Managers: If you would have had this happen...(VERY LONG)

Here’s how my day went. UGH (This is very long so you can see the whole story and make a complete assessment…again, HONESTY is appreciated!)

Remember me telling you about the 1 or 2 people resentful for me becoming a shift leader?

Well, one of them is now doing some marketing for us with a Partners in Education program.

That’s fine. She comes in and tries to play boss to me, and I let that roll off my back. I do my thing, she does hers. She goes to schools and gets these large orders which is great for our bottom line, but makes no offers to help make them. Again, no problem, I usually am the one doing them anyway.

Anyway…this morning, she calls me 45 minutes prior to the first order going out, knowing I had over 20 pies to make myself before the store was even open, to tell me that she had to double the one school order (bring my total to over 30), AND move the order up 30 minutes to 11, which stacked the orders on top of each other. (She says she did NOT say this, and that I misunderstood her, and I KNOW for 100% sure I did NOT misunderstand her).

So, I was frustrated about this, and talked to my boss about it, and asked him that sometime in the future, if he could communicate it to her that she needs to check with the manager before she adds to the orders or moves the time up…they could get done this time, but a little assistance of knowing what was going to happen would be nice. He agreed…no problems. I told him I would let him handle that, and he gave me permission to speak to her about it.

When she came in, I was in the middle of finishing off the pies to put in the oven. Even though I had been previously frustrated, I POLITELY (seriously now…I am one of those people that can seperate personal and business…you can’t tell I’m angry with you unless you need to know it! haha) said “hey L, in the future, could you call me before you accept increases in orders or move the time up, because today that made these orders double stacked.”

BIG mistake, apparently. She started getting defensive saying that she DID tell me in time, even though it was AFTER she had already agreed to everything with the school, saying she did NOT tell me to move the order up 30 minutes (again, YES she did). I told her, okay, we’ll agree to disagree about the moving the order up, but still, in the future, please call me if there’s been a misquote in pizza (we figure enough for 2 slices each on large orders and then they can go from there) so we can make sure we can meet the customers’ needs BEFORE they are told they may need to get a few more.

I mean, nothing like saying “yeah, we can get your 5 out there in time…oh, you need 15? Sure, same time” and not be able to stand by the promise. KWIM?

Anyway, she started getting loud and telling me that is what she did, when it is not what she did. She called me a liar about the other stuff…and I turned to her and said “what, did I just make it all up then?” and then she told me to kiss her bleep and started getting in my face, and that the other driver could take the bleep-ing delivery to the other school.

I asked her to leave the store and cool off because I would not be spoken to in that manner and she refused, so I called our boss.

He came in within the hour, and had us both come into the office to discuss what had gone on. Apparently, because I called him to tell him about what she had done previously and honestly admitted to him that it had frustrated me, he felt that I might have had more to do with it than I said, thinking the presentation might have come off a little harsh. Both the drivers there verified with him that I was harmless in my presentation, that it did NOT warrant such a response.

She started laying into me again IN THE OFFICE with him present, calling me a closed minded bleep and I just looked at my boss and said “oh my God, SEE what I mean?!?”

She told me that she felt that she was always in competition with me. She said I refuse to accept my mistakes, even though I am the FIRST to admit it…and she sure didn’t like it when I brought up how I paid her $1.50 for a run OUT OF MY OWN POCKET to compensate her for having to go back out and deliver a 2 liter I forgot to add to an order that she had to go back for. I told her I don’t know where the competition thing is coming from, because I am a manager and she is a driver that does marketing, so if my attempts to help her get some leads is where she felt I was competing with her…that I did NOT want her job, and had no problems with her project.

She also said “all you ever do is bleep about things” and she could never give an example when I asked her for specifics, except for my asking her to call in advance today…that was her example of always bleep ing.

She even said she was going to quit after I told my boss that had I been the GM, with the behavior presented, I would have fired her (said it right in front of her), and she started cussing some more.

