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