Yesterday I was so proud of myself. It was a busy Sunday at the appliance store where I work. The Store Manager had taken the day off for a family party so she had warned me (rather ominously) that quote “We need to have a strong start for the week and for the month.” She expected me to sell, sell, sell… and specific products in particular. She threw down the gauntlet and expected me to produce revenue. I would complain that that attitude is really unfair because I have no control over what our crazy customers do with their money, but that is not the topic of this post!
When I went in to work, the computer system was down. That meant that I could not open charge accounts or offer financing. Immediately, I lost $2500 in sales. Then the Assistant Store Manager had a family emergency and called out, so without warning, I was in charge of the store, the staff, the security system, the customers, and the sales goals for the day. It was all on me. I was now Emperor of the Store.
I spoke to each of my coworkers, delegated responsibilities, told each of them what I expected them to contribute for the day, whether I needed them on the registers or cleaning, on the floor selling or loading the washing machines into people’s cars. This could have gone badly because no-one was used to taking orders from me, but miraculously my team came together in actual comraderie and we had an awesome day!
We were wicked busy, mind you. For the entire 9 hour shift, I had 3 customers at all times: 2 families that I was selling to and a third that needed a carry-out or a customer service solution or a phone order. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, I found it exhilarating. I really had fun during the chaos. I heard one of the younger kids complaining/apologizing to a customer who had to wait a long time for service that “We used to have 20 employees in this store, but now we are down to 8.” That’s true. People were waiting, but I butted in that “We are fewer in staff, but more efficient. We’ve got this.” Rivka-the-Supervisor trying to raise morale.
I aced my sales’ goals for the day. I was supposed to do 12%, but I sold 29.5%. Also, I solved all the customer service issues and did not create any new ones. Okay, one new one from when the computers were down. They came back online, by the way, so I called those earlier customers; they returned to the store, and bought product from me. I was on fire!
The best part of the day was how my team members stepped up to teach me the management duties that I haven’t been trained on yet, like how to set the alarms at night and how to close out the registers so that they communicate with the corporate mainframes to record our sales. It was a lot of responsibility to oversee the physical facility of the store, the fire doors, the loading docks, and the motion detecting alarms. It was unfair to thrust that upon me without any training – but I succeeded anyhow. Na-na.
I couldn’t have done it if my coworkers hadn’t assisted me. I was so happy to watch the young ‘uns pulling together to save my ass from a likely crash-and-burn scenario. We succeeded together and I was so proud of them! Also, I felt so happy and proud of myself. Yes, it was only one day, but I ran the store… and sold 29% instead of 12%. Go Rivka!
And now for the recovery part… After work, I went out to dinner with my finance lady (and friend), and confessed that I hoped the Store Manager would pat me on the head and give me praise. “Good job, Becca. Way to go.” My friend nailed me on it. “That’s from our mothers, Rebekah. A corporate boss is not going to give you the approval that you are seeking.” Whoops. I really did want a pat on the head, a kiss on the cheek, and some cookies. I would like to be a different me sometimes, a me who knows her own worth and that is enough. My friend wisely advised me not to be disappointed if I didn’t get the recognition that I wanted. Then she told me that a lady had slipped and fallen in the store, but nobody thought to get me or to tell me. In fact, they hid it from me – because the guilty party had been mopping with too much water and had not used Caution signs. Oh well, hopefully nothing will come of it.
Still, I had been Emperor of the Store for the day and I excelled. Awesome sauce!
“Recovery Journal. 01Nov2015. – Leadership.” is copyright © 2015 by Poorkitteh. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
You must log in to post a comment.