Long story short, she got a discussion of “you’d better never treat your co-workers that way again”, and I got “you probably showed her some of your frustration to get that response”…again, when drivers said there was NO WAY I could have made her flip her lid with anything I did or said.

I understand we’re short on drivers, and that she is getting some orders for the bottom line of the store…but IMO, behaving that way should have at LEAST warranted a suspension.

I feel like I have done wrong, and I am totally in the right…like they might have said they didn’t approve of her behavior, but without any sort of write up or suspension, it just makes me feel like they either supported it or didn’t care.

Had this been your shift leader and your driver/marketing person, what would you have done?

Re: Managers: If you would have had this happen…(VERY LON

you are right…that WAS very long

Re: Managers: If you would have had this happen…(VERY LON

And then what happened?

Re: Managers: If you would have had this happen…(VERY LON

You wanted honesty, so…

I would be getting rid of you both if I had to come in and deal with petty stuff like this. Call me if the store is on fire or you’re getting slaughtered; other than that I pay my managers to handle the store when I’m not there. It sounds like you called your owner to tattle.

I mean, just make the extra 10 pizzas or whatever and tell your driver “Nice Work!” for getting extra sales.

Re: Managers: If you would have had this happen…(VERY LON

i would fire both as well

Re: Managers: If you would have had this happen…(VERY LON

Thanks, but in my defense, I only called the owner because she would not leave the store to chill out.

She was maybe a foot from my face screaming at the top of her lungs and calling me every nasty name in the book, and I felt physically threatened because she kept putting her hand even closer to my face than she already was pointing at me. She kept raising her hand quickly and I felt like the next time she “pointed” it would come with a hit.

I figured better to call him than to have negative publicity by calling the cops. I am a martial artist, and so for me to feel physically threatened (and I did NOT want to have to come to blows) is why I called him. NOT to tattle.

That being said, what could I have done differently? I’ve never had any dealing with an employee losing their top like that. If I have had a suggestion, I go out of my way to make sure it is presented in a way that doesn’t leave the one being suggested to feeling like they’re being criticized or picked on.

Also…at the end of the day, she came back in front of everyone bawling her eyes out so embarrassed about what she had done and apologized to me.

I accepted her apology and realize her life isn’t going the way she would like it to be right now, but I still think that her reactions should have at least warranted a write up.

That is what has me more than what she did…the feeling that my own boss, whom I am working my BUTT off for with all sorts of projects in addition to my regular work, didn’t have my back.

I was disappointed, to say the least.

Re: Managers: If you would have had this happen…(VERY LON

I agree with Piper on this one. It sounds like you got the pizzas made in time so what’s the big deal? If one of my drivers called me and said that a customer wanted to add 10 more pizzas and the order moved up, if it was possible I’d make it happen. An upsell of an extra $100 on 1 order is great, and I would do what I had to do to get it done. By the sound of your story, you were able to finish the pizzas on time, so why all of the drama? Your job is to make pizzas. Your driver’s job is to deliver and to generate large orders from schools. Your driver did her job, so you needed to do yours (which you were able to do). I’ve always been told to do what I have to do to get the job done and to never make excuses. I think it’s great advice.

As an owner I would not be mad at my driver who got me an extra $100+ on a single order. If you were unable to get the order done in time and it ended up being late, then I would have a talk with the driver about promising delivery times that weren’t possible. Unless I’m mistaken, you got the order done in time so it’s a non issue.

What would have upset me is that I had to come in to deal with this unnecessary drama. As owners, this kind of stuff drives us nuts! We have enough to worry about trying to deal with running our businesses on a day to day basis. When I have to take time out of my day to referee 2 employees fighting, it takes time away from more important things that I could be doing.

