Mismanaged Expectations, Part 3

| Portsmouth, NH, USA | Bosses & Owners

(One night, the manager of the store where I used to work didn’t complete the closing procedures correctly on the computer. Therefore, the next morning when I opened, the whole register system was messed up. I called technical support and they were talking me through how to fix everything. It got to a point where they needed me to go to the computer in the back of the store. Since I was all alone, I locked the door and put a sign up saying we were going to be closed for a few minutes due to technical difficulties.  Eventually, I was able to get everything back online and working properly.  Later that day…)

Customer: “Did you get your problem solved? I stopped by earlier when you were closed.”

Manager: “Closed?”

Me: *to the customer* “Yes, thank you. I apologize for the inconvenience, but I had to do some things on the computer in the back.”

Customer: “It’s no big deal. I had other errands to run anyway.” *leaves*

Manager: “You didn’t tell me you closed the store!”

Me: “Yeah… it was only for two or three minutes. Tech support needed me to do a few things on the computer in the back.”

Manager: “You had to close for that?”

Me: “I was the only one here. I either had to lock the door for a few minutes or risk someone coming in while I was gone.”

Manager: “That’s ridiculous. We probably lost a bunch of sales!”

Me: “Again, it was only for a few minutes. Would you have rather I had left the door unlocked?”

Manager: “Yes!”

Me: “What if someone had come in and stolen a bunch of stuff?”

Manager: “Well… uh… then you would have been in trouble for not being out on the floor to stop them!”

Me: “Okay… so I needed to be in the back to correct a problem you caused…”

Manager: “But—”

Me: “…but I wasn’t supposed to lock the door… I was supposed to leave it unlocked and hope for the best?”

Manager: “Yes!”

(The manager reported to the district manager that I had closed the store without approval and without reporting it.  Even though I explained exactly what had happened, the district manager insisted that it was my fault and I was written up.  I was so angry that I quit on the spot!)

Related:
Mismanaged Expectations, Part 2
Mismanaged Expectations (Not Always Right)

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