Also as an owner of 8 years, I know that there are always 2 sides to every story. I believe that most of what you are saying is true, but I’d bet that there are some important details that were left out. Most arguments are the result of poor communication. As a manager maybe you need to work on improving your communication skills. A good manager knows how to successfully communicate with each of their employees on an individual basis. Some employees, you can yell at, while others you have to be more sensitive with. For the most part if you treat your employees with respect and are fair, you will get the same in return (Sometimes this isn’t always the case but it usually is). You need to get everyone to feel that they are part of the same team, to work together, and most importantly to GET ALONG.

Re: Managers: If you would have had this happen…(VERY LON

(This response probably won’t help that much.)

My first thought after reading your thread on “brick wall employees” is that you’re in a weak organization. This thread, admittedly coming from your vantage point, perhaps confirms my initial thoughts.

While we all have a tendency to whine at times (I’m certainly guilty of it), I’m somewhat taken that a shift leader would take her job so seriously to actually participate on a forum such as this. (Seems most would probably be trying to forget the day’s events with the help of a 12 oz bottle or two.)

It’s hard for me to fault a person who seems to genuinely care about a business which they themselves don’t own.

Having spent 6 years as a Naval Officer, I received the benefit of not just exceptional leadership training as a very young man, but was able to experience it as well (both good and bad). Perhaps the most important concept I was introduced to was the chain of command, its importance, its function, and how to use it.

Funny how it all keeps coming back. The saying was “Support the chain of command and it will support you. Break the chain of command and it will break you.” Loyalty goes both ways.

It seems to me that there is a serious lack of clarity regarding your job description and your authority, and your staff is confused (along with yourself). I still haven’t figured out from your postings exactly where the GM fits into all of this.

I’m sure you could exhibit better leadership, but from your account, I’m trying to figure out exactly who’s in charge.

To send a law enforcement officer into a dangerous alley with nothing but a police whistle is just as foolish as sending them in with a .44 magnum and no training in the use of lethal force.

The first thing I learned about accountability is that the commanding officer is accountable for every person on the ship. I’ve never forgotten it.

I wouldn’t tolerate foul, abusive language in my store, period. Again, assuming your account is somewhat accurate (and your credibility with the “boss” is your problem), a strong leader wouldn’t tolerate it for the most obvious of reasons. It creates a hostile work environment and is UNPROFESSIONAL!

The buck stops with the owner.

Re: Managers: If you would have had this happen…(VERY LON

Here is the blunt honesty you asked for.

I have to agree with Piper and ddariel20. You would both be gone if I had to deal with that kind of drama. I cherish every moment I get away from the store and to come in to babysit 2 grown women and listen to what you described I would have handed you both a pink slip.
As for how I would have handled you order situation. I would have gotten the order out FIRST. Later (much later) when everything has calmed down (including your rage) I would set out to make an agreement as to how add ons and time changes will be addressed for future orders.

Re: Managers: If you would have had this happen…(VERY LON

I really do appreciate the honest replies.

Don’t think I didn’t think for one moment that this woman could undo all that I worked so hard for (aka: get fired) over this incident, and I’m very grateful it didn’t happen.

I didn’t want to call the boss…but like I said, with the way in which she just exploded and got so violent in her words and body language…I felt there was going to be an escalation. I called to ask him what to do, and thankfully, he came right over, even though this shouldn’t have had to have happened.

I easily seperate my work feelings from my personal feelings…and you know, even after she called me what she did and did what she did, my orders came first and the things she needed help on (she’s new to editing tickets in the system), I helped her with, with no foul attitude…like it never happened.

The customers were satisfied, and ultimately, everything was salvaged.

But I felt I had to come here and rehash what happened, because of my disappointment in the “backing”.

They call me a shift leader. I don’t even have the MG by my name on the schedule. Yet, they have me doing everything that the GM and AM’s are expected to do. So I totally agree with the one poster about the clarity of the responsibilities. I honestly feel this woman thought that “marketing” was “over” a shift leader.

Right now our infrastructure is one of which we have the owner acting as GM, a part time assistant, and a new shift manager besides me (the Dominos girl) that is training with the hopes of being GM at the store. And, 2 drivers that were asked if they were interested in being shift leaders whom I was put above.

That’s where the trouble is coming from, IMO. Inquiries taken as promises, and then hurt feelings when plans change.

Anyway, it’s thanks to you guys and gals that I have people that understand what I’m going through, and are kind enough to be honest and not sugar coat. You don’t know what that means to me.

I’m not “career minded” (I just work to get out of the house some and earn a little extra money)…but I want to do the best job I can at any job I may ever have, so maybe that’s why I take it so seriously.

That’s what makes the TT a great experience for those that are serious about their pizza work, even if they’re not the owner or a GM or AM.

Please, if you have any more thoughts on the matter, bring 'em on!


Re: Managers: If you would have had this happen…(VERY LON

If you felt threatened you should have called the police.

I too hate dealing with employees who can’t seem to get along - or at least work out their differenences on their own.

Re: Managers: If you would have had this happen…(VERY LON

lol, I didn’t even read this post and knew the context of it. Nothing that I would want to deal with . . .

Re: Managers: If you would have had this happen…(VERY LON

They call me a shift leader. I don’t even have the MG by my name on the schedule. Yet, they have me doing everything that the GM and AM’s are expected to do. So I totally agree with the one poster about the clarity of the responsibilities. I honestly feel this woman thought that “marketing” was “over” a shift leader.

The purpose and function of a well defined chain of command structure encourages all problems to be worked out at the lowest possible level. Disagreements can and will occur, but they should be worked out in a way which reflects the values of the organization. Ideally, the owner never gets involved.

Does this type of incident/behavior reflect the values of the organization?

Based on what you’ve told us, it seems unclear as to what exactly your role is and how much authority you actually have. (Seems to be a discrepancy between your perception, the staff’s perception, and the owner’s perception. Again, it is the owners responsibility to make this clear, and you must ensure that you fully understand it.)

Having operated two locations for the last 10 months without a strong, full time manager in either store (whole 'nother story), I’ve had more than my share of “drama”. While a good share of it comes from personal shortcomings/immaturity of the staff, a portion of it tends to reveal the weak points within the organization.

That’s when it becomes my responsibility to either fix the staff, fix the organization, or both.

You’re in a big franchise outfit…what does the ops manual say about “shift leader”?

I understand all of the curt replies from the other owners out there. After 14 years in the business, and raising a large family (8 children) on the side, I too am weary of store staff “drama”. And sometimes, the right answer is termination.

But I have found that a good share of the drama results from my lack of time and attention to the basics of the organization. At times careless words I say or don’t say have a completely unintended effect on the staff, and it is my job to clarify my intentions.

If I were in your shoes, I’d either learn to live with it, or start looking elsewhere.

Re: Managers: If you would have had this happen…(VERY LON

Hi there,

Things are getting way too political for you. In part however, it is the lead guys fault. If you worked for me, I would find you extremely valuable and invest in you and your ability. Had the covnersation taken place as you described it in my office, the driver would be gone. Vulgarity and rudeness disrupts the flair of a shop and is unacceptable.

BUT, I think you could have used a different approach.

You need to lead by example and you could have completed the order without frustration. You are in a service industry and while things will bother you, there was a fire to put out.

Once the fire is out, you could have sat with the driver and explained:

TODAY you inpacted service, quality and flow. Explain the impact and that if it happens again, you will not be allowed to take leads as you are unable to handle the job.

Done Deal.

If you don’t rise above this person and do your job without this conflict, you’ll find yourself seeking another job. Be happy and in charge.


Re: Managers: If you would have had this happen…(VERY LON

If I were you I would be looking for another position. Take what you have learned and make use of it elsewhere.

Part of these issues are yours; you need to own the authority and be respected. Having to have the owner in there to deal with this stuff is not helping you. Another part of these issues are your owner’s. He has not clearly established the authority of your position. We also have “shift leaders”, we call them “assistant manager” but it sounds to me like the responsibility is the same. If there is a problem with one driver I would direct my GM to schedule around it, if there was a problem with several employees and one of the shift leaders, I would change the shift leader.

Re: Managers: If you would have had this happen…(VERY LON

To effectively manage, you must be able to manage people. You clearly didn’t manage her well. I’m not saying that she’s not already unmanagable, but you seem to have more issues with her than the other managers.

Also, you need to clarify the other lady’s position in the store. You call her “just a driver”, but in fact, she’s SO much more. I don’t believe you understand that. She’s valuable to the store. This doesn’t make her actions acceptable by any stretch, but you seem to discount her as “just a driver”.

The manager may have told her that she has some sort of title and may feel she’s your equal or superior and therefore you’re trying to assert an authority that doesn’t exist.

By calling the GM in addition to the manager you called, it sounds like you were trying to push the issue up the chain before even giving your manager a chance to resolve the issue.

In my experiences, a “shift leader” is code for “morning prep person who handles lunch”. Perhaps you handle night shifts as well, but during the day, there’s very little supervision needed.

Re: Managers: If you would have had this happen…(VERY LON

She does not have a title (explained to her by the boss today). Apparently her new found extra work “went to her head” and now she has been “grounded” so to speak.

Driver first, marketing second. This is because of her inability to handle constructive criticism appropriately. He doesn’t want her being a loose canon with his customers like she was with me.

As far as for me, I asked him for clarification of my role, considering I’ve never seen a sheet with the expectations and presented it in a manner that I never (which I don’t) wanted to “step on anyone’s toes”.

He said with what I am capable of and have been doing for him, he’s probably going to title me as another Assistant, being that is what I do for him anyway

I do SO much more than “morning prep person handling lunch” as you put it. I mean, he’s had me hire employees, make beverage and food orders, call backs, handle customer issues, drive the promo car, etc. I’m hardly just a shift leader in the sense of what I have been in that title with the other pizzerias.

That’s why I’m glad this incident came up to where you guys helped me understand there was a huge gap in what my title is probably perceived as by the 2 that cause me (and anyone who comes in to be “above” them) grief.

I don’t expect a pay raise…I just want clarification so everyone is on an even keel.

I agree, I think the communication and expectations is the key.

Thanks all!

Re: Managers: If you would have had this happen…(VERY LON

Tomorrow is a better day because this was a learning experience. When we start to think we know it all, well, forget about it.

Great Job : )


Re: Managers: If you would have had this happen…(VERY LON

Character, confidence and clarity in the face of escalation is crucial to effective leadership. From my previous posts, you bailed on your own personal character and confidence to bring the Boss into the mix. The result likely is that you reduced your effectiveness and value in the eyes of the employee and the boss. Now what are you going to do?

How are you going to establish yourself as the leader of these people? We cannot give you the answers to that question. It is the heart of the crisis . . . the boss expects you to handle the staff issues, the employees need to feel emotionally and physically safe by having a strong, clear leader running the ship rather than some intimidating or dominant employee.

How’s this? "ring ring Mr. GM Boss, I have a situation that I’d like to run by you. I believe that allowing such behavior and defiance undermines the authority structure of the management, and erodes the effectiveness of the staff (reference relevant passages from employee manual). I would like to suspend this person for two shifts, and need your approval to make it happen. May I have that authority?

(B: yeah, overreacted a bit to the moved and increased orders. . . I do it myself as well. Make the pies, then schedule a short meeting to go over your written request for what you need to manage the large orders effectively.)

Re: Managers: If you would have had this happen…(VERY LON

Steve, again you are right!!! I tried to express this in a previous post where ppjg was haveing issues. PPJG is spinning her wheels and wasting her time. She needs to put her excellence and ethics where it will count. It’s scary, and in todays day and age (especailly in the corp envirnoment) it’s almost impoosible to obtain. Sort of like the “American Dream” anymore.

PPJG we are all routing for you!!!